Foreign Power Adapters

By: John Gibb

Adapters are commonly used devices found anywhere from the home to industrial workstations. They take the form of electrical adapters, mechanical adapters and simple male-female adapters for wires etc.

Adapters are usually a kind of plug but can take a larger form like a transformer block. They allow a user to plug one device in one side and another in the other side and make them compatible. The most commonly found adapters are for electrical razors which usually terminate in a two pin plug, while most household sockets are three pin. The adapter simply has a two pin socket on one side and a three pin plug on the other. These types of adapter usually do not change the electrical current, they simple alter the shape of the plug, which is very helpful in foreign countries as most have their own shape of plugs and sockets.

Travel is one of the biggest areas of demand for adapters. The various countries of the world operate on different voltage power grids. Most western hemisphere countries use approximately 110 volt systems while most others use approximately 220 volts. When powering a low voltage electrical device from high voltage a converter will cut out the extra power, but this not suitable for anything electronic like a computer. For this and for going from low to high you need a transformer.

A dedicated traveller can acquire purpose built adapters that are expensive but have a female socket for multiple types of plug and interchangeable male plugs for use in various countries. These are incredibly useful for someone who travels a lot and uses a laptop computer or hairdryer etc.

Also a few countries use DC current instead of the more standard AC, which can damage electrical devices not built for it. Adapters for this can also be purchased for personal use or industrial use.

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