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What is grounded and non-grounded adapter?

2-prong plug means that the device is not grounded and 3-prong plug devices are grounded. 2-prong electronics are generally low power and do not typically require a ground connection due to the low current draw. However, higher power electronics are grounded for safety and to avoid electric shocks due to high current flow. You should always use a grounded adapter for your grounded devices and you can use a grounded or a non-grounded adapter for your 2-prong non-grounded devices.

Here’s a list of common 2 prong devices (non-grounded):

  • Cell phone chargers
  • Electric toothbrushes
  • Hair straighteners
  • USB devices such as tablets, iPods, iPhone, iPad etc…
  • Camera chargers
  • List of common 3 prong devices (grounded):
  • Laptops
  • Desktop computers
  • Vacuum Cleaners
  • Televisions
  • Power Drills

What are voltage converters/transformers vs. adapter plugs?

Please note that our travel adapters do not convert voltage. The travel adapters simply adapt plug from your electronic device and let you connect the device to an electric outlet in a different plug type socket. These adapters do not convert the voltage coming in from the socket. You’ll need to make sure that the device you are connecting using an adapter is compatible with the voltage of the country you are using it in. However, common travel items such as laptops, smartphones, cell phones, tablets, iPad etc are compatible with worldwide voltage and have the input voltage rating of 100-240V and do not require the use of a voltage converters.

Voltage converters or transformers actually convert the input voltage of 220-240V to 110-120V or from 110-120V to 220-240V for devices that do not support the worldwide voltage range of 100-240V. Voltage converters/transformers come in various sizes in their power rating from 50W to up 20,000W. Depending on what kind of item you are looking to use, you’d need to purchase an appropriate size voltage converter or transformer. Some examples of devices that are only available in single voltage are blenders, mixers, power tools, coffee machines and even some hair dryers or hair straighteners. When traveling with these items carefully look at the spec rating on the item and look for INPUT voltage range and if its only single voltage (for instance US devices are 120V only) then look at the power rating in WATT and then use an appropriate size voltage converter or transformer with your device if you are travelling to a 220V country.

What happens when the voltage is incompatible?

If the voltage is too high for the device in use then the device is get damaged almost immediately and may cause start to burn. If the voltage is too low, then the device may not power up completely or perform in very slow speeds.

Example: In the US, a European hair dryer may operate in low speed with cooler air and an American hair dryer may overheat on European voltage and get damaged.

What do I need to use for my cell phone, iPhone, iPad, laptop when traveling abroad?

All of these devices are world-wide voltage and you may use them with the appropriate adapter plug for the country you are traveling to. Ceptics also features various adapters with USB port so you can simply connect the USB cable directly to the Ceptics adapter and charge your devices without having to carry your US USB power adapter.

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