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Electrical adaptor recommendations

My wife and I are traveling to Iceland on Sep 6. We plan to bring phones and some camera gear. We have all the chargers and cables we'd need, but as we understand the voltage is different we'd like recommendations on adapters to use. Thanks.

Posted by
10654 posts

Iceland uses the standard Schuko or type F plug. Adapters are easy to find. Even Target sells them. I prefer the full size round adapter that fits the Schuko recessed opening properly. They dont sag under the weight of the adapter or adapter cord and they provide a proper ground when needed.

Voltage will not matter for almost all charging devices. Look at your charger and it should have something similar to 120-240v 50/60hz written on it. I say almost all because my daughter burned up the charger for he Nintendo hand held game thing .... it was not universal.

Something like this: https://www.amazon.com/Orei-American-European-Adapters-Certified/dp/B0058EG0KC/ref=mp_s_a_1_3?keywords=Schuko&qid=1565448890&s=gateway&sr=8-3

Posted by
17612 posts

I have adapters like the ones shown by James, and they work fine. I only use them for USB converters. I like the fact that they completely fill the Schuko "socket" (the two pin adapters leave gaps on the sides), and they have a ground,if needed. My previous laptop, an Acer netbook, had a power supply with a grounded plug.

HOWEVER, they might not fit in Italy, and they definitely will not fit in the standard Swiss receptacles.

BTW, unlike the two pin Europlug adapter commonly sold for European use, the adapters shown by James are rated for 16 amps (~3700W), not just 2½ amps or 575W like the two pin adapters.

HOWEVER, the shown adapters will accept polarized US plugs (one blade wider) but most European power is not polarized¹, and the bi-lateral symmetry of the the shown adapter would only provide polarization 50% of the time if a European country's power were polarized. Even the shown adapter should not be used with American appliances with polarized plugs. In fact, appliances with polarized plugs should not be used at all in most of Europe.

Switzerland is the polarizing exception. Because of the offset ground, the plug can only be inserted one way, and the neutral conductor is always on the same pin.

Because I only use USB "wall chargers" (they are actually voltage converters) in Europe, I went out and bought some European USB "chargers". They are one piece and eliminate to possibility of leaving an adapter in the wall.

  1. Like the US, European power has one "hot" conductor and one neutral conductor, so it could be polarized, but no attempt is made in most of Europe to systematically ensure that the neutral is always in the same position. Only the Type J Swiss receptacle, with it's offset ground socket and the Type E French "Schuko" plug, with it's offset grounding pin, have the potential to be polarized. All other European receptacles (Type F Schuko and Italian Type L) are bi-laterally symmetrical and, therefore, could not be polarized reliably.
Posted by
4668 posts

Your chargers are mostly made of black plastic. Please get a strong desk light and look at each one of them. Almost certainly, you will see slightly raised "printing" with the electrical specifications. It's likely to include "100-240 VAC". If so, that means you don't need any kind of electronic converter. You just need a "prong" adaptor to plug in the USA parallel-blade power supply.

Because of physical local installations and (sometimes) poor manufacturing of the adaptors, you may find that you can get more done if you have multiple adaptors. I often find that worn-out HOTEL ROOM receptacles, even in the USA, don't have good "hold" on heavy Wall Warts. That means you have to fuss with the cord to take some of the weight off the wall receptacle. Sometimes, you may need to unplug the desk lamp to plug in your phone, for example.

Posted by
10654 posts
Posted by
13 posts

"Iceland uses the standard Schuko or type F plug. Adapters are easy to find. Even Target sells them. I prefer the full size round adapter that fits the Schuko recessed opening properly. They dont sag under the weight of the adapter or adapter cord and they provide a proper ground when needed.

Voltage will not matter for almost all charging devices. Look at your charger and it should have something similar to 120-240v 50/60hz written on it. I say almost all because my daughter burned up the charger for he Nintendo hand held game thing .... it was not universal.

Something like this: https://www.amazon.com/Orei-American-European-Adapters-Certified/dp/B0058EG0KC/ref=mp_s_a_1_3?keywords=Schuko&qid=1565448890&s=gateway&sr=8-3"

Thanks so much James. I looked at the link you provided and there are USB version of the plugs. I'd like to purchase the set so I can charge my phones and my battery chargers. Just so I'm clear if I get the adaptors you're recommending I can just plug them into the wall, and then plug my phone or battery charger into the adaptor? Thanks again.

Posted by
10654 posts

Yup, thats how it works. If you buy one of the fancy ones with the USB charger built in then you just plug your phone cable into it. I wouldnt buy one of those because my phone charges faster with the Samsung charger that came with the phone.

These days almost every charger is 120-240 volt (or something in that range), so voltage converters arent needed. All you need is something so the US shaped plug can go into the European shaped electrical outlet.

Posted by
2 posts

you may find that you can get more done if you have multiple adaptors. I often find that worn-out HOTEL ROOM receptacles, even in the USA, don't have good "hold" on heavy Wall Warts

Posted by
17612 posts

if you use something like this, you will have problems

The subject adapter is made specifically for Swiss receptacles. It should fit into a Schuko receptacle. However, it is not grounded and is limited by European codes to 2½ amps (575 W). From the picture, I don't think it accepts a polarized plug, which is fine by me.

There are grounding Swiss adapters (they have a grounding pin between (but offset) the outer two pins. They can only be inserted one way. Since Swiss power is polarized, US appliances with polarized plugs can be used with these grounding adapters.

Posted by
65 posts

Hello from Reykjavík!
I bought the one you recommended in the link provided. Works perfectly fine.

Thank you so very much for the recommendation!

Posted by
10654 posts

you may find that you can get more done if you have multiple adaptors.
I often find that worn-out HOTEL ROOM receptacles, even in the USA,
don't have good "hold" on heavy Wall Warts

Not if you use the proper plug. The Schuklo receptacles are deeply recessed and the proper plug fits that recess somewhat snugly. You could hang a bowling ball on it and it will stay. Buy a one size fits all "C" plug, and yes, you will have problems.