I have adapter plug ins for the UK, EU and Australia (two prongs that are angled) - but I'm not sure if the 2 pin EU one will work in Switzerland. Do I need to buy a Type J adapter to add to my set or will the 2 pin EU one work?
In theory, for three prong plugs, you need a special adapter unique to Switzerland. In reality, some of my hotels had Schuko plugs, so those three prong adapters would have worked. For two pronged plugs, Switzerland uses the same adapters as the rest of continental Europe; these are not the same as UK, Australia, or North America. So, as long as you are using two pronged plugs, your 2 pin EU adapters are fine. If you have three pronged appliances, you could buy a Swiss adapter in advance, or could see if your hotel can lend you one.
I'm going to disagree with the above poster. I've stayed over 30 nights in Switzerland over the past ten years and only seen the diamond-shaped outlet. The Schuko plug will not fit securely and you need a Swiss-specific adaptor. However, I've also never stayed at a hotel that couldn't provide the correct adaptor upon request.
Sorry to come down between two old friends, but I land firmly on Tom's side of the fence.
I've visited Switzerland at least annually for over 10 years and I have only ever seen the diamond receptacles and have always been able to borrow a schuko/Swiss adapter from the desk.
This is what I took and it was what I needed. Also great that it was a two-fer because it's amazing how many items nowadays need daily recharging
You also have to make sure the prongs are long, many of the outlets are quite deeply recessed. They also tend to come in threes, in a lovely clover pattern.
It's difficult to answer your question without knowing exactly which type of "2 pin EU one" you're using.
I've found that if using ungrounded appliances, the two pin Euro Plug Adaptor works fine in Switzerland, even with recessed outlets. If you require a grounded Plug Adaptor (which of course will also work with ungrounded appliances), the grounded Swiss Plug Adaptor works well. I usually carry both.
I have a very old (pre-21 century) 2-pin adapter with rounded ends, and I am sure it will not fit in Swiss receptacle. I have a more recent 2-pin adapter with smaller diameter ends, and going from the online dimensions for the Swiss receptacle, it will fit.
Note that the 2-pin Europlug is only rated for 2½ amps (575 W), so it is not appropriate for use with a hair dryer. Also, since it can fit in the receptacle either way, it cannot be polarized, so any safety provided by the American polarized plug (one prong wider than the other) will be lost.
I'm not taking anything that needs to be grounded (or has three prongs) with me so that's good. But it sounds like a good idea to get a few adapters specific to Switzerland just in case. Thanks for the links with the pics & details. I'm the only one in my travel group/family doing any research on these issues and its making my brain feel like it's on overload. I'm very thankful for this group!!
Also don't take anything that needs to be converted. It used to be you had to worry about adapters AND converters, nowadays most gadgets automatically adapt to either 110 or 220.
But since you're the only one paying attention, it's on you to make sure everything will work just fine with only adapters. If anyone needs a hair dryer, either use the one in the room or specifically buy one before your trip that will work on 220 (like my wife did).
In one hotel we stayed at (probably a Hilton), there was a weird combo socket in the bathroom that accepted any type of plug and also said it converted if necessary. Gave me the willies so avoided it.
Yes, my husband & kids would be in big trouble if they went on their own. They'd have a pocket full of dollars & probably blow the fuses in every hotel (well at least the first one) ;)
For hair appliances, we have a dual voltage hair dryer but may get a newer one just to be safe. My daughter is a little stressed about her Chi hair straightener which doesn't appear to be dual voltage but I saw a cheap one at Target that she can try. Thank goodness we all wear pretty easy hair styles now - not like the big 80's hair. And my husband - not enough hair to worry about ;)
Phred brought up an important point that I forgot to mention earlier. You MUST check each appliance or gadget that you're travelling with to ensure that it's designed for use on both 115 and 220 VAC electrical systems. Check the chargers or the device and look for the words INPUT VOLTAGE. If this states "Input 100-240 VAC, 50~60 Hz", then the appliances will work fine in Europe with only a simple Plug Adaptor.
As I recall from past research, the Chi Straightener is likely only designed for 115 VAC. The manufacturer prohibits use of that device with Voltage Converters, so your daughter will have to either buy an inexpensive straightener in Europe, or tough it out for the duration of your trip.
Thanks, Ken! I have learned a lot by reading your replies to my questions and questions from others on this site over the past few months. Thanks so much!
Oh dear, now I'm confused. Please tell me if my two-prong items that worked this year in France be okay in Switzerland?
Simple answer - Chani, are the plugs the narrow rectangular, or oval two pin kind (probably good news) or the round kind with the metal tab or hole on one side (bad news)?
Wow! You guys sure answered that question.
Nigel - are the plugs the narrow rectangular, or oval two pin kind (probably good news) or the round kind with the metal tab or hole on one side (bad news)?
They are 2 round pins, no tabs, no holes. . . . usually called Type C.
I ordered a Type J adapter plug just to play it safe. I think it was about $6 on Amazon and I should have it tomorrow. Thought about buying 2; I still have time with the Prime option if I get nervous and want another one. I'll report back how it all worked out.
Lee, could you please tell me if your old (pre-21st century) 2 pin adapter still works in Germany, Austria, Italy and France? I have an old set like that that I was hoping to use for all but Switzerland. I did purchase the new J adapter for Switzerland, but wondered if the old 2 pin type still works in the other countries. I noticed you did mention you had a newer 2 pin adapter, as well. Thanks for your help.
it's cheap enough now that we've left the converter era to just get the full assortment of plug adapters and carry them all with you, because as Chuck Berry once said, it goes to show you never can tell.
Some outlets might just work better with the "wrong" adapter.
I've used the adapter in Germany and Austria, never in France or Italy. It should work in France since the recess is the same diameter as the Schuko in Germany. In fact, the Czech use the same receptacle as do the French, and it worked in Prague. As for Italy, I'm not sure. It's kind of "dog bone" shaped, with large radius ends and a thinner waist. If the Italian receptacle is recessed, the ends around the pin might be a little too big. But I don't use that adapter anymore. The only thing I plug in now is my computer, and it has a grounding (three prong) plug, so I use a grounding Schuko plug adapter. (The picture doesn't show it very well, but in addition to the grounding strips on the side, it has a hole for the French grounding pin.)
Good discussion. When I did the GAS tour in 2010, I just used a 2 prong adapter. It worked but I guess I could have burned down the hotel... Will order the grounded one for Switzerland for next trip!
The Type J adapter plug worked great in Switzerland, but the regular European plug also worked fine. The most difficult time I had was actually figuring out where the electric outlets were in our Swiss hotel. There were no plug ins around the beds. I found the one in the bathroom and realized it was a really strange looking outlet. That helped me find the second one, which was on a wall about the level of where a light switch would be. I was glad I packed an extension cord in our "electronics" bag. It helped get needed items where they needed to be when plug ins were in odd locations!