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American plugs

Discussion in 'General Electronics' started by [email protected], Dec 18, 2003.

  1. Guest

    Hi

    I recently bought an electronic device from the USA. It came with an
    American plug. It is only 7.5 watts. I live in the UK so I need a step
    down transformer and plug adapter to enable me to plug it in over
    here. I bought a transformer to do this but my device still doesn't
    work.

    The only thing I can think of (besides faulty equipment) is that there
    is a problem because the device I'm trying to plug in has a 2 pin
    American plug but the adapter has a 3 pin socket.

    I was wondering if people know whether you can just plug 2 pin
    American plugs into 3 pin plug sockets. I presume so but I have a
    problem. Any suggestions welcome.

    Thanks.
     
  2. There is no problem plugging a 2-prong American plug into a
    3-prong American socket. The third prong is just earth, which
    we call ground over here, and can be ignored. So there's some
    other reason that your two adapters aren't working together.
    It'd probably be simplest to just get a local wall wart for your
    line voltage that's rated for the output your equipment needs.

    Or you could check with the guy at the store where you got
    your step-down adapter. Bring the wall wart along.

    Good Luck!
    Rich
     
  3. Robert Baer

    Robert Baer Guest

    You do give enough info about that "adaptor".
    Ther are two types:
    1) an actual transformer, good for shavers and other small loads; OK for
    what you state.
    2) a smaller, lighter "converter" for irons heaters, and other
    *resistive* loads.
    This last type could well ruin any transformer powered device, and in
    fact, reduces the ovreall reliability and lifetime of even resistive
    loads mentioned.
    Why? simply, the intermittent flowing current tends to make the
    heaters vibrate more than normal which creates more stress than hot
    metal (the heater element) can withstand for a long time.
    Furthermore, the temperature of the heating element will cycle more
    due to the on/off nature of the power.
    And note that 240V is a severe over-stress to 120V rated heaters.
     
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