If you plan to visit Germany and you take your American appliances, there are a few things you must look into. First, you must know that most American appliances are designed to run off of 110-120 volts at 60 Hz, and most German appliances are designed to run off of 220 to 230 volts.
If you plug an American stereo, razor, computer, etc., into a German outlet, it will destroy it!! The prongs are different, so it is hard to make this mistake, but outlet adapters are sold, and this does happen often.
The adapters are sold because some American appliances are Dual-Voltage and can run off of 110 or 230. To find out if your appliance is Dual-Voltage, you must look at the power information on the appliance, either on the appliance itself or on the power box on the cord.
If you still haven’t found the information refer to your user manual. If your appliance is not dual voltage, the only option you have to use in Germany is to purchase a power converter.
Power converters can be purchased on the worldwide web (of course) or in select appliance and hardware stores. If you are somehow allowed access to a U.S. Army base in Germany, you can purchase one at the Post Exchange.
When selecting your power converter, be sure that it converts 220 volts to 110 volts and not the other way around. Next, you need to select the size of the power converter which you will need for your device(s); this should be relatively self-explanatory.
Check the device’s power output and be sure it is equal to or below the converter’s recommended voltage.
Using particular clocks/alarm clocks can run slower or faster than usual, even if the clock is dual-voltage. The only way to avoid this is to ensure the clock is of good quality and relatively new. It should not be an issue if the clock is plugged into a power converter.
Show Table of Contents
- What are voltage converters?
- What is a plug adapter?
- What to remember:
- Plug shapes and sizes in Europe
- Look for Dual Voltage Appliances
- What are electricity and power supply like in Germany?
- Do I need a voltage converter for Germany?
- Do I need an adapter in Europe?
- Which power outlets do they use in Germany?
What are voltage converters?
A voltage converter or power transformer changes the voltage from 230 volts to 110 volts (or vice versa) Be sure you understand what kind of outlet adapter you need before leaving for Germany. Household appliances or electrical devices that are dual-voltage need only an outlet adapter.
What is a plug adapter?
An outlet adapter is a tiny, inexpensive device that changes the shape of the prongs on your appliance so that it can fit into a German power outlet. Outlet adapters range from 2€ to 20€ depending on their quality and length.
Plug adapters are used only when you need to plug in more than one appliance/electrical device with one outlet or when your appliances do not have a plug that will fit into the German outlet.
Be sure to take a multimeter with you when traveling to test the outlets’ voltage. If an appliance is not dual-voltage and you do not have a power converter, it will not work in Germany no matter what type of adapter you have.
What to remember:
- In Germany, outlets are different from America- most American appliances are designed to run off of 110 volts, while German appliances are designed to run off of 220 volts.
- You can purchase a power converter or an outlet adapter if you use single-voltage devices.
- Be sure to take a multimeter with you when traveling to test the outlets’ voltage. If an appliance is not dual-voltage and you do not have a power converter, it will not work in Germany no matter what type of adapter you have.
- Some clocks run slower or faster than usual when plugged into a power converter.
- You need to change the wattage on your appliance if there is a voltage converter attached.
- You need an outlet adapter if only one appliance is plugged into an outlet.
- You need a plug adapter if more than one appliance needs to be plugged in using the same outlet. Choose the appropriate plug adapter, so you don’t overload or blow a fuse.
- There are adapters for sale everywhere; however, some are low quality and may not do what they’re supposed to. If you are unsure, it is best to buy a universal plug adapter.
- The ideal plug to use in Germany is type C, often dubbed the “Euro-plug.” It is the one most commonly used in countries like Spain and most European countries.
- In Germany, the shape of prongs of power plugs for electrical appliances is different than in America, so you will need a power plug adapter to fit your appliance into the German outlet.
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Plug shapes and sizes in Europe
The Schuko plug is utilized in numerous nations with recessed plug outlet slots designed for dual-prong applications. The Continental European outlet has two axes different from those of the United States.
When traveling to these countries, ensure that your voltage converter is as little as feasible to fit the recesses where the wall sockets are found.
The US-style plugs have two flat prongs, whereas British and Irish plugs feature three big rectangular prongs. The shape of the prongs varies from nation to country, as do the plug sizes and plug forms.
Look for Dual Voltage Appliances
If you have an older appliance that works at two or more voltages, it can be switched between voltages if connected to the main supply. Some can also be labeled 230 V and 220 V, making them ideal for use in Europe but requiring manual adjustment to function.
The dryer needs a converter to convert the electrical output from American 110V to European 220V, so it isn’t necessary for phone or computer use. It only takes a quick flip of the device switches.
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In conclusion, you will need two main items: a voltage converter and an outlet adapter. Because in Germany power sockets are for 230 volts appliances and the shape of the prongs of power outlets in Germany is different.
Your outlet adapter will be able to fit the prongs on the electrical sockets. Using dual-voltage electronic devices would be very convenient.
What are electricity and power supply like in Germany?
Although the German power system is one of the most efficient in the world, power outages are uncommon.
However, there is no assurance that a blackout will occur during your visit when storms or technical difficulties cause the problem. Germany is renowned for its high precision and accuracy, and electricity is no exception to this rule.
Do I need a voltage converter for Germany?
Hairdryers and curling irons produced in the United States are designed to run on 120-230VAC. If you want similar items at home, you’ll need a voltage converter. Most cell phones, laptops, smartphones, tablets, and camera battery chargers are dual voltage and do not require a converter.
Do I need an adapter in Europe?
If you travel to a different continent, you must always acquire the proper plug adapter for that region because your American gadget won’t fit in a Euro-style electrical socket. You need to know if you’ll just need a power switch adaptor or not.
Before connecting your device to a European electrical outlet with the correct adaptor, make sure it’s compatible with an electrical range of 110 to 240 volts. You can’t use your gadget in a European nation.
Which power outlets do they use in Germany?
Most German sockets are found in a circular indentation on the wall. The electrical system in Germany is based on a 50Hz frequency. Type F shops are becoming more popular in Berlin and throughout Germany. Type E and F stores are prevalent in many European countries, and both accept two-pin plug types only.
In Germany, the typical voltage is 230 volts; therefore, appliances compatible with German outlets are fine. The electric system in most countries has a frequency of 50 Hz and a voltage of 220 or 240 volts. In Germany, the plug must have a head that is either round or tiny to fit into one circle.
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Kyle Kroeger is the Founder and Owner of ViaTravelers.com. He is a seasoned traveler and entrepreneur. Kyle started ViaTravelers.com to help travelers find their next adventure, whether it’s exploring new places or revisiting old favorites.
He’s a converted finance nerd and Excel jockey turned world wonderer (and may try to get lost on purpose). He loves listening to people’s stories from around the world as well as sharing his own experiences traveling the globe. He loves travel so much that he moved from his hometown of Minneapolis to Amsterdam with his small family to travel Europe full-time.
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