13

I have to help someone plug a European built electronic device into a 220 volt wall outlet in Taiwan. Right now they have a cord with a two round pin type-C plug.

We're in northern Taiwan, Hsinchu and Taipei are both easily accessible. Is there any chance that there is a "weird plug store" in northern Taiwan, or some other way we can do this without cutting cables or using an ugly series of adapters? Something that is safe and safety people won't frown upon? I've combed local 3C stores and can't find anything reasonable.

FYI, Taiwan plugs and codes generally look similar if not identical to those in the US.

3C an abbreviation often used in Taiwan for "computer, communication, and consumer electronics"

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  • 1
    How does one connect an ordinary PC to the power grid in Taiwan? They usually have the same kind of plugs. – glglgl May 20 at 9:01
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    @glglgl I've asked abut a 220 volt wall socket, almost everything here is 120 volts – uhoh May 20 at 9:59
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    What is the device? Any chance that it would run on 120V even though it says 230V? – TrayMan May 20 at 19:24
  • @TrayMan that was considered and rejected out-of-hand because of the cost and delay associated with shipping a replacement unit if this one was damaged plus the humiliation of having to explain that it was intentionally plugged into the wrong voltage because "someone on the internet said it might be okay" :-) – uhoh May 21 at 1:59
  • I have some concerns, primarily that you keep saying 220V when the device says 230V and the socket says 250V. Are you asking for the right thing? – Separatrix May 21 at 9:50
31

Looks like a standard “kettle lead” or IEC 60320 C13/C14 lead to me, pretty easy to get anywhere there are computers - they usually breed in drawers or the back of cupboards when noone is looking. Should be able to get one at any computer parts store - just ask if you dont see them on display, as people so infrequently buy them on their own (because they are so ubiquitous when buying a desktop) they probably save display space for other things.

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    @uhoh yup, spotted that, simplifies matters a lot 😄 – Moo May 19 at 6:57
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    Besides the breeding, they also have an uncanny hability to disappear just when you need them. – Diego Sánchez May 19 at 8:42
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    I haven't confirmed the C13/C14 but it certainly seems likely. I've checked various draws, cupboards and local stores and all cords have the normal 120 V three prong plug. Still looking for something that will plug into the 220 Volt wall socket shown in the question. There are adaptors but it would be great to find a cord that can't be plugged into the wrong kind of socket and have to rely on duct-taping the the adapter to make it fool-resistant. – uhoh May 19 at 11:47
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    @uhoh Thing is, the 220V outlet in your photo is mostly used for air conditioners in Taiwan. General purpose appliances are on 110V, which is why you're having a hard time finding a suitable kettle cord. Perhaps ask around aircon dealers just in case there's an A/C model that would use C14 as the inlet. – TooTea May 19 at 19:40
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    @BrianDrummond There should really be a ban on scare quotes... – J... May 21 at 14:04
6

The connector on the appliance looks like a standard IEC C14 inlet. The wall socket looks like a nema 6-20 (without the optional T slot) or maybe the Japanese equivilent.

Googling nema 6-20 IEC cord seems to find a few online sellers, I have no idea how hard it would be to find them in taiwan though. I suspect datacenter equipment vendors are a better bet than consumer electronics sellers.

Another option would be to try and find just the plug, then cut the existing plug off the existing cord and wire on the new plug.

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    "...or some other way we can do this without cutting cables or using an ugly series of adapters? Something that is safe and safety people won't frown upon?" I suppose it's an option of last resort, but I'd still rather find a "'weird plug store' in northern Taiwan" if possible. – uhoh May 19 at 13:14
  • I don't see how a correctly wired rewirable plug is in any way unsafe (certainly safer than a dodgy adapter) and I suspect it will be much easier to find a rewirable plug than a pre-made cord. – Peter Green May 20 at 15:40
  • Giving them a hand-wired gizmo and personally vouching for its safety and accepting liability from that time forward is not a responsibility I will take. The question is carefully constrained to match the situation; the cord is not for my personal use. I think I'll be able to put together a solution from store-bought items, thanks! – uhoh May 20 at 15:59
5

This is actually a common problem as mainland China uses 220V and people need a way to plug electronics bought there. The easiest way is probably to get an extension cord specifically designed to fit the 220V socket that many have already noted as almost used exclusively for air conditioners. You might have better luck if you can speak Chinese but I suggest looking for extension cords for fitting Chinese electronics (大陸電器) into air conditioning sockets (冷氣插座 or T型插座). I have no doubt you can find one in Taipei but elsewhere you might want to check one of the major online marketplaces.

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    Just be careful about grounding, using a "Schuko" style plug in various types of Universal socket is highly likely to end up with a lost ground. – Peter Green May 20 at 8:22
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If you’re looking for a “weird plug store”, Guanghua market in Taipei might be a good lead. It’s a huge multistory mall selling all sorts of electronics, and you should be able to find someone sell / make the cable you need if you ask around

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  • This is a really great idea; I will let you know if I find one there! – uhoh May 20 at 5:42

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