I have a power adapter that works for Great Britain. Can I use the same adapter in Canada and/or the USA too?

  • By "adapter" do you mean a simple plug adapter, or a device which also adapts the current itself, like a transformer or converter? – choster Aug 7 '12 at 19:14
  • I'm talking about a simple plug adapter. Do I need something more fancy there? – RoflcoptrException Aug 7 '12 at 19:20
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    The current is different; it is mostly 230V/50Hz in Britain and mostly 110-120V/60Hz in the US and Canada. Whether you need a converter, transformer, or neither depends on what your devices/appliances can handle. – choster Aug 7 '12 at 19:53
  • I never thought about that. I hope my Mac will run their. – RoflcoptrException Aug 7 '12 at 20:59
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    Most electronics, including your Mac, include a transformer (the "brick" in a laptop's power cord) that can handle 100-240V and 50/60Hz, so in this case all you need is a plug adapter. Items with motors or heating elements (e.g. electric razors, fans, hair dryers), however, would probably require a separate converter or transformer. – choster Aug 7 '12 at 21:14

No, you can't. They're different types of adapters.

What I do when I need confirmation is to check this website:


It has an EXHAUSTIVE list of each and every type, the voltage and the countries that use them. It's been handy for some of the stranger countries I've been to and hasn't failed yet.

Myself, I have a multi-adapter. The only country it doesn't seem to handle is South Africa, which has 3 giant prongs - bigger than the UK ones!


No, they are different types of plugs. People in the UK need to buy an adapter to get US or other plugs to work in the UK.


It is not the current that is different between the UK and North America, it is the voltage rating and frequency as expressed in Hertz or Hz. Many devices can handle a range of voltages from 110 volt through to 250 volt and also varying frequencies. However, you need to look at the supply label on each device you are wanting to use in North America to determine if it is suitable. You cannot change a 110 volt, (standard voltage in North America), to 220 volt which most all devices in the UK are supplied. You can however adapt to 220 volt and use a grounded circuit to convert to 110 volt in the UK if coming from North America and wanting to supply North American devices. You simply need an adaptor.

  • I think your answer is a bit long and complex. You probably mean that beyond the different plug shapes, the difference is also the voltage and the frequency, but it is hard to understand from your answer. Please rephrase it, for example you'd better not start it with a negation. – Vince Aug 26 '13 at 12:20

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