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Electrical systems

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Electrical systems differ around the world. Some use 50 hertz; some 60. Some use 110-120 volts; others 220-240. Some are on all the time, barring an ice storm or earthquake; some run a few hours a day. The plugs are different. The traveler, if he is bringing electrical appliances, must be prepared to adapt.

If the voltage and frequency are the same and only the plug is different, as between England and Germany, you need only an adapter. You stick your English plug in the adapter, which connects the rectangular + and - prongs to the round German ones and puts the ground where the German outlet expects it, and you're good to go. If you're an American traveling to Europe, you'll need a voltage converter, except for devices, such as computers, which have power supplies that can take either voltage. If the frequency is different, don't take a plug-in clock - it'll show 20 or 28.8 hours in a day.