Flat Pin Plugs

Written by Stacy Chbosky
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Flat pin plugs are common in the United States. The term "flat pin plugs" describes the two thin, flat prongs that characterize the typical American plug. However, newer appliances often embellish the two flat pin plugs with a third, rounded, peg-shaped plug above them.

Flat Pin Plugs and European Plugs

Europeans don't use flat pins, at least not in the design with which Americans are familiar. In Europe, plugs more commonly feature two thin pegs. In England, plugs have flat pins, but they are on a horizontal rather than a vertical plane. In South Africa, pins are rounded, peg-shaped, and chubby.

Frequent travelers often buy a kit of adapters which allow them to use their appliances in a number of different countries. Some travelers prefer universal plug adapters, which allow them to use one adapter for all kinds of different plugs in all kinds of different countries. Remember, plug converters are not the same as voltage converters, or voltage transformers.

To ask specific questions about your electronics travel needs, find an online electronics company with friendly customer service. Make sure they provide both a phone number and an e mail address, and that they encourage questions. Also, for safety's sake, make sure they have been approved by the Better Business Bureau.


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