"Do I need a grounded or a nongrounded adapter for my trip?"
If you are traveling with an appliances that has a grounded (earthed) plug you will need a grounded adapter. A North American grounded plug has two flat blades and one round pin (ground). The third bottom slot of an outlet is called the ground. The ground is to protect users from electric shock. It is an important safety feature to prevent appliances with metal casings from electrocuting the users. That is why many appliances such as blow dryers and laptops have three pronged plugs. The third prong is the ground so that if there is a potential for an electric shock, the electricity will flow to the ground instead of to the user. It is possible to use a cheater plug to plug in a grounded plug to a non grounded outlet and the appliance will still work, however this can be dangerous because of the potential for electrical shock.
Grounded adapter plugs allow you to plug in appliances that have three - pronged grounded plugs. Grounded adapters cost a bit more but will allow you to plug in your laptop while traveling. Before you purchase your adapter, check to see if any of the appliances you are taking have a three prong, grounded plug. If any of your appliances have a three prong plug you will need a grounded adapter.
Appliances that often require a Grounded Adapter:
- Power Strips
- Hair Dryers
- Battery Chargers
A Non Grounded (Non Earthed) Adapter is sufficient if all of the appliances that you are taking on your trip only have two prong plugs.
Appliances that often have two pronged plugs:
- Cell Phone Chargers
- Curling Irons
- Electric Shavers
- Digital Camera Chargers