I've got a dual voltage (110/220V) lamp that has a European plug and want to plug it into a North American outlet that has a power strip plugged into it. So I will have to use a plug adapter (not voltage converter) to just change the plug from Euro to North American. I know in general this is obviously safe but is it okay that it will be going through a power strip? So it will be:

Grounded North American wall out --> Grounded Power strip ---> Grounded EU to NA Travel Adapter --> UNgrounded Electronic item with EU plug

Is that too many layers of things where it can be a problem safety wise?

Thanks for any help.

1 Answer 1


Is that too many layers of things where it can be a problem safety wise?

The number of "layers" isn't a huge concern, no. As long as each individual component is rated for the voltage and current that will be present, it should be fine.

That said, you might not want to use this approach as a permanent solution. The travel adapters are useful, but in my experience don't always fit perfectly. They can wobble, loosen, etc. At the very least you might wind up with exposed conductors where you don't want them, and I suppose in the worst-case scenario, over time you might get some electrical arcing.

If this is to be a long-term connection, consider replacing the cord on the lamp. Since the lamp itself is already compatible with dual voltage, replacing the cord shouldn't be a huge task. It depends on the design of the lamp, of course, but many lamps can be relatively easily dismantled to gain access to the cord's connections, allowing replacement.

Alternatively, it may be possible to find a power strip that has outlets compatible with both the North American standard and the European standard you're dealing with. For example, I find myself in Singapore from time to time (in-laws) and have purchased power strips there which have outlets that each can accept either the Type C plug that is sometimes used there (though Type G is more common) or the Type A/B plug that is used in North America.

You might be able to find a similar power strip for your purpose (i.e. one where each outlet is compatible with both plug styles), or one that has some plugs of one type and some of another.

Whether this is possible depends on what type of plug exactly you're dealing with. Your post is not specific about that, so I can't provide anything more exact than that.

  • +1. Though if OP does want to use an adapter as a permanent solution, often you can find ones that do fit perfectly if you're going from one specific type of plug to another specific socket. The ones that always wobble are the ones that are trying to be compatible with a whole bunch of countries' sockets at once -- by design, those are always a little bit off so that they can fit into plugs of slightly different standards. But I agree that changing the plug on the cord is an even better solution.
    – Nate S.
    Jan 26, 2021 at 1:47
  • Thank you both for the detailed answer and response. I originally had a cheap two prong adapter that was wobbly, but have since purchased a grounded name brand one. It is sturdy and secure. I will look into replacing the cord but it seems for the time being this adapter should be OK. I'm assuming there is no issue with plugging a 2-prong cord into a grounded 3-hole adapter? It's the reverse which is an issue (cheater plug)?
    – KCD
    Jan 26, 2021 at 2:25
  • @KCD: "there is no issue with plugging a 2-prong cord into a grounded 3-hole adapter?" -- correct. If the cord doesn't have a ground connector in the first place (very common situation for lamp cords), it's not a problem to not take advantage of a ground pin on the outlet. Jan 26, 2021 at 2:48
  • Thank you kindly again. I just realized the lamp actually has a detachable power cord! I will follow the advice to replace the power cord to a US one. Would it just be a standard power cord? This is the current cord. schuller.es/… Perhaps I should message the manufacturer.
    – KCD
    Jan 26, 2021 at 2:53
  • 1
    @KCD note that the appropriate way of saying "thank you" 'round here is to click the up vote arrow for any and all answers that have helped you (in case you haven't already), and to click the check mark next to the answer that helped you the most (you've only got one so far and it's a good'un, but in another 24 hours, another good one might show up, too, you choose which is most helpful to you).
    – FreeMan
    Jan 26, 2021 at 14:27

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