Trying not to fry them
March 4, 2008 12:30 PM   Subscribe

Plug adapter for Argentina and Uruguay?

I am going on a trip to Buenos Aires, Montevideo, and Iguazu Falls (Argentinean side). I'm going to be staying in business-class hotels (Sheraton Montevideo, Hotel Emperador Buenos Aires, Iguazu Jungle Lodge). I am taking my iPod and the battery charger for my Canon SD870IS (both dual voltage/frequency), and I am researching what type of plug adapter I will need. It looks like most places will either have this two-prong plug, which is similar to the plug used in many countries, or this three-prong plug, which is similar to the plug used in Australia and New Zealand. Just when I think I will be able to get by with a simple universal adapter, I notice this warning regarding the three-prong plug found in AR and UY: In Argentina and Uruguay, the neutral and active wires are reversed from what is used in other countries. Now what? Should I just wait until I get there and buy a plug adapter at the airport? Any first-hand knowledge or general advice would be much appreciated.
posted by Bezuhin to Travel & Transportation (7 answers total)
My parents lived in BsAs for a while and I don't recall ever seeing the three-prong plug in their apartment. Why don't you just call or email the hotels involved, if you are only staying in those places?
posted by Rock Steady at 12:43 PM on March 4, 2008

I've been using this for the last 6 months traveling in South America (Colombia, Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, Chile) as well as Costa Rica and Peru in the last 2 years to charge my ipod, cellphone and 2 cameras (one point and shoot, other a digital rebel) without any problems.
posted by youthenrage at 2:58 PM on March 4, 2008

I used this two-prong adapter in Argentina and Uruguay with no problems. You don't need to take a clunky converter if all your devices are dual voltage. As I recall, most of the places I went had outlets that would accept either configuration, so the three-prong you linked to should work fine too.
posted by c lion at 3:14 PM on March 4, 2008

If it's two prong it can't make any difference. As the devices you are bringing are essentially two prong, I don't think you'll have anything to worry about. Just don't pack your power drill or sabre saw.
posted by chairface at 3:57 PM on March 4, 2008

I agree with Rock Steady that contacting the hotels directly may be your best bet. I just stayed in the Grand Hyatt in Santiago and they had both US-style 120 and EU/SA 220 service at the desk in the room, so I was able to use my US equipment without adaptors/converters.
posted by weebil at 5:11 PM on March 4, 2008

You will find both plug designs here, yes.

I have been in Buenos Aires for three years and never knew the "neutral and active wires are reversed from what is used in other countries." Uh. I also don't know exactly what that means.

But maybe ignorance is bliss! I regularly plug in my camera battery charger, my ipod and my MacBook with either two-prong diagonal adapters or two-prong round adapters, depending on the plug and what I have on hand.

And I've lived to type about it. So have all my electrical goodies.

¬°Buen viaje!
posted by veggieboy at 5:54 PM on March 4, 2008

I don't think neutral and active being reversed is a problem for this. I think its mostly a safety note for appliances where this might matter, perhaps old style power tools or toasters or whatever.

I don't know the specific adapters you have but power adapters tend to be completely insulated (i.e, no metal case etc) so I can't see it making a difference. It's not like the negative and positive DC output of the adapter being reversed, it just relates to which side of the AC input is effectively grounded.
posted by tetranz at 4:57 AM on March 5, 2008

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