This is different from the two pin CEE 7/16 Europlug (Type C) in having:
- Three pins (the third for earthing, like the UK plug)
- A unique hexagonal shape that fits inside the socket to prevent electric shocks
|Swiss (Type J)||Europlug (Type C)|
|Switzerland||France, Germany and many other EU countries|
While today you can often get-away with using a two-pin Europlug adapter as used in France, Germany and Italy in Switzerland, increasingly these will not work due to an initiative to standardise on the recessed hexagonal Swiss Type J design in Switzerland by 2015. The recess stops many Europlugs from physically entering the socket.
Therefore when buying an adapter for your UK plugs for use in Switzerland, it is better to choose a model specifically designed for Switzerland, rather than gambling that you will find an old-style power outlet.
What to look for in a UK to Swiss plug adaptor
Look for models with;
- Three pins (not two)
- The hexagonal shape
Electrical rating, e.g. 10A 250V (fine for low draw UK equipment like laptops or music players, see below)
- A fuse, to protect you and your electrical equipment (often this is molded in and not changeable)
- An adapter for Switzerland, not a 'Made in Switzerland' adapter, which may be something else entirely!
Multi-country vs. Swiss specific adapters
Multi-country or 'world' plug adapters, work with many different plug socket types. These are fine for Switzerland if explicitly indicated in the description, but there are pros and cons;
- Will be useful if you are travelling outside Switzerland
- Are bulkier, taking-up unnecessary space in your home or luggage
- Are significantly more expensive (e.g £15 compared to a Swiss specific model of £5)
You should not use a plug adapter in Switzerland, or elsewhere, for 'high draw' items such as;
When not to use a plug adapter
- Electric heaters
In the UK: View eBay UK's range of UK to Swiss plug adapters here.
Already in Switzerland? Check out ebay.ch.