Canada power adapters - what plugs are used in Canada?

Canadian power outlet

Summary

The type of power adapter, power converter or charger that you'll need when visiting Canada all depends on the voltage and type of device that you're trying to power with a Canadian power outlet. If you're unsure of what voltage your device can use then please read the section on how can you tell if you have a single voltage or dual voltage device first.

  • If your device can run on 120 volts or is dual voltage and your plug can fit in a Canadian power outlet then it can work in Canada.
  • If your device can run on 120 volts or is dual voltage but your plug won't fit in a Canadian power outlet then you will need to bring a suitable plug adapter for Canada such a Type A plug adapter [2]. A plug adapter for Canada (or power adapter) will only change the shape of the plug on your device to fit into a plug outlet found in Canada, but but is unable to change the voltage from 120 volts to a different voltage.
  • If your device doesn't run on 120 volts and isn't dual voltage you will also need a power converter for Canada to convert the voltage from 120 volts to the correct voltage on your device. You will still need to pack a suitable plug adapter for Canada if the power converter doesn't use the correct Type A plug adapter.
  • If you simply want to recharge your USB devices such as mobile phones or tablets then a USB travel power adapter is recommended and it should be dual voltage, however ensure that you bring a USB travel adapter which has a Type A plug adapter otherwise you'll also need to pack a suitable plug adapter for Canada.

Warning: If your device won't handle 120 volts you run a risk of a blown fuse, damage to your device or even an electrical fire hazard. Prior to using your device in Canada check the instruction manual first to ensure safe operation.

Background

If you are organizing a vacation it can be useful to know in advance if you'll be able to use your vital electronics that you are bringing along with you. Without knowing which wall socket is being used you may bring the wrong power adaptor, thereby leaving you needing to purchase a suitable charger when you're there. Different voltages and sockets can often be confusing when planning on travelling to another country especially if you've never visited before. With only a handful of different types of common standards used throughout the world this article tells you exactly what you'll need in advance to charge your electronics in Canada. This page has links to step-by-step instructions telling you exactly which power adapters you'll need to supply power to your devices when you're visiting Canada by using the standard 120 volt 60Hz Type A power outlet, the Canadians will use a NEMA 1-15 P ungrounded plug for charging. Power will vary depending on which region you are in so please read the World power adapters page for a complete list of countries. We recommend reading the Canada Wikipedia page [1] for further details prior to the area.

Canada power adapters

Do I need a plug adapter for Canada?

If the outlet in your home country is different to the shape of the Canadian power outlet then you will need a power adapter. A US plug will not require a plug adapter as it will fit into a Canadian power outlet.

What is the best power adapter for Canada?

The best power adapter for Canada will be a Type A power adapter [2] which is suitable for powering any 120 volt appliance or device.

What is the best power adapter for Canada?

Canada power outlets

What plugs do they use in Canada?

The type of power outlet used in Canada is type A. This ungrounded wall supply (technically known as the type A power outlet) can be identified by the two thin adjacent slots where the plug socket pins go.

What plugs do they use in Canada?

What is the voltage in Canada?

The common voltage in Canada is 120 volts.

Are outlets in Canada the same as US?

A US plug will fit into a Canadian power outlet, both the voltage range and frequency are the identical to the US.

What is the frequency used in a Canadian power outlet?

The frequency from a Canadian power outlet is 60Hz.

Is the voltage in Canada the same as in the US?

The voltage which comes from a Canadian power outlet is 120 volts, the same as the US.

Canada USB chargers

What is a USB travel power charger?

A USB travel charger is a dual voltage charger with interchangeable plugs and multiple USB ports, suitable for travelling abroad.

What USB charger do I need for Canada?

When you are travelling to multiple countries then the best international travel charger for Canada is a multiple USB charger which includes compatible plugs such as a 4 port USB travel charger [5].

Because these chargers are supplied with interchangeable plugs and can handle from 100 - 240 volts it makes them ideal for over 100 countries in North America, Europe, Asia and Africa simply by switching the heads over. If your device is compatible with Fast Charge (note not all USB devices do) then you will benefit from quicker charging times by using one of these types of USB travel chargers and additional compatibility with more power demanding devices. Unlike other travel adapters having a 4 port adapter means you can power multiple devices simultaneously without needing to bring multiple travel chargers for your trip. Only packing a single travel charger will keep the overall size and weight down, making it ideal to store in hand baggage whilst travelling and convenient for charging your devices at an airport or on a plane. Due to their flexibility these types of travel chargers can be used at home so when you're not on holiday they can sit under your bedside table charging multiple smartphones and tablets without using up an additional power outlet.

We recommend searching for this type of versatile travel charger at an electronics retailer; the multipurpose travel adapter illustrated is the iKits 4 Port USB Wall Charger [5] which has been successfully tested for charging multiple USB devices in numerous foreign countries.

What USB charger do I need for Canada?

Why use a travel USB charger for Canada?

  • Normal travel USB chargers include 4 or more USB charger ports, this means that you only need to bring one charger to charge multiple devices. This helps reduce the weightand size of your baggage by only bringing one USB wall charger rather than bringing several different USB power chargers.
  • Most travel USB power chargers will include swappable plug heads for different power outlet types. This is ideal if visiting other countries across North America which are likely to use different standards to Canada.
  • Good USB travel chargers are compact, rugged and lightweight; perfect for the rigors of travel instead of than risking bringing a domestic charger which might be impossible to repair or replace in Canada.
  • USB travel chargers will accept the 120 volt power outlets in Canada and other voltage standards in other countries.
  • There is a chance that hotel bedrooms in Canada only have one wall outlet, by using a travel charger with multiple USB ports means you can share out the single wall outlet with all your devices instead of having to wait to recharge each device one by one.
  • Because of their versatile nature a travel USB charger takes the uncertainty out of travelling to an unknown destination as they are guaranteed to work practically anywhere on the planet.
  • Power outlets in airports can be scarce and demand for charging multiple devices from other passengers during departure can be high, therefore a USB travel charger with multiple ports and the ability to charge quickly is ideal.
  • Sometimes the power grid in a country can be unstable, a good quality travel charger allows for unexpected fluctuations to prevent damage to any devices attached to it. Attempting to repair an overloaded mobile phone in Canada might prove difficult and costly.
  • Premium USB chargers also feature a power outlet strip to allow you to plug in multiple low powered devices such as laptops, howeverthese will be unsuitable for high wattage appliances such as hair dryers or clothes irons. Read the section on using travel appliances in Canada for useful advice on the most suitable power adapter for a Canadian power outlet for high wattage appliances.
  • Certain mobile phones could require more than the standard 500 mA supplied by a normal 5 volt USB adapter to charge or provide fast charge. Quality USB chargers will support fast charging incase some of your devices need extra power.
  • When returning home travel USB power chargers can also be useful by charging multiple cell phones and tablets every day using a single power outlet.

What is the best USB charger for Canada?

The is the most compact option for travellers from any country wanting to recharge devices using USB, but for visitors also wishing to use their domestic plugs the following power adapters provide larger but more versatile solutions. All three power strips offer surge protection which is useful when visiting counties with unreliable power grids to prevent damage to any connected devices. These power adapters come with interchangeable type C, I and G plugs covering Continental Europe, North America, Australia, United Kingdom, Japan, China and over 150 destinations:

  • BESTEK Portable International Travel Voltage Converter - The BESTEK travel adaptor has 4 USB charging ports with 3 AC power outlets and is the best selling compact option for travellers originating from America visiting Canada using 3 pin type B US plug sockets.
  • ORICO Traveling Outlet Surge Protector Power Strip - Likewise having 4 USB ports but only 2 AC power outlets the travel adapter from Orico is also aimed at travellers from North America using type B plugs. This gives the same functionality as the BESTEK with only one less AC outlet for almost half price.
  • BESTEK International USB Travel Power Strip - This power strip has 2 AC outlets but offers 5 USB charging ports. This versatile power strip is compatible with both American plugs and popular plug types A, D,E/F, G, H, I, L and N making it perfect for a majority of travellers from around the world visiting Canada.

Power converters for Canada

What is the difference between a power converter and a plug adapter for Canada?

Voltage converter

What is the difference between a power converter and a plug adapter for Canada?

A heavy and bulky power converter [7] will transform the voltage of 120 volts from a Canadian power outlet to work with a non-120 volt appliance, whereas a more lightweight and cheaper power adapter [6] (or plug adapter) will change the shape of the plug on your device to fit into a power outlet found in Canada.

Do I need a power converter for Canada?

When travelling to Canada from another country please check that your device can be used with a 120 volt supply.

  • If your device charges slowly or does not power up when travelling to Canada from another region check that it is compatible with a 120 volt power supply. Devices which originate from a different country which use a higher voltage such as 220 volts may take longer to charge or won't turn on, check the device is a dual voltage device (you'll find these are normally indicated by 100-240 volts) else you may need to use an additional International travel voltage converter [9] to ensure safe and proper use when powering devices.
  • For powering larger appliances if you are visiting Canada from a higher 230 volt country you will need to use a bulkier Step Up Voltage Converter [8] to convert the voltage from 230 volts to 120 volts.

See the list of world power outlets page to find out which voltage your country uses.

How can you tell if you have a single voltage or dual voltage device?

Dual voltage hair dryer

How can you tell if you have a single voltage or dual voltage device?

The method to see if a appliance is dual voltage is to look for a sticker on the supplied power adapter or on the unit itself, typically on the rear of the device or near to where the power cord sits. The location will depend on the make and model of your device and could also state on the box.

  • Single voltage devices might have a specific number - such as 240V.
  • Single voltage devices could also say a small voltage range (around 20 volts) with a dash to accomodate small voltage fluctuations - such as 100-120V.
  • Dual voltage devices will typically say a larger range separated with a slash - such as 100/240V.

Travel appliances that can connect to a Canadian power outlet

Clothes iron
clothes iron

Curling iron
curling iron

Hair dryer
hair dryer

Hair straighteners
hair straighteners

Beats Pill speakers which can connect to a Canadian power outlet

Beats Pill
Beats Pill

Beats Pill 2
Beats Pill 2

Jabra Bluetooth speakers which are compatible with a Canadian power outlet

Jabra Solemate
Jabra Solemate

Jabra Solemate Mini
Jabra Solemate Mini

Mobile phones which work with the Canadian power outlet

A mobile phone
mobile phone

Apple iPhones that can be connected to a Canadian power outlet

iPhone
iPhone

iPhone 3G
iPhone 3G

iPhone 3GS
iPhone 3GS

iPhone 4
iPhone 4

iPhone 4S
iPhone 4S

iPhone 5
iPhone 5

iPhone 5C
iPhone 5C

iPhone 5S
iPhone 5S

iPhone 6
iPhone 6

iPhone 6 Plus
iPhone 6 Plus

Samsung Galaxy phones that work with a Canadian power outlet

Samsung Galaxy S4
Samsung Galaxy S4

A list of Amazon Kindle tablets which work with a Canadian power outlet

Kindle Fire 1st generation
Kindle Fire 1st generation

Kindle Fire 2nd generation
Kindle Fire 2nd generation

Kindle Fire HD 3rd generation
Kindle Fire HD 3rd generation

Kindle Fire HD 6 4th generation
Kindle Fire HD 6 4th generation

Kindle Fire HD 7 2nd generation
Kindle Fire HD 7 2nd generation

Kindle Fire HD 7 4th generation
Kindle Fire HD 7 4th generation

Kindle Fire HD 8.9 2nd generation
Kindle Fire HD 8.9 2nd generation

Kindle Fire HD Kids Edition tablet 4th generation
Kindle Fire HD Kids Edition tablet 4th generation

Kindle Fire HDX 3rd generation
Kindle Fire HDX 3rd generation

Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 3rd generation
Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 3rd generation

Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 4th generation
Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 4th generation

A list of Apple iPads which are compatible with a Canadian power outlet

iPad
iPad

iPad 2
iPad 2

iPad 3
iPad 3

iPad 4
iPad 4

iPad Air
iPad Air

iPad Air 2
iPad Air 2

iPad Mini
iPad Mini

iPad Mini 2
iPad Mini 2

iPad Mini 4
iPad Mini 4

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canada - Canada entry on wikipedia.org.
  2. Type A plug adapter - Allows appliances to connect to Type A power outlets without converting voltage.
  3. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/ - International Electrotechnical Commission World Plugs
  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mains_electricity_by_country - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country
  5. IKits 4 Port USB Wall Charger - A universal USB charger capable of charging up to 4 USB devices with swappable international adapters.
  6. https://www.amazon.com/Ceptics-GP-12PK-International-Worldwide-Universal/dp/B01DJEBLQU/ref=as_li_ss_tl?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=CFDDSXZJ59CH648AVQ0H&linkCode=ll1&tag=wikiconnections-20&linkId=b865b6ca5e535d710bf1e1b3a790f622 - power adapter
  7. Power converter - A step up step down power converter transformer converts 110-120 volts up to 220-240 volts and 220-240 volts down to 110-120 Volts.
  8. https://www.amazon.com/gp/search/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&bbn=10967761&camp=1789&creative=390957&fst=as%3Aoff&linkCode=ur2&qid=1451325551&rh=n%3A172282%2Cn%3A!493964%2Cn%3A281407%2Cn%3A173541%2Cn%3A10967761%2Cp_n_feature_keywords_browse-bin%3A2888021011&tag=wikiconnections-20&linkId=HWUDRS5BKFQ75ACA - Step Up Voltage Converter
  9. International travel voltage converter - Travel voltage converters change the voltage of an electrical power supply by stepping up or stepping down the voltage and are often compact units which support both plug sockets and USB charging.