I am in a EU country where it says on the socket 16 A / 250 volt. Can I charge my laptop which takes 100-240 volt / ~1 A?

My laptop started turning off randomly and I thought maybe it's because of this socket.

• Does the laptop turn off because of a low battery? If so, maybe the charger isn't working right. – Xen2050 Oct 27 '18 at 11:18
• EU is actually 230V. +10%, -5%. So unless this is its own ring you will be fine – Naib Oct 27 '18 at 12:53
• If the battery seems fine, the CPU might be overheating. You can install various programs to keep an eye on its temperature. It is quite common for laptops to overheat, usually removing dust accumulated by the fans is enough to fix it. – yyny Oct 27 '18 at 17:33
• What country, exactly? – marcelm Oct 27 '18 at 20:06
• Usually for electrical questions electronics.stackexchange.com is the place to go, although it fits well enough here as well – Sergiy Kolodyazhnyy Oct 29 '18 at 9:13

The Wikipedia page Mains electricity by country doesn't list any countries with 250 V mains. That's probably socket's max voltage rating. It doesn't mean actual voltage is 250 V.

16 A is max current rating. Electricity sources don't "push" current into devices, but rather devices pull as much current as they need (and the source can provide).

Please note that this "pull as much as needed" rule works only for electric current (the thing measured in amperes [A]). Voltage doesn't work that way, providing voltage out of acceptable range can fry your device.

So 16 A / 250 V basically means that unless your laptop's power supply consumes over 16 amps of power and unless the electricity company provides over 250 V, your socket is guaranteed to not catch fire.

If your laptop is turning off randomly, then you have a separate issue not related to electricity.

• It's worth noting that it doesn't matter if the input voltage is 100V or 240V or 150V, the laptop will always get what's listed as the `output` on the power supply, so unless the power supply's voltage regulator is broken, the laptop should not take any damage in either way. Even if there was an unusual spike in power, usually the power supply would break, not the laptop. (In optimal case though, nothing but a fuse breaks/pops out) – confetti Oct 27 '18 at 13:08
• Theoretically, the actual voltage might be as high as 253V, since 230 + 10% = 253. But a device rated at "240V" isn't likely to die if it's connected to 253V. In practice, most EU countries' mains supply will be controlled much better than +10%, almost all of the time. – alephzero Oct 27 '18 at 13:46
• "Electricity sources don't 'push' current into devices, but rather devices pull as much current as they need" That's completely wrong. Voltage is, literally, the amount of "push" of the source. Devices limit their incoming current, and a 16A mains circuit means that the device must limit the incoming current to at most 16A to avoid blowing fuses or tripping circuit breakers. The point is that the laptop power supply will limit the current to much less than 16A. For example, my laptop has a 45W power supply, which will draw only about 0.2A at 250V. – David Richerby Oct 27 '18 at 17:31
• @DavidRicherby I think you're not talking about the same thing that I'm trying to explain with the push/pull analogy. People frequently ask questions like "won't 1000 W power supply be too powerful and fry my computer". What I'm trying to convey is that current and power ratings on sources are max values and they won't provide more than device needs. – gronostaj Oct 28 '18 at 7:06
• @DavidRicherby The comment about pushing was referring to amps. The answer is correct in that 16 amps won't be "pushed" into the charger. You may as well say that a 100 W light globe will be destroyed if it is plugged into a 10 amp socket, because more than 100 W will be pushed into the light globe. – Nick Gammon Oct 28 '18 at 7:12

There are two parts to this question. The first part questions the labeling of the plug, and the second, the labeling of the computer power supply.

As to the plug: (16A) This is the receptacle rating. The receptacle must operate safety when this amount of current is passing though it. It can be used for any current below this maximum safely.

(250V) The voltage written onto a socket is the maximum nominal mains voltage. It is typical in industry practice that wiring equipment rated for 220-240 VAC be tested at 250 VAC to allow use on any electrical system (at least that's what I and my industry competitors did). You do not want to pay for separate tests at 220 VAC, 230 VAC, and 240 VAC.

This tells you that the receptacle is acceptable for the purpose you are using. It does not tell you what the nominal voltage is (220, 230, 240 VAC).

And to answer John Dvorak's question, equipment worldwide is tested to standards, and the one I used was ANSI C84.1 ELECTRIC POWER SYSTEMS AND EQUIPMENT - VOLTAGE RANGES which gives the nominal (range A) and temporary (range B) limits for voltages.

ANSI C84.1 Voltage Limits (Service Voltage) Service Voltage Range A Range B Maximum +5% +5.83% Minimum -5% -8.33%

For 120 VAC this gives a maximum sustained voltage of 127 VAC and for 240 VAC systems, 253 VAC. This would be consistent with other standards. Again, most equipment manufacturers would never pay for separate testing and would just test at this maximum voltage.

The EU voltage of 230 VAC +/- 10% is actually written to allow 220, 230, or 240 VAC distribution systems. The actual voltage is one of these three (but supposed to be moving to all 230 VAC) and controlled to the levels of ANSI C84.1 or local equivalent.

As to the power supply: 100-240 VAC says that this can be used at any nominal voltage between 100 and 240 VAC. If it has the UL or CSA symbol on it, it must be tested to the limits of ANSI C84.1 voltages so it has been tested to at least 253 VAC. The European tests are equivalent but I do not have access to many to get the exact values.

~1 A tells me that the current draw is approximately 1 A maximum. At 100 VAC this works out to 100 W but I wouldn't be surprised if it was less than this. 100 Watts at 240 VAC is a little under 1/2 Amp.

Together this tell us that the power supply would have no issues being used with this receptacle.

Therefore to answer your question directly, yes you can charge you laptop on this without issues. Any problem you are experiencing is outside of this area.

• Excellent answer. Consider making the TL;DR at the end for a direct answer to the question. It's also worth adding that 16A is a maximum current allowed for most (if not all) home 1-phase devices (an electric oven can use more but require 3-phase connection then). Most likely all your fuses for each of the circuits at home is 16A or less (usually it's 16A for circuits with sockets and 10A for lights) This way by providing a socket capable of handling 250V/16A you cover all house needs so that's the most reasonable edge conditions to meet. Thus most sockets will have such conformance. – Ister Oct 29 '18 at 9:11

The simple answer is this: Your laptop can be charged using this socket

Switches/sockets list the maximum current and the maximum voltage they can support without burning out (i.e. - safely and without causing damage to themselves or the attached devices). The laptop consumes lesser current than the maximum rating of the socket.

On a side note, most refrigerators, microwaves, ovens, food processors, washing machines and other heavy appliances will also be compatible with this socket. A 16 A rating is good enough in most cases for heavy appliances as well.

As for your laptop turning off randomly, I can't predict the cause. Ideally, unless your laptop is low on battery, fluctuations in supply voltage and current should not cause your laptop to turn off unexpectedly. Or at least that is my best guess.