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Around the World with IEC Plugs
Wires and cables are a part of our life. There are a variety of cables and cords available in the market. They help keep our devices connected and connect us with the internet as well. There are standards set for all the devices that use or produce electricity or contain electronics. Like IEC international standards and NEMA. Based on these standards, there are different power cords like IEC C13 power cord, IEC C7 power cord, NEMA power cord, all made and used for different purposes. Not only that, in fact, different countries have different power standards. So, today we will be showcasing different types of standards of plugs that connect cords to your devices and power them up.
The Type A electrical plug is an ungrounded plug with two flat parallel pins. You can spot them mostly in America and Japan. The American and Japanese plugs look similar but the neutral pin on the American plug is wider than the live pin whereas in the Japanese plug both pins are of the same size.
It means that you can use Japanese plugs in the US but not the other way around. Other countries that use this type of plug are Canada, Mexico, and Japan.
Its voltage range is 100V to 127V.
The pins of Type A plug have the hole near the tip that fits into the wipers of some sockets. This helps the pins to have a good grip of the socket preventing the plug from coming out of the socket.
The Type B electrical plug has two flat parallel pins and a round grounding pin for earthing. The earthing pin is longer than the other two so the device stays grounded while it connects with the power.
Similar to Type A plugs, the American and Japanese versions vary a bit. They are mainly useful in the USA, Canada, Mexico and Japan. Its voltage range is mostly from 100V to 127V and they are rated at 15 amps.
The Type C electrical plug is also known as Europlug. It is a two-wire plug and has two round pins. It fits into any socket that has 4.0 to 4.8 mm round contact and 19 mm in the center. Mainly used by people in Asia, South America, Europe (excluding the UK, Ireland, Cyprus, and Malta).
Its voltage ranges between 220V to 240V and requires 2.5amps or less.
The Type D electrical plug has large three round pins in a triangular manner. In some scenarios, Type M plugs are used besides Type D plugs in large appliances. And as a result, there are some sockets that work with both Type D and Type M plugs.
It is majorly used in India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, etc. Voltage range: 220V to 240V and rated at 5 amps.
The Type E electrical plug has two 4.8 mm round pins spaced 19 mm apart and a hole for the socket’s male earthing pin.
The Type E plug has a round shape and Type E socket has a round recess. The plugs are rated at 16 amps and are used in France, Belgium, Slovakia, Tunisia, etc.
There are two 4.8 mm round pins in Type F electrical plugs which are positioned 19 mm apart. They are similar to Type E but have two earth clips instead of female earth contact.
The CEE 7/7 plug works with sockets E and F and has grounding clips on both sides. Countries where they are used: Germany, Austria, Netherlands, Spain, etc. Type F plugs are rated 16amps.
Type G electrical plug has three rectangular blades in a triangular pattern and has an integrated fuse. The earthing pin is 8mm and 22.7 mm long. Whereas, line and neutral pins are 4 by 6.35mm and 17.7mm long. Countries where they are used: UK, Ireland, Cyprus, Malta. Malaysia, etc. Voltage range: 220V to 240V
This type of plug is unique in Israel and has two flat pins in a V-shape and even has a grounding pin. Currently, it is replaced with a round pinned version. The holes in Type H sockets are wide in the middle so they can adjust the Type C plugs as well. Type H’s rating is 16 amps and has a voltage range of 220V to 240V.
The Type I has two flat pins in V-shape and even has an earthing pin. The other version of this plug has two flat pins that still exist. The Australian plug can be useful with sockets in China. Australia’s standard plug/socket rates 10amps. A standard 10 amp plug fits into a 15-amp socket. But, you cannot use 15 amp in 10 amp. It is used in Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, China, etc. and has a voltage range of 220V to 240V.
This Type J plug has two round pins and one grounding pin. Though the Type J plug looks similar to the Brazilian Type N plug, it is not compatible with Type N socket as the earthing pin is away from the center line compared to Type N.
Additionally, Type C plugs are compatible with Type J sockets. It rates 10 amps and can be used in Switzerland, Liechtenstein, and Rwanda.
It has two round pins and a grounding pin. It is similar to Type F. The only difference is that Type F has grounding clips instead of grounding pins.
Countries they are used in are Denmark and Greenland
It comes in two variations: 10 amps and 16 amps. The 10 amps version has two round pins that are 4 mm thick and spaced at 5.5 mm and has a grounding pin in the middle.
Whereas, the 16-amp version has two round pins that are 5 mm thick, 8mm apart and even have a grounding pin.
It can be used in Italy and its voltage range in 220V to 240V
It has three round pins in a triangular pattern and looks similar to Type D. But, its pins are larger. They are useful for big equipment in countries that use Type D plugs and can be used in countries like Israel, South Africa and have a voltage range of 220V to 240V.
There are two types in Type N plug: one is rated at 10 amps and the other one is 20 amps.
The 10-amp version has two round pins that are 4 mm thick and it has a grounding pin. Whereas, the 20-amp version is useful for heavier appliances and has two round pins of 4.8 mm diameter and a grounding pin.
They are useful in Brazil and have a voltage of 100V to 240V.
This type is widely useful in Thailand and has a voltage range of 220V to 240V. It is compatible with socket type C and O.
Having so many different types and understanding these in detail can be confusing. And when clubbed with different types of power cords like IEC C13 power cord or IEC C7 power cord and their usage, one can go crazy. But, this information will definitely come to your rescue when you are planning your next international trip.
SF Cable has all sorts of power cords, USB cables, adapters, connectors, and more. So, next time you are planning to travel from one continent to another, you know where to look for the right electronics and accessories.