Electrical Outlet and Voltage Information for Bangladesh
Bangladesh is located in South Asia and in this country the standard voltage used by appliances and electronic gadgets is 220-240 volts with a frequency of 50Hz. Also, in Bangladesh, the types of electrical outlet and plug commonly used are the Type A NEMA 1-15 / JIS C 8303 North America, Type C CEE 7/16 Europlug, Type D Indian BS-546, Type G British BS-1363, and Type K Danish SRAF 1962/DB.
For a tourist who is visiting Bangladesh, it is important to know these pieces of information so that he will not encounter any problem while using his appliance and electronic gadget.
Some of the problems usually encountered by tourists visiting another country, Bangladesh for example, is when the shape of the plug used by the appliances and electronic gadgets is not compatible with the shape of the electrical outlet. In order to solve this problem, there are different kinds of adapters designed for particular plug types. These adapters alter the shape of the plug so that it could be inserted to the electrical outlet present in Bangladesh and provide power for the appliance and electronic gadget. Another kind of adapter is the universal adapter that could be used with almost any type of plug and electrical outlet in Bangladesh and other countries.
For travellers, the universal adapter is the most recommended since a tourist no longer has to bring different adapters for different types of plug and electrical outlet. In addition to the adapter, there is also the voltage converter. Voltage converters are used when the voltage of the appliance and electronic gadget is not similar to the voltage used by the electrical outlet in Bangladesh. Using appliances and electronic gadgets together with an electrical outlet that have different voltages are not recommended as this might cause problems like damage on the appliance or electronic gadget.
Type A NEMA 1-15 / JIS C 8303 North American (Non-grounded and Non-polarized) Plug, Electrical Outlet, and Adapter
The new design of the NEMA 1-15 changed so much that it will not fit in the old type of NEMA 1-15 electrical outlet in Bangladesh. With the NEMA 1-15 adapter, the receptacle end will accept any standard household plug in Bangladeshn, aside from the Type M South African SABS1661 plug, which is also known as the Old British BS-546 Large plug. The blades of this adapter are 6.4mm long, 1.5mm thick, and are spaced 12.7mm apart. The NEMA 1-15 plug is also non-polarized and non-grounded which is very important. The NEMA 1-15 is a flat blade attachment plug that uses two flat parallel pins or blades. Older designs allow the blades to be inserted either way; however, contemporary NEMA 1-15 plugs in Bangladesh are designed with the neutral blade wider than the live blade allowing just one way of plugging and ensuring that the polarized plug is inserted appropriately into the electrical outlet.
The NEMA 1-15 is mostly found in North America and in the east coast of South America as well as in other countries like Bangladesh. This is used for smaller devices that do not really need a ground connection. The NEMA 1-15 is also known as the Type A North American/Japanese 2-blade Electrical adapter plug and electrical outlet. It also has the technical name North American 15 A/125 V ungrounded.
Although the NEMA 1-15 looks similar to the plugs of the U.S. and Canada and the appliance and electronic gadgets might be manufactured in the said countries, an adapter might still be needed because of the grounding and polarization requirements in Bangladesh. In the NEMA 1-15 plug and electrical outlet, grounding is done by the third, round pin located beneath the two vertical blades on the plug. On the other hand, polarization is done by the left vertical blade being taller than the right one. If the plug does have grounding or polarization and the electrical socket does not have one, it would be physically impossible to insert the plug into the electrical socket. If this happens to a tourist in Bangladesh and there is also no adapter present, that person might not be able to use his or her electronic gadgets and appliances.
There is also another electrical outlet that is commonly used in Japan, the JIS X 8303 Class II (Japanese 15 A/100 V ungrounded) which is similar to the NEMA 1-15, the only difference from Bangladesh is the stricter dimensional requirements for the plug housing, marking, and mandatory testing and approval.
Type C CEE 7/16 Europlug Electrical Outlet and Adapter
The Type C Europlug is also known as the CEE 7/16 (Europlug 2.5 A/250 V unearthed), which is a bit similar, only slightly smaller, to the CEE 7/17 and it is one of the most commonly used electrical outlet and plug in Bangladesh. The Type C CEE 7/16 Europlug alters the shape of the appliance’s plug so that it could be used into a “Type C” European CEE 7/16 Class II non-grounded Europlug socket or a Soviet-era Russian GOST 7396 Class II non-grounded socket used in Bangladesh.
Also, the receptacle end of the adapter is usually compatible with any standard electronic household plug in Bangladeshl and from any country, aside from the “Type M” South African SABS1661 (Old British BS-546 Large) plug. The pins of the Type C CEE 7/16 Europlug are 4.0mm in diameter, 19mm long and are spaced 19mm apart. In using appliances and gadgets in Bangladesh, the Type C CEE 7/16 Europlug could also be safely used with the Type C, Type E, Type F, and some Type L electrical outlets. In addition, the Type C CEE 7/16 Europlug is also the most widely used electrical outlet all over continental Europe and in the former Soviet Republics. This plug in Bangladesh is also non-polarized and non-grounded. Aside from Senegal, there are also countries in the Middle East, Southeast Asia, Pacific Rim region, Central and South America, and Caribbean that use this kind of adapter.
Type D Indian BS-546 Adapter Plug and Electrical Outlet
The receptacle end of this Type D Indian BS-546 plug is also compatible with common household plugs except the Type M South African SABS1661 (Old British BS-546 Large) plug. In this Type D Indian BS-546 Plug Adapter, the live and neutral pins are 5mm in diameter, spaced 22mm apart, and the grounding pin is 7mm in diameter with the plug being polarized and grounded. It is an old British standard electrical outlet which is still the primary household electrical outlet in countries like Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Namibia, and Hong Kong. The Type D Indian BS-546 electrical outlet is most compatible with the Type D Old British Plug Adapter that is sometimes used in Bangladesh.
Although the Type D Indian BS-546 electrical outlet and plug is not the standard in Bangladesh and other countries, it is still used in various households. In terms of design and appearance, the Type D Indian BS-546 electrical outlet and plug is often confused with the Type M South African electrical outlet and plug. However, as similar as these two may seem, they are not compatible and must not be used together in Bangladesh or even in other countries.
Type G British BS-1363 3-pin Plug, Electrical Outlet, and Adapter
The Type G British BS-1363 electrical outlet and plug is a British 3-pin rectangular blade used widely in Bangladesh that has a protective fuse inside to protect cords from high-current circuits and, most of the time, the Type G British BS-1363 electrical outlet includes a safety switch. The Type G British BS-1363 also has a receptacle end that is compatible with most household plug types, except the Type M South African SABS1661 (Old British BS-546 Large) plug. The plug end is a British BS-1363 13-amp type. For the adapter, the live and neutral pins are 4 x 6 x 18 mm apart, with the grounding pin measuring 4 x 8 x 23mm. Also, through the Type G British BS-1363 adapter, a tourist could use his or her appliance or electronic gadget in Bangladesh. The plug of this Type G British 3-pin is polarized and grounded but not fused.
Another name for the Type G British BS-1363 plug is the 13-amp plug and for safety reasons the Bangladesh requires electrical outlets in households that use the Type G British BS-1363 to have shutters over the live and neutral connections of the electrical outlet. In the insertion of the longer earth pin from the plug, the safety shutters of the Type G British BS-1363 are opened. The shutters are also present to prevent the use of incompatible plugs made to other standards in Bangladesh. However, there are cases wherein the safety shutters of this electrical outlet in Bangladesh could be opened through a screwdriver in order to insert Type C plugs. But then, the usage of Type G British BS-1363 outlet along with another kind of plug is not recommended because these plugs do not have a fuse. The regulation about the safety shutters and fuse is then followed in Bangladesh and all the other countries that use the Type G British BS-1363 electrical outlet and plug like the United Kingdom, Bangladesh, Ghana, Grenada, Macau, Malta, Malaysia, Qatar, Saint Vincent, Saudi Arabia, Scotland and Zimbabwe. With all the safety measures and features of this plug and outlet, it is considered as one of the safest in Bangladesh, even the world.
However, with all its features, this type of plug is bulky and cumbersome. Some people claim that the Type G British BS-1363 plug is mostly bigger than the appliances they are connected to but if tourists would want to use their electronic gadget or appliance in Bangladesh, then they must have a Type G British BS-1363 adapter. Although the adapter would not change the voltage used, it will enable the plug of the appliance or electronic gadget to be inserted to the electrical outlet used in Bangladesh. For the electrical outlet, the Type G British BS-1363 sockets are not compatible with other types of electrical outlet in Bangladesh. In terms of compatibility, the Type G British BS-1363 electrical outlet will work together with the Type G British BS-1363 plug and adapter in Bangladesh.
Type K Danish SRAF 1962/DB Plug, Electrical Outlet, and Adapter
The Type K Danish SRAF 1962/DB is the standard electrical outlet in Bangladesh and the receptacle end of this plug is compatible with any standard household plug in Bangladesh except the Type M South African SABS1661 (Old British BS-546 Large) plug. This Type K Danish SRAF 1962/DB also has pins that are 4.8mm in diameter, similar to the Schuko plug of Germany and France. However, the difference of the Type K Danish SRAF 1962/DB plug from the German and French schuko is that the standard plug in Bangladesh has a 6.0mm half-cylinder grounding pin that is uniquely shaped and positioned. This kind of plug common in Bangladesh is also polarized and grounded. Although Europlugs and Schuko plugs are compatible with the Swiss electrical outlet, the connection might be grounded. In addition, this plug could only be plugged into a Danish electrical outlet. In particular, the specifications of the Type K Danish SRAF 1962/DB plug and electrical outlet are two round pins and a spade grounding pin. This Type K Danish SRAF 1962/DB plug in Bangladesh is also known as Danish 10 A/250 V and it is not compatible with appliances that need to be earthed.
Another variation of the Type K Danish SRAF 1962/DB plug is the DK 2-5a which is solely used for surge-protected computer circuits. For the electrical outlet, the Type K Danish SRAF 1962/DB electrical outlet in Bangladesh is equipped with a switch to prevent the live pins from touching when connecting or disconnecting the plug. There are also some electrical outlets that do not have a switch, but these are required to have a cavity that prevents the pins from touching. Also, the electrical outlet was designed in such a way that the pins will not come in contact with each other. There are new electronic installations in Bangladesh as well that require grounded electrical outlets and older versions must be protected by RCD/GFCI (HFI in Denmark). In 2008, because of the huge amount of E and F Schuko plugs in Bangladesh, the government had decided to make it legal to install the Type E electrical outlet in homes and buildings instead of the Type K Danish SRAF 1962/DB, but installation of the Type F Schuko is still considered illegal. And although the Type K Danish SRAF 1962/DB electrical outlet and plug is the standard in Bangladesh, there are also some countries that use this electrical outlet and plug like Bangladesh, Faeroe Islands, Greenland, Senegal, Tunisia, Madagascar, Maldives, and Guinea.
These voltage converters and adapters will be very handy if a tourist would plan a trip to Bangladesh and intends to bring along some gadgets that require a particular voltage. There are certain adapters that would fit particular plugs and these could be bought in hardware stores or electrical outlets in Bangladesh or before heading there. If a tourist wants to use his or her gadget in Bangladesh, the best way is by using voltage converters such as the resistor-network converters, transformers, and in some cases the combination of both. Most appliances and electronic gadgets made in the United States of America (USA) have a voltage of 110-120 and using it directly on a 220-240 electrical outlet in Bangladesh would cause damage to the appliance or electronic gadget, to the extent that it might be totally fried out or might even cause a fire. There is a switch that enables the changing of modes from resistor-network converter to transformer, depending on the tourist’s needs in Bangladesh. The resistor-network converters to be used in Bangladesh are usually advertised to support as much as 50-1600 Watts and are just ideal to use for short periods of time. The resistor-network converter is also not recommended for digital devices like laptop computers however it is great for lightweight electronics like hair dryers and irons.
If a tourist would want to use a laptop computer or charge batteries for camera, mp3 players, camcorders, and radios in Bangladesh, the ideal voltage converter is a transformer which lowers maximum watt rating. It could be used for long periods of time but is a little bit heavy because of the large iron rods and copper wires. The last kind of voltage converter in order to use electronics in Bangladesh that are not compatible with the electrical outlet present in Bangladesh is the combination of resistor-network converters and transformer.