Electrical Outlet and Voltage Information for Bhutan
Bhutan is a country located in South Asia and a person who wants to spend some time here must know some information like the standard voltage and primary types of electrical outlet and plug. In Bhutan, the standard voltage used by the appliances and electronic gadgets is 220-240 volts with a frequency of 50Hz. On the other hand, the primary types of electrical outlet and plug are the Type C CEE 7/16 Europlug, Type D Indian BS-546 , Type F CEE 7/5 Schuko, and Type G British BS-1363.
For a person going to Bhutan, other things that will be handy are adapters and voltage converters. Adapters are used to alter the shape of the plug when it is not compatible with the shape of the socket while voltage converters are ideal in situations like the voltage used by the appliance or electronic gadget is not similar to the voltage of the electrical outlet in Bhutan.
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 Bhutan. 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 Bhutan.
Also, the receptacle end of the adapter is usually compatible with any standard electronic household plug in Bhutan 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 Bhutan, 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 is also non-polarized and non-grounded. Aside from Bhutan, 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
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 Sri Lanka, Nepal, Namibia, and Hong Kong.The Type D Indian BS-546 socket is most compatible with the Type D Old British Plug Adapter that is sometimes used in Bhutan.
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. Although the Type D Indian BS-546 electrical outlet and plug is not the standard in Bhutan, it is still used in various households in the said country as well as in other places. 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 the Type M and Type D Indian BS-546 may seem, they are not compatible and must not be used together in Bhutan or even in other countries. If the plug of the electronic gadget or appliance of the tourist in Bhutan is not compatible with the shape of the Type D Indian BS-546 electrical outlet, an adapter designed for a particular plug or a universal adapter, will be very necessary. If the difference is on the voltage, there are voltage converters that could be used so that electronic gadgets and appliances would work efficiently with the Type D Indian Bs-546 in Bhutan.
Type F CEE 7/5 Schuko Electrical Adapter Plug and Electrical Outlet
The Type F CEE 7/5 Schuko is used for the “Type F” CEE 7/4 Schuko style electrical socket of Germany or to a “Type E” CEE 7/5 socket of France. Commonly known as the Schuko plug, the Type F CEE 7/5 plug and electrical outlet was derived from the German word “Schukostecker” which means “protective contact plug.” This electrical outlet in Bhutan is also similar to the Type E with the difference being its two earth clips on the side instead of the female earth contact.
The receptacle end of Type F CEE 7/7 Schuko is compatible with most sockets except the “Type M” South African SABS1661 (Old British BS-546) plug and the non-grounded CEE 7/16 Europlug Socket because of its 4.0mm pin receptacles that are too small for the 4.8mm pins of the Type F CEE 7/5 Schuko. This Schuko plug and receptacle in Bhutan also have side grounding contacts which allow symmetrical connection system for live and neutral to be reversed.
Most countries including Bhutan use the Type F CEE 7/5 Schuko except Denmark, Italy, England, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Malta, and Cyprus that have their own standard electrical outlet. On the other hand, the plug end of Type F CEE 7/5 Schuko is compatible with the variations of the Schuko electrical outlet for France and Germany. The pins of this adapter in Burma are 4.8mm in diameter, 19mm long, and spaced 19mm apart. They have both side-grounding clips and a receptacle for the male grounding pin which is found in French Schuko sockets. If the appliance or electronic gadget to be used in Bhutan is already a Schuko, there is no need to use the Type F CEE 7/5 Schuko adapter for the electrical outlet.
Type G British BS-1363 Plug, Electrical Outlet, and Adapter
The Type G electrical outlet and plug is a Type G British BS-1363 rectangular blade used widely in Bhutan 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 plug 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 Bhutan. The plug of this Type G British BS-1363 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 Bhutan 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 Bhutan. However, there are cases wherein the safety shutters of this electrical outlet could be opened through a screwdriver in order to insert Type C plugs.
The usage of the 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 Bhutan and all the other countries that use the Type G British BS-1363 electrical outlet and plug like Bhutan, Tanzania, United Kingdom, Oman, Ghana, Grenada, Macau, Malta, Malaysia, Qatar, Saint Vincent, Saudi Arabia, Scotland, Maldives and Kuwait. In terms of compatibility, the Type G British 3-pin electrical outlet will work together with the Type G British BS-1363 plug and adapter in Bhutan. With all the safety measures and features of this plug and outlet, it is considered as one of the safest in Bhutan, 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 Bhutan, 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 Bhutan. For the electrical outlet, the Type G British BS-1363 sockets are not compatible with other types of electrical outlet in Bhutan.
There are three kinds of voltage converters available: the transformer, the network-resistor converter, and the combination of these two. For laptop computers, cameras, mp3 players, and charging of batteries in Bhutan, the recommended voltage converter to be used is the transformer as it has a lower maximum watt rating of 50 to 100 watts and it could be used continuously although it could be heavy because of the large iron rods and copper wires inside. The resistor-network converter could support 50-1600 watts and are often used for a short period of time and in light-weight electrical appliances like hair dryers and irons. If the the wrong plug is inserted in the wrong electrical outlet or the voltage does not match, there could be some real damage to the appliance or electronic gadget.
In worse cases, this might even cause electrocution or fire in Bhutan. If the voltage of the appliance or electronic gadget to be used in Bhutan does not match its 220-240 volts requirement, like most American products that only use 110-120 volts, a tourist in Bhutan would need a voltage converter. It is important to know the proper voltage, electrical outlet, plugs, and adapters to use when visiting Bhutan and other countries because sometimes these electric requirements vary depending on the location.