Electrical Outlet and Voltage Information for Brazil
The standard voltage used by the appliances and electronic gadgets in Brazil is 110-120 volts while the types of primary electrical outlet are Type A NEMA 1-15 / JIS C 8303 North American, Type B NEMA 5-15 , and Type C CEE 7/16 Europlug. In other states of Brazil like Bahia, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Parana, and Minas Gerais, a specific voltage of 127 is used. However, there are also hotels that use 220 volts excluding Fortaleza. Also in Brazil, there might be cases wherein the shape of the plug is not compatible with the shape of the electrical outlet.
To solve this, there are different kinds of adapters available in Brazil. These adapters will alter the shape of the plug so that it would work together with the electrical outlet present in Brazil. Another consideration is the compatibility of voltages. When the voltage used by the electronic gadget or appliance is not compatible with the voltage used in Brazil, a voltage converter would be needed. Examples of voltage converters are network-resistor converters, step-up and step-down transformers, and combination voltage converters.
Type A NEMA 1-15 / JIS C 8303 North American (Non-grounded and Non-polarized) Plug, Electrical Outlet, and Adapter
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 Brazil 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 Brazil. 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 Eletrical adapter plug and electrical outlet. It also has the technical name North American 15 A/125 V ungrounded. The new design of NEMA 1-15 changed so much that it will not fit in the old type of NEMA 1-15 electrical outlet in Brazil. With the NEMA 1-15 adapter, the receptacle end will accept any standard household plug in Brazil, 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. 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 Brazil.
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 Brazil 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 Brazil is the stricter dimensional requirements for the plug housing, marking, and mandatory testing and approval.
Type B NEMA 5-15 (North American Grounded) Plug, Electrical Outlet, and Adapter
The Type B NEMA 5-15 is often used in North and Central America as well as Japan, and it is also what is used in Brazil. Also, the Type B NEMA 5-15 is a class I plug that has two flat parallel prongs and a grounding pin, rated at 15 amps. The Type B NEMA 5-15 has blade contacts 6.4mm tall, 15mm thick, and are spaced 12.7mm apart. The grounding pin, on the other hand, is 4.8mm in diameter.like electrocution or a minor electrical shock. The Type B NEMA 5-15 is also compatible with any standard household plug, except the Type M South African SABS1661 (Old British BS-546 Large) plug.
Although the Type B NEMA 5-15 is grounded, it is not polarized. In Japan, this kind of plug and electrical outlet is the standard. Similar to Type A NEMA 1-15 plugs, the NEMA 5-15 is also one of the most dangerous plugs in Brazil and even in the world because the prongs are not insulated. The black covering that is supposed to cover the plug body is lacking hence if the plug is pulled halfway and the prongs are still inserted in the electrical outlet, there might be some accidents
Type C CEE 7/16 Europlug Electrical Outlet and Adapter
The Type C 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 Brazil. 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 Brazil. Also, the receptacle end of the adapter is usually compatible with any standard electronic household plug in Brazil and from any country, aside from the “Type M” South African SABS1661 (Old British BS-546 Large) plug. The pins of the Type C Europlug are 4.0mm in diameter, 19mm long and are spaced 19mm apart.
The Type C Europlug could also be safely used with the Type C, Type E, Type F, and some Type L electrical outlets. Aside from Brazil, 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. In addition, the Europlug is also the most widely used electrical outlet all over continental Europe and in the former Soviet Republics. This plug in Brazil is also non-polarized and non-grounded.
Voltage Converters and Universal Adapters
In using an electronic gadget or appliance that has a different voltage requirement than the 110-120 volts used in Brazil, the best way is by using voltage converters such as resistor-network converters, transformers, and, in some cases, the combination of both. The resistor-network converters to be used in Brazil 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 Brazil, the ideal voltage converter would be 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 Brazil that are not compatible with the electrical outlet present in Ireland is the combination of a resistor-network converter and transformer. Most of the time, there is a switch that enables the changing of modes from resistor-network converter to transformer, depending on the tourist’s needs in Brazil
These voltage converters and adapters will be very handy if a tourist plans a trip to Brazil and intends to bring along some gadgets that require a particular voltage. Moreover, there are certain adapters that would fit particular plugs and these could be bought in hardware stores or electronic shops in Brazil or before heading there. There are also universal adapters that could be used with any type of plug and electrical outlet, may it be in Brazil or another country.