Electrical Outlet and Voltage Information for Cambodia
People who want to spend their vacation in Cambodia must know the type of electrical outlet and plug used in this country so that there would be less problems in their stay. In particular, the primary electrical outlet used in most household, hotels, and buildings in Cambodia are the Type A JIS C 8303 or NEMA 1-15 (North American Non-Grounded), Type C CEE 7/16 Europlug, and Type G British BS-1363 while the voltage used is 220-240 volts.
Most people also bring their electronic gadgets like mp3 players, cameras, laptop computers, and radios with them and to recharge the batteries of these electronic gadgets in Cambodia, one must be able to use the electrical outlet in that country. If the plug of a traveler’s electronic gadget or appliance is not compatible, he or she could use an adapter. Another important consideration when using the electrical outlet in Cambodia is whether the voltage is compatible. If not, there are voltage converters that could be used in Cambodia like transformer, network-resistor converter, or a combination of both.
Type A JIS C 8303 or NEMA 1-15 (North American Non-Grounded)
The NEMA 1-15 is mostly found in North America and in the east coast of South America, as well as in parts of the South American region and other places like Cambodia, and 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 NEMA 1-15 is a flat blade attachment plug that uses two flat parallel pins or blades.
Older designs in Cambodia allow the blades to be inserted in either way to the electrical outlet; however, contemporary NEMA 1-15 plugs 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 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 Cambodia.
There is also another electrical outlet that is commonly used in Cambodia that was from Japan, the JIS X 8303 Class II (Japanese 15 A/100 V ungrounded) which is similar to the NEMA 1-15, the only difference being the stricter dimensional requirements for the plug housing, marking, and mandatory testing and approval.
With the NEMA 1-15 adapter, the receptacle end will accept any standard household plug in Cambodia, 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 that is usually needed by tourists when they are spending some time in Cambodia 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 of Cambodia 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 Cambodia. In the NEMA 1-15, 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 outlet in Cambodia does not have one, it would be physically impossible to insert the plug into the electrical outlet. If this happens to a tourist in Cambodia and there is also no adapter present, that person might not be able to use his or her electronic gadgets and appliances.
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 Cambodia. 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 Cambodia.
Also, the receptacle end of the adapter is usually compatible with any standard electronic household plug in Cambodia 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 Cambodia, 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 Cambodia, 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 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 Cambodia 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 in Cambodia, 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 Cambodia. 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 Cambodia 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 Cambodia. 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 Cambodia and all the other countries that use the Type G British BS-1363 electrical outlet and plug like the United Kingdom, Seychelles, 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 Cambodia. With all the safety measures and features of this plug and outlet, it is considered as one of the safest in Cambodia, 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 Cambodia, 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 Cambodia. For the electrical outlet, the Type G British BS-1363 sockets are not compatible with other types of electrical outlet in Cambodia.
Voltage Converters and Adapters
If a tourist wants to use his or her gadget in Cambodia, 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 Cambodia 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 Cambodia, 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 Cambodia that are not compatible with the electrical outlet present in Cambodia is the combination of resistor-network converters and transformer. Most of the time, there is a switch that enables the changing of modes from resistor-network converter to transformer.