Electrical Outlet and Voltage Information for China
When you are planning to go to China, you have to be aware of what voltage, electrical frequency, electrical outlet and plug types are available. This is important, especially when you are thinking of bringing devices and electrical appliances with you. The voltage available in China is 220 Volts with an electrical frequency of 50 Hz per second. In addition, any device that you are going to use that is not compatible with China’s voltage and electrical frequency must be used with a voltage converter.
Electrical Outlet and Plug Types in China
There are three types of electrical outlet and plugs in China, namely: Type A or the “North American/Japanese 2-blade electrical plug”, Type G or the “British 3-pin electrical plug” and Type I or the “Australian electrical plug”. The North American/Japanese 2-blade electrical plug is also known as the NEMA 1-15. It has two flat parallel pins or blades that run with 125 Volts ungrounded at 15 A. The early designs of NEMA 1-15 allowed the 2 blades to be inserted in horizontal or vertical position. However, Japan developed a new polarized Type A electrical plug that will not fit the traditional Type A electrical outlet types. This type of plugs are found in North America, east coast of South America, and in some countries in Asia.
The second type of electrical outlet and plug that is available in China is the Type G or British 3-pin electrical plug also known as the BS 1363. This type of electrical plug has three rectangular pins or blades that contains protective fuse inside in order to protect the cords for high current circuits. It runs in 230-240 Volts with an electrical frequency of 50 Hz earthed and fused. Usually, homes with British 3-pin electrical outlet types have protective covers over the live and neutral connections. They will automatically open upon insertion of the longer earth pin. The protective cover will also prevent the use of incompatible plugs that are made for other types of electrical outlet and as a protection for the insertion of compatible electrical plugs. Type G outlets usually have safety switches. This type of electrical plug is commonly used in Asia and in parts of the Middle East.
The third type of plug in China is the Type I or the Australian electrical plug also known as the AS 3112. This type of electrical plug has two flat slanting blades that form an inverted V and a grounding blade. The flat blades measure 6.5 by 1.6mm and are set at 30° to the vertical at a nominal pitch of 13.7mm. There are several AS electrical plug variants, including a 15 A, 20 A, 25 A, and 32 A. They all differ in shape and length of the pins though outlets accept plugs of equal or of a lower current capacity, but not with high capacity. A 10 A electrical plug will fit all AS outlets but a 20 A plug will fit only 20, 20 and 30 A outlets. This type of electrical plug and outlet is usually used in Australia, Argentina, China, New Zealand, Panama, Tajikistan, Tonga and Uruguay.
For these kinds of plugs, every tourist should bring a universal adapter. A universal adapter is a connector that matches the shape of your plug with the different types of electrical outlet available in China. And before bringing any device in China, you should check what kind of voltage it is under. Most devices that came from European countries have 220-230 V, so their devices will function in China without a need for a voltage converter. While devices from North American countries that run in 110 V will definitely need a voltage converter. It is easier to bring a combination converter when travelling to China. It is lighter and caters to different voltages and electrical frequencies.