Electrical Outlet and Voltage Information for Fiji
When going to Fiji, a traveler must first know some basic information about the country including the standard electrical outlet and plug types, and voltage used. In Fiji, the primary electrical outlet type is the Type I Australian AS-3112 and the voltage used is 220-240 V. If a tourist would want to use his or her electronic gadget or appliance that has a 110-120 V, he must use a plug adapter and a step-down transformer; and for smaller items like hair dryers and curling irons, he must use a plug adapter and voltage converter. The Type I Australian AS-3112 electrical outlet and plug type is simiar to the Chinese CPCS-CCC and the Argentine IRAM electrical outlet.
There are cases wherein the shape of the electronic gadget or appliance’s plug is not compatible with the standard electrical outlet in Fiji, to solve the problem a tourist must use an adapter that will alter the shape of the plug to make it physically compatible with the electrical outlet. In terms of difference in voltage, a voltage converter would be needed. If a tourist in Fiji will insist on using his or her electronic gadget or appliance that has a 110-120 V, there could be unpleasant results that might range from the damage of the electronics to causing a fire. Some of the voltage converters that could be brought to Fiji by a tourist are the network-resistor converter, transformer, and the combination voltage converter.
Type I Australian AS-3112 plug, adapter, and electrical outlet
The Type I Australian AS-3112 electrical outlet and plug is commonly used in Fiji. It is the standard in most houses in Fiji and it is also slightly similar to the Chinese CPCS-CCC and the Argentine IRAM electrical outlet. These three sockets are interchangeable and are classified under the unofficial “Type I” category. This plug in Fiji features a grounding pin and two flat prongs that form a V-shape. Moreover, the receptacle end of this Type I Australian AS-3112 can accept any standard household plug type in Fiji except the Type M South African SABS1661, also known as the Old British BS-546 Large plug. For the blade contacts of the Type I Australia AS-3112, these are 6.5 x 1.6mm with a phase and neutral blade angled at 30 degrees to vertical at a nominal pitch of 13.7mm.
This standard plug of Fiji is also polarized and grounded. However, there is also an ungrounded version of the Type I plug that only has two flat V-shaped prongs, but the electrical outlet is always three-pinned. Another is that the Type I plug has other variants that include 15 A, 20 A, 25 A, and 32 A. Most of the time, during travels, people carry with them their laptop computers, cameras, mobile phones, mp3 players, and ipod. The batteries of all these must be charged through an electrical outlet and when the plugs do not match, an adapter that is compatible with the Type I outlet must be used. Aside from Fiji, other countries that use the Type I Australian AS-3112 are Argentina, China (mainland except Taiwan), Papua New Guinea, Uruguay, Fiji, and Tokelau (the Union Islands).
With the Type I plug, there is also a variant in Fiji which is the 10-ampere plug that has an electrical outlet on the back to allow connection for a second appliance. This kind of additional electrical outlet is called the “socket adapter plug” but was also known in Fiji as the “piggy-back plug.” This kind of Type I plug is no longer available for individual retail but could be requested as part of a pre-assembled extension cord. As earlier mentioned, the Australian Type I is almost similar to the Chinese CPCS-CCC (Chinese 10 A/250 v) but the pins are 1mm longer and are installed upside down and although the Chinese Type I plug may physically be compatible with the Australian Type I, there might be some problems with the electrical connections of the Chinese 220 V standards. So before plugging anything right into the electrical outlet, it is important for a tourist in Fiji to check if the shape and voltage of plug and electrical outlet are compatible.
In order to avoid further problems like damaging the electronic gadget or causing fire, a traveler who wishes to use his or her gadget in Fiji must use a voltage converter. An adapter is really helpful when the plug of the appliance or electronic gadget does not match with the electrical outlet, however, when the voltages are not compatible, this would be a different problem. If a tourist would want to use a laptop computer or charge batteries for cameras, mp3 players, camcorders, and radios in Fiji, the ideal voltage converter is a transformer which lowers the 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 wire.
These voltage converters and adapters will be very handy if you are going to Fiji and you intend to bring along some gadgets that require a particular voltage. The resistor-network converters to be used in Fiji 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. The last kind of voltage converter that you need in order to use electronics that are not compatible with the electrical outlet type in Fiji 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 Fiji.