Electrical Outlet and Voltage Information for Germany
Tourists who want to visit Germany must have some information about the electrical outlet, plugs, and voltage used in this country in order to maximize their trip and avoid unnecessary problems. In Germany, similar to most countries in Europe, the voltage used is 220-240 volts while the primary electrical outlet types are the Europlug and Schuko, specifically the Type C Europlug and the Type F Schuko. If the appliance or electronic gadget to be used in Germany does not accept 230 volts at 50 Hertz, it will need a voltage converter.
Type C 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 types in Germany. 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 commonly used in Germany. Also, the receptacle end of the adapter is usually compatible with any standard electronic household plug from any country, aside from the “Type M” South African SABS1661 plug, also known as the Old British BS-546 Large. The plug end of the Type C Europlug is compatible as well with the other types of sockets used in Europe, like that of the grounded “Type F” German and “Type E” French Schuko socket, “Type L” Italian socket, “Type H” Israeli socket, “Type J” Swiss socket, and “Type K” Danish socket, although connections to some of these sockets are non-grounded. The pins of this Type C Europlug are 4.0mm in diameter, 19mm long and are spaced apart by 19mm. In using appliances and gadgets in Germany, the Type C Europlug could also be safely used along with the Type C, Type E, Type F, and some Type L electrical outlets. This plug in Germany is also non-polarized and non-grounded. In most developing countries where modern electrical structure is lacking, the usual electrical outlet used is the Type C Europlug.
Aside from Germany, there are also countries in Middle East, Southeast Asia, Pacific Rim region, Central and South America, and the Caribbean that use this kind of adapter.
Type F Schuko Electrical Outlet, Plug, and Adapter
Commonly known as the Schuko plug, the Type F Schuko plug and electrical outlet was derived from the German word “Schukostecker” which means “protective contact plug.” This electrical outlet in Germany 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 Type F CEE 7/7 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. 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 7/7 Schuko. On the other hand, the plug end of Type F CEE 7/7 Schuko is compatible with the variations of the Schuko electrical outlet for France and Germany. The pins of this adapter 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 Schuko sockets of France. If the appliance or electronic gadget to be used in Germany is already a Schuko, there is no need to use the Type F CEE 7/7 Schuko adapter for the electrical outlet.
This Schuko plug and receptacle in Germany also has side grounding contacts which allow symmetrical connection system for live and neutral to be reversed. The Type F CEE 7/7 Schuko is the standard in countries part of the European Union as well as those which adhere to CENELEC (Comité Européen de Normalisation Electrotechnique) standards.
Most European countries including Germany use the Type F CEE 7/7 Schuko except Denmark, Italy, England, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Malta, and Cyprus that have their own standard electrical outlet.
Most appliances and electronic gadgets made in the United States of America (USA) have a voltage of 110-120 and using it directly on a 220-240 electrical outlet in Germany would cause damage to the appliance or electronic gadget, to the extent that it might be totally fried out or might even cause a fire. If a tourist wants to use his or her gadget in Germany, 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 Germany 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 light-weight 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 Germany, 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 Germany that are not compatible with the electrical outlet present in Germany 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, depending on the tourist’s needs in Germany. These voltage converters and adapters will be very handy if you plan a trip to Germany and you intend to bring along some gadgets that require a particular voltage.