Electrical Outlet and Voltage Information for Guam
Travelers who want to go to Guam must know the types of electrical outlet and plug that are standard in that country. This knowledge will help tourists make the most of their trip and avoid problems when trying to use appliances or electronic gadgets in Guam. Since Guam is an American territory, the standard electrical outlets are the North American Non-Grounded and the North American Grounded, specifically Type A NEMA 1-15 (Japanese JIS C 8303) and the Type B NEMA 5-15. For the voltage used by the electronic gadgets and appliances, it is 110-120 V. If a tourist would want to use his electronic gadget or laptop that has a 220-240 V in Guam, a plug adapter along with a step-up transformer would be needed. There are also Japanese appliances that use 100 V and to be able to use this safely and efficiently in Guam, a Japan to U.S. reducer transfomer must be used. Other solutions to the incompatibility of voltage in Guam are voltage converters like transfomer, network-resistor converter, and combination voltage converter.
In addition, there are also times when tourists in Guam encounter differently shaped outlets with which the shape of the appliance’s plug is not physically compatible. To solve this, one must use adapters that will alter the shape of the plug to make it work together with the electrical outlet in Guam.
Type A 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 Pacific like Guam. This is used 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 allow the blades to be inserted either way; however, contemporary NEMA 1-15 plugs in Guam 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 NEMA 1-15 changed so much that it will not fit in the old type of NEMA 1-15 electrical outlet in Guam. There is also another socket 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 Guam is 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 Guam, 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 Guam 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 Guam. 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 Guam and there is also no adapter present, that person might not be able to use his or her electronic gadgets and appliances.
Type B NEMA 5-15 (North American Grounded)
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 Guam. 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. Similar to Type A NEMA 1-15 plugs, the NEMA 5-15 is also one of the most dangerous plugs in Guam 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 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. 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. Although the Type B NEMA 5-15 is grounded, it is not polarized. This kind of plug and electrical outlet is common in households of Guam and in Japan, this kind of plug and electrical outlet is the standard.