Electrical Outlet and Voltage Information for India
A tourist who wants to visit India must know the standard voltage and primary types of electrical outlet and plug used by the appliances and electronic gadgets in the said country. If a tourist who’s going to India know these information, he or she would experience less problems when using their appliances and electronic gadgets. In India, the standard voltage used is 220-240 volts with a frequency of 50Hz.
Also, the primary types of electrical outlet and plug used in India are the Type C CEE 7/16 Europlug, Type D Indian BS-546, and Type M BS-546 South African. In using these, a tourist might also need an adapter and voltage converter. Adapters are used when the shape of the plug is not similar to the shape of the electrical outlet in India while the voltage converters are used in cases wherein the voltage of the appliance and electronic gadget is not compatible with the voltage present in the electrical outlet of India.
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 India. 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 India.
Also, the receptacle end of the adapter is usually compatible with any standard electronic household plug in India 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 India, 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, island nations in the Caribbean, in Asia like India and in the former Soviet Republics. This plug in India is also non-polarized and non-grounded. Aside from India, 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 D Indian BS-546 Adapter Plug and Electrical Outlet
In this Type D Indian BS-546 Plug Adapter, the live and neutral pins are 5mm in diameter, spaced 22mm apart, and the grounding pin is 7mm in diameter with the plug being polarized and grounded. It is an old British standard electrical outlet which is still the primary household electrical outlet in countries like India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Namibia, and Hong Kong.The Type D Indian BS-546 electrical outlet is most compatible with the Type D Old British Plug Adapter that is sometimes used in India.
The receptacle end of this Type D Indian BS-546 plug is also compatible with common household plugs except the Type M South African SABS1661 (Old British BS-546 Large) plug. Although the Type D Indian BS-546 electrical outlet and plug is not the standard in India, it is still used in various households in the said country as well as in other places. In terms of design and appearance, the Type D Indian BS-546 electrical outlet and plug is often confused with the Type M South African electrical outlet and plug.
However, as similar as the Type M and Type D Indian BS-546 may seem, they are not compatible and must not be used together in India or even in other countries. If the plug of the electronic gadget or appliance of the tourist in India is not compatible with the shape of the Type D Indian BS-546 electrical outlet, an adapter designed for a particular plug or a universal adapter, will be very necessary. If the difference is on the voltage, there are voltage converters that could be used so that electronic gadgets and appliances would work efficiently with the Type D Indian Bs-546 in India.
Type M BS-546 South African Plug, Electrical Adapter, and Electrical Outlet
The Type M South African plug has a technical name of BS 546 (South African 15 A/250 V) and is the standard plug in India. This kind of electrical plug has three circular pins and is a little bit larger compared to the Type D. Also, the Type M BS-546 South African plug is commonly used in India, Mozambique, South Africa, and Hong Kong. For the Type M BS-546 adapter, the neutral pins are 7mm in diameter and spaced 25mm apart with a grounding pin that’s 8.7mm in diameter. This plug used in India is also polarized and grounded. Moreover, the Type M BS-546 large South African and the Type D Indian plugs are small versions of the old British BS-546 standard.
These two are often confused and used in the same location although if a tourist is visiting India, it is still best to bring an adapter for these plugs and electrical outlets. The Type M BS-546 plug and electrical outlet might be used in some countries as mentioned above, including India, but even in this country, the Type M BS-546 South African plug and electrical outlet is now replaced by the Type G. However, old houses and buildings in India still use the Type M BS-546 electrical outlet and most appliances and electronic gadget that uses the Type M BS-546 plug are air-conditioning circuits that are mounted on the wall as well as some kinds of washing machine.
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 India 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 India, 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 India 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 India, 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 India that are not compatible with the electrical outlet present in India is the combination of resistor-network converters and transformer. These voltage converters and adapters will be very handy if you plan a trip to India and you intend to bring along some gadgets that require a particular voltage. 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 India.