Electrical Outlet and Voltage Information for Malawi
Malawi is a country located in Southeast Africa and if a tourist would want to visit the country, some of the things he or she must know are the standard voltage used by the electronic gadgets and appliances in Malawi, as well as the primary types of electrical outlet and plug.
In Malawi, the standard voltage used is 220-240 volts with a frequency of 50Hz. For the primary type of electrical outlet and plug, the Type G British BS -1363 is the commonly used in the households and hotels of Malawi.
In addition to the standard voltage and types of electrical outlet and plug, a tourist going to Malawi must also prepare adapters and voltage converters. In cases that the shape of the plug is not compatible with the shape of the electrical outlet, adapters could be used. There are also instances that the voltages between the electrical outlet and the electronic gadgets and appliances are not compatible, voltage converters are used to solve problems like this. There are different types of voltage converters like network-resistor converter, step-up and step-down transformer,and combination voltage converter.
Type G British BS -1363 3-Pin Plug, Electrical Outlet, and Adapter
The Type G electrical plug is a British 3-pin rectangular blade used widely in Malawi. It has a protective fuse inside to protect cords from high-current circuits and, most of the time, the Type G electrical outlet includes a safety switch. The Type G British 3-pin also has a receptacle end that is compatible with most household plug types, except the Type M South African SABS1661 (Old British BS-546 Large) plug. The plug end of this plug common in Malawi is a British BS-1363 13-amp type. For the adapter, the live and neutral pins are 4 x 6 x 18 mm apart, with the grounding pin measuring 4 x 8 x 23mm. The plug of this Type G British 3-pin is polarized and grounded but not fused.
Also, through the Type G British 3-pin adapter, a tourist could use his or her appliance or electronic gadget in Malawi. Another name for the Type G British 3-pin plug is the 13-amp plug. In terms of compatibility, the Type G British 3-pin electrical outlet will work together with the Type G British 3-pin plug and adapter in Malawi.
For the electrical outlet, the Type G British 3-pin sockets are not compatible with other types of electrical outlet in Uganda. For safety reasons, Malawi requires electrical outlets in households that use the Type G British 3-pin to have shutters over the live and neutral connections of the electrical outlet. In the insertion of the longer earth pin from the plug, the safety shutters of the Type G British 3-pin are opened. Another purpose of the shutters is to prevent the use of incompatible plugs made to other standards. However, there are cases wherein the safety shutters of this electrical outlet could be opened through a screwdriver in order to insert Type C plugs. But then, the usage of Type G British 3-pin outlet along with another kind of plug is not recommended because these plugs do not have a fuse.
The regulation about the safety shutters and fuse is then followed in Malawi and all the other countries that use the type G British 3-pin electrical outlet and plug like United Arab Emirates, Cyprus, Ghana, Grenada, Macau, Malta, Malaysia, Qatar, Saint Vincent, Saudi Arabia, Scotland, Wales, Yemen, Botswana, Bahrain, Saint Lucia, Oman, Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka, Singapore, and Hong Kong. With all the safety measures and features of this plug and outlet, it is considered as one of the safest in the Malawi, even the world. However, with all its features, this type of plug is bulky and cumbersome. Some people claim that the Type G British 3-pin plug is mostly bigger than the appliances they are connected to but if tourists would want to use their electronic gadget or appliance in Malawi, then they must have a Type G British 3-pin adapter. Although the adapter would not change the voltage used, it will enable the plug of the appliance or electronic gadget to be inserted to the electrical outlet used in Malawi.
Voltage Converters and Adapters
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 Malawi 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 Malawi, 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 Malawi 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 Malawi, 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 Malawi that are not compatible with the electrical outlet present in Malawi is the combination of resistor-network converters and transformer.