Electrical Outlet and Voltage Information for Niger
Niger is a country located in West Africa and a person who wants to visit this country must know some basic information beforehand. In Niger, using electronic gadgets and appliances will not be a problem if tourists are aware of the standard voltage and primary types of electrical outlet and plug present in the country.
This information would enable tourists in Niger to use their electronic gadgets and appliances with less hassle and delays. The standard voltage used by the electrical outlet in Niger is 220-240 volts with a frequency of 50Hz. For the primary types of electrical outlet and plug commonly found in most households in Niger, the types are Type A NEMA 1-15 / JIS C 8303 North American, Type B NEMA 5-15 North American, Type C CEE 7/16 Europlug, Type D Indian BS-546, Type E European CEE 7/4, and Type F CEE 7/5 Schuko.
In addition to the information about voltage and primary types of electrical outlet and plug, a tourist who will visit Niger must also prepare adapters and voltage converters. Adapters are used to alter the shape of the plug in cases that it is not compatible with the shape of the electrical outlet. There is also a universal adapter that could be used with any type of electrical outlet and plug. On the other hand, voltage converters are used when the voltage present in the electronic gadget and appliance is not compatible with the voltage in electrical outlet in Niger. Examples of voltage converters are network-resistor converter, step-up and step-down transformer, and combination travel voltage converter.
Type A NEMA 1-15 / JIS C 8303 North American (Non-grounded and Non-polarized) Plug, Electrical Outlet, and Adapter
The NEMA 1-15 is mostly found in North America and in the east coast of South America as well as in other countries like Niger. This is used for smaller devices that do not really need a ground connection. Also, 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 Niger 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 NEMA 1-15 is also known as the Type A North American/Japanese 2-blade Electrical adapter plug and electrical outlet. It also has the technical name North American 15 A/125 V ungrounded. 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 Niger. With the NEMA 1-15 adapter, the receptacle end will accept any standard household plug in Niger, 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 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 Niger. 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 in Niger.
If this happens to a tourist in Niger and there is also no adapter present, that person might not be able to use his or her electronic gadgets and appliances. There is also another electrical outlet 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 Niger is the stricter dimensional requirements for the plug housing, marking, and mandatory testing and approval.
Type B NEMA 5-15 (North American Grounded) Plug, Electrical Outlet, and Adapter
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 Niger. 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. 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. The Type B NEMA 5-15 is also compatible with any standard household plug in Niger, except the Type M South African SABS1661 (Old British BS-546 Large) plug.
Although the Type B NEMA 5-15 is grounded, it is not polarized. In Japan, this kind of plug and electrical outlet is the standard. Similar to Type A NEMA 1-15 plugs, the NEMA 5-15 is also one of the most dangerous plugs in Niger 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 in Niger like electrocution or a minor electrical shock.
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 Niger. 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 Niger. Also, the receptacle end of the adapter is usually compatible with any standard electronic household plug in Niger 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 Cuba, 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 Africa like Niger and in the former Soviet Republics. This plug in Niger is also non-polarized and non-grounded. Aside from Niger, 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 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 Niger. 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 Niger, 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 Niger or even in other countries. If the plug of the electronic gadget or appliance of the tourist in Niger 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 Niger.
Type E European CEE 7/4 Electrical Adapter Plug and Electrical Outlet
The Type E electrical outlet could also be used with Type C CEE 7/16 plugs while the Type E European CEE 7/4 plugs will work along with Type F Schuko outlets in Niger. The Type E electrical outlet and plug is the standard in France, Denmark, Poland, Belgium, and other European countries as well as those located in Africa like Niger and in the Pacific and Caribbean area like Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Cuba among others. For the electrical outlet and plug of the Type E European CEE 7/4, the male pin is installed upwards in the electrical outlet, with the live connection in the left and neutral connection in the right.
The specifications of this Type E European CEE 7/4 plugs used in Niger are two round pins spaced 19mm apart with a hole for the male grounding pin of the electrical socket. However, the Type E European CEE 7/4 is not compatible with the Type F of Germany, the Netherlands, and other continental countries of Europe because of the round male pin in the socket.
Type F CEE 7/5 Schuko Electrical Adapter Plug and Electrical Outlet
The Type F CEE 7/5 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. Commonly known as the Schuko plug, the Type F CEE 7/5 plug and electrical outlet was derived from the German word “Schukostecker” which means “protective contact plug.” This electrical outlet in Niger 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 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 7/5 Schuko.
This Schuko plug and receptacle in Niger also have side grounding contacts which allow symmetrical connection system for live and neutral to be reversed. Most countries including Niger use the Type F CEE 7/5 Schuko except Denmark, Italy, England, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Malta, and Cyprus that have their own standard electrical outlet. On the other hand, the plug end of Type F CEE 7/5 Schuko is compatible with the variations of the Schuko electrical outlet for France and Germany. The pins of this adapter in Niger 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 French Schuko sockets. If the appliance or electronic gadget to be used in Niger is already a Schuko, there is no need to use the Type F CEE 7/5 Schuko adapter for the electrical outlet.
Voltage Converters and Universal Adapters
If a tourist wants to use his or her gadget in Niger, the best way is by using voltage converters such as the resistor-network converters, transformers, and in some cases the combination of both. 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-volt electrical outlet in Niger 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. There is a switch that enables the changing of modes from resistor-network converter to transformer, depending on the tourist’s needs in Niger. The resistor-network converters to be used in Niger 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 Niger, the ideal voltage converter would be 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 Niger that are not compatible with the electrical outlet present in Niger is the combination of resistor-network converters and transformer. These voltage converters and adapters will be very handy if a tourist would plan a trip to Niger and intends to bring along some gadgets that require a particular voltage. There are certain adapters that would fit particular plugs and these could be bought in hardware stores or electrical outlets in Niger or before heading there. Another is that there are also universal adapters that could be used with any type of plug and electrical outlet, may it be in Niger or another country.