Electrical Outlet and Voltage Information for Rwanda
A tourist who wants to spend some time in Rwanda must know some basic information first before heading off to the country. In Rwanda, the primary electrical outlet type is the Type C European CEE 7/16 Europlug and Type J Swiss SEV 1011, while the standard voltage used by electronic gadgets and appliances is 220-240 volts.
There are also instances when the shape of the electrical outlet present on Rwanda does not match the shape of the plug used by the electronic gadgets or appliances. For this, there are adapters that can be used. These adapters will enable the use of electronic gadgets and appliance in Rwanda by altering the shape of the plug to make it compatible with the electrical outlet.
Another consideration when using electronic gadgets and appliances in Rwanda is the compatibility of the voltages. The voltage used by the electrical outlet must be compatible with the voltage of electronic gadgets and appliances in order for the gadgets to work safely and efficiently in Rwanda. There are voltage converters that a visitor in Rwanda could use like the network-resistor converter, the step-up and step-down transformer, and the combination voltage converter.
Type C European 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 types in Rwanda. The plug end of the Type C European CEE 7/16 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 European CEE 7/16 Europlug are 4.0mm in diameter, 19mm long and are spaced apart by 19mm. In using appliances and gadgets in Rwanda, the Type C European CEE 7/16 Europlug could also be safely used along with the Type C, Type E, Type F, and some Type L electrical outlets.
This plug in Rwanda is also non-polarized and non-grounded. TType C European 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 often used in Rwanda.
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 (Old British BS-546 Large) plug. In most developing countries where modern electrical structure is lacking, the usual electrical outlet used is the Type C European CEE 7/16 Europlug. Aside from Rwanda, 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 J Swiss 3-Pin SEV 1011 Electrical Outlet
The Type J Swiss SEV 1011 adapter would allow appliances and gadgets that have a different type of plug to work in Rwanda. The receptacle end of the Type J Swiss SEV 1011 is compatible to any standard household plug except the Type M South African SABS1661, also known as the Old British BS-546. Also, the pins of the Type J Swiss SEV 1011 are 4.0mm in diameter, similar to the Europlug, the only difference being the presence of a third pin to allow grounded connections. The Type J Swiss SEV 1011 is commonly used in appliances and gadgets in Rwanda.
The Type J Swiss SEV 1011 adapter will work well with the Type J Swiss SEC 1011 electrical outlet present in some of the hotels in Rwanda. Europlugs could be plugged into Swiss outlets but the connection will not be grounded. Swiss plugs and adapters, like the Type J Swiss SEV 1011, can only be plugged into Swiss electrical outlets. The Type J is almost similar to the Brazilian N standard type as well but the earth pin of the Type J is further away from the center line of the type N (5mm instead of 3mm). Most of the time, this kind of connector system is used for applications in Rwanda that use up to 10 amps. If it will go beyond 10 amps, the electronic gadget or appliance must be wired permanently to an electrical supply system with appropriate branch circuit protection or be connected to a main system with appropriate high power industrial connector.
Also, among all the pins available, the Type J Swiss SEV 1011 is the most dangerous in the world because the prongs are not insulated. Compared to other plugs like type C, G, I, L, or N, that have a black covering in its pins, the Type J of Rwanda does not have this covering, similar to Type A and Type B plugs.
Other countries aside from the Dominican Republic that use the Type J Swiss SEV 1011 plug, adapter, and electrical outlet are El Salvador, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Maldives, Rwanda, and Switzerland. In addition, Rwanda has a two-pin plug with the same pin shape, size, and spacing, but with a flattened, hexagonal form. This will fit into electrical outlets as well as CEE 7/16 electrical outlet.
Voltage Converters and Universal Adapters
If a tourist wants to use his or her gadget in Rwanda, 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 electrical outlet in Rwanda 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 Rwanda. The resistor-network converters to be used in Rwanda 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 Rwanda, 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 Rwanda that are not compatible with the electrical outlet present in Rwanda is the combination of resistor-network converters and transformer.
There are certain adapters that would fit particular plugs and these could be bought in hardware stores or electrical outlets in Rwanda 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 Rwanda or another country. These voltage converters and adapters will be very handy if a tourist would plan a trip to Rwanda and intends to bring along some gadgets that require a particular voltage.