Electrical Outlet and Voltage Information for Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone is a country located in West Africa and if a tourist wants to visit this country, he or she must know the necessary things to expect and to bring. In Sierra Leone, the standard voltage used by the electronic gadgets and appliances is 220-240 volts with a frequency of 50Hz.
Also in Sierra Leone, the types of electrical outlet and plug present are the Type D Indian BS-546 and Type G British BS-1363, similar to most countries in Africa and Europe.
The country of Sierra Leone has a tropical climate and an environment that ranges from savannah to rainforests. The capital of Sierra Leone is Freetown which is also the economic, educational, financial, and cultural center. English is the official language in Sierra Leone and has a population of an estimated 6.3 million. In terms of technology, Sierra Leone is not very behind compared to other developing. Shops offering complimentary wireless internet and internet cafes are available all over Freetown, although outside the town, there could be some problems regarding the supply of electricity and Internet speed.
For a tourist who is going to spend some time in Sierra Leone, it is best that he or she has an adapter and voltage converter ready. Adapters are used to alter the shape of the plug when it is not compatible with the electrical outlet while the voltage converters are used when the voltage of the electronic gadget or appliance does not complement the voltage of the electrical outlet in Sierra Leone.
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 Sierra Leone, 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 Sierra Leone. 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 Sierra Leone, 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 Sierra Leone or even in other countries. If the plug of the electronic gadget or appliance of the tourist in Sierra Leone 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 Sierra Leone.
Type G British BS-1363 Plug, Electrical Outlet, and Adapter
The Type G British BS-1363 plug also has a receptacle end that is compatible with most household plug types in Sierra Leone, except the Type M South African SABS1661 (Old British BS-546 Large) plug. The plug end 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 Type G electrical outlet and plug is a Type G British BS-1363 rectangular blade used widely in Bahrain that has a protective fuse inside to protect cords from high-current circuits and, most of the time, the Type G British BS-1363 electrical outlet includes a safety switch.
Also, through the Type G British BS-1363 adapter, a tourist could use his or her appliance or electronic gadget in Sierra Leone. The plug of this Type G British BS-1363 is polarized and grounded but not fused. Another name for the Type G British BS-1363 plug is the 13-amp plug and for safety reasons the Sierra Leone requires electrical outlets in households that use the Type G British BS-1363 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 BS-1363 are opened. The shutters are also present to prevent the use of incompatible plugs made to other standards in Sierra Leone. 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.
The usage of the Type G British BS-1363 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 Sierra Leone and all the other countries that use the Type G British BS-1363 electrical outlet and plug like the United Kingdom, Oman, Ghana, Grenada, Macau, Malta, Malaysia, Qatar, Saint Vincent, Saudi Arabia, Scotland, Maldives and Kuwait. In terms of compatibility, the Type G British 3-pin electrical outlet will work together with the Type G British BS-1363 plug and adapter in Sierra Leone. With all the safety measures and features of this plug and outlet, it is considered as one of the safest in Sierra Leone, even the world. However, with all its features, this type of plug is bulky and cumbersome.
Some people claim that the Type G British BS-1363 plug is mostly bigger than the appliances they are connected to but if tourists would want to use their electronic gadget or appliance in Sierra Leone, then they must have a Type G British BS-1363 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 Sierra Leone.
Voltage Converters and Universal Adapters
If a tourist wants to use his or her gadget in Sierra Leone, the best way is by using voltage converters such as the resistor-network converters, transformers, and in some cases the combination of both. The resistor-network converters to be used in Sierra Leone 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 Sierra Leone, 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 Sierra Leone that are not compatible with the electrical outlet present in Sierra Leone is the combination of resistor-network converters and transformer. There is a switch that enables the changing of modes from resistor-network converter to transformer, depending on the tourist’s needs in Sierra Leone. These voltage converters and adapters will be very useful if a tourist would plan a trip to Sierra Leone 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 Sierra Leone 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 Sierra Leone or another country. 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 Sierra Leone 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.