Electrical Outlet and Voltage Information for South Korea
There are many things to consider before visiting a country like South Korea and one of these is the kind of electrical outlet and plug being used in that country. Another is the kind of adapter a tourist must bring in case the plugs of his appliances and electronic gadgets do not match with the existing electrical outlet of South Korea. When traveling to scenic places like South Korea, it is also usual that tourists would bring their laptop computers, digital cameras, mp3 players, video cameras, mobile phones, and battery chargers. All the built-in batteries of these gadgets could only last for a certain period of time. After the batteries have been drained out, they must be plugged to an electrical outlet in order to charge them and knowing the kinds of adapter to bring would definitely help a tourist in South Korea.
For the voltage of electricity used in South Korea, it is 220-240 volts and has a frequency of 60 Hertz. The primary electrical socket type used in South Korea is the Europlug and Schuko. Specifically the Type C European CEE 7/16 Europlug and “Type E/F” European CEE 7/4 or CEE 7/5 Schuko. For tourists who want to bring and use their electronic gadgets and appliances that use 110-120 volts to South Korea, they will need a plug adapter and a step-down transformer. On the other hand, lightweight electronics like hair dryers and curling irons would need a plug adapter and a voltage converter.
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, but slightly smaller, to the CEE 7/17 and it is one of the most commonly used electrical outlet and plug in South Korea. The Type C 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 South Korea. Also, the receptacle end of the adapter is usually compatible with any standard electronic household plug in South Korea and from any country, aside from the “Type M” South African SABS1661 (Old British BS-546 Large) plug. The plug end of the Type C 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 Europlug are 4.0mm in diameter, 19mm long and are spaced 19mm apart. In using appliances and gadgets in South Korea, the Type C Europlug could also be safely used along with Type C, Type E, Type F, and some Type L electrical outlet. This plug in South Korea is also non-polarized and non-grounded. In addition, the Europlug is also the widely-used electrical outlet all over continental Europe and in former Soviet Republics. Aside from South Korea, there are also countries in Middle East, Southeast Asia, Pacific Rim region, Central and South America, and Caribbean that use this kind of adapter.
Type F Schuko Electrical Outlet, Plug, and Adapter
Commonly known as the Schuko plug, the Type F Schuko plug and electrical outlet was derived from the German word “Schukostecker” which means “protective contact plug.” This electrical outlet in South Korea is also similar to Type E, the difference being the two earth clips on the side instead of the female earth contact. The Type F CEE 7/7 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. The receptacle end of Type F CEE 7/7 Schuko is compatible to most sockets except “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 7/7 Schuko. On the other hand, the plug end of Type F CEE 7/7 Schuko is compatible with the variations of the Schuko electrical outlet for France and Germany.
The pins of this adapter are 4.8mm in diameter, 19mm long, and spaced 19mm apart. It has both side-grounding clips and a receptacle for the male grounding pin which is found in Schuko sockets of France. If the appliance or electronic gadget to be used in South Korea is already a Schuko, there is no need to use the Type F CEE 7/7 Schuko adapter for the electrical outlet. This Schuko plug and receptacle in South Korea also have side grounding contacts which allow symmetrical connection system for live and neutral to be reversed. The Type F CEE 7/7 Schuko is the standard in countries part of the European Union as well as those which adhere to CENELEC (Comité Européen de Normalisation Electrotechnique) standards. Most European countries including Germany use the Type F CEE 7/7 Schuko except Denmark, Italy, England, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Malta, and Cyprus that have their own standard electrical outlet.
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 South Korea would cause damage to the appliance or electronic gadget, to the extent that it might be totally fried out or it might even cause fire. If a tourist wants to use his or her gadget in South Korea, 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 South Korea 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 cameras, mp3 players, camcorders, and radios in South Korea, 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 South Korea that are not compatible with the electrical outlet present in South Korea is the combination of resistor-network converters and transformer. 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 South Korea. These voltage converter and adapters will be very handy in anyone’s trip to South Korea.