Electrical Outlet and Voltage Information for Spain
A destination popular top tourists, Spain is a country in Europe known for its rich culture and history. For a tourist who wants to visit Spain, in order to avoid unnecessary delays and problems in using electronic gadgets and appliances, he or she must know the standard voltage used and primary types of electrical outlet and plug.
In Spain, the standard voltage used by the electronic gadgets and appliances is 220-240 volts with a frequency of 50Hz. For the primary types of electrical outlet and plug, the most commonly used in Spain are the Type C CEE 7/16 Europlug and Type F CEE 7/5 Schuko. These two types of electrical outlet and plug are used in almost all European countries and other regions throughout the world.
There are also other things that a tourist needs to prepare before heading off to Spain, such as adapters and voltage converters. There are particular adapters designed for specific types of electrical outlet and there is also the universal adapter that could be used with any type of plug in Spain. On the other hand, examples of voltage converters ideal to use in Spain are network-resistor converter, step-up and step-down transformer, and travel combination 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, only slightly smaller, to the CEE 7/17 and it is one of the most commonly used electrical outlet and plug in Spain. 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 Russia. Also, the receptacle end of the adapter is usually compatible with any standard electronic household plug in Indonesia 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 Spain, 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 like Spain and in the former Soviet Republics. This plug in Spain is also non-polarized and non-grounded. Aside from Spain, 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 F CEE 7/5 Schuko Electrical Adapter Plug and Electrical Outlet
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 Spain 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 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. 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 Spain also has side grounding contacts which allow symmetrical connection system for live and neutral to be reversed.
Most European countries including Spain 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 Spain 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 Spain is already a Schuko, there is no need to use the Type F CEE 7/5 Schuko adapter for the electrical outlet. The Type F CEE 7/5 Schuko is the standard in countries that are part of the European Union like Spain as well as those which adhere to CENELEC (Comité Européen de Normalisation Electrotechnique) standards.
Voltage Converters and Adapters
These voltage converters and adapters will be very handy if a tourist would plan a trip to Spain 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 Spain or before heading there. If a tourist wants to use his or her gadget in Spain, 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 Spain 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 would want to use a laptop computer or charge batteries for camera, mp3 players, camcorders, and radios in Spain, 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. There is a switch that enables the changing of modes from resistor-network converter to transformer, depending on the tourist’s needs in Spain. The resistor-network converters to be used in Spain 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. The last kind of voltage converter for electronic gadgets and appliances that are not compatible with the electrical outlet present in Spain is the combination of resistor-network converters.
These voltage converters and adapters will be very handy if a tourist plans a trip to Spain and intends to bring along some gadgets that require a particular voltage. Moreover, there are certain adapters that would fit particular plugs and these could be bought in hardware stores or electronic shops in Spain or before heading there. There are also universal adapters that could be used with any type of plug and electrical outlet, may it be in Spain or another country. Some of the commonly brought electronic gadgets while travelling in Spain and other countries are laptop computers, mp3 players, radios, hair curlers, hair irons, cameras, and mobile phones.