Electrical Outlet and Voltage Information for Thailand
People who want to visit Thailand must know the electrical outlet and plug used in that country in order to minimize problems and delays. There are also adapters that could be used for the appliances and electronic gadgets in case the plug of these electronic devices are not compatible with the electrical outlet available in Thailand. However, adapters only alter the shape of the plug to make it work with the electrical outlet present in Thailand. If it is the voltage that do not match, a tourist visiting Thailand would need a voltage converter.
In Thailand, the common voltage used in appliances and electronic gadgets is 220-240 volts with a frequency of 50 Hertz. When it comes to plug and electrical outlet types, the most widely used in households all over Thailand are the Type C Electrical Outlet (CEE 7/16 Europlug 2.5 A/250 V unearthed) and the Type A Electrical Outlet (NEMA 1-15 North American 15 A/125 V ungrounded).
Type C CEE 7/16 Europlug Adapter, Plug, and Electrical Outlet
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 is one of the commonly used electrical outlet and plug types in Thailand. 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 commonly used in Thailand.
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 plug, also known as the Old British BS-546 Large. 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 the Type C Europlug are 4.0mm in diameter, 19mm long and are spaced apart by 19mm. In using appliances and gadgets in Germany, the Type C Europlug could also be safely used along with the Type C, Type E, Type F, and some Type L electrical outlet. This plug in Thailand is also non-polarized and non-grounded. In most developing countries like Thailand, the usual electrical outlet used is the Type C Europlug. Aside from Thailand, there are also countries in Middle East, Southeast Asia, Pacific Rim region, Central and South America, and Caribbean that use this kind of adapter. Some of these countries are Greece, Greenland, Madagascar, Tunisia, Vietnam, Philippines, Poland, Hungary, Israel, Lithuania, Iceland, Laos, Lebanon, Russia, and Luxembourg.
NEMA 1-15 Adapter, Plug, and Electrical Outlet
The NEMA 1-15 is mostly found in North America and in the east coast of South America , as well as parts of Southeast Asia like Thailand, and is used in smaller devices that do not really need a ground connection. The NEMA 1-15 is also known as the Type A North American/Japanese 2-blade Eletrical adapter plug and electrical outlet, its technical name is “North American 15 A/125 V ungrounded.” The NEMA 1-15 which is genereally used in Thailand is a flat blade attachment plug that uses two flat parallel pins or blades. Older designs allow the blades to be inserted in either way however contemporary NEMA 1-15 plugs are designed with the neutral blade wider than the live blade in order to insert the polarized plug in a single way into the electrical outlet. 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. There is also another socket that is commonly used in Japan, the JIS X 8303 Class II (Japanese 15 A/100 V ungrounded) which is similar to NEMA 1-15, the only difference is stricter dimensional requirements for the plug housing, marking, and mandatory testing and approval.
With the NEMA 1-15 adapter, the receptacle end will accept any standard household plug in Thailand, 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 tall, 1.5mm thick, and are spaced 12.7mm apart. The NEMA 1-15 plug is also non-polarized and non-grounded. Although the NEMA 1-15 looks similar to the plugs of the U.S. and Canada and the appliance and electronic gadget might be manufactured in the said countries, an adapter might still be needed because of the grounding and polarization when used in Thailand. In NEMA 1-15, 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. If this happens to a tourist in Thailand and there is also no adapter present, that person might not be able to use his or her electronic gadgets and appliances.
In addition, there is a particular electrical outlet in Thailand that is the combination of the Type A and Type C electrical outlet. In this kind of outlet, both the blades and the pins of the two plugs could be inserted to the electrical outlet. This is also generally common in other parts of Southeast Asia, not only in Thailand. So when going on trips to another country like Thailand for example, it is important to know the plug and electrical outlet types available, as well as the adapter that might be needed.
Some of the electronic gadgets and appliances that a traveler often brings are laptop computers, digital cameras, mp3 players, battery chargers, mobile phone chargers, and hair dryers. If the plug of these appliances is not compatible with the electrical outlet present in the hotel or place where a tourist would stay in Thailand, then the trip would have some unnecessary problems. The North American NEMA 1-15 or the Japanese JIS C 8303 electrical outlet is widely used all over the world, not just in Thailand. Other countries that use this kind of adapter, plug, and electrical outlet are American Samoa, Costa Rica, Taiwan, Venezuela, Peru, the Philippines, Honduras, and Liberia.
Finally, when it is the voltage that is not compatible as Thailand uses 220-240 volts and most American products are 110-120 volts, a voltage converter will be needed. An example of these are the network-resistor converter, the transformer, and a combination of the two. The last one might be the most handy in a tourist’s trip to Thailand. Just a quick stop at a hardware or electric store in Thailand and one could already have an adapter or voltage converter that you need.