Electrical Outlet and Voltage Information for the Bahamas
The Bahamas is a favorite destination of tourists and when visiting this country, one must know the standard voltage, electrical outlet type, and plug in order to maximize one’s use of electronic gadgets and appliances in the Bahamas. The voltage used in The Bahamas is 110-120 V similar to United States of America (USA) and Canada. For the electrical outlet and plug, the standards are the Type A North American Non-grounded, non-polarized, NEMA 1-15 (JIS C 8303) and the Type B North American Grounded, non-polarized NEMA 5-15.
In the Bahamas, the voltage of the electronic gadget or appliance must be compatible with the voltage of the electrical outlet. When the volts are incompatible, this could cause damage to the gadget or maybe even cause a fire. One of the ways to make the voltage compatible is by using voltage converters like the network-resistor converter, step-up and step-down transformer, and the combination voltage converter. If it is the shape of the plug that is not compatible with the electrical outlet, there are various adapters that tourists can buy in hardware stores in the Bahamas itself. This adapter will alter the shape of the plug so that it could be used together with the electrical outlet present in the Bahamas.
Type A JIS C 8303 or NEMA 1-15 (North American Non-Grounded)
The NEMA 1-15 is a flat blade attachment plug that uses two flat parallel pins or blades. It also has the technical name North American 15 A/125 V ungrounded. Older designs allow the blades to be inserted in either way to the electrical outlet; however, contemporary NEMA 1-15 plugs are designed with the neutral blade wider than the live blade allowing just one way of plugging and ensuring that the polarized plug is inserted appropriately into the electrical outlet. The new design of the NEMA 1-15 changed so much that it will not fit in the old type of NEMA 1-15 electrical outlet in The Bahamas. The NEMA 1-15 is mostly found in North America and in the east coast of South America, as well as in parts of the South American region like the Bahamas, and is used for smaller devices that do not really need a ground connection.The blades of this adapter that is usually needed by tourists when they are spending some time in the Bahamas are 6.4mm long, 1.5mm thick, and are spaced 12.7mm apart. The NEMA 1-15 plug is also non-polarized and non-grounded which is very important.
Although the NEMA 1-15 of The Bahamas looks similar to the plugs of the U.S. and Canada and the appliance and electronic gadgets might be manufactured in the said countries, an adapter might still be needed because of the grounding and polarization requirements in the Bahamas. In the 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 outlet does not have one, it would be physically impossible to insert the plug into the electrical outlet. If this happens to a tourist and there is also no adapter present, that person might not be able to use his electronic gadgets and appliances. The NEMA 1-15 is also known as the Type A North American/Japanese 2-blade Electrical adapter plug and electrical outlet.
There is also another electrical outlet that is commonly used in the Bahamas that was from Japan, the JIS X 8303 Class II (Japanese 15 A/100 V ungrounded) which is similar to the NEMA 1-15, the only difference being the 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 The Bahamas, aside from the Type M South African SABS1661 plug, which is also known as the Old British BS-546 Large plug.
Type B NEMA 5-15 (North American Grounded)
The Type B NEMA 5-15 is also compatible with any standard household plug in the Bahamas, except the Type M South African SABS1661 (Old British BS-546 Large) plug. For the specifications, the Type B NEMA 5-15 has blade contacts 6.4mm tall, 15mm thick, and are spaced 12.7mm apart. The grounding pin, on the other hand, is 4.8mm in diameter. Although the Type B NEMA 5-15 is grounded, it is not polarized and must be used with care. Moreover, the Type B NEMA 5-15 is often used in North and Central America as well as Japan, and it is also what is used in the Bahamas. It is a class I plug that has two flat parallel prongs and a grounding pin, rated at 15 amps. In Japan, this kind of plug and electrical outlet is the standard. Similar to Type A NEMA 1-15 plugs, the NEMA 5-15 in The Bahamas is also one of the most dangerous plugs in the world because the prongs are not insulated. The black covering that is supposed to cover the plug body is lacking hence if the plug is pulled halfway and the prongs are still inserted in the electrical outlet, there might be some accidents like electrocution.