Electrical Outlet and Voltage Information for Zimbabwe
People who want to spend some time in Zimbabwe must be prepared with the necessary items that they might need in this country. Knowing the standard voltage, the kinds of electrical outlet and plugs, and knowing which kind of adapter and voltage converter to bring will surely help a person visiting Zimbabwe. Also in Zimbabwe, the standard electrical voltage is 220-240 volts while the primary electrical outlet types are the Type G British BS-1363 and the Type D Indian BS-546.
Moreover, aside from the adapters that will alter the shape of the plug if it is not compatible with the electrical outlet present in Zimbabwe, there are also different kinds of voltage converters. A voltage converter will enable a safe and efficient use of electronic gadgets and appliances that are not compatible with the 220-240 volts used in Zimbabwe. Most American electronic gadgets and appliances use 110-120 volts so if a tourist would want to use these in Zimbabwe, he or she would need a voltage converter. The kinds of voltage converters are the network-resistor converter, step-up and step-down transformer, and the travel combination voltage converter.
Type D Indian BS-546 Adapter Plug and Electrical Outlet
The Type D Old British Plug Adapter is most compatible with the Type D Indian electrical outlet that is sometimes used in Zimbabwe. In this Type D Old British 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 Sri Lanka, Nepal, Namibia, and Hong Kong. The receptacle end of this Type D 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 electrical outlet and plug is not the standard in Zimbabwe and other countries, it is still used in various households. In terms of design and appearance, the Type D Indian electrical outlet and plug is often confused with the Type M South African electrical outlet and plug. However, as similar as these two may seem, they are not compatible and must not be used together in Zimbabwe or even in other countries. Also, the Type D Indian BS-546, especially its smaller version, the 2 Ampere plug, is used in United Kingdom for centrally switched domestic lighting circuits so that they can be differentiated from the normal power circuits.
The Type D Indian BS-546 also have an unearthed variant but this kind of plug is not compatible with the 3-prong version present in Zimbabwe because of the distance between the pins. On the other hand, a larger version of the Type D Indian BS-546 is the 15 Ampere has larger live and neutral pins. This type of the Type D Indian BS-546 is also commonly used for non-dimmed but centrally controlled sockets within installations like indoor dimmable theatre and architectural lighting installations.
Type G British BS-1363 3-pin Plug, Electrical Outlet, and Adapter
The Type G British 3-pin also has a receptacle end that is compatible with most household plug types, 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. Also, through the Type G British 3-pin adapter, a tourist could use his or her appliance or electronic gadget in Zimbabwe. The plug of this Type G British 3-pin is polarized and grounded but not fused. The Type G electrical outlet and plug is a British 3-pin rectangular blade used widely in Zimbabwe that has a protective fuse inside to protect cords from high-current circuits and, most of the time, the Type G electrical outlet includes a safety switch.
Another name for the Type G British 3-pin plug is the 13-amp plug and for safety reasons the Zimbabwe requires electrical outlets in households that use the Type G British 3-pin 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 3-pin are opened. The shutters are also present to prevent the use of incompatible plugs made to other standards in Zimbabwe. 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. But then, the usage of Type G British 3-pin 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 Zimbabwe and all the other countries that use the type G British 3-pin electrical outlet and plug like the United Kingdom, England, Ghana, Grenada, Macau, Malta, Malaysia, Qatar, Saint Vincent, Saudi Arabia, Scotland and Zimbabwe.
In terms of compatibility, the Type G British 3-pin electrical outlet will work together with the Type G British 3-pin plug and adapter in Zimbabwe. With all the safety measures and features of this plug and outlet, it is considered as one of the safest in Zimbabwe, even the world. However, with all its features, this type of plug is bulky and cumbersome. Some people claim that the Type G British 3-pin plug is mostly bigger than the appliances they are connected to but if tourists would want to use their electronic gadget or appliance in Zimbabwe, then they must have a Type G British 3-pin 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 Zimbabwe. For the electrical outlet, the Type G British 3-pin sockets are not compatible with other types of electrical outlet.
There are also cases when it is the voltage that is not compatible as Zimbabwe 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 Zimbabwe. Just a quick stop at a hardware or electronic store in Zimbabwe and a tourist could already have an adapter for the Type G British BS-1363 and the Type D Indian BS-546 electrical outlet or voltage converter for the 220-240 V that will be needed.