Electrical Outlet and Voltage Information in Guyana
Guyana is a sovereign state located in the northern coast of South America and is naturally part of the Anglophone Caribbean. This former colony of the Dutch and the British has a standard voltage outlet of 220-240 volts, with a frequency of 60Hz. For the electrical outlet and plug, the primary types used in Guyana are Type A NEMA 1-15 / JIS C 8303 North American, Type B NEMA 5-15 North American, Type D Indian BS-546, and Type G British BS-1363. Most American and Canadian electronic gadgets and appliances have a voltage of 110-120 volts, so using it in Guyana that has a standard voltage of 220-240 volts might be a problem.
If a person who is visiting Guyana would want to use an appliance or electronic gadget that has a 110-120 voltage, he must use a plug adapter and a step-down transformer. There is also a universal adapter that is compatible with different types of electrical outlet and plug that could be used in Guyana.
Type A NEMA 1-15 / JIS C 8303 North American (Non-grounded and Non-polarized) Plug, Electrical Outlet, and Adapter
The NEMA 1-15 is mostly found in North America and in the east coast of South America as well as in other countries like Guyana. This is used for smaller devices that do not really need a ground connection. Also, the NEMA 1-15 is a flat blade attachment plug that uses two flat parallel pins or blades. Older designs allow the blades to be inserted either way; however, contemporary NEMA 1-15 plugs in Guyana 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 NEMA 1-15 is also known as the Type A North American/Japanese 2-blade Electrical adapter plug and electrical outlet. It also has the technical name North American 15 A/125 V ungrounded. 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 in Guyana. With the NEMA 1-15 adapter, the receptacle end will accept any standard household plug in Guyana, 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 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 Guyana. Although the NEMA 1-15 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 Guyana. In the NEMA 1-15 plug and electrical outlet, grounding is done by the third, round pin located beneath the two vertical blades on the plug Guyana.
On the other hand, polarization is done by the left vertical blade being taller than the right one in Guyana. 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 in Guyana. If this happens to a tourist in Guyana and there is also no adapter present, that person might not be able to use his or her electronic gadgets and appliances. There is also another electrical outlet that is commonly used in Japan, the JIS X 8303 Class II (Japanese 15 A/100 V ungrounded) which is similar to the NEMA 1-15, the only difference from Guyana is the stricter dimensional requirements for the plug housing, marking, and mandatory testing and approval.
Type B NEMA 5-15 North American (Grounded) Plug, Electrical Outlet, and Adapter
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 Guyana. Also, the Type B NEMA 5-15 is a class I plug that has two flat parallel prongs and a grounding pin, rated at 15 amps. 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. The Type B NEMA 5-15 is also compatible with any standard household plug in Guyana, except the Type M South African SABS1661 (Old British BS-546 Large) plug. Although the Type B NEMA 5-15 is grounded, it is not polarized.
In Japan, this kind of plug and electrical outlet is the standard. Similar to Type A NEMA 1-15 plugs, the NEMA 5-15 is also one of the most dangerous plugs in Guyana and even 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 in Guyana like electrocution or a minor electrical shock.
Type D Indian BS-546 Adapter Plug and Electrical Outlet
In this Type D Indian BS-546 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 Guyana, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Namibia, and Hong Kong. The Type D Indian BS-546 electrical outlet is most compatible with the Type D Old British Plug Adapter that is sometimes used in Guyana. The receptacle end of this Type D Indian BS-546 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 Indian BS-546 electrical outlet and plug is not the standard in Guyana, it is still used in various households in the said country as well as in other places.
In terms of design and appearance, the Type D Indian BS-546 electrical outlet and plug is often confused with the Type M South African electrical outlet and plug. However, as similar as the Type M and Type D Indian BS-546 may seem, they are not compatible and must not be used together in Guyana or even in other countries. If the plug of the electronic gadget or appliance of the tourist in Guyana is not compatible with the shape of the Type D Indian BS-546 electrical outlet, an adapter designed for a particular plug or a universal adapter, will be very necessary. If the difference is on the voltage, there are voltage converters that could be used so that electronic gadgets and appliances would work efficiently with the Type D Indian Bs-546 in Guyana.
Type G British BS-1363 Plug, Electrical Outlet, and Adapter
The Type G British BS-1363 plug also has a receptacle end that is compatible with most household plug types in Guyana, 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. The Type G electrical outlet and plug is a Type G British BS-1363 rectangular blade used widely in Guyana that has a protective fuse inside to protect cords from high-current circuits and, most of the time, the Type G British BS-1363 electrical outlet includes a safety switch. Also, through the Type G British BS-1363 adapter, a tourist could use his or her appliance or electronic gadget in Guyana. The plug of this Type G British BS-1363 is polarized and grounded but not fused.
Another name for the Type G British BS-1363 plug is the 13-amp plug and for safety reasons the Guyana requires electrical outlets in households that use the Type G British BS-1363 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 BS-1363 are opened. The shutters are also present to prevent the use of incompatible plugs made to other standards in Guyana. 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. The usage of the Type G British BS-1363 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 Guyana and all the other countries that use the Type G British BS-1363 electrical outlet and plug like the United Kingdom, Oman, Ghana, Grenada, Macau, Malta, Malaysia, Qatar, Saint Vincent, Saudi Arabia, Scotland, Maldives and Kuwait.
In terms of compatibility, the Type G British 3-pin electrical outlet will work together with the Type G British BS-1363 plug and adapter in Guyana. With all the safety measures and features of this plug and outlet, it is considered as one of the safest in Guyana, even the world. However, with all its features, this type of plug is bulky and cumbersome. Some people claim that the Type G British BS-1363 plug is mostly bigger than the appliances they are connected to but if tourists would want to use their electronic gadget or appliance in Guyana, then they must have a Type G British BS-1363 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 Guyana.
Voltage Converters and Adapters
If a tourist wants to use his or her gadget in Guyana, 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 Guyana 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 camera, mp3 players, camcorders, and radios in Guyana, 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. The last kind of voltage converter in order to use electronics in Guyana that are not compatible with the electrical outlet present in Guyana 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. 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 Guyana would cause damage to the appliance or electronic gadget.