Standards and electrical outlets abroad

Voltage and electrical connection standards vary from country to country. In some countries, the electrical current may be stronger than in your country. The format of the sockets is also different. It is important to be informed before going on a trip and to bring an adapter and transformer if necessary.

Be careful with the voltage!

Electrical appliances purchased in a certain country are designed to operate on an electrical installation that complies with that country’s standards. They are therefore formatted for a voltage of 230 volts or 110 volts, generally 230 volts. But this standard is not the same everywhere. In the United States, for example, the voltage of the electrical current is 120 volts.

This explains why, if you buy an electrical appliance in the United States and connect it directly to the mains in, for example, France, the appliance will experience a power surge at the time of connection, which will probably render it permanently out of service. It is therefore important, when you buy appliances outside the European continent or when you travel with your own electrical appliances, to have transformers.

Significant differences from one country to another

The mains voltage varies according to the standards of the country in which you are located. In most European countries, this voltage is 230 volts. But it can be smaller, as in the United States and Canada (120V), in South American countries (between 110 and 120V) or in Japan (100V). In other countries, on the other hand, the voltage may be higher than 230 volts and rise to 240V. This is the case in the following countries:

  • Australia
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Fiji
  • Cook Islands
  • Falkland Islands
  • Kenya
  • Kuwait
  • Malaysia
  • Uganda
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Qatar
  • Seychelles
  • Zimbabwe

Electrical plug standards

In addition to these voltage differences, there may also be variations in the standards for electrical outlets. Thus, for example in France and England, even if the current voltage (230V) is the same, the differences in electrical connection standards make it necessary to carry an adapter when travelling.

There are 13 formats of electrical outlets in the world.

For example, the following other formats can be mentioned:

  • A format: two parallel flat sheets, used in particular in the United States, Canada, Central and South American countries and Japan.

  • Format I: two flat, inverted V-shaped plugs with a grounding point, used mainly in China.

  • Format L: two round plugs with grounding in the same alignment, used in Italy in particular.

It is therefore essential, before leaving, to find out not only about the voltage used in your destination country, but also about the electrical connection standards. Depending on the case, you will need an electrical transformer or plug adapter.

See on that site what kind of power outlets are in use: https://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/list_bylocation.htm