AC power plugs and sockets

AC power plugs and sockets

AC power plugs and sockets allow electric equipment to be connected to the primary alternating current (AC) power supply in buildings and at other sites. Electrical plugs and sockets differ from one another in voltage and current rating, shape, size, and connector type. Different systems of plugs and sockets have been standardized, and different standards are used in different parts of the world.

15 Types in use today

There are currently 15 types of electrical outlet plugs in use today, each of which has been assigned a letter by the US Department of Commerce International Trade Administration (ITA), starting with A and moving through the alphabet. These letters are completely arbitrary: they don’t actually mandate anything.


Type A

Type A plugs are mainly used in the USA, Canada, Mexico & Japan (for a full list, see here for list of standards by country)

CableFree AC Mains Electricity Plug Type ACableFree AC Mains Electricity Plug Type ACableFree AC Mains Electricity Plug Type A

Features:

  • 2 pins
  • not grounded
  • 15 A
  • almost always 100 – 127 V
  • socket compatible with plug type A

Type B

Type B plugs are mainly used in the USA, Canada, Mexico & Japan (for a full list, see here for list of standards by country)

CableFree AC Mains Plug Type BCableFree AC Mains Plug Type B

Features:

  • 3 pins
  • grounded
  • 15 A
  • almost always 100 – 127 V
  • socket compatible with plug types A & B

Type C

Type C plugs are commonly used in Europe, South America & Asia (for a full list, see here for list of standards by country)

CableFree AC Mains Plug Type C CableFree AC Mains Plug Type C

Features:

  • 2 pins
  • not grounded
  • 2.5 A
  • almost always 220 – 240 V
  • socket compatible with plug type C

Type D

Type D plugs are mainly used in India (for a full list, see here for list of standards by country)

CableFree AC Mains Plugs Sockets Type D CableFree AC Mains Plugs Sockets Type D

Features:

  • 3 pins
  • grounded
  • 5 A
  • 220 – 240 V
  • socket compatible with plug type D (partial and unsafe compatibility with C, E & F)

Type E

Type E plugs are primarily used in France, Belgium, Poland, Slovakia & Czechia (for a full list, see here for list of standards by country)

CableFree AC Mains Plugs Sockets Type E CableFree AC Mains Plugs Sockets Type E

Features:

  • 2 pins
  • grounded
  • 16 A
  • 220 – 240 V
  • socket compatible with plug types C, E & F

Type F

used almost everywhere in Europe & Russia, except for the UK & Ireland (for a full list, see here for list of standards by country)

CableFree AC Mains Plugs Sockets Type F CableFree AC Mains Plugs Sockets Type F

Features:

  • 2 pins
  • grounded
  • 16 A
  • 220 – 240 V
  • socket compatible with plug types C, E & F

Type G

Type G plugs are mainly used in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Malta, Malaysia & Singapore (for a full list, see here for list of standards by country)

CableFree AC Mains Plugs Sockets Type G CableFree AC Mains Plugs Sockets Type G

Features:

  • 3 pins
  • grounded
  • 13 A
  • 220 – 240 V
  • socket compatible with plug type G

Type H

Type H plugs are used exclusively in the West Bank & the Gaza Strip (for a full list, see here for list of standards by country)

CableFree AC Mains Plugs Sockets Type H CableFree AC Mains Plugs Sockets Type HCableFree AC Mains Plugs Sockets Type H

Features:

  • 3 pins
  • grounded
  • 16 A
  • 220 – 240 V
  • socket compatible with plug types C & H (unsafe compatibility with E & F)

Type I

Type I plugs are mainly used in Australia, New Zealand, China & Argentina (for a full list, see here for list of standards by country)

CableFree AC Mains Plugs Sockets Type I CableFree AC Mains Plugs Sockets Type ICableFree AC Mains Plugs Sockets Type I

Features:

  • 2 or 3 pins
  • 2 pins: not grounded / 3 pins: grounded
  • 10 A
  • 220 – 240 V
  • socket compatible with plug type I

Type J

Type J plugs are used almost exclusively in Switzerland, Liechtenstein & Rwanda (for a full list, see here for list of standards by country)

CableFree AC Mains Plugs Sockets Type JCableFree AC Mains Plugs Sockets Type J

Features:

  • 3 pins
  • grounded
  • 10 A
  • 220 – 240 V
  • socket compatible with plug types C & J

Type K

Type K plugs are used almost exclusively in Denmark & Greenland (for a full list, see here for list of standards by country)

CableFree AC Mains Plugs Sockets Type K CableFree AC Mains Plugs Sockets Type K

Features:

  • 3 pins
  • grounded
  • 16 A
  • 220 – 240 V
  • socket compatible with plug types C & K (unsafe compatibility with E & F)

Type L

Type L plugs are used almost exclusively in Italy & Chile (for a full list, see here for list of standards by country)

CableFree AC Mains Plugs Sockets Type L CableFree AC Mains Plugs Sockets Type L CableFree AC Mains Plugs Sockets Type L

Features:

  • 3 pins
  • grounded
  • 10 A & 16 A
  • 220 – 240 V
  • 10 A socket compatible with plug types C & L (10 A version) / 16 A socket compatible with plug type L (16 A version)

Type M

Type M plugs are mainly used in South Africa (for a full list, see here for list of standards by country)

CableFree AC Mains Plugs Sockets Type M CableFree AC Mains Plugs Sockets Type M

Features:

  • 3 pins
  • grounded
  • 15 A
  • 220 – 240 V
  • socket compatible with plug type M

Type N

Type N plugs are used almost exclusively in Brazil (for a full list, see here for list of standards by country)

CableFree AC Mains Plugs Sockets Type N CableFree AC Mains Plugs Sockets Type N CableFree AC Mains Plugs Sockets Type N

Features:

  • 3 pins
  • grounded
  • 10 A & 20 A
  • 100 – 240 V
  • socket compatible with plug types C & N

Type O

Type O plugs are used exclusively in Thailand (for a full list, see here for list of standards by country)

CableFree AC Mains Plugs Sockets Type O CableFree AC Mains Plugs Sockets Type O CableFree AC Mains Plugs Sockets Type O

Features:

  • 3 pins
  • grounded
  • 16 A
  • 220 – 240 V
  • socket compatible with plug types C & O (unsafe compatibility with E & F)

Earthing (grounding)

Note that not all standards have the 3rd Earth pin: electrical safety must be taken into account during installation.

A third contact for a connection to earth is intended to protect against insulation failure of the connected device. Some early unearthed plug and socket types were revised to include an earthing pin or phased out in favour of earthed types.

Different types of plug are used for different IEC appliance classes. The assigned class depends on whether the device is earthed and the degree of insulation it incorporates. Class I, for example, refers to earthed equipment that requires a third contact in the plug and socket, while Class II refers to unearthed equipment protected by double insulation.


List of countries and mains voltage, frequency and plug types

Note: List is provided for information only and believed to be correct at time of publication. Regional variations and changes may occur. Please check locally to be sure.

Country / state / territory Single-phase voltage (volts) Frequency (hertz) Plug type
Abu Dhabi (not a country, but capital of the United Arab Emirates) 230 V 50 Hz G
Afghanistan 220 V 50 Hz C / F
Albania 230 V 50 Hz C / F
Algeria 230 V 50 Hz C / F
American Samoa 120 V 60 Hz A / B / F / I
Andorra 230 V 50 Hz C / F
Angola 220 V 50 Hz C
Anguilla 110 V 60 Hz A / B
Antigua and Barbuda 230 V 60 Hz A / B
Argentina 220 V 50 Hz I
Armenia 230 V 50 Hz C / F
Aruba 120 V 60 Hz A / B / F
Australia 230 V 50 Hz I
Austria 230 V 50 Hz C / F
Azerbaijan 220 V 50 Hz C / F
Azores 230 V 50 Hz B / C / F
Bahamas 120 V 60 Hz A / B
Bahrain 230 V 50 Hz G
Balearic Islands 230 V 50 Hz C / F
Bangladesh 220 V 50 Hz A / C / D / G / K
Barbados 115 V 50 Hz A / B
Belarus 220 V 50 Hz C / F
Belgium 230 V 50 Hz C / E
Belize 110 V / 220 V 60 Hz A / B / G
Benin 220 V 50 Hz C / E
Bermuda 120 V 60 Hz A / B
Bhutan 230 V 50 Hz C / D / G
Bolivia 230 V 50 Hz A / C
Bonaire 127 V 50 Hz A / C
Bosnia & Herzegovina 230 V 50 Hz C / F
Botswana 230 V 50 Hz D / G
Brazil 127 V / 220 V 60 Hz C / N
British Virgin Islands 110 V 60 Hz A / B
Brunei 240 V 50 Hz G
Bulgaria 230 V 50 Hz C / F
Burkina Faso 220 V 50 Hz C / E
Burma (officially Myanmar) 230 V 50 Hz A / C / D / G / I
Burundi 220 V 50 Hz C / E
Cambodia 230 V 50 Hz A / C / G
Cameroon 220 V 50 Hz C / E
Canada 120 V 60 Hz A / B
Canary Islands 230 V 50 Hz C / E / F
Cape Verde (in Portuguese: Cabo Verde) 230 V 50 Hz C / F
Cayman Islands 120 V 60 Hz A / B
Central African Republic 220 V 50 Hz C / E
Chad 220 V 50 Hz C / D / E / F
Channel Islands (Guernsey & Jersey) 230 V 50 Hz C / G
Chile 220 V 50 Hz C / L
China, People’s Republic of 220 V 50 Hz A / C / I
Christmas Island 230 V 50 Hz I
Cocos (Keeling) Islands 230 V 50 Hz I
Colombia 110 V 60 Hz A / B
Comoros 220 V 50 Hz C / E
Congo, Democratic Republic of the (Congo-Kinshasa) 220 V 50 Hz C / D / E
Congo, Republic of the (Congo-Brazzaville) 230 V 50 Hz C / E
Cook Islands 240 V 50 Hz I
Costa Rica 120 V 60 Hz A / B
Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) 220 V 50 Hz C / E
Croatia 230 V 50 Hz C / F
Cuba 110 V / 220 V 60 Hz A / B / C / L
Curaçao 127 V 50 Hz A / B
Cyprus 230 V 50 Hz G
Cyprus, North (unrecognised, self-declared state) 230 V 50 Hz G
Czechia (Czech Republic) 230 V 50 Hz C / E
Denmark 230 V 50 Hz C / E / F / K
Djibouti 220 V 50 Hz C / E
Dominica 230 V 50 Hz D / G
Dominican Republic 120 V 60 Hz A / B / C
Dubai (not a country, but the largest city in the United Arab Emirates) 230 V 50 Hz G
East Timor (Timor-Leste) 220 V 50 Hz C / E / F / I
Ecuador 120 V 60 Hz A / B
Egypt 220 V 50 Hz C / F
El Salvador 120 V 60 Hz A / B
England 230 V 50 Hz G
Equatorial Guinea 220 V 50 Hz C / E
Eritrea 230 V 50 Hz C / L
Estonia 230 V 50 Hz C / F
Ethiopia 220 V 50 Hz C / F / G
Faeroe Islands 230 V 50 Hz C / E / F / K
Falkland Islands 240 V 50 Hz G
Fiji 240 V 50 Hz I
Finland 230 V 50 Hz C / F
France 230 V 50 Hz C / E
French Guiana 220 V 50 Hz C / D / E
Gabon (Gabonese Republic) 220 V 50 Hz C
Gambia 230 V 50 Hz G
Gaza Strip (Gaza) 230 V 50 Hz C / H
Georgia 220 V 50 Hz C / F
Germany 230 V 50 Hz C / F
Ghana 230 V 50 Hz D / G
Gibraltar 230 V 50 Hz G
Great Britain (GB) 230 V 50 Hz G
Greece 230 V 50 Hz C / F
Greenland 230 V 50 Hz C / E / F / K
Grenada 230 V 50 Hz G
Guadeloupe 230 V 50 Hz C / E
Guam 110 V 60 Hz A / B
Guatemala 120 V 60 Hz A / B
Guinea 220 V 50 Hz C / F / K
Guinea-Bissau 220 V 50 Hz C
Guyana 120 V / 240 V 60 Hz A / B / D / G
Haiti 110 V 60 Hz A / B
Holland (officially the Netherlands) 230 V 50 Hz C / F
Honduras 120 V 60 Hz A / B
Hong Kong 220 V 50 Hz G
Hungary 230 V 50 Hz C / F
Iceland 230 V 50 Hz C / F
India 230 V 50 Hz C / D / M
Indonesia 230 V 50 Hz C / F
Iran 230 V 50 Hz C / F
Iraq 230 V 50 Hz C / D / G
Ireland (Eire) 230 V 50 Hz G
Ireland, Northern 230 V 50 Hz G
Isle of Man 230 V 50 Hz C / G
Israel 230 V 50 Hz C / H
Italy 230 V 50 Hz C / F / L
Jamaica 110 V 50 Hz A / B
Japan 100 V 50 Hz / 60 Hz A / B
Jordan 230 V 50 Hz C / D / F / G / J
Kazakhstan 220 V 50 Hz C / F
Kenya 240 V 50 Hz G
Kiribati 240 V 50 Hz I
Korea, North 220 V 50 Hz C
Korea, South 220 V 60 Hz F
Kosovo 230 V 50 Hz C / F
Kuwait 240 V 50 Hz G
Kyrgyzstan 220 V 50 Hz C / F
Laos 230 V 50 Hz A / B / C / E / F
Latvia 230 V 50 Hz C / F
Lebanon 230 V 50 Hz C / D / G
Lesotho 220 V 50 Hz M
Liberia 120 V / 220 V 60 Hz A / B / C / F
Libya 230 V 50 Hz C / L
Liechtenstein 230 V 50 Hz C / J
Lithuania 230 V 50 Hz C / F
Luxembourg 230 V 50 Hz C / F
Macau 220 V 50 Hz G
Macedonia, Republic of (the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, FYROM) 230 V 50 Hz C / F
Madagascar 220 V 50 Hz C / E
Madeira 230 V 50 Hz C / F
Malawi 230 V 50 Hz G
Malaysia 240 V 50 Hz G
Maldives 230 V 50 Hz C / D / G / J / K / L
Mali 220 V 50 Hz C / E
Malta 230 V 50 Hz G
Marshall Islands 120 V 60 Hz A / B
Martinique 220 V 50 Hz C / D / E
Mauritania 220 V 50 Hz C
Mauritius 230 V 50 Hz C / G
Mayotte 230 V 50 Hz C / E
Mexico 120 V 60 Hz A / B
Micronesia, Federated States of 120 V 60 Hz A / B
Moldov