Sockets and their types


The availability of electricity today is considered as natural as the fact that when you turn a faucet, water flows. Yet electrification worldwide only began in the second half of the 19th century, and even in the 1960s, there were communities in the Czech Republic without electricity.

Communication between cities in such a world took longer. How could it not, when people had just begun to stretch electrical wires? There was no “this cable, that cable” yet. And now, imagine communication between different states and across continents.

Being an electrician, engineer, or electrical network planner at that time, nobody would have expected what neighbors would come up with. You simply come up with how the whole system will work.

Principally, of course, electricity in sockets works the same everywhere; you need at least two prongs/pins to create a closed circuit. But whether they will be flat or round, whether they will be farther or closer to each other, in a plane or slanted…

And so, independently of each other, various technologies were developed, electrical networks were built, and today we have 15 types of sockets. Mostly with three pins (the third serves to ground the current in case of a fault in the plug). In the Czech Republic, there are three round ones, but as I described above, two pins are enough for the operation of an electrical appliance, and fortunately for us, two round ones are widespread in most parts of the world.

Type C carries the universal name EURO, you will find it in most of Europe, South America, and many Asian countries (such as South Korea).

Type E, widespread in addition to the Czech Republic, also in France, Belgium, Poland, and Slovakia, is friends with type C (in addition to type C, it has one additional round pin for the aforementioned grounding of the current).

In their own way, they arranged it in Great Britain with type G (you can also use it in Malaysia).

They also broke a bit in Switzerland and Liechtenstein – type J.

And also in Italy – type K – but newer types J and K already count on compatibility for the universal EURO type C.

The voltage of all the above types is 220 – 240 V (“classic” 230 V). Higher voltage requires less copper in the wires, hence lower costs.

In the time of gentlemen like Thomas Alva Edison, Nikola Tesla, or George Westinghouse, the USA primarily built an electrical network with the intention of illuminating cities, and because lights work best around 110 V, they have lower voltage in the USA (100 – 127). Their sockets are also different and belong to the 2nd most widespread standard:

Type A is used in the USA, Canada, Mexico, Japan, and Taiwan.

Type B supplemented with a third pin.

In most parts of the world, you can get by with type A + C, but if you wanted to go to China or Australia, for example, they have type I:

And we still have 7 types missing, I promised 15, right? The rest in the table below from A to O. Generally, when traveling to foreign countries, you want to verify the type of sockets there just as you would find out their currency. Different country…

AUSA, Canada, Mexico, Japan, and Taiwan
BUSA, Canada, Mexico, Japan, and Taiwan
CEuroplug, widely used worldwide (Europe, South America, South Korea…)
DIndia, Nepal
ECzech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, France, and Belgium
FRussia (practically identical to type C)
GUnited Kingdom, Malaysia
IAustralia, New Zealand, Argentina, and China
JSwitzerland and Liechtenstein
KDenmark and Greenland
LItaly and Chile
MSouth Africa



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *