World’s Power Plug Standards: A Comprehensive Guide

World's Power Plug Standards A Comprehensive Guide

A power plug refers to the device that connects appliances and other equipment to the power source.

Power sockets and plugs vary in terms of shape, rating, size, and type, depending on the country or region. Each country has standards set by the government.

Also known as a power cord plug, the power plug is used in various fields and in every country.

Depending on its intended use, a power cord plug can be used with voltages of 250V, 125V, and 36V, and, depending on the current, can be used with 16A, 13A, 10A, 5A, and 2.5A. The frequency is typically 50/60Hz.

Plug Types

Power cord plugs can be roughly classified into converter plugs, injection-molded plugs, and assembly plugs.

1. Converter Plug:

Each country has a different standard for power cord plugs. For instance, a plug from China cannot be used in the United States and would require a converter plug for compatibility.

This is where the converter power plug comes in. A converter power plug is designed to convert one country’s standard plug into another country’s standard power cord plug.

2. Injection Molded Power Plug:

An injection molded plug is one where the plug and wire are fused together under high temperature and pressure.

Once formed, it cannot be disassembled. The advantages of such a power plug are quite clear: it’s stable and safe. Over 80% of the power plugs readily available in the market are of this type.

3. Assembling Power Plugs:

The assembly of a plug involves securing the power cord and the plug together using screws or other fasteners.

However, it can be assembled and disassembled during use, ensuring the flexibility of the power plug. For instance, a significant proportion of the market in the United Kingdom utilizes these types of assembled power plugs.

Structural Design

Currently, there are numerous standards for electrical plugs around the world, including the Chinese standard plug (GB), the American standard plug (US), the European standard plug (EU, DE), the British standard plug (UK), and the South African standard plug (ZA), among others.

Worldwide Power Cord Plug Types

The national standard plug is used in China, Australia, New Zealand, and Argentina, characterized by its three flat prongs.

The American standard plug, with one round and two flat prongs, is used in the United States, Canada, Japan, Brazil, the Philippines, Thailand, Taiwan, among other countries.

The British standard plug, featuring three rectangular prongs, is utilized in the United Kingdom, India, Pakistan, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Maldives, Qatar, Hong Kong, and other regions.

The European (German standard) plug, distinguished by its two round prongs, is utilized in European Union countries like Germany, France, Netherlands, Denmark, Poland, Finland, Norway, Austria, Belgium, Hungary, Spain, Sweden, as well as in South Korea, Russia. The South African standard plug, characterized by its three round prongs, is primarily used in South Africa, India, and Russia.

Additionally, there are other plug types such as the Italian standard (Italian plug) and the Swiss standard (Swiss plug).

Asia-Pacific Region
Country (Region) NameVoltageFrequencyPlug TypeDescription
Japan100V50,60A&BTwo-pin Flat/Two-pin Flat+Round Ground Pin
Korea220V50,60E&GDouble Round Pin
Hong-Kong220V50HzIThree-pin Flat
Macau220V50HzE&GEuropean Specification Double Round Pin
Australia240V50HzC&DFigure-8 Type
New-Zealand220V50HzC&DFigure-8 Type
Vietnam120/220V50HzA,B, E&GDouble Round Pin and Shoulder Type
Thailand220V50HzA&ETwo-pin Flat/Two-pin Flat+Round Ground Pin
Malaysia230V50HzIThree-pin Flat
Singapore220V50HzIThree-pin Flat
Philippines220V50HzA&ETwo-pin Flat/Two-pin Flat+Round Ground Pin
Indonesia220V50E&GDouble Round Pin
India230V50I&LThree-pin Flat, Three-pin Round
Middle Eastern Region 
Country NameVoltageFrequencyPlug TypeDescription
Russia220V50HzE,F&GEuropean Standard Round Two-pin
Ukraine220V50HzE,F&GEuropean Standard Round Two-pin
SaudiArabia127 and 220V60Hz/50HzA,B&IFlat Two-pin/Flat Two-pin with Ground Pin/British Standard Flat Three-pin
Jordan220V50HzIBritish Standard Flat Three-pin
Iraq220V50HzE&IEuropean Standard Round Two-pin/British Standard Flat Three-pin
Syria220V50HzE,F&NEuropean Standard Round Two-pin/Italian Standard Round Three-pin
Lebanon220V50HzEEuropean Standard Round Two-pin
Kuwait220-240V50HzE&IEuropean Standard Round Two-pin/British Standard Flat Three-pin
Israel220-240V50HzE&PEuropean Standard Round Two-pin/Israeli Standard
Bahrain220V50HzI&KBritish Standard Triangular Flat
Dubai220V50HzGEuropean Standard Round Two-pin
Turkey220V50HzE&FEuropean Standard Round Two-pin
European Region
Country NameVoltageFrequencyPlug TypeDescription
Italy220-230V50HzE&NItalian Standard Tripod Round
European Standard Bipod Round
Austria220V50HzE,F&GEuropean Standard Bipod Round
CzechRep.220V50HzE,F&GEuropean Standard Bipod Round
Poland220V50HzE,F&GEuropean Standard Bipod Round
Hungary220V50HzF&GEuropean Standard Bipod Round
Greece220V50HzE,F&GEuropean Standard Bipod Round
Belgium220V50HzE,F&GEuropean Standard Bipod Round
Netherlands220V50HzE,F&GEuropean Standard Bipod Round
Luxembourg220V50HzE,F&GEuropean Standard Bipod Round
UnitedKingdom220-240V50HzIBritish Standard Tripod Flat
Ireland220V50HzIBritish Standard Tripod Flat
France220V50HzE,F&GEuropean Standard Bipod Round
Switzerland220-224V50HzE&MSwiss Standard Tripod Round
European Standard Bipod Round
Spain220V50HzE,F&GEuropean Standard Double-legged Round Type
Portugal220V50HzE,F&GEuropean Standard Double-legged Round Type
Germany220V50HzE,F&GEuropean Standard Double-legged Round Type
Norway220V50HzE,F&GEuropean Standard Double-legged Round Type
Finland220V50HzE,F&GEuropean Standard Double-legged Round Type
Dermark220V50HzE,F&GDanish Standard Triple-legged Round Type/European Standard Double-legged Round Type
Sweden220V50HzE,F&GEuropean Standard Double-legged Round Type
Latvia220-240V50HzEE&FFigure-Eight Type/European Standard Double-legged Round Type
S1ovakRep220V50HzE,F&GEuropean Standard Double-legged Round Type
North American Region
Country NameVoltageFrequencyPlug TypeDescription
UnitedStates120V60A&BFlat-foot Type/Double Flat + Round Ground Feet
Canada110V60A&BDouble Flat Type/Double Flat + Round Ground Feet
Central and South America regions
Country NameVoltageFrequencyPlug TypeDescription
Mexico127V60A&BFlat two-prong/Flat two-prong + round grounding prong
Nicaragua110V60A&BFlat two-prong/Flat two-prong + round grounding prong
E1Salvador110V60A&BFlat two-prong/Flat two-prong + round grounding prong
Honduras110V60A&BFlat two-prong/Flat two-prong + round grounding prong
Nicaragua110V60A&BFlat two-prong/Flat two-prong + round grounding prong
CostaRica110-120V60A&BFlat two-prong/Flat two-prong + round grounding prong
Panama120V60A&BFlat two-prong/Flat two-prong + round grounding prong
Haiti110-120V60A&BFlat two-prong/Flat two-prong + round grounding prong
DominicanRep.110V60A&BFlat two-prong/Flat two-prong + round grounding prong
Columbia115V60A&BFlat two-prong/Flat two-prong + round grounding prong
Venezuela110V60A&BFlat two-prong/Flat two-prong + round grounding prong
Ecuador110V60A&BFlat two-prong/Flat two-prong + round grounding prong
Brazil110V/220V60Hz/50HzA, B&EAmerican standard flat two-prong (+ grounding prong)
European standard double round prong
Peru110V/220V60Hz/50HzA,B&EAmerican standard two-prong flat type (+ grounding prong) /
European standard double-prong round type
Bolivia110V/220V60Hz/50HzA,B&EAmerican standard two-prong flat type (+ grounding prong) /
European standard double-prong round type
Paraguay220V50HzEEuropean standard double-eyelet round type
Uruguay220V50HzEThree-hole type
Argentina220V50HzC&DFigure-eight type
Chile220V50HzE&NEuropean standard double-prong round type
Italian standard three-prong round type
African Region 
Country NameVoltageFrequencyPlug TypeDescription
Rep.SouthAfrica220V50HzK&LTriangular Round Type
Mauritius240V50HzE&IEuropean Standard Dual Foot Round Type/British Standard Triangular Flat Type
Malawi240V50HzIBritish Standard Triangular Flat Type
BurkinaFaso220V50HzE&FEuropean Standard Dual Foot Round Type
Swaziland220V50HzIBritish Standard Triangular Flat Type
Senegal220V50HzE,F&GEuropean Standard Dual Foot Round Type
Gambia220V50HzIBritish Standard Triangular Type
Chad220-250V50HzF,G&LEuropean Standard Double-Legged Round Type / British Standard Triple-Legged Flat Type
Gabon220V50HzGEuropean Standard Double-Legged Type
Ghana220V50HzE,I&KEuropean Standard Double-Legged Round Type / British Standard Triple-Legged Flat Type
EquatorialGuinea220V50HzE&FEuropean Standard Double-Legged Round Type
Nigeria230V50HzIBritish Standard Triple-Legged Flat Type
Cameroon220V50HzE,F&GEuropean Standard Double-Legged Round Type

Shape & Models

Power plugs are typically categorized into two-prong, three-prong, and multi-prong power plugs.

2-pin Power Plug:

As the name suggests, a 2-pin power plug has two prongs or two pins. The specifics of the prongs or pins differ according to various national standards. For instance, the Chinese standard uses two prongs, while the European standard uses two round pins.

3-pin Power Plug:

A 3-pin power plug, as you might expect, has three prongs, or three pins, or two prongs or pins plus a grounding hole. This structure is more complex than the 2-pin power plug. The size, diameter, and other standards of the pins are quite demanding. The length and the spacing between the pins are also factors to consider.

Multi-pin Power Plug:

The multi-pin power plug is even more complex. There are 4-pin power plugs, 5-pin power plugs, and so forth. The specific type of plug to be used on a particular device depends on the customer’s requirements and the actual circumstances.

Wire Color

The wiring colors for a three-prong power plug are typically brown, blue, and yellow-green. The brown wire is the live wire, the blue wire is the neutral wire, and the yellow-green wire is the ground wire.

Corresponding to the power cord, the three prongs on a power plug are marked E, L, N. The live wire L is usually on the left, the neutral wire N on the right, and the ground wire E on top. As long as the colors match those on the power cord, the connection is correct.

Common colors for L-core wires are black or brown (also known as tea color). These two colors are commonly used in American and Japanese standards, while brown is used in European standards.

The common colors for N-core wires are white, red, and light blue. These three colors are often used in American and Japanese standards, while light blue is used in European standards.

The common colors for N-core wires are green or green with yellow (also referred to as yellow-green or green-yellow). These two colors are widely used in American, Japanese, and European standards, with many businesses opting for the green with yellow color.

 WiringIEC227North AmericaCoordinated System
L poleHot WireBrownBlackBrown
N poleNeutral WireBlueWhiteBlue
E poleGround WireYellow-greenGreenYellow/Green

Where there’s electricity, there’s a power plug.

Power plugs have a wide range of uses in various aspects of our lives and work, especially in industries like home appliances and telecommunications. They are closely related to our daily lives and work.

Understanding the basic knowledge and safety performance of power plugs can ensure the safety of your family and property.

Don't forget, sharing is caring! : )
Shane
Author

Shane

Founder of MachineMFG

As the founder of MachineMFG, I have dedicated over a decade of my career to the metalworking industry. My extensive experience has allowed me to become an expert in the fields of sheet metal fabrication, machining, mechanical engineering, and machine tools for metals. I am constantly thinking, reading, and writing about these subjects, constantly striving to stay at the forefront of my field. Let my knowledge and expertise be an asset to your business.

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