Travel enthusiasts probably know that different countries have different types of sockets. But not everyone understands why they are made this way.
In the age of worldwide electrification, countries used their own options for optimal sockets, built different types of power generators, and national companies adjusted to these standards. At the moment, there are more than 10 types of sockets. We are telling about the most popular types and how they differ.
Types A and B – American socket:
Type B differs from A by the presence of a third inlet for a grounding pin. These types of sockets were developed in the United States and are widely used in North, Central and partly South America, as well as in Japan and some other countries.
Types C and F – European socket:
As in the case of the American socket, these two types differ in the presence of grounding. C and F are used in Turkmenistan and other CIS countries, Algeria, Egypt and in some EU countries.
Type G – British socket:
A socket with three spade holes has become widespread in the UK. It is also used in Cyprus, Malta and Singapore.
Type I – Australian socket:
It is the nearest relation of the British plug. In addition to Australia, this type of socket can be found in New Zealand, Fiji, the Cook Islands, New Guinea and Samoa, and sometimes in China, where types A and C are also common.
Type H – Israeli socket:
This type is used only in Israel and Palestine. The socket is designed to be used with two types of plugs, round and spade connectors. Plugs with spade connectors are often found in older technology.
Type K – Danish socket:
It is the contender for the title of the user-friendliest socket. Its design resembles a smiley emoji symbol. Type K, in addition to Denmark and Greenland, is found in Bangladesh and the Maldives.
In order to avoid a headache in the matter of recharging gadgets, one just needs to acquire a universal adapter, and the problem with a variety of sockets will be resolved.
However, to understand why electrical sockets are not all similar, we need to know how the plug itself works.
The inlet on the right side of the electrical socket is called the “hot” side and the inlet on the left is called “neutral”. When you plug in a lamp and turn it on, it closes a circuit that allows electric current to pass and lights the lamp.
The third inlet in the middle of the socket protects you from electric shock if something goes wrong with the plug or wire. This function is called grounding, because if the electric current behaves “wrong”, a special set of wires will drain it from the central socket inlet to a rod that will conduct it deep into the earth.