To facilitate charging your electronic devices, before traveling to Vietnam, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the types of plugs and electrical sockets in Vietnam to determine if they are compatible with your current plug type. If they are compatible, that’s great, but if not, you’ll need to find a socket adapter. Currently, there are three types of plugs and sockets in Vietnam: Type A, Type C, and Type F. Let’s explore more about these three types together.
The Type A electrical plug/socket is primarily used in North and Central America, Japan, and some other regions. It is a two-prong plug without an earthing connection, with each prong being a flat metal blade parallel to each other.
The Type A plug was invented in 1904 by Harvey Hubbell II (1857-1927) and is also known as the NEMA 1-15 plug. The plug has two thin metal blades with a length ranging from 15.9 to 18.3mm, a thickness of 1.5mm, and a distance of 12.7mm between the two blades (prongs).
However, the two prongs of the plug have different widths, with one prong being wider than the other. Specifically, the prong connected to the neutral wire (grounded wire) has a width of 7.9mm, while the prong connected to the hot wire has a width of 6.3mm. Therefore, the Type A plug can only be inserted into an electrical socket in one orientation. The Type A plug has a rated current of 15A.
The Type C plug is the most widely used plug type worldwide. It is a two-prong plug without an earthing connection. The prongs are formed by two cylindrical metal pins. According to the standard, each pin has a diameter of 4mm, a distance of 18.6mm between the two pin legs, and a distance of 17.5mm between the two pin heads. The bottom part of the pins is covered with a 10mm insulating layer. Due to the retractable design at the head, the Type C plug can be flexibly used with sockets that have a distance of 17.5 – 19mm between the two holes and a hole diameter ranging from 4 to 4.8mm. The Type C plug is typically used for Class II devices with a rated current of up to 2.5A or lower.
The Type C plug is widely used in many countries around the world, including all European countries except the UK, Ireland, Cyprus, and Malta. Nowadays, electrical safety standards in many countries have been improved, making the Type C socket somewhat outdated due to the lack of an earthing connection. However, it is still commonly used in areas where the electrical infrastructure is not yet fully developed. Nevertheless, the Type C plug can still be used with Type E, F, J, K, and N sockets.
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The Type F plug is widely used in many countries, including Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Portugal, Spain, and Eastern Europe. The Type F plug is often referred to as CEE 7/4 and is also known as the “Schuko plug,” an abbreviation of the German term “Schutzkontakt,” which means “protective contact” or “safety contact.” This plug type was designed in Germany shortly after World War I. The patent for it was granted in 1926 to Albert Büttner, an electronics manufacturer in Bavaria, southern Germany.
The Type F plug has a similar structure to Type C and Type E, with two round cylindrical prongs and two grounding metal clips at the top and bottom. Each prong has a diameter of 4.8mm, a length of 19mm, and they are spaced 19mm apart. The distance between the two grounding metal clips is 16mm. The Type F plug has a rated current of 16A. Beyond this rating, devices must be permanently grounded or connected to higher-rated connectors such as the IEC 60309 plug. The Type C plug can be used with Type F sockets without any issues.
The three commonly used plug types in Vietnam are A, C, and F, and you can easily use these types in any hotel. In case you have a different plug type, you can also purchase plug adapters in Vietnam easily, typically costing just a few USD, from supermarkets or specialized electrical stores.