Austria – Power plug, socket & mains voltage in Austria
Last updated: 12 March 2021
What type of plugs and sockets are used in Austria?
When you are going on a trip to Austria, be sure to pack the appropriate travel plug adapter that fits the local sockets. But what do those electrical outlets look like? In Austria, types C and F are the official standards. Like almost all Continental European countries, Austria has standardized on the German plug and socket system.
used almost everywhere in Europe & Russia, except for the UK & Ireland
Typically, type C plug sockets are not allowed to be installed in Austria: these outlets are not earthed and are therefore considered dangerous. Only type F power points are permitted because they are grounded and therefore significantly safer.
The only (and rare) exception to this rule is that an old type C outlet should be replaced by a new one. After all, if you hook up a grounded wall outlet (i.e. type F) on a two-wire circuit, the socket will not be grounded, but people will get the wrong impression that it is actually grounded. No need to say, this would be a potentially dangerous situation.
Nowadays, however, type C receptacles are not frequently installed anymore, since older properties are almost always completely rewired when they are renovated or significantly altered.
Obsolete type E plug, i.e. without top and bottom earthing clips nor plastic notches on the left and right.
Neighbouring Czechia and Slovakia don’t have the same plug and socket standard as Austria. This used to be a problem because Czech or Slovak type E plugs and sockets were initially incompatible with type F. The reason for the incompatibility was that grounding in the type E socket is accomplished with a round male pin, which is permanently mounted in the socket. Type F outlets, on the other hand, are earthed by means of two sprung metal strips on the inside edge of the recessed socket which make a friction connection with similar metal strips on the sides of the plug body.
Old type F plugs did not have a grounding hole to accept the earth pin of the type E socket and old type E plugs did not have top and bottom indentations with earthing clips to mate with the type F socket. Moreover, old type E plugs were perfectly round and lacked a necessary pair of plastic notches on the left and right side to fit the type F socket.
Fortunately, the now standard hybrid E/F plug (officially called CEE 7/7) was developed in order to bridge the differences between E and F sockets, so technically type E and F plugs (not the sockets) have now become 100% identical.
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