Last updated: 24 January 2022
What type of plugs and sockets are used in Brazil?
When you are going on a trip to Brazil, be sure to pack the appropriate travel plug adapter that fits the local sockets. But what do those electrical outlets look like? The type N socket and plug are the official standard in Brazil. Type C plugs are also official, but not type C sockets. This does not pose a problem, however, since type C plugs are 100% compatible with type N sockets.
- used in Brazil and South Africa
- 3 pins
- 10 A, 16 A & 20 A
- 100 – 240 V
- socket compatible with plug types C & N
- commonly used in Europe, South America & Asia
- 2 pins
- not grounded
- 2.5 A, 10 A & 16 A
- almost always 220 – 240 V
- socket compatible with plug type C
What is the mains voltage in Brazil?
In Brazil there is no standard voltage. Most federative units (about 60 per cent of all Brazilian households) use 127 V electricity, but some other – mainly northeastern – states are on 220 V. Even within some states themselves, the voltage may differ. That is why I deemed it necessary to draw up an exhaustive list of all 27 Brazilian federative units and their respective voltages.
127 V or 220 V ~ 60 Hz
|Federative unit (state)||Single-phase voltage (volts)||Exceptions||Frequency (hertz)|
|Acre||127 V||60 Hz|
|Alagoas||220 V||60 Hz|
|Amapá||127 V||60 Hz|
|Amazonas||127 V||60 Hz|
|Bahia||220 V||127 V|
Aiquara; Alagoinhas; Almadina; Antas; Antônio Cardoso; Apauarema; Aratuipe; Aurélio Leal; Barra do Rocha; Governador Lomanto Jr.; Belmonte; Bom Jesus da Lapa; Boquira; Brej;es; Buerarema; Cacoahaeira; Camaçari; Canavieiras; Candeias; Castro Alves; Catú; Cipó; Conceição da Feira; Conceição do Almeida; Copnceição do Jacuipe; Coração de Maria; Coronel João Sá; Correntina; Cravolândia; Cruz das Almas; Dário Meira; Firmino Alves; Floresta Azul; Gongogi; Governador Mangabeira; Ibicaraí; Ibicui; Ibirapitanga; Ibirataia; Iguai; Ilheus; Ipecaeta; Ipiau; Irará; Itabuna; Itacaré; Itagiba; Itaju do Colonia; Itajuipe; Itanagra; Itaparica; Itape; Itapitanga; Itaquara; Itatim; Itiruçú; Itororó; Jaborandi; Jaguaquara; Jeremoabo; Jiquirica; Jitauna; Jussari; Lauro de Freitas; Maracas; Maragogipe; Muniz Ferreira; Muritiba; Nazaré; Nova Canaã; Nova Itarana; Ouricangas; Paulo Afonso; Pedrão; Pedro Alexandre; Piraí do Norte; Pojuca; Rafael Jambeiro; Salvador; Santa Cruz da Vitória; Santa Inês; Santanópolis; Santa Terezeinha; Santa Luzia; Santa Maria da Vitória; Santana; Santo Amaro; Santo Antônio de Jesus; Santo Estevão; São Desidério; São Felipe; São Felix; São Felix do Coribe; São Francisco do Conde; São Miguel das Matas; Sapeaçú; Sátiro Dias; Serra Preta; Sim;es Filho; Teodoro Sampaio; Terranova; Ubaíra; Urucuca; Vera Cruz; Aracás; Cabeceiras do Paraguaçú; Lagedo do Tabocal; Madre de Deus; Novo triunfo; São José da Vitória; Saubara; Serra do Ramalho; Sítio do Mato; Sítio do Quino; Varzedo
|Ceará||220 V||60 Hz|
|Distrito Federal||220 V||60 Hz|
|Espírito Santo||127 V||220 V|
|Goiás||220 V||60 Hz|
|Maranhão||220 V||60 Hz|
|Mato Grosso||127 V||220 V|
Araguaiana; Barra das Garças; Cocalinho
|Mato Grosso do Sul||127 V||60 Hz|
|Minas Gerais||127 V||60 Hz|
|Pará||127 V||60 Hz|
|Paraíba||220 V||60 Hz|
|Paraná||127 V||220 V|
|Pernambuco||220 V||60 Hz|
|Piauí||220 V||60 Hz|
|Rio de Janeiro||127 V||220 V|
|Rio Grande do Norte||220 V||60 Hz|
|Rio Grande do Sul||220 V||127 V|
Canoas; Capão da Canoa; Capela de Santana; General Camara; Porto Alegre; Rio Grande; São Leopoldo; Torres; Tramandaí; Arroio do Sal; Imbê; Três Cachoeiras; Três Palmeiras
|Rondônia||127 V||60 Hz|
|Roraima||127 V||60 Hz|
|Santa Catarina||220 V||60 Hz|
|São Paulo||127 V||220 V|
Assis; Bastos; Biritib a-Mirim; Boituva; Bora; Caçapava; Campo Limpo Paulista; Cândido Mota; Caraguatatuba; Cruzalia; Echapora; Florinea; Guarujá; Iacri; Ibirarema; Iepe; Indaiatuba; Iperó; Itupeva; Jambeiro; Joãp Ramalho; Jundiaí; Loveira; Lutécia; Maracaí; Mogi das Cruzes; Oscar Bressane; Palmital; Paraguaçú; Paulista; Platina; Porto Feliz; Quatá; Rancharia; Ribeirão do Sul; Rinópolis; Salesópolis; Salto Grande; Santa Branca; São José dos Campos; São Sebastião; Tupã; Varzea Paulista; Vinhedo
|Sergipe||220 V||127 V|
Itabaiana; Moita Bonita; Neópolis; Pacatuba; Própria; Telha
|Tocantins||220 V||127 V|
In the past, Brazil did not really have a standard for plugs and power outlets. The country had been using as many as 10 (!) different types of plugs and sockets, including the frequently used type C. In order to put an end to this proliferation of different socket and plug types, the Brazilian Association of Technical Standards (Associação Brasileira de Normas Técnicas (ABNT)) decided to standardize on the international standard 230 V household plug system, called IEC 60906-1. In 2001, this standard was adopted in Brazil as NBR 14136 and its implementation started in 2007. This Norma BRasileira 14136, however, is not completely identical to IEC 60906-1: the Brazilian standard has a pin diameter of 4 mm for the 10 A plug and 4.8 mm for the 20 A plug, whereas the original IEC 60906-1 standard only has one single pin diameter of 4.5 mm and a maximum current of 16 A.
Brazil’s standardization on one single plug and socket type, however, does entail some risks. Why? Simply because Brazil is one of the very few countries that does not have a standard mains voltage, but at the same time it has only one official type of socket! In other words, you cannot tell the difference between a 220 V and a 127 V socket!
Most states use 127 V electricity, but a couple of them are on 220 V. This means that a 127 V hairdryer bought in Rio de Janeiro will be destroyed when plugged into a compatible 220 V socket in Distrito Federal! Make sure you check out the local voltage before plugging something in (see the list above)! The standard trick to know the local voltage (checking a light bulb to see what voltage is printed on it) often does not work, since quite some homes have both 127 V and 220 V power supplies for their lighting. It must be said, though, that many appliances sold in Brazil are dual voltage, but that’s definitely not the case for all of them.
Fortunately, in the past few years, there has been a tendency to make the difference in voltage clearly visible. Usually, 220 V sockets will be red and 127 V outlets will be white. If that is not the case, the sockets may be labelled with a sticker indicating the voltage. Such red and white stickers can be bought at most DIY shops nowadays.
Click here for a global map showing the spread of the different plug types used around the world.
Click here for a detailed list of the countries of the world with their respective plug and outlet types, voltage and frequency.