Power plug & outlet Type O

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TYPE O

Type O is used exclusively in Thailand. (Click here for the full list of all countries of the world with their respective plugs/sockets)

All receptacles that are currently sold are hybrid ones (like this one), compatible with types A, B, C & O.

The type O plug, rated at 16 amps, is one of the official standards in Thailand. The standard is described in TIS 166-2549 (incidentally, the last four digits refer to the Buddhist year 2549, which corresponds to the year 2006 in the Gregorian calendar).

Type O consists of two power pins and an earth pin, which are round and have a 4.8 mm diameter. The power pins measure 19 mm in length, they have 10 mm long insulated sleeves and their centres are spaced 19 mm apart. The earth pin has a length of 21.4 mm. The centre-to-centre distance between the grounding pin and the middle of the imaginary line connecting the two power pins is 11.9 mm, which is exactly the same distance as in type B plugs. This is not a coincidence, since the hybrid version of this socket was designed to accommodate plug types A, BC and O. In the long run, compatibility with American plugs is planned to be phased out, since the electrical network in Thailand operates at 230 V. For now, type O outlets only exist on paper. All sockets that are currently sold are hybrid ones, which are compatible with types plug types A, B, C and O.

Although they look similar, type O plugs are not interchangeable with the Israeli type H or the Danish type K power plugs. However, there is a very unsafe compatibility between type O sockets and type E/F plugs, which is why the Thai Government banned the sale of appliances fitted with E/F plugs. When used in Thailand, an E/F plug will not be grounded and when such a plug is partially pulled out, you will be able to touch the prongs while they are still live!

For now, type O outlets only exist on paper. All sockets that are currently sold are hybrid ones.

As mentioned before, the type O plug and socket system was introduced in 2006, but can somebody please enlighten me as to why on earth a country would develop a whole new electric standard when there are several alternatives available? Standardizing on type F would be self-evident: it is an extremely safe and frequently used system and it is compatible with plug types C and E/F, which are all frequently used in Thailand. As the Thai Government is going to phase out compatibility with the American plug types A and B anyway, why haven’t they adopted the type F standard, while at the same time allowing for a period of transition where hybrid B/F-receptacles as well as type F sockets may be installed? This is absolutely mind-boggling!