What Plugs Are Used In Brazil?

credit: Yay

Whenever you travel internationally, you need to know what plugs are used in the country you are headed to. You don’t want to be stuck with the wrong adapters and dead appliances! In Brazil, two plug types are used, and the good news is that one is compatible with some European plugs.

In Brazil, the three-pin Type N plug and socket are the officially recognized standard plug. Because Type C plugs have two pins that are the same size to fit into Type N sockets, these plugs are also popular and widespread in Brazil, but Type C sockets are not installed in buildings.

Also read: Dealing with Mosquitos in Brazil: A Traveler’s Guide

What Plugs Are Used In Brazil?

The official standard plug and socket used in Brazil is Type N. The three-pin ‘flat’ plug-head socket is installed on all new buildings. Type C plugs are also official, but Type C sockets are not installed.

In the past, there were up to ten different plug and socket types widely used in Brazil. In recent years the Type N plug and socket set have become the standard, with Type C plugs being popular as they are completely compatible with Type N sockets.

International World Plugs and Sockets Types
Yay International World Plugs and Sockets Types

How Many Plug Types Are Used In Brazil?

There are only two officially recognized standard plug types used in Brazil:

  • Type N plugs, with corresponding sockets installed.
  • Type C plugs, but no corresponding sockets are installed.

Type N sockets have three round pins placed in a triangle shape on a ‘flat’ hexagonal-shaped head plug. The outside two pins are for power, and the middle pin is for grounding. The plug comes in 10A, 16A, and 20A variants and carries 100-240V. 

Type N plugs are used in Brazil and South Africa. Type N sockets will accept both Type N and Type C plugs.

Type N socket
Yay Type N socket

The other plug type used in Brazil is the Type C plug. It is used in parts of Europe, South America, and Asia. This plug type only has two pins at either end of the ‘flat’ hexagonal-shaped plug head. This is an ungrounded plug type because it only has two pins that carry current and no grounding pin.

Type N plug in Type C socket
pexels Type N plug in Type C socket

Type C plugs come in 2.5A, 10A, and 16A variants and almost always carry 220-240V current. Type C sockets will only accept Type C plugs.

What Is The Brazil Type C Plug?

The Type C plug used in Brazil is also very common internationally. It is sometimes referred to as the ‘Europlug’ because of its widespread use in Europe.

Type C plugs are easy to tell apart from Type N plugs. This description of a Type C plug will help you instantly recognize one:

  • Number of pins: Two 4mm diameter pins measuring 19mm in length.
  • Pin insulation: 10mm insulation sleeves with 9mm exposed metal.
  • Pin spacing: Pin centers are spaced 17.5mm apart at the tips and 18.6mm at the base, converging slightly to ensure contact inside the socket.

Another version of the Type C plug is sometimes found in countries that use this type of plug. It is the same shape with two pins, but the difference is the pins have a slightly wider diameter (4.8mm as opposed to 4mm) and are not sheathed. The whole pin is metal. 

These alternative version Type C plugs are used on appliances that are high voltage but do not need earthing. They are usually a snug fit in Type C and Type N sockets because of the slightly wider diameter of the pins. In Brazil, these higher voltage Type C plugs may not fit in the Type N socket because of a slight difference in the shape of the plug head.

What Is The Brazil Type N Plug?

The Type N plug and socket are used almost exclusively in Brazil. This is the official plug-and-socket type in the country.

Type N plugs are easy to spot:

  • Number of pins: Three 4mm or 4.8mm pins placed in a triangle shape.
  • Pin insulation: 10mm insulation sleeves with 9mm exposed metal on the live and neutral pins. The grounding pin is usually not sleeved.
  • Pin spacing: Pin centers of the live and neutral pins are 19mm apart at the base and tips. The center of the grounding pin is 3mm from the center of the imaginary line between the power pins.

The head of Type N plugs is a ‘flat’ hexagonal shape, and the corresponding socket is designed to fit these.

Brazil’s Type N plugs are rated to carry 10A or 20A. Smaller appliances, such as lamps, are rated for 10A use, while larger appliances, like ovens, are rated for the 20A version. 

The size of the pins also differs between the 10A and the 20A plugs depending on which rating the plug has: the pins on the 10A plugs have a diameter of 4mm. The pins on a 20A plug are 4.8mm in diameter.

Be careful that you don’t confuse the Brazil Type N plug with the Swiss Type J plug. They look very similar, but the center grounding pin is 2mm further away from the imaginary center line between the two current carrying pins. The Type J plug is not compatible with Type N sockets.

What Voltage And Frequency Are Used In Brazil Plugs?

The standard voltage in Brazil is 127 / 220V and a frequency of 60Hz. Different voltage is used in different cities and regions in Brazil.

To avoid blowing appliances, it is always a good idea to ask what the voltage of the region is before using the sockets when you travel between cities and regions in Brazil. Sometimes, you will need a voltage converter before using a socket with a higher voltage than your appliance is designed for.

Check the appliance’s rating, an appliance listed as: ‘INPUT: 100-240V, 50/60Hz’ is safe to use in all countries. If the appliance is listed as any other voltage and frequency, it should only be used with a converter.

What Is The US To Brazil Power Adapter?

A US-to-Brazil power adapter is a specially designed plug adapter that allows you to plug a US plug into the adapter, which then fits into a Brazil socket. 

The side which receives the US plug is designed to fit the standard flat-pin Type A or Type C plugs. On the opposite side, the adapter has three round pins in a triangle configuration that will fit a Brazilian socket.

Always check the power adapter’s voltage and amperage rating compared to the requirements of your appliance before using it. Also, don’t forget to check the voltage and frequency of the sockets of the region you are in!

Are Brazil Plugs The Same As European Plugs?

Even though the Type C plug is sometimes referred to as the ‘Europlug’ and is common in many European countries, Brazil’s official and standard plug type is a Type N plug and is not the same as Type C.

Type C plugs can be used in Brazil’s Type N sockets, but they are different plug and socket types. Brazil’s Type N plugs and sockets have unique characteristics and features.

Because Type C plugs are compatible with Brazil’s Type N sockets, if you are traveling from Europe with Type C plugs on your appliances, you will not need an adapter.