What is Plug Type M?
Featuring a resemblance to the Indian type D plug, the Type M Plug is equipped with larger pins than its counterpart. This powerful 15 amp plug contains three round prongs that form an equilateral triangle and measure 28.6 mm in length and 8.7mm in diameter for the central earth pin; while 7.1mm line and neutral pins have 18.6mm long on centres spaced 25.4 apart; along with a centre-to-centre distance between grounding pin and imaginary middle line connecting two power pins of 28.6mm!
To reduce the risk of shock, South African M plugs typically feature insulated sleeves on the pins that cover them when partially inserted. In 2013, South Africa made the new type N plugs and sockets the preferred standard, which will gradually replace the type M plug and socket system. Since 2018, at least one type N socket has been required at every wall outlet in new homes. This means the older type M socket is still allowed, as long as there is also an adjacent type N socket.
What countries use Plug Type M?
Type M is used almost mainly in South Africa and Swaziland.
In Israel and the United Arab Emirates, Type M plugs are commonly used for large appliances such as air-conditioners where wall-mounted units must be plugged into a dedicated socket, or certain washing machines. Likewise, in the UK these same type M plugs remain quite popular for theatre set ups despite attempts to transition over to international blue and red colored CEE industrial plug styles.
List of countries using Plug Type M:
- South Africa
- United Arab Emirates
- United Kingdom (occasionally)
Where did Plug Type M come from?
The Plug Type M was first introduced in South Africa in 1947 and is now the most commonly used plug type. It was designed based on the Indian BS-546 5A/15A, which is compatible with the South African Type M plug. Though this plug has been replaced by the newer types of plugs and sockets (Plug N), it remains a popular choice for many applications.
It is important to note that this style of plug should not be used with appliances that require more than 15 amps since they are not equipped to handle such high levels of power. In order to maintain safety standards, it is recommended that you use an appropriate circuit breaker when using these plugs.
Can I get a Plug Type M travel adapter?
Yes, you can get a Plug Type M travel adapter. If you’re visiting South Africa and need to charge your electronics using their plug type then an adapter is necessary for you. When shopping for a Plug Type M travel adapter make sure to check the voltage rating of your device first as some adapters may not be able to handle high voltages. Additionally, if you’re planning on using multiple appliances at once with your adapter it’s important