The plug claims to be 12A 250V, so I think its a NEMA 6-15R or 6-30R which handle 15 or 30 volts respectively.

Here is a picture of the outlet:


  • 2
    I vote for hot/ground/neutral with the ground being the round pin May 22, 2012 at 7:23
  • 1
    A voltmeter with 1 probe in the ground pin will tell you.
    – Jay Bazuzi
    May 22, 2012 at 16:31

4 Answers 4


The Philippines have two systems at once. Keep in mind they were part of the United States for a long time (as a result of the Spanish-American War). Part of the country (i.e. in the old American military bases and cities where the US did the wiring) is done to the North American 120/240 split phase system. The newer, indigenously wired sections are largely being done to European/Asian 230V spec, although with 60Hz power so they can sync generators.

The Philippines generally use North American receptacle standards, wire gauges, boxes, etc. -- even in the Euro-style areas. They tend to follow NEC more so than Euro standards, modified for the 230V single-leg service.

They also have an appalling tendency to put 230V on American 120V receptacles (NEMA 5-15). You really have to watch what you plug in!

What you're seeing there is the right thing being done -- a NEMA 6-15 230V socket being wired with the correct North American plug. If you are in the 120/240 American-style cities, that will be 240V hot-hot-ground, with each hot 120V from ground. If you are in the rest of the country, it will be single-leg 230V hot-neutral-ground, with one pin near ground and the other 230V from it. Except for certain places where it will also be hot-hot-ground, with neither one anywhere ground.

When I say "230V" I mean 220-240V. When I say "120V" I mean 110-120V.


It looks like the Philippines uses a system similar to Europe, so it would be 1 hot ( 240V @60 Hz.), 1 neutral, and a ground.

Typical Worldwide Voltages

Japan, Taiwan, North America and some parts of northern South America.

100 - 120/240V ± 5% @ 60 Hz.

Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, New Zealand and most of South America

230V ± 6% @ 50 Hz.

Here is a map of voltages and frequencies around the world from Wikipedia.

Worldwide Voltages and Frequencies

  • 1
    Actually, the standard outlet in the Philippines is 220 Volts, and a two prong plug, as stated here: bohol.ph/article68.html. I don't have a picture of the standard 2 prong 220v outlets, but they will take flat and round prong plugs. The plug on the air conditioner is labeled 250v, so unlike the article I linked to, I don't think its 110v. Jun 3, 2012 at 2:32
  • 1
    @JustinDearing Huh? that's what I said. Philippines is 220V (hot/neutral/ground), not 110V.
    – Tester101
    Jun 3, 2012 at 22:09
  • 1
    The Standard Philippine outlet is a 2 prong hot/neutral outlet. It either takes a US type 2 prong parallel slit plug, or round plugs as illustrated here. The Outlet I have shown in the screenshot seems to only be used for wall mounted Air Conditioners (in my limited experience) and appears to be a NEMA 6-15R or 6-30R as I will update my question to reflect. Jun 3, 2012 at 22:20

The nominal voltage in the Philippines is actually 230 V at 60 Hz, though what you can actually measure between the two flat pins varies considerably, depending on location and distance from the transformer. The round pin is intended for a protective earth or ground connection though in some cases it simply isn't installed. That's the responsibility of the home owner, not the electricity supplier. In some locations one of the flat pins is neutral (close to earth potential) and the other is line, while in other locations both pins are floating with respect to earth - depending on whether the electricity supplier has earthed one of the wires at the transformer; some do, some don't. Connectors of that type are used on domestic air conditioners in the Philippines, which often draw a heavy current each time the compressor motor starts. More modern inverter-based air conditioners are more gentle in their current requirements but they are still fitted with this type of plug.

  • If it is like our plugs in the US, the neutral is the slightly wider flat pin, and the hot is the slightly narrower one, with the half-round being the ground. Neutrals are usually grounded somewhere near the service entrance to the home, but you can't count on neutrals as being at earth-ground potential.
    – SDsolar
    Mar 28, 2017 at 4:26
  • 1
    That is a 240V connector in the US 120V from each flat pin to the round ground or 240 flat to flat (no neutral). the photo below is what I am referring to Not sure about Philippines a meter would give the information quickly.
    – Ed Beal
    Mar 28, 2017 at 14:29

That's interesting i love finding out about foreign plugs. That is indeed MEMA 6-15. I saw on YouTube a similar but with 2 T slots. I don't think its safe for a country to use one plug type for 120 and 240. Brazil has a round C and earthed N type that may be 127 or 220. China uses unearthed A, Thailand A and B, or Nema 1-15 and 5-15 with 220, as well as other types. I hold that nobody should use NEMA 1 and 5 types for anything more than 120. Just play it safe and C and all its earth variants should not be anything less than 220. Indeed US and Canada came up with 110-120 for better safety, and so people in the beginning would be comfortable getting electric. Most countries went 220-240 for thinner wire needed and fewer people already having electric. USA and Canada had too many existing appliances, existing customers, to make a conversion feasible, and decided to save the 240 for heavier appliances, hence 120/240 split phase. A previous answer notes the 120 for primarily air conditionings? That's strange. Larger and central units in USA are normally 240.

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