Electrical Outlets in Mexico – What Do You Need?

If you’re planning a trip to Mexico, you may be thinking about how to power your devices or appliances. Many people assume that since it is a different country, that automatically means things like power outlets will be different.

Fortunately, for the United States and Japanese residents, Mexico uses the same Type A and Type B outlets, including the same range in terms of voltage and frequency. When it comes to Europe, however, some preparation is going to be necessary.

Electrical Outlets in Mexico

What kind of outlets are in Mexico?

In Mexico, 120V and 60Hz are the standards. So, if you live in the U.S., there is not much to worry about. However, you will often see that Mexico has outlets that lack a grounding pin. These type A outlets are far rarer in the US and more common in Mexico. 

Does Mexico use the same outlets as the US?

In the US, it is common to have a plug that lacks a grounding pin, especially for lower-power devices. However, it’s not common to have outlets in the US that lack a grounding pin. If you have devices with a grounding pin on the plug, you may run into problems in Mexico. 

Of course, you can always pop the grounding pin off, but no one wants to do that to their own plug. Mexico has Type B outlets, but you might not always have a Type B outlet available whenever you need one. 

If you are visiting from the United States, your best bet is to bring an adapter for two-prong outlets so that you always have the three-prong options when you need them. You shouldn’t need anything else, as the power and frequency are the same in Mexico and the United States. 

In Mexico, the frequency is typically 60Hz, but it’s always safe to check your devices or items and see what frequency they run on. It should never be a problem, but it’s always best to play it safe. 

What kind of power adapter do I need for Mexico?

For those who live in Europe and are planning a trip to Mexico, you must make some adjustments. If you are traveling from anywhere in Europe, you will need a voltage transformer.

Voltage in Mexico vs. the USA

The standard voltage in Mexico is 120v, just like in the United States. In Europe, however, the standard voltage is 220v. A voltage transformer will step down the voltage requirement of your appliance or device from 220 to 120. This is if your appliance does not accept both 120v and 240v.

The one that you will find in the above link is only a single adapter. However, if you want to charge or run multiple devices, you will need a voltage transformer doubles as a power strip. 

Like those in the US, European travelers also need to check the frequency on their devices. Mexico outlets use 60Hz frequencies, so check over the devices or appliances you are bringing to make sure they will be compatible.

Did you know this: Can You Drive to Cancún From the United States?

How to Verify Voltage and Frequency on Your Devices?

It mostly depends on the device that you are using. Most electric devices have labels on the device itself, somewhere. You need to look it over to find the voltage and frequency requirements for the device. 

Many of these devices will also have the wattage listed as well. This is normally not a concern as long as your voltage and frequency requirements match. If the label is rubbed off or illegible, you can always check the box in which the device came.

If you no longer have the box and the illegible label, you will have to look up the device online. Most electronics manufacturers have their specs listed for each device on their website. You can find all of the information that you need there. 

If you don’t know what device you have, in terms of model or brand, you probably shouldn’t bring it along if you are traveling to Mexico from somewhere other than the United States or Japan.

If you are coming from Europe, your devices aren’t going to plug into outlets in Mexico anyway, as they are designed like the outlets you find in the US and Japan. The adapter you purchase should also take care of the voltage dip, but it’s always safe to check.

Never attempt to force a plug from another country into an outlet it is not designed for. Not only do you risk an electric shock, but it is also possible to start an electric fire—not something you want to do anywhere you are traveling in a foreign country. 

Does Mexico Use Clean Energy as Well?

Depending on where you stay throughout Mexico, there are places where renewable energy sources are the primary power supply for a given building. Fortunately, you don’t have to worry about using a different kind of plug. So long as you have the necessary adapter, you should be good to go.

When you run across renewable energy sources in Mexico, everything stays the same, and it isn’t necessary to make any adjustments. It simply means that the primary power source comes from a renewable energy source rather than coal or gas. 

Is the Electrical Equipment in Mexico the Same Across the Country?

The entire country of Mexico uses Type A and Type B power outlets. Even the northeastern tip of South America uses Type A and Type B. You have to get down into South America before you start finding Type N, Type K, Type C, Type E, and Type F power outlets. 

So long as you are in Mexico, you should expect the same type of outlet you will find in the United States and Japan.

Final Thoughts

Travelers from the United States and Japan have little to worry about or change when charging or powering their electronic devices. You should consider bringing a Type A to B adapter. However, just in case you only have Type A outlets where you are at. 

For everyone else, pay close attention to the frequency requirements of your device and purchase an adapter to drop the voltage and supply the right plug-in format for your device.

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