Wiring in Cambodia

Not much in Cambodia is like what you would expect to see in developed countries and electricity is a good example of that. It was less than five years ago that only 27% of Cambodia had electricity. Now there is a push to get the whole country wired.

Electricity not being available meant that houses built in the past were constructed without much consideration for wiring so you can get some really odd (to a western mind) scenarios. I want to give some examples in the next few days.

This is the door of my second-floor bedroom. The only electrical outlets in the room are the two sockets mounted on the light switch at shoulder level by the door. I need outlets for two alarm clocks, a floor lamp, a fan, a noise machine, two phone chargers, and five pieces of computer equipment so I have strung two thirty-foot extension cords to opposite walls. One goes over the door to the left, the other goes down to the floor and to the right.

This is the socket by the door with the two extensions plugged in. There are two switches in this switch box. Only one is wired up. That is the pattern through most of the house so I put a red dot on the switch that is active.

This is a switch out in the hall. It is unusual in that both switches are active. It is less unusual in that the left switch is for the room to the right and the right switch is for the hall to the left. The red arrows serve as reminders that the setup is not what you would expect.

[More to come….]