How to use your curling iron in Sao Tome

Sao Tome power outlet

Summary

Check your curling iron can work in Sao Tome:

  • If your curling iron can run on 220 volts or can support dual voltage (how to tell) then you will only need to use the right power adapter listed on this page if the plug on your curling iron will not fit in the outlet.

If not then you can either:

  • Use a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] - you might still need to use a suitable power adapter for Sao Tome but these cheap lightweight accessories are designed specifically for the rigors of travel.
  • Use a power converter (or voltage transformer) - this will enable you to use your existing curling iron and other applicances with a 220 volt Sao Tome power outlet, however this is noticeably heavier, bulkier and more expensive than a dedicated travel curling iron. A voltage transformer changes the voltage but won't change the shape of the plug on your curling iron to fit in the power outlet used in Sao Tome, therefore check that your power converter has a suitable power adapter for Sao Tome otherwise you will also need to purchase a seperate power adapter. Please note that your existing curling iron might not be suited for travel and you risk damage in your luggage. [7]
Warning: If your curling iron won't handle 220 volts you run the risk of an electrical fire hazard, a blown fuse or damage to your curling iron. Before attempting to use your curling iron in Sao Tome please check the instruction manual first to ensure safe operation.

Using a curling iron in Sao Tome

Will my curling iron work in Sao Tome?

That depends on if your curling iron is designed to handle the 220 volts as used in Sao Tome:

How can I use my American curling iron in Sao Tome?

The instructions on this page assume that you're a reader from the US visiting Sao Tome and will provide guidance for using your US curling iron with a Sao Tome power outlet.

Sao Tome

Sao Tome power outlets and plug sockets

What electrical frequency is used in Sao Tome?

The frequency of the current from a Sao Tome power outlet is 50Hz. [8]

What voltage is used in Sao Tome?

Power outlets in Sao Tome are 220 volts.

Which power adapter will you need to bring when using a curling iron in Sao Tome?

Type C and F power outlets

Which power adapter will you need to bring when using a curling iron in Sao Tome?

There are two different types of power outlets used in Sao Tome, these are type F and C with the primary power outlets being type F:

  • Plug Type C - The power outlet can be identified by two circular adjacent holes.
  • Plug Type F - The sunken circular plug socket can be identified by two large circular adjacent holes along with a pair of two thin metal grounding clips above and below.

A recommended power adapter to bring for using a 220 volt curling iron in Sao Tome is a Type F power adapter - read the step by step guide below for full details of how to use a curling iron in Sao Tome. Please be aware that unless you that have a dual voltage curling iron you might also have to use a power converter.  [6] [9]

Dual voltage curling irons

Is my curling iron dual voltage?

An easy way how to tell if your curling iron can support a dual voltage outlet is to look for either a sticker or numbers printed on the plug or handle of the curling iron. This location might depend on the make and model of your curling iron, it should also be written in the instruction manual or on the box. Some dual voltage models might change automatically, however other models will have a switch which allows you to operate between different regions depending on which country you are visiting.

  • A specific number such as 110V indicates a single voltage curling iron. If this number matches the 220 volts used in Sao Tome then you should be able to use your curling iron with a Sao Tome power outlet.
  • A small voltage range with a dash such as 100-120V also indicates a single voltage curling iron which can accomodate small voltage fluctuations. If the 220 volts used in a Sao Tome power outlet falls within the range shown on your curling iron then you can use it in Sao Tome.
  • A large voltage range separated with a slash such as 100/240V indicates a dual voltage curling iron capable of being used in Sao Tome or any other country.

Travelling to Sao Tome with a curling iron

Can curling irons go in carry on to Sao Tome?

According to the TSA guidelines for curling irons there are no restrictions when carrying a mains powered curling iron in your carry on luggage through airport security in the United States. The TSA also recommends that you should check that your airline which is taking you to Sao Tome will allow curling irons onboard and that it will fit in the overhead bin or underneath the seat of the airplane. Packing the curling irons in a dedicated heat resistant protective hot tools travel case leaves it easily accessible when going through airport security checks, it can be packed away quickly and will avoid a tangle of power wires in your carry on luggage (the TSA recommends wrapping wires tightly around electronic items). If you do intend to bring fragile or expensive curling irons in your hand held luggage then it is advisable to use hard carry on luggage as this offers the most protection against bumps and knocks during your journey.   [10] [11] [12]

Is it safe to bring my curling iron to Sao Tome?

Bringing a dual voltage travel curling iron is preferable to packing your existing curling iron as it is safer to assume that it will operate correctly with the 220 volt power outlets used with a Sao Tome power outlet, provided that you bring the correct plug adapter for Sao Tome.

Be aware that bringing expensive domestic curling iron could place it at risk because of potential loss or damage in your check in suitcase by airport baggage handlers in Sao Tome. The cost and inconvenience involved in repairing an expensive quality domestic curling iron in Sao Tome might be more than purchasing a cheap dual voltage travel curling iron [2] before setting off. If you intend to bring your own curling iron in your luggage it is recommended to either slot it inside a sneaker or boot to protect from light damage, alternatively use a heat resistant and shockproof hot tools travel case which also allows the curling iron to be packed whilst hot without waiting to cool down.  [11]

Power converters for Sao Tome

What is the difference between a power converter and a plug adapter for Sao Tome?

Voltage converter

What is the difference between a power converter and a plug adapter for Sao Tome?

An expensive and heavy power converter will convert the voltage of 220 volts from a Sao Tome power outlet to work with a non-220 volt curling iron, but a smaller and more lightweight power adapter (or plug adapter) will change the shape of the plug on your curling iron to fit into a power outlet in Sao Tome. [7]

Can I use my curling iron with a voltage converter in Sao Tome?

The correct model of voltage transformer (or power converter) will allow a curling iron using a different voltage to work using a 220 volt power outlet used in Sao Tome. Travellers wishing to bring along their existing domestic curling iron can use a power converter, however it could be more costly to buy a power converter than it is to buy a dedicated dual voltage travel curling iron [2]. In addition, a travel curling iron can be substantially smaller and lighter than a power converter making a travel curling iron more suited for packing in luggage. [7]

How to use a curling iron in Sao Tome using a type C power adapter

Instructions showing how to power a curling iron in Sao Tome by using a Type C power charger.

  1. Make sure that the curling iron is either a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] or is compatible with a 220 volt power supply - but if it doesn't then do not attempt these instructions as you might blow a fuse, damage your curling iron or create an electrical fire hazard. Before using a dual voltage travel curling iron which can toggle between different voltages ensure the switch is set to the 220 volt setting for use in Sao Tome; refer to the user guide to find out how to do this.
  2. You'll need to buy a Type C plug adapter [4] if the type of plug on your curling iron isn't the same shape as the plug outlet used in Sao Tome. This power adapter helps fit different plugs from other countries for a power outlet used in Sao Tome simply by changing the shape of the plug, however the adapter doesn't change the voltage of the curling iron to work with a 220 volt supply.
  3. Begin by inserting the Type C plug adapter in the wall outlet. You can recognise the power outlet by 2 holes next to each other where the two pins sit.
  4. Next plug in the curling iron into the Type C plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the Sao Tome power outlet.
  6. The curling iron can now be used in Sao Tome.
How to use a curling iron in Sao Tome using a type C power adapter

How to use a curling iron in Sao Tome using a type F power adapter

How to use your curling iron in Sao Tome with a two pin Type F travel adapter.

  1. Check that your curling iron is either a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] or works with a 220 volt power supply - but if it doesn't then do not continue as you could create an electrical fire hazard, blow a fuse or damage your iron. Some travel curling irons will sometimes have a switch to toggle between voltages, before using the iron make sure the switch is set to the 220 volt setting for use in Sao Tome; refer to the instructions for more details on how to do this.
  2. You'll need to use a Type F plug adapter [6] if the shape of plug used on your curling iron isn't the same shape as the plug outlet used in Sao Tome. This power adapter will convert plugs from other countries for a power outlet used in Sao Tome simply by changing the shape of the plug, however the adapter doesn't change the voltage of your curling iron to work with a 220 volt outlet.
  3. Begin by inserting the Type F plug adapter in the Sao Tome power outlet. You can recognise this power supply by two holes 19 mm apart from each other where the twin pins slide into along with a pair of grounding clips on the top and bottom.
  4. Plug in your curling iron into the Type F plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Sao Tome power outlet. You can now switch on your curling iron to use in Sao Tome.
How to use a curling iron in Sao Tome using a type F power adapter

See also

  1. Wikipedia - Wikipedia entry about Sao Tome
  2. Amazon - dual voltage travel curling iron
  3. iec.ch - Type C power outlet
  4. Type C plug adapter - European Europlug Type C plug adapters are unearthed and comprise of two 4mm rounded pins placed 19mm apart, between $5 to $10.
  5. iec.ch - Type F power outlet
  6. Type F plug adapter - Schuko Type F plug adapters are earthed using two clips at the top and bottom with two rounded 4.8mm pins set 19mm apart, estimated price between $5 to $10.
  7. Power converter - A step up step down power converter converts 110-120 volts up to 220-240 volts and 220-240 volts down to 110-120 Volts, priced at between $90 to $100.
  8. Wikipedia - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country -
  9. iec.ch - IEC World Plugs by location -
  10. tsa.gov - TSA guidelines for curling irons -
  11. Hard case for hot tools - Hard case designed for storing and protecting a flat irons, curling irons and hair straighteners, priced at between $10 to $15.
  12. Hard carry on luggage - Example of hard cases, suitcases and luggage suitable for airline carry on, costing between $45 to $50.