Using a curling iron in Zambia

Zambian power outlet

Summary

First check your curling iron can handle the voltage in Zambia:

If not then either:

  • Use a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] - you may still need an appropriate power adapter for Zambia however these cheap lightweight accessories are designed specifically for the rigors of travel.
  • Use a power converter (or voltage transformer) - you can then use your existing curling iron and other applicances with a 230 volt Zambian power outlet, however this is considerably bulkier and more expensive than a dedicated travel curling iron. A voltage transformer will change the voltage but won't change the actual physical shape of the plug on your curling iron to fit in the wall outlet used in Zambia, therefore please check that the voltage transformer has a power adapter for Zambia otherwise you will also need to bring a seperate power adapter. Also worth noting that your own existing curling iron might not be suited for travelling and you risk potential damage in a suitcase. [9]
Warning: If your curling iron won't handle 230 volts you run the potential risk of damage to your curling iron, an electrical fire hazard or a blown fuse. Prior to using your curling iron in Zambia please check the instruction manual to ensure safe operation.

Using a curling iron in Zambia

Will my curling iron work in Zambia?

That will depend on if your curling iron is designed to handle the 230 volt power outlets used in Zambia. If you're using either a dual voltage curling iron or your curling iron is designed to operate using 230 volts and you have the correct power adapter then you can use it in Zambia. If not then you will need to consider purchasing either a power converter or a dual voltage travel curling iron [2]. Read the section on can you use a power converter with a domestic curling iron in Zambia for help deciding which option is more suitable. [9]

Will my American curling iron work in Zambia?

The instructions on this page assume that you are a reader from the US travelling to Zambia and provide guidance for using your American curling iron with a Zambian power outlet.

Zambia

Zambia power outlets and plug sockets

What is the mains voltage in Zambia?

Power outlets in Zambia are 230 volts.

What frequency is used in a Zambian power outlet?

The frequency used in a Zambian power outlet is 50Hz. [10]

Which travel adapter do you need to bring for using a curling iron in Zambia?

Type C, D and G power outlets

Which travel adapter do you need to bring for using a curling iron in Zambia?

There are three different types of power outlets used in Zambia, these are type G, C and D with the primary power outlets being type G:

  • Plug Type C - You can identify the power outlet by the two round adjacent holes next to each other where the live and neutral pins slide into.
  • Plug Type D - You can identify the wall socket by the three holes forming a triangular configuration for live, neutral and earth.
  • Plug Type G - This power socket, also known as a type G power outlet, looks like 3 rectangular slots containing shutters forming a triangle pattern for live, neutral and ground pins.

A Type G power adapter allows you to use a 230 volt curling iron in Zambia - read the step-by-step guide below for full details of how to use a curling iron in Zambia with a plug adapter. Note that unless you that have a dual voltage curling iron you will need to see if you have to bring a power converter.  [8] [11]

Dual voltage curling irons

Is my curling iron dual voltage?

One method to tell if your curling iron can accept dual voltage is to look for either a sticker or numbers printed on the plug or handle of your curling iron. The location might depend on the make or model of your curling iron, it could also be written on the box or in the instruction manual. Some dual voltage models will change automatically, however other models will feature a button which allows you to operate between different voltages depending on which country you are in.

  • Single voltage could say a specific number - such as 110V. If this number matches the 230 volts used in Zambia then you should be able to use your curling iron with a Zambian power outlet.
  • Single voltage might also have a small voltage range with a dash to accomodate small voltage fluctuations - such as 100-120V. If the 230 volts used in a Zambian power outlet falls within the range shown on your curling iron then you can use it in Zambia.
  • Dual voltage will typically say a large range separated with a slash - such as 100/240V. Your curling iron will be capable of being used in Zambia or any other country if these numbers are shown.

Travelling to Zambia with a curling iron

Can I carry on a curling iron to Zambia in my hand luggage?

According to the TSA guidelines for curling irons there is no restriction on carrying a mains powered curling iron in your hand luggage through airport security in the United States. The TSA also suggests that you should verify that your airline who is taking you to Zambia will allow curling irons onboard and that it will fit in the overhead bin or underneath the seat of the aircraft. Packing your curling irons in a dedicated heat resistant protective hot tools travel case leaves it easily accessible when going through airport security, it can be packed away quickly and should avoid a tangle of cables in your carry on luggage (the TSA suggests wrapping cords tightly around electronic items). If you intend to bring fragile or expensive curling irons in your hand held luggage then it is recommended to bring hard carry on luggage as this provides the most protection against bumps and knocks during transit.   [12] [13] [14]

Is it safe to bring my curling iron to Zambia?

Packing a dual voltage travel curling iron is preferable to bringing your existing curling iron as it ensures that it will operate correctly with the 230 volt power outlets used with a Zambian power outlet, provided that you use the correct plug adapter for Zambia. Please be aware that bringing your expensive domestic curling iron could put it at risk because of potential loss or damage in your check in luggage by airline baggage handlers in Zambia. The inconvenience and costs involved in replacing or repairing an expensive quality curling iron in Zambia could be higher than purchasing a cheap dual voltage travel curling iron [2] before your trip. If you intend to bring along your own personal curling iron in your suitcase it is recommended to either slot it inside a boot or sneaker to protect from light damage, alternatively use a shockproof and heat resistant hot tools travel case which also allows the curling iron to be transported whilst hot without risk of burning.  [13]

Power converters for Zambia

What is the difference between a plug adapter and a voltage converter for Zambia?

Voltage converter

What is the difference between a plug adapter and a voltage converter for Zambia?

A cheap, small and lightweight power adapter (or plug adapter) will change the shape of the plug on your curling iron to slot into a power outlet found in Zambia, whereas a heavier and more expensive power converter will convert a 230 volt Zambian power outlet to work with a non-230 volt curling iron. [9]

Do I need a voltage converter to use my curling iron in Zambia?

The correct type voltage transformer (or power converter) allows a curling iron using a different voltage to operate using a 230 volt power outlet used in Zambia. A power converter is more suited for travellers who wish to use their existing curling iron, however it might be cheaper to buy a dedicated dual voltage travel curling iron [2] than it will be to purchase a power converter. Also, a travel curling iron can be substantially lighter than a power converter making a travel curling iron more suitable for packing. [9]

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

A page showing how to power your curling iron in Zambia with a Type C travel charger.

  1. Check that the curling iron is either a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] or can work with a 230 volt power supply; if not then do not attempt these instructions because you could damage your iron, blow a fuse or create an electrical fire hazard. Before using a travel curling iron make sure the switch is set to accept 230 volts to use in Zambia - consult the user guide for more information on where the switch is found.
  2. You will need to buy a Type C plug adapter [4] if the shape of the power outlet which is used in Zambia isn't the same shape as the plug on your curling iron. The Type C plug adapter will fit different plugs on appliances from other countries for use in a power outlet found in Zambia by changing the shape of the plug, however it doesn't change the voltage of the curling iron to work with a 230 volt supply.
  3. Start by plugging the Type C plug adapter into the power outlet. You can identify this plug supply by the 2 circular adjacent holes next to each other for live and neutral.
  4. Plug in your curling iron into the Type C plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the Zambian power outlet. The hair curling iron can now be used in Zambia.
How to use a curling iron in Zambia using a type C power adapter

How to use a curling iron in Zambia using a type D power adapter

How to power a curling iron in Zambia using a three pronged Type D power adapter.

  1. Check that the curling iron is either a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] or is compatible with a 230 volt power outlet - if it doesn't then don't continue because you could blow a fuse, damage your curling iron or create an electrical fire hazard. Before using a dual voltage travel curling iron ensure you have set it to the 230 volt setting to use in Zambia, please refer to the manufacturers instructions to find out where this switch is.
  2. You'll need to bring a Type D plug adapter [6] if the type of plug used on your curling iron isn't the same type of plug outlet which is used in Zambia. The plug adapter is designed to convert different plugs on appliances from other countries for an electrical outlet used in Zambia by changing the shape of the plug, but the adapter doesn't change the frequency or voltage of your curling iron to work with a 230 volt supply.
  3. Start the process by plugging the Type D plug adapter into the Zambian power outlet. This power outlet, sometimes known as a Type D power outlet [5], looks like three holes forming a triangle pattern for live, neutral and ground.
  4. After that plug in your curling iron into the Type D plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Zambian power outlet. The curling iron can now be powered on.
How to use a curling iron in Zambia using a type D power adapter

How to use a curling iron in Zambia using a type G power adapter

A guide showing how to use a curling iron in Zambia with a Type G travel charger.

  1. Please check that your curling iron is either a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] or works with a 230 volt power supply but if it doesn't then do not proceed as you may create an electrical fire hazard, damage your iron or blow a fuse. Travel curling irons typically have a switch to toggle between voltages, before using the iron ensure the switch is set to accept 230 volts; consult the owners manual to find out how to do this.
  2. If the plug on your curling iron isn't the same type of outlet used in Zambia you will need to use a Type G plug adapter [8]. This Type G plug adapter will adapt plugs from other countries into a power outlet in Zambia simply by changing the shape of the plug, but it doesn't change the voltage of the curling iron to work with a 230 volt outlet.
  3. Begin the process by taking the Type G plug adapter and plugging it in the power outlet. You can identify this plug supply by the three vertical holes containing plastic shutters in a triangular configuration.
  4. Plug in the curling iron into the Type G plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Zambian power outlet.
  6. The curling iron can now be powered on.
How to use a curling iron in Zambia using a type G power adapter

See also

  1. Wikipedia - Wikipedia web page about Zambia
  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, priced between $5 to $10.
  5. iec.ch - Type D power outlet
  6. Type D plug adapter - The three pinned earthed Type D plug adapter has large rounded pins placed in a triangular shape, estimated cost between $5 to $10.
  7. iec.ch - Type G power outlet
  8. Type G plug adapter - A Type G power adapter has three thick rectangular blades in a triangular shape with the longer top blade acting as the earthing pin, estimated cost between $5 to $10.
  9. 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, costing between $90 to $100.
  10. Wikipedia - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country -
  11. iec.ch - IEC World Plugs by location -
  12. tsa.gov - TSA guidelines for curling irons -
  13. Hard case for hot tools - Hard case designed for storing and protecting a flat irons, curling irons and hair straighteners, priced between $10 to $15.
  14. Hard carry on luggage - Example of hard cases, suitcases and luggage suitable for airline carry on, priced under $50.