How do I use a curling iron in Tuvalu?

Tuvaluan power outlet

Summary

Check your curling iron can handle the voltage in Tuvalu:

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

If not then:

  • Use a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] - you might still need to use the correct power adapter for Tuvalu however these cheap lightweight accessories are designed specifically for the rigors of travel.
  • Use a power converter (or voltage transformer) - this enables you to use your existing curling iron and other applicances with a 220 volt Tuvaluan power outlet, however this is considerably bulkier, heavier and more expensive than a dedicated travel curling iron. A voltage transformer will change the voltage but not the shape of the plug on your curling iron to fit in the types of wall outlet used in Tuvalu, therefore check that the power converter comes with a power adapter for Tuvalu otherwise you will need to purchase a seperate power adapter. Be aware that your own personal curling iron might not be suited for travelling and you could risk damage in a suitcase. [5]
Warning: If your curling iron won't handle the 220 volts used in Tuvalu you run a risk of damage to your curling iron, an electrical fire hazard or a blown fuse. Before using your curling iron in Tuvalu please read the instruction manual to ensure safe operation.

Using a curling iron in Tuvalu

Will my curling iron work in Tuvalu?

This will depend on if your curling iron can handle the 220 volt power outlets in Tuvalu:

Will my US curling iron work in Tuvalu?

The instructions on this page assume that you're a reader from America travelling to Tuvalu and provide guidance for using your US curling iron with a Tuvaluan power outlet.

Tuvalu

Tuvalu power outlets and plug sockets

What is the voltage in Tuvalu?

The normal voltage in Tuvalu is 220 volts.

What is the frequency used with a Tuvaluan power outlet?

The frequency from a Tuvaluan power outlet is 50Hz. [6]

Which power adapter do you need when using a curling iron in Tuvalu?

Type I power outlet

Which power adapter do you need when using a curling iron in Tuvalu?

The type of power outlet used in Tuvalu is type I. You can identify the plug outlet by three vertical slots containing plastic shutters in a triangle pattern. A Type I plug adapter allows you to use a 220 volt curling iron in Tuvalu - read the simple instructions below for full details of using a power adapter for Tuvalu. Please note that unless you that have a dual voltage curling iron you will need to confirm if you also have to bring a voltage converter.  [4] [7]

Dual voltage curling irons

How can you tell if your curling iron is dual voltage?

One way to tell if your curling iron supports a dual voltage power outlet is to look for either a sticker or numbers printed on the handle or plug of the curling iron. This location will vary depending on the make and model of your curling iron, it should also state on the box. Some dual voltage models might change automatically but other irons will have a switch which allows you to change between different regions depending on which country you are in.

  • Single voltage might say a specific number - such as 110V. If this number matches the 220 volts used in Tuvalu then you should be able to use your curling iron with a Tuvaluan power outlet.
  • Single voltage could also have a small voltage range with a dash to accomodate small voltage fluctuations - such as 100-120V. If the 220 volts used in a Tuvaluan power outlet falls within the range shown on your curling iron then you should be able to use it in Tuvalu.
  • Dual voltage will typically say a large voltage range separated with a slash - such as 100/240V. Your curling iron will be capable of being used in Tuvalu or any other country if these numbers are shown.

Travelling to Tuvalu with a curling iron

Should I bring my travel curling iron or dual voltage curling iron to Tuvalu?

It is preferable to bring a dual voltage curling iron instead of packing your existing domestic curling iron to Tuvalu as it ensures that it will work with the 220 volt power outlets used with a Tuvaluan power outlet, provided that you bring the correct power adapter for Tuvalu. It is also worth concidering that bringing expensive domestic curling iron might put it at risk due to potential loss or damage in transit by an airport baggage handler in Tuvalu. The cost and inconvenience of replacing or repairing an expensive specialised domestic curling iron in Tuvalu might overshadow the cost of purchasing a cheap dual voltage travel curling iron [2] before setting off. If you intend to pack your own personal curling iron in your suitcase either slot it inside a sneaker or boot to protect from light damage, alternatively use a shockproof and heat resistant hot tools travel case which will also allow the curling iron to be packed immediately after use without risk of burning.  [8]

Can you bring a curling iron in your carry on to Tuvalu?

According to the TSA guidelines for curling irons there are no restrictions when carrying a mains powered curling iron in your carry on hand luggage through airport security in the US. The TSA recommends that you should verify that your airline which is flying you to Tuvalu will allow a curling iron 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 for airport security checks, it can be packed away quickly and should avoid a tangle of power cables in your carry on luggage (the TSA advices wrapping cables tightly around electronic items). If you do intend to pack fragile or expensive curling irons in your hand held luggage then it is recommended to use hard carry on luggage as this provides the most protection against knocks and bumps during transit.   [8] [9] [10]

Power converters for Tuvalu

Do I need a voltage converter for Tuvalu to use my curling iron?

The correct model of voltage transformer (or power converter) allows your curling iron using a different voltage to work using a 220 volt power outlet used in Tuvalu. A power converter is suitable for travellers who wish to bring their existing curling iron, but it can be considerably less expensive to buy a dedicated dual voltage travel curling iron [2] than it will be to purchase a power converter. Also, a power converter is considerably bulkier and heavier than a travel curling iron making a power converter less suitable for travelling compared to a travel curling iron. [5]

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

Voltage converter

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

A lightweight, small and cheap power adapter (or plug adapter) will change the shape of the plug on your curling iron to fit into a power outlet in Tuvalu, whereas a heavier and more expensive power converter transforms a 220 volt Tuvaluan power outlet to work with a non-220 volt curling iron. [5]

How to use a curling iron in Tuvalu using a type I power adapter

How to power a curling iron in Tuvalu with a Type I travel adapter.

  1. Make sure that your curling iron is either a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] or can work with a 220 volt power supply but if it doesn't then do not attempt these instructions because you might create an electrical fire hazard, damage your iron or blow a fuse. Dual voltage curling irons typically have a switch to toggle between voltages, before using the iron make sure the switch is set to the 220 volt setting, refer to the owners manual for more details on where the switch is.
  2. If the plug on your curling iron isn't the same shape as the outlet which is used in Tuvalu you'll need to bring a Type I plug adapter [4]. The power adapter is designed to adapt plugs on appliances from other countries for a power outlet in Tuvalu by changing the shape of the plug, however the adapter doesn't change the frequency or voltage of the curling iron to work with a 220 volt outlet.
  3. Start by taking the Type I plug adapter and inserting it into the wall outlet. The plug outlet, sometimes called the Type I power outlet [3], can be recognised by three slots for the live, neutral and earth blades.
  4. Plug in the curling iron into the Type I plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the Tuvaluan power outlet.
  6. Your curling iron can now be switched on.
How to use a curling iron in Tuvalu using a type I power adapter

See also

  1. Wikipedia - Wikipedia.org entry about Tuvalu
  2. Amazon - dual voltage travel curling iron
  3. iec.ch - Type I power outlet
  4. Type I plug adapter - Type I plug adapters use three short flat blades in a V format with the top blade acting as a grounding pin, between $10 to $15.
  5. 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, between $90 to $100.
  6. Wikipedia - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country -
  7. iec.ch - IEC World Plugs by location -
  8. Hard case for hot tools - Hard case designed for storing and protecting a flat irons, curling irons and hair straighteners, priced at under $15.
  9. tsa.gov - TSA guidelines for curling irons -
  10. Hard carry on luggage - Example of hard cases, suitcases and luggage suitable for airline carry on, under $50.