How to use your clothes iron in Zambia

Zambian power outlet

Summary

First check that your clothes iron can handle the voltage in Zambia:

  • If your clothes iron can run on 230 volts or can support dual voltage (how to tell) then you'll only need to bring a suitable power adapter listed below if the plug on your clothes iron won't fit in the outlet.

If not then you can either:

  • Use a dual voltage travel iron [2] - you may still need the correct power adapter for Zambia 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 clothes iron and other applicances with a 230 volt Zambian power outlet, however this is substantially bulkier, heavier and more expensive than a dedicated travel clothes iron. A voltage transformer will change the voltage but not the actual shape of the plug on your clothes iron to fit in the power outlet used in Zambia, so please check that the voltage transformer includes the right power adapter for Zambia otherwise you will also need to purchase another power adapter. Be aware that your own existing clothes iron might not be suited for travel and you could risk potential damage in your luggage. [9] [AD]
Warning: If your clothes iron won't handle 230 volts you run the potential risk of damage to your clothes iron, an electrical fire hazard or blowing a fuse. Before using your clothes iron in Zambia please check the instruction manual to ensure safe operation.

Using a clothes iron in Zambia

Will my clothes iron work in Zambia?

This will depend on if your clothes iron is designed to handle the 230 volt power outlets in Zambia:

Will my US clothes iron work in Zambia?

The instructions on this page assume that you're a reader from America visiting Zambia and provide advice on using your American clothes iron with a Zambian power outlet.

Zambia power outlets and plug sockets

What is the frequency used in a Zambian power outlet?

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

What mains voltage is used in Zambia?

The voltage used in Zambia is 230 volts.

Which power adapter will you need to bring for using a clothes iron in Zambia?

Type C, D and G power outlets

Which power adapter will you need to bring for using a clothes 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 plug socket by 2 circular holes adjacent to each other for live and neutral pins.
  • Plug Type D - This wall outlet (technically called a type D power outlet) can be identified by the three holes in a triangle pattern.
  • Plug Type G - You can identify this power socket by the 3 rectangular holes in a triangular pattern.

A Type G power adapter allows you to use a 230 volt clothes iron in Zambia, read the step-by-step guide below for full details of using a power adapter for Zambia. Note that unless you that have a dual voltage clothes iron you might also have to use a power converter.  [8] [11] [AD]

Dual voltage travel irons

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

A simple way to tell if your clothes iron will support dual voltage is to check for either a sticker or numbers printed on the handle, base or the plug. The location will depend on the make and model of your clothes iron and could also state on the box or in the instruction manual. Some dual voltage models might change automatically, however other irons will feature a button or switch which allows you to operate between different voltage ranges depending on which country you are visiting.

  • 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 clothes iron with a Zambian 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 230 volts used in a Zambian power outlet falls within the range shown on your clothes iron then you should be able to use it in Zambia.
  • Dual voltage will say a large voltage range separated with a slash - such as 100/240V. Your clothes iron will be capable of being used in Zambia or any other country if these numbers are shown.

Travelling to Zambia with a clothes iron

Can clothes irons go in your carry on luggage?

According to the TSA guidelines for clothes irons there is no restriction on carrying a mains powered clothes iron in your carry on luggage through airport security in the US. The TSA suggests that you should verify that the airline who is taking you to Zambia will allow clothes irons onboard and that it will fit in the overhead bin or underneath the seat of the airplane. The TSA also suggests wrapping wires tightly around electronic items. If you intend to pack a fragile or expensive clothes iron in your hand held luggage then it is advisable to use hard carry on luggage as this provides the most protection against knocks and bumps during transit.   [12] [13] [AD]

Power converters for Zambia

Do I need a converter to use a clothes iron in Zambia?

The correct voltage transformer (or power converter) will allow your clothes iron using a different voltage to operate with the 230 volt power outlet used in Zambia. Travellers who want to bring along their existing domestic clothes iron can use a power converter, however it might be less expensive to purchase a dedicated dual voltage travel iron [2] than it will be to purchase a power converter. In addition, a travel clothes iron can be substantially smaller and lighter than a power converter making a travel clothes iron more suitable when travelling. [9] [AD]

What is the difference between a power adapter and a power converter?

Voltage converter

What is the difference between a power adapter and a power converter?

A heavy and expensive power converter converts a 230 volt Zambian power outlet to work with a non-230 volt clothes iron, however a smaller and more lightweight power adapter (or plug adapter) will change the shape of the plug on your clothes iron to fit into a power outlet in Zambia. [9] [AD]

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

How to power a clothes iron in Zambia with a two pin Type C power charger.

  1. Make sure that your iron is either a dual voltage travel iron [2] or can work with a 230 volt power outlet - but if not then don't attempt these instructions as you could create an electrical fire hazard, blow a fuse or damage your iron. Before using a travel iron which can toggle between different voltages make sure you have set it to accept 230 volts for use in Zambia; please consult the manufacturers instructions for more details on how to do this.
  2. If the plug on your clothes iron isn't the same shape as the outlet used in Zambia you'll need to use a Type C plug adapter [4]. The power adapter helps adapt different plugs on appliances from other countries for use with a power outlet used in Zambia simply by changing the shape of the plug, but it doesn't change the frequency or voltage of your clothes iron to work with a 230 volt outlet.
  3. Start by taking the Type C plug adapter and inserting it into the wall outlet. You can identify this plug outlet by the 2 round holes adjacent to each other where the twin pins sit.
  4. Plug in your clothes iron into the Type C plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Zambian power outlet. You can now switch on your iron for use in Zambia. [AD]
How to use a clothes iron in Zambia using a type C power adapter

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

How to power a clothes iron in Zambia with a three pin Type D power charger.

  1. Please ensure that the iron is either a dual voltage travel iron [2] or works with a 230 volt power outlet; if it doesn't then don't proceed because you might create an electrical fire hazard, damage your iron or blow a fuse. Before using a dual voltage travel iron ensure the switch is set to accept 230 volts; refer to the owners manual for more information on how to do this.
  2. If the type of power outlet used in Zambia isn't the same shape as the plug shape on your clothes iron you'll need to buy a Type D plug adapter [6]. The plug adapter will convert different plugs from other countries into an electrical outlet in Zambia simply by changing the shape of the plug, however the adapter doesn't change the frequency or voltage of the clothes iron to work with a 230 volt supply.
  3. Start the process by inserting the Type D plug adapter in the power outlet. You can identify the plug outlet by 3 round holes forming a triangular configuration for live, neutral and ground pins.
  4. Plug in your clothes iron into the Type D plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Zambian power outlet. You can now switch on your iron to use in Zambia. [AD]
How to use a clothes iron in Zambia using a type D power adapter

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

A step by step guide showing you how to power your clothes iron in Zambia with a Type G power adapter.

  1. Check that your iron is either a dual voltage travel iron [2] or works with a 230 volt power supply but if not then do not continue as you may damage your iron, blow a fuse or create an electrical fire hazard. Some dual voltage irons sometimes have a switch to toggle between voltages, before using the iron make sure the switch is set to the 230 volt setting - please refer to the instructions to find out where the switch is found.
  2. You'll need to use a Type G plug adapter [8] if the type of plug on your clothes iron isn't the same type of power outlet which is used in Zambia. This Type G plug adapter is designed to fit plugs on appliances from other countries for a power outlet found in Zambia by changing the shape of the plug, but it doesn't change the voltage of your clothes iron to work with a 230 volt supply.
  3. Insert the Type G plug adapter in the Zambian power outlet. The power supply (technically known as a Type G power outlet [7]) can be recognised by the 3 holes in a triangle pattern.
  4. Plug in the clothes iron into the Type G plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the Zambian power outlet.
  6. You can now turn on the iron for use in Zambia. [AD]
How to use a clothes iron in Zambia using a type G power adapter

See also

  1. Wikipedia - wikipedia.org entry about Zambia
  2. Amazon - dual voltage travel 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.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  10. Wikipedia - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country -
  11. iec.ch - IEC World Plugs by location -
  12. tsa.gov - TSA guidelines for clothes irons -
  13. Hard carry on luggage - Example of hard cases, suitcases and luggage suitable for airline carry on.