Which plug adapter will you need when using a clothes iron in Brazil?

Brazilian power outlet

Brazil uses 2 different types of voltage depending on the location - both 127 volts and 240 volts. Always ensure that you familiarise yourself with the voltage of the outlet prior to using any electrical appliance in a Brazilian power outlet. Instructions on this page assume that you understand which voltage you will be using, however the safest option is always to use a dual voltage device or appliance.

Summary

First check your clothes iron can work in Brazil:

  • If your clothes iron can run using 127 or 220 volts or can support dual voltage (how to check) then you'll only need to use a suitable power adapter listed below if the plug on your clothes iron will not fit.

If not then you can either:

  • Use a dual voltage travel iron [2] - you may still need to use the right power adapter for Brazil however these cheap lightweight accessories are designed specifically for the rigors of travel.
  • Use a power converter [7] (or voltage transformer) - you can then use your existing clothes iron and other applicances with a 127 or 220 volt Brazilian power outlet, however this is noticeably heavier and more expensive than a dedicated travel clothes iron. A voltage transformer will change the voltage but not the physical shape of the plug on your clothes iron to fit in the power outlet used in Brazil, so check that your power converter [7] includes a suitable power adapter for Brazil otherwise you will still need to bring a seperate power adapter. Also worth noting that your own existing clothes iron might not be suited for travelling and you risk damage in your luggage.

Warning: If your clothes iron won't handle the 127 or 220 volts used in Brazil you run a risk of an electrical fire hazard, a blown fuse or damage to your clothes iron. Before using your clothes iron in Brazil please read the instruction manual first to ensure safe operation.

Using a clothes iron in Brazil

Can I use my US clothes iron in Brazil?

The instructions on this page assume that you are an America reader visiting Brazil and provide advice on using your US clothes iron with a Brazilian power outlet.

Will my clothes iron work in Brazil?

That will depend on if your clothes iron can handle the 127 or 220 volts used in Brazil:

Brazil power outlets and plug sockets

What electrical frequency is used in Brazil?

The frequency from a Brazilian power outlet is 60Hz.

Which plug adapter will you need to bring to use a clothes iron in Brazil?

Type C and N power outlets

Which plug adapter will you need to bring to use a clothes iron in Brazil?

There are two different types of power outlets used in Brazil, types N and C with the primary power outlets being type N:

  • Plug Type C - The wall socket is recognised by two adjacent holes next to each other for live and neutral.
  • Plug Type N - This flattened hexagon shaped plug socket, also known as a type N power outlet, can be identified by the 3 large circular holes in a flattened triangle shape for live, neutral and earth.

A recommended plug adapter to bring for using a clothes iron in Brazil is a Type N plug adapter [6]; read the simple guide below for full details of using a clothes iron in Brazil using a power adapter. Note that unless you that have a dual voltage clothes iron you might also have to bring a voltage converter.

Dual voltage travel irons

Is my clothes iron dual voltage?

One method to tell if your clothes iron supports dual voltage is to check for either a sticker or numbers printed on the handle, base or plug of the clothes iron. The location might vary depending on the make or model of your clothes iron, it could also be written on the box or in the instruction manual. Some dual voltage clothes irons might change automatically but other models will have a button or switch which allows you to change between different regions.

  • Single voltage could say a specific number - such as 110V. If this number matches the 127 or 220 volts used in Brazil then you should be able to use your clothes iron with a Brazilian 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 127 or 220 volts used in a Brazilian power outlet falls within the range shown on your clothes iron then you should be able to use it in Brazil.
  • Dual voltage will say a large range separated with a slash - such as 100/240V. Your clothes iron will be capable of being used in Brazil or any other country if these numbers are shown.

Travelling to Brazil with a clothes iron

Can you bring a clothes iron in your hand luggage?

According to the TSA guidelines for clothes irons [10] there are no restrictions when bringing a mains powered clothes iron in your hand luggage through airport security in the United States. The TSA recommends that you should verify that your airline who is flying you to Brazil will allow clothes irons onboard and that it will fit in the overhead bin or underneath the seat of the aircraft. The TSA also advices wrapping cables tightly around electronic items. If you do intend to bring a fragile or expensive clothes iron in your hand held luggage then it is recommended to use hard carry on luggage [11] as this offers the most protection against knocks and drops during transit.

Power converters for Brazil

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

Voltage converter

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

A lightweight, cheap and small power adapter (or plug adapter) will change the shape of the plug on your clothes iron to fit into a power outlet in Brazil, but a heavy and bulkier power converter [7] converts the voltage of 127 or 220 volts from a Brazilian power outlet to work with a non-127 or 220 volt clothes iron.

Can I use a power converter with a normal clothes iron in Brazil?

The correct power converter [7] (or voltage transformer) will allow your clothes iron using a different voltage to work using a 127 or 220 volt power outlet used in Brazil. A power converter is suitable for travellers who want to use their existing clothes iron, but it could be more expensive to buy a power converter than it is to buy a dedicated dual voltage travel iron [2]. Also, a power converter is substantially heavier and bulkier than a travel clothes iron making a power converter less suited for travelling.

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

How to power your clothes iron in Brazil by using a two prong Type C power charger.

  1. Check that the iron is either a dual voltage travel iron [2] or works with a 127 or 220 volt power outlet - if it doesn't then don't continue as you may create an electrical fire hazard, damage your iron or blow a fuse. Before using a travel iron make sure the switch is set to the 127 or 220 volt setting to use in Brazil, please refer to the user guide to find out how to do this.
  2. You'll need to bring a Type C plug adapter [4] if the type of power outlet used in Brazil doesn't take the plug shape of your clothes iron. The Type C plug adapter will help convert different plugs on appliances from other countries for an electrical outlet found in Brazil simply by changing the shape of the plug, but the adapter doesn't change the frequency or voltage of the clothes iron to work with a 127 or 220 volt outlet.
  3. Begin by taking the Type C plug adapter and plugging it into the Brazilian power outlet. This ungrounded plug supply is identified by 2 round adjacent holes for live and neutral. Prior to 1st January 2010 buildings use this power outlet.
  4. Plug in the clothes iron into the Type C plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the Brazilian power outlet.
  6. The iron should now be ready for use.
How to use a clothes iron in Brazil using a type C power adapter

How to use a clothes iron in Brazil using a type N power adapter

How to power your clothes iron in Brazil using a three pronged Type N power charger.

  1. Make sure that your iron is either a dual voltage travel iron [2] or is compatible with a 127 or 220 volt power outlet but if it doesn't then do not proceed as you might damage your iron, blow a fuse or create an electrical fire hazard. Some travel irons will usually have a switch to toggle between voltages, before operating the iron ensure you have set it to the 127 or 220 volt setting; please consult the owners manual for more details on how to do this.
  2. You will need to buy a Type N plug adapter [6] if the type of plug used on your clothes iron isn't the same type of plug outlet which is used in Brazil. This plug adapter is designed to fit plugs from other countries into a power outlet in Brazil simply by changing the shape of the plug, however it doesn't change the voltage of the clothes iron to work with a 127 or 220 volt supply.
  3. Firstly insert the Type N plug adapter in the power outlet. The squashed hexagon shaped plug supply, sometimes known as a Type N power outlet [5], can be recognised by 3 round holes in a flattened triangular configuration. You will find that since January 2010 all buildings will be installed using this power outlet.
  4. Plug in your clothes iron into the Type N plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the Brazilian power outlet.
  6. The iron should now be ready to use.
How to use a clothes iron in Brazil using a type N power adapter

See also

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brazil - Brazil entry on wikipedia
  2. https://www.amazon.com/Small-Mini-Iron-Non-Stick-Extra-Long/dp/B01AK9ZUGO/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&qid=1483620272&sr=8-4&keywords=dual+voltage+travel+iron&refinements=p_72:2661618011&linkCode=ll1&tag=wikiconnections-20&linkId=2f036aaac07e425cbd203ec0166146cb - dual voltage travel iron
  3. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/typeC.htm - Type C power outlet
  4. Type C plug adapter - Allows appliances to connect to Type C power outlets without converting voltage
  5. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/typeN.htm - Type N power outlet
  6. Type N plug adapter - Allows appliances to connect to Type N power outlets without converting voltage
  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
  8. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mains_electricity_by_country - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country
  9. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/list_bylocation.htm - IEC World Plugs by location
  10. https://apps.tsa.dhs.gov/mytsa/cib_results.aspx?search=clothes%20iron - TSA guidelines for clothes irons
  11. Hard carry on luggage - Example of hard cases, suitcases and luggage suitable for airline carry on.