How do I use my clothes iron in Ecuador?

Ecuadorian power outlet

Summary

Check that your clothes iron can work in Ecuador:

  • If your clothes iron can run on 120 volts or can support dual voltage (how you can tell) then you will only need to bring the right power adapter listed on this page if the plug on your clothes iron won't 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 Ecuador however these cheap lightweight accessories are designed specifically for the rigors of travel.
  • Use a power converter [7] (or voltage transformer) - this will enable you to use your existing clothes iron and other applicances with an 120 volt Ecuadorian power outlet, however this is substantially bulkier and more expensive than a dedicated travel clothes iron. A power converter changes the voltage but not the actual shape of the plug on your clothes iron to fit in the types of wall outlet used in Ecuador, therefore check that your voltage transformer comes with a suitable power adapter for Ecuador otherwise you will still need to bring a seperate power adapter. Please note - your domestic clothes iron might not be suitable for travel and you could risk potential damage in transit.

Warning: If your clothes iron won't handle 120 volts you run the risk of an electrical fire hazard, a blown fuse or damage to your clothes iron. Prior to using your clothes iron in Ecuador please read the instruction manual to ensure safe operation.

Using a clothes iron in Ecuador

Will my US clothes iron work in Ecuador?

The guides on this page assume that you're a reader from the US travelling to Ecuador and provide guidance for using your American clothes iron with an Ecuadorian power outlet.

Will my clothes iron work in Ecuador?

That depends on if your clothes iron is designed to operate using the 120 volt power outlets used in Ecuador:

Ecuador power outlets and plug sockets

What frequency is used in an Ecuadorian power outlet?

The frequency used in an Ecuadorian power outlet is 60 Hz.

What is the voltage in Ecuador?

Power outlets in Ecuador are 120 volts.

Which power adapter do you need to bring for using a clothes iron in Ecuador?

Type A and B power outlets

Which power adapter do you need to bring for using a clothes iron in Ecuador?

There are two types of power outlets used in Ecuador, these are type B and A with the primary power outlets being type B:

  • Plug Type A - You can recognise this power socket by two slots next to each other.
  • Plug Type B - You can recognise this wall socket by two thin slots next to each other for live and neutral blades with a hole below for the earth pin.

A suitable plug adapter to bring when using a 120 volt clothes iron in Ecuador is a Type B plug adapter [4], read the simple guide below for full details of using a clothes iron in Ecuador. Be aware that unless you that have a dual voltage clothes iron you might also need to bring a power converter.

Dual voltage travel irons

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

An easy way how to tell if your clothes iron will accept dual voltage is to look for either a sticker or numbers printed on the handle, base or plug of the clothes iron. The location will depend on the make or model of your clothes iron and should also be written on the box. Some dual voltage models will change automatically but other models will feature a button or switch which allows you to toggle between different regions depending on which country you are in.

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

Travelling to Ecuador with a clothes iron

Can you carry on a clothes iron to Ecuador in your luggage?

According to the TSA guidelines for clothes irons [10] there is no restriction on carrying a mains powered clothes iron in your carry on hand luggage through airport security in the US. The TSA also recommends that you should check that the airline that is taking you to Ecuador will allow a clothes iron 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 bring hard carry on luggage [11] as this provides the most protection against drops and knocks during your journey.

Power converters for Ecuador

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) changes the shape of the plug on your clothes iron to fit into a power outlet in Ecuador, whereas a more expensive and heavier power converter [7] will transform a 120 volt Ecuadorian power outlet to work with a non-120 volt clothes iron.

Will a power converter work with a clothes iron in Ecuador?

The correct model of power converter [7] (or voltage transformer) allows a clothes iron using a different voltage to operate with the 120 volt power outlet used in Ecuador. Travellers wishing to use their existing domestic clothes iron can use a power converter, but it can be more costly to purchase a power converter than it is to purchase a dedicated dual voltage travel iron [2]. In addition, a travel clothes iron can be significantly smaller and lighter than a power converter making a travel clothes iron more suitable for packing.

How to use a clothes iron in Ecuador using a type B power adapter

How to use a clothes iron in Ecuador with a 3 pin Type B power adapter.

  1. Check that the iron is either a dual voltage travel iron [2] or works with a 120 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. Before using a travel iron make sure you have set it to the 120 volt setting; please consult the user guide for more information on where this switch is.
  2. You will need to use a Type B plug adapter [4] if the shape of the power outlet which is used in Ecuador isn't the same shape as the plug shape of your clothes iron. This plug adapter will adapt plugs on appliances from other countries into an electrical outlet used in Ecuador simply by changing the shape of the plug, but the adapter doesn't change the voltage of the clothes iron to work with a 120 volt outlet.
  3. Start by plugging the Type B plug adapter in the power outlet. You can recognise this power outlet by two slots next to each other where the twin blades go with a single semicircle hole below for the slightly long earth pin.
  4. Then plug in your clothes iron into the Type B plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Ecuadorian power outlet.
  6. Your clothes iron can now be used in Ecuador.
How to use a clothes iron in Ecuador using a type B power adapter

How to use a clothes iron in Ecuador using a type A power adapter

How to power a clothes iron in Ecuador with a Type A power adapter.

  1. Ensure that the iron is either a dual voltage travel iron [2] or can work with a 120 volt power outlet but if it doesn't then don't proceed as you might damage your iron, blow a fuse or create an electrical fire hazard. Before using a dual voltage travel iron which can toggle between different voltages make sure the switch is set to the 120 volt setting; please consult the owners manual for more information on where the switch is.
  2. These instructions assume that you don't already own a clothes iron with a Type A plug - if it does then you won't need a power adapter (but please check that your clothes iron can work with a 120 volt power supply). You will need to use a Type A plug adapter [6] if the shape of the power outlet which is used in Ecuador isn't the same shape as the plug shape of your clothes iron. This plug adapter will adapt plugs on appliances from other countries into an electrical outlet used in Ecuador simply by changing the shape of the plug, but the adapter doesn't change the voltage of the clothes iron to work with a 120 volt outlet.
  3. Start by plugging the Type A plug adapter in the power outlet. You can recognise this power outlet by two slots next to each other where the twin blades go.
  4. Then plug in your clothes iron into the Type A plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the Ecuadorian power outlet. Your iron can now be used in Ecuador.
How to use a clothes iron in Ecuador using a type A power adapter

See also

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ecuador - Ecuador Wikipedia page
  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/typeB.htm - Type B power outlet
  4. Type B plug adapter - Allows appliances to connect to Type B power outlets without converting voltage
  5. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/typeA.htm - Type A power outlet
  6. Type A plug adapter - Allows appliances to connect to Type A 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.