How do I use a clothes iron in The Republic of the Congo?

Congo power outlet

Summary

Check your clothes iron can work in The Republic of the Congo:

If not then you can either:

  • Use a dual voltage travel iron [2] - you might still need to use a suitable power adapter for The Republic of the Congo but these cheap lightweight accessories are designed specifically for the rigors of travel.
  • Use a power converter [9] (or voltage transformer) - this enables you to use your existing clothes iron and other applicances with a 230 volt Congo power outlet, however this is significantly heavier and more expensive than a dedicated travel clothes iron. A power converter will change the voltage but not the actual physical shape of the plug on your clothes iron to fit in the power outlet used in The Republic of the Congo, therefore check that the voltage transformer includes a power adapter for The Republic of the Congo otherwise you will need to bring another power adapter. Also worth noting that your personal clothes iron might not be suited for travel and you risk damage in a suitcase.

Warning: If your clothes iron won't handle the 230 volts used in The Republic of the Congo you run the potential risk of an electrical fire hazard, a blown fuse or damage to your clothes iron. Before attempting to use your clothes iron in The Republic of the Congo please check the instruction manual first to ensure safe operation.

Using a clothes iron in The Republic of the Congo

Will my clothes iron work in The Republic of the Congo?

This depends on if your clothes iron can operate using the 230 volt power outlets in The Republic of the Congo:

Will my American clothes iron work in The Republic of the Congo?

The instructions on this page assume that you're a reader from America visiting The Republic of the Congo and will provide guidance for using your US clothes iron with a Congo power outlet.

The Republic of the Congo power outlets and plug sockets

What electrical frequency is used with a Congo power outlet?

The frequency from a Congo power outlet is 50 Hz.

What is the mains voltage in The Republic of the Congo?

The normal residential voltage used in The Republic of the Congo is 230 volts.

Which travel adapter will you need to bring when using a clothes iron in The Republic of the Congo?

Type C, D and E power outlets

Which travel adapter will you need to bring when using a clothes iron in The Republic of the Congo?

There are three different types of power outlets used in The Republic of the Congo, these are type E, C and D with the primary power outlets being type E:

  • Plug Type C - You can identify this wall outlet by 2 holes next to each other where the twin pins slide into.
  • Plug Type D - You can recognise the power outlet by 3 holes in a triangle configuration.
  • Plug Type E - This round wall outlet, also called a type E power outlet, can be recognised by the two large round adjacent holes and one metal earth pin protruding in the top forming a triangle shape.

A Type E plug adapter [8] will allow you to use a 230 volt clothes iron in The Republic of the Congo, read the step-by-step instructions below for full details of using a clothes iron in The Republic of the Congo with a travel adapter. Please be aware that unless you that have a dual voltage clothes iron you will need to see if you need to bring a voltage converter.

Dual voltage travel irons

Is my clothes iron dual voltage?

One way to tell if your clothes iron can handle a dual voltage outlet is to look for either a sticker or numbers printed on the plug, base or handle. The location will vary depending on the make or model of your clothes iron and could also state on the box or in the instruction manual. Some dual voltage clothes irons will change automatically but other irons will feature a button which allows you to change between different voltages depending on which country you are visiting.

  • A specific number such as 110V indicates a single voltage clothes iron. If this number matches the 230 volts used in The Republic of the Congo then you should be able to use your clothes iron with a Congo 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 230 volts used in a Congo power outlet falls within the range shown on your clothes iron then you can use it in The Republic of the Congo.
  • A larger range separated with a slash such as 100/240V indicates a dual voltage clothes iron capable of being used in The Republic of the Congo or any other country.

Travelling to The Republic of the Congo with a clothes iron

Can clothes irons go in your carry on to The Republic of the Congo?

According to the TSA guidelines for clothes irons [12] there is no restriction on bringing a mains powered clothes iron in your hand luggage through airport security in the US. The TSA suggests that you should verify that the airline that is flying you to The Republic of the Congo 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 recommends wrapping wires tightly around electronic items.

If you do intend to bring a fragile or expensive clothes iron in your hand held luggage then it is advisable to use hard carry on luggage [13] as this provides the greatest protection against knocks and drops during transit.

Power converters for The Republic of the Congo

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?

An expensive and bulky power converter [9] transforms a 230 volt Congo power outlet to work with a non-230 volt clothes iron, whereas a more lightweight and cheaper power adapter (or plug adapter) changes the shape of the plug on your clothes iron to slot into a power outlet in The Republic of the Congo.

Can I use a voltage converter with a clothes iron in The Republic of the Congo?

The correct model of voltage transformer [9] (or power converter) will allow a clothes iron using a different voltage to work using a 230 volt power outlet used in The Republic of the Congo. A power converter is more suited for travellers wishing to bring along their existing clothes iron, but it might be a lot cheaper to purchase a dedicated dual voltage travel iron [2] than it is to buy 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 suited for packing.

How to use a clothes iron in The Republic of the Congo using a type C power adapter

How to use a clothes iron in The Republic of the Congo by using a 2 pinned Type C travel adapter.

  1. Check 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 proceed because you may damage your iron, blow a fuse or create an electrical fire hazard. Before using a travel iron which can toggle between different voltages ensure the switch is set to the 230 volt setting for use in The Republic of the Congo; refer to the instructions for more details on where this switch is found.
  2. You will need to bring a Type C plug adapter [4] if the type of plug on your clothes iron isn't the same shape as the plug outlet used in The Republic of the Congo. This power adapter will convert plugs on appliances from other countries into a power outlet found in The Republic of the Congo simply by changing the shape of the plug, however the adapter doesn't change the voltage of your clothes iron to work with a 230 volt outlet.
  3. Plug in the Type C plug adapter in the wall outlet. This wall supply (called a Europlug or Type C power outlet [3]) can be recognised by the two circular adjacent holes next to each other where the twin plug outlet pins slide into.
  4. Plug in your clothes iron into the Type C plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Congo power outlet. The iron can now be used in The Republic of the Congo.
How to use a clothes iron in The Republic of the Congo using a type C power adapter

How to use a clothes iron in The Republic of the Congo using a type D power adapter

Instructions on how to power a clothes iron in The Republic of the Congo with a Type D power charger.

  1. Please make sure that the iron is either a dual voltage travel iron [2] or is compatible with a 230 volt power supply - but if it doesn't then don't attempt these instructions because you might damage your iron, blow a fuse or create an electrical fire hazard. Some dual voltage travel irons might sometimes have a switch to toggle between voltages, before using the iron make sure you have set it to accept 230 volts, refer to the instructions for more details on where this switch is located.
  2. If the shape of the power outlet used in The Republic of the Congo won't take the plug on your clothes iron you'll need to buy a Type D plug adapter [6]. This power adapter will convert plugs on appliances from other countries for use with an electrical outlet in The Republic of the Congo by changing the shape of the plug, but it doesn't change the frequency or voltage of the clothes iron to work with a 230 volt supply.
  3. Begin by taking the Type D plug adapter and inserting it into the Congo power outlet. You can identify this wall supply by 3 holes in a triangle shape for live, neutral and ground.
  4. Then plug in the clothes iron into the Type D plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the Congo power outlet.
  6. The iron can now be used in The Republic of the Congo.
How to use a clothes iron in The Republic of the Congo using a type D power adapter

How to use a clothes iron in The Republic of the Congo using a type E power adapter

How to use your clothes iron in The Republic of the Congo with a two prong Type E travel adapter.

  1. Make sure that the iron is either a dual voltage travel iron [2] or works with a 230 volt power supply - but if it doesn't then do not continue as you could create an electrical fire hazard, damage your iron or blow a fuse. Dual voltage irons typically have a switch to toggle between voltages, before operating the iron make sure you have set it to accept 230 volts - please consult the owners manual to find out how to do this.
  2. If the plug shape on your clothes iron isn't the same type of outlet which is used in The Republic of the Congo you will need to buy a Type E plug adapter [8]. The Type E plug adapter is designed to adapt different plugs from other countries for a power outlet found in The Republic of the Congo simply by changing the shape of the plug, but it doesn't change the frequency or voltage of the clothes iron to work with a 230 volt supply.
  3. Begin by inserting the Type E plug adapter in the Congo power outlet. You can identify this wall supply by two holes 19mm apart from each other where the two pins sit plus a single long metal grounding pin protruding from the top to form a triangular pattern.
  4. Next plug in the clothes iron into the Type E plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the Congo power outlet. The iron can now be used in The Republic of the Congo.
How to use a clothes iron in The Republic of the Congo using a type E power adapter

See also

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Congo,_Republic_of_the - Congo Wikipedia page
  2. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Russell-Hobbs-Steam-Travel-22470/dp/B00SL7AXWE/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&qid=1522355860&sr=8-2&keywords=dual+voltage+travel+iron&linkCode=ll1&tag=wikiconnectio-21&linkId=b6f9412d41b5f267450a40a4f4d2507e - 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/typeD.htm - Type D power outlet
  6. Type D plug adapter - Allows appliances to connect to Type D power outlets without converting voltage
  7. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/typeE.htm - Type E power outlet
  8. Type E plug adapter - Allows appliances to connect to Type E power outlets without converting voltage
  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. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mains_electricity_by_country - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country
  11. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/list_bylocation.htm - IEC World Plugs by location
  12. https://apps.tsa.dhs.gov/mytsa/cib_results.aspx?search=clothes%20iron - TSA guidelines for clothes irons
  13. Hard carry on luggage - Example of hard cases, suitcases and luggage suitable for airline carry on.