Which plug adapter will you need to use a clothes iron in Sao Tome?

Sao Tome power outlet

Summary

Check that your clothes iron can work in Sao Tome:

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

If not then:

  • Use a dual voltage travel iron [2] - you might still need a power adapter for Sao Tome but these cheap lightweight accessories are designed specifically for the rigors of travel.
  • Use a power converter (or voltage transformer) - you can then use your existing clothes iron and other applicances with a 220 volt Sao Tome power outlet, however this is noticeably heavier 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 wall outlet used in Sao Tome, so check that your power converter includes the correct power adapter for Sao Tome otherwise you will also need to purchase another power adapter. Note - your own existing clothes iron might not be suited for travelling and you could risk damage in transit. [7] [AD]
Warning: If your clothes iron won't handle 220 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 Sao Tome please check the instruction manual to ensure safe operation.

Using a clothes iron in Sao Tome

Will my clothes iron work in Sao Tome?

This will depend on if your clothes iron is designed to handle the 220 volts used in Sao Tome:

Sao Tome power outlets and plug sockets

What is the voltage in Sao Tome?

Power outlets in Sao Tome are 220 volts.

What frequency is used in Sao Tome?

The frequency from a Sao Tome power outlet is 50Hz. [8]

Which travel adapter do you need for using a clothes iron in Sao Tome?

Type C and F power outlets

Which travel adapter do you need for using a clothes iron in Sao Tome?

There are two different types of power outlets used in Sao Tome, types F and C with the primary power outlets being type F:

  • Plug Type C - The plug outlet can be recognised by the two holes adjacent to each other where the two pins go.
  • Plug Type F - This sunken circular wall outlet, technically known as a type F power outlet or Schuko socket, can be recognised by two round adjacent holes for live and neutral pins along with a pair of metal grounding clips at the top and bottom.

A suitable plug adapter to bring when using a 220 volt clothes iron in Sao Tome is a Type F plug adapter; read the step-by-step guide below for full details of how to use a clothes iron in Sao Tome. Note that unless you that have a dual voltage clothes iron you might also have to use a voltage converter.  [6] [9] [AD]

Dual voltage travel irons

How can I tell if my clothes iron is dual voltage?

An easy way how to tell if your clothes iron supports a dual voltage outlet is to check for either a sticker or numbers printed on the plug, base or the handle. The location might depend on the make or model of your clothes iron and should also state on the box. Some dual voltage models can change automatically but other models will have a button which allows you to operate between different voltage ranges.

  • A specific number such as 110V indicates a single voltage clothes iron. If this number matches the 220 volts used in Sao Tome then you should be able to use your clothes iron with a Sao Tome 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 220 volts used in a Sao Tome power outlet falls within the range shown on your clothes iron then you should be able to use it in Sao Tome.
  • A large voltage range separated with a slash such as 100/240V indicates a dual voltage clothes iron capable of being used in Sao Tome or any other country.

Travelling to Sao Tome with a clothes iron

Can you take a clothes iron in your carry on luggage to Sao Tome?

According to the TSA guidelines for clothes irons there are no restrictions when carrying a mains powered clothes iron in your hand luggage through airport security in the US. The TSA also suggests that you should check that the airline who is taking you to Sao Tome will allow clothes irons onboard and that it will fit in the overhead bin or underneath the seat of the aircraft. The TSA also suggests wrapping cords tightly around clothes irons.

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 offers the greatest protection against bumps and knocks during transit.   [10] [11] [AD]

Power converters for Sao Tome

Do I need a power converter in Sao Tome to use a clothes iron?

The correct model of power converter (or voltage transformer) allows a clothes iron using a different voltage to work with the 220 volt power outlet used in Sao Tome. A power converter is more suited for travellers wishing to use their own clothes iron, but it could be more expensive to purchase a power converter than it is to buy a dedicated dual voltage travel iron [2]. Also, a power converter is considerably bulkier and heavier than a travel clothes iron making a power converter less suitable for packing compared to a travel clothes iron. [7] [AD]

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

Voltage converter

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

A small, cheap and lightweight power adapter (or plug adapter) changes the shape of the plug on your clothes iron to slot into a power outlet found in Sao Tome, however a heavy and bulkier power converter converts a 220 volt Sao Tome power outlet to work with a non-220 volt clothes iron. [7] [AD]

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

Instructions on how to use your clothes iron in Sao Tome by using a Type C travel adapter.

  1. Please make sure that your iron is either a dual voltage travel iron [2] or works with a 220 volt power supply; if it doesn't then don't attempt these instructions as you might damage your iron, blow a fuse or create an electrical fire hazard. Dual voltage irons typically have a switch to toggle between voltages, before using the iron ensure the switch is set to accept 220 volts for use in Sao Tome - please refer to the owners manual for more details on where the switch is.
  2. If the plug on your clothes iron isn't the same type of outlet used in Sao Tome you will need to use a Type C plug adapter [4]. This Type C plug adapter will help convert different plugs from other countries for use with a power outlet found in Sao Tome 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 220 volt outlet.
  3. Insert the Type C plug adapter into the Sao Tome power outlet. This unearthed power outlet is recognised by 2 round adjacent holes for live and neutral pins.
  4. Then plug in your clothes iron into the Type C plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Sao Tome power outlet.
  6. Your clothes iron can now be used in Sao Tome.
How to use a clothes iron in Sao Tome using a type C power adapter

How to use a clothes iron in Sao Tome using a type F power adapter

How to power a clothes iron in Sao Tome using a 2 pin Type F power adapter.

  1. Please ensure that your iron is either a dual voltage travel iron [2] or can work with a 220 volt power supply but if it doesn't then don't proceed as you could damage your iron, blow a fuse or create an electrical fire hazard. Travel irons usually have a switch to toggle between voltages, before using the iron ensure the switch is set to accept 220 volts to use in Sao Tome, please refer to the owners manual for more information on where this switch is.
  2. If the plug on your clothes iron isn't the same type of outlet which is used in Sao Tome you will need to buy a Type F plug adapter [6]. This Type F plug adapter is designed to convert plugs from other countries for use with a power outlet used in Sao Tome by changing the shape of the plug, but the adapter doesn't change the voltage of the clothes iron to work with a 220 volt outlet.
  3. Start by taking the Type F plug adapter and inserting it in the Sao Tome power outlet. The round plug outlet can be recognised by the two large round holes 19 mm apart from each other for live and neutral pins along with two thin grounding clips above and below.
  4. Plug in the clothes iron into the Type F plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the Sao Tome power outlet.
  6. The clothes iron can now be turned on.
How to use a clothes iron in Sao Tome using a type F power adapter

See also

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  1. Wikipedia - wikipedia page about Sao Tome
  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, estimated cost £5-£10.
  5. iec.ch - Type F power outlet
  6. Type F plug adapter - Schuko Type F plug adapters are earthed using two clips at the top and bottom with two rounded 4.8mm pins set 19mm apart, estimated cost £5-£10.
  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, £130-£140.
  8. Wikipedia - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country -
  9. iec.ch - IEC World Plugs by location -
  10. tsa.gov - TSA guidelines for clothes irons -
  11. Hard carry on luggage - Example of hard cases, suitcases and luggage suitable for airline carry on, around £40.