How do I use my clothes iron in Puerto Rico?

Puerto Rican power outlet

Summary

First check your clothes iron can work in Puerto Rico:

If not then either:

  • Use a dual voltage travel iron [2] - you might still need a suitable power adapter for Puerto Rico however these cheap lightweight accessories are designed specifically for travel.
  • Use a power converter (or voltage transformer) - this enables you to use your existing clothes iron and other applicances with a 120 volt Puerto Rican power outlet, however this is noticeably heavier, bulkier and more expensive than a dedicated travel clothes iron. A power converter changes the voltage but won't change the actual shape of the plug on your clothes iron to fit in the types of wall outlet used in Puerto Rico, therefore please check that your voltage transformer has the right power adapter for Puerto Rico otherwise you will need to purchase another power adapter. Please note that your own personal clothes iron might not be suitable for travelling and you risk potential damage in your luggage. [7] [AD]
Warning: If your clothes iron won't handle the 120 volts used in Puerto Rico you run a risk of an electrical fire hazard, a blown fuse or damage to your clothes iron. Prior to using your clothes iron in Puerto Rico please read the instruction manual first to ensure safe operation.

Using a clothes iron in Puerto Rico

Will my clothes iron work in Puerto Rico?

It depends on if your clothes iron can handle the 120 volts which are used in Puerto Rico:

Puerto Rico power outlets and plug sockets

What electrical frequency is used in Puerto Rico?

The frequency used in a Puerto Rican power outlet is 60Hz. [8]

What is the mains voltage in Puerto Rico?

The normal voltage used in Puerto Rico is 120 volts.

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

Type A and B power outlets

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

There are two different types of power outlets used in Puerto Rico, types B and A with the primary power outlets being type B:

  • Plug Type A - You can recognise the wall socket by the two adjacent slots next to each other where the twin plug socket blades go.
  • Plug Type B - You can recognise the wall socket by the two slots parallel to each other with a single hole below for the grounded pin.

A recommended plug adapter to bring for using a 120 volt clothes iron in Puerto Rico is a Type B plug adapter; read the simple guide below for full details of using a clothes iron in Puerto Rico with a plug adapter. Note that unless you that have a dual voltage clothes iron you will need to see if you also need to use a power converter.  [4] [9] [AD]

Dual voltage travel irons

Is my clothes iron dual voltage?

One method to tell if your clothes iron supports a dual voltage outlet is to check for either a sticker or numbers printed on the base, handle or plug of your clothes iron. This location will depend on the make and model of your clothes iron and should also state in the instruction manual or on the box. Some dual voltage models will change automatically, however other irons will feature a button which allows you to change between different voltage ranges.

  • Single voltage might say a specific number - such as 110V. If this number matches the 120 volts used in Puerto Rico then you should be able to use your clothes iron with a Puerto Rican 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 120 volts used in a Puerto Rican power outlet falls within the range shown on your clothes iron then you should be able to use it in Puerto Rico.
  • Dual voltage will say a larger range separated with a slash - such as 100/240V. Your clothes iron will be capable of being used in Puerto Rico or any other country if these numbers are shown.

Travelling to Puerto Rico with a clothes iron

Can a clothes iron go in carry on luggage to Puerto Rico?

According to the TSA guidelines for clothes irons 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 suggests that you should check that the airline which is taking you to Puerto Rico will allow a clothes iron 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 electric items such as clothes irons.

If you do 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 knocks and bumps during your journey.   [10] [11] [AD]

Power converters for Puerto Rico

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?

An expensive and heavy power converter will convert a 120 volt Puerto Rican power outlet to work with a non-120 volt clothes iron, whereas a smaller and more lightweight power adapter (or plug adapter) changes the shape of the plug on your clothes iron to slot into a power outlet found in Puerto Rico. [7] [AD]

Do I need a voltage converter to use my clothes iron in Puerto Rico?

The correct type voltage transformer (or power converter) allows a clothes iron using a different voltage to work with the 120 volt power outlet used in Puerto Rico. A power converter is more suitable for travellers wishing to bring their existing domestic clothes iron, however it can be more expensive to buy a power converter than it is to purchase a dedicated dual voltage travel iron [2]. Also worth noting, a power converter is noticeably bulkier and heavier than a travel clothes iron making a power converter less suited for packing. [7] [AD]

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

A guide showing how to use your clothes iron in Puerto Rico with a three prong Type B power adapter.

  1. Ensure that the iron is either a dual voltage travel iron [2] or can work with a 120 volt power supply - 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 dual voltage travel iron ensure you have set it to the 120 volt setting; please consult the user guide for more information on where the switch is found.
  2. You will need to use a Type B plug adapter [4] if the shape of plug used on your clothes iron isn't the same shape as the power outlet which is used in Puerto Rico. The power adapter is designed to fit plugs from other countries into a power outlet in Puerto Rico simply by changing the shape of the plug, however it doesn't change the voltage of your clothes iron to work with a 120 volt supply.
  3. Start the process by plugging the Type B plug adapter in the Puerto Rican power outlet. You can recognise the wall outlet by two slots next to each other with a hole below for the grounded pin.
  4. After that plug in the clothes iron into the Type B plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Puerto Rican power outlet.
  6. The iron is now ready to use.
How to use a clothes iron in Puerto Rico using a type B power adapter

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

A page showing how to power your clothes iron in Puerto Rico by using a three pronged Type A power charger.

  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 don't attempt these instructions as you may create an electrical fire hazard, damage your iron or blow a fuse. Some travel irons usually have a switch to toggle between voltages, before using the iron ensure you have set it to the 120 volt setting; consult the user guide for more information on where the switch is.
  2. This guide assumes 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 still check that your clothes iron will work with a 120 volt power supply). You'll need to use a Type A plug adapter [6] if the shape of plug used on your clothes iron isn't the same shape as the power outlet which is used in Puerto Rico. The power adapter is designed to convert plugs from other countries into a power outlet in Puerto Rico simply by changing the shape of the plug, however it doesn't change the voltage of your clothes iron to work with a 120 volt supply.
  3. Start by plugging the Type A plug adapter into the Puerto Rican power outlet. You can recognise this wall outlet by two slots next to each other.
  4. Plug in the clothes iron into the Type A plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Puerto Rican power outlet. Your clothes iron can now be used in Puerto Rico.
How to use a clothes iron in Puerto Rico using a type A power adapter

See also

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  1. Wikipedia - Puerto Rican country Wiki page
  2. Amazon - dual voltage travel iron
  3. iec.ch - Type B power outlet
  4. Type B plug adapter - US and Japanese 3 pinned Type B plug adapters have a single unearthed round pin along with 2 shorter parallel rectangular flat blades containing holes in each blade, priced at £5-£10.
  5. iec.ch - Type A power outlet
  6. Type A plug adapter - There are 2 parallel rectangular flat blades on an unearthed Type A plug adapter with small holes in each blade, £4-£5.
  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, estimated price £100-£110.
  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, estimated price around £40.