How do I use my clothes iron in New Zealand?

New Zealand power outlet

Summary

Check that your clothes iron can handle the voltage in New Zealand:

  • If your clothes iron can run using 230 volts or can support dual voltage (how to tell) then you'll only need to bring an appropriate 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 may still need a suitable power adapter for New Zealand but these cheap lightweight accessories are designed specifically for travel.
  • Use a power converter (or voltage transformer) - you can then use your existing clothes iron and other applicances with a 230 volt New Zealand power outlet, however this is noticeably heavier and more expensive than a dedicated travel clothes iron. A power converter changes the voltage but won't change the physical shape of the plug on your clothes iron to fit in the types of power outlet used in New Zealand, therefore check that your power converter comes with a power adapter for New Zealand otherwise you will need to purchase a seperate power adapter. Please note - your own domestic clothes iron might not be suited for travel and you risk potential damage in your suitcase. [5]
Warning: If your clothes iron won't handle 230 volts you run the potential risk of blowing a fuse, damage to your clothes iron or even an electrical fire hazard. Before attempting to use your clothes iron in New Zealand read the instruction manual to ensure safe operation.

Using a clothes iron in New Zealand

Will my clothes iron work in New Zealand?

That will depend on if your clothes iron can handle the 230 volt power outlets used in New Zealand:

New Zealand power outlets and plug sockets

What is the frequency used with a New Zealand power outlet?

The frequency of the alternating current from a New Zealand power outlet is 50 Hz. [6]

What is the voltage in New Zealand?

Power outlets in New Zealand are 230 volts.

Which plug adapter will you need to bring for using a clothes iron in New Zealand?

The type of power outlet used in New Zealand is type I. You can identify this power socket by the 3 slots for the live, neutral and earth blades. A recommended travel adapter to bring for using a 230 volt clothes iron in New Zealand is a Type I power adapter; read the step-by-step instructions below for full details of using a plug adapter for New Zealand. Please note that unless you that have a dual voltage clothes iron you will need to confirm if you have to use a voltage converter.  [4] [7]

Which plug adapter will you need to bring for using a clothes iron in New Zealand?

Dual voltage travel irons

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

A simple method to tell if your clothes iron will handle dual voltage is to check for either a sticker or numbers printed on the handle, base or the plug. This location might depend on the make or model of your clothes iron and could also be written in the instruction manual. Some dual voltage models will change automatically but other models will have a button which allows you to change between different regions depending on which country you are in.

  • Single voltage might say a specific number - such as 110V. If this number matches the 230 volts used in New Zealand then you should be able to use your clothes iron with a New Zealand 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 230 volts used in a New Zealand power outlet falls within the range shown on your clothes iron then you should be able to use it in New Zealand.
  • Dual voltage will typically say a large voltage range separated with a slash - such as 100/240V. Your clothes iron will be capable of being used in New Zealand or any other country if these numbers are shown.

Travelling to New Zealand with a clothes iron

Can I pack a clothes iron in my carry on luggage?

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 recommends that you should verify that your airline which is taking you to New Zealand 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 suggests wrapping cords tightly around clothes irons.

If you do intend to pack a fragile or expensive clothes iron in your hand held luggage then it is recommended to bring hard carry on luggage as this provides the greatest protection against bumps and knocks during transit.   [8] [9]

Power converters for New Zealand

Do I need a converter for New Zealand to use my clothes iron?

A power converter (or voltage transformer) will allow a clothes iron using a different voltage to work with the 230 volt power outlet used in New Zealand. Travellers who want to bring along their own domestic clothes iron can use a power converter, but it might be more expensive to buy a power converter than it is to buy a dedicated dual voltage travel iron [2]. A power converter is also substantially bulkier than a travel clothes iron making a power converter less suitable when packing in luggage compared to a travel clothes iron. [5]

What is the difference between a plug adapter and a voltage converter for New Zealand?

Voltage converter

What is the difference between a plug adapter and a voltage converter for New Zealand?

A heavy and bulky power converter will transform the voltage of 230 volts from a New Zealand power outlet to work with a non-230 volt clothes iron, whereas a more lightweight and cheaper power adapter (or plug adapter) will change the shape of the plug on your clothes iron to fit into a power outlet found in New Zealand. [5]

How to use a clothes iron in New Zealand using a type I power adapter

How to power a clothes iron in New Zealand with a Type I power adapter.

  1. Please make sure 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 continue as you might damage your iron, blow a fuse or create an electrical fire hazard. Some dual voltage irons sometimes have a switch to toggle between voltages, before operating the iron ensure the switch is set to the 230 volt setting, refer to the owners manual for more information on how to do this.
  2. You'll need to buy a Type I plug adapter [4] if the type of plug used on your clothes iron isn't the same type of power outlet used in New Zealand. The Type I plug adapter will convert different plugs from other countries for use in an electrical outlet found in New Zealand simply by changing the shape of the plug, however it doesn't change the frequency or voltage of the clothes iron to work with a 230 volt outlet.
  3. Insert the Type I plug adapter in the New Zealand power outlet. You can identify the plug supply by three thin slots in an upside-down triangle pattern with the top two slots sloping upward for the live, neutral and earth.
  4. Then plug in the clothes iron into the Type I plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the New Zealand power outlet.
  6. The clothes iron should now be ready to be used in New Zealand.
How to use a clothes iron in New Zealand using a type I power adapter

See also

  1. Wikipedia - New Zealand Wikipedia page
  2. Amazon - dual voltage travel iron
  3. iec.ch - Type I power outlet
  4. Type I plug adapter - Type I plug adapters use three short flat blades in a V format with the top blade acting as a grounding pin, £5-£10.
  5. 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 cost £100-£110.
  6. Wikipedia - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country -
  7. iec.ch - IEC World Plugs by location -
  8. tsa.gov - TSA guidelines for clothes irons -
  9. Hard carry on luggage - Example of hard cases, suitcases and luggage suitable for airline carry on, £40-£45.