Using a clothes iron in Tonga

Tongan power outlet

Summary

Check that your clothes iron can handle the voltage in Tonga:

If not then:

  • Use a dual voltage travel iron [2] - you may still need to use a suitable power adapter for Tonga 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 240 volt Tongan power outlet, however this is significantly bulkier, heavier and more expensive than a dedicated travel clothes iron. A voltage transformer will change the voltage but not the shape of the plug on your clothes iron to fit in the types of wall outlet used in Tonga, therefore please check that your voltage transformer includes an appropriate power adapter for Tonga otherwise you will also need to bring another power adapter. Note - your own domestic clothes iron might not be suited for travel and you could risk potential damage in a suitcase. [5] [AD]
Warning: If your clothes iron won't handle the 240 volts used in Tonga you run a risk of damage to your clothes iron, an electrical fire hazard or blowing a fuse. Before attempting to use your clothes iron in Tonga read the instruction manual first to ensure safe operation.

Using a clothes iron in Tonga

Will my clothes iron work in Tonga?

This will depend on if your clothes iron is designed to handle the 240 volts used in Tonga. If you're using either a dual voltage clothes iron or your clothes iron is designed to operate using 240 volts and you have the correct power adapter then you should be able to use your clothes iron in Tonga. If not then you will need to consider buying either a dual voltage travel iron [2] or a heavier and more expensive power converter, read the section on can you use a voltage converter to use your clothes iron in Tonga for help deciding which option is more suitable. [5] [AD]

Tonga power outlets and plug sockets

What frequency is used in Tonga?

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

What is the voltage in Tonga?

The typical voltage used in Tonga is 240 volts.

Which power adapter do you need to bring when using a clothes iron in Tonga?

Type I power outlet

Which power adapter do you need to bring when using a clothes iron in Tonga?

The type of power outlet used in Tonga is type I. You can recognise this power socket by three thin slots for the live, neutral and earth blades. A recommended plug adapter to bring for using a 240 volt clothes iron in Tonga is a Type I plug adapter - read the simple instructions below for full details of how to use a clothes iron in Tonga using a power adapter. Be aware that unless you that have a dual voltage clothes iron you will need to check if you need to use a power converter.  [4] [7] [AD]

Dual voltage travel irons

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

A simple way to tell if your clothes iron supports a dual voltage power outlet is to look for either a sticker or numbers printed on the handle, base or the plug of the clothes iron. This location will vary depending on the make and model of your clothes iron, it could also state in the instruction manual or on the box. Some dual voltage models will change automatically but other models will have a button which allows you to operate between different voltages.

  • Single voltage might say a specific number - such as 110V. If this number matches the 240 volts used in Tonga then you should be able to use your clothes iron with a Tongan 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 240 volts used in a Tongan power outlet falls within the range shown on your clothes iron then you should be able to use it in Tonga.
  • 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 Tonga or any other country if these numbers are shown.

Travelling to Tonga with a clothes iron

Can a clothes iron go in carry on luggage?

According to the TSA guidelines for clothes irons there is no restriction on bringing a mains powered clothes iron in your carry on luggage through airport security in the United States. The TSA suggests that you should verify that the airline which is taking you to Tonga 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 intend to bring a fragile or expensive clothes iron in your hand held luggage then it is advisable to bring hard carry on luggage as this offers the greatest protection against bumps and knocks during transit.   [8] [9] [AD]

Power converters for Tonga

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

Voltage converter

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

A small, cheap and lightweight power adapter (or plug adapter) will change the shape of the plug on your clothes iron to slot into a power outlet in Tonga, but a heavier and more expensive power converter will transform a 240 volt Tongan power outlet to work with a non-240 volt clothes iron. [5] [AD]

Do you need a converter to use a clothes iron in Tonga?

A voltage transformer (or power converter) will allow your clothes iron using a different voltage to operate using a 240 volt power outlet used in Tonga. A power converter is more suitable for travellers wishing to use their existing clothes iron, however it could be more expensive to purchase a power converter than it is to buy a dedicated dual voltage travel iron [2]. Also, a travel clothes iron can be significantly lighter and smaller than a power converter making a travel clothes iron more suitable for travelling. [5] [AD]

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

How to use a clothes iron in Tonga with a Type I travel adapter.

  1. Please make sure that your iron is either a dual voltage travel iron [2] or can work with a 240 volt power supply but if it doesn't then do not proceed because you could blow a fuse, damage your iron or create an electrical fire hazard. Before using a dual voltage travel iron which can toggle between different voltages make sure you have set it to the 240 volt setting, refer to the user guide for more details on where the switch is found.
  2. You will need to bring a Type I plug adapter [4] if the shape of plug on your clothes iron isn't the same shape as the power outlet which is used in Tonga. This Type I plug adapter will fit different plugs from other countries into a power outlet found in Tonga 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 240 volt outlet.
  3. Start by taking the Type I plug adapter and inserting it in the power outlet. This power outlet, sometimes called the Type I power outlet [3], can be recognised by 3 thin slots for the live, neutral and ground blades.
  4. Plug in the clothes iron into the Type I plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the Tongan power outlet.
  6. Your clothes iron can now be used in Tonga.
How to use a clothes iron in Tonga using a type I power adapter

See also

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  1. Wikipedia - wikipedia page about Tonga
  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, £35-£40.