How to use your clothes iron in Bolivia

Bolivian power outlet

Summary

Check your clothes iron can work in Bolivia:

  • If your clothes iron can run on 115 volts or can support dual voltage (how to tell) then you will only need to use the right power adapter listed below if the plug on your clothes iron won't fit in the outlet.

If not then you can either:

  • Use a dual voltage travel iron [2] - you might still need to use a suitable power adapter for Bolivia but these cheap lightweight accessories are designed specifically for the rigors of travel.
  • Use a power converter [7] (or voltage transformer) - this enables you to use your existing clothes iron and other applicances with a 115 volt Bolivian 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 types of wall outlet used in Bolivia, therefore check that the voltage transformer includes a power adapter for Bolivia 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 potential damage in your suitcase.

Warning: If your clothes iron won't handle the 115 volts used in Bolivia 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 Bolivia please check the instruction manual first to ensure safe operation.

Using a clothes iron in Bolivia

Will my clothes iron work in Bolivia?

That depends on if your clothes iron is designed to handle the 115 volts as used in Bolivia:

Bolivia power outlets and plug sockets

What electrical frequency is used with a Bolivian power outlet?

The frequency from a Bolivian power outlet is 50 Hz.

What voltage is used in Bolivia?

Power outlets in Bolivia are 115 volts.

Which plug adapter do you need to use a clothes iron in Bolivia?

Type A and C power outlets

Which plug adapter do you need to use a clothes iron in Bolivia?

There are two types of power outlets used in Bolivia, types C and A with the primary power outlets being type C:

  • Plug Type A - This unearthed power socket, technically known as a type A power outlet, is recognised by the two thin adjacent slots.
  • Plug Type C - This power outlet, technically known as the Europlug, is recognised by the two round adjacent holes.

A Type C power adapter [4] is suitable for powering a 115 volt clothes iron in Bolivia; read the simple instructions below for full details of using a clothes iron in Bolivia with a travel adapter. Be aware that unless you that have a dual voltage clothes iron you will need to see if you also have to bring a voltage converter.

Dual voltage travel irons

Is my clothes iron dual voltage?

The way to tell if your clothes iron supports dual voltage is to check for either a sticker or numbers printed on the plug, handle or base. The location will vary depending on the make or model of your clothes iron and could also state in the instruction manual. Some dual voltage models can change automatically, however 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 115 volts used in Bolivia then you should be able to use your clothes iron with a Bolivian 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 115 volts used in a Bolivian power outlet falls within the range shown on your clothes iron then you can use it in Bolivia.
  • A large voltage range separated with a slash such as 100/240V indicates a dual voltage clothes iron capable of being used in Bolivia or any other country.

Travelling to Bolivia with a clothes iron

Can clothes irons go in your carry on to Bolivia?

According to the TSA guidelines for clothes irons [10] 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 check that your airline which is taking you to Bolivia will allow clothes irons onboard and that it will fit in the overhead bin or underneath the seat of the airplane. The TSA also suggests wrapping cables tightly around clothes irons.

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 [11] as this provides the greatest protection against knocks and drops during transit.

Power converters for Bolivia

Do I need a voltage converter to use a clothes iron in Bolivia?

A suitable power converter [7] (or voltage transformer) allows your clothes iron using a different voltage to operate using a 115 volt power outlet used in Bolivia. Travellers who want to use their own domestic clothes iron can use a power converter, however it can be more costly to purchase a power converter than it is to purchase a dedicated dual voltage travel iron [2]. In addition, a travel clothes iron can be noticeably lighter and smaller than a power converter making a travel clothes iron more suited for packing in luggage.

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

Voltage converter

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

A lightweight, small and cheap power adapter (or plug adapter) changes the shape of the plug on your clothes iron to slot into a power outlet in Bolivia, whereas a heavy and bulkier power converter [7] transforms a 115 volt Bolivian power outlet to work with a non-115 volt clothes iron.

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

A step-by-step guide showing you how to power a clothes iron in Bolivia by using a Type C power charger.

  1. Please ensure that the iron is either a dual voltage travel iron [2] or is compatible with a 115 volt power supply - but if it doesn't then do not continue as you could create an electrical fire hazard, blow a fuse or damage your iron. Some irons will sometimes have a switch to toggle between voltages, before using the iron make sure you have set it to accept 115 volts - please consult the user guide for more details on where this switch is located.
  2. You'll need to use a Type C plug adapter [4] if the type of power outlet which is used in Bolivia isn't the same shape as the plug shape on your clothes iron. This power adapter will convert plugs on appliances from other countries for use with an electrical outlet in Bolivia by changing the shape of the plug, but it doesn't change the frequency or voltage of your clothes iron to work with a 115 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]) is recognised by the two circular adjacent holes next to each other.
  4. Plug in your clothes iron into the Type C plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Bolivian power outlet. You can now turn on the iron for use in Bolivia.
How to use a clothes iron in Bolivia using a type C power adapter

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

A step by step guide showing you how to power a clothes iron in Bolivia by using a 2 bladed Type A travel charger.

  1. Check that your iron is either a dual voltage travel iron [2] or works with a 115 volt power outlet; 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 usually have a switch to toggle between voltages, before operating the iron make sure you have set it to accept 115 volts - please consult the owners manual to find out how to do this.
  2. These instructions assume 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 please check that your clothes iron will work with a 115 volt power supply). You'll need to buy a Type A plug adapter [6] if the type of power outlet which is used in Bolivia isn't the same shape as the plug shape on your clothes iron. This power adapter will convert plugs on appliances from other countries for use with an electrical outlet in Bolivia by changing the shape of the plug, but it doesn't change the frequency or voltage of the clothes iron to work with a 115 volt supply.
  3. Plug in the Type A plug adapter into the wall outlet. This wall supply (called a Type A power outlet [5]) can be identified by two thin slots adjacent to each other for live and neutral blades.
  4. Plug in your clothes iron into the Type A plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Bolivian power outlet. You can now turn on the iron in Bolivia.
How to use a clothes iron in Bolivia using a type A power adapter

See also

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bolivia - Bolivian page on wikipedia.org
  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, costing £10-£15.
  5. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/typeA.htm - Type A power outlet
  6. Type A plug adapter - Allows appliances to connect to Type A power outlets without converting voltage, £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. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mains_electricity_by_country - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country
  9. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/list_bylocation.htm - IEC World Plugs by location
  10. https://apps.tsa.dhs.gov/mytsa/cib_results.aspx?search=clothes%20iron - TSA guidelines for clothes irons
  11. Hard carry on luggage - Example of hard cases, suitcases and luggage suitable for airline carry on, under £35.