How do I use a curling iron in Ecuador?

Ecuadorian power outlet

Summary

Check your curling iron can work in Ecuador:

If not then:

  • Use a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] - you may still need the right power adapter for Ecuador but these cheap lightweight accessories are designed specifically for the rigors of travel.
  • Use a power converter (or voltage transformer) - this enables you to use your existing curling iron and other applicances with an 120 volt Ecuadorian power outlet, however this is significantly bulkier and more expensive than a dedicated travel curling iron. A voltage transformer changes the voltage but won't change the shape of the plug on your curling iron to fit in the wall outlet used in Ecuador, so please check that your power converter comes with the right power adapter for Ecuador otherwise you will need to bring another power adapter. Please be aware your own domestic curling iron might not be suitable for travelling and you could risk damage in your luggage. [7] [AD]
Warning: If your curling iron won't handle 120 volts you run the risk of an electrical fire hazard, a blown fuse or damage to your curling iron. Before attempting to use your curling iron in Ecuador read the instruction manual to ensure safe operation.

Using a curling iron in Ecuador

Will my curling iron work in Ecuador?

That depends on if your curling iron is designed to handle the 120 volt power outlets in Ecuador:

Ecuador power outlets and plug sockets

What voltage is used in Ecuador?

The voltage used in Ecuador is 120 volts.

What is the frequency used in Ecuador?

The frequency from an Ecuadorian power outlet is 60 Hz. [8]

Which travel adapter will you need to bring for using a curling iron in Ecuador?

Type A and B power outlets

Which travel adapter will you need to bring for using a curling iron in Ecuador?

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

  • Plug Type A - The plug socket (also called the type A power outlet) can be identified by 2 adjacent slots next to each other.
  • Plug Type B - This power socket (technically known as a type B power outlet) can be identified by two thin slots parallel to each other where the live and neutral plug socket blades go with a hole below for the longer earthed pin.

A suitable plug adapter to bring to use a 120 volt curling iron in Ecuador is a Type B power adapter; read the simple instructions below for full details of how to use a plug adapter for Ecuador. Note that unless you that have a dual voltage curling iron you will need to check if you also have to use a power converter.  [4] [9] [AD]

Dual voltage curling irons

Is my curling iron dual voltage?

An easy way how to tell if your curling iron can support dual voltage is to check for either a sticker or numbers printed on the handle or the plug. The location will vary depending on the make and model of your curling iron, it should also be written in the instruction manual or on the box. Some dual voltage models might change automatically, however other models will have a button which allows you to change between different voltages.

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

Travelling to Ecuador with a curling iron

Should you bring domestic curling iron or dual voltage curling iron to Ecuador?

It is preferable to packing a dual voltage curling iron instead of bringing your existing domestic curling iron to Ecuador as it ensures that it will work with the 120 volt power outlets used with an Ecuadorian power outlet, as long as you bring the correct plug adapter for Ecuador.

It is also worth concidering that packing expensive domestic curling iron could place it at risk because of potential loss or damage in transit by airline baggage handlers in Ecuador. The costs of replacing or repairing an expensive specialised curling iron in Ecuador could overshadow the costs of buying a much cheaper dual voltage travel curling iron [2] before setting off. If you intend to bring your own curling iron in your suitcase it is recommended to either slot it inside a sneaker or boot to protect from light damage, alternatively use a heat resistant and shockproof hot tools travel case which also allows the curling iron to be transported right after use without risk of burning.  [10] [AD]

Can curling irons go in your carry on to Ecuador?

According to the TSA guidelines for curling irons there are no restrictions when carrying a mains powered curling iron in your carry on luggage through airport security in the United States. The TSA also recommends that you should check that your airline which is taking you to Ecuador will allow curling irons onboard and that it will fit in the overhead bin or underneath the seat of the airplane.

Packing your curling irons in a dedicated heat resistant protective hot tools travel case leaves it easily accessible for airport security, it can be packed away quickly avoiding a tangle of cords in your carry on luggage (the TSA advices wrapping cords tightly around curling irons). If you do intend to bring fragile or expensive curling irons in your hand held luggage then it is advisable to use hard carry on luggage as this provides the greatest protection against bumps and knocks during your journey.   [10] [11] [12] [AD]

Power converters for Ecuador

Do I need a voltage converter to use my curling iron in Ecuador?

A power converter (or voltage transformer) allows a curling iron using a different voltage to work using a 120 volt power outlet used in Ecuador. Travellers wishing to use their own domestic curling iron can use a power converter, however it can be considerably cheaper to buy a dedicated dual voltage travel curling iron [2] than it is to buy a power converter. Also, a power converter is significantly heavier than a travel curling iron making a power converter less suitable when packing compared to a travel curling iron. [7] [AD]

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

Voltage converter

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

A heavy and bulky power converter will transform the voltage of 120 volts from an Ecuadorian power outlet to work with a non-120 volt curling iron, but a smaller and more lightweight power adapter (or plug adapter) will change the shape of the plug on your curling iron to fit into a power outlet in Ecuador. [7] [AD]

How to use a curling iron in Ecuador using a type B power adapter

Instructions showing you how to use your curling iron in Ecuador with a three pin Type B travel adapter.

  1. Check that your curling iron is either a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] or works with a 120 volt power supply - but if it doesn't then don't proceed because you may damage your iron, blow a fuse or create an electrical fire hazard. Dual voltage curling irons usually have a switch to toggle between voltages, before operating the iron make sure you have set it to the 120 volt setting for use in Ecuador; refer to the owners manual to find out where the switch is found.
  2. If the plug on your curling iron isn't the same shape as the outlet used in Ecuador you will need to buy a Type B plug adapter [4]. The power adapter will convert plugs on appliances from other countries for a power outlet used in Ecuador simply by changing the shape of the plug, however it doesn't change the frequency or voltage of the curling iron to work with a 120 volt supply.
  3. Begin by taking the Type B plug adapter and plugging it into the power outlet. This wall supply, sometimes called the Type B power outlet [3], is identified by two thin slots adjacent to each other with a single hole below for the earthed pin.
  4. Next plug in the curling iron into the Type B plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the Ecuadorian power outlet.
  6. Your curling iron can now be used in Ecuador.
How to use a curling iron in Ecuador using a type B power adapter

How to use a curling iron in Ecuador using a type A power adapter

Instructions showing how to power a curling iron in Ecuador with a Type A travel adapter.

  1. Ensure that the curling iron is either a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] or is compatible with a 120 volt power supply - but if not then don't proceed because you may blow a fuse, damage your curling iron or create an electrical fire hazard. Dual voltage curling irons typically have a switch to toggle between voltages, before using the iron make sure the switch is set to the 120 volt setting for use in Ecuador; consult the owners manual to find out where the switch is found.
  2. Please check that you don't already own a curling iron with a Type A plug - if it does then you won't need a power adapter (but please check that your curling iron can work with a 120 volt power outlet). You'll need to buy a Type A plug adapter [6] if the shape of the power outlet used in Ecuador isn't the same shape as the plug shape on your curling iron. The Type A plug adapter is designed to adapt different plugs on appliances from other countries for use with an electrical outlet in Ecuador by changing the shape of the plug, however the adapter doesn't change the voltage of your curling iron to work with a 120 volt outlet.
  3. Start by inserting the Type A plug adapter in the Ecuadorian power outlet. You can recognise the power supply by 2 slots.
  4. Then plug in the curling iron into the Type A plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the Ecuadorian power outlet. The hair curling iron can now be switched on.
How to use a curling iron in Ecuador using a type A power adapter

See also

We endeavour to ensure that links on this page are periodically checked and correct for suitability. This website may receive commissions for purchases made through links on this page. As an Amazon Associate WikiConnections earn from qualifying purchases. For more details please read the disclaimers page.

  1. Wikipedia - Ecuador Wikipedia web page
  2. Amazon - dual voltage travel curling 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, around £5.
  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, priced at £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, £90-£100.
  8. Wikipedia - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country -
  9. iec.ch - IEC World Plugs by location -
  10. Hard case for hot tools - Hard case designed for storing and protecting a flat irons, curling irons and hair straighteners, estimated price £15-£20.
  11. tsa.gov - TSA guidelines for curling irons -
  12. Hard carry on luggage - Example of hard cases, suitcases and luggage suitable for airline carry on, around £100.