How to use your curling iron in Rwanda

Rwandan power outlet

Summary

First check that your curling iron can handle the voltage in Rwanda:

  • If your curling iron can run using 230 volts or can support dual voltage (how you can check) then you will only need to use the correct power adapter listed below if the plug on your curling iron won't fit in the outlet.

If not then you can either:

  • Use a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] - you might still need to use an appropriate power adapter for Rwanda but these cheap lightweight accessories are designed specifically for travel.
  • Use a power converter [7] (or voltage transformer) - you can then use your existing curling iron and other applicances with a 230 volt Rwandan power outlet, however this is substantially bulkier, heavier and more expensive than a dedicated travel curling iron. A voltage transformer changes the voltage but not the actual physical shape of the plug on your curling iron to fit in the types of wall outlet used in Rwanda, so check that the voltage transformer includes a power adapter for Rwanda otherwise you will need to bring a seperate power adapter. Please be aware that your own existing curling iron might not be suited for travel and you risk damage in a suitcase.

Warning: If your curling iron won't handle the 230 volts used in Rwanda you run the potential risk of a blown fuse, damage to your curling iron or even an electrical fire hazard. Prior to using your curling iron in Rwanda read the instruction manual to ensure safe operation.

Using a curling iron in Rwanda

Will my curling iron work in Rwanda?

This will depend on if your curling iron can operate using the 230 volts used in Rwanda:

Rwanda power outlets and plug sockets

What is the mains voltage in Rwanda?

Power outlets in Rwanda are 230 volts.

What electrical frequency is used in Rwanda?

The frequency of the alternating current found in a Rwandan power outlet is 50 Hz.

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

Type C and J power outlets

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

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

  • Plug Type C - This power socket can be identified by two round adjacent holes next to each other where the live and neutral plug socket pins slide into.
  • Plug Type J - This hexagon shaped wall outlet, technically known as a type J power outlet, looks like three large circular holes in a triangle configuration for live, neutral and ground.

A recommended travel adapter to bring for using a 230 volt curling iron in Rwanda is a Type J power adapter [6] - read the step by step guide below for full details of how to use a curling iron in Rwanda using a power adapter. Please be aware that unless you that have a dual voltage curling iron you might also need to bring a voltage converter.

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 or model of your curling iron and should also be written on the box or in the instruction manual. Some dual voltage curling irons can change automatically, however other models will have a switch which allows you to toggle between different voltages depending on which country you are visiting.

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

Travelling to Rwanda with a curling iron

Is it safer to bring your domestic curling iron or dual voltage curling iron to Rwanda?

It is preferable to bring a dual voltage curling iron rather than bringing your existing domestic curling iron to Rwanda as it is safer to assume that it will operate correctly with the 230 volt power outlets used with a Rwandan power outlet, provided that you bring the correct plug adapter for Rwanda.

Be aware that bringing expensive domestic curling iron could place it at risk because of potential damage or loss in transit by airline baggage handlers. The inconvenience and costs of replacing or repairing an expensive specialised curling iron in Rwanda could outweigh the costs of buying a cheap dual voltage travel curling iron [2] before setting off. If you intend to bring your own personal curling iron in your luggage 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 [10] which will also allow the curling iron to be transported right after use without risk of burning.

Can curling irons go in your hand luggage to Rwanda?

According to the TSA guidelines for curling irons [11] there is no restriction on bringing a mains powered curling iron in your carry on hand luggage through airport security in the United States. The TSA also recommends that you should verify that the airline that is taking you to Rwanda will allow curling irons onboard and that it will fit in the overhead bin or underneath the seat of the airplane. Packing the curling irons in a dedicated heat resistant protective hot tools travel case [10] leaves it easily accessible when going through airport security, it can be packed away quickly and will avoid a tangle of power cables in your carry on luggage (the TSA suggests wrapping cords tightly around electronic items such as curling irons). If you intend to pack fragile or expensive curling irons in your hand held luggage then it is recommended to use hard carry on luggage [12] as this provides the greatest protection against knocks and drops during transit.

Power converters for Rwanda

Can I use a curling iron with a converter in Rwanda?

The correct type power converter [7] (or voltage transformer) allows your curling iron using a different voltage to operate with the 230 volt power outlet used in Rwanda. A power converter is suitable for travellers who wish to use their own domestic curling iron, however it could be more costly to buy a power converter than it is to buy a dedicated dual voltage travel curling iron [2]. Also worth noting, a travel curling iron can be significantly lighter than a power converter making a travel curling iron more suitable when packing.

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

Voltage converter

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

A lightweight, cheap and small power adapter (or plug adapter) changes the shape of the plug on your curling iron to slot into a power outlet in Rwanda, however a more expensive and heavier power converter [7] will convert the voltage of 230 volts from a Rwandan power outlet to work with a non-230 volt curling iron.

How to use a curling iron in Rwanda using a type C power adapter

How to use your curling iron in Rwanda with a 2 pinned Type C travel charger.

  1. Ensure that your curling iron is either a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] or can work with a 230 volt power outlet but if it doesn't then do not continue as you could create an electrical fire hazard, blow a fuse or damage your iron. Before using a travel curling iron which can toggle between different voltages ensure the switch is set to accept 230 volts - please consult the instructions for more details on how to do this.
  2. You'll need to use a Type C plug adapter [4] if the shape of plug used on your curling iron isn't the same type of plug outlet used in Rwanda. This power adapter will help fit different plugs from other countries for a power outlet found in Rwanda by changing the shape of the plug, but it doesn't change the frequency or voltage of the curling iron to work with a 230 volt outlet.
  3. First insert the Type C plug adapter into the wall outlet. This power supply can be identified by two round adjacent holes next to each other where the live and neutral plug outlet pins slide into.
  4. Plug in your curling iron into the Type C plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Rwandan power outlet. You can now turn on the curling iron in Rwanda.
How to use a curling iron in Rwanda using a type C power adapter

How to use a curling iron in Rwanda using a type J power adapter

How to use your curling iron in Rwanda using a 3 pinned Type J power charger.

  1. Ensure that your curling iron is either a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] or works with a 230 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 accept 230 volts for use in Rwanda; refer to the user guide to find out how to do this.
  2. If the plug shape on your curling iron isn't the same shape as the outlet used in Rwanda you will need to bring a Type J plug adapter [6]. The Type J plug adapter is designed to fit plugs on appliances from other countries for use with an electrical outlet found in Rwanda simply by changing the shape of the plug, however the adapter doesn't change the voltage of your curling iron to work with a 230 volt outlet.
  3. Start by inserting the Type J plug adapter in the Rwandan power outlet. You can recognise the squashed hexagon shaped wall supply by 3 large round holes forming a flattened triangular shape.
  4. Plug in your curling iron into the Type J plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the Rwandan power outlet. You can now turn on the curling iron in Rwanda.
How to use a curling iron in Rwanda using a type J power adapter

See also

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rwanda - Rwandan Wiki page
  2. https://www.amazon.ca/Conair-Infiniti-Pro-Curl-Secret/dp/B00FED2JGG/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&qid=1519921504&sr=8-1&keywords=Infiniti+Pro+by+Conair+Curl+Secret&linkCode=ll1&tag=wikiconnectio-20&linkId=c5669916a4ecfee5a932abcb2ff9692f - dual voltage travel curling 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, under C$15.
  5. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/typeJ.htm - Type J power outlet
  6. Type J plug adapter - Allows appliances to connect to Type J power outlets without converting voltage, priced under C$15.
  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, under C$70.
  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. Hard case for hot tools - Hard case designed for storing and protecting a flat irons, curling irons and hair straighteners, estimated price C$20-C$25.
  11. https://apps.tsa.dhs.gov/mytsa/cib_results.aspx?search=curling%20iron - TSA guidelines for curling irons
  12. Hard carry on luggage - Example of hard cases, suitcases and luggage suitable for airline carry on, estimated cost under C$70.