How to use your clothes iron in Ethiopia

Ethiopian power outlet

Summary

Check your clothes iron can work in Ethiopia:

If not then you can either:

  • Use a dual voltage travel iron [2] - you might still need to use a suitable power adapter for Ethiopia but these cheap lightweight accessories are designed specifically for the rigors of travel.
  • Use a power converter (or voltage transformer) - this will enable you to use your existing clothes iron and other applicances with an 220 volt Ethiopian power outlet, however this is noticeably heavier, bulkier and more expensive than a dedicated travel clothes iron. A voltage transformer changes the voltage but won't change the shape of the plug on your clothes iron to fit in the power outlet used in Ethiopia, therefore check that the voltage transformer comes with the right power adapter for Ethiopia otherwise you will still need to purchase a seperate power adapter. Be aware that your own domestic clothes iron might not be suitable for travelling and you could risk damage in your luggage. [11] [AD]
Warning: If your clothes iron won't handle 220 volts you run a risk of damage to your clothes iron, an electrical fire hazard or blowing a fuse. Prior to using your clothes iron in Ethiopia check the instruction manual first to ensure safe operation.

Using a clothes iron in Ethiopia

Will my clothes iron work in Ethiopia?

That depends on if your clothes iron is designed to handle the 220 volts as used in Ethiopia. If you're using either a dual voltage clothes iron or your clothes iron is designed to handle 220 volts and you have the appropriate plug adapter then you should be able to use your clothes iron in Ethiopia. If not then you will need to consider purchasing either a power converter or a dual voltage travel iron [2], read the guide on do you need a voltage converter to use a clothes iron for help deciding which option is more suitable. [11] [AD]

Ethiopia power outlets and plug sockets

What voltage is used in Ethiopia?

Power outlets in Ethiopia are 220 volts.

What electrical frequency is used with an Ethiopian power outlet?

The frequency from an Ethiopian power outlet is 50 Hz. [12]

Which travel adapter will you need to bring when using a clothes iron in Ethiopia?

There are four different types of power outlets used in Ethiopia, these are type E, C, F and L with the primary power outlets being type E:

  • Plug Type C - This unearthed power outlet can be identified by two circular adjacent holes.
  • Plug Type E - You can identify this wall outlet by two holes 19mm apart from each other for live and neutral along with a metal earth pin protruding in the top in a triangle configuration.
  • Plug Type F - You can identify this wall outlet by two 4.8mm round holes 19 mm next to each other for live and neutral pins along with grounding clips on the top and bottom.
  • Plug Type L - You can recognise the flattened hexagon shaped power socket by 3 holes in a line. You'll find there are two variations of Type L power socket, one rated at 10 amps and one at 16 amps. The 10 amp version has 4mm thick round pins spaced 5.5mm apart and a 16 amp version has larger 5mm pins spaced 8mm apart.

A Type E power adapter will allow you to use a 220 volt clothes iron in Ethiopia, read the step-by-step instructions below for full details of using a clothes iron in Ethiopia. Please note that unless you that have a dual voltage clothes iron you will need to confirm if you need to bring a voltage converter.  [6] [13] [AD]

Which travel adapter will you need to bring when using a clothes iron in Ethiopia?

Dual voltage travel irons

Is my clothes iron dual voltage?

The way to tell if your clothes iron supports dual voltage is to look for either a sticker or numbers printed on the plug, base or handle. The location will vary depending on the make or model of your clothes iron, it should also be written on the box or in the instruction manual. Some dual voltage clothes irons will change automatically but other irons will feature a button which allows you to toggle between different regions.

  • Single voltage could say a specific number - such as 110V. If this number matches the 220 volts used in Ethiopia then you should be able to use your clothes iron with an Ethiopian 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 220 volts used in an Ethiopian power outlet falls within the range shown on your clothes iron then you should be able to use it in Ethiopia.
  • Dual voltage will typically say a larger range separated with a slash - such as 100/240V. Your clothes iron will be capable of being used in Ethiopia or any other country if these numbers are shown.

Travelling to Ethiopia with a clothes iron

Can clothes irons go in your carry on to Ethiopia?

According to the TSA guidelines for clothes irons there is no restriction on bringing a mains powered clothes 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 who is flying you to Ethiopia 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 recommends wrapping wires tightly around clothes irons.

If you 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 offers the most protection against bumps and knocks during your journey.   [14] [15] [AD]

Power converters for Ethiopia

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

Voltage converter

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

A lightweight, cheap and small power adapter (or plug adapter) changes the shape of the plug on your clothes iron to slot into a power outlet in Ethiopia, whereas a heavy and bulkier power converter transforms a 220 volt Ethiopian power outlet to work with a non-220 volt clothes iron. [11] [AD]

Do I need a power converter for Ethiopia to use my clothes iron?

The correct type voltage transformer (or power converter) will allow a clothes iron using a different voltage to work using a 220 volt power outlet used in Ethiopia. A power converter is more suitable for travellers who want to use their own clothes iron, but it might be a lot less expensive to buy a dedicated dual voltage travel iron [2] than it is to buy a power converter. A power converter is substantially bulkier and heavier than a travel clothes iron making a power converter less suited for packing. [11] [AD]

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

How to use your clothes iron in Ethiopia with a two pin Type C travel adapter.

  1. Please make sure that the iron is either a dual voltage travel iron [2] or is compatible with a 220 volt power supply - but if not then don't proceed because you may damage your iron, blow a fuse or create an electrical fire hazard. Before using a travel iron which can toggle between different voltages ensure the switch is set to the 220 volt setting for use in Ethiopia; refer to the user guide to find out how to do this.
  2. If the type of power outlet used in Ethiopia won't take the plug on your clothes iron you will need to bring a Type C plug adapter [4]. This power adapter will convert plugs on appliances from other countries for use with an electrical outlet in Ethiopia by changing the shape of the plug, but the adapter doesn't change the voltage of your clothes iron to work with a 220 volt outlet.
  3. Begin by inserting the Type C plug adapter in the wall outlet. You can identify this wall supply by 2 holes next to each other where the twin plug outlet pins slide into.
  4. Next plug in the clothes iron into the Type C plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the Ethiopian power outlet. You can now turn on the iron in Ethiopia.
How to use a clothes iron in Ethiopia using a type C power adapter

How to use a clothes iron in Ethiopia using a type E power adapter

How to power a clothes iron in Ethiopia by using a 2 pinned Type E travel adapter.

  1. Check that your iron is either a dual voltage travel iron [2] or can work with a 220 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 typically have a switch to toggle between voltages, before using the iron make sure you have set it to accept 220 volts, please refer to the instructions for more details on where this switch is located.
  2. If the type of power outlet which is used in Ethiopia isn't the same shape as the plug shape on your clothes iron you'll need to use a Type E plug adapter [6]. The Type E plug adapter is designed to adapt different plugs from other countries into a power outlet found in Ethiopia by changing the shape of the plug, but it doesn't change the frequency or voltage of the clothes iron to work with a 220 volt supply.
  3. Begin by inserting the Type E plug adapter in the power outlet. You can recognise the power supply by two holes 19mm apart from each other plus a single long metal grounding pin protruding from the top forming a triangle configuration.
  4. Plug in your clothes iron into the Type E plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Ethiopian power outlet.
  6. The iron can now be used in Ethiopia.
How to use a clothes iron in Ethiopia using a type E power adapter

How to use a clothes iron in Ethiopia using a type F power adapter

Instructions showing how to power a clothes iron in Ethiopia by using a 2 pinned Type F travel adapter.

  1. Please make sure that the iron is either a dual voltage travel iron [2] or is compatible with a 220 volt power supply - but if it doesn't then do not attempt these instructions because you might damage your iron, blow a fuse or create an electrical fire hazard. Before using a dual voltage travel iron ensure the switch is set to the 220 volt setting for use in Ethiopia; refer to the instructions for more details on how to do this.
  2. If the plug shape on your clothes iron isn't the same type of outlet which is used in Ethiopia you'll need to use a Type F plug adapter [8]. The Type F plug adapter helps fit plugs on appliances from other countries for use with an electrical outlet in Ethiopia by changing the shape of the plug, but it doesn't change the frequency or voltage of the clothes iron to work with a 220 volt outlet.
  3. Begin by inserting the Type F plug adapter in the wall outlet. You can identify this wall supply by two round holes 19 mm next to each other for live and neutral pins along with grounding clips on the top and bottom.
  4. Plug in your clothes iron into the Type F plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Ethiopian power outlet.
  6. The iron can now be used in Ethiopia.
How to use a clothes iron in Ethiopia using a type F power adapter

How to use a clothes iron in Ethiopia using a type L power adapter

How to use your clothes iron in Ethiopia with a three prong Type L travel adapter.

  1. Make sure that the iron is either a dual voltage travel iron [2] or works with a 220 volt power outlet but if not then don't proceed because you may damage your iron, blow a fuse or create an electrical fire hazard. Before using a travel iron which can toggle between different voltages ensure the switch is set to the 220 volt setting for use in Ethiopia, please consult the owners manual to find out how to do this.
  2. You'll need to use a Type L plug adapter [10] if the shape of plug on your clothes iron isn't the same shape as the plug outlet used in Ethiopia. This power adapter will convert plugs on appliances from other countries into a power outlet found in Ethiopia simply by changing the shape of the plug, however the adapter doesn't change the voltage of your clothes iron to work with a 220 volt outlet.
  3. Start the process by plugging the Type L plug adapter in the Ethiopian power outlet. You can identify this hexagon shaped wall supply by three large round adjecent holes forming a line for live, neutral and earth pins. Note that there are two different types of Type L power outlet rated for 10 amps and 16 amps. A 10 amp wall supply has 4mm pins spaced 5.5mm apart, whilst the 16 amp version has slightly larger 5mm thick round pins that are spaced 8mm apart.
  4. Next plug in the clothes iron into the Type L plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the Ethiopian power outlet. You can now turn on the iron in Ethiopia.
How to use a clothes iron in Ethiopia using a type L power adapter

See also

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  1. Wikipedia - wikipedia.org page about Ethiopia
  2. Amazon - dual voltage travel iron
  3. iec.ch - Type C power outlet
  4. Type C plug adapter - European Europlug Type C plug adapters are unearthed and comprise of two 4mm rounded pins placed 19mm apart, under C$15.
  5. iec.ch - Type E power outlet
  6. Type E plug adapter - There are two 4.8mm pins on the Type E plug adapter which are placed 19mm apart and includes a hole in the top for an earthing pin, under C$15.
  7. iec.ch - Type F power outlet
  8. Type F plug adapter - Schuko Type F plug adapters are earthed using two clips at the top and bottom with two rounded 4.8mm pins set 19mm apart, C$15-C$20.
  9. iec.ch - Type L power outlet
  10. Type L plug adapter - Earthed Italian Type L plug adapters comprise of three pins placed in parallel, each rounded pin is either 4mm thick with 5.5mm gaps or 5mm thick with 8mm gaps depending on 10 or 16 amp version, costing under C$10.
  11. 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$170.
  12. Wikipedia - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country -
  13. iec.ch - IEC World Plugs by location -
  14. tsa.gov - TSA guidelines for clothes irons -
  15. Hard carry on luggage - Example of hard cases, suitcases and luggage suitable for airline carry on, under C$100.