Which travel adapter will I need for using a curling iron in Ethiopia?

Ethiopian power outlet

Summary

First check that your curling iron can work in Ethiopia:

  • If your curling iron can run on 220 volts or can support dual voltage (how to check) then you'll only need to use the correct power adapter listed on this page if the plug on your curling iron will not fit.

If not then:

  • Use a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] - you might still need to use the correct power adapter for Ethiopia however these cheap lightweight accessories are designed specifically for the rigors of travel.
  • Use a power converter [11] (or voltage transformer) - this enables you to use your existing curling iron and other applicances with an 220 volt Ethiopian power outlet, however this is significantly bulkier, heavier and more expensive than a dedicated travel curling iron. A voltage transformer will change the voltage but not the actual shape of the plug on your curling iron to fit in the wall outlet used in Ethiopia, so please check that the voltage transformer comes with a suitable power adapter for Ethiopia otherwise you will also need to bring another power adapter. Note that your existing curling iron might not be suitable for travelling and you risk damage in transit.

Warning: If your curling iron won't handle 220 volts you run a risk of damage to your curling iron, an electrical fire hazard or a blown fuse. Before using your curling iron in Ethiopia please check the instruction manual to ensure safe operation.

Using a curling iron in Ethiopia

Will my curling iron work in Ethiopia?

It depends on if your curling iron is designed to handle the 220 volts used in Ethiopia. If you're using either a dual voltage curling iron or your curling iron is designed to handle 220 volts and you have the correct plug adapter then you should be able to use it in Ethiopia. If not then you will need to consider using either a power converter [11] or a dual voltage travel curling iron [2], read our section on will a power converter work with your domestic curling iron in Ethiopia for help deciding which solution is more suitable.

Ethiopia power outlets and plug sockets

What is the frequency used in an Ethiopian power outlet?

The frequency of the alternating current from an Ethiopian power outlet is 50 Hz.

What mains voltage is used in Ethiopia?

The voltage used in Ethiopia is 220 volts.

Which plug adapter do you need to bring when using a curling 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 wall socket (known as the Europlug) can be identified by the two holes next to each other.
  • Plug Type E - You can identify the plug socket by two 4.8mm circular adjacent holes plus a metal grounding pin protruding from the top in a triangular pattern.
  • Plug Type F - You can identify the plug outlet by two large circular adjacent holes, plus a pair of grounding clips above and below.
  • Plug Type L - You can recognise the squashed hexagon shaped power socket by the 3 round adjecent holes in a line for live, neutral and ground. Note that there are two variations of Type L power socket, one rated at 10 amps and one for 16 amps. The 10 amp power outlet has 4mm thick round pins spaced 5.5mm apart whilst the 16 amp version has larger 5mm round pins spaced 8mm apart.

A recommended travel adapter to bring for using a 220 volt curling iron in Ethiopia is a Type E power adapter [6], read the step-by-step guide below for full details of using a curling iron in Ethiopia. Be aware that unless you that have a dual voltage curling iron you will need to see if you also have to bring a voltage converter.

Which plug adapter do you need to bring when using a curling iron in Ethiopia?

Dual voltage curling irons

How can you tell if your curling iron is dual voltage?

A simple way to tell if your curling iron will support dual voltage is to check for either a sticker or numbers printed on the handle or plug. The location might depend on the make and model of your curling iron and could also be written in the instruction manual or on the box. Some dual voltage models can change automatically but other irons will have a button which allows you to change between different regions depending on which country you are in.

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

Travelling to Ethiopia with a curling iron

Can I carry on a curling iron?

According to the TSA guidelines for curling irons [14] there are no restrictions when bringing a mains powered curling iron in your hand luggage through airport security in the United States. The TSA also recommends that you should check that your airline that is flying you to Ethiopia will allow a curling iron 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 [15] leaves it easily accessible when going through airport security checks, it can be packed away quickly and should avoid a tangle of power cables 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 recommended to bring hard carry on luggage [16] as this provides the greatest protection against bumps and knocks during transit.

Should I bring domestic curling iron or dual voltage curling iron to Ethiopia?

It is preferable to bring a dual voltage curling iron as opposed to packing your existing domestic curling iron to Ethiopia as it ensures that it will work with the 220 volt power outlets used with an Ethiopian power outlet, provided that you bring the correct power adapter for Ethiopia. Please note that packing expensive domestic curling iron could place it at risk due to potential damage or loss in your check in suitcase by airport baggage handlers. The inconvenience and costs of repairing an expensive quality curling iron in Ethiopia could be higher than purchasing a cheaper dual voltage travel curling iron [2] before setting off. If you intend to pack your own personal curling iron in your suitcase either slide it inside a sneaker or boot to protect from light damage, alternatively use a shockproof and heat resistant hot tools travel case [15] which will also allow the curling iron to be transported whilst hot without risk of burning.

Power converters for Ethiopia

Can you use a curling iron with a power converter in Ethiopia?

The correct power converter [11] (or voltage transformer) allows a curling iron using a different voltage to work with the 220 volt power outlet used in Ethiopia. Travellers who want to bring along their existing domestic curling iron can use a power converter, but it might be more expensive to buy a power converter than it is to buy a dedicated dual voltage travel curling iron [2]. A power converter is also substantially bulkier than a travel curling iron making a power converter less suitable when packing in luggage compared to a travel curling iron.

What is the difference between a power adapter and a voltage converter?

Voltage converter

What is the difference between a power adapter and a voltage converter?

An expensive and bulky power converter [11] will transform the voltage of 220 volts from an Ethiopian power outlet to work with a non-220 volt curling iron, however a more lightweight and cheaper power adapter (or plug adapter) changes the shape of the plug on your curling iron to fit into a power outlet found in Ethiopia.

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

How to power a curling iron in Ethiopia with a Type C power adapter.

  1. Make sure that the curling iron is either a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] or works with a 220 volt power outlet; but if it doesn't then don't proceed as you could create an electrical fire hazard, blow a fuse or damage your iron. Dual voltage curling irons sometimes have a switch to toggle between voltages, before using the iron make sure the switch is set to the 220 volt setting - refer to the owners manual for more information on how to do this.
  2. If the shape of the power outlet used in Ethiopia isn't the same shape as the plug on your curling iron you will need to buy a Type C plug adapter [4]. The plug adapter will fit different plugs from other countries for use with a power outlet used in Ethiopia simply by changing the shape of the plug, but it doesn't change the voltage of your curling iron to work with a 220 volt outlet.
  3. Begin by taking the Type C plug adapter and plugging it in the power outlet. The plug outlet, also called the Europlug, is identified by two round holes next to each other.
  4. Next plug in your curling iron into the Type C plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Ethiopian power outlet. You can now switch on the curling iron in Ethiopia.
How to use a curling iron in Ethiopia using a type C power adapter

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

How to power a curling iron in Ethiopia with a Type E power adapter.

  1. Make sure that your curling iron is either a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] or can work with a 220 volt power supply but if not then do not continue as you may damage your iron, blow a fuse or create an electrical fire hazard. Before using a travel curling iron ensure you have set it to accept 220 volts to use in Ethiopia; please consult the manufacturers instructions to find out where the switch is.
  2. If the type of power outlet which is used in Ethiopia doesn't take the plug shape on your curling iron you'll need to buy a Type E plug adapter [6]. This Type E plug adapter is designed to fit plugs on appliances from other countries for a power outlet in Ethiopia by changing the shape of the plug, however the adapter doesn't change the voltage of the curling iron to work with a 220 volt supply.
  3. Firstly you'll need to insert the Type E plug adapter into the Ethiopian power outlet. You can identify this power outlet by the two round adjacent holes next to each other where the plug outlet pins go plus a single long metal earth pin protruding from the top in a triangle pattern.
  4. Plug in your curling iron into the Type E plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Ethiopian power outlet. You can now turn on the curling iron in Ethiopia.
How to use a curling iron in Ethiopia using a type E power adapter

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

How to use a curling iron in Ethiopia by using a two pin Type F power charger.

  1. Please ensure that the curling iron is either a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] or can work with a 220 volt power outlet; but if not then don't attempt these instructions as you could damage your iron, blow a fuse or create an electrical fire hazard. Some dual voltage curling irons sometimes have a switch to toggle between voltages, before operating the iron ensure the switch is set to the 220 volt setting, refer to the owners manual for more details on how to do this.
  2. If the plug on your curling iron isn't the same shape as the outlet used in Ethiopia you'll need to use a Type F plug adapter [8]. The power adapter helps adapt different plugs on appliances from other countries into a power outlet used in Ethiopia by changing the shape of the plug, but it doesn't change the voltage of your curling iron to work with a 220 volt supply.
  3. Begin by plugging the Type F plug adapter in the wall outlet. This recessed circular power supply can be identified by the two holes 19 mm next to each other where the live and neutral pins sit and two thin metal grounding clips on the top and bottom.
  4. Then plug in the curling iron into the Type F plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Ethiopian power outlet. Your hair curling iron is now ready for use in Ethiopia.
How to use a curling iron in Ethiopia using a type F power adapter

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

How to power a curling iron in Ethiopia with a Type L power adapter.

  1. Check that the curling iron is either a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] or is compatible with a 220 volt power supply; if it doesn't then do not proceed because you could create an electrical fire hazard, damage your iron or blow a fuse. Dual voltage curling irons typically have a switch to toggle between voltages, before using the iron make sure you have set it to the 220 volt setting - please refer to the user guide to find out how to do this.
  2. You'll need to buy a Type L plug adapter [10] if the type of plug used on your curling iron isn't the same type of power outlet used in Ethiopia. The Type L plug adapter will convert different plugs from other countries for use in an electrical outlet found in Ethiopia simply by changing the shape of the plug, however it doesn't change the frequency or voltage of your curling iron to work with a 220 volt outlet.
  3. Start by taking the Type L plug adapter and inserting it into the Ethiopian power outlet. This hexagon shaped plug outlet (technically known as a Type L power outlet [9]) can be recognised by the three large holes forming a line. You'll find there are two different types of Type L power supply rated at 10 amps and 16 amps. A 10 amp plug outlet has 4mm pins that are spaced 5.5mm apart and a 16 amp version has slightly larger 5mm pins which are spaced 8mm apart.
  4. Plug in your curling iron into the Type L plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Ethiopian power outlet. You can now turn on the curling iron for use in Ethiopia.
How to use a curling iron in Ethiopia using a type L power adapter

See also

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethiopia - wikipedia.org entry about Ethiopia
  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, costs C$10-C$15.
  5. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/typeE.htm - Type E power outlet
  6. Type E plug adapter - Allows appliances to connect to Type E power outlets without converting voltage, estimated cost under C$15.
  7. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/typeF.htm - Type F power outlet
  8. Type F plug adapter - Allows appliances to connect to Type F power outlets without converting voltage, priced at under C$20.
  9. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/typeL.htm - Type L power outlet
  10. Type L plug adapter - Allows appliances to connect to Type L power outlets without converting voltage, 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, C$60-C$70.
  12. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mains_electricity_by_country - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country
  13. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/list_bylocation.htm - IEC World Plugs by location
  14. https://apps.tsa.dhs.gov/mytsa/cib_results.aspx?search=curling%20iron - TSA guidelines for curling irons
  15. Hard case for hot tools - Hard case designed for storing and protecting a flat irons, curling irons and hair straighteners, estimated cost under C$25.
  16. Hard carry on luggage - Example of hard cases, suitcases and luggage suitable for airline carry on, C$60-C$70.