How do I use a clothes iron in Sri Lanka?

Sri Lankan power outlet

Summary

Check your clothes iron can work in Sri Lanka:

If not then either:

  • Use a dual voltage travel iron [2] - you might still need to use a suitable power adapter for Sri Lanka 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 a 230 volt Sri Lankan power outlet, however this is substantially bulkier, heavier and more expensive than a dedicated travel clothes iron. A voltage transformer changes 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 Sri Lanka, so check that the voltage transformer includes the correct power adapter for Sri Lanka otherwise you will still need to purchase a seperate power adapter. Note that your personal clothes iron might not be suited for travel and you could risk potential damage in transit. [9] [AD]
Warning: If your clothes iron won't handle the 230 volts used in Sri Lanka you run the risk of blowing a fuse, damage to your clothes iron or even an electrical fire hazard. Before attempting to use your clothes iron in Sri Lanka please check the instruction manual first to ensure safe operation.

Using a clothes iron in Sri Lanka

Will my clothes iron work in Sri Lanka?

That depends on if your clothes iron is designed to operate using the 230 volt power outlets in Sri Lanka. If you're using either a dual voltage clothes iron or your clothes iron can operate using 230 volts and you have the appropriate power adapter then you'll be able to use it in Sri Lanka. If not then you will need to consider using either a power converter or a dual voltage travel iron [2], read the guide on can you use a power converter with a clothes iron in Sri Lanka for help deciding which solution is more suitable. [9] [AD]

Sri Lanka power outlets and plug sockets

What is the electrical frequency used in Sri Lanka?

The frequency from a Sri Lankan power outlet is 50 Hz. [10]

What voltage is used in Sri Lanka?

The typical voltage used in Sri Lanka is 230 volts.

Which plug adapter do you need for using a clothes iron in Sri Lanka?

Type D, G and M power outlets

Which plug adapter do you need for using a clothes iron in Sri Lanka?

There are three different types of power outlets used in Sri Lanka, these are type G, D and M with the primary power outlets being type G:

  • Plug Type D - You can recognise this wall outlet by three round holes forming a triangular pattern.
  • Plug Type G - This wall outlet, technically known as a type G power outlet, looks like three vertical rectangular slots in a triangular pattern for live, neutral and earth pins.
  • Plug Type M - You can recognise this wall outlet by three large round holes forming a triangular shape.

A Type G power adapter is suitable for powering a 230 volt clothes iron in Sri Lanka; read the simple guide below for full details of how to use a clothes iron in Sri Lanka using a plug adapter. Be aware that unless you that have a dual voltage clothes iron you might also have to bring a voltage converter.  [6] [11] [AD]

Dual voltage travel irons

Is my clothes iron dual voltage?

An easy way how to tell if your clothes iron can support dual voltage is to check for either a sticker or numbers printed on the plug, handle or the base. The location might depend on the make and model of your clothes iron, it should also be written in the instruction manual. Some dual voltage models can change automatically but other irons will feature a button which allows you to toggle between different regions.

  • A specific number such as 110V indicates a single voltage clothes iron. If this number matches the 230 volts used in Sri Lanka then you should be able to use your clothes iron with a Sri Lankan 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 230 volts used in a Sri Lankan power outlet falls within the range shown on your clothes iron then you can use it in Sri Lanka.
  • A larger range separated with a slash such as 100/240V indicates a dual voltage clothes iron capable of being used in Sri Lanka or any other country.

Travelling to Sri Lanka with a clothes iron

Can clothes irons go in your carry on to Sri Lanka?

According to the TSA guidelines for clothes irons there are no restrictions when carrying a mains powered clothes 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 Sri Lanka will allow clothes irons 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 electronic items.

If you do 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 knocks and drops during transit.   [12] [13] [AD]

Power converters for Sri Lanka

Do you need a power converter to use your clothes iron in Sri Lanka?

A suitable voltage transformer (or power converter) will allow a clothes iron using a different voltage to work using a 230 volt power outlet used in Sri Lanka. A power converter is more suited for travellers wishing to bring along their existing domestic clothes iron, but it might be more expensive to buy a power converter than it is to buy a dedicated dual voltage travel iron [2]. Also worth noting, a travel clothes iron can be significantly lighter than a power converter making a travel clothes iron more suited for packing in luggage. [9] [AD]

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

Voltage converter

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

A heavy and bulky power converter will transform the voltage of 230 volts from a Sri Lankan power outlet to work with a non-230 volt clothes iron, but a cheaper and smaller power adapter (or plug adapter) changes the shape of the plug on your clothes iron to slot into a power outlet in Sri Lanka. [9] [AD]

How to use a clothes iron in Sri Lanka using a type D power adapter

How to use a clothes iron in Sri Lanka by using a Type D power charger.

  1. Please make sure that the iron is either a dual voltage travel iron [2] or works with a 230 volt power outlet but if not then do not continue as you could create an electrical fire hazard, blow a fuse or damage your iron. Before using a travel iron which can toggle between different voltages make sure you have set it to accept 230 volts, refer to the instructions to find out how to do this.
  2. If the plug shape on your clothes iron isn't the same type of outlet used in Sri Lanka you will need to bring a Type D plug adapter [4]. The power adapter will convert plugs from other countries for a power outlet used in Sri Lanka simply by changing the shape of the plug, but it doesn't change the frequency or voltage of the clothes iron to work with a 230 volt supply.
  3. Plug the Type D plug adapter in the wall outlet. You can recognise the plug outlet by the 3 holes in a triangle shape for live, neutral and earth pins.
  4. Next plug in your clothes iron into the Type D plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Sri Lankan power outlet.
  6. The iron can now be used in Sri Lanka.
How to use a clothes iron in Sri Lanka using a type D power adapter

How to use a clothes iron in Sri Lanka using a type G power adapter

How to use your clothes iron in Sri Lanka by using a Type G power charger.

  1. Check that your iron is either a dual voltage travel iron [2] or works with a 230 volt power supply - but if it doesn't then do not attempt these instructions because you may damage your iron, blow a fuse or create an electrical fire hazard. Dual voltage irons usually have a switch to toggle between voltages, before operating the iron make sure the switch is set to the 230 volt setting for use in Sri Lanka; consult the owners manual to find out where this switch is located.
  2. You'll need to use a Type G plug adapter [6] if the shape of plug used on your clothes iron isn't the same shape as the plug outlet used in Sri Lanka. This Type G plug adapter is designed to adapt different plugs from other countries for use with an electrical outlet in Sri Lanka by changing the shape of the plug, but the adapter doesn't change the voltage of your clothes iron to work with a 230 volt outlet.
  3. Start by inserting the Type G plug adapter in the Sri Lankan power outlet. You can identify this wall supply by three vertical rectangular holes in a triangle configuration for live, neutral and ground pins.
  4. Next plug in the clothes iron into the Type G plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Sri Lankan power outlet.
  6. The iron can now be used in Sri Lanka.
How to use a clothes iron in Sri Lanka using a type G power adapter

How to use a clothes iron in Sri Lanka using a type M power adapter

How to use your clothes iron in Sri Lanka by using a Type M power charger.

  1. Please ensure that the iron is either a dual voltage travel iron [2] or is compatible with a 230 volt power supply but if not then don't proceed as you could create an electrical fire hazard, damage your iron or blow a fuse. Before using a travel iron which can toggle between different voltages ensure the switch is set to the 230 volt setting - please consult 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 Sri Lanka you'll need to buy a Type M plug adapter [8]. The Type M plug adapter helps convert plugs on appliances from other countries into a power outlet used in Sri Lanka simply by changing the shape of the plug, however the adapter doesn't change the voltage of the clothes iron to work with a 230 volt supply.
  3. Begin by taking the Type M plug adapter and inserting it into the power outlet. This wall supply, sometimes known as the Type M power outlet [7], looks like three large holes in a triangle configuration for live, neutral and ground pins.
  4. Next plug in the clothes iron into the Type M plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the Sri Lankan power outlet.
  6. Your iron can now be used in Sri Lanka.
How to use a clothes iron in Sri Lanka using a type M power adapter

See also

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  1. Wikipedia - Sri Lankan entry on Wikipedia
  2. Amazon - dual voltage travel iron
  3. iec.ch - Type D power outlet
  4. Type D plug adapter - The three pinned earthed Type D plug adapter has large rounded pins placed in a triangular shape, under C$10.
  5. iec.ch - Type G power outlet
  6. Type G plug adapter - A Type G power adapter has three thick rectangular blades in a triangular shape with the longer top blade acting as the earthing pin, estimated cost under C$10.
  7. iec.ch - Type M power outlet
  8. Type M plug adapter - South African Type M power adapters have three large circular pins in a triangular shape with the top earthed pin longer and larger in diameter, estimated price under C$15.
  9. 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 cost under C$230.
  10. Wikipedia - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country -
  11. iec.ch - IEC World Plugs by location -
  12. tsa.gov - TSA guidelines for clothes irons -
  13. Hard carry on luggage - Example of hard cases, suitcases and luggage suitable for airline carry on, priced at C$80-C$90.