How to use a clothes iron in Latvia

Latvian power outlet

Summary

First check that your clothes iron can work in Latvia:

  • If your clothes iron can run using 230 volts or can support dual voltage (how you can tell) then you will only need to bring the right power adapter listed on this page if the plug on your clothes iron will not fit.

If not then you can either:

  • Use a dual voltage travel iron [2] - you may still need to use a suitable power adapter for Latvia however these cheap lightweight accessories are designed specifically for travel.
  • Use a power converter (or voltage transformer) - this enables you to use your existing clothes iron and other applicances with a 230 volt Latvian power outlet, however this is noticeably bulkier, heavier and more expensive than a dedicated travel clothes iron. A power converter will change the voltage but won't change the actual physical shape of the plug on your clothes iron to fit in the power outlet used in Latvia, so check that the power converter comes with a power adapter for Latvia otherwise you will also need to purchase another power adapter. Note - your own existing clothes iron might not be suited for travelling and you could risk damage in transit. [7] [AD]
Warning: If your clothes iron won't handle 230 volts you run the potential risk of blowing a fuse, damage to your clothes iron or even an electrical fire hazard. Before using your clothes iron in Latvia please read the instruction manual to ensure safe operation.

Using a clothes iron in Latvia

Will my clothes iron work in Latvia?

It depends on if your clothes iron can operate using the 230 volt power outlets in Latvia. If you're using either a dual voltage clothes iron or your clothes iron is designed to handle 230 volts and you have the correct power adapter then you'll be able to use your clothes iron in Latvia. If not then you will need to consider buying either a dual voltage travel iron [2] or a heavier and more expensive power converter, read the section on will a power converter work with a domestic clothes iron in Latvia for help deciding which solution is more suitable. [7] [AD]

Latvia power outlets and plug sockets

What electrical frequency is used in Latvia?

The frequency of the current in a Latvian power outlet is 50Hz. [8]

What voltage is used in Latvia?

The standard voltage in Latvia is 230 volts.

Which travel adapter do you need when using a clothes iron in Latvia?

Type C and F power outlets

Which travel adapter do you need when using a clothes iron in Latvia?

There are two different types of power outlets used in Latvia, types F and C with the primary power outlets being type F:

  • Plug Type C - You can recognise this power socket by two round holes next to each other for live and neutral pins.
  • Plug Type F - You can recognise this power socket by two large round adjacent holes for live and neutral pins and a pair of two metal grounding clips at the top and bottom.

A suitable plug adapter to bring when using a 230 volt clothes iron in Latvia is a Type F plug adapter, read the step-by-step guide below for full details of using a power adapter for Latvia. Be aware that unless you that have a dual voltage clothes iron you will need to check if you need to use a voltage converter.  [6] [9] [AD]

Dual voltage travel irons

How can I tell if my clothes iron is dual voltage?

An easy way how to tell if your clothes iron will handle dual voltage is to look for either a sticker or numbers printed on the handle, base or the plug of the clothes iron. This location will depend on the make and model of your clothes iron and could also be written on the box. Some dual voltage models might change automatically but other irons will have a button which allows you to operate between different voltage ranges.

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

Travelling to Latvia with a clothes iron

Can I pack a clothes iron in my carry on?

According to the TSA guidelines for clothes irons there is no restriction on carrying a mains powered clothes iron in your carry on luggage through airport security in the US. The TSA recommends that you should check that your airline who is taking you to Latvia will allow clothes irons onboard and that it will fit in the overhead bin or underneath the seat of the aircraft. The TSA also suggests wrapping cords tightly around clothes irons.

If you intend to pack a fragile or expensive clothes iron in your hand held luggage then it is advisable to bring hard carry on luggage as this offers the greatest protection against knocks and drops during transit.   [10] [11] [AD]

Power converters for Latvia

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

Voltage converter

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

A small, cheap and lightweight power adapter (or plug adapter) changes the shape of the plug on your clothes iron to slot into a power outlet found in Latvia, however a heavy and bulkier power converter converts the voltage of 230 volts from a Latvian power outlet to work with a non-230 volt clothes iron. [7] [AD]

Do you need a voltage converter to use a clothes iron in Latvia?

The correct model of power converter (or voltage transformer) allows a clothes iron using a different voltage to work with the 230 volt power outlet used in Latvia. Travellers wishing to use their own clothes iron can use a power converter, however it might be considerably less expensive to buy a dedicated dual voltage travel iron [2] than it will be to buy a power converter. A power converter is also significantly heavier than a travel clothes iron making a power converter less suitable for travelling compared to a travel clothes iron. [7] [AD]

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

Instructions showing how to use a clothes iron in Latvia with a two prong Type C travel charger.

  1. Please ensure that your iron is either a dual voltage travel iron [2] or works with a 230 volt power supply; if it doesn't then don't continue as you may create an electrical fire hazard, blow a fuse or damage your iron. Before using a dual voltage travel iron which can toggle between different voltages make sure you have set it to the 230 volt setting; consult the instructions to find out how to do this.
  2. You'll need to bring a Type C plug adapter [4] if the shape of plug on your clothes iron isn't the same shape as the power outlet which is used in Latvia. The plug adapter helps adapt plugs on appliances from other countries into an electrical outlet used in Latvia simply by changing the shape of the plug, but the adapter doesn't change the voltage of the clothes iron to work with a 230 volt supply.
  3. Firstly you'll need to insert the Type C plug adapter into the Latvian power outlet. This plug supply, also known as the Type C power outlet [3] or Europlug, can be identified by the two adjacent holes for live and neutral pins.
  4. After that plug in the clothes iron into the Type C plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Latvian power outlet. You can now turn on your iron for use in Latvia.
How to use a clothes iron in Latvia using a type C power adapter

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

How to use a clothes iron in Latvia with a 2 prong Type F power charger.

  1. Make sure that your iron is either a dual voltage travel iron [2] or is compatible with a 230 volt power supply; if not then don't continue because you may create an electrical fire hazard, damage your iron or blow a fuse. Before using a dual voltage travel iron which can toggle between different voltages make sure the switch is set to the 230 volt setting; please consult the user guide for more information on where this switch is.
  2. You'll need to bring a Type F plug adapter [6] if the shape of plug on your clothes iron isn't the same shape as the power outlet used in Latvia. The plug adapter is designed to adapt plugs from other countries for use in an electrical outlet used in Latvia by changing the shape of the plug, but the adapter doesn't change the voltage of the clothes iron to work with a 230 volt outlet.
  3. Firstly you'll need to plug the Type F plug adapter in the Latvian power outlet. You can recognise this power outlet by two large round adjacent holes for live and neutral pins and a pair of two metal grounding clips at the top and bottom.
  4. Then plug in your clothes iron into the Type F plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Latvian power outlet. You can now switch on your iron in Latvia.
How to use a clothes iron in Latvia using a type F power adapter

See also

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  1. Wikipedia - Wikipedia.org entry about Latvia
  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 F power outlet
  6. 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, priced under C$20.
  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, priced C$130-C$140.
  8. Wikipedia - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country -
  9. iec.ch - IEC World Plugs by location -
  10. tsa.gov - TSA guidelines for clothes irons -
  11. Hard carry on luggage - Example of hard cases, suitcases and luggage suitable for airline carry on, costing around C$70.