Using a clothes iron in Nicaragua

Nicaraguan power outlet

Summary

Check your clothes iron can handle the voltage in Nicaragua:

If not then either:

  • Use a dual voltage travel iron [2] - you might still need to use the correct power adapter for Nicaragua however these cheap lightweight accessories are designed specifically for travel.
  • Use a power converter (or voltage transformer) - this will enable you to use your existing clothes iron and other applicances with a 120 volt Nicaraguan power outlet, however this is significantly heavier and more expensive than a dedicated travel clothes iron. A voltage transformer changes the voltage but won't change the physical shape of the plug on your clothes iron to fit in the types of wall outlet used in Nicaragua, therefore check that the power converter has an appropriate power adapter for Nicaragua otherwise you will need to bring another power adapter. Note that your personal clothes iron might not be suitable for travelling and you could risk damage in your luggage. [7] [AD]
Warning: If your clothes iron won't handle 120 volts used in Nicaragua you run the potential risk of blowing a fuse, damage to your clothes iron or even an electrical fire hazard. Before attempting to use your clothes iron in Nicaragua please read the instruction manual to ensure safe operation.

Using a clothes iron in Nicaragua

Will my clothes iron work in Nicaragua?

That will depend on if your clothes iron can operate using the 120 volts which are used in Nicaragua:

Nicaragua power outlets and plug sockets

What is the frequency used with a Nicaraguan power outlet?

The frequency of the alternating current from a Nicaraguan power outlet is 60Hz. [8]

What voltage is used in Nicaragua?

Power outlets in Nicaragua are 120 volts.

Which plug adapter do you need to bring when using a clothes iron in Nicaragua?

Type A and B power outlets

Which plug adapter do you need to bring when using a clothes iron in Nicaragua?

There are two types of power outlets used in Nicaragua, types B and A with the primary power outlets being type B:

  • Plug Type A - You can recognise the plug outlet by two thin adjacent slots next to each other where the pins go.
  • Plug Type B - This wall socket (also called a type B power outlet) is recognised by the two slots where the twin plug socket blades go with a semicircle shaped hole below for the grounded pin.

A Type B plug adapter will allow you to use a 120 volt clothes iron in Nicaragua; read the simple guide below for full details of how to use a plug adapter for Nicaragua. Please be aware that unless you that have a dual voltage clothes iron you might also have to use a voltage converter.  [4] [9] [AD]

Dual voltage travel irons

Is my clothes iron dual voltage?

An easy way how to tell if your clothes iron supports a dual voltage outlet is to look for either a sticker or numbers printed on the plug, base or handle of the clothes iron. This location might vary depending on the make or model of your clothes iron and should also be written in the instruction manual. Some dual voltage models can change automatically but other irons will have a switch which allows you to toggle between different voltages.

  • Single voltage could say a specific number - such as 110V. If this number matches the 120 volts used in Nicaragua then you should be able to use your clothes iron with a Nicaraguan 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 120 volts used in a Nicaraguan power outlet falls within the range shown on your clothes iron then you can use it in Nicaragua.
  • Dual voltage will say a large range separated with a slash - such as 100/240V. Your clothes iron will be capable of being used in Nicaragua or any other country if these numbers are shown.

Travelling to Nicaragua with a clothes iron

Can a clothes iron go in my carry on luggage to Nicaragua?

According to the TSA guidelines for clothes irons there are no restrictions when bringing a mains powered clothes iron in your hand luggage through airport security in the US. The TSA also recommends that you should verify that your airline which is taking you to Nicaragua 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 cables tightly around electric items such as clothes irons. If you do intend to bring 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 most protection against knocks and bumps during transit.   [10] [11] [AD]

Power converters for Nicaragua

Do I need a converter in Nicaragua to use my clothes iron?

The correct type voltage transformer (or power converter) will allow your clothes iron using a different voltage to operate with the 120 volt power outlet used in Nicaragua. Travellers who want to bring along their existing domestic clothes iron can use a power converter, however it can be more expensive to purchase a power converter than it is to purchase a dedicated dual voltage travel iron [2]. A power converter is considerably heavier than a travel clothes iron making a power converter less suited for packing in luggage compared to a travel clothes iron. [7] [AD]

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

Voltage converter

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

A heavy and expensive power converter converts a 120 volt Nicaraguan power outlet to work with a non-120 volt clothes iron, whereas a cheaper and smaller power adapter (or plug adapter) will change the shape of the plug on your clothes iron to fit into a power outlet in Nicaragua. [7] [AD]

How to use a clothes iron in Nicaragua using a type B power adapter

A step-by-step guide showing how to use your clothes iron in Nicaragua using a Type B power adapter.

  1. Ensure that your iron is either a dual voltage travel iron [2] or can work with a 120 volt power supply - but if not then don't attempt these instructions as you could 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 ensure you have set it to accept 120 volts; refer to the owners manual for more information on how to do this.
  2. You will need to bring a Type B plug adapter [4] if the type of power outlet which is used in Nicaragua doesn't take the plug on your clothes iron. This Type B plug adapter is designed to adapt different plugs on appliances from other countries into a power outlet used in Nicaragua simply by changing the shape of the plug, but it doesn't change the frequency or voltage of your clothes iron to work with a 120 volt outlet.
  3. Start by taking the Type B plug adapter and inserting it into the power outlet. You can identify the plug outlet by the 2 slots adjacent to each other where the short twin blades sit with a single hole below for the longer earthed pin.
  4. Plug in your clothes iron into the Type B plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the Nicaraguan power outlet. You can now switch on your iron for use in Nicaragua.
How to use a clothes iron in Nicaragua using a type B power adapter

How to use a clothes iron in Nicaragua using a type A power adapter

How to power a clothes iron in Nicaragua with a three blade Type A power charger.

  1. Check that your iron is either a dual voltage travel iron [2] or can work with a 120 volt power supply but if not then don't attempt these instructions as you could blow a fuse, damage your iron or create an electrical fire hazard. Before using a dual voltage travel iron which can toggle between different voltages ensure you have set it to accept 120 volts to use in Nicaragua; consult the owners manual for more details on how to do this.
  2. This guide assumes that you don't already own a clothes iron with a Type A plug - if it does then you won't need a power adapter (but you will still need to check that your clothes iron will work with a 120 volt power outlet). You will need to bring a Type A plug adapter [6] if the type of power outlet which is used in Nicaragua doesn't take the plug on your clothes iron. This Type A plug adapter is designed to adapt plugs on appliances from other countries into a power outlet used in Nicaragua simply by changing the shape of the plug, but it doesn't change the frequency or voltage of your clothes iron to work with a 120 volt outlet.
  3. Start by taking the Type A plug adapter and inserting it into the power outlet. You can identify the plug outlet by 2 slots adjacent to each other where the short twin blades sit.
  4. Next plug in your clothes iron into the Type A plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Nicaraguan power outlet.
  6. You can now turn on the iron for use in Nicaragua.
How to use a clothes iron in Nicaragua using a type A power adapter

See also

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  1. Wikipedia - Nicaragua entry on wikipedia.org
  2. Amazon - dual voltage travel iron
  3. iec.ch - Type B power outlet
  4. Type B plug adapter - US and Japanese 3 pinned Type B plug adapters have a single unearthed round pin along with 2 shorter parallel rectangular flat blades containing holes in each blade, costing under C$10.
  5. iec.ch - Type A power outlet
  6. Type A plug adapter - There are 2 parallel rectangular flat blades on an unearthed Type A plug adapter with small holes in each blade, under C$40.
  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, around C$170.
  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, priced at C$110-C$120.