How do I use a clothes iron in The US Virgin Islands?

Virgin Islands power outlet

Summary

Check your clothes iron can handle the voltage in The US Virgin Islands:

  • If your clothes iron can run using 110 volts or can support dual voltage (how you can check) then you'll only need to use the correct power adapter listed below if the plug on your clothes iron will not fit in the outlet.

If not then you can either:

  • Use a dual voltage travel iron [2] - you might still need a power adapter for The US Virgin Islands however these cheap lightweight accessories are designed specifically for travel.
  • Use a power converter [7] (or voltage transformer) - this will enable you to use your existing clothes iron and other applicances with a 110 volt Virgin Islands power outlet, however this is significantly heavier and more expensive than a dedicated travel clothes iron. A power converter will change the voltage but won't change the shape of the plug on your clothes iron to fit in the wall outlet used in The US Virgin Islands, so please check that your power converter [7] includes a power adapter for The US Virgin Islands otherwise you will need to bring a seperate power adapter. Please note that your personal clothes iron might not be suited for travel and you could risk potential damage in transit.

Warning: If your clothes iron won't handle 110 volts you run a risk of an electrical fire hazard, blowing a fuse or damage to your clothes iron. Before attempting to use your clothes iron in The US Virgin Islands read the instruction manual to ensure safe operation.

Using a clothes iron in The US Virgin Islands

Will my clothes iron work in The US Virgin Islands?

That depends on if your clothes iron can operate using the 110 volt power outlets in The US Virgin Islands. If you're using either a dual voltage clothes iron or your clothes iron is designed to handle 110 volts and you have the appropriate power adapter then you should be able to use your clothes iron in The US Virgin Islands. If not then you will need to consider purchasing either a power converter [7] or a dual voltage travel iron [2], read our section on will a voltage converter work with a clothes iron in The US Virgin Islands for help deciding which solution is more suitable.

The US Virgin Islands power outlets and plug sockets

What voltage is used in The US Virgin Islands?

The common residential voltage used in The US Virgin Islands is 110 volts.

What is the frequency used in a Virgin Islands power outlet?

The frequency of the current from a Virgin Islands power outlet is 60Hz.

Which plug adapter do you need to bring when using a clothes iron in The US Virgin Islands?

Type A and B power outlets

Which plug adapter do you need to bring when using a clothes iron in The US Virgin Islands?

There are two types of power outlets used in The US Virgin Islands, types B and A with the primary power outlets being type B:

  • Plug Type A - You can recognise the power outlet by 2 adjacent slots where the live and neutral plug socket pins slide into.
  • Plug Type B - You can recognise the plug socket by the 2 slots parallel to each other where the short live and neutral plug socket blades go with a single hole below for the long earthed pin.

A Type B plug adapter [4] will allow you to use a 110 volt clothes iron in The US Virgin Islands, read the step-by-step instructions below for full details of using a clothes iron in The US Virgin Islands using a plug adapter. Be aware that unless you that have a dual voltage clothes iron you might also have to use a voltage converter.

Dual voltage travel irons

Is my clothes iron dual voltage?

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

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

Travelling to The US Virgin Islands with a clothes iron

Can I carry on a clothes iron in my hand luggage?

According to the TSA guidelines for clothes irons [10] there are no restrictions when bringing a mains powered clothes iron in your hand luggage through airport security in the US. The TSA recommends that you should verify that the airline who is flying you to The US Virgin Islands will allow clothes irons onboard and that it will fit in the overhead bin or underneath the seat of the airplane. The TSA also advices wrapping cables tightly around 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 [11] as this offers the most protection against knocks and bumps during transit.

Power converters for The US Virgin Islands

Can you use your clothes iron with a voltage converter in The US Virgin Islands?

The correct model of voltage transformer [7] (or power converter) allows your clothes iron using a different voltage to operate with the 110 volt power outlet used in The US Virgin Islands. Travellers wishing to use their own domestic clothes iron can use a power converter, but it might be more expensive to purchase a power converter than it is to buy a dedicated dual voltage travel iron [2]. A power converter is also substantially bulkier and heavier than a travel clothes iron making a power converter less suited for packing.

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

Voltage converter

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

A small, cheap and lightweight power adapter (or plug adapter) will change the shape of the plug on your clothes iron to fit into a power outlet found in The US Virgin Islands, whereas a heavy and bulkier power converter [7] will transform the voltage of 110 volts from a Virgin Islands power outlet to work with a non-110 volt clothes iron.

How to use a clothes iron in The US Virgin Islands using a type B power adapter

How to use your clothes iron in The US Virgin Islands using a Type B power charger.

  1. Make sure that the iron is either a dual voltage travel iron [2] or is compatible with a 110 volt power supply but if not then don't continue as you could create an electrical fire hazard, blow a fuse or damage your iron. Some dual voltage travel irons might usually have a switch to toggle between voltages, before operating the iron make sure you have set it to accept 110 volts for use in The US Virgin Islands; consult the owners manual to find out where this switch is located.
  2. You will need to bring a Type B plug adapter [4] if the shape of plug used on your clothes iron isn't the same type of power outlet used in The US Virgin Islands. This power adapter is designed to adapt different plugs from other countries for use with an electrical outlet in The US Virgin Islands by changing the shape of the plug, however the adapter doesn't change the voltage of your clothes iron to work with a 110 volt supply.
  3. Insert the Type B plug adapter in the wall outlet. The plug outlet, technically known as a Type B power outlet [3], is recognised by the two thin slots parallel to each other with a semicircular shaped hole below for the slightly longer ground pin.
  4. Plug in the clothes iron into the Type B plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the Virgin Islands power outlet.
  6. The iron can now be used in The US Virgin Islands.
How to use a clothes iron in The US Virgin Islands using a type B power adapter

How to use a clothes iron in The US Virgin Islands using a type A power adapter

Instructions showing how to power your clothes iron in The US Virgin Islands with a three bladed Type A power charger.

  1. Please ensure that the iron is either a dual voltage travel iron [2] or is compatible with a 110 volt power supply but if not then do not continue as you could create an electrical fire hazard, blow a fuse or damage your iron. Dual voltage irons usually have a switch to toggle between voltages, before operating the iron make sure you have set it to the 110 volt setting for use in The US Virgin Islands; please consult the owners manual for more information on where this switch is located.
  2. These instructions assume that you're not already using a clothes iron with a Type A plug - if it does then you won't need a power adapter (but still check that your clothes iron can work with a 110 volt power supply). So, if the plug on your clothes iron isn't the same shape as the outlet used in The US Virgin Islands you'll need to use a Type A plug adapter [6]. The power adapter will fit different plugs from other countries for an electrical outlet in The US Virgin Islands by changing the shape of the plug, but it doesn't change the voltage of your clothes iron to work with a 110 volt outlet.
  3. Start by inserting the Type A plug adapter in the wall outlet. You can recognise the power supply by 2 slots adjacent to each other.
  4. Plug in your clothes iron into the Type A plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Virgin Islands power outlet.
  6. You can now switch on your iron to use in The US Virgin Islands.
How to use a clothes iron in The US Virgin Islands using a type A power adapter

See also

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/US_Virgin_Islands - The US Virgin Islands Wikipedia page
  2. https://www.amazon.ca/SMAGREHO-Voltage-Compact-Non-Stick-Soleplate/dp/B01FVY19GS/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&qid=1540822757&sr=8-2&keywords=dual+voltage+travel+clothes+iron&linkCode=ll1&tag=wikiconnectio-20&linkId=7c3e0375f73600f5f9eed376c7797137 - dual voltage travel iron
  3. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/typeB.htm - Type B power outlet
  4. Type B plug adapter - Allows appliances to connect to Type B power outlets without converting voltage, estimated price under C$10.
  5. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/typeA.htm - Type A power outlet
  6. Type A plug adapter - Allows appliances to connect to Type A power outlets without converting voltage, under C$15.
  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, C$60-C$70.
  8. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mains_electricity_by_country - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country
  9. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/list_bylocation.htm - IEC World Plugs by location
  10. https://apps.tsa.dhs.gov/mytsa/cib_results.aspx?search=clothes%20iron - TSA guidelines for clothes irons
  11. Hard carry on luggage - Example of hard cases, suitcases and luggage suitable for airline carry on, estimated price under C$70.