Using your clothes iron in Burkina Faso

Heading abroad? A guide for those going to Burkina Faso and using their clothes iron.

Burkinabe power outlet

Summary

First check your clothes iron can handle the voltage in Burkina Faso:

  • If your clothes iron can run on 220 volts or can support dual voltage (how you can tell) then you'll only need to use a suitable power adapter listed on this page if the plug on your clothes iron won't fit in the outlet.

If not then either:

  • Use a dual voltage travel iron [2] - you may still need to use a power adapter for Burkina Faso but these cheap lightweight accessories are designed specifically for travel.
  • Use a power converter [7] (or voltage transformer) - this enables you to use your existing clothes iron and other applicances with a 220 volt Burkinabe power outlet, however this is substantially heavier and more expensive than a dedicated travel clothes iron. A voltage transformer will change the voltage but won't change the actual shape of the plug on your clothes iron to fit in the types of power outlet used in Burkina Faso, so check that your voltage transformer has a power adapter for Burkina Faso otherwise you will also need to bring a seperate power adapter. Please be aware your domestic clothes iron might not be suited for travelling and you risk potential damage in a suitcase.

Warning: If your clothes iron won't handle 220 volts used in Burkina Faso you run the risk of blowing a fuse, damage to your clothes iron or even an electrical fire hazard. Prior to using your clothes iron in Burkina Faso please read the instruction manual first to ensure safe operation.

Using a clothes iron in Burkina Faso

Will my clothes iron work in Burkina Faso?

That will depend on if your clothes iron is designed to operate using the 220 volts as used in Burkina Faso:

How can I use my US clothes iron in Burkina Faso?

The guides on this page assume that you're an America reader visiting Burkina Faso and provide guidance for using your American clothes iron with a Burkinabe power outlet.

Burkina Faso power outlets and plug sockets

What is the electrical frequency used in Burkina Faso?

The frequency of the current from a Burkinabe power outlet is 50 Hz.

What is the mains voltage in Burkina Faso?

The common residential voltage in Burkina Faso is 220 volts.

Which travel adapter do you need to bring to use a clothes iron in Burkina Faso?

Type C and E power outlets

Which travel adapter do you need to bring to use a clothes iron in Burkina Faso?

There are two types of power outlets used in Burkina Faso, these are type E and C with the primary power outlets being type E:

  • Plug Type C - The wall socket is identified by the 2 circular adjacent holes for live and neutral pins.
  • Plug Type E - The circular power socket (technically called the CEE 7/7 plug or type E power outlet) can be identified by the two 4.8mm round adjacent holes for live and neutral pins and a single metal earth pin protruding in the top in a triangular configuration.

A Type E plug adapter [6] is suitable for powering a 220 volt clothes iron in Burkina Faso - read the step-by-step guide below for full details of using a clothes iron in Burkina Faso using a travel adapter. Note that unless you that have a dual voltage clothes iron you might also have to bring a power 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 look for either a sticker or numbers printed on the handle, base or the plug. This location will depend on the make or model of your clothes iron, it could also be written in the instruction manual or on the box. Some dual voltage clothes irons might change automatically but other models will feature a button which allows you to operate between different regions.

  • A specific number such as 110V indicates a single voltage clothes iron. If this number matches the 220 volts used in Burkina Faso then you should be able to use your clothes iron with a Burkinabe 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 220 volts used in a Burkinabe power outlet falls within the range shown on your clothes iron then you can use it in Burkina Faso.
  • A larger voltage range separated with a slash such as 100/240V indicates a dual voltage clothes iron capable of being used in Burkina Faso or any other country.

Travelling to Burkina Faso with a clothes iron

Can I carry on a clothes iron to Burkina Faso?

According to the TSA guidelines for clothes irons [10] there is no restriction on carrying a mains powered clothes iron in your hand luggage through airport security in the United States. The TSA recommends that you should check that the airline which is flying you to Burkina Faso will allow clothes irons onboard and that it will fit in the overhead bin or underneath the seat of the aircraft. The TSA also advices wrapping wires tightly around electric items such as clothes irons.

If you intend to bring a fragile or expensive clothes iron in your hand held luggage then it is recommended to use hard carry on luggage as this offers the greatest protection against drops and knocks during transit.

Power converters for Burkina Faso

Will a voltage converter work with my clothes iron in Burkina Faso?

The correct power converter [7] (or voltage transformer) will allow your clothes iron using a different voltage to work with the 220 volt power outlet used in Burkina Faso. Travellers wishing to bring their own clothes iron can use a power converter, but it can be more expensive to buy a power converter than it is to purchase a dedicated dual voltage travel iron [2]. In addition, a travel clothes iron can be significantly smaller and lighter than a power converter making a travel clothes iron more suited for travelling.

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

Voltage converter

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

An expensive and bulky power converter [7] will convert a 220 volt Burkinabe power outlet to work with a non-220 volt clothes iron, however a more lightweight and smaller power adapter [11] (or plug adapter) will change the shape of the plug on your clothes iron to slot into a power outlet found in Burkina Faso.

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

How to power your clothes iron in Burkina Faso with a 2 pronged Type C power adapter.

  1. Check that the iron is either a dual voltage travel iron [2] or can work with a 220 volt power supply but if it doesn't then don't attempt these instructions because you might blow a fuse, damage your iron or create an electrical fire hazard. Before using a dual voltage travel iron make sure you have set it to the 220 volt setting to use in Burkina Faso, consult the user guide to find out where this switch is found.
  2. You will need to use a Type C plug adapter [4] if the shape of plug on your clothes iron isn't the same type of plug outlet which is used in Burkina Faso. The Type C plug adapter will adapt plugs from other countries for an electrical outlet used in Burkina Faso by changing the shape of the plug, however it doesn't change the voltage of the clothes iron to work with a 220 volt outlet.
  3. Begin the process by plugging the Type C plug adapter into the power outlet. This unearthed power supply (sometimes called the Europlug or Type C power outlet [3]) can be recognised by the 2 round adjacent holes for live and neutral pins.
  4. Plug in the clothes iron into the Type C plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Burkinabe power outlet. The clothes iron can now be used in Burkina Faso.
How to use a clothes iron in Burkina Faso using a type C power adapter

How to use a clothes iron in Burkina Faso using a type E power adapter

How to power your clothes iron in Burkina Faso with a 2 pronged Type E power adapter.

  1. Make sure that your iron is either a dual voltage travel iron [2] or works with a 220 volt power outlet - if not then don't attempt these instructions because you might blow a fuse, damage your iron or create an electrical fire hazard. Before using a dual voltage travel iron make sure the switch is set to accept 220 volts; please refer to the manufacturers instructions for more information on how to do this.
  2. If the plug on your clothes iron isn't the same type of outlet used in Burkina Faso you'll need to bring a Type E plug adapter [6]. This plug adapter is designed to convert different plugs on appliances from other countries for use in a power outlet in Burkina Faso simply by changing the shape of the plug, but the adapter doesn't change the frequency or voltage of your clothes iron to work with a 220 volt supply.
  3. Start by taking the Type E plug adapter and plugging it in the power outlet. You can recognise this plug supply by the two large holes 19mm adjacent to each other plus one long metal grounding pin protruding the top to form a triangle pattern.
  4. After that plug in your clothes iron into the Type E plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the Burkinabe power outlet.
  6. Your clothes iron should now be ready for use.
How to use a clothes iron in Burkina Faso using a type E power adapter

See also

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burkina_Faso - Burkina Faso page on Wikipedia
  2. https://www.amazon.com/Small-Mini-Iron-Non-Stick-Extra-Long/dp/B01AK9ZUGO/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&qid=1483620272&sr=8-4&keywords=dual+voltage+travel+iron&refinements=p_72:2661618011&linkCode=ll1&tag=wikiconnections-20&linkId=2f036aaac07e425cbd203ec0166146cb - dual voltage travel 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
  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
  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
  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. https://www.amazon.com/Ceptics-GP-12PK-International-Worldwide-Universal/dp/B01DJEBLQU/ref=as_li_ss_tl?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=CFDDSXZJ59CH648AVQ0H&linkCode=ll1&tag=wikiconnections-20&linkId=b865b6ca5e535d710bf1e1b3a790f622 - power adapter