Which plug adapter will I need when using a curling iron in The Central African Republic?

Central African power outlet

Summary

First check your curling iron can handle the voltage in The Central African Republic:

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

If not then:

  • Use a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] - you might still need to use a power adapter for The Central African Republic but these cheap lightweight accessories are designed specifically for travel.
  • Use a power converter (or voltage transformer) - you can then use your existing curling iron and other applicances with a 220 volt Central African power outlet, however this is significantly bulkier, heavier and more expensive than a dedicated travel curling iron. A power converter will change the voltage but won't change the actual shape of the plug on your curling iron to fit in the wall outlet used in The Central African Republic, therefore please check that your voltage transformer has the right power adapter for The Central African Republic otherwise you will need to purchase another power adapter. Be aware that your personal curling iron might not be suitable for travel and you could risk potential damage in transit. [7]
Warning: If your curling iron won't handle 220 volts you run the potential risk of damage to your curling iron, an electrical fire hazard or a blown fuse. Prior to using your curling iron in The Central African Republic check the instruction manual to ensure safe operation.

Using a curling iron in The Central African Republic

Will my curling iron work in The Central African Republic?

That will depend on if your curling iron can handle the 220 volts used in The Central African Republic. If you're using either a dual voltage curling iron or your curling iron can handle 220 volts and you have the correct plug adapter then you'll be able to use your curling iron in The Central African Republic. If not then you will need to consider using either a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] or a heavier and more expensive power converter, read our guide on can you use a power converter with a domestic curling iron in The Central African Republic for help deciding which option is more suitable. [7]

The Central African Republic power outlets and plug sockets

What is the mains voltage in The Central African Republic?

Power outlets in The Central African Republic are 220 volts.

What frequency is used in a Central African power outlet?

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

Which power adapter do you need to bring to use a curling iron in The Central African Republic?

Type C and E power outlets

Which power adapter do you need to bring to use a curling iron in The Central African Republic?

There are two different types of power outlets used in The Central African Republic, types E and C with the primary power outlets being type E:

  • Plug Type C - The wall socket is recognised by two adjacent holes next to each other for live and neutral.
  • Plug Type E - The sunken round plug outlet, also known as a CEE 7/7 plug, can be identified by two round adjacent holes where the live and neutral pins go and a long metal grounding pin protruding in the top in a triangular pattern.

A Type E power adapter allows you to use a 220 volt curling iron in The Central African Republic, read the step by step instructions below for full details of using a power adapter for The Central African Republic. Be aware that unless you that have a dual voltage curling iron you will need to confirm if you also have to bring a power converter.  [6] [9]

Dual voltage curling irons

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

The method to tell if your curling iron supports a dual voltage outlet is to check for either a sticker or numbers printed on the handle or plug. The location might vary depending on the make and model of your curling iron, it could also be written on the box. Some dual voltage models will change automatically, however other models will feature a button which allows you to change between different voltage ranges.

  • A specific number such as 110V indicates a single voltage curling iron. If this number matches the 220 volts used in The Central African Republic then you should be able to use your curling iron with a Central African power outlet.
  • A small voltage range with a dash such as 100-120V also indicates a single voltage curling iron which can accomodate small voltage fluctuations. If the 220 volts used in a Central African power outlet falls within the range shown on your curling iron then you should be able to use it in The Central African Republic.
  • A larger voltage range separated with a slash such as 100/240V indicates a dual voltage curling iron capable of being used in The Central African Republic or any other country.

Travelling to The Central African Republic with a curling iron

Is it safe to bring my curling iron to The Central African Republic?

It is preferable to bring a dual voltage curling iron instead of packing your existing domestic curling iron to The Central African Republic as it is safer to assume that it will work with the 220 volt power outlets used with a Central African power outlet, as long as you bring the correct power adapter for The Central African Republic.

Note that packing expensive domestic curling iron could put it at risk because of potential damage or loss in your check in luggage by an airport baggage handler in The Central African Republic. The inconvenience and costs involved in replacing an expensive specialised domestic curling iron in The Central African Republic could overshadow the costs of buying a cheaper dual voltage travel curling iron [2] before travelling to bring with you. If you intend to pack your own personal curling iron in your suitcase it is recommended to either slide it inside a boot or sneaker to protect from light damage, alternatively use a shockproof and heat resistant hot tools travel case which also allows the curling iron to be packed whilst hot without risk of burning.  [10]

Can you carry on a curling iron in your luggage?

According to the TSA guidelines for curling irons there are no restrictions when carrying a mains powered curling iron in your hand luggage through airport security in the United States. The TSA recommends that you should verify that your airline who is taking you to The Central African Republic will allow curling irons onboard and that it will fit in the overhead bin or underneath the seat of the aircraft. Packing your curling irons in a dedicated heat resistant protective hot tools travel case leaves it easily accessible by airport security, it can be packed away quickly avoiding a tangle of power cords in your carry on luggage (the TSA suggests wrapping wires tightly around electronic items such as curling irons). If you do intend to pack fragile or expensive curling irons in your hand held luggage then it is recommended to use hard carry on luggage as this offers the greatest protection against knocks and drops during your journey.   [10] [11] [12]

Power converters for The Central African Republic

Do you need a converter in The Central African Republic to use your curling iron?

The correct power converter (or voltage transformer) will allow your curling iron using a different voltage to operate using a 220 volt power outlet used in The Central African Republic. A power converter is suitable for travellers who want to use their existing curling iron, however it could be more expensive to buy a power converter than it is to purchase a dedicated dual voltage travel curling iron [2]. Also worth noting, a travel curling iron can be substantially lighter than a power converter making a travel curling iron more suited for travelling. [7]

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 lightweight, cheap and small power adapter (or plug adapter) will change the shape of the plug on your curling iron to slot into a power outlet in The Central African Republic, but a heavy and bulkier power converter converts the voltage of 220 volts from a Central African power outlet to work with a non-220 volt curling iron. [7]

How to use a curling iron in The Central African Republic using a type C power adapter

How to power your curling iron in The Central African Republic by using a two prong Type C power adapter.

  1. Make sure that the curling iron is either a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] or can work with a 220 volt power supply; if not then do not attempt these instructions because you could damage your iron, blow a fuse or create an electrical fire hazard. Dual voltage curling irons sometimes have a switch to toggle between voltages, before operating the iron ensure the switch is set to accept 220 volts, consult the user guide for more information on where the switch is found.
  2. You will need to buy a Type C plug adapter [4] if the type of plug used on your curling iron isn't the same shape as the plug outlet which is used in The Central African Republic. The plug adapter is designed to fit plugs from other countries into a power outlet in The Central African Republic simply by changing the shape of the plug, but it doesn't change the voltage of the curling iron to work with a 220 volt outlet.
  3. Start by inserting the Type C plug adapter into the wall outlet. This ungrounded power outlet is identified by 2 round adjacent holes where the live and neutral pins go.
  4. Plug in your curling iron into the Type C plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the Central African power outlet.
  6. Your curling iron can now be powered on.
How to use a curling iron in The Central African Republic using a type C power adapter

How to use a curling iron in The Central African Republic using a type E power adapter

A page showing how to power your curling iron in The Central African Republic with a two pinned Type E power adapter.

  1. Make sure that your curling iron is either a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] or is compatible with a 220 volt power outlet but if it doesn't then do not proceed as you may create an electrical fire hazard, blow a fuse or damage your iron. Before using a travel curling iron make sure you have set it to the 220 volt setting to use in The Central African Republic; please refer to the owners manual to find out how to do this.
  2. If the shape of the power outlet which is used in The Central African Republic isn't the same shape as the plug on your curling iron you'll need to buy a Type E plug adapter [6]. The Type E plug adapter helps fit different plugs on appliances from other countries into an electrical outlet used in The Central African Republic by changing the shape of the plug, but the adapter doesn't change the frequency or voltage of your curling iron to work with a 220 volt outlet.
  3. Start by plugging the Type E plug adapter into the Central African power outlet. You can recognise the wall outlet by two large adjacent holes next to each other for live and neutral plus one long metal earth pin protruding in the top to form a triangle shape.
  4. Plug in the curling iron into the Type E plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Central African power outlet.
  6. Your hair curling iron should now be ready to use.
How to use a curling iron in The Central African Republic using a type E power adapter

See also

  1. Wikipedia - Wikipedia.org web page about The Central African Republic
  2. Amazon - dual voltage travel curling 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, priced under $10 USD (£10-£15 GBP / C$4-C$5).
  5. iec.ch - Type E power outlet
  6. Type E plug adapter - There are two 4.8mm pins on the Type E plug adapter which are placed 19mm apart and includes a hole in the top for an earthing pin, priced between $5 to $10 USD (under £5 GBP / under C$5).
  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 at between $90 to $100 USD (£100-£110 GBP / around C$60).
  8. Wikipedia - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country -
  9. iec.ch - IEC World Plugs by location -
  10. Hard case for hot tools - Hard case designed for storing and protecting a flat irons, curling irons and hair straighteners, costs between $10 to $15 USD (around £10 GBP / under C$25).
  11. tsa.gov - TSA guidelines for curling irons -
  12. Hard carry on luggage - Example of hard cases, suitcases and luggage suitable for airline carry on, under $50 USD (£40-£45 GBP / C$5-C$10).