How do I use my clothes iron in Tobago?

Tobagonian power outlet

Summary

First check that your clothes iron can work in Tobago:

If not then:

  • Use a dual voltage travel iron [2] - you might still need to use a power adapter for Tobago but these cheap lightweight accessories are designed specifically for the rigors of travel.
  • Use a power converter [7] (or voltage transformer) - you can then use your existing clothes iron and other applicances with a 115 volt Tobagonian power outlet, however this is significantly bulkier and more expensive than a dedicated travel clothes iron. A voltage transformer will change the voltage but not the physical shape of the plug on your clothes iron to fit in the types of power outlet used in Tobago, so please check that the power converter [7] has a power adapter for Tobago otherwise you will still need to purchase another power adapter. Please be aware that your own personal clothes iron might not be suitable for travelling and you risk potential damage in your luggage.

Warning: If your clothes iron won't handle the 115 volts used in Tobago you run a risk of a blown fuse, damage to your clothes iron or even an electrical fire hazard. Prior to using your clothes iron in Tobago please check the instruction manual to ensure safe operation.

Using a clothes iron in Tobago

Will my clothes iron work in Tobago?

It depends on if your clothes iron can handle the 115 volts as used in Tobago:

Can I use my US clothes iron in Tobago?

The instructions on this page assume that you're an America reader travelling to Tobago and will provide advice on using your American clothes iron with a Tobagonian power outlet.

Tobago power outlets and plug sockets

What electrical frequency is used in Tobago?

The frequency of the current used in a Tobagonian power outlet is 60 Hz.

What voltage is used in Tobago?

The standard voltage in Tobago is 115 volts.

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

Type A and B power outlets

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

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

  • Plug Type A - You can recognise this wall socket by two slots next to each other.
  • Plug Type B - This plug socket, also known as a type B power outlet, is identified by the two slots adjacent to each other with a single semicircular shaped hole below for the longer grounded pin.

A Type B plug adapter [4] is suitable for powering a 115 volt clothes iron in Tobago - read the simple instructions below for full details of using a travel adapter for Tobago. Please be aware that unless you that have a dual voltage clothes iron you will need to check if you have to use a voltage converter.

Dual voltage travel irons

Is my clothes iron dual voltage?

The method to tell if your clothes iron supports a dual voltage power outlet is to check for either a sticker or numbers printed on the plug, base or the handle. This location might vary depending on the make or model of your clothes iron, it could also state in the instruction manual. Some dual voltage clothes irons might change automatically, however other irons will have a button which allows you to operate between different voltage ranges.

  • Single voltage might say a specific number - such as 110V. If this number matches the 115 volts used in Tobago then you should be able to use your clothes iron with a Tobagonian 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 115 volts used in a Tobagonian power outlet falls within the range shown on your clothes iron then you should be able to use it in Tobago.
  • Dual voltage will say a larger range separated with a slash - such as 100/240V. Your clothes iron will be capable of being used in Tobago or any other country if these numbers are shown.

Travelling to Tobago with a clothes iron

Can a clothes iron go in carry on hand luggage?

According to the TSA guidelines for clothes irons [10] there are no restrictions when bringing a mains powered clothes iron in your carry on hand luggage through airport security in the United States. The TSA suggests that you should verify that your airline that is flying you to Tobago will allow clothes irons onboard and that it will fit in the overhead bin or underneath the seat of the airplane. The TSA also recommends 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 [11] as this offers the greatest protection against knocks and bumps during your journey.

Power converters for Tobago

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

The correct type voltage transformer [7] (or power converter) allows a clothes iron using a different voltage to work with the 115 volt power outlet used in Tobago. Travellers wishing to use their existing domestic clothes iron can use a power converter, but it can be more costly to purchase a power converter than it is to buy a dedicated dual voltage travel iron [2]. Also, a power converter is substantially heavier than a travel clothes iron making a power converter less suited for travelling.

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

Voltage converter

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

A cheap, small and lightweight power adapter (or plug adapter) changes the shape of the plug on your clothes iron to fit into a power outlet found in Tobago, whereas a more expensive and heavier power converter [7] will convert the voltage of 115 volts from a Tobagonian power outlet to work with a non-115 volt clothes iron.

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

The WikiConnections guide on how to power your clothes iron in Tobago by using a three pronged Type B travel charger.

  1. Ensure that your iron is either a dual voltage travel iron [2] or is compatible with a 115 volt power supply; but if not then do not attempt these instructions because you could create an electrical fire hazard, blow a fuse or damage your iron. Before using a travel iron ensure you have set it to the 115 volt setting; consult the user guide for more information on where this switch is.
  2. You'll need to buy a Type B plug adapter [4] if the shape of plug on your clothes iron isn't the same shape as the power outlet used in Tobago. The plug adapter is designed to fit plugs from other countries for use in a power outlet found in Tobago by changing the shape of the plug, however the adapter doesn't change the frequency or voltage of your clothes iron to work with a 115 volt outlet.
  3. First you'll need to insert the Type B plug adapter into the Tobagonian power outlet. You can recognise the wall outlet by the two thin slots next to each other for live and neutral blades with a hole below for the earth pin.
  4. Then plug in your clothes iron into the Type B plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Tobagonian power outlet. You can now switch on the iron for use in Tobago.
How to use a clothes iron in Tobago using a type B power adapter

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

The WikiConnections guide showing how to power your clothes iron in Tobago by using a three pronged Type A travel charger.

  1. Make sure that your iron is either a dual voltage travel iron [2] or is compatible with a 115 volt power supply; but if not then do not continue because you might create an electrical fire hazard, damage your iron or blow a fuse. Before using a travel iron ensure you have set it to the 115 volt setting, consult the instructions for more information on where this switch is.
  2. Please check 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 can work with a 115 volt power outlet). You'll need to buy a Type A plug adapter [6] if the shape of plug used on your clothes iron isn't the same shape as the power outlet which is used in Tobago. The plug adapter will help adapt plugs from other countries for use in a power outlet used in Tobago by changing the shape of the plug, however the adapter doesn't change the frequency or voltage of your clothes iron to work with a 115 volt outlet.
  3. Plug in the Type A plug adapter into the Tobagonian power outlet. You can identify the wall supply by the 2 thin slots for live and neutral blades.
  4. After that plug in your clothes iron into the Type A plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Tobagonian power outlet. Your iron can now be used in Tobago.
How to use a clothes iron in Tobago using a type A power adapter

See also

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trinidad_%26_Tobago - Wikipedia.org entry about Tobago
  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/typeB.htm - Type B power outlet
  4. Type B plug adapter - Allows appliances to connect to Type B power outlets without converting voltage
  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
  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. Hard carry on luggage - Example of hard cases, suitcases and luggage suitable for airline carry on.