Which power adapter do you need to bring for using a clothes iron in Canada?

Canadian power outlet

Summary

Check that your clothes iron can handle the voltage in Canada:

  • If your clothes iron can run on 120 volts or can support dual voltage (how to check) then you'll only need to use the correct power adapter listed on this page if the plug on your clothes iron will not fit.

If not then either:

  • Use a dual voltage travel iron [2] - you might still need a power adapter for Canada but these cheap lightweight accessories are designed specifically for the rigors of travel.
  • Use a power converter [5] (or voltage transformer) - this will enable you to use your existing clothes iron and other applicances with a 120 volt Canadian power outlet, however this is substantially heavier, bulkier and more expensive than a dedicated travel clothes iron. A power converter will change the voltage but won't change the physical shape of the plug on your clothes iron to fit in the types of power outlet used in Canada, therefore please check that your voltage transformer includes the right power adapter for Canada otherwise you will also need to purchase another power adapter. Note that your domestic clothes iron might not be suitable for travel and you risk potential damage in your suitcase.

Warning: If your clothes iron won't handle 120 volts you run the potential risk of an electrical fire hazard, a blown fuse or damage to your clothes iron. Prior to using your clothes iron in Canada check the instruction manual first to ensure safe operation.

Using a clothes iron in Canada

Will my US clothes iron work in Canada?

The instructions on this page assume that you are a reader from America travelling to Canada and provide guidance for using your US clothes iron with a Canadian power outlet.

Will my clothes iron work in Canada?

This will depend on if your clothes iron can handle the 120 volt power outlets in Canada:

Canada power outlets and plug sockets

What is the voltage in Canada?

The normal voltage in Canada is 120 volts.

What frequency is used in Canada?

The frequency of the alternating current found in a Canadian power outlet is 60Hz.

Which travel adapter do you need for using a clothes iron in Canada?

Type A power outlet

Which travel adapter do you need for using a clothes iron in Canada?

Type A power outlets are used in Canada. The wall outlet, technically known as a type A power outlet, is recognised by two slots next to each other for live and neutral blades. A suitable power adapter to bring when using a 120 volt clothes iron in Canada is a Type A plug adapter [4] - read the step-by-step instructions below for full details of using a clothes iron in Canada. Be aware that unless you that have a dual voltage clothes iron you might also have to bring a voltage converter.

Dual voltage travel irons

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

A simple way to tell if your clothes iron can support dual voltage is to look for either a sticker or numbers printed on the plug, base or handle. The location will depend on the make and model of your clothes iron and could also be written in the instruction manual. Some dual voltage clothes irons will change automatically, however other models will have a button which allows you to operate between different voltage ranges.

  • A specific number such as 110V indicates a single voltage clothes iron. If this number matches the 120 volts used in Canada then you should be able to use your clothes iron with a Canadian 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 120 volts used in a Canadian power outlet falls within the range shown on your clothes iron then you can use it in Canada.
  • A large range separated with a slash such as 100/240V indicates a dual voltage clothes iron capable of being used in Canada or any other country.

Travelling to Canada with a clothes iron

Can you take a clothes iron in your carry on to Canada?

According to the TSA guidelines for clothes irons [8] there is no restriction on carrying a mains powered clothes iron in your carry on hand luggage through airport security in the US. The TSA recommends that you should verify that your airline which is flying you to Canada will allow a clothes iron 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 electronic items.

If you intend to pack a fragile or expensive clothes iron in your hand held luggage then it is advisable to use hard carry on luggage [9] as this offers the most protection against drops and knocks during your journey.

Power converters for Canada

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

Voltage converter

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

An expensive and heavy power converter [5] transforms the voltage of 120 volts from a Canadian power outlet to work with a non-120 volt clothes iron, however a more lightweight and cheaper power adapter (or plug adapter) changes the shape of the plug on your clothes iron to fit into a power outlet found in Canada.

Will a voltage converter work with my normal clothes iron in Canada?

The correct model of voltage transformer [5] (or power converter) allows your clothes iron using a different voltage to work using a 120 volt power outlet used in Canada. A power converter is suitable for travellers who wish to bring their existing clothes iron, but it can be a lot less expensive to buy a dedicated dual voltage travel iron [2] than it will be to purchase a power converter. Also, a travel clothes iron can be considerably smaller and lighter than a power converter making a travel clothes iron more suitable for travelling.

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

How to power a clothes iron in Canada with a 2 prong Type A travel adapter.

  1. Please make sure that your iron is either a dual voltage travel iron [2] or can work with a 120 volt power supply but if not then do not continue because you may create an electrical fire hazard, damage your iron or blow a fuse. Dual voltage irons typically have a switch to toggle between voltages, before using the iron make sure the switch is set to the 120 volt setting, consult the user guide for more details on where the switch is.
  2. Please check 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 please check that your clothes iron will work with a 120 volt power outlet). You'll need to use a Type A plug adapter [4] if the type of plug on your clothes iron isn't the same type of power outlet used in Canada. The plug adapter will fit different plugs on appliances from other countries into a power outlet found in Canada by changing the shape of the plug, but the adapter doesn't change the voltage of the clothes iron to work with a 120 volt supply.
  3. Start the process by inserting the Type A plug adapter into the power outlet. This plug outlet, sometimes called the Type A power outlet [3], is recognised by two slots parallel to each other for live and neutral blades.
  4. After that plug in the clothes iron into the Type A plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Canadian power outlet. Your iron can now be switched on.
How to use a clothes iron in Canada using a type A power adapter

See also

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canada - Wikipedia.org entry about Canada
  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/typeA.htm - Type A power outlet
  4. Type A plug adapter - Allows appliances to connect to Type A power outlets without converting voltage
  5. 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
  6. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mains_electricity_by_country - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country
  7. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/list_bylocation.htm - IEC World Plugs by location
  8. https://apps.tsa.dhs.gov/mytsa/cib_results.aspx?search=clothes%20iron - TSA guidelines for clothes irons
  9. Hard carry on luggage - Example of hard cases, suitcases and luggage suitable for airline carry on.