Connect with us

Moving from US to UK - which electronics will work?

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by acover4422, Oct 22, 2012.

Scroll to continue with content
  1. acover4422


    Oct 22, 2012
    Hi there,

    My husband and I are looking to move from the US to the UK, where there are different adapters, different currents, etc. I'm originally from the UK, and I brought a fantastic hairdryer with me to the US. It was powerful and really packed a punch, but once I'd put a converter plug thingy (whatever these are called) onto it, it was like having a bat breathe on my head.

    We're wondering how we will know which of our electronics will work (for example, I have a set of iPod speakers which work perfectly with a converter) and which will end up like the hairdryer. Neither of us have a very good understanding of electronics and currents and wattages (I'm particularly clueless, as you may be able to tell) work, but if there's a way to look at the plug of something and read the wattage and figure it out that way, we could probably do that!

    While I'm perfectly willing to figure it out myself once I know how, here's the list of things we're wondering about, if anyone would find that helpful:
    - Colour baby video monitor (camera, and charger for handheld receiver)
    - Washer
    - Dryer
    - Sewing machine
    - Kitchen appliances: electric wine bottle opener; 'Baby Bullet' (a baby food maker, sort of a super-powerful blender)
    - Printer
    - Xbox 360 with Kinect (while we're at it, will our US-bought Xbox games work on a UK-bought Xbox?)
    - Floor lamp
    - Energy-saving lightbulbs - that may sound daft, but we just bought enough for the whole house and boy were they expensive!

    Thanks, everyone!
  2. CocaCola


    Apr 7, 2012
    Some devices will have a 110/220 switch on the back and these will only require a new power cord... The rest will require step down transformers or new power supplies... Light bulbs are a bust, dump them...

    I can't believe for a moment that shipping a washer and dryer is economical, but the dryer if all electric might only need a plug change, if gas like the washer will need a step down transformer...

    All in all my advise, sell most of the stuff and get new stuff when you get to the UK... When you factor in the shipping cost, the shipping hassle and the cost to make it work you will likely find it economical or even profitable to replace most of your list with brand new when you get there...

    As for the Xbox, no the games will not work, they are region locked, you will need to get a converter or new power supply for the Xbox...
  3. acover4422


    Oct 22, 2012
    Well, we're only really half-considering taking the washer (not the dryer, so much), and because it's less than a year old and it's a fantastic washer. In the UK you have to spend a lot to get a top-loader, and they're not as fast or efficient as what you get here. Still, if we can't take it it's no big deal; but because we had to change the plug to move into our current apartment (it's an old building), my husband thinks we might be able to do that. So, do you mean we'd need a stepdown transformer for the washer?

    With regards to the Xbox games: how does that work? US DVDs, for example, don't work on my UK laptop no matter where I am in the world; but there's a sort of online DVR called BBC iPlayer which works on any laptop, but only in the UK. In other words, if we take our games, will we still be able to play them on our US Xbox?

    Finally, and sorry this is such a dumb question, when you talk about a 110/220 switch, do you mean a literal switch?

  4. davenn

    davenn Moderator

    Sep 5, 2009
    Yes ! :) many units, particularly TV's stereo gear have a semi recessed switch, usually red in colour by the mains power input socket that can be switched between 110 and 230V

  5. CocaCola


    Apr 7, 2012
    In the US washers run on 110 Volt, in the UK 220 Volts is the norm... It's not a matter of swapping a plug it's a matter that the UK voltage is twice that of the US for standard stuff... This means you need a transformer that will take the UK 220 volts and reduce it to 110 Volts so that it won't kill the unit...

    The US Xbox is set to region 1, and US games are set to region 1... When you put a DVD in the Xbox it checks the region if it doesn't match it won't play... In the UK the units and disk are set to region 2...

    There are ways to get them to work using a region free hack, on the Xbox this would require you 'hack' it...

    It's not a matter of where you are it's a matter of what region code the device has... For most computers they are region free initially, but they lock to a region after say the third time you insert a DVD...

    This type of region lock is based on your Internet IP, in the UK you are using a UK Internet provider so it works, when in the US you are using a US Internet provider and it locks you out...

    Again there are workarounds to get it to work, but hey require a little effort...

    Yes, on your US Xbox not an a UK one, and any games you purchase in the UK will not work on your US system unless it's hacked...

    Yes, you see these switches on say desktop computers, these only require a new power cord and flipping of the switch to work... They will say 110-220 or 115 - 230 or something similar...

Ask a Question
Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?
You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.
Electronics Point Logo
Continue to site
Quote of the day