One thing that many Americans moving to London, or Canadians moving to London fail to think about is their personal appliances. When relocation UK is on the agenda for you and you have so many incredibly small details to think of, (which is why it’s key to use a London relocation agent, to help with the multitude of details) one is key to remember, electricity. In Canada and back home in the United States, when you plug in an appliance the wall outlet you choose is, as industry standard, 120 volts through any wall plug or socket. Relocation UK will soon show you differently when living in London. Any outlet you plug an appliance into there will immediately receive 240 volts, which will fry out any appliance you bring from across the pond.
While it’s not something you readily see here in North America, think of your larger appliances, like a gas dryer, or a refrigerator, those stranger looking plugs, with the large plug sizes, well that’s what is coming from the walls in London, well, everywhere in England. While one might think, “oh I’ll just get an adapter”, not so. An adapter stateside means taking a three prong plug and converting to a two prong, or vise versa in the States, but all plugs in the UK are three pronged. What you need in order to use your North American appliances is a converter or a transformer.
A converter is a good choice to be able to take the U.S. or Canadian appliances and convert the voltage from the wall from 240volts to the 120 volts required to use your appliances from back home without ruining them. Your London relocation agent will likely recommend that you use a converter power strip. Much like the power strips from back home, except that is will provide just the right amount of voltage so that you can plug in a few of your appliances you brought with you on your relocation to London. Converters can be purchased at a hardware shop in London, or you may want to order one to have with you that first few days after your moving to London while you get initially settled. Again, your London relocation agent can tell you where to get one if you don’t bring one with you on your international relocation.
The other item you can use is a transformer. Unlike the small black box looking converters, a transformer is a larger metal box that is heavier and more substantial, so of course costs quite a bit more. However it really is a better choice if you are going to plug in a power strip and you want to leave everything plugged in and not think about voltage ever again while living in London. You can check, but most of your recently purchased televisions as well as computers are already 120/240 adaptable, meaning they will have no problem working from the direct wall sockets in the U.K. But when you start to think of bringing the coffee pot, the iron, the hair dryer, blender, things that use a large amount of electricity in short bursts, your best bet is to purchase them in England.
Remember if you have questions about what you should and should not bring, or what type of voltage conversion appliance you need, contact your London relocation services company for advice. They are willing to help with any of your related relocation UK questions, big or small.