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London to US electrical adapter/converter

Hello everyone
What converter do i need to convert a small London appliance (that I bought and had shipped to the US) to use in the US?

I read about an adapter, as well as a converter. Not sure if I understand the difference between the 2 or if I need both. And if I need both, what exactly do I need?


Posted by
2574 posts

What is this small London appliance?

If it uses a transformer and you are sure that it can safely operate on 110vac, all you need is a plug adapter. Other than that, I really would not advise your attempting to connect it at all without consulting with a licensed electrician.

Posted by
8889 posts

A converter converts the electricity voltage.
An adapter adapts the physical plug to fit the sockets in a different country.

Question - does this appliance you bought in London accept just 230V 50 Hz electricity (like they have in the UK), or does it accept both 230V and US 110V 60 Hz?
To answer this question, you will need to look at the plate on the appliance which should give the technical details.
If it accepts US 110V you are OK, no converter needed. If it only works with 23oV, you need a voltage converter.

Second, the plug If you bought this in the UK, it will have a UK plug on it. You have probably already figured out this will not fit in the sockets in your house. You therefore need a plug adapter.
Is the plug just a plug or is it something else as well (like a charger)? If it is JUST a plug, and you only every want to use this appliance in the USA, a simpler option is to remove the plug and replace with a US one. I take it you know how to wire a plug?

Posted by
3198 posts

If the appliance you purchased is 220-240 volts, you’ll need a step-up converter to use on the US system that is 110-120 volts. In addition either the converter needs a type G female plug and type B male plug or the necessary adapters. Here’s a link to what will work.

If the appliance is marked so it can be used with 110-120 volts, all you’d need is a type G male adapter.

Posted by
11382 posts

what exactly do I need?

What exactly did you buy?

If you are unsure about what you need, it may be easier ( and safer) to take it to a local appliance or electrical repair shop and ask them what you need to be able to use it in the US

Posted by
2 posts

Thank you all for you replies! This is the information i needed!

Thanks Philip for the Amazon link. this is exactly what I needed to know. I will check to see if the plate tells me if it accepts both US/UK voltage and go from there. And thanks Chris for the adapter info (i did figure out it wont fit in the US outlet) :)

BTW-its a bar frig from the The Ritz auction.

Posted by
5837 posts

I would be surprised if your refrigerator is "dual voltage" and not a 220 volt 50 Hz powered cooler.

You could try to wire the UK appliance to your house's 220 volt circuit, but check with a licensed electrician first.

Posted by
1161 posts

I would be very surprised as well. Non-portable appliances are usually just made for the country's electrical grid from where they are sold.

Posted by
11382 posts

Why is this question/topic in the "France" forum?

Posted by
9769 posts

That's a very cool souvenir/heritage piece, but you will definitely need a converter as well as an adapter. Until then it will be a nice, non-functioning box (presumably very chic in its apperance!).

Posted by
33124 posts

There will be a little extra problem here, the frequency of the power line. You will eventually get lower life from the compressor motor because although changing the voltage is a simple trick it is not easy to change the frequency. UK and European, and most electricity around the world is shaped so it has 50 cycles per second, called 50 Hz. North American electricity is different, and is at 60 Hz. So the motor in your fridge will be overspeeding at 60/50 or 6/5 or 120% which will eventually overheat and lower its life. Make sure that when you install it you have LOTS of air around it so it can cool.

Since you bought a refrigerator it will have a motor, to run the compressor which makes the air cold.

I'd be a little surprised if a commercial unit which has been part of a lot and the eventually auctioned off has the information you want on it, but since it is a refrigerator I would be astonished if it is rated at anything other than 220-240vac, 50Hz. If it is inefficient as many old things are (I know I am for example) it may also use a fair number of Amps, which will double when you halve the Volts. You won't want anything sharing the circuit until you see how it behaves.

Halving the voltage is pretty straightforward. Down to Fry's or similar electronic store and buy a step down transformer with 220 input and 110 output, which you plug the fridge into and then plug into the wall with the built in cord.

Something like:-;jsessionid=zm5htlrnLO9zr9sjnZpl7w_.node4?site=sr:SEARCH:MAINRSLT_PG

Do see if the plate (probably on the back of the fridge) is legible. If you don't know what it means you could copy it here and some of us understand it (Ken and myself and probably others). You are particularly interested in xxxVac, xxHz, and xxA or xxxxW.

Does the fridge have a standard 3 prong large British plug or is it just three loose wires where you would expect a plug?