Using UK equipment in the US

Aug 16th, 2007, 02:16 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 468
Using UK equipment in the US

I am travelling to the US from the UK next week and I am still confused about what electrical adapters I need. I understand there is a voltage change as well.

How do I know if I also need a voltage converter for my phones, camera, ipod etc?

wilees is offline  
Aug 16th, 2007, 02:34 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,689
With regard to the voltage change, your ipod CHARGER should be dual voltage as should your phone and camera chargers. I would be very surprised if they were not. Itís hard to buy chargers that are not dual voltage these days. Read the package or the charger itself. If it says "120/240" or "110/230", then the item is dual voltage and it will work in the US.

I donít think I understand the other part of the question, as these items donít work independently of the chargers, i.e. the ipod runs off the charger as does the phone. So if the charger is dual voltage, the item will work after it is charged or when it is connected to the charger. You canít buy a separate voltage converter for a phone to the best of my knowledge. Just make sure your charger is dual voltage. If for some very strange reason you have a charger that is not dual voltage, then buy a charger than will work in the US.

The 3-pin plugs at the end of the wires on your chargers are going to be too large to fit into the 2-pin electrical outlet socket found in US homes and hotels. That is why you need an adaptor plug to ďadaptĒ your UK plug to the US socket. You should buy some adaptors before you leave home, as these can be hard to find in the US (I live in Hong Kong and if I forget to bring them with me to the US for my electronics, I have had trouble finding them, you can try a shop called Radio Shack.)

There is a website called that in my experience is a fairly reliable source of information on the type of outlet configurations you are likely to find in virtually any country in the world. Another helpful site is

Hopefully your phone is dual or tri-band, otherwise it will not work in the US regardless of whether you can charge it up, as the US operates on a different signal transmission system than the UK/Asia.

Cicerone is offline  
Aug 16th, 2007, 02:35 AM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 775
USA has 110V, most europesn countries 220V, also the plugs are different.
Any major electrical store (at the airport before leaving) sell the right converter plugs.
Most modern equipment will convert from 220 into 110, check your instructionbooks.
Ida101 is offline  
Aug 16th, 2007, 03:00 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 468
Thanks! That is exactly what I wanted to know. I will go home and check all of my electrical equipment to see if they have both voltages.

wilees is offline  
Aug 16th, 2007, 03:53 AM
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 283
Whilst the majority of UK electrical goods work in the US (with the adaptor) the same is not true for US goods. US Gameboys don't work & you need to but a UK adaptor when you return. Some computers will not work either & you will need to check on the packaging for compatability - don't trust the salesperson.
johngerard is offline  
Aug 16th, 2007, 06:56 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,380
I'm going back more years than I care to remember, but some items like clocks, turntables, tape decks and the like also have to be concerned about cycles. It's the small number.

The US is generally 110V 60; the UK is 220V 50.

Somebody who knows more about electricity needs to help me out here; I've forgotten most of what little I knew.
bookhall is offline  
Aug 16th, 2007, 07:09 AM
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 573
As a regular visitor to the US from UK I got fed up when upon attaching my (UK) hair dryer/hot air brush (or whatever electrical thingy) to the adaptor, I found that the the voltage was so low it was nigh on impossible to syle my hair there was absolutely no power coming through.
I now obviously use (hairdryers) the hotels supply.
And for my hot air styling brush, i went on to EBAY and purchased one from the American site, even allowing for postage etc it was still a bargain, and now i take it on holiday and, whoa i can style my hair!!!!
(I never seemed to have enough time when on hols to buy one from any electrical shops, and when i did try a few they did not supply the type i liked.)
AnnRiley is offline  
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