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How to Use US Appliances in the UK

Did you just get your permanent leave to remain, and you're finally looking to settle down in the UK? You've got every appliance you need for your home, but they are back in the US. Bringing them over to the UK comes to mind, but how do you use your US appliances in the UK?

First, you have to contend with plugs much smaller than the US standard. If that wasn't challenging enough, UK appliances work on 220 to 240V against the American 110V. That means you'll lose the appliance should you find a way to plug it into the mains.

Again, larger appliances like a refrigerator may not go through the UK doors due to differences in sizes of doors. Despite all, there is hope if you can't spare money to buy a new set of appliances or you're just loyal to the US brand. Here are five things you can do.

1. Buy Dual-voltage Appliance

When shopping for electronics in the US, you must consider that you will be using them in the UK. Hence, consider buying electronic appliances with dual voltage. Check the manual or ask a shopping assistant at the place of purchase. You can also easily spot the rating 110-220V written on the plug.

These dual voltage devices can automatically determine what voltage they would draw, while others have a switch for you to choose a voltage. Also, UK appliances rate 50Hz in frequency, differing from the 60Hz of US appliances. Be sure that the device you are purchasing also indicates 50Hz/60Hz.

2. Get a Step-down Transformer

If your appliances are rated 110V, you can't use them with the UK mains supplying 220-240 unless you're able to step down the voltage. For this, you'll need a step-down transformer to make them work.

There are portable ones you can purchase for your light appliances. The outlet of the transformer gives the 110V that your US electronic needs. If you don't mind the cost, you'll require a heavy-duty transformer to handle your larger device like your refrigerator.

3. Change Plugs or Use an Adapter

After sorting voltage and frequency issues, the plugs of the device are the next important thing to sort. You should know that plugs specifications differ in the UK from the US. While US devices will have a plug of two flat parallel pins, and in some cases, a ground pin, UK appliances use the three-pin electrical plugs.

Moreover, the fuse of the devices also differs as they correlate with the voltage rating. It is advisable to look for an expert to help you safely change the plugs of the devices you wish to bring into the UK.

Besides, using an adapter is another way to get yours to fit into the socket mains. There are universal adapter you can connect to your plug that fits into the UK sockets.

A caution is that an adapter doesn't alter the current getting into the appliance. Always consider the power rating of what you are about to plug.

4. Check the Size of Large Appliances

For large appliances like refrigerators and washing machines, you want to avoid the dilemma of shipping them to the UK before discovering they can't go through the door of your apartment.

A door size in the UK differs from the one in the US. UK doors are relatively narrower than doors in the US. Hence, measure the width and height of your doorway and hallway and compare with the size of equipment you're considering bringing over.


Ensuring that you are not violating any laws when shipping your appliances into the UK is very important. As such, be abreast with every relevant agency to avoid breaking any rules. Getting an ILR wouldn't have come easy, so keeping it should be top in your mind.

Bringing your gadgets into the UK is one task and getting your family or companion to come over and live with you is another. Sitting in front of the TV alone can be unexciting, so bringing in your family to join you is worth every effort.

While the process can be very demanding, you don't have to feel the weight of the process with the proper consultation. Immigration services can help you in your quest to also settle down in the UK with your family. After all, beyond the appliances, a family is what makes the house a home.

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