Using Converter Plugs And Transformers
Posted December 25th, 2011 at 08:39am
The UK is an expensive place to purchase electronic goods. Just looking on the Internet will show you how much we’re being ripped off when buying things like audio visual equipment and other types of electrical goods. The sad reality is that even with customs and taxes, some electrical appliances are cheaper abroad. If bought in a cheaper European country, the savings can be huge. But buying electrical goods abroad is not always straightforward. Some of the cheapest places to purchase electrical goods use different plugs or run at a different voltage to their UK equivalent, so you may require a converter plug or a transformer.
When converter plugs are enough
Most appliances or electronic goods bought outside of the UK will be fitted with a different plug than the standard UK 3-pin one. The voltage they run at, however, may be identical or similar enough to the UK variety to require minimum conversion. It is likely you will need to buy a simple adapter, a converter plug which enables you to use your appliance here. Using a global adapter bought at places like airports and travel shops, or the more economical variety of country-specific converter plugs is all you need and you could be enjoying your electronics and seeing your savings in action in no time. Electrical items bought in most European countries should work in the UK with the use of simple converter plugs. But before you go plugging foreign devices into a UK system based on advice you read on the Internet, remember to read the manufacturer’s instructions first.
When converter plugs aren’t enough
All converter plugs do is act as a go between to make one set of plug pins fit into an incompatible set of socket holes. If you are using a device which is made for a different voltage you will need a transformer for it to work. Some devices like mobile phones, laptops and other portable devices people tend to lug around from one country to another are likely to work with a converter plug alone (do check before you plug them in, though!), other electronic devices such as audio visual equipment will likely require a more serious piece of equipment if it is to work in the UK or in Europe.
Where can I buy converter plugs and transformers?
The Internet is your best friend when it comes to buying everything you need to run your foreign electronics. Electrical stores will carry common converters, but more obscure ones may not always be in stock. On the Net, however, you can easily get a hold of even the most unlikely plugs, as well as specific transformers for all your international electronic needs. So whether you’ve been shopping in Germany or mail ordering from the States, save yourself time and money by looking up the suitable transformer or plug and ordering it online so that it’s there when your new toy arrives.