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Canadian appliances in UK

Postby Tikvah » Sat Nov 12, 2011 3:57 pm

I will be returning to the UK in the near future after several years in Canada. I have some lovely appliances here in Canada which I would like to bring with me.
I have been told that it would be possible to change one of my UK kitchen sockets to 110amp so that I can use my Canadian appliances without an adaptor.
Obviously I would bring with me the socket hardware as I doubt they would be available in the UK.
Your advice would be appreciated.
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Postby sparx » Sat Nov 12, 2011 4:20 pm

Hi, yes this is OK my parents did this when returning from Vancouver some years ago.
Problems to be aware of:
First thing make sure you bring back box(s) for the outlet(s) since they don't fit UK ones.
Next, you will take up considerable cupboard space with a 230-110v transformer which will need to be rated higher than the largest appliance you intend to use.
These can be VERY expensive if high wattage appliances such as any heating device are to be used.
It is not a simple case of changing an outlet but will involve an approved electrician installing a supply to and from transformer, with necessary circuit protection devices.
Look at wattage ratings of appliances and find highest, then maybe repost on this thread and some idea of cost may be possible,
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Postby ericmark » Sat Nov 12, 2011 11:15 pm

Before 2004 fitting non compliment items in UK housing was not a problem. But with Part P for an electrician to fit items using his scheme provider as method to issue a completion certificate he has to obey the rules set by the scheme provider. So the only way he can install non compliment equipment is to use the local authority building control (LABC) to oversee the work. This means a charge of at least £100 plus vat. So first consideration is it worth £200 to use the items in the UK?

Second is the frequency, although transforming from 230 to 110 volt is easy to move from 50Hz to 60Hz needs electronics and you have to turn to DC then back to AC to get the correct frequency. Most items don't need the correct frequency but if the item does need it then getting a DC to AC inverter in America may be the way forward.

In the UK we use 110 volt for industrial hand tools but this has a centre tapped earth. To get transformers without the centre tap can be a problem at least if you don't want to pay too much. Although our yellow brick transformers start at around £50 for a 3kva unit to get a non centre tapped transformer will cost more like £100 as likely a special.

So to use your equipment you should allow £500 for the work. Yes it can be done but unless it is something you can't buy in UK likely better to sell what you have and buy new here. Avoid anything with a clock or motor as it will need inverters to change frequency. I have used a drill from USA as brushed motor but it is limited what will work.

In Woodbridge in Suffolk there were houses built for US personal with 110 volt supply although at 50Hz. To do this each house had a transformer which used power even when not used. I think they were auto-transformers rather than isolation transformers which are cheaper and still use the earth arrangement for house. It clearly worked even with the frequency change so yes you can do it. But as to if it's worth it is another question. I have a 110v transformer and a UPS so I can use imported equipment but I can't use it at 60Hz while connected to mains so not really an answer except for odd time I want to use stuff.
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