Thursday, May 19, 2016
Travel Gear: UK Electrical Adapter
I had anticipated the question and had stocked up on this necessary item. Ax-Man, a local surplus store had a supply of UK adapters at 75 cents apiece.
In the USA the voltage is generally 110 V, and plugs have flat pins. In the UK the voltage is 230 V, and plugs are bulkier with rectangular pins.
Most USB chargers automatically adjust to the voltage, so voltage is generally not an issue. Hair dryers and curling irons are best left at home for many reasons.
A visitor from the USA just needs a simple adapter. You plug the adapter into a UK electrical outlet, then plug a USB charger into the adapter.
Rather than splash out on a set of international adapters, you just need a so-called shaver adapter. Electric shavers, even in the UK, come with 2-pin plugs. The adapter accepts the flat pins used in the USA, as well as round pins. It contains a fuse that will blow if you plug in a high-powered appliance like a hair dryer.
Shaver adapters can be bought in just about any electrical store in the UK. For example, our first port of call is Edinburgh, Scotland. The last time I checked, the Curry's store on Edinburgh's main shopping street had shaver adapters in stock.