Uk power adaptor: UK Power Adapter, Ireland | Rick Steves Travel Store

Travel Adaptor for the United Kingdom

United Kingdom travel adaptors

You will need to consider what to pack, to ensure you can use your personal electrical appliances safely whilst abroad. This normally includes the use of a travel adaptor, which is a device that simply allows you to plug any UK electrical appliance into a foreign electrical socket. It is important to note that it does not convert the voltage or frequency.

For United Kingdom the associated plug type is G, which is the plug that three rectangular pins in a triangular pattern. United Kingdom operates on a 230V supply voltage and 50Hz.

  • Type G

Voltage converters and transformers

Electricity supplies worldwide can vary from anything between 100V and 240V. It can be extremely dangerous to use an electrical appliance that is rated at a voltage different from the supply.

As voltage can differ from country to country, you may need to use a voltage converter or transformer whilst in United Kingdom. If the frequency is different, the normal operation of an electrical appliance may also be affected. For example, a 50Hz clock may run faster on a 60Hz electricity supply.  Most voltage converters and transformers come supplied with plug adaptors, so you may not need to buy a separate travel adaptor.

All converters and transformers will have a maximum power rating (AMPS or WATTS) so make sure that any appliance you intend to use does not exceed this rating.

Dual voltage rated appliance

You can determine whether you’ll need to use a converter or transformer, by looking at the appliance rating plate.

A dual voltage rated appliance will display for example ‘INPUT: 110-240V’ on the body of the appliance or its power supply. This means that you will not need a converter or transformer but just a travel adaptor, because United Kingdom operates on a 230V supply voltage, which is within the 110-240V range that the dual voltage appliance operates on.

Single voltage rated appliances

In United Kingdom the supply voltage is 230V. If the appliance is a single voltage rated appliance, it will need to operate at the same voltage as the supply voltage of the country i.e. 230V. If this is not the case it should be used alongside a voltage transformer or converter to allow the appliance to work safely and properly.

Converters and transformers perform a similar function, but their applications differ. Converters are typically used with appliances that operate for a short duration (1-2hours), whilst most transformers can be used alongside appliances that operate continuously.

It’s important to understand that some travel adaptors are not suitable for any appliances that require an earth connection. These types of travel adaptors should only be used with double insulated equipment, which will be clearly marked with the symbol shown below.

We recommend you check your appliances before embarking on your journey, to understand the requirements in United Kingdom.

Power Plugs & Sockets: Travel Adapter Needed?

Are you planning to visit England? Check if you need a power plug adapter or voltage converter for the power sockets (outlets) used in England.

  • You need a power plug adapter in England, when living in the United States of America.
  • You also need a voltage converter.
  • Be extra careful with certain appliances because of the difference in frequency.

Below you find pictures of the applied power sockets and corresponding plugs. And we provide more information about the voltage and frequency.

Electricity in England

In England the power plug sockets are of type G. The standard voltage is 230 V and the frequency is 50 Hz.

Power plug adapter needed in England?

In England the power plug sockets are of type G. Check out the following pictures. When living in the United States of America you need a power plug adapter for sockets type G.

  • Your appliances with plug A don’t fit socket G.
  • Your appliances with plug B don’t fit socket G.

Type G: This socket has no alternative plugs

Buy a power plug (travel) adapter

We don’t sell power plug adapters. We refer you to Amazon, where you will find a great selection of travel adapters. Because you may also need a voltage converter, you should consider a combined power plug adapter/voltage converter (see below).

You can also check the map to see the use of different plugs and sockets in the world.

Voltage converter needed in England?

In England the standard voltage is 230 V and the frequency is 50 Hz.

  • You can’t use your electric appliances in England without a voltage converter, because the standard voltage in England (230 V) is higher than in the United States of America (120 V).

You can seriously damage your appliances. You need a voltage converter in England! You can find voltage converters at Amazon. Because you also need a power plug adapter, you should consider a combined plug adapter/voltage converter.

Also the frequency in England (50 Hz) differs from the frequency in the United States of America (60 Hz). You should use a voltage converter which also changes the frequency, but these are hard to find. If your converter can’t change the frequency, be warned! Be especially careful with moving, rotating and time related appliances like clocks, shavers and electric fan heaters.

To be sure, check the label on the appliance. Some appliances never need a converter. If the label states ‘INPUT: 100-240V, 50/60 Hz’ the appliance can be used in all countries in the world. This is common for chargers of tablets/laptops, photo cameras, cell phones, toothbrushes, etc.

Travel adapters from Amazon

Foval International Travel Adapter Power Step Down 220v to 110v Voltage ConverterTravel Adapter, Worldwide All in One Universal Travel AdaptorSafest Travel Adapter Kit, Dual USB


Need anything else?

Check if you have packed everything for your trip at our TRAVELER’S CHECKLIST!

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UK Adapter

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