Power converters for Wales - Do you need a power converter in Wales?

What does a power converter for Wales do?

A power converter enables travellers to use a 100-120 volt electrical appliance with a 230 volt Welsh power outlet.

Also known as: electrical converter, electrical transformer, voltage converter, power transformer or voltage transformer.

What is the difference between a plug adapter and a power converter?

A heavy and expensive power converter [3] will transform the voltage of 230 volts from a Welsh power outlet to work with a non-230 volt appliance, however a smaller and more lightweight power adapter (or plug adapter) will change the shape of the plug on your appliance to slot into a power outlet found in Wales.

Do I need a power converter for Wales?

If you are visiting Wales from a different region please make sure your device can accept a 230 volt power supply.

  • A step down power converter [4] is needed if you are travelling from a country that uses 100-120 volts and your appliance is incompatible with 230 volts. See our world power outlets page to see which voltage your country uses.
  • You don't need a power converter if you are already using either a 230 volt device or one that is dual voltage.
  • Devices which are designed for a lower voltage such as 120 volts and used with 230 volts run the potential risk of an electrical fire hazard, blowing a fuse or damage to your device.
  • You shouldn't need a power converter if you need to charge a smaller electrical device such as a mobile phone as these are typically dual voltage and designed for international use, however you should always check the device for dual voltage support prior to your journey.
  • When powering appliances which draw more power or generate heat (for example clothes irons and hair straighteners) then you will need to use a bulkier higher wattage heavy duty power converter [5].
  • It should be more cost effective to purchase a smaller robust dual voltage travel appliance than paying for a much heavier high wattage power converter simply to use your existing domestic appliance.
  • Read our comprehensive travel guides on travelling with clothes irons, curling wands, flat irons and hair dryers with a Welsh power outlet , along with recommendations for affordable dual voltage alternatives.

What kind of converter do I need for Wales?

You need to use a step down power converter [4] in order to use any 100, 110 or 120 volt appliance in Wales.

What is the difference between a power transformer and a power converter?

Voltage converter

What is the difference between a power transformer and a power converter?

Converters and transformers are both used to change one voltage to another, but this ambiguity can cause confusion as their purposes are different:

  • Power converters are designed for simple electrical appliances which typically generate heat or use motors such as clothes irons, shavers or hair dryers. Transformers are designed for more complex electronic items such as televisions or games consoles.
  • Buying a power converter is cheaper than buying a power transformer.
  • Power transformers are larger and heavier making them more suited for permanent residential use; for example an expat wishing to use an imported television would need to use a transformer for this purpose.
  • Power converters are more suitable for travellers wishing to bring domestic appliances abroad such as hair dryers or flat irons. However, it is more practical and cost effective to purchase a dual voltage appliance designed for travel rather than a heavier power converter.
  • Power converters are suitable for 2 pin ungrounded appliances, it could be harder to find a converter if you want to use a grounded 3 pin appliance.
  • Transformers can be used constantly however it is recommended that converters are used for no longer than a couple of hours at a time.
  • Shops may sell transformers under the name of converters, for the purposes this guide we will be referring to both converters and transformers as converters.

How to convert 230 volts to 110 volts

  1. Use a step down power converter [4] to allow you to use a 110 or 120 volt appliance with a 230 volt Welsh power outlet.
  2. If the power converter doesn't include the correct shaped plug then it will also be necessary to plug in the power cord from the power converter into a power adapter for Wales before plugging that into a Welsh power outlet.
  3. Some power converters include the ability to perform both step up and step down voltage conversions, therefore it may be necessary to manually switch the converter to output the voltage to the 110-120 volt range.
  4. Plug your appliance into the converter and turn the power on, your 110-120 volt appliance can now be used with a 230 volt Welsh power outlet.

What voltage does Wales use?

Wales uses 230 volts in their standard power outlets.

Is my device single voltage or dual voltage?

Single voltage hair dryer

Is my device single voltage or dual voltage?

A simple method to tell if your appliance is dual voltage is to check for either a sticker or numbers printed on the existing charger, or on the unit itself, typically near to where the power cord plugs into. This location might vary depending on the make or model of your device, it could also state in the instruction manual or on the box.

  • Single voltage devices could say a specific number - such as 120V.
  • Single voltage devices could also have a small voltage range (around 20 volts) with a dash to accomodate small voltage fluctuations - such as 100-120V.
  • Dual voltage devices will normally say a larger voltage range separated with a slash - such as 110/240V.

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Kingdom - wikipedia.org entry about Wales.
  2. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/ - International Electrotechnical Commission World Plugs
  3. Power converter - A step up step down power converter converts 110-120 volts up to 220-240 volts and 220-240 volts down to 110-120 Volts, under £110.
  4. Step down power converter - A step down power converter allows a 100-120 volt appliance to be used in a 220-240 volt power outlet, priced under £90.
  5. Heavy duty power converter - A 5000 watt heavy duty step up and step down power converter used to convert voltages for domestic appliances, power tools, televisions, heating appliances and motors, costs £100-£110.