If you have/or currently living in Europe ? — The Bump
Military Families

If you have/or currently living in Europe ?

What is your advice for electrical appliances?

I have read on the internet/talked to a couple people and it seems everyone has different opinions (duh).

My question is do you recommend getting 220v appliances (toaster, coffee maker, stand mixer, food processor, microwave, blender, coffee grinder, vacuum - these are our items used frequently) when we arrive or attempt to use a transformer?

Also, hair dryer, flat iron, lamps, alarm clocks, TV, etc, etc, etc...

I know you can find these items for sale from people moving.  Just wondering if I should just plan on doing this and put my 110v appliances in storage (we are already planning to store washer/dryer, refrigerator and freezer). 


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Re: If you have/or currently living in Europe ?

  • We lived in Korea for 2 years. In my opinion, it's better to buy appliances that will stay plugged in all the time (i.e. microwave, tv, lamps, etc...) and to use transformers on the rest. You can get most of that stuff so insanely cheap from people PCS-ing.
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  • We live in government housing and have both 110 and 220 plugs.  Plus, they will tell you to leave things like the washer/dryer and fridge because they will supply those for you.  (Even in private rental)  We have also lived in private rental and used a lot of transformers for our appliances.  We did buy a 220 microwave, lamps, and hairdryer.  Everything else we kept our 110.  And you can get things really cheap from people PCSing.
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  • If you plan on living off base, I recommend at least buying your frequently used appliances in 220 v. You can buy them cheap from people who are PCSing and transformers can be such a hassle and very expensive!
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  • We live on post in Germany and have 110 and 220 plugs.  We use all 110 appliances.  If we were living off post it would be cheaper to use 220 appliances than to buy a ton of transformers.
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  • As PPs said, the frequently used appliances we bought second hand in 220V. The thing about transformers, though, is that they change the voltage, but do not change the hertz. So, if something that you want to use on a transformer does not say 50-60Hz, you can burn it out using it on a transformer. For something that produces heat anyway, like my hair straightener for example, using it on the transformer will probably not kill it. BUT for something that has a motor, like my Kitchen Aide mixer that I LOVE and would hate to lose, I'm shelving it until we get back. The extra heat from the current will burn the motor out faster. Even if you do plan on living on base housing, where they have both 110 and 220V outlets, those currents are just passed through a transformer before they make it to your home, so it is the same issue with the hertz.
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  • Things like my hair straightener,hair dryer and laptop, get plugged into the mini transformers that you can get at the BX....depending on how long you're there for I recommend buying the appliances you frequently use in 220v and getting transformers only for the things you plan to ship back to the states after your tour is done. We bought a cheap coffee pot, mixer and toaster and only use a transformer for the TV.  
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