My parents are moving to France (Angers area) in May and I was wondering if you have any advice regarding where to buy 'transformers' or 'adaptors' for household appliances (coffee machine, kitchen appliances, TV, DVD etc.). I have heard it is possible but need some guidance on what to buy and where to buy it!
Thanks so much!
You've received plenty of warnings already, with excellent reasons, but I'd like to add one specific issue. New DVD players cost next to nothing, and a US DVD player is likely to have problems even if you were to run it through a transformer. No big deal, it seems - just buy a local DVD player. This is where there is a hidden problem. The film studios insist that most DVDs are encoded with a region code and your parents' existing DVDs will be region 1 (US). In theory, DVD players sold in Europe should only play region 2 DVDs, so their existing DVD library would be useless. The key is to make sure (a) that any DVD player they buy is, or is capable of being, Region-Free & NTSC-compatible; and (b) that any TV they buy is NTSC-compatible. Amazon UK has a useful help page explaing this in English: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=502554.
Further, Amazon.fr & Amazon.co.uk are very competitive suppliers with high levels of service. Amazon UK will send English versions of most technological products to France for very modest transport costs, but you do have to use an adaptor or change the plug to a French one. (Amazon Marketplace sellers may, however, not be as good about European shipping as Amazon themselves.) You should also find that any existing Amazon.com account & password is valid on their .fr & .co.uk sites.
Bonne courage for their move, and please suggest that they join SFN & post any queries they have. This may well be useful even in advance of their move.
I would strongly advise against bringing appliances. The shipment is expensive and they take up too much room in the container that could be better used for nice, thick, American towels. The transformer will have to be a step-up type and large, therefore expensive to run (It is also noisy). The machines will not last all that long and will have to be replaced anyway, making the transformer useless. No one will know how to repair them. It is IMPOSSIBLE to get parts for American washing machines and dryers.
Perhaps you can tell that I made this mistake. Twice.
Really, the best is to buy good, new appliances here in France and get the manuals in English off the internet. Then, adjust.
Good luck to them!
Thank you Marie-Antoinette... I will pass this info on to my parents. Much appreciated advice.
Thanks Margo! I will check that out!
It isn't advisable to bring US appliances in France because they would need transformers and a 100 watt is the limit would need to be special ordered 20 watt transformer are available at department stores.
We arrived from the USA with our belongings in a full container, but the only electrical item we brought, besides our table lamps, was a Christmas tree with its small lights, we use the tree with a transformer that we purchased over here, for the table lamps the only changes, are the plugs, my husband replaced them and put european light bulbs.
I hope this helps.