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I live in the UK but have a few US appliances in my possession which I would like to use here in the UK. To avoid having to rewire all the plugs, I bought a transformer to step down the voltage from 230V to 110V. The outlet is set to receive a European plug, so I bought a Schuko adapter to accept US configured plugs. However, when I plugged it into the transformer, it did not work.

The transformer, I believe, is fine. I will check my appliances further, but I can't decide if the fault is with the adapter, which I only just bought. Does anyone have any thoughts? The transformer can receive a 3 prong plug, but as far as I know, European plugs only have 2 prongs.

The transformer nameplate

Transformer nameplate

Transformer specs

Transformer specs

Transformer receptacle

Transformer receptacle

Adapter interface

Adapter

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    UK 110V plugs tend to be 3 prong with round prongs and in blue plastic. Some pictures of what you are using will help decide what is happening. – Solar Mike Jul 22 at 16:02
  • What's the device you're trying to power? Also, try reversing the plug -- unlike European devices, some (though not many) US devices care about polarity. – Nate S. Jul 22 at 16:07
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    Can you add pictures of what exactly you have? – Peter Green Jul 22 at 17:45
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    Yes, can you add photos of the nameplate labels for all the things involved here? – ThreePhaseEel Jul 22 at 23:39
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    Can you post a photo showing the pin configuration of the receptacle on the transformer? I suspect you may have the wrong adapter given that this is a worksite transformer with a significant IP rating... – ThreePhaseEel Jul 24 at 11:45
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Wrong adapter

Your problem is basically entirely that you have the wrong adapter. Your transformer is a UK worksite transformer that outputs two 55V legs with an inaccessible center-tap for the grounded neutral, and thus uses IEC 60309 pin and sleeve (also known as "CEEform" or "Commando" in the UK) type connectors as they are rugged and weather-resistant. These are not intended to mate with the Schuko plug on your current adapter, though, so you'll need to get or fabricate (using a short length of appropriate cordage as a go-between) an adapter from the appropriate pin-and-sleeve plug to a NEMA 5-15 cord cap and use that instead.

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  • Will a US device looking for one 110 (120) V leg work on this transformer then if it outputs 2 55 V legs? – PhilippNagel Aug 5 at 13:19
  • @PhilippNagel -- unless it really, really cares about having a grounded neutral, it'll be fine – ThreePhaseEel Aug 5 at 23:20
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The socket on the transformer is a "CEEform" or "Commando" socket (they are two names for the same thing). It's a widely used international standard, but is completely incompatible with the standard German or French plugs.

You would need to buy or make an appropriate adaptor to fit your US plugs. Or take off the US plugs and fit CEEform ones instead.

Note that yellow plugs/sockets are specifically intended for 110V. Other colour plugs will not fit, even if they are the same size.

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