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I recently purchased a new microwave and it has arrived with a European 2 pin plug which states on it 16A 250V. The microwave panel and instructions both state 230V. How can I safely use this on our UK 3 plan plug sockets? I have seen videos cutting off the plug and re-wiring a UK plug to it. But I worry this would void any warranty.

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    New stuff that does not meet expectations should be sent back. See the maker to see if those microwaves come with a UK plug. The third prong is for ground connection and needs a three wire cable to work. The microwave will work, the ground connection will not.
    – crip659
    Jun 28, 2023 at 13:59
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    Send it back! Send it back! Send it back! Send it back! Send it back!
    – FreeMan
    Jun 28, 2023 at 15:07
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    Thank you for the advice. I called customer service and they said they will send a replacement out with the correct plug. We shall see in about 2 weeks or more probably….
    – Richard
    Jun 28, 2023 at 15:58
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    @Richard the sellers who make that mistake are often shipping cheap garbage from China, which lacks any of the mandatory safety certifications. Note that CE is widely faked, and the EU's only recourse when that happens is to threaten their bricks-and-mortar assets inside the EU. Many mail-order sellers, their only physical presence inside the EU is a mailbox at a mail forwarder. Jun 28, 2023 at 19:03
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    Is it really a 2 pin plug or a shuko, which has a contact that's very flat, on both sides, and is used differently in france and germany IIRC? Jun 29, 2023 at 8:30

3 Answers 3

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It's against all regulations to sell anything electrical in the UK without the correct plug.
Send it back.

You can't just change the plug yourself because a microwave must be earthed.

If you bought it from Amazon, eBay etc report the seller.

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    Thank you for the advice. A replacement is being issued apparently… only time will tell if they do what they have said.
    – Richard
    Jun 28, 2023 at 15:59
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    I agree with you that exchanging the equipment is the best course of action, but it's possible to replace the plug safely. A European 16A plug only has two pins, but it has an earth connection at each side (plus a socket for the earth pin in the French version). The UK adopted the European colour code for flexible cable in 1971, so there's no problem with identifying the wires.
    – grahamj42
    Jun 28, 2023 at 22:32
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    @grahamj42 Only some European 16A plugs are earthed. If it’s a CEE 7/7 (most likely), CEE 7/6 (unlikely) or CEE 7/4 (also unlikely) then it is indeed earthed. A CEE 7/17 plug can be rated for 16A, and is not earthed. I would not expect to see one of those on a microwave though, but it’s theoretically possible. Jun 28, 2023 at 22:39
  • @AustinHemmelgarn for a new microwave I consider it extremely unlikely that a CEE 7/17 would be fitted, even with a fake CE-marked appliance.
    – grahamj42
    Jun 29, 2023 at 5:55
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    @grahamj42 - I hadn't actually considered that; but the more important aspect is the seller realise they just cannot do that in the UK. A UK plug must be fitted. If the OP tries to change that themselves [& appears to not be well-versed in this, so I wouldn't recommend it anyway], then the seller can claim a void warranty, whereas right now the customer has every right to demand a correct appliance or money back; and now the claim has been raised, they get 6 months rather than just the regular 14 days.
    – Tetsujin
    Jun 29, 2023 at 8:36
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You could buy a good quality adaptor to plug the European plug into a UK outlet. Make sure it has a 13A fuse fitted, and that it uses the earth connection.

Avoid all cheap travel adaptors, especially the universal types that will allow you to plug in any plug from anywhere in the World.

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    Note that typical "travel" adapters are not approved for permanent use in the UK. But you can buy permanent adapters which screw closed over the Europlug, and these are legal for permanent use. But as the other answer says - the seller needs to sort this out.
    – Jack B
    Jun 29, 2023 at 14:59
  • The 'permanent' adapters would likely not be capable of taking the power the microwave takes - could be 5A or more. They're typically only for low power things like electronics. The Europlug is only rated to 2.5A so it seems unlikely the microwave has one, more likely a full size Schuko or similar. Jun 29, 2023 at 16:13
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Assuming sending it back isn't an option, you would need to use a suitable adapter, which is rated for carrying the current the microwave would take. Most travel adapters are not rated for carrying many amps, but other extensions are: Plug extension (source: Amazon) 4 way extension (source: Amazon)

(by no means an endorsement of these specific products)

Another option is to buy a trailing socket of a suitable type (eg the 4-way Schuko lead shown here), cut off the plug, and attach a UK plug to it. This is often cheaper if you can pick one up when in a country that uses the Schuko plugs.

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