I have a British tea kettle I like very much. I have space in a subpanel in my kitchen for a 220V 15A circuit. If I purchased a British receptacle and wired it across the 2 hot wires, rather than the expected euro hot+neutral, would I be able to safely use my tea kettle?

I understand the existence of transformers for this purpose but I want to explore this approach for now.

My question is first, whether the tea kettle would operate differently (or at all) with the split phase; and secondly, whether the receptacle would pose a danger if some other British appliance were to be inadvertently plugged in sometime in the future?

  • 3
    The British receptacle, unless UL listed would not be legal/in code to use. Changing the kettle plug to a 6-15 might be okay. Does the kettle have a label listing volts/amps? NA is ~240 volts, not 220v.
    – crip659
    Nov 20, 2023 at 17:54
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    @crip659 modifying the kettle rather than the receptacle certainly seems like a better plan, thanks for that! that solves the future-danger problem as well. I don't have access to the kettle right now to check the label voltage, but will before proceeding. For now assuming that the label permits, the thing i don't understand yet is whether the hot wire where the kettle expects neutral will be an issue?
    – bongo fury
    Nov 20, 2023 at 18:14
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    @crip659 Any appliance intended for the European market, including the UK, will run on anything from 220 to 240V. The UK is nominally 230V, but in reality it's more like 240V. I've just plugged in a power meter and it's reading 245V, which isn't unusual.
    – Simon B
    Nov 20, 2023 at 21:35
  • Does the kettle itself have a plug/socket? In the good old days, they all did, and it was a standard plug (of the same series, but different rating, as computers use) which would allow you to replace the cord instantly, without any re-wiring.
    – MikeB
    Nov 21, 2023 at 10:06
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    @MikeB - Yes, the ones on leads designed for kettles (C16) are rated for higher temperatures and have a cut out part which goes over a ridge where you plug it into the kettle/jug . The other kind (C13) does not have the cut out part and so can't be used in a kettle, but the other way round is OK. But many folk call them all kettle leads. Nov 21, 2023 at 11:37

1 Answer 1


First: the kettle will almost certainly work just fine. Some 240V countries are 60Hz, and nowadays manufacturers like to sell their products in lots of places without making multiple versions. So there's a slight chance that electronic functions might behave slightly off in timing, but the heating element won't care at all. From the perspective of the kettle, there's no difference between your split phase system and a domestic 240V system. It's still line wires and a ground. There is no neutral in your scenario, and nowhere to connect it on the kettle anyway.

Second: no you cannot legally install a British receptacle in your US house.

Third: it really doesn't matter that you can't install a UK outlet. Code doesn't have any say over what you plug in to the wall, so you can replace the plug on the kettle with an American standard one and install a matching American outlet. I'd go with the NEMA 6-15, or perhaps a L6-15. The advantage to the NEMA locking outlet is that it makes it really clear that the outlet is dedicated to the kettle - a 6-15 looks quite a lot like a regular 120V outlet. Since it's in a kitchen, you will need a GFCI circuit breaker as well. Once you have the outlet installed and plug changed out, you're good to go. As a bonus you can use a proper four-slot toaster on the same outlet as well, rather than an underpowered American one.


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