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Want to take US washer dryer back to UK - will it be feasible? worth it?

Want to take US washer dryer back to UK - will it be feasible? worth it?

Old Apr 10th 2019, 8:24 pm
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Default Want to take US washer dryer back to UK - will it be feasible? worth it?

Hi All,

Further to my previous post, we have decided to relocate back to UK from sunny California. It's been three years and we think this will never be 'home' in that sense for a variety of reasons. (Happy to share them incase anyone is interested).

So now I'm in busy planning mode with regards how best I can use the container we are shipping back to UK. I have to say that living in America has opened my eyes to the amazing washing machines and dryers they have here. I feel like all these years in UK, I was living on Mars when it comes to the laundry world ! Our clothes have never looked better and don't even get me started on the benefits of not having to iron out the creases my UK dryer used to get into our clothes! So after this little love note to American laundry gadgets, its obvious its on the top of my list to carry back to UK and install them there. The thought of going back to my washer dryer at home in UK is frankly depressing right now.

So the questions I have are -
- Has anyone done this? If yes, how does it work with the differences in voltage system, water usage etc ? For example - can I just use a voltage convertor to get it working ?
- If anyone has tried this, what, if any, are the issues they faced?
- Lastly - what brands would you suggest? I find that even the brands available in UK (like LG and Samsung) perform differently and so much better in the US. I honestly haven't tried the big top loading american machines (except when we rent Air B&Bs etc), but if anyone thinks they are more efficient or better to carry back, I'd be keen to hear from them. I'm also thinking ongoing maintenance and breakdown support which is likely to be absent in the UK for some of these brands, in which case, durability is a hugely important aspect.

Will truly appreciate thoughts and suggestions from all the long term Brit Expats and gadget gurus.

Thanks in advance !
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Old Apr 10th 2019, 9:59 pm
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Default Re: Want to take US washer dryer back to UK - will it be feasible? worth it?

I wouldn’t attempt to bring back a US drier to the UK. To begin with it is 30A so would need a dedicated circuit, plus the wiring for the drier is different in the US using 2 phases to achieve 240V. If you look at your US drier plug you will see I think that it has 4 pins. See the article below for detailed info.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/NEMA_connector

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Old Apr 11th 2019, 12:58 am
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Default Re: Want to take US washer dryer back to UK - will it be feasible? worth it?

I second what durham_lad has said. In addition, when we were back in Scotland last year, we used two different sets of washers and dryers at two different peoples’ houses and they both did a fantastic job of washing and drying our clothes. Far better than our fairly new Kenmore set here in the USA. No wrinkles on clothes to speak of at all.

Maybe time for a new British washer/dryer set?
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Old Apr 11th 2019, 1:00 am
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Default Re: Want to take US washer dryer back to UK - will it be feasible? worth it?

Originally Posted by durham_lad View Post
I wouldn’t attempt to bring back a US drier to the UK. To begin with it is 30A so would need a dedicated circuit, plus the wiring for the drier is different in the US using 2 phases to achieve 240V. If you look at your US drier plug you will see I think that it has 4 pins. …..
Up to the mid 90's they had three pins, being two lives and a neutral, i.e. no ground! There are still many hoses wired with a 3pin socket for the dryer, and so it is common, but IMO utterly unacceptable to take a brand new dryer and attach a three pin cord aka "pigtail", to enable it to be plugged into a three pin socket. Three pin pigtails are still widely available despite (i) them being "non-code" for about 25 years, and (ii) it being just about the easiest imaginable "modification" to an appliance, to attach a grounded 4-pin pigtail - just attach the two lives and the neutral as per usual, then drill a small hole into the nearest convenient part of the chassis or casing of the dryer then use a self-tapping screw to attach the ground connection.

I did this for a neighbour, after he asked for help to replace the per-code 4-pin socket with a non-code three pin socket. I agreed to help, but only to upgrade the pig-tail to four pin, not downgrade the socket to three pin. He watched in amazement as I attached the new pigtail to his dryer - I don't think he would have looked more confounded if I had started practicing witchcraft in his laundry room!
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Old Apr 11th 2019, 1:37 pm
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Default Re: Want to take US washer dryer back to UK - will it be feasible? worth it?

Originally Posted by julymermaid View Post
Hi All,

Further to my previous post, we have decided to relocate back to UK from sunny California. It's been three years and we think this will never be 'home' in that sense for a variety of reasons. (Happy to share them incase anyone is interested).

So now I'm in busy planning mode with regards how best I can use the container we are shipping back to UK. I have to say that living in America has opened my eyes to the amazing washing machines and dryers they have here. I feel like all these years in UK, I was living on Mars when it comes to the laundry world ! Our clothes have never looked better and don't even get me started on the benefits of not having to iron out the creases my UK dryer used to get into our clothes! So after this little love note to American laundry gadgets, its obvious its on the top of my list to carry back to UK and install them there. The thought of going back to my washer dryer at home in UK is frankly depressing right now.

So the questions I have are -
- Has anyone done this? If yes, how does it work with the differences in voltage system, water usage etc ? For example - can I just use a voltage convertor to get it working ?
- If anyone has tried this, what, if any, are the issues they faced?
- Lastly - what brands would you suggest? I find that even the brands available in UK (like LG and Samsung) perform differently and so much better in the US. I honestly haven't tried the big top loading american machines (except when we rent Air B&Bs etc), but if anyone thinks they are more efficient or better to carry back, I'd be keen to hear from them. I'm also thinking ongoing maintenance and breakdown support which is likely to be absent in the UK for some of these brands, in which case, durability is a hugely important aspect.

Will truly appreciate thoughts and suggestions from all the long term Brit Expats and gadget gurus.

Thanks in advance !
You'd certainly be better off buying a decent washer and dryer in Europe. No clue how energy efficient these American ones are but I always hear many Germans complain that you can't buy any decent washing machine in the US. It's not only that and if the dryer starts a fire etc. your Home Insurance won't pay if you messed around with socket etc. If you look on websites like Currys or ao, all good brands would be available be it Miele, Siemens, Bosch, Samsung and so on. You can get a heat pump tumble dryer from Bosch with A++ ratings these days, not to mention many Washing Machines with A+++
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Old Apr 13th 2019, 1:11 pm
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Default Re: Want to take US washer dryer back to UK - will it be feasible? worth it?

I wouldn't recommend shipping those appliances from the states. We bought an LG condenser dryer when I came back to the UK 8 years ago and a matching washing machine a couple of years later. Dryer is A+ and washer A+++ and we've been happy with both. My father owned an appliance sales and repair business in Canada prior to retiring so I'd seen both good and bad products in North America over the years. I came from a Maytag Neptune "family" so I'm pleased to say that for the most part what we purchased here did the job just as well.
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Old Apr 13th 2019, 8:07 pm
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Default Re: Want to take US washer dryer back to UK - will it be feasible? worth it?

Not practical the supply frequency in the US is 60 Hz and the UK its 50 Hz. Even if you got a massive voltage converter the motor may not function propertly. I work for BC Hydro and would strobly work against this.
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Old Apr 15th 2019, 12:41 pm
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Default Re: Want to take US washer dryer back to UK - will it be feasible? worth it?

Apart from the electricity supply issues, there's the size issue too. British kitchens & utility rooms are designed to take standard under-counter size front loading washers and dryers (about 60 x 60 x 85 cm). All new machines these days are cold-water inlet only, with standard size fittings for the pipes and outlets. I think you'd struggle to find a house that would take an american washer/dryer without some significant modification to the kitchen/utility.

I think you must have had poor machines in the UK before you moved to the US - buy a decent brand machine(s) when you return. If I say anything else, I'm running the risk of re-opening the washing machine debate that frequently crops up on the US boards on UK vs US washing machines.
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Old Apr 15th 2019, 8:46 pm
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Default Re: Want to take US washer dryer back to UK - will it be feasible? worth it?

Yeah- get a new set when you settle in. When we moved to America, I hated my GE washing machine and missed the Bosch I had back in the UK so much I special ordered a Bosch 500 European model and paid to have a 220 outlet installed in the laundry room. LOL- funny how personal preference varies so much on mundane things like washing machines.
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Old Apr 20th 2019, 3:39 pm
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Default Re: Want to take US washer dryer back to UK - will it be feasible? worth it?

no, just order something from Germany when you get there.
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Old Apr 20th 2019, 11:38 pm
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Default Re: Want to take US washer dryer back to UK - will it be feasible? worth it?

The experience we've had with Samsung has been first rate if that's of any help. Maybe consider buying the best brand with a excellent reputation for reliability once back in the UK. Our Samsung washer and dryers are the latest gadgets with a lot of programmable features. You can actually tell your young kids to put their dirty clothes in the washer but you can turn them on using the internet. We can preprogram both the washer and dryer and access them via the internet, which is a fun feature and I like that the dryer has so many sensors built in. It has one sensor that can identify if the garments are still damp, and if so, the drying cycle continues until completely dry. Now days everything in a person's house is computer based. A dryer getting rid of wrinkles is actually a old school function. Back rubs and foot massages are the new features lol.
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Old Apr 25th 2019, 12:21 pm
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Default Re: Want to take US washer dryer back to UK - will it be feasible? worth it?

Theres' no comparison between US models and European ones. European ones win hands down. Buy new when you arrive
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Old Apr 25th 2019, 1:33 pm
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Default Re: Want to take US washer dryer back to UK - will it be feasible? worth it?

Originally Posted by GeniB View Post
Theres' no comparison between US models and European ones. European ones win hands down. Buy new when you arrive
And your recent experience of US appliances is what, exactly?

US laundry appliances have come a long way in the last 20 years, with most now being more efficient front-loader models. However the biggest difference is the size, and therefore convenience of US washers and dryers. For us, a family of three we can wash all our bedding in one load, ditto our towels, and everything else (clothing for one week) in another two loads. I am not surprised that some people returning from the US miss modern US laundry appliances, because of the convenience, and in any case I am sceptical that European appliances are more efficient enough, in either power or water, to overcome the number of times that they have to be run to do the same amount of laundry that will fit into a US washer. When I visit my mother and we "do a bit of laundry", I find that the washer is full with the clothing from the three of us for just a couple of days, and I am certain that we would have to run at least three times more loads of laundry that we do in the US.

I have no doubt that European appliances are very nice - we have a Bosch DW, and a remarkable piece of engineering it is too, and quiet, but comparing US and European laundry appliances is like comparing apples and oranges. ….. Or perhaps apples and watermelons.

Last edited by Pulaski; Apr 25th 2019 at 2:47 pm.
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Old Apr 25th 2019, 2:30 pm
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Default Re: Want to take US washer dryer back to UK - will it be feasible? worth it?

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
I am sceptical that European appliances are more efficient enough, in either power or water, to overcome the number of times that they have to be run to do the same amount of laundry that will fit into a US washer. When I visit my mother and we "do a bit of laundry", I find that the washer is full with the clothing from the three of us for just a couple of days, and I am certain that we would have to run at least three times more loads of laundry that we do in the US.

I have no doubt that European appliance are very nice - we have a Bosch DW, and a remarkable piece of engineering it is too, and quiet, but comparing US and European laundry appliances is like comparing apples and oranges.
But you also don't sweat as much as you do in California, so technically the OP won't have to wash as much.
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Old Apr 25th 2019, 2:44 pm
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Default Re: Want to take US washer dryer back to UK - will it be feasible? worth it?

Originally Posted by Moses2013 View Post
But you also don't sweat as much as you do in California, so technically the OP won't have to wash as much. ….
I agree, there are some countries in Europe where my experience would apparently be less of a concern.
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