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Moving to LA for a few months - Will my appliances work?

Moving to LA for a few months - Will my appliances work?

Old Apr 6th 2011, 4:45 pm
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Default Moving to LA for a few months - Will my appliances work?

From the UK obviously, if I get a plug socket adapter to make my UK plugs fit into US sockets will everything like my laptop, to my shaver work? Or should I buy a new laptop while over there? Do I have to worry about power surges in Southern Cali?

Also, will my mobile phone work?
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Old Apr 6th 2011, 4:50 pm
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Default Re: Moving to LA for a few months - Will my appliances work?

Hi Frank,

Anything that is rated to run on 110v (usually indicated with a range: "110-240v" or something like that) will work with a plug socket adapctor. Laptops and shavers are among the most common dual-voltage items due to their portable nature, but you'll need to check.

If your phone is a triband phone AND is unlocked to use with any carrier then it will probably work.
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Old Apr 6th 2011, 5:17 pm
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Default Re: Moving to LA for a few months - Will my appliances work?

Originally Posted by avanutria View Post
Hi Frank,

Anything that is rated to run on 110v (usually indicated with a range: "110-240v" or something like that) will work with a plug socket adapctor. Laptops and shavers are among the most common dual-voltage items due to their portable nature, but you'll need to check.

If your phone is a triband phone AND is unlocked to use with any carrier then it will probably work.
Thank you. Are there ever any power outages in LA? Any power surges? I'm not sure whether I want to bring my own, how much is a cheap laptop out there?

Will I need to get a new sim card? What should I get?

Also, what's internet like? Are there a million hotspots to every 100 feet or do I need mobile internet?
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Old Apr 6th 2011, 5:22 pm
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Default Re: Moving to LA for a few months - Will my appliances work?

I don't live in LA so I can't comment on some of your questions. But you can get a cheap netbook for about $300, more if you want something bigger or more powerful. (It's often a bit cheaper to get it directly form the manufacturer's website rather than buying in store.) You will need to get a new sim card - UK phone service providers do not provide service in the US. What you get is up to you and your useage but be prepared for sticker shock as contracts are very expensive and payg is almost unheard of. I use T-Mobile pay as you go, 1000 minutes for one year for $100. Cheapest I could find.
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Old Apr 6th 2011, 8:17 pm
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Default Re: Moving to LA for a few months - Will my appliances work?

Originally Posted by madfrank View Post
Are there ever any power outages in LA?
yes
Any power surges?
yes (most of the power distribution in the US is crap compared to the UK)
I'm not sure whether I want to bring my own, how much is a cheap laptop out there?
Laptops are the one thing that it is usually worth bringing - they pretty much all have dual voltage power supplies already and they should "just work".
Will I need to get a new sim card?
yes
What should I get?
Depends what you will be using the phone for - you can search online to see what is available
Also, what's internet like? Are there a million hotspots to every 100 feet or do I need mobile internet?
Depends where you are but you may be able to get away with just using WiFi hotspots - wireless internet access is still quite expensive.
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Old Apr 6th 2011, 9:47 pm
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Default Re: Moving to LA for a few months - Will my appliances work?

I agree the laptop is worth bringing and should work fine with a power adapter. Yes the power supply can be erratic here.
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Old Apr 6th 2011, 11:54 pm
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Default Re: Moving to LA for a few months - Will my appliances work?

Originally Posted by madfrank View Post
Thank you. Are there ever any power outages in LA? Any power surges? I'm not sure whether I want to bring my own, how much is a cheap laptop out there?

Will I need to get a new sim card? What should I get?

Also, what's internet like? Are there a million hotspots to every 100 feet or do I need mobile internet?
I live in L.A.. You don't say what you mean by "L.A." My service is by the LA Department of Water & Power. The cities of Glendale and Burbank near me have their own DWP's. Other areas have Southern California Edison. Although Edison is private, it is a regulated "public utility."

I've NEVER experienced a power surge in the L.A. area. On rare occasions I have experienced a brief outage [like 3 seconds to 2 minutes]. That said, I recall an area wide power outage at 4:31 a.m. on January 17, 1994. My power was out for 13 hours. Other people lost power for days. Of course, that was an earth shaking event.

During the summer time, if there is an extreme heat wave, there are "brown outs" -- usually in the Edison area. LA DWP rides those out pretty well. Again, note that the extreme heat waves are not prevalent -- they just seem that way when one is happening.

Bottom line: I would not worry about power in the urban area.

On the cell phones -- a tri-band should work. I have an AT&T BlackBerry Torch which has a SIM. The pre-paid SIM's are generally available from stores of the major carriers.

To avoid sticker shock -- do note that the economic model for mobile minutes is a legacy of the "1G" system where one pays for "air time." So, lets say you buy "200 minutes" it is of "air time" which includes incoming calls. [I don't care to get into the reasons why and what is superior -- just note that it is different.]

As noted, public wi fi is pretty common now.

BTW, if your power cord to the lap top has a UK male plug, the plug with adapter will be on the largish size.

On the shaver, I can't say -- do note that not only the voltage lower, US power is 60 cycles per second, not 50. Motors may not like that.

Last edited by S Folinsky; Apr 7th 2011 at 12:01 am.
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Old Apr 7th 2011, 12:37 am
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Default Re: Moving to LA for a few months - Will my appliances work?

Originally Posted by avanutria View Post
Hi Frank,

Anything that is rated to run on 110v (usually indicated with a range: "110-240v" or something like that) will work with a plug socket adapctor. Laptops and shavers are among the most common dual-voltage items due to their portable nature, but you'll need to check.

If your phone is a triband phone AND is unlocked to use with any carrier then it will probably work.
They don't have shaving sockets in the walls here, so getting a shaving plug adaptor might not be as easy.

With the phone, you'd really need a quad band phone to be sure it'll work.
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Old Apr 7th 2011, 12:48 am
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Default Re: Moving to LA for a few months - Will my appliances work?

Out of curiosity, I was just flicking through a few of your previous threads. Did you work out a route to follow? Is this just an extended vacation on the VWP?
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Old Apr 7th 2011, 12:59 am
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Default Re: Moving to LA for a few months - Will my appliances work?

Originally Posted by madfrank View Post
Also, will my mobile phone work?
It will work on your UK network, but the roaming charges are expensive! It would be worth either getting a cheap PAYG phone from Walmart whilst youre over there, or if you have a triband handset, getting it unlocked here in the UK and buying an AT&T sim on a PAYG tarriff - although their tarriffs arent very good in comparison to the UK PAYG and some of the other US network PAYG.
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Old Apr 7th 2011, 1:08 am
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Default Re: Moving to LA for a few months - Will my appliances work?

Originally Posted by Bob View Post
They don't have shaving sockets in the walls here, so getting a shaving plug adaptor might not be as easy.

With the phone, you'd really need a quad band phone to be sure it'll work.
This is the wikipedia article on GSM band use.

BTW, this is a list of frequencies in use in 90027 [Hollywood] ZIP code.
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Old Apr 7th 2011, 3:21 pm
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Default Re: Moving to LA for a few months - Will my appliances work?

Originally Posted by Bob View Post
They don't have shaving sockets in the walls here, so getting a shaving plug adaptor might not be as easy.
Aren't the UK shaving sockets basically european plugs? The two round prongs? I'm pretty sure a universal-to-US adapter will sort it.
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Old Apr 7th 2011, 3:51 pm
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Default Re: Moving to LA for a few months - Will my appliances work?

Originally Posted by avanutria View Post
Aren't the UK shaving sockets basically european plugs? The two round prongs? I'm pretty sure a universal-to-US adapter will sort it.
In the UK, they're slightly different, shaving sockets were different to the normal wall sockets and my shaver plug never fitted in the shaving sockets in Germany or Austria so gave up on it.
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Old Apr 7th 2011, 7:38 pm
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Default Re: Moving to LA for a few months - Will my appliances work?

hiim in Northern Cal and i was worried too about my laptop -it works fine with a UK plug adaptor -no probs at all
I also have a UK phone which is as old as the hills and that works fine as well!
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