Posts Tagged 'russell hobbs kettle'

In which I boil water

You may recall that a rather geeky purchase of mine proved to be difficult to reconcile with American wiring. An electric-savvy friend of mine came over and looked at our box to see what might be necessary to get it running without a transformer; the box itself would probably have to be replaced, since it was bought second-hand off of Moses, but that would probably be something that the landlord would take care of given sufficient justification. Once the box was up to code, it really wouldn’t be that big of a deal to put in a dedicated outlet for the kettle.

With a baby on the way, that was maybe sufficient justification to mention to my landlord, hey, a friend of mine checked out our fusebox and said that it probably wouldn’t be the worst idea in the world to have an electrician bring it up to date. I did so, and the landlord (who has always been a very cool guy to us) said, sure, no problem, here’s the guy I usually use.

Well, the electrician came out and definitely found some wiring issues that needed fixing, and said, yep, I can have a conversation with the homeowner about the fusebox. He wasn’t opposed to putting in a dedicated outlet, but said, you know, it’s possible that there’s a different base that will let it run on US electricity — check with the manufacturer.

But then other big things happened, and it kind of fell of my radar for awhile.

Then Madelene left a comment on the original post saying that she’d gotten this working without any massive rewiring of everything. The secret? That the US-based Chef’s Choice uses the same manufacturer as Russell Hobbs, and markets a variant of the same kettle in North America. It’s not exactly the same — no blue lights, the handle is different, other cosmetic differences — but the important thing is that the Russell Hobbs kettle will fit on the base of the Chef’s Choice version.

A phone call to Chef’s Choice confirmed the availability of replacement bases, and today the box arrived.

Which brings me to the moment where perhaps you will decide that six weeks of fatherhood have already robbed me of my sanity — yes, ladies and gentlemen, I’m posting a video of water boiling. One thing you’ll notice right off is that on American electricity, the whole “boiling in under a minute” thing doesn’t happen — more like five. Oh well. It still works.

All this for a quick cuppa — a cry for electrical help

If either of my regular readers have any electrical expertise, then I’d appreciate your input. Let me say up front that this is not by any means the most practical thing I’ve ever done, so if you want to tell me that, you haven’t told me anything I didn’t already know.

So, for a number of reasons, I thought it would be cool to get a particular model Russell Hobbs teakettle.

You will perhaps notice already what my issue is.

Yep, it’s a UK plug. Now, this was hardly an “Aha! Fooled you!” moment; I knew it had a UK plug when I bought it, and I ordered it off of Amazon UK. I knew exactly what I was ordering when I ordered it. I just figured, “Hey, there’s gotta be a workaround.” It seemed worth it; I was told that UK kettles are nice because they heat up near-instantly, and they’re great if you can get them working. There seemed to be some folks online who had done it, so there seemed to be precedent for my impracticality.

(And, I’ll be honest, there was a geeky impulse behind the purchase as well. Judge me if you must. I already said this wasn’t the most practical thing I’ve ever done.)

So, I took the element to a local electrics shop.

“What do I need to make this run?” I asked.

The guy looked at me like I was perhaps on the simple side. (And yes, perhaps I am.) “UK plug adapter and a step-up transformer for 220-240v, rated for 3 kilowatts,” he said. “Good luck.”

So, fine. I got exactly that.

Here’s what happens when I try to use the kettle:

(Forgive the Darth Vader breathing; I’ve been sick for the last two weeks.) As you can see, it works for a bit (aren’t the shiny blue lights awesome!), then the transformer’s circuit breaker trips. After a few seconds, I can reset the circuit breaker, the kettle goes again, the breaker trips, reset, kettle goes again, breaker trip, reset, kettle finishes boiling and shuts itself off. It still all happens in less time than it would take to boil the water on the stove, but I can’t really say that it’s exactly what I had in mind.

So, short of moving to the UK, what can I do to get this to work?


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