It is possiable. For less than $ 20 you can find out. Get a digital meter
(you may hear it referred to as a VOM or voltmeter). Plug the dryer in
where it is normally used if it is a duplex socket. Then measuer the
voltage at the socket. It should be around 110 to 125 volts. Then turn on
the dryer and remeasuer the voltage. If it only drops a volt or two then
the wireing is probalby ok. If it drops 10 volts or more, it is time to
call an electrician to see where the voltage is going.
Then go to the house where the dryer is working 'beter' and do the same
check. If the voltage is moer than about 5 volts diffearant then your wife
is probably right. Be sure to do this check around the same time as the
power company voltage can vary during the day or season.
The voltage at the socket is what maters. The same device will use more
current with a higher voltage and produce more heat. As was mentioned, if
the voltage is low the dryer will produce less heat and the light bulbs will
It certainly is possible.
It is easy to check. Any good volt meter will tell you what voltage you
have. I suggest measuring at the same outlet that the hair dryer and or
grill are plugged into. Measure with out anything else on and with the
dryer or grill on. You should be seeing about 120V with the devices off and
something a little less with it on. I am going to let someone else suggest
how much of a drop is acceptable for that kind of load.
If it is below 120V without a load, then you may have a wiring problem
in your home or a supply problem. If it is within your home it could be
dangerous. Maybe a floating neutral. It would be wise to have it checked.
If the voltage drop is related to the use of the equipment and is
greater that it should be, then it is almost certainly in your home and it
is dangerous, including possible bad connections, aluminum wiring issues.
And, heed Joseph's words regarding using a "good" voltmeter. I still
prefer to trust my 40 year old Simpson 260 analog VOM when I want
correct RMS ac voltage measurements.
The $9.95 digital VOMs (Sometimes even as cheep as $4.95 at Harbor
Freight.) will give you a reading, but the indicated voltage can be
thrown off a fair amount if there is a bit of spikey noise on the ac
line you're measuring. If you're hunting for a few volts of line voltage
difference between your home and another location, try and make sure the
meter is not going to fool you.
Like with so many other things, you sometimes get what you pay for, but
almost never do you get more than you pay for.
Simpson 260 is a work horse. I still prefer this over fancy DMM(Fluke)
or o'scope some times. DMM some times cause trouble being too sensitive.
I still have an old VTVM with diode probe for higher frequency measurement.
I decided to try that on my receptacles. Most have drops less than 5V
(lowest near the breakers). However, I got higher drops at one (this
is the same circuit that had problems with my holiday lights. A lot of
those lights were flashing, and that showed at the fixed lights too).
This receptacle is at the end of a line where wires pass through 3
other receptacles which use those connections where you stick a wire
in a hole in the receptacle (no screws). Maybe I need to rewire those
(using pigtails on the screws?).
We hear of lots of problems with those "back stabbed" outlets. I
suggest you start going though your whole home one outlet at a time and
remove the wire from the back stab terminal and use the screw terminals on
the side. Start with the ones you have identified with possible problems.
I would also suggest that if you find any outlets that show signs of sparks
or bad connections, replace them with top quality outlets (they will not
have the back stab terminals) that may cost a dollar or two more than the
cheap contractor grade you now have.
Yes. I'll start on that today. There's 4 outlets on that line and they
all need to be rewired (and maybe replaced). The wire is 12AWG copper,
but the outlets are old ones that do allow backstabbed connections
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