Substituting a standard 130V bulb for a standard 120V one probably does *NOT*
pay for itself -- *IF* you need the same light output as the 120V bulb gives.
Running a bulb at lower than the 'rated' voltage, _does_ extend the life of
the bulb, *BUT* the quantity of light output (the 'lumens') goes down even
_faster_ than the savings in electricity. Thus the 'cost per lumen' of the
eletricity is _higher_ usuwing the 130V bulb at 120v, vs the 120v bulb.
It is also a fact that the cost of electricity over the life of the bulb
swamps the cost of the bulb itself.
That said, there are "much more efficient" technologies for lighting than
'incandescent', e.g. 'halogen'. These technologies have a _much_ higher
lumen output _per_watt_of_power_consumed_ than conventional incandescents.
Thus, you can get the same _light_ output, for far less power consumed.
Amortized over the rated life of the bulb, the power savings _greatly_
exceed the cost of the 'high-priced' bulb required to achieve the savings.o
Running the _same_ technology (incandescent) in a down-graded form (130V bulb
at 120V) does *not* achieve these savings. In fact, because the bulb is being
operated in a 'less than optimum' (relative to _design_ criteria) manner, the
cost _per_lumen_output_ is higher than the optimal operation.
Since there's been a lot of great thought posted here about
voltage, resistance, light output and longevity, I thought I'd go
ahead and give a general explanation of electricity for those of
you all who don't really understand it fully. It's a repeat of a
post to another newsgroup, but of equal relevance here. <Grin>
I think its time for me to explain about 220 current and why it is
different from 110 volt service. First of all, it's twice as big.
it'll shock you more. Outside of that, 220 is really two 110 volt
coming to your house from different parts of the globe. The up and
comes from the northern hemisphere, and the down and up version
below the equator.
Without trying to get technical, it all boils down to the
flows when it goes down the drain. On the top of the earth, it
clockwise, while on the bottom of the earth it goes counter
most electricity is made from hydro dams, the clockwise flow gives
you an up
and down sine wave, while the counterclockwise version gives you a
up sine wave. Between the two, you have 220 volts, while either
side only gives you 110 volts.
This is particularly important to know when buying power tools-
of the globe did they come from? If you get an Australian saw, for
will turn backwards if connected to a US generated 110 volt
you can buy backwards blades for it, but that is an unnecessary
Other appliances, like toasters cannot be converted from
electricity to American electricity, with horrible results. I knew
person who bought an Australian toaster by mistake and it froze
of bread she put in it.
If you wire your shop with 220 and accidentally get two
volt lines run in by accident, you can get 220 by using a trick I
from an old electrician. Just put each source into its own fuse
box and then
turn one of the boxes upside down. That'll invert one of the two
up and down
sine waves to down and up, giving you 220. DO NOT just turn the
sideways, since that'll give you 165 volts and you'll be limited
using Canadian tools with it.
One minor detail -- *I* didn't write _that_ bull. Nonny did. He left
in the "Robert Bonomi.. wrote", while taking out everything I'd said
in my posting.
That said, when _I_ am in Australia, I just mount the saw to the ceiling,
and everything runs in the proper direction for me.
By using 130V bulbs on 120 V, he's paying *MORE*PER*LUMEN* for the electricity
to operate them, vs a 120V rated bulb.
Generally people thing of a light bulb as 'a light bulb', with little regard
to how much light it puts out. This leads to ill-informed decisions about the
cost-effectiveness of various alternatives.
The _first_ thing one has to do, is figure out how much _light_ is needed
and/or desirable, then look for the 'least cost' way of getting that amount
of light. Higher wattage bulbs produce more light output _per_watt_ than
low wattage ones. Thus, a few higher wattage bulbs will produce more light
than an equivalent wattage of low-wattage bulbs.
The true 'cost of ownership' of light bulbs depends on the cost of the
bulb, the frequency with which it has to be replaced, the 'cost' (labor,
etc) in performing the replacement, _and_ the 'operating cost' (the
electricity to drive it).
The cost of the electricity -- over the lifetime of the bulb -- generally
swamps the cost of the bulb itself.
The frequency of replacement determines how much of a factor the 'cost of
replacement' is. Depending on circumstances, this can be a 'small change'
item, or it can be far more than the bulb _and_ the electricity to run it.
They are called 'swinging transformers' - like swinging chokes.
The contact sets make before break - creating a shorted turn(s) that
causes a little change in state. If the contacts get pitted, then
all sorts of great voltage spiking occurs. That is when you call
the power company and state that when the a.m. stoves turn on or
afternoon heat forced air on - and it goes crazy - they know what
to look for. In their load station yard.
We had one get so bad that by the time I returned from overseas
it had almost eaten itself up. I put a drantz (IIRC) meter on it
to measure the spikes and gave the tape to the power company.
A new transformer was hauled in. It had eaten most of the sliding
contact off and made it non-repairable.
Some smaller co-ops up the voltage so when a brown out occurs it isn't
out of spec - just below normal.
Funny, in the business we always called them tap changers, as did the power
companies that we dealt with (nation wide in the U.S.and parts of Canada).
When dealing with the manufacturers, they called them tap changers too. Glad
you straitened that out. We must have been wrong all these years. I'll have
to let them know.
Loss of one hot at the breaker panel can also be entertaining, although
generally not as destructive. I've had that happen once or twice,
mainly at a house with an older distribution panel that used individual
cartridge fuses for the main rather than a ganged circuit breaker. Have
one wear out or go pop or whatever, and suddenly you have one phase
powered normally, and one phase powered through any 220V things that
happen to be on--mainly the water heater, in my case. Small loads
worked fine on that leg, but anything that drew any current would cause
the voltage to go down dramatically. The microwave clock, for instance,
ran fine, until actual cooking was attempted....
It depends where you're talking about checking. There is one point in
the system, typically at the main disconnect (the main breaker box),
where neutral and ground are bonded together, and at that point the
neutral buss is the ground buss and vice-versa.
For separate outbuildings, I think (but I'm not sure about this, not
being an electrician) the usual practice is to have a separate ground
rod and bond that to the neutral bus at the outbuilding's main panel,
omitting a separate safety ground wire between the buildings. In other
words, the outbuilding is wired as though it were an isolated
installation, not as a subpanel in the main building. In this case, for
the main panel in the outbuilding, neutral and ground would again share
the same bus bar(s). Any difference in ground potential between the
house ground and the outbuilding ground would, of course, result in a
current flow over the neutral wire; the assumption, I guess, is that
there shouldn't be a large potential difference and hence not too great
of a current flow.
"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot
On Tue, 8 Dec 2009 14:08:38 -0800, the infamous "Nonny"
I had K&T in my old 1939 house in Vista, CA. When I rmodeled the
front bathroom, the tubafores behind that 1/4" plywood all measured
exactly 2" by 4", in roughsawn redwood, too.
I hated wiring anything extra into that home...
To know what you prefer instead of humbly saying Amen
to what the world tells you you ought to prefer,
is to have kept your soul alive.
-- Robert Louis Stevenson
My Dad bought an older home and built a detached 2-car garage
around 1950 or so. I vaguely remember when the garage was being
built and watching the electrician wire it for a single light and
one plug, controlled from a switch both at the house and at the
As a teen, later on, I bought a little booket at Sears, called,
"How to wire a house," which I thought was an incredible insight
into the secrets of wiring. However, something never made sense
to me until later on, when I was wiring homes myself as a means to
continue college. There were only two wires running between the
house and garage. It finally dawned on me why in the summer, the
light wasn't as bright and why it would dim so much when I'd plug
a drill or small saw into the duplex receptacle.
I investigated and for the first time, noticed the bare wire
running from the old switch down to a rod driven into the ground.
That was the light leg and when it was summer in MO, it was
usually dry. The electrician had saved probably $2 in wire, back
then, deciding instead to use the earth as a ground/neutral.
I bet there is...(a ground that is)... :)
If it's 3-wire dryer outlet the "neutral" will actually be on the ground
connection conductor...so when you tied your third to it it is also
ground. I'd wager that's what you'd find if you were to check the
circuit connections in the panel.
Neutral is connected to an earth ground at the service panel but the neutral
and ground wires play different roles in the circuits once you leave the
main panel. The neutral carries current. It s nominally the return path, but
because we use AC, the current flows in both directions at different times.
The ground should never carry current in normal situations. It is there for
In a three wire 220v set up, you have two hot wires and a ground. The two
hot lines are in opposite phase, giving the 220v volts.
If you are re-wiring a tool to run on 220, you should also change the plug
to one rate for 220. They have a different prong pattern so you can't easily
plug them into the wrong circuit.
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