Found the 2 below quotes by mistake when googling, relevant parts asterisked. How on earth does connecting a 240 V load make the missing neutral problem go away for the 120 V appliances?
I can answer this with experience. A long long time ago, (about 1987) we
experience some weird happenings with our lights and whole house fan. The
whole house fan is what tipped us off to the problem initially. It all of a
sudden just slowed down. Some lights were bright, some were dim. The TV
would not come on. After poking around a bit, i got out the (analog) meter
and found some outlets had about 80 volts and others had about 144. ******Then,
some how, i had the brilliant idea of turning on the oven. When i turned
the oven on, the fan went back to normal, the lights normal. The 240v load
apparently balanced the system.****** I was at somewhat of a loss at that point.
I was not near as experience in electrical things at that time. I called an
electrician friend of mine, he came down, poked around in the box some and
decided to loosen the ground on the buss. "OH! GUESS WHAT? Fire on the
ground" he said. I'm like "what's that mean"?. He said "well even though
i've never seen this before, it sure looks like an open neutral. So i get
on the horn with the power company. FYI, it was Kansas City Power and
Light. They come out, and basically look at what i'm experiencing and the
first thing the guy does is pull the meter. Then he measures the voltages
on the incoming legs. All is equal. Then he tells me the problem must be
on the inside. Puts the meter back in and the imbalance returns. "yep , he
says, problem is on your side". So at this point, i'm at wits end, not
knowing what to do, so I calls the fire dept and they say 'do you have a
fire'? I says no, but I will, if someone does not fix this power imbalance.
So that prompts a little higher level of action from KCPL, and they come out
again. The service guy makes all his checks and then talks on the radio for
a while. His supervisor says "you know that sounds like an open neutral".
The guy comes back and says they suspect an open neutral. At that point, I
explode. I said "NO SHIT SHERLOCK" I told you guys that 3 hours ago. They
ran a bare wire from my meter can to the service box on the street and lo
and behold, all becomes normal again. (did i mention i have underground
service?) They came out the next day and started digging. About a foot
from my water meter, at a depth of about 16" the neutral wire was corroded
clean in half. Apparently it had been nicked by the backhoe putting in the
water line 10 year prior. Well anyway, they fixed the wire, and all was
good for exactly a year to the day. It was so weird, one year later, HALF
the stuff in the house quit working. I had a dead leg. When they came out,
i explained what had happened the year before and so they dug again. Sure
enough, about 2 feet from the neutral problem, one of the hot legs had
corroded in half.
I took my Biology exam last Friday. I was asked to name two things commonly found in cells. Apparently "Blacks" and "Scousers" were not the correct answers.
Plus.... I've found a few websites saying 220V American appliances can't operate in the UK, because they have two phase power over there? WTF? Surely all their big appliances see is 220V, connected from L1 to L2. Over here they get the same, but L to N.
To truly love another, you must first love yourself. And it wouldn't kill you to wash your hands in between either.
It can be true of US inductive loads like motors built down to a price.
The difference in current between a 60Hz design and 50Hz operation can
be a nearly 20% increase in current draw. Running hot = shorter life.
A lot of stuff sold in the USA comes with a US only wallwart PSU.
Japanese kit comes with the ability to run on either since half the
country has US installed 60Hz generators and the rest British 50Hz.
Japan uses 100 volts mind,
America, the houses have 2 phases at 110 volts coming in, the breaker box is
split in half, and half the house wired on one 110 volt phase, the other
half wired to the 2nd phase, they need to balance the loads a bit to avoid
overloading the common neutral.
When they put in a 220 volt appliance (tumble drier, cooker/range, big
welder, RV power, big air conditioners etc) they use both 110 volt phases
and not the neutral wire,
if the neutral is used it will be for 110 volt parts in the appliance... the
motor in the tumble drier, clock on the cooker etc.
On Wednesday, April 16, 2014 10:56:18 AM UTC+1, Tim Watts wrote:
American houses are typically supplied split phase, where a single phase is
centre grounded, giving two legs each at approx 120v to earth each and 240
v between each other. Some do have two phases of a three phase supply givin
g 208v between each other (this causes problems). This is the situation at
They also have another strange layout called high leg delta, where power is
three phase delta connected, with one of the phases centre grounded, givin
g two legs with 120V to neutral, 240v phase to phase and one phase with 208
v to neutral.
The back end is normal three phase power.
On 16/04/14 11:33, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Gawd - what a mess.. Sounds like the ancient days in London when you had
funky weird local supplies like one voltage for lighting, another for
power hungry devices and some random 90-degree 2 phase supplies.
My father worked on some of the old equipment that was used to integrate
that lot - including Scott and Leblanc transformers that can interface 3
phase with 2-phase/90 degree systems.
Of course, they managed to eventually get rid of all the crap.
Also, as their supply for 220V is actually 110-0-110 the appliance might
not have insulation factory tested for 220V to earth.
I say tested as it's pretty unlikely they used wires that were good for
110V but not 220V - it's just it may not have been type tested for that
scenario so they don't want to say you can...
That's the bit where I'm confused. I have seen a few blogs from Americans that lost their neutral, which obviously caused some lights to be too bright and others too dim. But what doesn't make sense is when they turned on the cooker, it stabilised it. That would only make sense if the cooker had a neutral connection strapped to the middle of the heating element. Why would they do that?
Also it sounds like quite a few houses have caught fire over there with a lost neutral, due to 110 volt appliances getting 220V and catching fire. What amused me though is the Americans who had bright and dim lights for ages, and never thought to test the voltages with a meter, and even worse, the guy from the electricity board didn't notice either!
An Englishman was feeling a little queezy on his first sailing, and leaned over the edge of the boat. He saw a Frenchman below opening his porthole so, feeling the urge to bring up his dinner, he yelled "LOOK OUT!"
The Frenchman stuck his head out of the porthole and was decorated with semi-digested food. "YOU SILLY ENGLISHMAN!!!!" he yelled, "Why do you say look out when you mean look in?"
Here's one: http://www.220voltappliances.com/faq.htm
"Can I connect an American 220 Volt Dryer or other 220 volt American products to a Transformer?
No you cannot connect an American 220 Volt Dryer or other 220 volt american products to a Transformer. Voltage Transformers are made to convert single phase 110 or 220 volt. American 220 volt consists of 2 phase of 110 volt and European 220 volt consists of 1 phase of 220 volt."
Uncle Larry was smoking in a restaurant the other day when a guy came up to him and said, "That smoke's bothering me."
Larry said, "Well, it's killing me. If I don't care about what it's doing to me, why would I give a shit what it's doing to you?"
60Hz transformers are *exactly* the same efficiency as 50Hz transformers
as long as each is run at its design frequency. 60Hz ones having a bit
less steel (Due to the frequency) and a bit more copper (Due to the
higher output current in the USA, as they use a lower final distribution
voltage) is the only difference.
It means that in New York, if the power were fed from San Francisco, it
would be about a cycle behind San Francisco, with a gradual phase change
across that distance. In theory, you could use the grid in the USA as a
resonant circuit at 60 Hz, which could make life "interesting".
Electricity is based on the charge on the electron. This isn't even an
integer, unless you are *very* careful selecting the units.
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