# OT: Resistance is Futile

Ok .. I have to throw a question out to clear my head...
How does wire thickness (AWG) relate to conductivity?
Why??
I have a friend (I know, I know, but it's sadly true) who changed his propane stove out for an electric one. He decided to upgrade the provided power cable so that his oven would heat up faster. He now says his wife can't preheat to cook anything frozen as it all burns.
For my own sense of sanity, would someone explain this? What I remember from school, that ain't the way it works. I know that 200 line is heavier than 110 because of the increased current, but that doesn't mean it gets there faster. Or have I forgotten my physics? `Casper
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Casper wrote:

Not sure 220 needs larger wire than 110 for the same amount of total current. When I lived in Sicily the house voltage was 220 and the wiring to light fixtures etc. looked like telephone wire. I thought one reason they used 220 was to save on cost of wire.
But the wiring to a stove or electric dryer has to be large because it requires a lot of current. And, no, it doesn't get there any faster.
--
G.W. Ross

Brain cells come and brain cells go,
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On 09/14/2012 08:38 PM, Casper wrote:

- For a given a amount of power, the higher the voltage, the *lower* the required current. This assumes a constant resistance in the circuit.
- At low frequencies (like line power) the conductivity of a piece of wire is roughly proportional to the cross sectional area of the wire. This is NOT true for high frequencies which tend to conduct along the *surface* of the wire (this is called "skin effect" and is not relevant to 50/60 Hz line power). So - all other things being equal - when you increase wire size, you reduce resistance in proportion to the increased cross sectional area of the wire.

Power = Voltage * Current
So, if you increase voltage, you need less current to make the same amount of power. This isn't exactly the whole story because in AC circuits, you have to take into account something called the "power factor", but for our purposes here it is close enough.
BTW, this is why long distance power distribution is done at very high voltages. High voltage means much lower current and that, in turn, allows them to drive it over (relatively) smaller diameter wiring for a given delivered power.

This doesn't sound right. In fact, it sounds like there could be a problem with either the wiring or the control system within the stove. He should retain the counsel of a competent repair person to check into this.
--
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Tim Daneliuk snipped-for-privacy@tundraware.com
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I thought I understood the basics but after being seriously zapped in my childhood, I tend to blank out anything relating to electricity. Which is funny considering I am a Tesla fan.

It didn't sound right to me either. He believes larger wire is getting more power to the stove causing the oven to heat up faster and hotter. I think there might be something wrong with the internal temperature control or switch(s) in the oven but he won't listen to me.
I tend to tease him his middle name is Tim Allen. Why? Well let me put it this way ... he took his saw and cut through a wall and cut a power line. Pzzzt! Out goes the power in the house. Why? Because he didn't think he needed to check to see if anything would be inside the wall. `Casper
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wrote:

Size of the wire would have nothing to do with faster heating. Yes, small wire can reduce the flow of power, but once you reach the proper size for the load, larger does nothing.
But this is USENET. Why let facts screw up the thought process.
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Ed Pawlowski wrote:

New a domestic item repair man once, he got an iron in once with knots all up the lead, asked why and was told, to stop it getting too hot.
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com says...

Schools teach kids that electricity flowing in a wire is analogous to water flowing in a pipe, and the kids trust teacher.
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The analog is valid, but one just can't do what one thinks.
Valve is a switch. Tank is a capacitor. Bellows are inductors.
And so on.
If one were to pinch off the water it is like adding resistance.
Some just don't understand how it works.
Martin
On 9/16/2012 2:01 PM, J. Clarke wrote:

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snipped-for-privacy@consolidated.net says...

Which means that the analogy is so misleading as to be useless.

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Tim Daneliuk wrote:

I rather suspect the competence of the cook.
Perhaps she's following the recipe for room-temperature food instead of frozen food. All the recipes I've seen (maybe as many as three) demand that the ingredients first be defrosted. I'd wager that cooking a frozen 25# turkey would result in a still-frozen inner core.
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Think she just needs to learn how to properly operate the stove.
Cooking on electricity is a lot harder than cooking with gas and requires different techniques.
--
Stuart Winsor

Only plain text for emails
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I agree. Honestly she hates to cook.

I don't agree here, but I am biased as I have always had an electric stove at home. Personally I think she just doesn't really try to cook.
I've never had someone cook for me that didn't keep for themself what they considered the worse selections. In her case, she feeds everyone else the burnt and bad and keeps the best to herself. /shrug .. To each their own.
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Was it always that way or did it become that way over time?
Whenever I cook for guests (roasts and stuff), I usually ask them which parts they want. However, if I was cooking for them *all* the time, maybe I might start hoarding some of the better parts for myself.
Which leads me to ask. If she's giving you the worst/burn parts of the food, then perhaps you might take up some of the cooking for yourself? Never know, you might be a celebrity chef in hiding. :)
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Always that way. In thinking back, I can safely say we've been invited over for dinner less than we've got fingers.

In my home, with my family, the cook always gives the best out. My mother and her mother wouldn't have it any other way.

Now that is amusing. Why? Because they/she loves to come over and eat here. My other half is a damn good cook and they love our cooking so much, they will bring the food over for us to cook.
Now I don't mind sharing with friends, and I don't even mind the occasional unexpected surprise dinnerees, but after a few dozen occurances, one has to stop and think.
Her husband has offered not only to pay for her to get cooking lessons, but even offered to go with her. He even offered/asked if we would teach her. She hates cooking and only does what she must.
Sadly, the last two times I ate over their house, I got sick afterwards. That being said, I have been having GI trouble with some foods since I had my gallbladder out. However, I don't seem to suffer when I go out to eat, at least not anywhere near as often.
Lastly, a couple of years ago she got seriously sick (GI flora) due to taking too many antibiotics. She was on meds and unable to eat many things for almost eighteen months. If I were her, I would certainly start to take a more direct approach to what goes in my mouth.
What would you make of all of it?
Sorry if this has digressed. I merely wanted to calrify for myself that I had a basic understanding of electricty, wiring and stoves.
My friend tells everyone his story and everyone gives him a strange look, which he ignores. I try to help make his life easier, since he has health issues, but he just does not want it. So, I mind my own B.
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snipped-for-privacy@ghostmail.cc says...

Personally next stove I get is going to be gas. The one I have is electric and when I turn the burner off the pot keeps boiling for several minutes after--with gas the heat control is instant.
One can cook well on an electric stove--Julia Child used one on her TV series--but it's a lot easier with gas.
Induction has most of the same advantages as gas, but you can't use aluminum or copper or nonmagnetic stainless pans with it--the burner won't turn on unless it senses something that will attract a magnet on top of it. It's also much more expensive to buy and has a lot more that can go wrong with it.
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On 9/18/2012 2:44 AM, J. Clarke wrote:

SWMBO cannot stand gas stoves. For the past 38 years she's cooked on ceramic top electric. I agree about the lack of control of the OLDER glass tops but no longer. The GE that she's had for the past 7 years or so is, simply, amazing.
Rather than the old Corning style top, this one is somewhat translucent when in use. You turn it on and you can see a ring of LEDS(?) beneath the glass and instantly you feel the heat.
It's not induction but there is control to it very similar to gas. If the pot of pasta begins to froth over, simply turning off the burner seems to squelch the problem - just like gas. On the old Corning top, turning off the burner did very little for that first five minutes or so<g>

I agree that the control with gas is still better with gas but not necessarily easier, after all, we are dealing with SWMBO's wishes. If Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy! Right?
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On Tue, 18 Sep 2012 07:02:53 -0500, Unquestionably Confused

We have had electric stoves for 35 years, then we bought a dual fuel stove (gas top, electric oven) a couple of years ago. SWMBO loves it and will be really pissed at the stove in the new house. I'm sure I'll be forking over, again, to put LP in (>\$1000 last time) and the same stove (\$2500).

I *highly doubt there are LEDs in the top. Electronics and heat don't mix. It's probably an "infrared" top, though there is usually only one or two (of four or five) of these on a top. That's what we had before the gas stove and that's what the new house has. It's OK but it's not cooking with gas. ;-)

They're better than the Calrod type burners but it's not the same as gas. They're easier to clean, though.

That's the bottom line. It's her kitchen (even though I've been using it for five months). She decides what goes into it. It makes life easier for everyone. ;-)