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Electric appliances help

Electric appliances help

Old Sep 4th 2017, 5:55 pm
  #46  
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Default Re: Electric appliances help

Originally Posted by uk_grenada View Post
Oh yeah, americans arent allowed to make their own sometimes are they? Ie can you buy a plug by itself and just cut the flex, strip the conductors, fit the flex and screw it together as we would do in the uk? ....
Yes, they are widely available, but not commonly used by most Americans; I have done so myself several times, and have a few pieces in the garage so that I could fabricate a cable any time if I need to. Both Lowe's and Home Depot sell a variety of bits to fabricate your own cable, and any electrical supply specialist will have an even greater range of choices.

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Old Sep 4th 2017, 8:11 pm
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Default Re: Electric appliances help

Originally Posted by mrken30 View Post
I remember those days, I practically gave most of my stuff away. It was nice to get some new tools once in the US, but I wish I had brought more with me.
We are getting a container for all our stuff, but obviously can't bring much in the way of electrics is all.
Like you say we'll end up giving most of it away I'm sure.
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Old Sep 5th 2017, 1:44 am
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Default Re: Electric appliances help

We bought a couple of large transformers from amazon for 110V-240V conversion (but they will also do the reverse).


However, we also got a US extension lead and 'added' a UK 4-way 13amp block so that visitors could recharge their iphones (etc)... .


We also installed a UK double 13 amp socket with 240V in our kitchen to run a UK kettle (US ones take ages to boil water).


The odd thing is that the supply into your US home is actually 240V - your oven & hob, AC unit, water heating element are likely to be running on 240V; for other outlets they split that 240V into 2x120V circuits. (Our hob is from US IKEA and was actually made in the UK and runs on 240V - as is our Bosch AC unit).
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Old Sep 5th 2017, 1:54 am
  #49  
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Default Re: Electric appliances help

Originally Posted by ChrisK View Post
We bought a couple of large transformers from amazon for 110V-240V conversion (but they will also do the reverse).

However, we also got a US extension lead and 'added' a UK 4-way 13amp block so that visitors could recharge their iphones (etc)... .

We also installed a UK double 13 amp socket with 240V in our kitchen to run a UK kettle (US ones take ages to boil water). .....
Heaven help you if you ever have a house fire, because the transformers almost certainly invalidate your home insurance.

And in any case things like phone chargers run on 100v-250v, so running extension cords all over your house is pointless as well as an insurance issue.
.... The odd thing is that the supply into your US home is actually 240V ....
It might seem that way, but actually it is 2 × 120v supplies offset by 180°, and the two phases have to be combined to get 240v. This is why anything that needs 240v has a double width breaker in the breaker box, because it needs to tap into both 120v supplies. Which means that there are two live wires - one is black and one is red, and strangely enough, most components within your stove, clothes dryer, etc. are only connected to one of the 120v supplies, it is only the heavy duty heating elements that use both phases to access 120v.

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Old Sep 5th 2017, 1:54 am
  #50  
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Default Re: Electric appliances help

Originally Posted by ChrisK View Post
The odd thing is that the supply into your US home is actually 240V - your oven & hob, AC unit, water heating element are likely to be running on 240V; for other outlets they split that 240V into 2x120V circuits. (Our hob is from US IKEA and was actually made in the UK and runs on 240V - as is our Bosch AC unit).

The significant difference is that a UK appliance, on UK supplies is isolated from the mains when its off switch is off. A UK appliance on US 230V is NOT ISOLATED and presents a permanent hazard to anyone who might poke around in it.
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Old Sep 5th 2017, 1:59 am
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Default Re: Electric appliances help

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
And in any case things like phone chargers run on 100v-250v, so running extension cords all over your house is pointless as well as an insurance issue.
I think he's made up a UK 13A strip to US 110 plug, for chargers so you don't have to bugger about with a UK/US adapter.
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Old Sep 5th 2017, 12:12 pm
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Default Re: Electric appliances help

Originally Posted by steveq View Post
I think he's made up a UK 13A strip to US 110 plug, for chargers so you don't have to bugger about with a UK/US adapter.

Indeed - (and I don't have extension cords running around the house and never said I did...!). It is purely to save having multiple UK-US converters hanging off the wall (which in itself is not entirely safe!).


Transformers - these are only used as needed and never left plugged in while not attended.
240V (/230V) supply - indeed it is 2x120V. I have a earth/current leakage device on the 240V supply to the kettle - and of course, with the UK sockets, these are switched! (unlike the US 'receptacles').


The bottom line of course is to never mess with electricity if you don't know what you're doing (which having had a new house also seems to apply to the electrical contractors!).
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Old Sep 5th 2017, 12:21 pm
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Default Re: Electric appliances help

Originally Posted by ChrisK View Post
.... The bottom line of course is to never mess with electricity if you don't know what you're doing (which having had a new house also seems to apply to the electrical contractors!).
I wholeheartedly agree with that sentiment. I have seen some seriously weird wiring in the US, but then I did in the UK too - not least the 12A immersion heater wired into the back of a surface-mount socket, ..... powered by a connection to the lighting circuit. I discovered it when I noticed that the socket was noticeably warm! And that the socket was still live after I pulled the fuse for the upstairs ring-main. My father's advice, to disconnect the circuit/ remove the fuse .... and then always test to see that the circuit isn't still live, may have been a lifesaver that day.

It wasn't a particularly difficult task to install a suitable cable for an immersion heater connected directly to its own fuse in the fuse box, so I have no idea why that wasn't done in the first place.

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Old Sep 5th 2017, 12:41 pm
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Default Re: Electric appliances help

Originally Posted by ChrisK View Post
240V (/230V) supply - indeed it is 2x120V. I have a earth/current leakage device on the 240V supply to the kettle - and of course, with the UK sockets, these are switched! (unlike the US 'receptacles').
As I said, this is not safe,should you be poking about, since its only single pole isolation - the insides of the equipment are still mains live.
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Old Sep 5th 2017, 12:43 pm
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Default Re: Electric appliances help

Worst I've seen was a row of double sockets in a kitchen, wired in series, and in 1mm cable, then wired back to where a cooker switch had been, and then the 1mm wires twisted over the 6mm wires, covered in drywall tape or masking tape and then buried in plaster.
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Old Sep 6th 2017, 3:26 pm
  #56  
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Default Re: Electric appliances help

I will admit to being amused at the opinions and value judgements often expressed in these discussions comparing the differences between the US and the UK when it comes to electrical and electronic systems.

As previously pointed out, many of the differences are historical in nature and there are issues of backwards compatibility. Consistent with that, the standards keep changing. (Usually for the better, but there have been hiccups - aluminum household wiring anyone?).

My understanding of the reason for belt-and-braces to safety in UK plugs and outlets is a combination of voltage and ring circuits.

The one thing that really intrigued me was the UK practice for power on construction sites - 110 v!! Construction sites are inherently a jungle of long power cords (Although in both the US and UK, battery power tools are becoming more and more prevelent). So building sites will either have their own generator or a step-down transformer to power the site.
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Old Sep 6th 2017, 3:39 pm
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Default Re: Electric appliances help

Originally Posted by S Folinsky View Post
The one thing that really intrigued me was the UK practice for power on construction sites - 110 v!! Construction sites are inherently a jungle of long power cords (Although in both the US and UK, battery power tools are becoming more and more prevelent). So building sites will either have their own generator or a step-down transformer to power the site.
Usually you provide a "site transformer" which is a biggish, heavy yellow box with the isolating transformer in it. The voltage is 55-0-55, ie, it swings around ground, by a maximum of 77V, as opposed to normal UK mains which is a maximum of 311V
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Old Sep 6th 2017, 8:46 pm
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Default Re: Electric appliances help

Originally Posted by steveq View Post
Usually you provide a "site transformer" which is a biggish, heavy yellow box with the isolating transformer in it. The voltage is 55-0-55, ie, it swings around ground, by a maximum of 77V, as opposed to normal UK mains which is a maximum of 311V
My father and maternal grandfather were in construction. I have some beautiful hand tools. My Skil worm drive saws date from 1951. Dad tells me they cost the same in dollars now as they did then. I guess the manufacturing tooling is long amortized. I wonder if I'll be able to replace the motor brushes if and when it becomes necessary.The twist lock plugs have been replaced inasmuch as the concomitant power cords are now illegal and no longer sold. (And those cords were heavy).

One damn good reason for the UK practice is that it approaches certainty that a carpenter will, at least once, cut his own power cord.
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