suppress surge at the source on 120 vac house circuit ?

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Hi All,

 

I have a printer that causes house lights to flicker whenever we submit a print job.  I believe this is a transient from the printer waking up and starting fans, etc.  Can a UPS provide isolation from this printer transient?

 

Matt

 

EDIT: it's a laser printer

Last Edited: Mon. Sep 30, 2019 - 04:40 PM
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It can. My HP1102w uses a peak power when a job starts and the ups lets me know sbout it.

Its all dependent on the make and model of course

Jim

I would rather attempt something great and fail, than attempt nothing and succeed - Fortune Cookie

 

"The critical shortage here is not stuff, but time." - Johan Ekdahl

 

"Step N is required before you can do step N+1!" - ka7ehk

 

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"Why is there a "Highway to Hell" and only a "Stairway to Heaven"? A prediction of the expected traffic load?"  - Lee "theusch"

 

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Must be some sort of a monster printer is it can make your house lights flicker!

 

surprise

 

Or your electricity supply is coming in on wet string ...

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Thanks.   Not a big printer (Brother HL-5370DW) so must be wet string issue.

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Have a licensed electrician check your input breaker box for loose or corroded connections. 

Jim

 

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My HP1102 draws 400watts during a print job according to the specs.  The start up is higher.  For many of us in the area I live in the homes were built back in the 50's/60's so 14 gauge was the common size wire used.  In many aluminum wire was used so light flickering is not uncommon.

 

Most of my home has been upgraded to 12 gauge pure copper, and I have 200 amp service, but the Laser printer still causes a flicker in some of the lights in teh rooms that have not been updated.

 

ki0bk wrote:
Have a licensed electrician check your input breaker box for loose or corroded connections. 

Does not mean that there is a problem.  the type of light thats flickering could be overly sensitive to slight deviations.

 

JIm

I would rather attempt something great and fail, than attempt nothing and succeed - Fortune Cookie

 

"The critical shortage here is not stuff, but time." - Johan Ekdahl

 

"Step N is required before you can do step N+1!" - ka7ehk

 

"If you want a career with a known path - become an undertaker. Dead people don't sue!" - Kartman

"Why is there a "Highway to Hell" and only a "Stairway to Heaven"? A prediction of the expected traffic load?"  - Lee "theusch"

 

Speak sweetly. It makes your words easier to digest when at a later date you have to eat them ;-)  - Source Unknown

Please Read: Code-of-Conduct

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jgmdesign wrote:

My HP1102 draws 400watts during a print job according to the specs.  The start up is higher.  For many of us in the area I live in the homes were built back in the 50's/60's so 14 gauge was the common size wire used.  In many aluminum wire was used so light flickering is not uncommon.

 

Most of my home has been upgraded to 12 gauge pure copper, and I have 200 amp service, but the Laser printer still causes a flicker in some of the lights in teh rooms that have not been updated.

 

ki0bk wrote:
Have a licensed electrician check your input breaker box for loose or corroded connections. 

Does not mean that there is a problem.  the type of light thats flickering could be overly sensitive to slight deviations.

 

JIm

14awg wire is still used for 15A receptacles in residential. Really aluminum wiring back in the 50s, 60s?? Up here in Canada aluminum was only used in the late 70’s early 80’s before it was dropped by the CEC (electrical code) due to fire hazards associated with using aluminum.

OP, do the lights flicker in your whole house or just the rooms around were the printer is plugged in? Yes a ups will filter that effect out.

This can be cause by your utility provider, if the power plants are slow to respond to usuage. Don’t forget AC power from the utility is not stored, i.e it instantaneously created when it’s needed.

This effect can also be cause by loose connections at your panel board and receptacles.

Last Edited: Mon. Sep 30, 2019 - 06:57 PM
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Kuch wrote:
14awg wire is still used for 15A receptacles in residential.

Yes, and when the homes in my area were built....and expanded the electricians would simply tap a circuit where ever they could find one in many cases(like my shanty).  So a single breaker could be feeding two rooms easily.

 

Kuch wrote:
Really aluminum wiring back in the 50s, 60s??

Yes.  Really!

 

Kuch wrote:
Up here in Canada aluminum was only used in the late 70’s early 80’s before it was dropped by the CEC

As far as I know the practice was stopped in the early to mid 70's here.  It could have been on a state by state basis though.

 

Kuch wrote:
This can be cause by your utility provider, if the power plants are slow to respond to usuage.

If the power plant is THAT slow to respond to a printer surge I think there would be a farr bigger problem.

 

Kuch wrote:
This effect can also be cause by loose connections at your panel board and receptacles.

Very True,

 

JIm

I would rather attempt something great and fail, than attempt nothing and succeed - Fortune Cookie

 

"The critical shortage here is not stuff, but time." - Johan Ekdahl

 

"Step N is required before you can do step N+1!" - ka7ehk

 

"If you want a career with a known path - become an undertaker. Dead people don't sue!" - Kartman

"Why is there a "Highway to Hell" and only a "Stairway to Heaven"? A prediction of the expected traffic load?"  - Lee "theusch"

 

Speak sweetly. It makes your words easier to digest when at a later date you have to eat them ;-)  - Source Unknown

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From the Brother FAQ:

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That's reassuring! smiley

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Does MattRW's residence not have separate lighting and power circuits ?

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N.Winterbottom wrote:

Does MattRW's residence not have separate lighting and power circuits ?

Mine doesn't.

Jim

I would rather attempt something great and fail, than attempt nothing and succeed - Fortune Cookie

 

"The critical shortage here is not stuff, but time." - Johan Ekdahl

 

"Step N is required before you can do step N+1!" - ka7ehk

 

"If you want a career with a known path - become an undertaker. Dead people don't sue!" - Kartman

"Why is there a "Highway to Hell" and only a "Stairway to Heaven"? A prediction of the expected traffic load?"  - Lee "theusch"

 

Speak sweetly. It makes your words easier to digest when at a later date you have to eat them ;-)  - Source Unknown

Please Read: Code-of-Conduct

Atmel Studio6.2/AS7, DipTrace, Quartus, MPLAB, RSLogix user

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To address the original question a bit, surge is not likely the problem. This has been addressed above but maybe not very explicitly. Rather than "surge", which is another name for "spike" or "over voltage", the problem is more likely "sag" or "dip". Possible causes have been discussed in pretty  good detail. Our 1916  house had an undersized feed for the whole house and an under-capacity fuse box. Those were both replaced in a major remodel. But, at least some of the original wiring remains. In the old part, lighting and outlet power are on the same circuit. And, we have to be careful to not start the microwave oven the same time a heater is on in another room. Thats part of the price you pay for moving into a house with a wood stove for heat and a few lighting outlets.

 

Jim

Jim Wagner Oregon Research Electronics, Consulting Div. Tangent, OR, USA http://www.orelectronics.net

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The US replies are interesting given the higher expected circuit currents due to the lower supply voltage compared to Europe.

 

UK typical domestic wiring might be:

 

  • A radial lighting circuit for each floor
  • A ring circuit for power outlets on each floor
  • A separate radial or perhaps ring circuit for the Kitchen
  • An electric cooker may have a separate circuit
  • A bathroom / shower room especially if an electric shower heater is fitted, will have its own circuit.
  • An outdoor outlet may have a separate circuit

 

So heavy loads (although a printer is hardly a heavy load) are very unlikely to cause lights to dim.

 

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Strange that they actually mention it in a manual---never seen that before
(ex: irons, toaster ovens).  They must really be pushing the power limit to heat up quickly.

 

You can get one of those laser temperature gauges to check for wiring box hot spots (or go for a full-blown ir camera).

 

When in the dark remember-the future looks brighter than ever.   I look forward to being able to predict the future!

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Could be something as simple as a crappy connection or breaker upstram from the light and printer circuits. Best test would be to do a voltage and current check diring startup -- safety first.

You could also try moving the printer to different sockets and see what happens.

 

As for the some of the other comments. I believe that 14 ga is still legal for 15 amp circuits as long as the run is not too long. The code specifies amps vs length. I have liquid lift septic pump in my yard. Had to have a new cable run (gophers I suppose). Pump draws 10 A so it's on a 15 A circuit. But it's over 150 feet and they had to use 10 ga.

 

Aluminum wiring is is a whole bait shop of worms. Code calls for it to be larger than an equivalent copper wire because of conductivity. Also, the connectors have been a major fire hazard. I think that they've been updated 2 or more times as failures were discovered -- I believe it's because of thermal expansion of the wire, but I'm not positive. If you do have it, you might want to check your connectors. The very first iterations were fairly deadly. 

 

hj

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I dare say the fuser lamp draws significant peak current. It usually has 'bang-bang' control and the average consumption is much less than the peak. Not much of a problem this side of the earth since we have 240VAC, but for the US, the current pulses would be more significant.

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Move to a First World country.
.
Or just get an electrician to inspect your house wiring.
I thought that you lived in New York City. Not in the backwoods.
.
In the UK we have electric kettles, fridges, fan heaters, ...
You have Air Conditioners.
.
All these devices have heavy currents that may switch on and off with simple circuitry.
Not many have "soft-start". Even less have "soft-stop".
.
David.

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david.prentice wrote:
Move to a First World country.

David
You seem to enjoy bashing the USA every chace you get. I think i should remind you that if it werent for the USA you would be speaking German right now.

Stick to the topic.
Jim

I would rather attempt something great and fail, than attempt nothing and succeed - Fortune Cookie

 

"The critical shortage here is not stuff, but time." - Johan Ekdahl

 

"Step N is required before you can do step N+1!" - ka7ehk

 

"If you want a career with a known path - become an undertaker. Dead people don't sue!" - Kartman

"Why is there a "Highway to Hell" and only a "Stairway to Heaven"? A prediction of the expected traffic load?"  - Lee "theusch"

 

Speak sweetly. It makes your words easier to digest when at a later date you have to eat them ;-)  - Source Unknown

Please Read: Code-of-Conduct

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jgmdesign wrote:

David
You seem to enjoy bashing the USA every chace you get. I think i should remind you that if it werent for the USA you would be speaking German right now.

Stick to the topic.
Jim

Of course I do.   It fascinates me that the richest, most powerful country in the world has "technical anomalies".

 

There are advantages in a 110V 60Hz system.    You are less likely to kill yourself.

It is capable of providing 100% reliable domestic supply if properly installed.

 

I am sure that there are plenty of electricians that could resolve your and Matt's problems.

 

A 230V 50Hz system is more forgiving.    But a bad installation can give problems too.

German installations are probably built "better" than British ones.

 

I am surprised by your comments.    This Forum has a more scientifically educated membership than the average SoshalMeedia.

Most members are aware of switching transients,  inrush currents,  motor start loads, ...

Professional members have probably even designed solutions.

 

This particular problem does not need much more than licensed electricians following "Elecrical Code".   You don't have to understand Ohms Law.

 

David.

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david.prentice wrote:

jgmdesign wrote:

 

David
You seem to enjoy bashing the USA every chace you get. I think i should remind you that if it werent for the USA you would be speaking German right now.

Stick to the topic.
Jim

 

 

Of course I do.   It fascinates me that the richest, most powerful country in the world has "technical anomalies".

 

LOL, Tell you what, I am planning on being in London in August of next year.  If you would like to sit down and have a constructive debate on technical anomalies between the US and the UK I would welcome teh opportunity.  In the meantime lets stick to keeping things on topic.

 

david.prentice wrote:
I am sure that there are plenty of electricians that could resolve your and Matt's problems.

david.prentice wrote:
This particular problem does not need much more than licensed electricians following "Elecrical Code".

 

AHHH!!!  Heres where things get into the reason why I simply said get the UPS and live your life.  I dont know how old Matts Home is, or the costs of electricians in his area of the world, but my house is over 50+.  The areas that still have the older wiring in it have had issues with flickering when the laser printers, or an air conditioner kicks in etc.  I simply put the printer on the UPS and the problem goes away for the printer.....cost is about $80USD

 

Now lets say I go Davids route an call an electrician.  First I have to make an appointment and take the day off from work to wait for the electrician, who may not show up.  Once the electrician walks in the door it's $200.00 without the electrician even touching anything.  THe electrician sees that the feed line from the breaker to the room the printer is located in also feeds another rooms lights and power outlets so to stop the lights from flickering for the one second the printer starts up the electrician needs to run a new feeder from the breaker box to the room where the printer is.  This usually means that the electrician needs a helper which doubles the man hours at a rate of $125.00 per hour.  THen there is the cost of the wire, and they will have to open up walls and ceilings to get the new feed to the room.  Now I will need to get materials to patch up the holes and re-paint.  Each time the electrician comes to the house....this is NEVER a one day project I need to take off from work.

This is a $several hundred to several thousand dollar repair for just one room, plus the time lost at work.

 

$80.00 UPS and 10 minutes to set it up and I'm done. 

 

Jim

I would rather attempt something great and fail, than attempt nothing and succeed - Fortune Cookie

 

"The critical shortage here is not stuff, but time." - Johan Ekdahl

 

"Step N is required before you can do step N+1!" - ka7ehk

 

"If you want a career with a known path - become an undertaker. Dead people don't sue!" - Kartman

"Why is there a "Highway to Hell" and only a "Stairway to Heaven"? A prediction of the expected traffic load?"  - Lee "theusch"

 

Speak sweetly. It makes your words easier to digest when at a later date you have to eat them ;-)  - Source Unknown

Please Read: Code-of-Conduct

Atmel Studio6.2/AS7, DipTrace, Quartus, MPLAB, RSLogix user

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david.prentice wrote:
Of course I do.   It fascinates me that the richest, most powerful country in the world has "technical anomalies".

You're criticizing engineering decisions made in the 19th century, when the technology of electrical power distribution was in its infancy.  The limitations of 120V 60Hz wasn't seen until many decades later and, by that time,  there was too much infrastructure in place to change.  So cut us some slack. cheeky

 

Edit to add:  Who would ever need more than 640k anyway?

Letting the smoke out since 1978

 

 

 

 

Last Edited: Sun. Oct 6, 2019 - 11:32 PM
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@Jim,

 

Your family lives in this house.    It sounds as if it needs complete rewiring.  

Yes,  it will be several days work.    Yes,  it will be expensive.   

 

I am sure that you and your family will sleep better when your home is safely wired.

A 50 year old house has almost certainly got PVC wiring.    "Codes" would have been to a lower standard (if observed at all).

West Coast Jim might still have rubber and lead wiring.    I had never heard of aluminium wires !!

 

At least get someone to identify the "riskiest" problems.    And have a plan to get everyone out in the case of fire.

 

Returning to my "dig".   I am sure that you have posted pictures of a very smart house in New York City.    I had never thought that US houses would not be "up to standard".    If a house has been rented or sold in the last 40 years it must have had some form of Survey.

 

David.

 

 

Last Edited: Sun. Oct 6, 2019 - 11:43 PM
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david.prentice wrote:
I am sure that you and your family will sleep better when your home is safely wired.

 

david.prentice wrote:
If a house has been rented or sold in the last 40 years it must have had some form of Survey.

 

Yup, and my home was inspected and it passed for the local building codes when I bought the slum.

 

I sleep just fine.  When the house breaker panel was upgraded to 200A service EVERYTHING in the panel was replaced as well as everything from the panel to the house handoff from the power utility.

 

I am sure that even in the UK, if a large enough load is switched on there is some anomaly seen in the home.

 

 

Cheers,

JIm

I would rather attempt something great and fail, than attempt nothing and succeed - Fortune Cookie

 

"The critical shortage here is not stuff, but time." - Johan Ekdahl

 

"Step N is required before you can do step N+1!" - ka7ehk

 

"If you want a career with a known path - become an undertaker. Dead people don't sue!" - Kartman

"Why is there a "Highway to Hell" and only a "Stairway to Heaven"? A prediction of the expected traffic load?"  - Lee "theusch"

 

Speak sweetly. It makes your words easier to digest when at a later date you have to eat them ;-)  - Source Unknown

Please Read: Code-of-Conduct

Atmel Studio6.2/AS7, DipTrace, Quartus, MPLAB, RSLogix user

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I doubt that renting, where I live, requires any sort of survey. Doubt they even check that the toilets work! Doubt there is any checking. There may be in larger cities (Portland, Salem, Eugene, and such) but not in the podunk place where I live (population about 1000). And, doubtful if its the case outside of cities in the non-metropolitan areas. Outside of major metropolitan areas, at least in Oregon, there is no control over whether a house is rented or purchased.

 

My house was built just over 100 years ago. At one time, it had knob and tube wiring but that was replaced, maybe in the 1950s. Older wiring is smaller gauge and there were only 4 circuits when we moved in. Now, there is space in the breaker box for close to 20 (maybe 15 occupied). Entry service capacity was upped from 100A to 250A (I think). 

 

Generally, code requirements only apply to new construction (including remodeling). And, it only applies to the area being remodeled. The NEC (National Electric Code) is updated every several years. In Oregon, and I think most states, the NEC has to be readopted by the state; it is not an issue for local entities (cities and counties). For all practical purposes, the "state electrical code" IS the NEC. For example, we still have outlets in older parts of the house that are two prong - there is no safety earth ground 3rd pin. Its not a matter of "just" putting in new outlets because you then you have the serious problem of running that ground where where it needs to go. In our case, it is NOT a trivial task. For example, one circuit goes from the breaker box up to the space between the upper and lower floors, then drops down through the wall on the far side of that room. You can no longer get at the upper wall sill to direct a wire through there. One bloody bare copper wire! And, you can't get in there to drill a new hole. 

 

So, its really easy to say "Well, just bring it up to code!" Unfortunately, it is easier said than done.

 

West Coast Jim

 

 

Jim Wagner Oregon Research Electronics, Consulting Div. Tangent, OR, USA http://www.orelectronics.net

Last Edited: Mon. Oct 7, 2019 - 12:31 AM
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In the U.S, is steel conduit used for in-wall wiring? Over here we use TPS which has the three conductors (live,neutral,earth) with an insulating jacket over them. Running new wiring in an existing installation is 'challenging'. This usually involves using spade bits to drill through the 'top plate' (the horz bit of wood of the wall) then using extensions to drill through any noggins. In my house which was built in the 50's they used hardwood for framing. 60+ years later it is dry as a nun's and hard as rock. The trick is to ensure your spade bit drills through the centre of the noggin - you don't want it drilling through the plaster (drywall) half way down the wall! 

 

You also want to ensure the screws on the extensions are tight, otherwise they end up dropping off into the wall cavity. How do I know this?? It dropped to the bottom of the wall where I was putting an outlet. Luckeeeeee!

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Historic wiring might be anything

 

The Farmhouse that I was born in dates from 1697.   Electricity came to Wormshill in the 1930s.

The house was rewired in the 1960s.    It was a major job.     Rubber insulation had perished.   Wiring did not follow any Code.

 

Farm cottages built in 1950 were rewired in the 1970s (to 1970s standards)

 

Codes have progressed since the 1960s and 1970s.    But I would feel happier with 1960s than 1910s.

West Coast Jim's house job would be very major.

East Coast Jim has a smart house apparently built in the 1960s.    I suspect that many physical wires are ok.    But there is obviously something that is seriously wrong.

 

Yes,   we all do swift hacks.    My previous fridge's thermostat failed.   I ran the fridge on a regular 24 hour timeswitch e.g. 15 min on, 45 min off.

The fridge operated for another 11 years !!

At worst I risked a blown fuse.    Not a house fire.

 

My apologies to East Coast Jim if he lives in a remote location at the end of a long cable from the Power Company.

The UK has these situations too.

 

David.

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In the U.S, is steel conduit used for in-wall wiring?

Not typically for homes, but for commercial, yes (I think it is then required)....for homes we use the  NM (Romex) plastic sheathed wire, or sometimes the flexible metal jacketed wire (BX/AC)

 

Also known as BX, this type of electrical wire dates back to the early 1900s, but it's still in use today. AC wiring is designed with flexible metallic sheathing. This provides extra protection for the conductors inside.

Similar to NM cables, AC isn't permitted for use in commercial buildings or residential constructions exceeding three stories. The regulations surrounding support are also similar.

 

My friend's breaker box shows a typical use of NM wiring:

 

 

When in the dark remember-the future looks brighter than ever.   I look forward to being able to predict the future!

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david.prentice wrote:
I would feel happier with 1960s than 1910s.

It is suspected that the fire which gutted Lulworth Castle was caused by dodgy 1920's wiring ...

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jgmdesign wrote:
I am sure that even in the UK, if a large enough load is switched on there is some anomaly seen in the home

Of course.

 

But I would be really surprised if a printer was anywhere near "large enough"!

 

Then again, with your 120V mains, ...

 

laugh

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I was impressed by the photo in #28.   So I took the cover off the "Consumer Unit" in my house

Domestic wiring is usually "Twin and Earth" with a PVC sheath.    The Earth is bare copper.   A Green sleeve is put over the bare copper when connecting to terminals.

 

This was the first time that I have ever taken the cover off.    But it shows a British Electrician's working practice.

 

This house was built in 1976.   I think that the Consumer Unit was updated / replaced in 2007.    The 1970s standards did not have RCD (Residual Current Detection).

 

 

The Power circuits are on the left.

The Lighting circuits, Smoke Alarm, Cooker are on the right.

 

Obviously your 115V system will draw twice the currents of a 230V system.

I would expect your "Consumer Units" to look similar (but with bigger cross-section copper)

 

Like Andy,   I would not expect any noticeable voltage dip from a Printer.

 

I am not an Electrician.    I can only guess that fridges, air conditioners have DOL (Direct On Line) starters.

Perhaps modern units have some form of soft-start.    Compressor motors have massive start loads.   Incandescent and Halogen lighting also have high start currents.

 

I can only suggest Matt and Jim(s) to get advice from a licensed electrician.

A voltage dip implies a "high resistance" somewhere.    Most likely in terminal boxes rather than in cable runs.  

 

I bet that a typical German installation will be better quality and neater.    All the same,   I sleep easy at night. 

 

David.

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I think that your Residual Current Detectors are called Ground Fault Interruptor (GFI) here. They are required at the breaker box for all circuits going to places where there is plumbing (bathroom, clothes washer, kitchen, and such). Otherwise, if there are specific vulnerable points (such as an outlet circuit that ALSO powers an outside outlet), then that outlet has to have a GFI. GFI outlets are quite expensive compared to unprotected outlets (maybe 10X cost).

 

Our newer house wiring uses the nonmetallic style with 3 wires. Older wiring uses nonmetallic style with two wires. In the 3-wire cable, two of the wires have their own insulation jacket and one is bare, then the whole lot has a plastic jacket over the whole thing. That is very common is residential wiring. In my shop, where there is a heater that hangs down from the ceiling, the exposed wires to the heater are in a  flexible metal  conduit. Our washer, dryer, and water heater are actually in a separate small building that also contains pantry shelves. All the wiring there is in rigid conduit on the exposed wall and ceiling surface. The wires in the conduit are individually insulated except for the ground wire which is bare. 

 

West Coast Jim

Jim Wagner Oregon Research Electronics, Consulting Div. Tangent, OR, USA http://www.orelectronics.net

Last Edited: Mon. Oct 7, 2019 - 03:34 PM
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ka7ehk wrote:
Otherwise, if there are specific vulnerable points (such as an outlet circuit that ALSO powers an outside outlet), then that outlet has to have a GFI.
For one early '80s Texas house, outside outlets are GFCI at the breaker box.

Outside outlet successful GFI trips :

  • battery tender, wet due to rain
  • cut electrical cord (doh!)

ka7ehk wrote:
GFI outlets are quite expensive compared to unprotected outlets (maybe 10X cost).
True for 10x though insurance corporations may mandate that to private or public residential housing corporations; an apartment's technician installed GFCI outlets at the kitchen sink for all units in '12 (Fort Worth, Texas)

Wasn't aware of AFCI for an extra 5USD per outlet.

Here, there are a few residential single housing units (houses) with arc faults that make the news each year.

 

What is an AFCI | AFCI Safety

Dual function AFCI/GFCI Circuit Breakers at Lowes.com

 

edit : may you consider a pardon

Three instances of 'arc fault' in

GRENFELL TOWER PUBLIC INQUIRY ADDENDUM Prepared by: J. Duncan Glover, Ph.D., P.E

[page 4, top]

 

"Dare to be naïve." - Buckminster Fuller

Last Edited: Mon. Oct 7, 2019 - 05:06 PM
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Most U.S. homes have 240 volts available.  Kitchen stoves, clothes dryers and central A/C compressors use 240 volts.

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Correct. That is because of the phasing between each pair of 120V lines. Our 120VAC is really one side of a balanced 240V line that is grounded at the neutral point. Measure line-line: 240V. Measure ground to either line: 120V. 

 

Not sure, but I think that it is not allowed to have both phases in close proximity unless it serves a 240V load. That is, there should be no room outlets in a single room that are serviced by both sides of that center-tapped source.

 

Jim

Jim Wagner Oregon Research Electronics, Consulting Div. Tangent, OR, USA http://www.orelectronics.net

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I think this may be true

ka7ehk wrote:
Not sure, but I think that it is not allowed to have both phases in close proximity unless it serves a 240V load.

but this is not true

ka7ehk wrote:
That is, there should be no room outlets in a single room that are serviced by both sides of that center-tapped source.

because 240V outlets exist for air conditioners, base board heaters and the like.  If I remember correctly, one (or both) of the flat prongs is rotated 90 degrees from the usual 120V configuration.

Letting the smoke out since 1978

 

 

 

 

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I think Jim meant, you can't have the outlet by the bed on one phase & the outlet by the dresser on the other phase...never heard of that

 

however, this diagram seems to  negate that (or maybe it's not up to code)

 

from   http://www.electrical101.com/split-receptacles.html

Switched duplex receptacles are rotated 180 degrees from the orientation of other receptacles in the house for identification.   I never knew that!!!  I'm gonna go look.

 

One somewhat "recent"  change is that all switchbox locations must now provide a neutral conductor whether used or not.  There are some exceptions based upon whether a neutral could be easily added later (via a nearby raceway or open stud construction (no wall board install).  Smart switches, motion sensors, etc need a source of power & often tapped into the safety gnd wire as a sink of up to 0.5 milliamps current...not a happy situation.

https://iaeimagazine.org/magazine/2018/03/12/do-we-need-a-grounded-conductor-at-that-switch-location-or-not/

 

interesting:

 NEC allows a maximum of six hand movements at one location to shut off all the power of a building .

 

 

When in the dark remember-the future looks brighter than ever.   I look forward to being able to predict the future!

Last Edited: Tue. Oct 8, 2019 - 06:44 AM
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I think, but not sure, that the diagram Avrcandies showed is a relatively recent change to the code. Quite sure it was not part of the code when parts of our house were re-wired about 15 years ago.

 

Jim

Jim Wagner Oregon Research Electronics, Consulting Div. Tangent, OR, USA http://www.orelectronics.net

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I always thought the ground lug should have been on top to begin with!

In my house the switched outlets are all the same orientation as the others, but there are only two of them, may flip them over if I ever need to mess with them in the future.

This has been an interesting thread, to see how house wiring is done in other countries.  

 

The other Jim

 

Click Link: Get Free Stock: Retire early! PM for strategy

share.robinhood.com/jamesc3274
get $5 free gold/silver https://www.onegold.com/join/713...

 

 

 

 

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ki0bk wrote:
I always thought the ground lug should have been on top to begin with!
Yeah, it's crazy.  Some houses are wired with the ground hole on top and others are wired with it on the bottom.

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I wonder if MattRW is going to let us know what his resolve is/was. 

 

Have not heard a peep since post #9

 

Jim

I would rather attempt something great and fail, than attempt nothing and succeed - Fortune Cookie

 

"The critical shortage here is not stuff, but time." - Johan Ekdahl

 

"Step N is required before you can do step N+1!" - ka7ehk

 

"If you want a career with a known path - become an undertaker. Dead people don't sue!" - Kartman

"Why is there a "Highway to Hell" and only a "Stairway to Heaven"? A prediction of the expected traffic load?"  - Lee "theusch"

 

Speak sweetly. It makes your words easier to digest when at a later date you have to eat them ;-)  - Source Unknown

Please Read: Code-of-Conduct

Atmel Studio6.2/AS7, DipTrace, Quartus, MPLAB, RSLogix user

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Outlet orientation seems to be a new detail in the code.

 

Jim

 

Jim Wagner Oregon Research Electronics, Consulting Div. Tangent, OR, USA http://www.orelectronics.net

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I suspect that Matt followed the Other Jim's excellent advice in #5.   (i.e. 30 minutes after the Original Post)

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ka7ehk wrote:
At one time, it had knob and tube wiring

Our house was built in 1940, and has knob and tube wiring for much of the house in the attic, but the wires are in conduit coming down to the switches and receptacles.  When we bought the place the inspector said knob and tube is fine as long as it doesn't get disturbed.  I have had to replace dimmer switches when I went to LED bulbs and there is just one wire coming into the switch and one wire going out.  The insulation is thick and brittle with age.  I was an electrician's helper in the '80's and we pulled 3 wires to every switch, so I thought it pretty weird only having the one wire coming into the switch, but I guess that's how they did it in the '40's.

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MarkThomas wrote:
I thought it pretty weird only having the one wire coming into the switch, but I guess that's how they did it in the '40's.

 

Basically thats all it is today as well.  Think about it.  You are only switching off and on the Hot >black wire here in the USA< so no need for any other conductors.  Where the Netural and ground lines come in are for many modern 'smart' switches.  My Crestron switches and Dimmers require the Neutral. 

 

For the el-cheapo dimmers they are usually nothing more that two wires as well as incandescent lamps only need a few ohms rheostat in front of them to dim. 

 

JIm

I would rather attempt something great and fail, than attempt nothing and succeed - Fortune Cookie

 

"The critical shortage here is not stuff, but time." - Johan Ekdahl

 

"Step N is required before you can do step N+1!" - ka7ehk

 

"If you want a career with a known path - become an undertaker. Dead people don't sue!" - Kartman

"Why is there a "Highway to Hell" and only a "Stairway to Heaven"? A prediction of the expected traffic load?"  - Lee "theusch"

 

Speak sweetly. It makes your words easier to digest when at a later date you have to eat them ;-)  - Source Unknown

Please Read: Code-of-Conduct

Atmel Studio6.2/AS7, DipTrace, Quartus, MPLAB, RSLogix user

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jgmdesign wrote:
Basically thats all it is today as well.  Think about it.

I understand that only one wire is required to break and close the circuit.  Duh.  It's just that the short time I spent wiring new construction led me to believe that all 3 wires were required by code at all switches and receptacles.  It may be that the green or bare ground wire is required at all break outs, which would make sense safety wise.

 

I'm not so sure I believe a few ohms makes a dimmer.  I think it would make a fire.  A few ohms of resistance would make a lot of watts at 120V.  P = V^2 / R

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A few ohms of resistance would make a lot of watts at 120V.  P = V^2 / R

True, but the full voltage is not applied.  We talk I*I*R  (I^2R) around here.  A 3 amp load with 1/2 ohm resistance is 4.5W of heat. (with a 1.5V drop).  Of course if you dim a 100W bulb,  10 ohms can knock it down BY 20%...the bulb is MAYBE 100 Ohms.  Of course a Triac dimmer is more efficient, since it cuts off the juice rather than turning it into heat.

When in the dark remember-the future looks brighter than ever.   I look forward to being able to predict the future!

Last Edited: Tue. Oct 8, 2019 - 10:58 PM
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That makes sense.  Why do they not work with LED bulbs.  Is it because the current is so much less?

 

Edit:  I should know better than questioning Jim on something like this.  Just makes me look dumber.

Last Edited: Tue. Oct 8, 2019 - 11:14 PM
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I suspect I know what the problem is, related to work done on our kitchen years ago by a suspect electrician.

So not sure about how to go about the #5.   I did order a UPS (850 W since printer is 600 W device); it's not tiny.  Will see how that goes.

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MarkThomas wrote:

That makes sense.  Why do they not work with LED bulbs.  Is it because the current is so much less?

 

 

LED bulbs are a different kettle of fish. The real cheapy ones use a simple reactive dropper - a capacitor. The likes of Osram and Philips are a lot more sophisticated. These have a switched mode power supply in them that is constant current. Thus the input voltage can vary to a fair degree, but the light output won't change. Some bulbs are marked as 'dimmable' - these can detect the phase control from triac dimmers and dim the light output - unfortunately they don't go down to zero light output like an incandescent. They get down to around 10 or 20% light then drop out. You'll find most bulbs are not dimmable. For the 'smart' bulbs, they have a switched mode supply in them, but there's a micro that will do pwm to control the brightness. These can go down to zero.

 

 

 

Here's something I did earlier:

 

https://www.eevblog.com/forum/re...

 

There's no ICs in that one - all transistors , five of them in fact. I like reverse engineering these things to see how they solve various problems in a cost-effective manner. The circuit forms a constant current buck converter. There's 21 leds in series and the converter gives them ~45V at a few hundred milliamps.

 

 

A bit of Googling will uncover others that have opened Ikea and other smart bulbs if you're curious.

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Man, I am getting old.  I have been playing with LEDs and LED drivers for years and I never asked myself how an LED bulb worked.  Sort of embarrassing.  That all makes sense.  I have noticed when I look at an LED tube I have over my workbench with a photo diode and a scope I see something much like a square wave with a duty cycle greater than 50%.  The constant current supply must turn off when the abs(voltage) goes below some value.

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