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Old 03-26-2009, 05:24 PM   #1
apriorius
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220V electricity explained in laymen's terms

I think its time for me to explain about 220 current and why it is so different from 110 volt service. First of all, it's twice as big.
Secondly, it'll shock you more. Outside of that, 220 is really two 110 volt lines coming to your house from different parts of the globe.
The up and down 110 comes from the northern hemisphere, and the down and up version comes from below the equator.
Without trying to get technical, it all boils down to the direction water flows when it goes down the drain. In the top of the earth, it goes clockwise, while on the bottom of the earth it goes counter clockwise. Since 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 down and up sine wave. Between the two, you have 220 volts, while either individual side only gives you 110 volts.
This is particularly important to know when buying power tools- which side of the globe did they come from? If you get an Australian saw, for instance, it will turn backwards if connected to a US generated 110 volt source. Sure, you can buy backwards blades for it, but that is an unnecessary burden. Other appliances, like toasters cannot be converted from Australian electricity to American electricity, without horrible results. I knew one person who bought an Australian toaster by mistake and it froze the slices of bread she put in it.
If you wire your shop with 220 and accidentally get two US-generated 110 volt lines run in by accident, you can get 220 by using a trick I learned 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 box sideways, since that'll give you 165 volts and you'll be limited to just using Canadian tools with it.
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Old 03-26-2009, 05:49 PM   #2
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wtf, that was entertaining
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Old 03-26-2009, 07:04 PM   #3
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What if I need 440 volts?
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Old 03-26-2009, 07:08 PM   #4
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What if I need 440 volts?
limited to just astronauts, sorry
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Old 03-26-2009, 07:26 PM   #5
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sooooo, where does the DC converter fit into this? That must be where the Bermuta triangle flips it?
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Old 03-26-2009, 07:41 PM   #6
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How about 480 volts or maybe 277v?
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Old 03-26-2009, 07:44 PM   #7
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I thought this was common knowledge Those that didn't know this already are such tards.
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Old 03-26-2009, 08:29 PM   #8
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Great post! I've been wondering why my Aussie made hairdryer has been acting like a squirt gun.
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Old 03-26-2009, 09:40 PM   #9
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Froze bread ftw!
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Old 03-27-2009, 05:16 AM   #10
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been flipping fuse boxes since the 70's
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Old 03-27-2009, 08:40 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WANARUNM View Post
sooooo, where does the DC converter fit into this? That must be where the Bermuta triangle flips it?
I think the quality of shop electricity is also a big concern. Know the source of your electric power. I have found current flowing from coal power plants to be somewhat dirty while current from hydroelectic dams to be a bit watered down. Neither alone is good for constant use on power equipment which is why it is prudent to switch back and forth between the two sources (thus alternating current). The hydro power source will leave a bit of moisture in you electric wires, but the soot from the coal plant will dry this up. In response, the hydro power if used frequently enough will wash out any excess carbon buildup inside the wires.

Most of us do not have to worry about such, but don't be fooled. To save on money, your power company will sometimes choose power from only one source and not even tell you about it. It is always wise to check from time to time that your shop electricity is fluctuating properly.

Of course the only way to ensure 100% that the electricity used in your equipment is both dry and clean is to run everything from a battery. ("DC" current stands for Dry-Clean, it is right there in the name.)
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Old 03-27-2009, 08:49 AM   #12
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Screw volts..amps are what will put you 6' under.
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Old 03-27-2009, 09:17 AM   #13
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those down and up and up and down sine waves always got me confused. thanks for clearing it up!
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