14/3 strange usage

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by MrBillyd, Feb 20, 2012.

  1. BobL43

    BobL43 DIY Senior Member

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    What made you bring up a water heater? That is a 240 volt device, where it draws current from the two hot legs, and nothing from the neutral unless it somehow had a fancy 115v control unit on it.


    never mind, this has already been said:eek:
  2. Hackney plumbing

    Hackney plumbing Homeowner

    Messages:
    1,174
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    Alabama
    So if you have an old house wired for a dryer with two hot and a ground the new dryers wouldn't work at all or would they work but not be safe?
  3. BobL43

    BobL43 DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    The older ciruits had 2 hots and a Neutral for the Dryer power
    most likely using 10/3 kleenex without ground. The new dryers (and ranges) are supposed to be wired with nn/3 (nn= proper sized conductors) plus ground kleenex and a 4 prong plug and receptacle.
    The ground on the old stuff was added to the frame of the dryer by the installer to a "safe" (not really) water pipe nearby
  4. Hackney plumbing

    Hackney plumbing Homeowner

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    1,174
    Location:
    Alabama
    I think I'm ready to wire YOUR house now.....LOL Just kidding thanks for the tips.

    My house was built in 2000. I'll be removing my panel cover and making sure any multibranch circuit is done with a double pole breaker.
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2012
  5. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    Maybe this will help...

    Attached Files:

  6. Hackney plumbing

    Hackney plumbing Homeowner

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    Alabama
    I found a great explanation that I posted a few posts back. Really makes it clear. Thanks for the effort tho.

    Its the last post on the first page. A guy name David Herres wrote the article.
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2012
  7. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
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    northfork, california
    America is in the dark ages with electricity. Europe, even Africa wires all for 240V and the timers and controls [DUH!] in appliances are built for 240V. Now you are outlet wiring with 16 and 18 gauge wire and don't need a neutral.

    When copper was cheap and the US made it all, the copper lobby won. We all lost.

    Notice that at least the Americans are smart enough to sell electric water heater timers that have a [MAGIC!] clock that runs on 240V, so you need not pull in another totally unneeded wire. Imagine the audacity of making a 240V lightbulb!
  8. Homeownerinburb

    Homeownerinburb New Member

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    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA USA
    The one difference being that most of the electricity that we see in our houses is 110v, yes, and that is a lot easier to let go of it if gets you than is 220v.

    I have a vague memory from the late '60's when I lived on an airforce base in Britain. I was very young. I seem to remember a TV show explaining the workings of a GFI outlet and saying that they would becoming a standard. But it could have been a few years later in the states.
  9. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

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    IN a perfectly balanced split feed, the neutral is not carrying any current. It is "alternating current" and the two lines are 180 degrees out of phase, so when one's black wire is "+" the other's is "-" so they cancel each other out. The neutral takes care of any imbalance.
  10. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

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    wire

    I have heard, but do not know if it is fact, that homes in Australia only have a single 240 volt wire coming into the houses. The return to the generator is done with a "ground connection" into the earth.
  11. drick

    drick In the Trades

    Messages:
    392

    Power HAS TO return to where it came from. The earth is a really really lousy conductor. Sticking a ground rod outside your house will not allow the power to travel through the earth to another ground rod at the power plant. The ground rod is there for protection in the event of a lightening strike.

    -rick
  12. BobL43

    BobL43 DIY Senior Member

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    That is simply "shocking" LOL. Drick is correct, there must be something missing in what you heard that provides the return; guess I'll have to Google it.
  13. ActionDave

    ActionDave Electrician

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    Location:
    Colorado
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2012
  14. drick

    drick In the Trades

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    392
    Heh, well I guess that shows you what I know. I'd never heard of it before now. Thanks for the link.

    -rick
  15. Homeownerinburb

    Homeownerinburb New Member

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    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA USA
    "A good earth connection is normally a 6 m stake of copper-clad steel driven vertically into the ground"

    6 meters is about 20'. Imagine trying to drive that damned thing in with a sledge?
  16. BobL43

    BobL43 DIY Senior Member

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    Yes, but most of that if not all, is used for medium or high voltage power grid or transmission lines over long distances. In the US, the grid is multiphase, with transformers used for the user's voltages and neutrals that are tapped off the transformer and grounded locally. The ground itself here, at least does not carry any power. I would not my house powered with a single phase and returned to ground though a lake, nor would I want 220v receptacles in my house for our normal plug in appliances. This conversation is still shocking, but interesting.

    Thanks Dave for that info.:)
  17. Homeownerinburb

    Homeownerinburb New Member

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    525
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA USA
    Yet it is common. It certainly reduces on the cost of the copper to wire a home.
  18. ActionDave

    ActionDave Electrician

    Messages:
    345
    Location:
    Colorado
    I built my house using steel studs just so I could use a one wire system.
  19. Homeownerinburb

    Homeownerinburb New Member

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    525
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA USA
    Zip, zap, pow!

    In the abstract, I suppose you could treat the whole frame of the house as the ground system.....
  20. BobL43

    BobL43 DIY Senior Member

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    I don't see any smiley faces Dave!
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