Who's rewired their house for this hobby?

Chuck Guzis cclist at sydex.com
Wed Nov 26 12:47:52 CST 2014

On 11/25/2014 11:06 PM, Holm Tiffe wrote:

> Chuck you don't know better, so it is ok for you. That's all.

Holm, I do bristle a bit at that one.  I've worked with industrial 
distribution as well as residential--there is a huge difference.  In the 
industrial world, motors dominate the workload--even in a high-tech 
office building, HVAC accounts for a very large portion of the 
electrical load.  In residential applications, the big consumption is 
from lighting and heating--although I wonder sometimes about the 
TV-crazy families.

Cooking doesn't account for much in most households.  I have an 
induction cooktop installed, which is vastly more efficient that 
electrical resistance heating--and more controllable.  I asked my local 
utility if there was an energy credit available for that--the response 
was that cooking accounts for perhaps 2% of the average household energy 
budget, the choice of one over the other yields very little difference 
in the overall picture.   So trotting out the cooker as the prime 
example of efficient 3-phase use isn't really relevant.

To me, your argument is a matter of small degree.  How many household 
appliances do you own that are multiphase?  So we do the single-phase 
breakout before the final distribution transformer, Germany does it after.

My vacuum cleaner isn't 3-phase and neither is yours.  Why aren't you 
distributing 120 Hz (or any other frequency)--transformers would be 
smaller, you know.  Both our transmission systems are 3-phase.

As far as distribution voltages go, there's nothing to stop a homeowner 
from wiring all of his receptacles for 240V (it conforms to the National 
Electrical Code); the problem is that there would be little he could do 
with it, as most of our small appliances are constructed for 120V (or 
thereabouts).  But he can purchase 240V light bulbs, if that is my 
choice--it will cost more, as that's not the dominant standard here.

In fact, many, if not most small electronics here (TV, computers, etc.) 
use SMPSUs, so distribution voltage matters not a whit as far as they're 

To me, it seems that this is a Lilliput-versus-Blefuscu argument.


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