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Paul Alciatore
05-18-2012, 02:19 PM
The recent thread on compressors has brought up a question in my mind. I know that in the US, where 110 Volt wiring is the most common in buildings, 15 and 20 Amp. circuits are by far the most common. In a home you would expect to find 15 Amp. circuits to be the most common and in a commercial building the 20s. Not exclusively or in every case, but probably the most common.

Now, with 220 Volt wiring you would have two times as much power for a given Amperage and I am just wondering what the most common Amperage is in countries with 220 Volt power distribution. If the wire size is the same, then the same size breakers could be used. On the other hand, perhaps economies are the concern and the breakers may be smaller. I can see arguments in both directions. Perhaps it is different in different countries.

I live in the US and have zero experience in other countries. So, just for my own information, what breakers are most common in these countries? And what wire sizes are commonly used? In the US it would be 12 or 14 gauge.

philbur
05-18-2012, 02:42 PM
Norway: 230 volt single phase. Circuits are fused at 10, 16 and 20 amp. My main supply circuit is 400 volt 3 phase and fused at 50 amp (3 phase domestic supply is not very common).

I don't know the wire sizes.

Phil:)

Juergenwt
05-18-2012, 02:43 PM
220/230 V - Depends on the wiring. Common is 1.5 square mm - good for up to 15A. Many outlets have a 10A fuse build in and can be used like an on/off switch. The fuses in a house will determine how many Watts are safe for a given circuit.

MaxHeadRoom
05-18-2012, 02:44 PM
AFAIK in the UK they still use a 13a ring main system, the 240v circuit for outlets leave the breaker and pick up all the 13a outlets required and return to the same breaker.
Each plug for the outlets have a fuse inside the plug, and can be sized as required up to 13a.
Way back before I left the UK the outlets were wired in what was known as 3/029 3 conductors at .029 (could have been 7/029) if I remember rightly.
Now it is in metric sizes 1.2mm˛ and 2.9mm˛.
Max.

Stuart Br
05-18-2012, 02:55 PM
I'm no electrical expert, but Max is correct, we use a 13A ring main system in the the UK. This is wired with 2.5mm2 cable (which I believe is 14A AWG) and the circuit is protected by a 32A breaker

MaxHeadRoom
05-18-2012, 03:39 PM
we use a 13A ring main system in the the UK.

I recall one of my first assignments was to assist flipping Oxford Observatory over to 230AC from the original 120VDC!! :cool:
Max.

Peter.
05-18-2012, 03:58 PM
What sort of plugs do we use?

Furteen amp!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oaGpaj2nHIo

The Artful Bodger
05-18-2012, 05:03 PM
The common household supply in New Zealand is 230V single phase 50Hz. I think our house has a 60A feed.

Wall sockets are wired on a 20A circuit with individual sockets usually 15A but we can put a 20A socket on the same circuit. We use the multiple earth neutral system and modern houses are wired with electronic earth leakage circuit breakers.

Three phase is very uncommon in suburban homes, farms are more likely to have 3 phase. Older farm installation had three wires which I believe was two phases.

I think Australia is the same although their nominal voltage (used to be?) is 240V. We use a lot of their electrical fittings and their 240V light bulbs are very good for long life out in the shed etc.

MrFluffy
05-18-2012, 05:15 PM
220v here in France, 16amp to the normal plug sockets, although you encounter high current sockets with large 32amp plugs but they have to have a different diameter of wiring also. All wiring is star wired back to the panel and there are all sorts of regulations (normes) for what size wire for each class of socket etc.
Its also not uncommon to find 3 phase into a domestic house, and for high power fixed appliances to use all three phases (heating, water heaters, air conditioners, cookers etc). Our house has 380v 3 phase supply.
We pay for the max current to the house in a tariff which is calculated amongst other things on maximum amperage drawn, and our panel's have a current limit device set to what you pay for. For instance we can take 25amp per phase before the limiter (a "Disjoncter") kicks in, but we could pay more per month and have a higher limit accordingly. The limiter also doubles as a earth leakage circuit breaker.
No plugs or sockets or light switches have fuses, all fusing is handled back at the panel unless its a device's internal fuse, the logic being no fires from giving someone the chance to replace a 5amp plug fuse with a 16 and suffering a fire. Our fuse box has 5 rows of trip's in it...

MotorradMike
05-18-2012, 05:37 PM
In Canada we use 220V for baseboard heaters, Oven, Dryer, water heater for general household.
I'd say the most common use is for baseboards and 14AWG so 15A breaker. We use red PVC sheathed cable containing a Red, a Black and bare copper conductor.

tlfamm
05-18-2012, 05:42 PM
...
We use the multiple earth neutral system and modern houses are wired with electronic earth leakage circuit breakers.
...



What exactly is "multiple earth neutral"?

The Artful Bodger
05-18-2012, 05:49 PM
What exactly is "multiple earth neutral"?

It is a protective system where appliances have active, neutral and earth connections. Neutral and earth are joined at the distribution board. The earth conductor is only conducting in a fault condition, and then only long enough to open the fuse.

Mike Burch
05-18-2012, 08:10 PM
Bodger, the normal domestic sockets in New Zealand are rated at 10 amps, not 15. The wiring is 2.5mm2, and the circuit breakers are 20 amps.
It is possible to get 15 amp outlets with the same pin layout, so they will take either 10 amp or 15 amp plugs (I have one in my shop, for the MIG welder. Weirdly, the only difference in the plug is that the earth pin is longer! The phase and neutral pins are exactly the same as those of the 10 amp plug, which suggests that the 10 amp socket can safely, if illegally, be overloaded by at least 50%.)
Light circuits are wired with 1.5mm2 cable, and the breakers are 10 amp.
I live out in the country, where a three-phase 11kV line serves the whole road. To spread the load, most houses have two phases plus an earthed neutral coming in from the transformer on the nearest pole. One transformer will usually serve two or three houses, and the cable into the house is rated to (I think) 60 amps. The main fuses are 63 amps.
If one opts to have all three phases brought in, the power company treats one as a commercial enterprise, and charges far more for each kilowatt-hour of electricity used. And one has to pay the full cost of the line company's three-phase transformer.
The whole installation of my two year old house is protected with earth-leakage circuit breakers.
The MEN system has the neutral earthed at each installation as well as at each pole transformer.

MaxHeadRoom
05-18-2012, 08:30 PM
I am curious, in N.Z. and Australia, do the service company deliver a Ground conductor, or is ground referenced locally, i.e. water supply, ground rod etc?
Max.

oldtiffie
05-18-2012, 08:52 PM
The common household supply in New Zealand is 230V single phase 50Hz. I think our house has a 60A feed.

Wall sockets are wired on a 20A circuit with individual sockets usually 15A but we can put a 20A socket on the same circuit. We use the multiple earth neutral system and modern houses are wired with electronic earth leakage circuit breakers.

Three phase is very uncommon in suburban homes, farms are more likely to have 3 phase. Older farm installation had three wires which I believe was two phases.

I think Australia is the same although their nominal voltage (used to be?) is 240V. We use a lot of their electrical fittings and their 240V light bulbs are very good for long life out in the shed etc.

+1 for Australia.

We once had an "over-night" electrical storage hot water heater which had 2 x 2400W elements - one for "day rate" (expensive) and the other for the cheaper "night", rate - that heater is long gone since we had natural gas connected. We also had a 220A 2-phase "chokie" welder - which is still hard-wired in.

The shop has 2-phase 60A per phase (ie 2 single 60A phases).

The shop and the house have seperate electronic switch-boards with all curcuit-breakers and a multiple earth neutral system and electronic earth leakage circuit breakers.

Australia and New Zealand use national standards that are common to both for just about everything - "electrical" very much included.

I have no idea at all as to what wire sizes etc. are as I leave that strictly to a Licenced Electrical Contractor (as is mandatory here).

The Artful Bodger
05-19-2012, 01:13 AM
Bodger, the normal domestic sockets in New Zealand are rated at 10 amps, not 15. . .


Sorry, my mistake.

Davo J
05-19-2012, 01:43 AM
Here in Australia we use 1.5mm wire for lights etc which are usually 10 amp breakers, and 2.5m for power points which are 16 amp's breakers. For hot water/stove we have 4mm wire and 30 amp breakers from memory.
The main fuse into the house used to be 60 amps (like ours), but 100amp is fitted standard now around my way with 16mm wires coming in from the pole.

3 phase can be had if you don't have it, you just need to have a reason like air con etc to have it put on.
I got a quote last year and it was $2000 to have the single phase upgraded to 3 phase along with a new meter box and fittings. We have a pole out the front and the neighbors have it, so longer runs may cost more.

I already have 3 phase cable laid to the shed which is 6mm heavy orange coated cable, so good for 40amps per phase because it's under ground. Open air it's good for 60 amps per phase.

Dave

camdigger
05-19-2012, 02:18 AM
In Turkey, our rental house has 16, 20, 25 and 32 amp fuses. presumably for lighting, wall plugs, light appliances (dishwasher, AC and clothes washer) and stove/water heater circuits. Wire size seems very fine on the order of 14, 12, and 10 AWG. There is both single and three phase in the area. Our house has mostly single phase breakers, but has a single three ploe breaker that looks like 3 phase.

Basic power is 220/380 50 Hz.

House has two water heaters one a 15 gallon tank-type and the other a demand type.

Although it doesn't fit the OP question as it has a single phase, 110/220 V 60 Hz power service, our house in western Canada has no 220 - 15 amp circuits. Just 110v 15 and 20 amp and IIRC a couple 30 and 50 amp circuits for the stove and clothes dryer. Our hot water heater and heating boiler are gas fired. My shop and gagrage do have 220v 15 amp circuits and 20 amp 110v circuits are common in some kitchens and shops. New regulations (10 years or so old) call for GFI protected outdoor outlets and arcfault breakers for bedrooms.

Jaakko Fagerlund
05-19-2012, 02:39 AM
Finland, domestic house:

-the usual 220 VAC 50 Hz (or 400 VAC 3-phase actually)
-lighting usually behind 10 A fuses, 1.5 mm˛ wires
-wall sockets behind 16 A fuses, 2.5 mm˛ wiring
-3 phase coming in to each house and used at least for an electric oven or a water heater or electric heating. Usually 16 A fuses.
-most places with garage will also have the 3-phase available at a 5-pin wall socket in the garage for powering heavy stuff (helps when building the house and later when using serious power tools)
-mains fuses are whatever you want. Higher rating means a higher tariff per month

So you have phases L1, L2, L3 and neutral and PE available in every house :) Makes using those bigger mills/lathes a chore at home ;)

Evan
05-19-2012, 04:04 AM
The electrical systems of Canada and the US are identical with almost identical regulations. Domestic service ranges from 60 to 200 amps 220 split single phase power. Split phase has a centre tap give two 110 ac phases with the centre grounded at the panel.

Standard house room circuits in Germany are 10 amp 220 single phase with 16 ga conductor. Same in Denmark. High power appliances are 420 to 440. There were some changes made over the last 20 years to standardize the voltage throughout the EEC. I seem to recall the 430 is the standard now.

The primary advantages are savings in copper because of smaller conductor sizes and also savings in copper losses. When you double the voltage on the same size conductor you have 1/4 the loss. By going to 16 ga you still have less loss and also less metal. It doesn't make much difference at the individual household level but it adds up over millions of households. The downside is of course that 220 will kill you far easier than 110 vac and 440 is a sure bet most times.

oldtiffie
05-19-2012, 04:13 AM
And that is why earth leakage detectors and good earthing are essential which work well in most cases when/if needed.

But you can't protect a fool from the consequences of his own actions if he is determined to go ahead anyway.

And of course, if he lives, he will brag about it and blame anybody and everybody but himself.

BobL
05-19-2012, 04:47 AM
In Western Australia, which is so far from everywhere else in Australia we have 240 V. We also used to be 250V up until 20 years ago.

A lot of 220 - 230V devices don't like 250 V and I remember running Variacs at work to tickle the V down a bit so some devices would still work properly. 220V light globes would also only last half the normal lifetime. One reason for running such a high V was power was at that stage only generated at 2 places in the state on the coast and there were long relatively low V runs inland which dropped V a long the way.

About 10 years ago our 10 year old dishwasher started playing up and I had it backwards and forwards to the service centre - it worked perfectly at the service centre and not at my place. Talking to the guys at work and one of the professors said check the line Vs. These were 242 at the service centre and 232 at my place. When I boosted the V at my place to 240 the dishwasher worked fine. It turned out to be a faulty logic board which was going to require the dishwasher door be torn apart to get at the board and all up was going to cost $150 so I ran it on the variac. Every few months I had to tickle the V up further to get it to work and when it got to 260V a couple of years later I called it quits and we bought a new machine.

I don't have 3 phase to my shop (yet) but my shed is prewired for it as we are having underground power run to our street next year. During the connection I will get 3 phase to the house. Currently I have have two fully independent lines and breaker boards to my home shop, a 45A 3 phase line and a 20A single phase.

Blackadder
05-19-2012, 05:07 AM
In the uk

the posters are correct about the 13 amp ring main ( 2.5 mm conductors fed by a 32 amp breaker ) in a domestic situation the number of sockets is unlimited ( due to the diversity component ) in offices and industry things are different you use a 4mm cable

but for heavy loads we use a radial circuit ( cookers are about 15 plus KW ) therefore a 7 mm radial fed by a 45 amp breaker does the job ( ok for lathes .welders ect )

the normal supply is via PME 60 amp cut-out fuse ( these things will carry 60 amp for as long as you can think of and will blow at about 100 amp ) they are a special type of fuse

Lighting in domestic premises is 5 amp


note in the UK we earth on side of the tx on the secondary this is the neutral ) volts to earth and the phase is nominally 220 above this

Stuart

aboard_epsilon
05-19-2012, 07:24 AM
In the uk

the posters are correct about the 13 amp ring main ( 2.5 mm conductors fed by a 32 amp breaker ) in a domestic situation the number of sockets is unlimited ( due to the diversity component ) in offices and industry things are different you use a 4mm cable

but for heavy loads we use a radial circuit ( cookers are about 15 plus KW ) therefore a 7 mm radial fed by a 45 amp breaker does the job ( ok for lathes .welders ect )

the normal supply is via PME 60 amp cut-out fuse ( these things will carry 60 amp for as long as you can think of and will blow at about 100 amp ) they are a special type of fuse

Lighting in domestic premises is 5 amp


note in the UK we earth on side of the tx on the secondary this is the neutral ) volts to earth and the phase is nominally 220 above this

Stuart

its 6mm not 7mm

and i think they are putting in 10mm for cooker curcuits these days

lighting is protectred by a 6 amp mcb

when you want to draw anymore than 13 amp ..you put a commando socket on a seperate dedicated mcb ...commando sockets come in 16 amp and 32 amp varieties.

all the best.markj

Blackadder
05-19-2012, 08:21 AM
just shows what 15 years out of work does for you :-)


Brain cell still on the 15 edition


Stuart

John Stevenson
05-19-2012, 08:43 AM
One thing not mentioned about the UK ring circuit operation with fused plugs is that you can have a 2 amp soldering iron alongside a max 13 amp appliance in a double socket and everything is protected to code.

Anything can be run off any socket, no need for different circuits rated at different amperages.

On my welders I fit a metal clad double socket on the front.

http://www.stevenson-engineers.co.uk/files/welder.jpg

Irrespective of what load this welder is wired into the grinders can only draw 5 amps as that is their fuse rating.
I like this setup as I hate trailing leads over a bench, for one it's hard to stack toolboxes at the rear of the bench and the leads just drag everything off the benches.


http://www.stevenson-engineers.co.uk/files/bench2.jpg

Hopefuldave
05-19-2012, 02:53 PM
As other UK posters have said, ring mains with 32A breakers, 6A for lighting circuits, 45A radials for cookers, showers etc. etc.

Part P of the UK Building Regulations now makes it difficult for the UK DIY electrician - officially almost anything other than replacing damaged cable or outlets like-for-like needs prior approval and sign-off from a member of a money-making scheme (basically, Joe Idiot does a basic electrical course and a one-day training on using the required test equipment, then pays a Large Fee to an approvals body).
Part P came in with a change in the fixed-cable core colours to brown and blue, so there's now a significant premium on "old stock" cable with red and black cores...

Replacing like-for-like *is* permitted though :)

I've "replaced like for like" to get a *safe* electrical system to suit my needs and, as far as I can tell, to the regulations...
The 17th Edition wiring regs aren't a lot different from earlier versions (except for bathrooms and the recommendation for RCBOs everywhere) so having it all wired in red and black must mean it met *earlier* regs before Part P, and there's no requirement to update - must have been like that when I moved in, eh? ;)

For the Shed of Danger supply I have a Henley block (25 sq.mm cables in from meter, 2 pairs of the same out) splitting to the household consumer unit (approx.= fuse panel) and an 80A rated double-pole magnetic breaker followed by 100A rated 100mA time-delay RCD (leakage trip) before hitting the buried armoured cable to the SoD - the 100mA RCD is for faults *on the buried cable*. This should give me a maximum load of 18KW (25HP) or so at the SoD, so plenty for machines!

At the SoD I have a further consumer unit with 100A main switch feeding a pair of 6A breakers for the two sheds' lighting circuits (*not* on the 30mA RCD protected side - don't want the lights going out on a spinning machine!), alongside a 100A rated 30mA RCD feeding 32A rings for the sheds, 20A radial for the lathe (commando socket at the end) and 32A radial for the welder (ditto) plus a 16A breaker for an armoured radial to the patio sockets (barbecue lights, stereo etc.!) - *so far* I've not tripped anything, and the electricity Co's "60A" incoming fuse has stood up to it all (including a pair of 10KW showers running while I was using the welder at full pelt - a *touch* more than 60A...)

I did find, when SWMBO insisted on the "patio extension", that the previous bodger ^B^B^B^B^B^B occupant had wired the (first) shed in ring-main cable all of 4" below garden lawn level, and teed it from the back of a ring-main socket... Hence the nice shiny new armoured cable buried 18" deep all the way down the garden! Once I started, I couldn't stop...

Dave H. (the other one)

John Stevenson
05-19-2012, 04:44 PM
The 17th Edition wiring regs aren't a lot different from earlier versions so having it all wired in red and black must mean it met *earlier* regs before Part P, and there's no requirement to update - must have been like that when I moved in, eh? ;)



Dave H. (the other one)

Yup,
Got to be earlier as it's all in red and black :rolleyes:

Workshop is the same, three phase in red, yellow and blue, everything pre-existing including the last machine fitted :D

Mike Burch
05-19-2012, 07:32 PM
I am curious, in N.Z. and Australia, do the service company deliver a Ground conductor, or is ground referenced locally, i.e. water supply, ground rod etc?
Max.

Max, in NZ (and I suspect Australia too) the ground is referenced locally. The pole transformer opposite my gate has a wire coming down the pole and going to earth. The neutral from the transformer is connected to that.
The shed where the feeder cable initially arrives has an earth spike (about 6 feet long) driven into the ground, and the main board earth is connected that and several feet of bare copper wire laid in the cable trench as well. There's also another earth spike on the other side of the shed, where the feed goes off to the house, and the main board earth of the house is connected to that. In theory it should actually be at the house, as close as possible to the board, but I live on an old lava flow, and the rocks defeated the spike.
So no, the line company does not deliver an earth as such, but the neutral (which does carry current, and which they do indeed deliver) is earthed at both ends.

MaxHeadRoom
05-19-2012, 08:54 PM
Max, in NZ (and I suspect Australia too) the ground is referenced locally. The pole transformer opposite my gate has a wire coming down the pole and going to earth. The neutral from the transformer is connected to that.
.

Interesting, The reason I asked is it used to be that way in the UK, even if the supply incorporated a ground conductor it could not be utilized but the ground resistance had to be confirmed by measuring conduction through the neutral back to the point it was grounded at the transformer through earth ground return to the users ground source.
It may be different there now.
In US and Canada the service company supply a ground as well as the neutral.
Max.

The Artful Bodger
05-19-2012, 10:31 PM
As far as I know the NZ (and Aus?) earth circuit is for protection only.

In the case of a phase to case short the fuse should blow immediately but in the case of a neutral to case short load current would flow through the earth circuit and the voltage of the case with respect to ground would rise according to the resistance of the earth circuit.

All exposed conductive materials in a house should be connected to the ground circuit, this includes conductive surfaces of electrical appliances and non electric articles too so that includes your steel topped workbench.

Thats how I understand it.

tumutbound
05-19-2012, 10:36 PM
I am curious, in N.Z. and Australia, do the service company deliver a Ground conductor, or is ground referenced locally, i.e. water supply, ground rod etc?
Max.
An earth connection is not provided by the electricity supplier, they just provide neutral and one or more phases.
The earth connection is a 12mm steel rod driven 1.2 metres into the ground somewhere near to the meter box.

J Tiers
05-20-2012, 01:41 AM
In US and Canada the service company supply a ground as well as the neutral.
Max.

Not in the US......

There is no P.E. (protective earthing) conductor on the power company side..... all there is is the neutral, which is grounded at every other pole, sometimes at every pole.

The neutral comes in and is again connected (bonded) to YOUR local ground rod/system.

From there onwards, a neutral (groundED conductor) and a P.E. (equipment groundING conductor) are separate, no current aside from fault current is allowed on the P.E. conductor.

Ed.
05-20-2012, 10:01 AM
Over here in Queensland (Australia) our house has 1.5mm wire for the lights and 2.5mm wire for power sockets, all the power sockets have 10 amps plugs and 10 amp circuit breakers, the house hot water heater is a 20amp and runs on 4mm as it's only about 4mt away from the circuit box. I think the main cables from the street were either 10mm or 16mm aluminium and a 60 amp main circuit breaker with a RCD connected. In Australia all new installations have to have a RCD (Residual Current Device) fitted to every main and sub-board which trips at 40mA-60mA, earth is via ground stakes.

When I built my garage/shed, I ran 2 x 10mm plus a 6mm earth cable from the main board to the sub-board in it, plus an extra earth stake, and 2.5mm to all the sockets and put 2 x 15amps plus 3 double 10 amps ones in as well on their own circuits, 1 year later I upgraded our house to 3 phase 430V (mainly for the garage/shed) and the power supply company changed the mainline to 3 x active and 1 neutral to the house pickup point. I ran 4 x 16mm plus a 10mm earth copper cable from the power pickup point of the house circuit box and also to the garage/shed sub-board, added 3 circuit lines of 10mm copper 3 phase inside it run my 3 phase equipment (ie; lathe and MIG). So now I don't have any problems about not having enough power to run something.

I live in a semi rural area on 2 acres, and in our steet about half the houses have 3 phase.

MaxHeadRoom
05-20-2012, 11:24 AM
Not in the US......

.

I will have to dig into the Canadian National code a bit deeper, I have an Engineer friend in the provincial Hydro I will have to seek more from.
I found a definitive PDF on US Grounding here http://www.solacity.com/Docs/Erico%20-%20Practical%20Guide%20To%20Electrical%20Grounding .pdf
Max.

lazlo
05-20-2012, 11:38 AM
The electrical systems of Canada and the US are identical with almost identical regulations. Domestic service ranges from 60 to 200 amps 220 split single phase power.

Almost all new construction in the US in the last 15 years has been 200A service @ 230V, which is a silly amount of overcapacity. Previous to that most houses seem to have been wired for 100A.

I'm guessing that's because the cost differential between 100A and 200A wiring and breaker box is negligible on new construction.

tylernt
05-20-2012, 02:09 PM
Almost all new construction in the US in the last 15 years has been 200A service @ 230V, which is a silly amount of overcapacity. Tankless electric water heaters can draw up to 150A @ 230V, depending on the model.

I agree with you, though. Other than that one example, I see no reason for that much power. Still, better too much than not enough -- makes it easier to add a 50A outlet for that big welder. ;)

tlfamm
05-20-2012, 05:14 PM
Almost all new construction in the US in the last 15 years has been 200A service @ 230V, which is a silly amount of overcapacity. Previous to that most houses seem to have been wired for 100A.

I'm guessing that's because the cost differential between 100A and 200A wiring and breaker box is negligible on new construction.

Early to mid twentieth century, cottage-style houses were frequently supplied with 60-amp service.


My electrical service (installed 30 years ago) is an oddity at 150-amps/230V. I didn't pick it, the electrician "decided" that's what I needed; in truth it has been perfectly adequate to my needs.

Mike Burch
05-20-2012, 07:44 PM
Almost all new construction in the US in the last 15 years has been 200A service @ 230V, which is a silly amount of overcapacity.


46 kilowatts for one house!!!

Roll on global warming...

lakeside53
05-20-2012, 08:32 PM
More... it's 240v in most of the USA, so 48kw peak per 200amp panel, or maybe 38.4kw continous.

Mine and most of my neigbors have 2x200 amp panels!:p

Electric furnace/heatpump, sauna, steam room, double oven, rangetop, clothes dryer..., 2hp septic pump and ... all the rest.

Heck, my heat pump furnace had 30KW of heaters (for startup, cold weather or emergency use). Now all gas, steam room gone, sauna disconnected and hey...

....one 200amp panel repurposed to machines.:D

J Tiers
05-20-2012, 09:14 PM
I will have to dig into the Canadian National code a bit deeper, I have an Engineer friend in the provincial Hydro I will have to seek more from.
I found a definitive PDF on US Grounding here
Max.

That is a very very complicated treatise, which apparently assumes you know something to begin with.

They jump right into techniques, maybe they do an overview somewhere, but I'd stay away from it for a "simple explanation".

The simple explanation (if I may be forgiven for repeating) is that power comes in to the house, typically on 3 wires, the 120V, neutral, and "other" 120V.

neutral gets connected (bonded) to the breaker box, along with the "ground" (earth) connection, which requires at least one ground rod, but may also include the water pipes if they are conductive.

From there, the ground (protective earth) and hot and neutral go out on a radial system. For 240V, the two 120V plus neutral and P.E. are typically run together.

Neutral and P.E. must not be connected anywhere but at the box.

This system is intended to ensure, along with the use of the pole neutral for BOTH the low voltage and high voltage neutral, that transformer faults will not apply the 4160V line to your house..... and that all the electric service will be referenced to your local actual earth.

Transformer faults will go to the neutral/pole earth, and blow the supply fuse, generally with minimal added damage. I've seen it happen. A house down the street got a "line cross" where a falling tree connected the 4160 line directly to the house 120V. The supply fuse blew, despite the fact that this was a major feeder, and while the house electric system was damaged, there was no fire.

MaxHeadRoom
05-20-2012, 09:21 PM
That is a very very complicated treatise, which apparently assumes you know something to begin with.

They jump right into techniques, maybe they do an overview somewhere, but I'd stay away from it for a "simple explanation".

The simple explanation (if I may be forgiven for repeating) is that power comes in to the house, typically on 3 wires, the 120V, neutral, and "other" 120V.



I am not really looking for a "simple explanation" I have been involved in the Electrical/Electronic industry in some capacity or another for over 50yrs and at one point was involved in ground resistance testing.
I am just curious as to the different techniques used by different countries and municipalities and how it has evolved over the years.
Max.

Mike Burch
05-22-2012, 07:09 AM
More... it's 240v in most of the USA, so 48kw peak per 200amp panel, or maybe 38.4kw continous.

Mine and most of my neigbors have 2x200 amp panels!:p

Electric furnace/heatpump, sauna, steam room, double oven, rangetop, clothes dryer..., 2hp septic pump and ... all the rest.

Heck, my heat pump furnace had 30KW of heaters (for startup, cold weather or emergency use). Now all gas, steam room gone, sauna disconnected and hey...

....one 200amp panel repurposed to machines.:D
If it's not a rude question, what do you pay per Kilowatt-hour?
(If it IS a rude question, please ignore it.)
From memory, we are paying around NZ30 cents, which at current (no pun intended!) exchange rates is about US24 cents. There are daily line charges as well.
One would have to have a pretty serious income to heat a house electrically in the colder parts of this country. Fortunately, I'm at the sub-tropical north end of the nation, in a house with a brilliant thermal performance, and a heat pump for really cold mornings.

oldtiffie
05-22-2012, 07:43 AM
Our exchange rate in Australia is pretty well at parity with the $US.

Electricity chages where I live in the south-east of Australia are:

Peak: 22 cents per KWH

Off peak: 13.09 cents per KWH.

Service to property charge: 93.5 cents per day.

Latest 4-monhly account (end of Summer): $463 (120 days) = $3.85 per day

My most recent account for gas over Autumn ("fall" in the USA) was $263 over 2 months = $4.72 per day.

Our combined enegy bill was about $7.80 per day and we are careful (sort of) and certainly not frugal with energy (or water either).

I certainly would not like the energy bills I am reading about here in some parts of the USA, Canada, UK and Europe.

J Tiers
05-22-2012, 09:21 AM
Seems expensive..... we are around 8.X cents per kWh. I'd surely hate the "punishment rates" of up to 40 cents per kWh charged in some places.

The old old story...... get everyone converted over to something (electric in this case) and then jack the rates up sky high.... carry money to bank while whistling happy music.

And "they" are STILL making everything depend on electricity... even a gas stove..... No electric? No fire under the pots.....despite the fact that the stove really only needs gas to operate. Many cannot even be lighted by a match, electric is required to operate the valve.

oldtiffie
05-22-2012, 09:55 AM
I'd sure hate to have the bills for some who have big heating, cooling, de-humidifying in the house let alone the big shops with big machines - some with a lot of crammed-in machines that are not used but the spaces still needs to be conditioned and the heating and cooling of the machines must be pretty steep too.

I sure would not like to be some who having settled in need to move house and perhaps start all over with large capital works for new shops etc.

Evan
05-22-2012, 02:37 PM
I have my electric bill down to a new low even with all the recent rate increases. My last bill was $105 over 62 days.


I will have to dig into the Canadian National code a bit deeper,...

Check for inconsistencies. In the old version I have the code will allow a 250 foot run of 14-2 wire on a 15 amp 117 volt circuit. The resulting drop at maximum 12.5 amps is about 10%. Elsewhere in the code the maximum permitted drop at full load on a branch circuit is stated at only 5%.

One difference between the Canadian code and the US national Code is that the ground conductor on machine cases such as welders must have a star washer on the bolt that clamps the ground lead to the case. The star washer must be between the ground lug and the case with a plain washer above the lug. Last I checked the US code doesn't require that. A plain washer will do.

lakeside53
05-22-2012, 02:46 PM
22c kw/hr? Yike's that like living in California.:D

We're about 9c, no peak or off peak. My total energy bills (gas+elec) are less than Tiffies, and I'm 48N. Burning wood in the winter of course helps, and we are in an area that doesn't need air conditioning... ever.

lakeside53
05-22-2012, 02:48 PM
One difference between the Canadian code and the US national Code is that the ground conductor on machine cases such as welders must have a star washer on the bolt that clamps the ground lead to the case. The star washer must be between the ground lug and the case with a plain washer above the lug. Last I checked the US code doesn't require that. A plain washer will do.


Is that NEC, or a difference between CSA and UL listings?

dian
05-22-2012, 05:04 PM
16 cents and 9 cents respectively. slow 16 amp breakers and 40 amp mains over here.

J Tiers
05-22-2012, 10:25 PM
Is that NEC, or a difference between CSA and UL listings?

I don't know all the UL standards, but the ones I DO know have required that wiring terminals be secured against turning by "means other than friction", which often is accompanied by a statement allowing a star washer, as well as the more standard raised lugs, double screws, etc.

There is also generally a requirement for the area on the chassis to be free of paint, and treated to prevent corrosion.

In general, the NEC does NOT get "inside" equipment, instead requiring the equipment to be "identified for the use", "listed", etc, meaning that it carries a UL, ETL, or CUL mark. That mark indicates the suitability of the equipment.

BobL
05-22-2012, 11:14 PM
22c kw/hr? Yike's that like living in California.:D

We're about 9c, no peak or off peak. My total energy bills (gas+elec) are less than Tiffies, and I'm 48N. Burning wood in the winter of course helps, and we are in an area that doesn't need air conditioning... ever.

We're paying 22c a kwhr plus a $12 a month supply charge in a place where there is so much natural gas they cannot sell it and after removing the condensate the gas is pumped back underground because they don't know where to store it. Our energy bills are around $300 a month in summer (we're running 2 -3 airconditioning units, one runs almost continuously) and $200 in winter (last winter we did not turn on any heaters).

lakeside53
05-22-2012, 11:51 PM
No sympathy - it's the price you pay for living in paradise:D

Mike Burch
05-23-2012, 02:03 AM
No sympathy - it's the price you pay for living in paradise:D
Yep!
And my lovely neighbours, who spend our winter/your summer back home in Colorado, would heartily agree with you.

BobL
05-23-2012, 02:59 AM
No sympathy - it's the price you pay for living in paradise:D

I wish - it's more like the price we pay for living under the +/- of a mining boom. All the costs here are driven by the nose of this boom. When Cleaners can earn $100,000 working on minesites this will and does drive up prices. One of my brothers is a mining engineer and does quotes for minesites. They are so short of manpower that they started doubling and tripling their quotes and they were still winning the tenders. This then meant poaching staff from other companies at ridiculous salaries. Everything costs a small fortune. Try finding a plumber or an electrician let alone then shelling out the small fortune to get something fixed. Luckily I can do most things myself. Yesterday I heard it's all starting to peak - the reason they are saying this is because major international litigation firms are moving into the state - apparently to pick over the carcasses of the certain to come bankruptcies.

lakeside53
05-23-2012, 01:09 PM
Damn, now the myth is shattered I have to tear up all those pretty pictures I have of Western Austrailia.

Perth is on my bucket list... one day :)

Evan
05-23-2012, 03:10 PM
I just read an oil story that the Australians are busy head hunting in the Canadian oil patch. It's an international business and if you have the skills you can work anywhere. My BIL spent years working all over the world in the gas business. He currently works in Alberta but I suspect he has offers.

camdigger
05-24-2012, 03:18 AM
I've worked on 4 continents so far, and I spent 2 decades avoiding international work for family reasons. I regularly get notices of openings from Austrailia, England (North sea), FSU (former Soviet Union including Kazahkstan, Romania and others),Indonesia, UAE, Continental Africa (various), and the US. The latest request for a resume was for a drilling manager position with a multinational company in Malaysia. Am presently almost a year into a 2 year minimum international contract.

Canadian expertise is in demand the world over. Working elsewhere in the world is often like stepping back in time compared to the Canuck oilpatch, sometimes 4 or more decades. At the moment, I am overseas, one nephew is in texas, another nephew back from 2 decades over seas in Venezuela and Africa, I had a cousin that was going to Austrailia at one time, and I have class mates from highschool and university scattered around the globe. All of us started off in the Canadian energy industry. At one time (two years ago) a Canadian company (Ensign Drilling) was building a rig (of Canadian design) a month for the American market. Before they sold their international operations to Weatherford, Precision Drilling sent 6 or 8 slant rigs (a uniquely Canadian innovation) to Venezuela. Even here, our company and others around us are sourcing components and equipment (like coil tubing units) from Canada. It is difficult to go anywhere in the drilling industry and not meet a Canadian.