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The US electrical system is not 120V technology connections

by myyachtguardian123



It’s more than 120V. It’s even more than the other 120V! It is the sum of the two (and sometimes a different two!) that makes us who we are. Learn about the US electrical system in this not-at-all snarky video!

Would you care for some links?

Firstly are foremostly, here’s that video about fans I referenced;

And other assorted goodies!
Technology Connextras (the second channel that stuff goes on sometimes):

Technology Connections on Twitter:

The TC Subreddit

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49 comments

Technology Connections 17/09/2021 - 8:32 Sáng

One of these days I'll tidy up that wire…
A minor note; the thing about 208 being 86.7% isn't right for simple resistive loads like heating elements. You'll actually only get 75% the heat on 208! Power (watts) goes up with the square of the voltage. But, if something is designed specifically for 208, you can pull up to 86.7% what you could on 240 with the same amperage.

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syi tiger907 17/09/2021 - 8:32 Sáng

Got hit by 277 that sucked

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Allan Patterson 17/09/2021 - 8:32 Sáng

It is 60 cycle and for residential use it is 240vac split by the neutral line into 2 Hots of 120vac.
Commercial service can be 3 phase of 208vac or pretty much anything else they need. I like 550vac you just have to treat it with respect .

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Lucas Biermann 17/09/2021 - 8:32 Sáng

21:52 yes they are consuming. even lights consume some energy when they are turned off. its about some cents per month for each thing connected to the sockets but it does consume and it can add up to dozens of dollars every year.

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Mark Grassl 17/09/2021 - 8:32 Sáng

Yea, in Europe we have three phases with 400V phase-to-phase. And everyone knows; more Volts, more better!!

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Jorge Ferreira 17/09/2021 - 8:32 Sáng

Hi
Not all Europe is made of "Britts". In fact, only a minor part is.
In other countries we have the power socket switches upper in the wall, frequently grouped with the ceiling light switches near the door.
So when we leave the living room, we can cut power to all those "standby" electronics and the standing lamps behind the couch all in the same place. Without bending our backs.
BTW: Nice videos. Being an EE, I do remember a few things and learn some other, like this split phase thing in American power distribution. Let me clarify, E like in "electronics", so not specialized in power production and distribution.

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LeLyfa 17/09/2021 - 8:32 Sáng

You have 240 V max over there, but not 380 V as we have in a 3 phase system 🙂

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Seb Arblaster 17/09/2021 - 8:32 Sáng

Natrual gas?

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Bruce Joseph 17/09/2021 - 8:32 Sáng

I'm in the UK, Our plugs are bulky and often hard to even push in or pull out of our outlet sockets. ! I always wondered what the advantages/disadvantages of 120 v's 240 volts, your excellent video explains it all very well, I think! I got a little lost on two phase and more so on thres phase which I believe the French use. Thanks for a very interesting video!

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ottopuppy 17/09/2021 - 8:32 Sáng

After seeing your panel, I need a 200 amp service and a bigger elect. panel 🙂

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jobi schober 17/09/2021 - 8:32 Sáng

wtf why do you have no RCD

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phxgen 17/09/2021 - 8:32 Sáng

Haven't watched through the video yet but I mean, like, DUH????

Oh wait lol, I've been an electrical contractor in USA on&off for 20 years. Maybe that's analogous (but not equal to) Stephen Hawking saying "WELL, DUH" about black holes & Hawking radiation or something.

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Tommy Allen 17/09/2021 - 8:32 Sáng

Uh… center tapped transformers

The center wire is given for the convenience of the consumer nothing else

So that the consumer can use the transformer for the rated output voltage as well as half of output voltage or for op-amp projects/media/audio projects

The latter is hollyweird plug

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uTube486 17/09/2021 - 8:32 Sáng

Not split phase!

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Da Michl 17/09/2021 - 8:32 Sáng

I love this video 😍

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Da Michl 17/09/2021 - 8:32 Sáng

The sockets and 120v are still terrible

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Luca L 17/09/2021 - 8:32 Sáng

V=I*R is wrong (at least conventionally). V(olt) is the unit of the Voltage while U is the representative quantity in a formula, so the Units are V=A*Ω (Volt=Ampere*Ohm) and the formula is U=I*R or most commonly written as U=R*I.

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theseriousstuff 17/09/2021 - 8:32 Sáng

6:36 thats exactly what im thinking here in germany 😀

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Alan 17/09/2021 - 8:32 Sáng

You are an entertaining presenter .
Prior to 1992 in the UK plugs were not fitted to all electrical items from new . If you had a new electrical appliance in the UK you would fit the plug yourself … Now where does that brow wire go (Brown is live , before 2006 it was red)

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Jeffrey Cole 17/09/2021 - 8:32 Sáng

Why all the snarky comments?? Nothing weird about any of it.

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Mark Day 17/09/2021 - 8:32 Sáng

It has always confused me why wire gauge affects current carrying capacity, but not voltage or power. I would expect it to be related primarily to power.

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Andrew Feldmann 17/09/2021 - 8:32 Sáng

18:28 , Stop being pedantic, really… you… allright whatever.

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20th century Avery studios LLC. 17/09/2021 - 8:32 Sáng

technically, it is 120v. its just that certain electrical systems use 220 volts or 240 volt, or 277 volts

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KristapsJJ 17/09/2021 - 8:32 Sáng

380V is where it is at
Not fun, -3/10 would not recommend getting shocked.
220V is not as bad, yeah sure it tickles a lot and then it hurts a lot.

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Steve Lamperta 17/09/2021 - 8:32 Sáng

I don't understand why you think it's weird ! I don't think it's weird at all . Actually it seems perfectly normal !

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Robert Stoneking 17/09/2021 - 8:32 Sáng

I learned the standard long ago as 115V +/- 5%

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Corsel 17/09/2021 - 8:32 Sáng

Yes that was the sound of 60Hz for those of us that have 50Hz.

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TwoBussard 17/09/2021 - 8:32 Sáng

Me in Germany with 230V/400V
😟😟😟 visible confusion

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Craig Dendy 17/09/2021 - 8:32 Sáng

In Europe the voltage is higher which means they have a higher potential for something to go wrong and that's why they need as much safety equipment on their electrical systems, that and they are extremely clumsy. This is why they can use dainty little connectors like wagos. They use higher voltage and lower amperage. I would rather have the lower voltage which means lower potential for electrical problems.

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Martin Sjöholm 17/09/2021 - 8:32 Sáng

Terrific video!!

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Hiren Patel 17/09/2021 - 8:32 Sáng

You are so wrong. If you say US has 240V which is phase to phase then UK phase to phase is 415V.

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Czechmate! 17/09/2021 - 8:32 Sáng

The typical voltage that are residential 120 / 240 . there are other voltages also in USA as follows 120/208 ,277/480, 4160/7200 /14400,, and others all at 60 hz . 1 & 3 phase.

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UnDeath 17/09/2021 - 8:32 Sáng

i still dont get you americans panels… only single phase 240v.. metal box and no touch savety on the connections.. i rater have my 3 phase 240.. hope the usa switches someday and gets rid of 120v xd

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theshauny 17/09/2021 - 8:32 Sáng

Aussies use split phase transforms sometimes, but our ground/centre tap and one end produce 240 if you go across both outsides you get 480v (we also have 3 phase at 415v and if you Centre tap that to one phase you get 240)

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Austin knox 17/09/2021 - 8:32 Sáng

I work in hvac and I can say 240 is worse than 120 by a long shot

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My Mobile 17/09/2021 - 8:32 Sáng

Ummm…can you just go over all that again please….

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Thomas Cocchiola 17/09/2021 - 8:32 Sáng

The high voltage 3 phase is also know as a high leg.

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scotter140 17/09/2021 - 8:32 Sáng

My goodness. Never have I ever learned so many useful thing is such a short amount of time

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i.rodriguez 17/09/2021 - 8:32 Sáng

Not all electrical panels have the main breaker in it. A lot of times the main breaker is located close to the electric meter outside, so that the electric company can access it.

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Alex Sunshine 17/09/2021 - 8:32 Sáng

Great stuff, well explained. I am in the UK, and I've heard of America (having 240 split down but still accessible when needed).
I never really thought about having switches on the sockets being a UK only thing.
Sometimes people unplug stuff and leave the socket switched on!!! Now that annoys some!

On the other hand what can bug is when you plug something in and it doesn't work, only to realise that you forgot to switch on the wall socket!

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Chetar Ruby 17/09/2021 - 8:32 Sáng

But tumbly!

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Yisrael S 17/09/2021 - 8:32 Sáng

Safety is not the original reason for the US 120/240 system it originated at the beginning of the electric system in the US. 240 V was supplied to supply electric motors. 120 was better for early light bulbs. At the time, early insulation was not as good at today so 120v on a line was the max conveniently possible. Europe built out most of their electric system later and better insulation was available. Lots of information on these split systems in early electric engineering books.

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Aaron g 17/09/2021 - 8:32 Sáng

it would be extremely simple to convert to a new plug type

just put in a gradual shift mandate that changes the plug on new construction

year 1 bathrooms
year 7 kitchens
year 15 bedroom
year 20 whole house

and with plugs beinf so easy to change 20 years is very tolerable

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Jeff M 17/09/2021 - 8:32 Sáng

Now try to explain to the laymen how in most cases very little current flows back down the neutral.

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DasBauer 17/09/2021 - 8:32 Sáng

13:02 natrual gas sounds natty

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Rickard 17/09/2021 - 8:32 Sáng

Dont mind the split phase system you guys use. You should brag about the fact you got up to 480 volt 3 phase while europe has 400v "only" 😛

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Worthless 17/09/2021 - 8:32 Sáng

WOW!…. In other news everybody already knows about….

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Greg in Toronto 17/09/2021 - 8:32 Sáng

you make my mind spin. I'm going to try an experiment..not at home…at work in case it causes damage…let the boss deal with repairs if any. wires; black load, white neutral, green ground.
i want to see if i can make my desk lamp work hooking up the black load and the green ground as the neutral. im thinking it should work but at the same time I'm going to at least trip if not fry the breaker switch ain't I? that will be my boss' problem/cost not mine.
Last trick i saw on youtube claimed that you actually hard boil eggs in the microwave if you poke a hole with a pin at the top and the bottom. Well we got a brand new fancier microwave at work, all thanks to youtube, my curiosity, and my boss' wallet needing to replace the old one. I follow the warning of "don't try this at home" so I did not, work is not home.

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FluffKitten 17/09/2021 - 8:32 Sáng

In norway its 230, and 400V. Two different voltages. One with N, one without (230V has 230V phae-phase and no neutral. Triangle transformator (TN system). And the 400V is like amarican, but mo POWAA. It is 400V phase to phase. However, it has an N, and the phase-neutral voltage is 230/240V. And we to have a range. It is generally allowed to have 230V ±10%. But why not just have 120V out on the secondary anyways?

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