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Quit Screwing Me

Any electricians here?

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I would not use it. The extension cord has to be on a different circuit. The extension cord has to be able to hand the load (amperage) of the circuit before it melts. The receptacle that this convertor plug in to has to be only 15 amps. The convertor uses 8 watts just to be plugged in. I would suggest to get a 240 volt rec added if that's what is needed. If one breaker trips the other half of convertor is still powered on do not like that. Electrician for over 15 years.

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It's generally safe. There could be a shock hazard in abnormal operation, such as having one of the plugs unplugged or one of the circuit breakers in the house box tripped.

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Ohms law.

 

Wiring is generally rated by amperage as to how much electricity it can safely carry without overheating. Its sorta like a garden hose... amperage refers to the amount of water flowing thru the hose, voltage refers to the pressure of the water, and wattage refers to the amount of work the water can do when exiting said hose. The difference is that water when pumped thru a hose generally does not create enough friction to melt said hose if you pump too much of it thru at one time. Electricity on the other hand will depending on the resistance of the material its passing thru.

 

Basically what it boils down to, is that the higher the voltage the less amperage you have to pass thru a wire to do the same amount of work... just like a pressure washer. This is why your big appliances like water heaters and air conditioners run off 240v... they can use wire rated at half the equivalent of that required for a 120v circuit because only half the amperage is flowing thru the wires.

 

If an appliance pulls 15 amps on a 120v line, then its going to put out a maximum of around 6 amps on the output (factoring in some losses from the inverter). 120v x 15a = 1800W maximum safe on a standard household circuit (assuming nothing else is plugged into said circuit). However, the actual amount of current you can draw off any particular circuit is dependant on three main factors... your circuit breaker rating, wire gauge, outlet amperage rating, and duty cycle. If, your wire is of sufficient gauge and you use a 20A recepticle, then you could in theory pull 2400w even though you had 8 gauge wire rated at 30A and a matching 30A breaker.

 

Edited to add: Just noticed it uses two 120v plugs. As long as you plug it into two seperate circuits it should be safe to operate the inverter at its rated maximums. In fact, if you had two 120v circuits, one going to each leg coming into your breaker box (there are three two hots and a neutral going to your transformer, then actually all you would need for 240V operation is to rig you up a project box where you have two 120v hot wires connected to either side of an outlet in said box and presto, instant 240V outlet for less than $20.

Edited by dixiedrifter

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A lot of what was said is over my head, lol.

 

Here's the same product, different website....probably has better details. http://www.eaglesystem.biz/quick220.html

 

So Dixie, if I'm understanding correctly, I shouldn't use both 120 plugs in the same outlet....they should not only be on separate outlets but also separate circuits? This seems to match the photo in the above link where they showed heavy duty extension cords running from one plug each from two separate outlets.

 

It goes on to talk about the safety features and how if one outlet loses power, the whole thing shuts down.

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A lot of what was said is over my head, lol.

 

Here's the same product, different website....probably has better details. http://www.eaglesystem.biz/quick220.html

 

So Dixie, if I'm understanding correctly, I shouldn't use both 120 plugs in the same outlet....they should not only be on separate outlets but also separate circuits? This seems to match the photo in the above link where they showed heavy duty extension cords running from one plug each from two separate outlets.

 

It goes on to talk about the safety features and how if one outlet loses power, the whole thing shuts down.

 

Seperate circuits is a definate must. If you tried to plug both plugs into the same outlet and pulled too heavy a load your circuit breaker would in theory trip, but generally its considered "bad form" to rely on a circuit breaker for over current protection.

 

But like I said before, you have two 120v legs running into your house, each one is 120v. If you hook both hot legs up to the same outlet, one leg to the hot side of your outlet and one leg to your neutral, you will have a 240v outlet.

 

In the case of the device, if one outlet fails, then of course it is going to shut down as the circuit would become open, or in the case it uses a switch mode inverter(which is different than a big clonkity huge linear transformer) then it should shut itself down but hard to say exactly how it does it without looking inside it.

 

Edited to add: it appears to be of the type where you have to hunt down and find two seperate outlets that are "out of phase" which would indicate it is simply a box that lets you take two "legs" and tie them together to get your 240v with a bunch of additional salamander proofing circuity so you don't kill yourself in the process.

Edited by dixiedrifter

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