OT: Computer's electrical outlet

Mikkel L. Ellertson mikkel at infinity-ltd.com
Thu Nov 15 18:49:35 UTC 2007

alan wrote:
> The one piece of kitchen equiptment that has caused me the most problems
> is a toaster.  I used to blow fuses at my old house all the time and 95%
> of the time it was the toaster that pushed it over the edge.
> With that high of a load, I wonder if the breakers work at all.
Toasters tend to be a high-draw appliance, but they do not produce
the startup spike that a microwave or a motor produces. Now, when it
comes to breakers, there are many different types. The most common
types in the U.S. are the thermal over-current and the magnetic
short-circuit types. The better types, like the Square-D QO line
have both in one package. The magnetic trip is great for protecting
against short-circuits, but do not do well against overloads. The
thermal trip types are great against over-current, but are very slow
to react to a short-circuit. One of the worst examples of this were
the old FPE breakers. You could vaporize anywhere between 1/4" to
1/2" of screwdriver before one would trip. On the other hand, the
did offer fair overload protection. (I can remember a 60 amp QO
breaker feeding a temporary panel trip before a 20 amp FPE breaker
that was the only load, when someone dropped a beam on a cord
plugged into the outlet. I was surprised that the breaker tripped
before the cord burned clear of the beam.)


  Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons,
for thou art crunchy and taste good with Ketchup!

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