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Re: OT: Computer's electrical outlet

On Thu, 15 Nov 2007, Mikkel L. Ellertson wrote:

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.)

The breakers in my old house were glass screw-in fuses.

Not the worse case at that house...

[Digression warning]

I had all sorts of problems with light bulbs flickering and burning out, as well as other electrical problems. After lots of ranting I got the landlord to bring in an electrician.

He found that one of the 220 breakers was blown, so he replaced the fuse and threw the switch.

There was a flash across the room and the breaker popped immediatly.

He followed the 220 line from the breaker and found it clamped to a pipe.

A gas pipe.

When they replaced the electric stove with gas, instead of capping the electric line, they just attached it to a nearby pipe. (Which happened to be the gas pipe.)

My landlord did not say much the rest of the day and I know we didn't have any gas leaks.

Truth is stranger than fiction because fiction has to make sense.

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