Who's rewired their house for this hobby?

Chuck Guzis cclist at sydex.com
Sun Nov 23 12:35:37 CST 2014

On 11/23/2014 07:24 AM, Holm Tiffe wrote:

> Can't see any advantage of the american system to the german, sorry.
> Frome here it looks pretty outdated.

Well, that's what evolution sometimes gets you.    The US 3-wire 
residential distribution system dates from Edison's 1882 DC system 
(+100,0,-100).   One of Edison's original carbon-filament lamps will 
screw into any modern residential lamp socket.  There are homes in the 
US still using knob-and-tube wiring, as well as Edison-base fuses in the 
distribution box.  Originally, residential distribution was intended for 
lighting only, so AC versus DC was not an important concern for the 
average homeowner.  100V (plus a certain amount for line drop) was 
selected because it was felt not to be a significant electrocution hazard.

Although the NEC dates back to 1897, it never has been the sole 
governing standard in the USA.  For example, in the city were I was 
raised, non-metallic-sheathed cable was illegal; Rigid conduit was the 
rule.  Kept the very strong IBEW in control, it did.

When I worked in a steel mill, the distribution panel in our small 4-man 
shop looked like 460V, 230V, 115V 60Hz AC, 440V, 110V, 220V 25Hz AC and 
250V DC, all with accompanying transformers.  Larger shops included 
3-phase distribution of both 25Hz and 60Hz.

The point is, that the US has adopted a course of compatibility with 
older standards, rather than a revolutionary course.

I understand that parts of Europe were also slow to abandon DC 
residential lighting.


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