Voltage Differences

Have you ever looked at the cord or label on an appliance or device and instantly been confused by the electrical specifications listed? For example, some people quote 120-volt as the standard power in their homes, while others refer to it as 110-volt. Then on occasion, you see 115-volt listed, and it becomes even more complex and confusing. It can make you wonder what is really coursing through the electrical wiring in your home and what is the correct terminology to use. Fortunately, if you call the experts at Lumberjack Electric at 612-236-9052 with a question or concern about your Hastings or Rochester home, they will understand no matter voltage you mention. That is because they are actually all the same.

Does The Math Really Add Up?

Being within a range of ten numbers was never good enough to be called correct in school. However, in the case of the electrical wiring in your home, the range of 110-volt to 120-volt is all the same and considered valid. In fact, you might use a voltmeter to check power in one location, and it will read 120-volts, while the same meter used in another area of your home will read 110-volts. The variation is caused by the length of the electrical wire that is creating resistance. As a result, a tiny amount of power is lost as the electricity travels along the wiring to various parts of your home.

Another Way To Think Of Resistance

We all know that water and electricity never mix well. However, water can help create a clearer mental image of the resistance created by electrical wires. For example, when you are running water through a garden hose, the water comes blasting out of a hose that is only ten or fifteen feet long. Think of that short hose as the electrical outlet near your electrical panel with no voltage loss.

When you add another roughly 90 feet of garden hose to reach the far corner of the yard, the water is no longer gushing, but it is still flowing dependably. That is what you would find when you take the voltmeter clear out to the outlet in the garage that is much further away from the electrical panel. A small amount of the electrical voltage was lost as the electricity traveled the greater distance, much like the lost water pressure.

Can This Logic Double?

In the United States, we have 220-volt, 230-volt, and 240-volt electricity listings. These are required in all new home constructions. The configuration is two legs of 120-volt electricity in the same cable. This larger power supply is often used for a water heater, air conditioner, furnace, or other high-demand appliance. As you might have deduced, each leg of the 120-volt electricity is losing a bit of voltage as it travels throughout your home. So, in essence, the math is doubled, accounting for electrical wiring resistance increase.

If you have further concerns about the electrical requirements for a specific item or the electrical supply in your home, call 612-236-9052 to speak to the licensed electricians at Lumberjack Electric.

Lumberjack Electric

5720 International Parkway
New Hope, MN 55428