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 Tinfoil hats please: A woman asking a man a ???

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Eliza_Doolittle
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 5:18 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Putting on my tinfoil hat here - cause I know this question will sound stupid to some - but I've learned to ask and feel stupid (or let it be confirmed that I am) than to not ask and f*** things up.

Is it ok to plug my microwave into the same outlet as my fridge? Or would that be too much electricity being pulled out of one outlet at once when the microwave is turned on?

Sometimes I think it would be ok to have a man around here! Other times I look at my friends and am thankful I don't - LOL

So you guys are the closest I have to having a man to help me out. HA!

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 5:26 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Mine are, and my house hasn't blown up or anything yet.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 5:40 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Like Panty Claus above Laughing mine are also on the same outlet. The main issue IMO is what kind of electrical service do you have? I have 240 amp service and havn't had any problems. I would think that maybe the old 60 amp service would struggle with that much electric draw on the same breaker. I am at a loss about 120 amp . . . prob ok.

I will check tomorrow night with my buddy who does HVAC install if you dont have a better answer by then.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 6:38 am Reply with quoteBack to top

justicebdone wrote:
240 amp


Shocked Shocked

I think you mean volts, yes?

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 6:41 am Reply with quoteBack to top

My gut says that this is a bad idea, and knowing the Eater we will have a Master Electrician wandering by soon to set us all straight.

I checked my kitchen (In a 4 year old house) and all of my major appliances in the kitchen (frig, dishwasher and over stove microwave) are on dedicated 20A circuits. In addition to 2 other 20A GFI protected circuits for the counter tops.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 7:44 am Reply with quoteBack to top

1500W Microwave will draw about 12.5 amps.
The average refer will draw about 10 amps.
So unless the circuit they are plugged into is 30 amps, the answer is no.
Ohms law: Watts=VoltsxAmps or Amps=Watts/Volts
There, did that confuse everyone? Laughing

I am not a Master Electrician, nor do I profess to even be an electrician. I do know not to pee on the electric fence though.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 10:30 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Chase N. DeMonet wrote:
The average refer will draw about 10 amps.


That's a bit much, I believe.
An average fridge consumes a few 100 Watts (and this only when compressor is running), so for NA the max current will only be a few Amperes.

Good practice is to have separately fused lines for each large kitchen equipment, especially the ones that draw a hight current, like ovens, cooking plates, dish washers. There may be regulations depending on where you live that enforce separate power lines.

If there is no other possibility, just do it. In the unlikely case the fuses won't hold all you'll end up with is having to reset the fuse. I guess if the fuse can hold with the microwave, it will hold too with the extra load for the fridge.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 11:55 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Your problem is you are wearing a tinfoil hat near a microwave.

--J.D.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 12:30 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I'm not so sure. Best to carry out this simple SAFETY TEST first.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 1:19 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Everything in my kitchen IE toaster mic. fridge,coffee pot chest freezer. is all on the same 20 amp circit and no probs. what makes the diffrence is how many is running at the same time. if i turn everything on including the electic dog polisher. its going to trip the breaker. but i never have that much on at one time.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 1:32 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I don't think it is that big of a deal honestly. Odds are, most (if not all) of your outlets in the kitchen are on the same circuit. So, plugging them into different outlets won't really do all that much, as far as I can see. If you keep tripping the breaker, then try moving them to a different circuit. Just don't run your dishwasher, toaster, microwave and everything all at once.

I am an electrical engineer, but I do high voltage stuff. So, an electrician would be much better suited to answer thise question than I am.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 2:03 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

wokabo said it best, I believe, Eliza. I was a minor electrician once, till I changed jobs, so follow wokabo's advice. take off your tin hat, Eliza, especially before you push in the plug! Very Happy

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 3:28 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Having a brother and a brother-in-law, who are both electricians, i manage to get some advice in simple language.

In the UK, normally each appliance is protected by a 3 amp cartridge fuse in the plug.

On the main fuse board or miniature circuit board (mcb), (also called the consumer unit, by electrians), there is a large red switch, the electricity flow, (akin to a waterfall, in electrical terms,) comes through this to the first mcb, which is for 30 ampes and feeds the cooker, the next 30 amp could be for an electric shower, the third, second if no shower, then it feeds the electrical sockets, followed by lower rated lighting circuits.

In theory, if you have 10 sockets on the ring main, then with each appliance having a 3 amp fuse rating, then you should be able to have 10 appliances plugged in.

Need to check the consumer unit, for the fuse ratings, from the switch and second count how many sockets you have, might be lucky and find that there is a extra socket on the electric cooker circuit.

Check the instructions for each appliance, it should tell you what fuse should protect it, in the plug, etc.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 3:50 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Remember, we have twice the current they have across the pond... you guys run 230 VAC, we run 115 VAC over here.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 4:16 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

^^ what a relieve at least you measure tension in Volts too, and not some other exotic units like the ones you guys use for distances and temperatures





(ps: note to myself: must find a way to get rid of that avatar Xmas hat - I just went through the yearly process of reformatting my hard drive/reinstalling XP, and the backup files are on some file server at work)

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 4:18 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

You want strange units? Wires are measured in American Wire Gauge. Its a completely weird useless unit. AWG? WTF? It was also measured in circular mils for a while and the powers to be got together, decided a few years ago that that did not make any sense so they moved over to the kcmil. That's the kilo circular mil. It almost sounds metric but its not.
JJB could pass a Master Electrician's licensing test if he has not already. Listen to him ED. Is this in an apartment ED? If that's the case, everything is on one 20 ampere circuit and it does not matter what duplex receptacle you plug it it. The latest National Electrical Codes require specialized separate circuits in the kitchen but I bet your unit is grandfathered in. It does not affect you but all new electrical services are 100, 200 or 400 amperes.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 5:34 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Somebody better grab their toolbag, and head on over to Eliza's house today. She has to get that party stuff all cooked up for tonight. hehehe
I'd go, but it's a bit too far for me...

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 6:29 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Well, I live in an apartment in a private house. It was built in the 1920s - and the wires were just redone 2 years ago. I used to not be able to plug in a hair dryer in the bathroom if my roommate had the microwave going in the kitchen.

Now I can. But I also freak out because the light in the hall - you turn the light switch on - and count to 5 - - it may start coming on then. I kind of feel like the cheap labor hired didn't do a great job - so I'm always cautious. One of my outlets that I REALLY NEED no longer works after those guys got finished with the apartment. They did a botched up job on a lot of things - including the protective stuff that goes around my heating system in each room - the metal covering keeps falling off.

Oh well - I don't have to live here much longer!!

I'm scared to plug them in together - I had a few people around here to tell me they'd probably pass - because there is only ONE exit in my apartment - in case of a fire - and if we were in bed asleep - we'd have to go right by the fridge/microwave to get out.

Thanks for all the advice here! The only thing i really am sure about when it comes to electricity is that when I was 4 years old, I found out why you don't put keys in outlets! It was the shock of my life!

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 6:40 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

IN USA we use 120volts 60 cycles in uk they use 240 volt 30 cycle
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 7:34 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

^^ As far as I'm aware, it's 50Hz, not 30.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 8:46 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Is it? i could be wrong. i thought thats what i herd hey what do i know..... im a car guy. i just play a electrician on TV Laughing
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 8:58 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

It is definitely 50 Hz. Most places use 50Hz frequency, if I am not mistaken.

Connie-
JJB could not do a master's electrician test. hehe. I only deal in stuff 35,000-230,000V. I don't know much about low voltage stuff.

We still use wire sizes in circular mils. We call it MCM or kcmil. Same thing. The bigger stuff is called MCM. The AWG is a pretty bad system because they corner themselves by putting smaller wire sizes with higher numbers. #20 guage wire should be bigger than #2 guage. But, indeed, it is the other way around.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 10:13 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

@ Eliza - If the house is wired properly - and since the wiring was worked on two years ago, let's hope it was all inspected under modern guidelines - you'll be fine. The worst that will happen is you'll throw the breaker. If that occurs, then plug them in different outlets.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 10:29 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Our hall light takes a while to come on as well.
I've been told as its an energy saving bulb it uses slower electricity.

I'll just go and put this on now shall I?

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 10:43 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

ED,

The time that having a microwave and 'fridge on the same outlet/circuit is if the 'fridge tried to start at the same time the micro was on high. They are basically what my dad (an elcecrical contractor for 50 years) would call a non coincidental load. The chances that both would be pulling the maximum amperage at the same time is real low.

If they DID come on at the same time and the load exceeded the protection provided by the fuse or circuit breaker, the fuse would do it's job and "pop" or the breaker would trip. It sounds like you have experience with that already... Wink

As long as the circuit protection is appropriate to the wire size, an over load situation is NOT dangerous. I repeat is NOT dangerous. The circuit protector (fuse or breaker) will do it's job and no harm will come. I used to have to reset breakers over and over when we were trouble shooting problem on a job. It is kind of disconcerting and a nuisance, but is not a problem.

Most kitchens do not have a separate circuit for the microwave. A microwave pulls about as much amperage as your toaster does btw. You are more likely to trip the breaker with the micro and the toaster on the same outlet! Shocked

A 'fridge does not pull much while running. The start up is when it works the hardest (as with any compressor). The actual start up amperage of a 'fridge is some times greater than 15 - 20 amps (for a split second). The circuit breakers are made to allow for this nanosecond pull of electricity. If it is sustained, THEN the breaker will trip. Fuses are quicker than circuit breakers for protection. There is a fuse that is called a time delay tha allows for this temporary surge that is used on circuits that energize/feed motors.

Mrs. Noid just reminded me that even if you don't have the appliances plugged into the same outlet, that doesn't mean they aren't on the same circuit. You would have to ferret this out by turning off the circuits to see which breaker controlls which outlet(s). [Her dad was a licensed electrician for 35 years.] Cool

It wouldn't matter what the voltage (120 or 230) is in this question. Neither would it matter what the cycles per second are (Hertz) 60 vs 50. It is the amperes (amps) that make the difference. [Unless you are trying to bring something across the pond, either direction.]

Okay, so I went way overboard here and now you have TMI!

About your hall light: It is most likely a fluorescent lamp (CFL) and then NEVER come on at full strength. If it were the wiring, the lamp would filcker, but NEVER come up to full strength. I used to sell the things and had to explain this all the time... Very Happy

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