The US electrical system is not 120V

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  • ℹ️ Description
It's more than 120V. It's even more than the other 120V! It is the sum of the two (and sometimes a different two!) that makes us who we are. Learn about the US electrical system in this not-at-all snarky video!

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💬 Comments on the video

One of these days I'll tidy up that wire...
A minor note; the thing about 208 being 86.7% isn't right for simple resistive loads like heating elements. You'll actually only get 75% the heat on 208! Power (watts) goes up with the square of the voltage. But, if something is designed specifically for 208, you can pull up to 86.7% what you could on 240 with the same amperage.

Author — Technology Connections


"We're just going to ignore three-phase for right now" *Angry entertainment electrician noises*

Author — Charlie


Note how he does the voltage measurements with only one hand. Standard smart move to prevent his heart from being part of the circuit if he makes a mistake. (I'm sure someone else said this somewhere in the other 12000+ comments, but worth repeating...)

Author — Zev Farkas


"This building is a single family home..."
"Honey, did you hear that? Is someone downstairs?"

Author — Artie Fischel


You amuse me, as a professional electrician with 47 years in the trade, we all do things different, but in our own ways we are all safe even in the u.s.
Different but safe, I am from the u.k.

Author — Robert Dodge


"To those of you in europe this looks horribly gross and terribly unsafe"
Laughs in hanging brakers

Author — Bio Emiliano


"To Europeans this looks horribly dangerous. That's OK, we're coping."
You have the best lines.

Author — Jeremy Hall


You make an immediate "more than meets the eye" joke when transformers come up, and I pause the video to give it an immediate like and write this comment. Well done.

Author — John Moore


The switches on our UK outlets goes back to before we had shielded conductors on the plugs.
By switching the switch off the conductors were disconnected from the supply in order to prevent fingers from contacting the unshielded conductors of the plug.
Unshielded conductors were outlawed a few years ago and the switch is in reality no longer really necessary. The design of the 3 pin UK plug ensures that the "HOT" wire is always "on the right terminal" so that the switching occurs on the "HOT" side .
Most homes in UK are supplied by a single phase from a 3 phase supply at the local substation.
The voltage between phases on a UK 3 phase system measures a nominal 415 v.

Author — Harry Fab


Europe: "I'm shocked! Shocked!"
America: "Well, not that shocked."

Author — 4KbShort


“Stop being pedantic.” Oh ho ho yeah that’s not gonna stop. People love being pedantic.

Author — Mikarri


Technology Connections is the only place I go to learn about current events

Author — Sandy M.


"I'm showing you mine so you don't need to see yours" ROFL

Author — m4c1990


This man is erudite! Clearest explanations of all time of any topic.

Author — kieferonline


The UK shaver outlets came into standardization before GFCIs were available.
Edison's Dc power delivery was at a nominal 110V. Switches were required next to the outlets because DC at these voltages would draw a long spark when a plug is withdrawn without a switch off first. This voltage was maintained by Tesla's AC power delivery and he added the other leg of the 240. Tesla was always optimizing, so he kept the legs at 110/120 while giving provision for twice the power with 2 legs. Many early appliances were rated for AC/DC if the voltage was the same, so 110/120 continued into the AC age. By the way, three phase power was invented by Tesla and it is used almost everywhere. There have been two phase systems, but the phases are 90 degrees apart and require 4 wires. Three phase rules!

Author — AriBenDavid


We have 3 phase 400 volt inn and 240 in the outlets at least where im at.

Author — Matthew Smith


"To those of you in europe this looks horribly gross and terribly unsafe"
Laughs in brazilian

Author — Gabriel Maia


I believe that you're the only person on YouTube that must be customizing your captions. I absolutely appreciate it, sir!

Author — fullmetaljacket76


1:21 as a man of electrical fuckery myself when I heard that buzz I wondered what kind of transformer you had running down. There and why you haven't changed it lol

Author — meseyc


One item of note with regard to using UK power tools, keep in mind that UK power systems use 50hz vs the 60hz in the US which is a 20% frequency difference. Anything that relies on the AC frequency for timing could be affected. One of my less than intelligent co-workers didn't realize that difference when he brought a US digital alarm clock and connected it to a stepdown transformer in his room in southern Asia and couldn't figure out why his clock was always running slow. I laughed, explained the reason and suggested using a battery powered travel alarm clock instead.

Author — rpeltz