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I'm from England, and I am doing some research for a book, for which the audience will largely be American. So I want to make sure I'm not misleading people.

It seems to me that here in England, we have our own words for a lot of things that go on in home electrics that are not the same as in the US. Our cultures started on divergent paths long before people started wiring up their homes.

So, I have some questions.

1. Are all domestic supplies in the US 110V at 60Hz? (its 230V at 50 Hz in the UK)
2. Is it true that what in the UK we call 'mains sockets' are called 'AC outlets' in the US?
3. In the US, what do you call the three connections from an appliance? In the UK, its Earth (green), Neutral (Blue), and Live (brown). Although not all appliances use the earth.
4. This is different in the house wiring (behind the walls) where the colour (color) scheme is red for live, black for neutral an bare copper for earth. What is it in the US?
5. Our houses used to have fuse-boxes (a board with proper fuses in a cupboard (closet) somewhere. Now we have 'Consuler Units' which have a load of plug-in earth leakage sensing switches (MCBs) in place of the fuses. is this the same in the US?

Anything else that anyone knows about thats different in the US?

Other parts of the world, please join in too with your names for things.
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I don't think you connected the grounds, Dave.
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Now we have 'Consuler Units'
They may have those in embassies, but we have "consumer units".

Isn't an "AC outlet" where you buy air-conditioning?

Quote
In the UK, its Earth (green),
sp." green/yellow"
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Now we have 'Consuler Units'

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They may have those in embassies, but we have "consumer units".

Ah, very good! I may just have to learn to spell rather than always saying yes to the top option on the spell-checker.
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I don't think you connected the grounds, Dave.
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Surely the spell checker would have said "consular"?
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Hello Si,
  I live in California. I'm not an electrician, however I have worked in construction my entire adult life and I've picked up a thing or two. The answers to some of your questions: As far as I know, homes in the U.S. have three wires from the public utility poles to each home. Homes are normally two phase AC. There are two HOT (or live) wires and one NEUTRAL. The wire you call EARTH we usually call GROUND (or earth) and is connected to either a long copper rod driven into the earth or sometimes a cold water pipe, both are at the home. The two HOT wires are 110 volts each to the NEUTRAL wire and are out of phase with each other so there is 220 volts from HOT 1 to HOT 2. The HOT wires are BLACK, the NEUTRAL is WHITE, and GROUND is GREEN or bare copper. The same colors apply to appliance wiring. Yes, here we call them AC outlets or AC recepticals (not sure if thats the correct spelling). AC outlets are normally 110 volts at 60Hz, although there are exceptions. For example, AC outlets for an electric dryer or an electric stove are normally 220 volts at 60 Hz. Older homes may still have fuse boxes with the old screw in type fuses. All new homes have breaker boxes with switch type circut breakers. Again, I'm not an electrician so if anyone who IS would like to add anything or correct me if I am mistaken about something, please do.

Hope this helps,
DigitalJohnson
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While technically typical household wiring is two phase, it's really a single phase at the high voltage connection, and the transformer is wired to produce the two hots 180 degrees from each other.  It's referred to as single phase, to differentiate from three phase, which has all three phases from the utility.

-j
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Thanks DigitalJohnson and kg4wsv, thats really helpful.

UK neutral and US hot (live) are both black. That sounds like an accident waiting to happen for migrated DIY electricians smiley-wink
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An issue with your subject line: the questions you ask primarily apply to what ELECTRICIANS know, not ELECTRICAL ENGINEERS. I would venture that only a small percentage of recently-graduated US electrical engineers could answer your questions.

My $0.02: domestic supplies are indeed 110V but heavy-duty appliances (washer, dryer, etc.) draw 208V. Recently, electric car chargers are drawing more attention, and they too are 208V.

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An issue with your subject line: the questions you ask primarily apply to what ELECTRICIANS know, not ELECTRICAL ENGINEERS.

And now I know 'electricians' are called 'electricians' too smiley-wink

We only hear about different names for things when they appear in films 'Realtor' vs 'Estate Agent', 'Attorney' vs 'Solicitor', that kind of thing.
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Well it's interesting to read this thread to find out what people think they know too smiley-grin
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I'm just going to share the terms i've learned as an "average joe" growing up.

To me, "AC socket" is a very technical term. A more lax, casual term might be "electrical socket" or "wall socket" or, even though it's not really correct I've heard "wall plug". I personally would probably use "electrical socket".

The equivalent for "fuse box" now would be a "circuit breaker" or "breaker box". Of the 7 or 8 places i've lived they were all very similar and looked like this. http://www.dannychesnut.com/Electronics/Wiring/220/105_0582.jpg Usually they are located in the garage. If there is none you would probably find it in a closet somewhere in the house.

Hope that helps some.
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Well it's interesting to read this thread to find out what people think they know too

Are we getting into Rumsfeldian 'known unknowns' territory here? smiley-wink
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I personally would probably use "electrical socket".

Useful information. Thanks.
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1. Are all domestic supplies in the US 110V at 60Hz? (its 230V at 50 Hz in the UK)
2. Is it true that what in the UK we call 'mains sockets' are called 'AC outlets' in the US?
3. In the US, what do you call the three connections from an appliance? In the UK, its Earth (green), Neutral (Blue), and Live (brown). Although not all appliances use the earth.
4. This is different in the house wiring (behind the walls) where the colour (color) scheme is red for live, black for neutral an bare copper for earth. What is it in the US?
5. Our houses used to have fuse-boxes (a board with proper fuses in a cupboard (closet) somewhere. Now we have 'Consuler Units' which have a load of plug-in earth leakage sensing switches (MCBs) in place of the fuses. is this the same in the US?

Anything else that anyone knows about thats different in the US?

Other parts of the world, please join in too with your names for things.

1. U.S. voltages are more typically 115-120 volts, 60 Hz.
2. The term is usually just "outlets."
3. Unless double insulated, appliances use the ground connection (green) in addition to neutral (white) and hot (black).
4. As noted by others, bare copper is ground, white is neutral, black is hot, red is hot. Single phase power, 230 volts hot-to-hot. 115 volts each hot to neutral.
5. Circuit breakers are now typical in most places. Some have ground fault breakers if they feed loads requiring such. More recent code requirements include "arc fault" protection from a loose wiring connection.

I agree with the observation this is a question for qualified electricians, not spectators on a microcontroller board.
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I'm from England, and I am doing some research for a book, for which the audience will largely be American. So I want to make sure I'm not misleading people.

It seems to me that here in England, we have our own words for a lot of things that go on in home electrics that are not the same as in the US. Our cultures started on divergent paths long before people started wiring up their homes.

So, I have some questions.

1. Are all domestic supplies in the US 110V at 60Hz? (its 230V at 50 Hz in the UK)
2. Is it true that what in the UK we call 'mains sockets' are called 'AC outlets' in the US?
3. In the US, what do you call the three connections from an appliance? In the UK, its Earth (green), Neutral (Blue), and Live (brown). Although not all appliances use the earth.
4. This is different in the house wiring (behind the walls) where the colour (color) scheme is red for live, black for neutral an bare copper for earth. What is it in the US?
5. Our houses used to have fuse-boxes (a board with proper fuses in a cupboard (closet) somewhere. Now we have 'Consuler Units' which have a load of plug-in earth leakage sensing switches (MCBs) in place of the fuses. is this the same in the US?

Anything else that anyone knows about thats different in the US?

Other parts of the world, please join in too with your names for things.

I'm sure your questions have been answered, but I'll give my own answers just cause

1. Yes

2. Both terms can be used, or a mixture, generally consumers will just say the outlet

3. Earth/Ground (which is green), Neutral or Common (White), and Hot or Live (Red or Black, depending, Black is used for the highest voltage in a system generally (or maybe I got that backwards)) As a side note: That's only the colored wires inside the coat, the sockets themselves are silver, or copper or some similar color, generally not colored

4. I'm not 100% on this, but I know that White is Neutral, pretty sure hot is Black and ground is either bare or green

5. Not really sure what you're talking about, we have Circuit breakers, which are resettable fuses, when one blows you walk to the panel and flip the switch to restore power
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