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What year did output voltages change?


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  #1  
Old 04-13-2017, 02:33:32 PM
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Default What year did output voltages change?

Our later sets, if dual voltage, say 120/240 volt AC. Early sets will say 115/230 volts AC. So when did the voltages change and was it because the utility companies also changed voltages? Any idea what year this happened?
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Old 04-13-2017, 04:37:21 PM
dalmatiangirl61 dalmatiangirl61 is offline
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Default Re: What year did output voltages change

Don't forget 110/220v, I've wondered about that too.
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Old 04-13-2017, 04:49:29 PM
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Default Re: What year did output voltages change

That's a *really* old one!

I don't know that the change occurred quickly. I have two different Kohlers, both from 1943, one 800 watt and one 1500 watt. The 800 watt one is rated at 110 volt, the 1500 watt is 115 volt. Then I have 2-1/2 kW Leland generator, from the same year I believe, that is 120 volt. So yeah.

Keith
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Old 04-13-2017, 04:51:36 PM
DustyBar DustyBar is offline
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Default Re: What year did output voltages change

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Originally Posted by dalmatiangirl61 View Post
Don't forget 110/220v, I've wondered about that too.
It would have to have been within my lifetime, a bit less than 60, or perhaps from my Grandfather. He taught me to call utility power 110/220.
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Old 04-13-2017, 05:10:53 PM
Vanman Vanman is offline
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Default Re: What year did output voltages change

Well, maybe within your grandfather's lifetime. People STILL call 120 and 240 110 and 220 because that's what they were taught. In your grandfather's time that's probably what was typical.

There were also "voltage districts" which accounted for voltage drop in the distribution system. Light bulbs were furnished with different voltage ratings (in two volt increments) based upon which district it was to be used in. This was in part due to imperfect manufacturing tolerances. By 1920 manufacturing allowed for bulbs to be made to exact voltage specifications, and only three standard voltages were made- 110, 115, and 120.

Motors are rated for ~5% less voltage, a standard practice that goes back quite a ways, but I don't know how far back. This can add to the confusion though.

The motors that I collect primarily date to the teens and twenties, and are 110/220 volt (single phase). I have older ones that are frequently rated 104/208 volts. For use on a 110/220 nominal system? We may never know lol.

Keith

Last edited by Vanman; 04-13-2017 at 05:52:36 PM.
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Old 04-13-2017, 05:14:13 PM
Wayne 440 Wayne 440 is offline
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Default Re: What year did output voltages change

It isn't really "what year", the trend has been a gradual one since the 1920's. According to this paper from General Electric, the first 3 phase system in New York City was designed for 199/115V.

http://files.engineering.com/downloa..._V_systems.pdf
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Old 04-13-2017, 07:48:34 PM
PnishrPW PnishrPW is offline
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Default Re: What year did output voltages change?

Utilities have been upping the voltage since the 50s around here. The reason is twofold: it lets them pump more power down the same lines, and they make more money. Customers at the long end get nominal voltage, close in they run a little hot. 120 near me hovers 127ish, (urban Tacoma). Even 208 runs low 230s most places 'round here, 240 right on 250ish.

As to higher profits, math it out : 10 amps @ 115 vs 10 amps @125. Remember, we get billed on watts...

I'm old enough to remember 440, now 480 (usually 490+). I'm pushing 50...

My first ARRL handbook from the early eighties still lists voltage asb115/230.
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Old 04-13-2017, 08:06:13 PM
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Default Re: What year did output voltages change?

I recall that the 480 to 120/208 transformers had taps on them- "Full Capacity Below Normal Taps"- to allow for other than 480 volt input. They included a tap or two for above 480 as well. That said, of all of the ones I was involved with, I don't recall a single one ever being connected for anything other than 480 volts, or any voltage checks being made. Of course these checks may have been made later, after the building was occupied and the electrical system loaded.

I should have stated that my information regarding electrical systems, and lighting in particular, in 1920, comes from a text book published in 1920 titled "Electric Lighting". It's the favorite of my collection of antique electrical books.
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Old 04-14-2017, 01:51:47 AM
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Default Re: What year did output voltages change?

Okay... So when did ONAN change?
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Old 04-14-2017, 01:50:00 PM
Handyhiker1 Handyhiker1 is offline
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Default Re: What year did output voltages change?

I don't know but my 1973 CCK5.0 says 120/240.
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Old 04-14-2017, 08:30:02 PM
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Default Re: What year did output voltages change?

In the early/ mid 1950's, voltage here was 110/220.
Almost all homes had 2 wire 110.
Do not remember any wired for 110/220.
Easy to tell - see a 2 wire drop, it was 110.
Mid 1960's, 115/230. New homes wired for 115/230. People started getting central air installed.
1970's 117/235.
Voltage at my panel right now 120/240.

I worked as an electrician in a mill in late 1960's. 3 phase was 440. By 1980's, a lot of the 3 phase was 460.
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Old 04-14-2017, 11:00:15 PM
Dennis19508 Dennis19508 is offline
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Default Re: What year did output voltages change?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Motorhead View Post
Okay... So when did ONAN change?
My Sept 1955 Fairbanks-Morse Onan V45 is labeled 115 volts.

November 1966 JC labeled 120/240.

I don't have anything older I can get to at the moment.
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Old 04-14-2017, 11:28:23 PM
yellowlister yellowlister is offline
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Default Re: What year did output voltages change?

My 1963 dsl 3 kw onan diesel is listed at 115vac.. my 1965 cck is 120v
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Old 04-15-2017, 11:10:44 AM
Frank DeWitt Frank DeWitt is offline
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Default Re: What year did output voltages change?

BTW The 110 came from Edison. He started with gas light he wanted to replace. He figured that it would take 100 watts to replace that light. He then decided that he would like the current to be 1 amp per bulb. 100 watts at 1 amp is 100 volts. He then added 10% or 10 volts for line loss and we got the 110 volt standard. The early distribution on the street was three wire DC -110, Common, and +110 Each home got just 110.

He designed and developed the whole system. generators, distribution, Fuses, house wiring, switches, sockets, and the light bulb.

He didn't imagine home electricity being used for any thing but lighting, so there were no outlets. Just sockets. And of coarse we all know he went with DC not AC.

Only God gets everything right.

From another forum.
I did some research on this a while back. As you mention, 110v was a historical maximum: 100V + 10% allowable, which was revised in 1954 (ANSI C84) to the current US voltage standard of 120v +/- 5%. Plugs and receptacles are often rated at 125V/250V, which allows for the high side of the allowable range - i.e. the maximum allowable voltage, not the nominal. Other oddball voltages like 115 or 117 volts often appear on motors, and this was to indicate the expected voltage at the motor - 120V minus a few volts for distribution wiring.
http://forums.prosoundweb.com/index....155255.20.html


[/COLOR]BTW Just for fun I checked some manuals and advertising for Kohler light plants (Generator)
1920 - 110
1926 - 110
1924 - 110
1228 - 110
1937 - 115
1941 - 115
1945 - 115
1947 - 115

I have a 1947 It is rated at 115 Volt, A C I am going to readjust it for 120. I take it to engine shows and use it to make coffee and waffles in the morning so the faster cook time will be welcome. (Grin) BTW The waffle iron is marked 110 V and is around 1920. No I am not serious about worrying about this
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Old 04-15-2017, 01:02:33 PM
Vanman Vanman is offline
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Default Re: What year did output voltages change?

Frank- would hate to see you burn out your waffle iron. 120 volts will dissipate 19% more heat than 110 volts. Might make it heat less evenly as well.
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Old 04-15-2017, 02:34:04 PM
Frank DeWitt Frank DeWitt is offline
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Smile Re: What year did output voltages change?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vanman View Post
Frank- would hate to see you burn out your waffle iron. 120 volts will dissipate 19% more heat than 110 volts. Might make it heat less evenly as well.
You can joke all you want but when you have people standing around waiting for coffee things can get tense I am lucky the generator is automatic start.

BTW we always get smiles when people walk by and see the generator running but the lights are off, and I explain that we are cooking our meal.
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Old 04-15-2017, 03:06:29 PM
Vanman Vanman is offline
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Default Re: What year did output voltages change?

That sounds like a lot of fun! So, the generator will start and stop as the thermostat in the waffle iron cycles. Or do you leave some other load on at the same time in order to avoid that?

I want to use mine for back up power here at the house. Would be fun to hear it start up and shut down in the middle of night whenever the refrigerator runs.

110, 115, 120, 125 volts. In the real world it *really* doesn't matter to anything that may be on line. It's not hyper critical in other words. 120 volt bulbs would have shorter lives on 125 volts...

Keith
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Old 04-15-2017, 03:31:55 PM
Frank DeWitt Frank DeWitt is offline
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Default Re: What year did output voltages change?

Thermostat? These are period correct appliances. We ain't got no stinking thermostat.

The appliance that gets the most use is a antique broiler.


We cook sausage with pepper and onions, Corn on the cob, bagels, Toast, You name it.

I have used the light plant to run the frig during a ice storm. It was comforting to hear it start during the night. BTW The adds from the time push that Mom can have a "City Refrigerator and a well pump. They go on to explain that a well pump means a indoor bathroom.
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Old 04-15-2017, 04:01:17 PM
Vanman Vanman is offline
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Default Re: What year did output voltages change?

Very cool. What is the model and brand of your broiler?

I've been wanting something like that- essentially an early toaster oven- for a long time. But don't know what to search for.

Even the early waffle irons seem to have thermostats (non - adjustable) to regulate the temperature of the cooking surface. The old coffee percolators have them too. I have a little one that that is 1 kW! It makes coffee in a HURRY, then switches to a small "keep warm" element. It's an oldie, all chrome and nice cloth cord.

Wife and I joke that between it being so fancy and it's size really only for one person, that it would look perfect on some exec's desk 100 years ago.

We're loosing the thread though. To be clear, ALL of the appliances we're talking about will undoubtedly be rated for 110 volt.

I particularly like to collect appliances that are specifically rated for AC or DC as well. Curiously, it seems that nearly ALL DC generators state 115 volts (6, 12, 15, 32, 40 volters etc not withstanding), even when they're clearly from the "110 volt era". So there's another interesting wrinkle...

Keith
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Old 04-15-2017, 04:44:33 PM
Frank DeWitt Frank DeWitt is offline
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Default Re: What year did output voltages change?

I have the one shown but I usually use a antique farberware It is also round with the coils in a lift off cover.
here are a couple simular ones
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Antique-Elec...MAAOSwr~lYq8hX

http://www.ebay.com/itm/VTG-Stream-L...8AAMXQbXtRDxB7
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