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USA: 110V or 120V?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
A seemingly simple search yields that the USA uses one of two (or both?) voltages out of wall outlets: 110V and/or 120V. Which one is correct?

Also if it is 120V, if I plug in a 110V device (let's say an amp), will it get fried?
post #2 of 15
Quote:
Is it 120v or 110v?
Yes.


It's all nominal dude. Usually it's closest to 120v 60hz.
post #3 of 15
Most outlets I've measured are around 115 to 118V. FWIW.

-Ed
post #4 of 15
In US the outlets should be 120v. But due to power fluxs I assume the voltage may drop. Your amp will be fine, just don't try that in Europe.
post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 
Alright thanks guys
post #6 of 15
I'll bet the voltage out of your mains will be closer to 115V, some electric companies output less than 120V on purpose to reduce costs.

-Ed
post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
I just want to make sure if I plug in an electronic device that's rated at 110V input, it won't get fried.
post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by CookieFactory
I just want to make sure if I plug in an electronic device that's rated at 110V input, it won't get fried.
It will be just fine, as long as your electricity is running to US spec. It really can be anywhere from 110V to 120V +/- 5%.

http://www.faqs.org/faqs/electrical-...ection-14.html

-Ed
post #9 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Edwood
I'll bet the voltage out of your mains will be closer to 115V, some electric companies output less than 120V on purpose to reduce costs.

-Ed
99% of the time ive seen 115v, also i would like to know why you would think that a lower voltage would reduce costs? if they ran a higher voltage there would be less amp draw therefore heating cables/transformers less?
post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by flecom
99% of the time ive seen 115v, also i would like to know why you would think that a lower voltage would reduce costs? if they ran a higher voltage there would be less amp draw therefore heating cables/transformers less?
Because it is what electricity companies have been doing for decades.

Maybe they like having cables and transformers run hotter?

-Ed
post #11 of 15
Technically it should be 110VAC since most if not all houses in america get 220VAC directly and then it's split into 110VAC. The 220VAC is used by central air I think but the 110VAC is used by appliances etc. Since it's not neccessarily exact it usually falls between 110VAC and 120VAC from the plug. A 10 volt difference won't fry an amp because it's designed to be flexible enough. A 220VAC into a 120VAC designed amp will indeed fry and I know this for a fact. My dad fryed his Mcintosh power amp in the 70's because the builders of his condo didn't drop the volts down to 110VAC so it was getting 220VAC.
post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by brian183
Technically it should be 110VAC since most if not all houses in america get 220VAC directly and then it's split into 110VAC. The 220VAC is used by central air I think but the 110VAC is used by appliances etc. Since it's not neccessarily exact it usually falls between 110VAC and 120VAC from the plug. A 10 volt difference won't fry an amp because it's designed to be flexible enough. A 220VAC into a 120VAC designed amp will indeed fry and I know this for a fact. My dad fryed his Mcintosh power amp in the 70's because the builders of his condo didn't drop the volts down to 110VAC so it was getting 220VAC.
Ouch. Not fun at all. What I found interesting during my stint as an electrician (or assistant... I did a lot of drilling and wire running) was how you get 220v: run two seperate hot leads to the outlet. Simple as that. I thought you had to run a special wire from the breaker or something... nope.
post #13 of 15
Most good PSUs are rated down to 100v (some to 90v) and up to 130v. There are also some that will take anywhere from 100v to 250v, without a switch.

Normal voltage should be 120v, although many devices are specced at 115v or 110v to take into account voltage drops.
post #14 of 15

120 Volt and 110 Volt are compatible. Usually referred to as nominal voltage, all manufacturers rate their electrical gear to run on 110 Volt or 220 Volt. Both of these can vary depending on location. In fact, your house voltage can and does vary during the day but the variations are minor, maybe 100 Volts to 135 Volts. As a user of electricity, there are more important aspects to consider.

 

1. Does the plug fit the outlet? If so, you are probably OK.

2. Does a circuit in your home consistently blow a fuse or trip a breaker? If so, you are headed for trouble if you do not correct the situation. If home is ole, over 25 years, have it checked out by a licensed electrician. Faulty and or overloaded circuits burn down homes and kill occupants.If a newer home, you are probably OK on the wiring, breakers, etc and are just overloading the circuit. I used to have a problerm when my wife and teen daughter both tried to use hair dryers in the same bathroom. You have a limit on how much can be ran on any given circuit. One hair dryer on full heat at about 15 watts is about all one circuit can take. 

post #15 of 15
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