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Volts vs. Amps - What Am I Looking For Again?

 
 
CDobyns
 
Reply Sat 13 Oct, 2012 01:54 pm
I just installed a 50amp service for a new electric range that we recently purchased (although I wish I new that we lacked an existing 50amp service/receptacle BEFORE we purchased our new stove . . .).

This was a "mixed" installation, where I installed the receptacle and ran the circuit wiring to the service panel (actually a subpanel that I installed since we lacked an existing slot for a double 50amp circuit breaker - ugh!) in the basement - and an actual electrician energized the subpanel and wired the circuit and installed the circuit breaker into the service box (subpanel).

I want to check the output from the new receptacle with my analog voltmeter - but it occurred to me that I don't know what I'm looking for (or more precisely, what should I expect to see on my voltmeter). Obviously, when I check a standard 110V receptacle, on the 250V scale, I'll see a reading of 110. But what am I looking for on the voltmeter from a 50amp receptacle? It's things like this that make me feel dumb, oops - I mean less-smart. Thanks!
 
dalehileman
 
  -1  
Reply Sat 13 Oct, 2012 04:29 pm
@CDobyns,
What you have to do, is find an appliance that consumes, say, 30-50 amps, and if your multimeter has a high enough current scale, e.g., 50 amps is typ, find a way to connect in it in series with the load

Probably to avoid the need to cut any wires you'll want to break the circuit back at the box

Hope that's clear
0 Replies
 
mesquite
 
  3  
Reply Sun 14 Oct, 2012 12:51 am
@CDobyns,
Your 50 amp service for the stove will be 220v to 240v between the two hot lines or 110v to 120v from each hot line to common or ground. That is all that you can check with your voltmeter without an appliance to supply the load. A clamp on ammeter is the best device to measure the current flow to the appliance.

Compare voltage to water supply pressure and electrical current (amps) to water flow through a hose. You will get more water flow through a 3/4 in. hose than a 1/2 in.(less pressure drop in the hose).

If you used the proper size wire circuit breaker and outlet you should have no problem delivering the proper current.
CDobyns
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Oct, 2012 08:41 am
@mesquite,
Hmm, okay - mesquite's explanation (I like the garden hose analogy to help clarify things) did help expand on the correct, albeit slightly more technically precise answer from dalehileman. So, everyone is correct.

We know that the circuit and the gauge wire (6-3) are all correct, and the actual electrician (vs. home owner wannabe electrician) confirms this to be true. So, at a minimum, I think I'm looking for a reading in the upper voltage (220v) range, and that absent the ability to measure the "load", but in combination with the knowledge that the circuit and wiring is correct - should be enough. This was good, since I learned (and understood) something I clearly didn't have a complete grasp of previously (when it comes to hose diameter and gauge wire - size does matter . . .). Who knew? Thanks!
dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Oct, 2012 01:09 pm
@mesquite,
Quote:
Your 50 amp service for the stove will be 220v to 240v between the two hot lines or 110v to 120v from each hot line to common or ground.
Yes…and it's very important to understand the concept of a common ground, lest you electrocute yourself

Quote:
A clamp on ammeter is the best device to measure the current flow to the appliance.
Of course Dob, Mes is correct. The leads of a typical multimeter won't carry 50 amps. I was wrong in this critical respect

Quote:
…..more water flow through a 3/4 in. hose than a 1/2 in.(less pressure drop in the hose).
What Dob intends, Mes, is a comparison between the size of the pipe and the diameter of the conductor

Quote:
If you used the proper size wire circuit breaker and outlet you should have no problem delivering the proper current.
Mes I think Dob inadvertently slipped with a typo or two. What he means is "…wire, circuit breaker, and outlet,..."
0 Replies
 
dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Oct, 2012 01:15 pm
@CDobyns,
Quote:
…. (I like the garden hose analogy to help clarify things) did help expand…..
It did, and no pun intended

Quote:
on the correct, albeit slightly more technically precise answer from dalehileman…..
Why thank you Dob, it's not everyday I'm so flattered in this quotidian diriment of procrustean devolution

Quote:
……. (when it comes to hose diameter and gauge wire - size does matter . . .). Who knew? Thanks!
Another fine pun
0 Replies
 
 

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