Anonymous asked in Science & MathematicsEngineering · 10 years ago

What is Dirty Electricity?

I was wondering if anyone can explain to me, in rather simple terms, what exactly 'Dirty Electricity' is. To my understanding it's electricity which has been contaminated with other waves and it become unbalanced. Is that right?

I'm also interested in knowing if anyone can confirm that this is one of the reasons why we blow fuses (is that the right word?) and such.

Thank you for your time. Even if you're not sure of the answer yourself I wouldn't mind if anyone can post links. The websites I've found don't really offer the information I'm looking for. n.n;;

4 Answers

  • 10 years ago
    Favorite Answer


    Well Dirty is a pretty dirty word right....:0

    I think I'll change that to degenerated waveform..??

    Yea..that's better..when you produce power at the Hydroelectric plant or whatever they do a pretty good job of making that smooth sine curved 60hz frequency and it comes to you supposedly like that...Now ED down the street has a military surplus generator that he didn't realize was 400hz and he threw this baby online and tried to sync up. of course it didn't work but that still affected you as it back-fed the grid.. Now your getting power in a building that is wired in such a manor that its in steel conduit and a lot of low amp computers create a resonance..the pipe gets hot and you keep losing voltage and your ups system goes beep and the power goes on and off and the fluorescent lights have a funny flicker ,all the while the refrigerator in the break room is humming a funny sound..Well all this ,please excuse my run on sentence, is created from outside noise affecting frequency which affects motor speeds and refresh rates for what can we do..Well we can try to find ED and ask him to stop..(never happen) and at the office or home we can get a sensitive ups and just live with it,,PF (power factor correction) capacitors and MOV (metal oxide varister) and all the shielding is not going to take out the RF created from ballasts and resonance. Circuit dividing and reassigning the distribution will help but by far it's easier to find a fix than a cure...When you blow a fuse here is what happens ..You have reduced the voltage and increased the amperage..power companies fault or you overused the circuit ,Your fault...If it happens at night its probably due to under-voltage and you have to call the power company to explain..The generally will say "what??" ask for the field engineer for your area don't fight with the front desk..Well have a good one and watch out for under-voltage....from the E.

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  • 10 years ago

    An ideal electricity supply has a pure sinusoidal form and is constant in voltage.

    In practice there may be short term peaks/spikes and dips which are caused by rapidly fluctuating loads, and slower variations also caused by load variations.

    There can also be bursts of interference superimposed on the supply. These can be caused by unsupressed contacts (of thermostats for example) or unsupressed motors.

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  • 10 years ago

    I consider dirty electricity to be the kind generated by the burning of coal or fossil fuel. Yes we do also refer to unstable signals as dirty some times. Think of why we plug expensive technical equipment into surge protectors. Sometimes the current from our utilities fluctuate and that can send a spike that fries your electronics. Also measuring equipment isn't usually reliable if the input signal isn't steady.

    I hope this helps - really your question depends on the context of the question.

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  • Tim C
    Lv 7
    10 years ago

    You are correct!

    Unless the voltage of the "dirt" is high, its contribution to fuse blowing would be minor.

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