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Dirty Electricity and Harmonics

As I promised a few days ago, I wanted to write something about “dirty electricity”.  As I have described in previous posts, household wiring in North America enters our home at 60 Hz.  This frequency is classified as ELF.  I have previously discussed the research which has suggested that some appliances which operate at 60 Hz may have health consequences due to the high power at which they operate.  

Dirty electricity is essentially taking that 60 Hz, alternating current that is running along the wire and adding other frequencies to the wire which causes the 60 Hz signal to not be a predictable, smooth sine wave.  

Image

In the above picture, we can see the smooth sine wave and then the simultaneous addition of unpredictable frequencies.  What this all means is that some appliances we plug into our outlets may disrupt the normal carrying frequency.  While this may not seem important, it is conceivable that the 60 Hz waves could add together and create high intensity waves that could have health effects (long term) or lead to wiring shorts and fires.  

So what are the causes of abnormal frequencies and intensities in wire?  Appliances such as dimmer switches, transformers, door bells (wired), computers, etc all have the potential to add to dirty electricity.  Before you run out and tear out your dimmer switches, I would suggest start with simple solutions if you feel you are electrically sensitive: 

1) change the wired door bell to battery operated wireless (yes, it is safe)

2) turn off appliances at night like computers and stereos.  

You can purchase dirty electricity detectors for around $100.00.  I have not yet tried these but I am going to order one and let you know what I think.  The same companies that sell the detectors sell filters which are plugged into the circuit which may act to reduce harmonics and abnormal frequencies.  If I detect high levels of dirty electricity, I will try a filter and let you know the results.  

Thanks to Uncle Dan for this suggestion of a post!  

brett

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