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Re: Price of substrate heating -- Plugging equipment holes

Bill Wichers said, in presponse to my quoted comments:
 > >I hear you loud and clear about how poor many house
> >receptacles are at delivering power -- and most plugs
> are
> >very bad too, relying on simple crimps, small contact
> areas
> >between metals that tend to film over and corrode with
> age.
> >  Truth is though, most purposes, it doesn't seem to
> matter
> >much.  Unless you want to a good clean supply of power
> with
> >out unnecessary resistance.
> It becomes an issue with larger electrical loads too. For
> our (aquarium) 
> purposes, the only time the receptacle might pose a
> safety problem is in a 
> larger setup using a lot of lighting. For example, in a
> large setup with 3 
> x 175 watt MH lights, some circulation pumps, and maybe
> 300 watts of 
> heating, there could be maybe 10 amps or so of 120v power
> drawn. That's 
> enough to cause a loose plug to get warm enough to soften
> the plastics used 
> to make most molded cord assemblies. The best solution I
> have found is to 
> use 20 amp commercial receptacles (only about $4-5),
> which of course 
> assumes a 20 amp circuit, since they tend to grip the
> plug's blades more 
> tightly over a longer period of time. Commercial 15 amp
> receptacles will 
> also be better than the 50 cent cheapos that you can find
> in many hardware 
> stores. It's only a few extra dollars and it really can
> make a big 
> difference in the safety of a larger setup.
>          -Bill

It's enough to cause a tight pug to get warm.  Feel the
plug on your toaster or coffer maker next time it's been
running a couple of minutes!

It's a lot of hassle to replace the plugs on all the cords
and the sockets on all the walls.  But it's a good idea,
imo for large electrical use items like my stereo set-up,
aquarium set-ups, and in the kitchen.

And by "Commercial," Bill didn't mean "contractor grade"
which generally are the cheapest available to finish the
job -- an infortunate nomemclater, since good contractors
wouldn't stoop to contractor grade unless it was specified.

Scott H.

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