Philippines Insider" The Ultimate Philippines Travel Guide for Tourists and Expats

Author Topic: electricity in the Philippines  (Read 55969 times)

Offline grizzi

  • Sr Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 398
Re: electricity in the Philippines
« Reply #15 on: December 03, 2008, 03:21:24 AM »
Since this is such an interesting topic, I have one to add. A friend of mine is trying to retire to the PI. He has been working in the culinary arts for quite a while and has quite a bit of cooking equipment that he wants to bring to the PI and start a small business or school.

The issue he is trying to figure out is if its possible to have 380v/3ph that he needs for his heavy mixers and other items that he wants to bring there.

I told him this board is a wealth of information and that maybe there are some of you living in the PI that have had the same issue, or that know someone that has gone through the same issues with required voltage.

Thanks ahead of time for any answers you can provide.
Greg & Almira  ;-)

Offline cogon88

  • Sr Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 333
Re: electricity in the Philippines
« Reply #16 on: December 03, 2008, 06:11:33 PM »
Grizzi You can have 380v 3 phase 60 hz power if you buy a custom built transformer but first you need to be on main supply line look for poles with 3 wires across the top. these lines are along most major highways in the Province

In the PI you are responsible to pay for all wire and poles to your building from the supply line and to provide the transformer, potential transformers, line breakers and computerized meter and  installation costs

An electrical plan needs to be submitted and approved by provincial engineer then submitted to the power company your certified electrician can install the equipment and wire it but the power company will inspect and sign off on the installation before they energize it 

Most 3 phase here is 240, 440 or 4400 volts

For 380 volt you will need to have a box transformer custom made do not use the cans as they are more expensive there are several shops in Manila that will do this for you they are in the yellow pages (the power company will test the unit for you prior to installation) tell the shop the voltage and kva you need for the transformer and they will quote you a price for the build

The local power company will charge you more for the transformer and installation if they even bother to try and help you most will say 380 is not available 

I installed a 440 volt 3 phase 1000 KVA transformer 2 years ago cost was right at 20K USD complete the local power company quoted 36k USD so you need to look around and spend some time contacting various suppliers get many quotes as most suppliers here will try and take advantage of non local

Hope this helps contact me off site if this ever gets to be real and I will give you some contacts

Tom / Roxas City 

Offline grizzi

  • Sr Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 398
Re: electricity in the Philippines
« Reply #17 on: December 04, 2008, 05:18:32 AM »
Colin, Tom,

Thank you for the information. I will pass it on to my friend here. He will have to decide if he wants to pay the large sum to have a custom transformer made and installed or swap out his equipment with something that will perform without too much hassle in the PI.

Greg
Greg & Almira  ;-)

Offline aerosick

  • Administrator
  • Sr Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 555
Re: electricity in the Philippines
« Reply #18 on: December 05, 2008, 12:05:53 AM »
Here\'s a price range for these Isolation Transformers in the USA:



240v Delta X 380, 400, 415 volt Wye, 3 Phase, 60HZ Isolation Transformers
"We're here to preserve democracy, not practice it."

Gene Hackman: Crimson Tide ~ 1995

Offline harry80020

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 46
Re: electricity in the Philippines
« Reply #19 on: February 18, 2009, 01:30:00 AM »
    Actually, I think you \"MIGHT\" find 380 volt 3 phase in the Philippines, although I haven\'t checked.  If you have a 3 phase 380 volt Y-tied secondary, then any phase wire to ground would be 220 volt single phase.  And if you took all 3 hot legs, you would have 380 volt 3 phase.  This would be an easy way for them to get their 220 volt supply, but I don\'t know if they do it anywhere there?  In the area I worked in, the transformer was a single phase 220 volt secondary, I have no idea what the primary voltage was.

    In electrical power matters I do defer to my friend Aero Sick, but not in motorcycle issues.

Best always,
Harry

Offline Manila Cockney

  • Sr Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 227
Re: electricity in the Philippines
« Reply #20 on: April 25, 2009, 05:43:30 PM »
I have a question I hope somebody can answer regarding electricity. I saw today a bread machine made in Germany, it was 800 watt, 230 volts and 50 hz. Our electricity is 220 volts and 60 hz.  Would this be okay to use here, the man in the shop had no idea. I know the voltage will not be a problem but its the frequency of being only 50 hz concerning me.
I do have an electric kettle and toaster 230 volt and only 50 hz bought in Hong Kong and have been using here for 7 years without problem. At the same time I bought a microwave with the same 50hz and it lasted 5 minutes.

Offline aerosick

  • Administrator
  • Sr Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 555
Re: electricity in the Philippines
« Reply #21 on: April 26, 2009, 12:03:10 AM »
If there\'s a transformer in it, the transformer will run hotter (shorter life). You will use less than 1/2 amp more electricity, not enough to overload anything. If it has timers, clocks, they will be off maybe by up to 20% in accuracy.

Ask the man in the shop to plug it in and demonstrate all of the functions. If it starts to smoke, don\'t buy it...  8)

Billy

I have a question I hope somebody can answer regarding electricity. I saw today a bread machine made in Germany, it was 800 watt, 230 volts and 50 hz. Our electricity is 220 volts and 60 hz.  Would this be okay to use here, the man in the shop had no idea. I know the voltage will not be a problem but its the frequency of being only 50 hz concerning me.
I do have an electric kettle and toaster 230 volt and only 50 hz bought in Hong Kong and have been using here for 7 years without problem. At the same time I bought a microwave with the same 50hz and it lasted 5 minutes.

"We're here to preserve democracy, not practice it."

Gene Hackman: Crimson Tide ~ 1995

Offline Manila Cockney

  • Sr Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 227
Re: electricity in the Philippines
« Reply #22 on: April 26, 2009, 12:15:50 PM »
[/quote]

I have had another thought  ;D even if the timer is OK, the motor used to mix the dough would, most likely, be an AC motor and therefore run 20% faster. This may not be a problem if the motor is powerful enough, but it could overload a lesser motor. Dough  gets very dense and elastic when it is mixed. I suggest you contact the manufacturer, it could be that they have been designed with 60HZ in mind rather than make different models for different markets. Let us know what you find out, I could be in the market for another one.

Colin
[/quote]

I already have one machine which I bought about 5 years ago in SM, which is 220V 60hz suitable for here. I happened to see this one in a surplus store costing only 2200 pesos. According to the salesman it was imported from Australia, which tells me it was never designed for use here. It is cheap and looks better than my one. However reading your comments it does not look suitable.

Offline grizzi

  • Sr Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 398
Re: electricity in the Philippines
« Reply #23 on: April 27, 2009, 03:31:26 AM »
You\'re having the same issues that I have buying my power tools.  Since I\'m here in Europe, and they use mostly 220/50hz, I have to make sure the tools I buy are 220/50-60hz.  So far, there are a few Makita and Skill models that fit my needs.  Surprisingly, I have found that buying them here is actually cheaper in most cases than buying them in the Philippines.  Go figure!  8)
Greg & Almira  ;-)

Offline harry80020

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 46
Re: electricity in the Philippines
« Reply #24 on: July 24, 2009, 10:50:06 PM »
Dear John,

     Yes, you can run a common neutral for more than one circuit and it will work just fine, but it is not the prefered method.  They do have well made Romex style house wiring there, which has an included neutral.  But the Philippine Romex style wiring I saw only had the 2 circuit conductors and didn\'t have a ground wire, I don\'t know if you can get the 2 conductor with ground included there?

    When I shipped the material to wire my father-in-law\'s house I included wire nuts.  The local experts had never seen them and didn\'t know what they were.  In the old days here in the US they used to just twist the wires and friction tape the connection, how long has it been since you\'ve seen a roll of friction tape?  Later they started soldering the wires after twisting them and then taped them.  Now here the code says \"the integredy of the cannection can not rely on solder\".  I think what this means is if there is any stress or pull on the wires, then the soldered connection will eventually come apart?  I personally seen nothing electrically wrong with a good solder job solder on a tightly twisted connection, in other words becareful of a cold solder joint.  Electricions here only use wire nuts now, but sometimes you have to make the best of what you have.

    Good clean tight electrical connections are the important thing !!!

    Sounds like you have a handle on things, please let me know if there\'s anything else I can do.

Best always,
Harry.


--- On Thu, 7/23/09, John Buczek wrote:


    From: John Buczek
    Subject: Re: Philippine Electrical Mess
    To: \"Harry Morgan\"
    Date: Thursday, July 23, 2009, 6:39 PM

    Thanks for your quick reply and no......... I didn\'t have any trouble understanding you.  I was an engineer once upon a time, even though most engineers don\'t consider computer engineers to be \"real\" engineers. Once upon a time, 45 years ago, that included a course in basic wiring.  Not that I remember much other than subconsciously.

    Your understanding is correct.  The \"standard\" breaker box they use here is dual bus like American boxes but no neutral bus or ground bus bars.  As you said in your original piece, they  use one \"hot\" bus as the neutral bus.  After I caught my foreman connecting a breaker and being casual about which wire went where, no one is allowed in the panel but me.  I\'m sure you know the philosophy here: if it works, it\'s \"good enough\".

    I understand what you are saying about the hot wire remaining hot if the neutral breaker opens and the hot does not but I\'ve got to think that this is going to be VERY rare with the dual pole, single switch breakers we\'re using so I\'m reassured.  I always regard wiring as hot unless I\'ve tested it to ground anyway.  That has saved my butt a couple of times.

    Right now, all the ground wires run to the panel where they are stripped two inches back and combined in a large copper split bolt with connects to the \"neutral\" bus, the panel frame, the utilities neutral and the local ground rod all with #4 wire.  Twice a year I get myself a BB box by shopping on the internet and having the stuff shipped to my sister in Tampa.  She bundles it up and forwards it.  Next box I\'ll go shopping on the internet for a \"neutral bus bar\" or \"ground bus bar\" that I can add to my panel.  If I can\'t find it, I\'ll have a local machine shop make one out of copper bar stock if I can find it.  Aluminum if I cannot.  I\'ve tried every supplier in town and they all say they can\'t get me any such thing ready made.

    I\'m double checking all the junction boxes since I got a \"tingle\" from the chassis of one of my computers and discovered that the electrician had apparently registered his displeasure at being forced to run ground wires by not connecting some of them.

    I\'m getting ready to wire the second floor myself this time.  There are six circuits: lighting x2, plugs x2, hot water heaters (on demand wall mount type) and aircon units.  All the feed wires will run up from the panel in the first floor utility room to the \"attic\" through one 2\" conduit cast into a concrete column and then down the walls as needed.  The 2\" PVC conduit goes into a 12\" x 12\" metal junction box and will then be distributed.  I\'m wondering about the need to run separate neutrals for each circuit.  The feeds are 3.5 mm wire for the lights and 5.5 mm wire for the rest.  Seems to me I should be able to run a single #4 neutral to that junction box, then connect all six of the neutrals to that with a split bolt again.  Obviously the neutrals would no longer go through the breakers.  Do you see any hazards with that which I am not anticipating?

    Another frustration: wire nuts.  They are available here but only by the piece and at 300% to 400% of US prices.  The locals connections are just twisted tight as piano wire and taped with two layers of soft butyl tape.  Water proof as hell but no mechanical strength to speak of.

    This place has certainly taught me patience.

    Thanks again,

    John Buczek
    aka John in Valencia, N.O.


    Harry Morgan wrote:
    > Dear John,
    >
    >     Nice to hear from you and I\'ll see what I can do from 7000 miles away.  I am flattered you saved my original article, it is also posted on our Living in the Philippine forum at:
    >  http://livinginthephilippines.com/forum/index.php/topic,661.0.html
    >
    >     I didn\'t do a lot of shopping for electrical equipment there, I shipped mine from the US.  So I don\'t know what is available there.  I totally understand your frustrations with dealing with the \"experts\" there.
    >
    >     I think what you are saying is the box they sold you is an American style with 2 separate hot busses and you are using American style 2 pole 220 volt breakers with 1 common \"switch to turn off both poles of the breaker at the same time?  What you have to be careful of when you run the neutral through a fuse of a breaker is if the fuse or breaker blows/ trips in the neutral wire and DOES NOT blow/trip in the hot wire.  If this happens, the circuit will still be HOT even though noting on the circuit is working.  In effect the hot wire is still hot and has no where to go to complete the circuit, until you touch it and then you complete the circuit.  If both poles of the breaker are tied together, they \"should\" both trip no matter which one sensed the overload/fault, although this is not the best way to do things.  Just be very careful if the lights go out to make sure the circuit is really shut down before you stict your fingers on anything.  I can\'t stress this enough because the Philippines uses a full 220 volts to ground and the type of construction there makes a very good ground, you do not want to be the link between full 220 and a good ground.
    >
    >     Maybe you can find an electrical supply/distributor who would stock a ground buss, I am a little surprises there wasn\'t one in your breaker box already?  You would have to mount it securly to the metal box and then connect all of the white and green wires for your house branch circuits, scrape the paint off so it makes a good electrical connection.  You will also have to connect the neutral wire from the power company and the wire from your ground rod to the neutral/ground buss, be sure you have the correct neutral wire from the power company!!!!  You would then connect both hot busses to the one hot wire from the power company or just connect to one buss and run a jumper to the other buss.  You could still use your 2 pole breakers, but you would in effect have 2 circuits on one 2 pole breaker and if either circuit tripped it would also shut the other down.
    >
    >     The \"expert\" town electricians in Sibonga also told me there is no need for a green ground wire in the Philippines because one of their wires is already grounded.  Well, on American 110 volt circuits, one of the wires (white) also is already grounded and we still run a green ground wire.  In the old days here in the US we didn\'t run a green ground wire, but we do now and there is a very good reason for it.  I don\'t care what your Fred or my Jerry Silva in Sibonga says, it\'s a good idea.  And if you ever run into my Jerry and his 2 helpers, keep an eye on them so they don\'t try to take your tools.  And always deal with the power company yourself, not through the town electrician.
    >     I wouldn\'t want to do it myself, but I guess it is OK to run both the hot wire and the neutral wires through a 2 pole breaker, just be very sure that the breaker will open/turn off both wires if it trips.
    >
    >     Also, as I understand you, you are running a green grounding wire with your house circuits?  I am wondering what you are connecting it to in the breaker box if you don\'t have a ground buss?  It has to be securly connected to both the neutral wire from the power company and to your house ground rod and NOT run through any type of breaker of fuse.
    >
    >     I am sorry if I am hard for you to understand, even other electricians sometimes have a hard time understanding me.  Feel free to E-mail me any time.
    >
    > Best always,
    > Harry.
    > --- On *Thu, 7/23/09, John Buczek //* wrote:
    >
    >
    >     From: John Buczek
    >     Subject: Philippine Electrical Mess
    >     To: harry80020@yahoo.com
    >     Date: Thursday, July 23, 2009, 2:48 AM
    >
    >     Some time ago you posted a long message on LIP3 about electrical
    >     wiring in the Philippines.  I clipped it and saved it for the day
    >     that I got to that point in constructing my new home.
    >
    >     You also invited questions......... blessings on your head!
    >
    >     I\'m in Dumaguete.  I\'m more or less acting as my own master
    >     contractor with the help of my brother-in-law Fred, a filipino who
    >     graduated University of Zamboanga with a degree in Civil
    >     Engineering but has failed his license examine twice.  He has four
    >     years experience working for a construction company in Manila,
    >     mostly on apartments.  I paid a licensed engineer to review
    >     everything, take care of the permits and to visit the site and
    >     inspect weekly. So far most everything has gone fine.  No one
    >     around, foreigner or local, can believe how much we\'ve done on as
    >     little money as I\'ve actually spent.  We\'re done with heavy
    >     construction and are now doing finish work as money is available.
    >
    >     When it came to the electrical, I was away so I left it to my
    >     brother-in-law to hire an electrician and get all the rough wiring
    >     done.  The utility inspected and make the \"temporary\" connection
    >     pending a final inspection at completion.  I\'ve done all the
    >     finish wiring.  I insisted on a ground wire even though Fred
    >     argued that \'its not the filipino way\' which I\'m sure you\'ve run
    >     into.  I did that because I had frequently been zapped mildly but
    >     uncomfortably in the rental house we used to have.  I\'ve done a
    >     fair amount of \"owner\" wiring in the past, having lived in 11
    >     houses since I was 18, most of which I owned, but I hired the guy
    >     mostly because I didn\'t come here to work hard. .
    >
    >     Long preamble but now I\'ll come to the point.  I ran across your
    >     old message in my notes and went down and looked at the breaker
    >     box.  They did exactly what you said not to.  It\'s a double bus
    >     box and they are using the bus on one side as the neutral bus and
    >     are using double pole breakers on each circuit passing both the
    >     hot wire and the neutral through the breakers.
    >
    >     In your old post, this is what you said about that:
    >
    >     >>>>>>There should NEVER be
    >     a fuse or breaker in the neutral white GROUNDED wire, usually you
    >     will find this mistake in the old 2 fuse boxes. I have seen a fuse
    >     in the neutral a lot in the Philippines and some old installations in
    >     the US. If you find a fuse in the neutral GROUNDED wire, please
    >     remove it and connect the neutral GROUNDED wire direct. If you
    >     disagree with me and that fuse in the neutral ever blows, you may
    >     then understand why.<<<<<
    >
    >     Excuse me if I don\'t wait to see what happens..... .
    >
    >     There is no \"American style\" neutral bus in the box, all three of
    >     the local suppliers say they don\'t have any such box and this is
    >     \"how we do it here\".  I certainly could replace all the double
    >     pole breakers with single pole units and I could probably find a
    >     local machine shop to fabricate me a neutral bus but......... that
    >     would be a major step here, complicated by the fact that Fred, the
    >     electrician and three suppliers say \"this is the way we do it\"
    >     which could mean trouble with the utility\'s final inspection down
    >     the road.  My project includes three small apartments and two
    >     guest \"suites\" so I will also someday need an inspection from the
    >     municipal engineering office when I get my business license.  I
    >     won\'t pretend that the expense is of no interest either.
    >
    >     I sure appreciate knowing just what\'s going to happen if a breaker
    >     trips with the current system and some more reinforcement that
    >     making the change would be worth doing.
    >
    >     Since this conversation might be of general interest, I\'d be happy
    >     to move it onto LIP3 if you wish.
    >
    >     John Buczek
    >
    >

Offline Steve & Myrlita

  • Administrator
  • Sr Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 1,310
  • Myrlita & I and all of our grandchildren.
Re: electricity in the Philippines
« Reply #25 on: July 25, 2009, 04:57:38 PM »
My Dad taught me to 1st twist them together tightly using pliers. 2nd, to solder the twisted connection carefully using 60/40 solder making sure it\'s not a cold joint (Yes, I\'m a retired TV Repairman). 3rd to secure it with a wire nut. Finally last is to seal it with vinyl electrical tape. Yes, it\'s a lot of extra work but definitely safe and secure. My Dad still has connections in his house 44 yrs old and still look like 44 days old. Yes, old fashioned quality still counts to me. Not the local \"Good Enough\"...God Bless
Thank you...God Bless...
Bro Steve & Sis Myrlita
Bacolod City, PH
***********************
*** RIP MY FRIEND LEE ***
***       RIP DON H        ***
***********************

Offline harry80020

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 46
Re: electricity in the Philippines
« Reply #26 on: August 25, 2009, 08:43:28 PM »
Dear Craig,

    The short answer is yes, but:  First you will have to change the plug on the AC cord.  The Philippines uses a standard 2 prong 110 volt 15 amp receptacle for their 220, just like our 2 prong 110 volt receptacles here in the States.  Also I doubt you will have 3 prong receptacles in the PI, the 3rd prong is for grounding, and if so you \"should\" come up with another way of grounding the metal case of the AC unit.  You could rewire the whole house so it would have a 3rd grounding wire running with the branch circuits, or you can drive a ground rod near the AC unit and attach to that, or you can run a wire from the metal of the AC unit to a cold water pipe.  You could also ignore the grounding and not attach it, but this is not a good idea.

    Another issue in the PI is low voltage or brown outs.  Low voltage is hard on motors whether they be US or Philippine motors.  A converter or regulated power supply big enough to handle an AC unit would be a little expensive and I don\'t know how well they would take care of voltage drops?

    I am assuming you got my name from the article on our forum, but if not here is the address:   http://livinginthephilippines.com/forum/index.php/topic,661.0.html
Please let me know if you have any more questions.

Best always,
Harry.

--- On Mon, 8/24/09, Craig Baron wrote:


    From: Craig Baron
    Subject: Question about electricity in the Philippines
    To: harry80020@yahoo.com
    Date: Monday, August 24, 2009, 9:45 PM

    Hi, I am moving to the Philippines soon and was wondering about their 220v Vs.
    our 220v.  Can I use a 220v AC from the states in the Philippines with out a
    converter?  I see on the converters they have a 220 side so I guess that they
    convert Philippine 220 to US 220.  I\'m no electrician, just a plug and play
    type of guy.  Of course I don\'t want to screw that up either.
    Thanks.
    Craig

Offline harry80020

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 46
Re: electricity in the Philippines
« Reply #27 on: September 04, 2009, 09:48:17 PM »
Dear Mike,

    There isn\'t much you can do, but use a plug adapter.  Usually there is a short ground wire on the adapter you could connect to a ground rod or a cold water pipe, but then the unit wouldn\'t be very portable.  Another option would be double insulated tools.

    I built a unit for my wife\'s family from an industrial 2 kW transformer.  Since the wife\'s family doesn\'t understand electricity very well, I didn\'t run a ground wire and used a ground fault receptacle for the 110 volt secondary.  It isn\'t perfect, but it was the best I could think of.  Another option for you might be to make a \"pig tail\" to plug into your unit with a ground fault receptacle on the other end.

Best always,
Harry.

--- On Thu, 9/3/09, mkingrei@aol.com wrote:


    From: mkingrei@aol.com
    Subject: power tools in the philippines
    To: harry80020@yahoo.com
    Date: Thursday, September 3, 2009, 3:17 PM

    hi harry
     
    my wife is from a village near cabanatuan
     
    her brother is a carpenter, without many tools of his own
     
    on our last trip, i got to talking to him and agreed to set him up with some tools.
     
    we went to a local hardware store and tools were surprisingly expense
     
    we have purchased an assortment of power tools (saws, planers, etc) in the US to send to him.
     
    we will be getting a transformer such as this one
     
    http://cgi.ebay.com/2000-W-Watt-110V-220V-Voltage-Converter-Transformer_W0QQitemZ400070453060QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item5d260ea744&_trksid=p4634.c0.m14.l1262
     
    my question is since this unit has a grounded plug, and Philippines outlets are 2 bladed, will he just use a plug adapter?
     
    or should he just buy a 2000 watt transformer locally with the 2 blade plug, and use a plug adapter to plug the US power tools into the transformer?
     
    thanks
    mike
     

Offline harry80020

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 46
Re: electricity in the Philippines
« Reply #28 on: December 15, 2009, 11:59:35 PM »
Dear John,

    In the vast majority of the Philippines you will NOT have 2 hot wires like in the USA.  Although I understand there are a very few places near where the old US military bases used to be that do have the American style system.

    For the majority of the Philippines you will have 1 hot wire with a full 220 volts and one neutral/return wire with 0 volts.  Or at least you should have, you know how Philippine electricians are.  Ideally the hot wire will be black, red, or blue and the neutral wire will always be white.  The hot wire will go to the \"L\" connection and the neutral/white wire will go to the \"N\" connection.  For a screw in light bulb socket the hot wire goes to the base of the bulb and the neutral goes to the screw shell.

    I doubt you will find this in the Philippines, but in the US recepticles and other electric devices are color coded where the hot wire connects to a gold or copper colored screw/connection and the neutral wire connects to a silver colored screw/connection.  Also in the USA our recepticles/plug-in\'s have one slot that is wider/longer than the other, the hot wire connects to the narrower side and the neutral connects to the wider.

    It is always nice to hear from you and I am always willing to help.  Please be careful because it is difficult to trouble-shoot from a distance when I can\'t see what is going on with my own eyes.  Also I do understand there are differences with the language, even though we both speak English.

Best always,
Harry.

--- On Mon, 12/14/09, John Cable wrote:


    From: John Cable
    Subject: Re:- Sorry - - More On Electric\'s!
    To: \"Peter Cable\"
    Cc: harry80020@yahoo.com
    Date: Monday, December 14, 2009, 3:22 PM

    Dear Pete.

    If you keep up the good work you may just make an Electrician\'s Mate out of me yet.

    When I was a boy I used to love playing around in workshops and so it was that Dad told me that ammeters were expensive, easily damaged and not to be played with by young boys, hence I have never used one until a few days ago. Luckily there were some instructions.

    As you should have noticed years ago, most Filipino building contractor crews turn up with no power tools or electric gadgets at all. No electric drills, electric sanders or grinders etc. etc. as the manager quickly learns that power tools have the tendency to disappear with nobody knowing where they have gone. In line with this observation I also noticed years ago that Filipino Electricians don\'t have ammeters, but instead come armed with a low wattage light bulb screwed into a \'bulb\' holder out of the back of which  are two wires, normally one yellow & one black, each wire being about 6\" long. I have at least 3 knocking round the house and these are Filipino ammeters which here after I will call a \'Bulboe\'

    This morning I was scheduled to make bread, so prior to starting to make doe I fixed up a jury rig of extensions and ran the oven for 30 minutes on 200 Celsius. All went well, so oven also found to be OK. Hob Top remains untested; too frightened to try!

    So I found knocking round apartment  about 18 feet wire, one end of which I taped to kitchen bathroom tap shank which goes to ground and the other end of the wire I connected to one wire on my Filipino  \'Bulboe\'.

    My  \'Bulboe\' now had one unused wire which I have wandered round the apt sticking into wall sockets, and so I have found that each socket has two live wires as the bulb lights up both when I stick the wire in the \"N\" or \"L\" socket hole.

    You have a \'Budding\' genius on your hands!

    I have ever so carefully also been trying to learn how to use an ammeter; first measured resistance across UK typical fuse & got that right. Then measured voltage across 1.5 volt torch battery & all OK. Then went for broke and measured AC power across electric socket and it was 220 volts as you said. I then put one ammeter lead into say the \"N\" socket hole and the other ammeter lead end onto my ground wire on bath room shank and found both \"N\" and \"L\" socket holes produce 110 volts.

    AND so we get to today\'s question.

    I now know that in a grounded socket I will have or should have three wires, one being a ground.

    That leaves me with two black wires each carrying 110 volts.

    111) - - How do I know which of these two live wires I should attach to the \"L\" in a socket and which to \"N\" in a socket?

    OK

    Now for sake of example let us assume that the two live wires are coloured (blue and red) and I want to setup a two socket ring main. For sake of example I run a red live wire from fuse box to \"L\" in first socket and a Blue wire from fuse box to \"N\" in first socket.

    Now being a total idiot, I now run a red wire from \"L\" in first socket to \"N\" in second socket. Conversely, I run Blue wire from \"N\" in first socket to \"L\" in second socket. Does it matter ??? If it does matter, the answer to 111) - - - above is very important!!

    The fore going has totally exhausted my brain, so enough for today.

    Bye 4 now, Jon.


Offline harry80020

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 46
Re: electricity in the Philippines
« Reply #29 on: March 12, 2010, 01:15:57 AM »
Dear Steinar,

    I will give you some \"GUESSes\" on what you have, but it is very difficult to know for sure without being able to see & touch it myself.

    I \"think\" what you are describing is a United States style 2 buss breaker box with American style 2 pole breakers?  I \"think\" they are using one buss for the hot wire and the other buss for the neutral wire.  I have installed 2 American style breaker panels in Cebu, but I always tied the 2 busses together so both were hot and then used single pole breakers.  Then I ran all the neutral & ground wires to a metal connection bar mounted & grounded to the metal box, the wire from the ground rod also connects here.

    I would imagine your electricians did your installation this way because they didn\'t know any better and maybe because this is the only box/panel they had available?  You are fortunate they ran the neutral wire through a double/2 pole breaker, because the breaker will disconnect both wires in the event of a short or over load.  Yes, technically you do have 2 breakers in series in each circuit.  This will work and is safe, but it is \"not\" the preferred way to do things.  But it is sometimes difficult & expensive to find the correct equipment there and sometimes you have to make do with what is available.

    The shocks you are experiencing are not uncommon there, but I have no way of knowing if they are caused by the wiring method or the appliance itself?  If the neutral wire is \"not\" securely tied to a good ground reference in your breaker panel/box, it is \"possible\" for the system to \"float\" and build enough voltage in the metal frame of the appliance to give you a shock.  Another thing that \"could\" cause a shock would be if the hot & neutral wires are switched or reversed, which is not unheard of there.  It is \"never\" a good idea to reverse the hot & neutral connections, but \"unlikely\" to cause a shock.

    I know it is rarely done there, but it is \"ALWAYS\" a very good idea to run a 3rd green or bare wire with each circuit and securely connect it to the metal frame of each appliance.  This ground wire is connected to/with the neutral wires in the breaker box and securely connected to a good ground rod/cold water pipe, but this is the \"ONLY\" time and place the neutral and ground wires are connected together.

    I have some really funny stories about the town electricians in Sibonga & their work, if you are interested.  But the stocky electrician from the Cebeco office in Carcar is great & very knowledgeable, I wish I could remember his name.

    I apologize for being difficult to understand.  I usually have no trouble communicating with other electricians, but real/normal people can be a problem for me.  Please feel free to contact me again if I can be of further help.

Best always,
Harry.

   

--- On Wed, 3/10/10, Stones S. wrote:


    From: Stones S.
    Subject: the electric service in the Philippines
    To: harry80020@yahoo.com
    Date: Wednesday, March 10, 2010, 1:04 PM

    Hello Harry Morgan,


    I just read your writing at the net about the electricity in the Philippines, and I really understand what you write, but it does not correspong with the knwoledge of the electrician in the place of Cebu I stay.


    I renovated a house there, and put up all new cables for outlets, lights, owen etc. myself.

    I was aware of that they have one hot wire and one neutral, an has never seen any ground wire.


    What differs is that the new breakers i bought is double. As told by the electrician one are for the hot, the other for the neutral!........


    So when they connected the 8 mm2 main cables, to the main circuit breaker, of fuse as we call it, they asked specific which cable are hot and which  is neutral. Then they connected to the 30 Amp main fuse, both hot and neutral. I also connected all lines further the same way. So I DO have 2 fuses for each circuit.


    You mean that if the neutral circuit blows I\'ll be in problem? But the thing is, that if that one blow, it will pull the hot one at the same time since they are connected together in the handle of the breaker... Comments?



    And you write that the neutral should not go via a fuse, but connected together outside fuses...that will be about 8 neutral cables I have to assemble...


    Then when we are talking about washing machine, ref oven or other items, I discovered that they are sensitive of which cable to the  eg. oven get the hot wire. This because I got electric \"shock\" not much, but I could even measure voltage from the body to ground, but not if I turned the plug 180 degrees....


    Once, many many years ago, when we bought the first ref. there, I grounded it. But this ground cable brought current to the body of the ref. so that needed to remove it.

    Since then, I never grounded the ref again :-)


    Now, I have brought a baking oven, ceramic cooking oven, washing machine etc. to the house, and this tells me I have to ground them correct, and be sure to connect it correct as well.


    So, whats your comments?


    Best regards

    Steinar Selvaag

    Sweden