KEYWORDS: watts, amps, heater, trailer, volts, circuit

Watch Your Watts

David Berg

Emergency Notice!:—Warning by Dad!

DFO No.941 22/10/80

1. UNLESS YOU LIVE IN AN AREA WHERE ELECTRICITY IS CHEAP & HIGH-POWERED, DON'T BUY THESE 2,000-WATT ELECTRICAL BLOWER HEATERS! A 1,000-watt electric blower heater is usually more than sufficient to heat the average trailer, & even a 500-watt blower heater is preferable in milder climates. But a combination heater with both of these lower speeds is ideal, as then you can select whatever heat you need, & your circuits & wiring can take it without blowing all the fuses & burning down your house or trailer!

2. WE HAVE FOUND A SMALL LOW-WATT COMBINATION ELECTRIC BLOWER ROOM HEATER that is ideal also for cold bedrooms & poorly heated houses with poor wiring & low amp fuses that will make either your trailer or bedroom cozy in mildly cold weather with only two speeds‚ either 500 watts or 1250 watts, which most trailer & house circuits can take without blowing out all the lights every few minutes & can even be left on all night & all day if necessary.

3. THE USUALLY COMBINATION 1000- TO 2000-WATT BLOWER HEATER IS ONLY NECESSARY IN EXTREMELY COLD CLIMATES & can only be used on a house or trailer circuit with at least 30 to 45 amps (or over) capacities & with 30 to 45 amps (or over) fuses or breaker switches. Check your fuses or breaker switch & note its top amperage to be sure that it is sufficient to carry the load of your heater plus all of your lights, TV‚ fridge, hot plate or electric stove, washer &/or dishwasher.

4. WATCH YOUR WATTS!—OR YOU'RE GOING TO BE FREQUENTLY BLOWING OUT THE LIGHTS, fuses or breaker switch, or even run the risk with poor wiring burning down your house or trailer! Remember that the total electric load which either your house or trailer can carry is dependent on its wiring‚ fuses, & breaker switch limit.

5. ALSO, MANY TRAILER PARKS HAVE AN AMPERAGE LIMIT FOR EACH OUTLET & if you exceed that limit it will flip your breaker switch to off & you'll have to go get the manager to come & unlock the box & turn it back on again‚ which he won't like! On Europe's usual 220 to 240 volt circuits, these amperage limits for electricity in most trailer parks are set for either 2, 3 or 5 amps, or at the most 10 amps in wintertime, for which you pay extra.

6. THIS MEANS THAT EVEN IN TRAILER PARKS WHICH WILL SELL YOU THE HIGH–POWERED 10-AMP ELECTRICITY for an additional fee above the normal rate‚ your circuit will still only carry on a 10-amp circuit, 2200 to 2400 watts, as you get the total number of watts any circuit will carry by multiplying the voltage times the amperage. In other words, on a European 220 voltage with a 10-amp fuse or breaker switch‚ you could only get a total electrical load of 10X220 which is only 2200 watts, which still is not much when you are running a 1000-watt electric heater & lots of lights, TV, etc. And if you should throw your heater onto 2000 watts & have more than two 100-watt bulbs burning, it'll blow your circuit!

7. IN MOST TRAILER PARKS IN EUROPE, YOU CANNOT EVEN GET THIS 10-AMP ELECTRICITY! Some will give you 2 or 3 amps free or for a small additional fee, but 2 or 3 amps at 220 volts would only permit you to burn about 5 or 6 lights without blowing a fuse or tripping the breaker switch (or minus one light for your small portable TV)‚ as 220 volts on only 2 to 3 amps will only give you 440 to 660 watts!

8. SO THE 2-AMP ELECTRICITY WILL NOT EVEN CARRY A 500-WATT ELECTRIC HEATER, as 2 X 220 equals only 440 watts! And a 3-amp 220-volt circuit will only carry 660 watts, which only allows you one 500–watt electric heater plus one 100–watt bulb & one 60-watt bulb, a total of only 660 watts!

9. EVEN THE 5-AMP LIMIT ON 220 VOLTS WILL ONLY GIVE YOU 5X220, which equals only 1100 watts total, which will barely carry your 1000–watt electric heater & one 100-watt light bulb & nothing more without blowing the lights & sending for the manager to turn them back on, & with him bawling you out for using too much electricity! And even if you pay extra for the 10-amp limit, 10 X 220 equals only 2200 watts, so you could only use your 2000-watt heater & two 100–watt light bulbs on a 10 amp 220-volt circuit!

10. IF YOU'RE GOING TO USE NOT ONLY ELECTRIC LIGHTS & AN ELECTRIC HEATER PLUS AN ELECTRIC HOT PLATE for cooking, you could only do this on a 10-amp 220-volt circuit allowing a load limit of only 2200 watts by using only an electric heater of not more than 1000 watts & an electric hot plate of not more than 1000 watts & two 100-watt light bulbs, or a total of 2200 watts on 220 volts at 10 amps, as 10 X 220 = only 2200 watts.

11. SO IF YOU'RE IN A TRAILER PARK THAT'S ONLY GIVING YOU 5 AMPS OF 220, which is a total of only 1100 watts you could only use your heater or your hot plate & not both at the same time!—And on only 2 or 3 amps at 220 volts you can't use either, but only a few lights & possibly your small portable TV.

12. SO IF YOU WANT TO USE EITHER YOUR 1000-WATT ELECTRIC HEATER OR YOUR 1000-WATT ELECTRIC HOT PLATE ON EUROPE'S 220 VOLTS, BE SURE YOU'RE GETTING AT LEAST 5 AMPS OF ELECTRICITY, or you'll only be able to burn one of them at a time!—Even if you're buying 10 amps, you'll only be able to burn the two of them & not much more—& if your trailer writing is not good & well fused or breaker-switched, you could burn your trailer too!

13. EVEN MANY EUROPEAN APARTMENTS & HOUSES ARE NOT EQUIPPED FOR MORE THAN 220 VOLTS AT 15 AMPS‚ which is only a total of 15 X 220 which equals only 3300 watts‚ barely enough to run three 1000-watt utilities plus three 100-watt light bulbs without blowing the fuses or breaker switch! And don't forget that your fridge takes another 100 watts & your TV another 100 watts & your washing machines another 1000 or 2000, & some washers & dishwashers take as high as 3000 or 4000 watts alone, which you could not even use on a 15 amp circuit, much less your fridge‚ electric heater, TV, lights, etc. together all at the same time—which is what you're apt to need in most houses or apartments!

14. SO EVEN IN A HOUSE OR APARTMENT, if you hope to use a hot plate, electric heater, fridge, TV, washer or dishwasher & a few light bulbs, you had better be sure you've got at least a 30 to 45–amp circuit at 220 volts, or you'll only be able to use a few of these at one time & not all together all at once.

15. WE'VE LIVED IN SOME HOUSES & APARTMENTS WHERE YOU HAD TO UNPLUG THE FRIDGE &/OR SHUT OFF THE ELECTRIC STOVE IN ORDER TO USE THE WASHING MACHINE, MUCH LESS AN ELECTRIC HEATER! In the Americas, the prevailing electricity is only 110 volts at 30 amps, or 30 X 110 which equals only 3300 watts total, or the equivalent of Europe's 220 volts at 15. So you're in the same fix there on 30 amps & 110 volts as you are in Europe on 15 amps & 220 volts.

16. SO WATCH YOUR WATTAGE, OR YOU MAY BLOW THE WHOLE WORKS AS WELL AS BURN DOWN YOUR HOUSE OR TRAILER! God bless & keep you from too many watts on too few amps!—And never try to bypass your fuses with a coin or bolt‚ or you could burn up your wiring, appliances, house or trailer! Either use higher amp fuses or ask an electrician to check your breaker-switch to a higher amperage if he thinks your house or trailer wiring can stand it!—Most old ones can't!

17. SO WATCH YOUR WATTS!—BUY LOWER WATT ELECTRIC APPLIANCES TO SUIT YOUR CIRCUITS & AMPERAGE LIMITS! Multiply your amps limit by your voltage to get the total wattage capacity of your house, apartment or trailer, like 15 amps x 220 volts = 3300 watts total. Then add up the watts of the appliances you plan to use‚ & see how many & which combinations of them you can use at a time, & be sure & not exceed it!—Or you'll blow your circuits & wish you'd WATCHED YOUR WATTS!

18. LOOK ON THE BOTTOM BACK OR SIDE OF EACH APPLIANCE TO FIND THE WATTS it uses, usually stamped on a metal plate required by law, such as "100W" or "500W" or "1000W" etc.

19. THEN FIGURE HOW MANY OF THESE APPLIANCES YOU NEED TO HAVE GOING AT ONCE, & HOW MANY WATTS‚ add up their total watts & see if your circuit, fuse or breaker-switch can take it, by comparing the total wattage capacity of your circuit (Amps x Volts) to the total watts of your appliances‚ like a 500W heater plus 500W hot plate plus 100W fridge plus 2000W washer plus five 100W bulbs plus 50W TV plus 600W toaster, etc.

20. SEE IF YOU HAVE ENOUGH JUICE TO RUN'M ALL OR WHICH & HOW MANY YOU CAN RUN AT ONCE on your circuit wattage limit (Amps x Volts) without blowing the lights, grouping for a flashlight, torch or candle & matches until you find & replace the fuses or fix the breaker-switch, or call for the manager or an electrician while you sit in the dark, cold & hungry.

21. WATCH YOUR WATTS!—Or you'll be sorry you didn't! God bless & keep you from overloaded circuits & wires! Love‚—Dad P.S.—And you can't use anything, lights radio or portable TV on car battery, except a coffee cup coil!