Power Outlets – By Charlie Santmire
I’m Charlie Santmire. I started The Sound Environment 48 years ago. My idea was to provide high-performance audio systems for music lovers. Today my associates and I are doing the same thing. Our research has become far more refined and our ability to provide really good systems over a broad range of prices has improved greatly. Some of my associates have suggested that I tell my story and provide my current thoughts about systems as developments occur.
I will try to write on various subjects as often as I can. I welcome your input, thoughts on what you would like to see covered, and questions as we move along. Just click HERE to email me directly.
Much to say here. As your system gets better and better the quantity and quality of the power delivered becomes more important.
I was moved to write this because of a problem one of our customers was having. He lives in an older home that did not have the now standard three conductor IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) female wall outlet. In this country, that consists of two parallel blades and a half round connector. It looks like this.
The longer blade is ground the half round is also ground. The shorter blade is 120 volts (nominally) above ground. It is important that the long blade is in fact ground not “hot” (120 volts above ground). You should check your outlets, especially those used for your system. We have found some wired incorrectly.
There is an inexpensive little device to test this or you can use a VOM (volt/ohm meter), if you know how to use one. The long blade and the half round connections are or should be electrically the same. If you have an audio/video component that has a power cord with the matching three conductors, do not cheat. Cheating can do damage to yourself or your component.
If you have an outlet that consists of only two blades, replace it with a standard IEC three conductor outlet. If you home has only a two wires going to the outlet rather than three, one will be ground and one will be “hot.” Connect the ground wire to both the long blade and the half round. If you are not confident about how to do this get an electrician to do it. We are not authorized to and will not do it.
If you are unsure of your situation call or e-mail us. We can provide advice.
There is more to delivering good power and having a good ground but this is a start.