ECN Electrical Forum - Discussion Forums for Electricians, Inspectors and Related Professionals

Page 1 of 2 1 2 >
Topic Options
Rate This Topic
#22289 - 02/21/03 10:40 AM 60Hz +/- ???
ThinkGood Offline
Registered: 08/07/02
Posts: 1081
Loc: Milwaukee, WI
On my residential electric, I used a DMM to check the frequency. One leg read 60Hz, the other read 61Hz. I believe that voltage can run anywhere from 110 to 125 VAC. Is there a particular range for the frequency as well? I don't think that one Hz will matter very much, but it seems strange that one is 60 and one is 61.
Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades
#22290 - 02/21/03 10:59 AM Re: 60Hz +/- ???
C-H Offline
Registered: 09/17/02
Posts: 1497
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
>One leg read 60Hz, the other read 61Hz.

Impossible. That would require you to be connected to two different power grids.

>Is there a particular range for the frequency as well?

Yes, and it is probably less than 1 Hz. For Europe it's +/-1%, but for the main European grid it's .1 Hz or better, AFAIK. I cannot imagine that the American grid would be any worse.
#22291 - 02/21/03 11:09 AM Re: 60Hz +/- ???
Pearlfish Offline
Registered: 09/12/02
Posts: 83
Loc: Chicago Ridge, Il, USA
the 1.6% difference your seeing between readings is just the margin-of-error built into your meter. Some meters have higher tolerences than others. Your readings could be affected by anything from ambient temperatures/humidity or your battery strength or how many times you dropped your meter.
#22292 - 02/23/03 09:13 PM Re: 60Hz +/- ???
Trumpy Offline

Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8211
Loc: SI,New Zealand
Good point, mate!.
Meter accuracy is very important when taking frequency measurements, a lot more so than on voltage measurements.
I would personally only use an Analouge meter, built for the purpose.
Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green grin
#22293 - 02/24/03 08:41 PM Re: 60Hz +/- ???
Admin Online   content

Registered: 10/07/00
Posts: 3417
Loc: NY, USA
Posted for Bjarney:
Electric utilities worldwide use GPS clocks for system frequency tracking, that are routinely accurate to 0.000 000 05 seconds. In the US, regional electric coordinating councils take frequency accuracy very seriously, for not doing so would make it very hard to conduct bulk-power transactions. {It takes electricity about 0.000 000 001 seconds to travel 1 foot through cable.}

Read over your meter’s manual and consider its published accuracy figures—it’s likely there is some measurement error.

- Bjarney
#22294 - 02/25/03 01:42 PM Re: 60Hz +/- ???
Andre M Offline
Junior Member
Registered: 02/22/03
Posts: 8
Loc: Wheeling, IL
Since long time, line frequency (60Hz) was used to drive street and house clocks in America.
Still some grids in Third World has synchonized (between power plants) but not stabilized frequency, and their line powered clocks lag 10-20 minutes per day.
Of course, no problem with battery, quartz stabilized clocks.
#22295 - 02/25/03 04:40 PM Re: 60Hz +/- ???
pauluk Offline
Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7520
Loc: Norfolk, England
I'd say it's the display resolution of the meter. Applied voltage shouldn't affect the frequency readout, but on some types a minor difference in voltage between the two legs could cause the display counter to be out by one count on the two readings.
#22296 - 02/25/03 06:06 PM Re: 60Hz +/- ???
sparky66wv Offline
Registered: 11/17/00
Posts: 2232
Loc: West Virginia
(Ahem) Check Check test test *tap tap tap* Is this thing on?

Mods feel free to delete, apparently I'm having no problems posting here...

[This message has been edited by sparky66wv (edited 02-25-2003).]
Residential/Commercial Inspector
5 Star Inspections
Member IAEI
#22297 - 02/25/03 07:17 PM Re: 60Hz +/- ???
Sandro Offline
Registered: 12/30/01
Posts: 444
Loc: Stoney Creek, ON, Canada
Interesting topic.... when doing field installations, I still come across specs on wiring for 60hz and wiring for 50hz. When and where would I come across 50hz frequency? Or is dual frequency rating a standard manufacturing practice?
#22298 - 03/03/03 08:30 PM Re: 60Hz +/- ???
SvenNYC Offline
Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 1691
Loc: New York City
Sandro, 50 hertz is usually used in Europe, Asia, Africa and parts of South America (Argentina and Chile, for ex.).

I don't know where it would be used here in North America and the northern part of South America (Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador). I think all power companies in this area generate 60 hertz.

Wonder why the wiring would be different...probably something internal with the equipment you're wiring? A frequency dependent component like a timing chip, perhaps?

Page 1 of 2 1 2 >

Member Spotlight
Member Since: 12/24/00
Posts: 4259
New in the Gallery:
SE cable question

2017 NEC and Related
2017 NEC
Now Available!

Shout Box

Who's Online
0 registered (), 57 Guests and 8 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
New in the Gallery:
SE cable question
Top Posters (30 Days)
Admin 49
HotLine1 43
gfretwell 18
Ruben Rocha 12
Trumpy 9
Newest Members
Freecrowder, clee512, Jdscott2005, FAIZAN, Regitest2

ECN Electrical Forums - sponsored by Electrical Contractor Network - Electrical and Code Related Discussion for Electrical Contractors, Electricians, Inspectors, Instructors, Engineers and other related Professionals