Interesting Youtube channel

JohnD

Well-Known Member
Fight Leukemia

derekleffew

Resident Curmudgeon
Senior Team
Premium Member
Great find!

OKay, I'm less than two minutes into the Salt Water Dimmers video and already have a question only @STEVETERRY , @JonCarter , or @MPowers can answer: Why, in a dimmer, brine , is the hot connected to the lamp and the neutral run thru the dimmer? Presenter says "that's the way it's always been done." Which, as we know, is never a satisfactory (or satisfying) answer.
 

JonCarter

Well-Known Member
I don't know definitely why resistance dimmers were always placed in the neutral vs. the hot side of the circuit, but: If the dimmer is in the neutral side of the circuit, any short to ground in the light circuit would either blow a fuse or bring the light to full. This way the electrician would know s/he had a problem. If the dimmer is in the hot side of the circuit, any short would result in the light being "off" and burning out the dimmer or boiling out the water in a salt water dimmer before the electrician knew about it.
 

STEVETERRY

Well-Known Member
Great find!

OKay, I'm less than two minutes into the Salt Water Dimmers video and already have a question only @STEVETERRY , @JonCarter , or @MPowers can answer: Why, in a dimmer, brine , is the hot connected to the lamp and the neutral run thru the dimmer? Presenter says "that's the way it's always been done." Which, as we know, is never a satisfactory (or satisfying) answer.
This follows the odd practice of having resistance dimmers in the neutral--which was quite common (no pun intended). I can only imagine one reason: with all those exposed "not dead-front" dimmer plates, was it considered safer to have the dimmer closer to ground potential?

ST
 

JonCarter

Well-Known Member
I worked with a lot of resistance dimmer boards in the '50s, '60s and '70s, including a lot pf piano boards, and never worked on one built such that there was much chance of the operator getting in contact with the terminals on a resistance plate, Unless, of course, the operator was incredibly stupid enough to stick his/her hand down between the dimmers and grab something that was obviously hot.. There was a basic assumption at the time that people had at least a small bit of common sense. (This is an item which regulatory agencies nowadays seem to assume that no one has.)
 

TimMc

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
I worked with a lot of resistance dimmer boards in the '50s, '60s and '70s, including a lot pf piano boards, and never worked on one built such that there was much chance of the operator getting in contact with the terminals on a resistance plate, Unless, of course, the operator was incredibly stupid enough to stick his/her hand down between the dimmers and grab something that was obviously hot.. There was a basic assumption at the time that people had at least a small bit of common sense. (This is an item which regulatory agencies nowadays seem to assume that no one has.)
Jon, that's because... wait for it... people are more stupid, unaware, and disconnected from their situations than ever. People have actually done the stupid stuff all those warning stickers tell you to not do. Seriously.
 

Users who are viewing this thread