# What is 230 220 1 2

## 230 volts

### Why does a voltage of 230 volts come from the socket?

It is no coincidence that the voltage in the power grid is now 230 volts. When setting up its power grid, Germany - like Austria and Switzerland - initially opted for 220 volts. In the UK, on ​​the other hand, the mains voltage was 240 volts. In order to be able to implement a Europe-wide uniform power grid, the European countries defined a standard voltage of 230 volts in the international standard IEC 60048 in 1983.

The fact that the voltage was originally 220 volts can be explained with a reference to the United States of America towards the end of the 19th century. The first power plants used for the long-distance transmission of electricity reached a voltage of 110 volts. In the first years of electrification, the energy generated was also primarily used to illuminate streets. Initially, carbon arc lamps with 55 volts were used in pairs and later arc lamps with 100 volts and a series resistor of 10 volts.

In Europe, the first power lines were built a little later than in the USA. Based on the experiences of the Americans, the local electrical engineers decided to work with a higher voltage. The main reasons for this are that a higher line voltage enables more efficient transmission of electricity. So that the light sources used for street lighting could still be used by connecting them in series, the decision-makers set a value of 220 volts.

### When did you switch from 220 to 230 volts?

In 1987, the European nations began to gradually adjust the mains voltage. Initially, the tolerance range was -23 volts to +13.8 volts. Since 2009, the voltage may be 230 ± 23 volts. In principle, the mains voltage can therefore be in the range between 207 volts and 253 volts. These tolerance conditions ensured that devices designed for 220 volts could also be operated without any problems.

### How many watts of power can be drawn from a 16-amp socket?

Since the lines can be heated by the flow of electricity, the fuse box in conventional household sockets only allows a maximum current of 16 amperes. The maximum output in watts results from the product of current strength and voltage. This results in the following calculation:

• Maximum power = current x voltage

= 16 amps x 230 volts

= 3,680 watts.

This means that electrical appliances with a total output of up to 3,680 watts can be operated from an appropriately fused socket. If this limit is exceeded, the fuse interrupts the circuit. In practice, however, a maximum load of 2,500 watts is recommended. However, the calculated value relates to a socket that has its own fuse. If several household sockets use the same circuit, a value of 2,500 watts also applies.

### How dangerous is an electric shock from 230 volt household electricity?

Electricity accidents occur most frequently within your own four walls. Corresponding incidents due to manual work are particularly common, for example when changing a light bulb or repairing a kettle. Older devices and damaged cables in particular are a serious source of danger.

The effects of an electric shock depend on various factors - in addition to the voltage and the current strength, in particular the contact area, the duration of action and the path that the current takes through the body. In principle, however, consumers should not make the mistake of underestimating the risk of electric shock. This can cause both cardiac arrhythmias (ventricular fibrillation) and paralysis of the respiratory muscles.

Since complaints can also occur after a delay, those affected should consult a doctor if possible, even if they are fine immediately after the accident. If, after an electrical accident, you experience a rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath or a feeling of cramps in the chest area, it is necessary to call the emergency services immediately.

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