Using power line adaptors across circuit breakers?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by sultanoflondon, Jan 30, 2014.

  1. sultanoflondon macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2013
    #1
    Hi all,

    I know that this question is not meant to be in this forum, but I could not find anywhere else to put it.

    I have an iMac, and it has a weak internet connection because it is far away from the router.

    I have some power line adaptors, but the router is on a different circuit to the iMac. Would this still work?


    Thanks!
     
  2. stridemat, Jan 30, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2014

    stridemat Moderator

    stridemat

    Staff Member

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    UK
    #3
    Mine go across circuit breakers, speed drops a little, but is still perfectly useable.
     
  3. Tumbleweed666 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2009
    Location:
    Near London, UK.
    #4
    Mine go across circuit breakers AND are on an extension cord.
    But if you already have the gizmos why don't you just try it !?
     
  4. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

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    Jul 24, 2009
    #5
    The only time they do not work is when the adaptors are on different phases.
     
  5. sultanoflondon thread starter macrumors regular

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    Dec 3, 2013
    #6

    Thanks for your reply. I tried; it didn't work! I hoped that someone here would come up with a genius reply?!

    ----------


    I'm in the UK, and I have 3 phase power supply from the National Grid, does that make a difference?


    Thanks!
     
  6. CH12671 macrumors 6502

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    Dec 29, 2013
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    Southern US
    #7
    He doesn't mean phase, but rather bus. Your distribution panel should have 3 separate busses if you are on 3 phase electricity. Here in the US, we are on single, split phase (most people mistake it for two phase, but it really isn't). Anyway, the two hot wires that come into the distribution panel each attach to a separate bus at the panel. Your gizmos will have to be on the same bus, or there would be no way for the signal to travel from one to the other. Your problem can be fixed, but would require an electrician.
     
  7. Shane1905 macrumors regular

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    May 21, 2012
    Location:
    UK
    #8
    I'm an electrician in the uk, I know exactly what you mean and it has nothing to do with busses, as long as the circuit is on the same phase you will be fine, in theory as long as your neighbour was on the same phase on the same side of the transformer you could share one with them. Circuit breakers will not cause any loss in speed compared with being on the same circuit, the only thing that will affect speed is cable length but you should not see any appreciable difference. If one of the circuit breakers operates whilst you are using separate circuits you will loose your connection and if you try and use separate phases it will not work. I've been using one across two separate ring mains for a few years now and not had a single issue with streaming 1080 content, the main bottleneck will be the speed your receive from your ISP. If you need any more help feel free to ask, Shane.
     
  8. Shane1905 macrumors regular

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    May 21, 2012
    Location:
    UK
    #9
    Yes he does mean phase, UK and US electrical supplies are completely different, in the UK we operate on 3 phase and neutral supplies meaning 415v between phases and 230v between any phase and neutral (or earth). Most domestic supplies are a single phase, your neighbour will normally be on the second and their neighbour on the third before repeating the cycle so that the load on the transformer is balanced. If for whatever reason you premises requires a 3 phase supply, for example a workshop, large office building, farm etc your circuits should be clearly marked so that you know which circuit is on which phase. In the US I believe you are on 115v split transformers meaning between any live cable and earth there will be only be 57.5v lowering the chance of an electric shock during a fault and the full 115v between both live cables. This is what we use for power tools etc in external industrial settings in the UK.
     
  9. ElectronGuru macrumors 65816

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    Oregon, USA
    #10
    I set one up in an old house, with 4 generations of wiring. Speed was slower than wifi and connection sporadic. I've had better luck placing AP repeaters on the same floor as the modem.
     
  10. CH12671 macrumors 6502

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    Dec 29, 2013
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    Southern US
    #11
    So, does each phase come in on a separate bus? And yes, we are on 120v (+/-) split phase, so there are 240v difference between the two hot wires at peak. Not sure what you mean by 57.5v, unless you are averaging. At peak, there would be 120v difference between one side and earth ground.

    Edit: Nevermind, I see from reading another post that each house only gets one of the three phases.

    ----------

    Well, we operate on 3 phase here in the US as well. My understanding of what you guys were saying is that you have 3 phase electricity into each home. You have 3 phase from the generator, with one phase going into each home. Each phase being 230v differential from the ground? Here in US we have 3 phases at 120 degrees....which I'm sure is what you have there (anything else would be way inefficient). The only difference is you send the whole 230v from one phase into a house (so your transformers are stepping down to 230 v) and here in the US our transformers split one phase (center tap) and send 120v down two hot wires (oriented at 180 degrees to each other). Each 120v wire attaches to a separte bus at the distribution panel. And yes, all three phases will normally go into a neighborhood, and your neighbor will be on a different phase than you....it's a rotation to evenly distribute the load. This is why every third house could potentially lose electricity, if something happened to one phase.

    ----------

    So then answer me this riddle....if each house gets only one phase, then why would we suggest it won't work if they are on different phases? Wouldn't we assume that both ends of the adapter are in the same house?
     
  11. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

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    Jul 24, 2009
    #12
    My last house came with a workshop(large garage) to the rear that was run as a small business back in the 80's. The electricity supply had been moved from single phase to 3 phase. In the early 90's the workshop was closed down and the property was rewired fully but the existing 3 phase supply remained.

    The three phases were used in the following manor.

    1nd phase was run out to the garage.
    2nd was used on the kitchen and bathroom
    3rd phase was used for 3 ring mains and lighting

    When I converted the loft space for my sons bedroom the only phases I could wire into due to the fuse board being full on the 3rd phase was the 1st or 2nd so to speak. No issue until fibre optic broadband came along and I wanted to give his computer a hardwired connection from the router.

    Power line adaptors in this instance do not work. I ended up running a cat6 cable up to the roof space.
     
  12. bernuli macrumors 6502

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    #13
     
  13. CH12671 macrumors 6502

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    Dec 29, 2013
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    Southern US
    #14
    OK, now that makes sense....so the different parts of your property were electrically isolated.

    I apologize if I confused the OP. I knew UK was on ~230v, but didn't realize that was coming in on a single, coherent phase. Thanks for teaching me!
     
  14. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    #15
    No problems. Suppose a scenario helped explain the difference.

    I'd say every domestic dwelling in the uk should be on a single phase but the odd exception does exist.
     
  15. Shane1905 macrumors regular

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    UK
    #16
    I see you now understand from the description that followed this comment but I'd just like to say that google is not only obvious but is also not your friend when trying to when trying to correct someone with almost 10 years practical day in day out experience with the exact thing I was writing about ;) I think you'll find that between 'hot' wires in your house there will only be 120v not 240, half your supply voltage is what you will have live to earth IF you are running on a centre tapped transformer, the centre tap is earth. So if you have 120v from one end of the transformer to the other then you will have half in the middle. This is all besides the point though. As I'm sure he has now found out, same phase good, different phase bad. That's all you need to know with power line adapters. Old wiring systems can slow your speed down due to poor connections and the possibility of no earthing but modern houses should have no issues whatsoever. When seeking any electrical advice always seek it from someone at the very least from the same country as you as different nations have very different wiring systems and standards, it's not the type of thing you want to get wrong as you'll most likely only do it the once.
     
  16. nebo1ss macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2010
    #17
    Actually in the US there is 120 volt between each hot wire and earth. In the Kitchen they normally run both hot wires to the cooker and the dryer to get 240 volts because there is 240 volts between the two hot wires. These are devices in a US home that needs 240 volts.

    My advice to the OP would be to first try syncing the two devices on adjacent sockets in the same room. If you cannot get them to work there they will not work anywhere. Once they are functioning then transfer them to where you need to use them. You should not have a problem and if you do it is likely to be a faulty device.
     
  17. Shane1905 macrumors regular

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    UK
    #18
     
  18. nebo1ss macrumors 68030

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    #19
     
  19. Shane1905 macrumors regular

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    UK
    #20
     
  20. CH12671 macrumors 6502

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    Southern US
    #21
    Although you have already been corrected, I'd like to add that I don't use google to find out my information about electricity. I have a degree in physics. As you have since found out, our phases are split, and then shifted 180 degrees to each other, meaning that while one half is peaking at +120v, the other half is peaking at -120v, hence giving us 240v differential at peak. In fact, the old way of doing things didn't even involve a neutral or ground conductor when we wanted 240v, as the differential was already there. Then we added a third wire, and now we have added the 4th wire (earth ground). (new 240v appliances use plugs with 4 prongs). Again, beside the point, but I did want to point that out. I appreciate you comparing my knowledge of electricity to that of google's, but I got mine at a university, not online. We only use 240v for large appliances that require much electrical power....so as to lower the amount of current flowing through a circuit. :)

    ----------

    However, I will readily admit that I have a lack of knowledge about the UK's system...but i have learned something today that I can take back to my classes.
     
  21. BellaireTX macrumors newbie

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    Mar 18, 2016
    Location:
    Bellaire, TX
    #22
    --- Post Merged, Mar 18, 2016 ---
    I am too struggling to make the Powerline work in my garage. The house has a separate garage. The power supply has two hot and one neutral. My powerline (plus a Netgear router) provides good WiFI coverage in my house and yard while plugged in the house. However, when I moved it to my garage, all lights on both powerline and router are lit, my laptop and cell phone see the WIFI signal from the Netgear router, but the have no internet service. Can any one help me? I understand that Poerline will not work if plugged into to two separate phases. But, mine is a single phase and maybe on two separate split lines. Please help. My thanks in advance.
     
  22. macsrwe macrumors newbie

    macsrwe

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    Jan 24, 2006
    Location:
    Arizona
    #23
    There are two phases coming into your breaker box. In a row of breakers, the first breaker is on one phase, the second on the other, the third on the same as the first, etc. (We're counting full-size breakers only -- if you have a split breaker with two switches on it, the entire breaker is on the same phase.) When you have a ganged breaker (two strapped together) you will find they are for a 240V appliance such as a dryer, A/C, stove, water heater, etc., and are making use of both phases (that's why they alternate on the bus).

    Now, if the sending unit and the receiving unit are on the same bus (you'll have to count breaker slots), they ought to work great. If they are not on the same bus, they might or might not work. Newer equipment using newer protocols have better chances.

    Two things you can do to fix this.

    One, take one of the breakers involved and swap it with the breaker above or below it. (They pull out and plug in without you having to touch anything live. Don't play with the feed wire, just move it with the breaker.) Try to exchange it with a breaker of the same value, because sometimes the electrician has carefully balanced the load on each bus. (Don't forget to swap the labels when you're done.) That way they will both be on the same bus. (Obviously, if you have more than two networking units to coordinate, this could get pretty involved.)

    Or, install a bridge product, which is made to pass non-power signals between the two buses. This one is made for Insteon units, but I suspect it may work equally well for powerline ethernet.

    In general, this page contains a great discussion of the issues in powerline networking
     

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