# California cuppa crisis

## A right pot boiler

"As California Goes Dark, boiling a kettle takes even longer for our US readers..." Naturally, they weren't going to let it go at that. If you ever wanted to know about watts, amps and kettles, the Reg can deliver. John starts thre ball rolling with:

When it comes to boiling your kettle, power is power in other words watts are the same here as there. Lets say your kettle takes 1000 watts to boil, at your voltage of 240 volts you would require 4.17 amps of current to boil. If you were in the U.S. at 120 volts, then it would be 8.33 amps to boil, so as you can see we have the same power as you just more amps. This does cause us to have to use bigger wires than you, but you know everything is bigger over here anyway.

John, hasn't anyone ever told you that size doesn't matter? David Levi concedes defeat on the kettle selection:

You lost me here. First, stove burners (eyes) in the USA run at 240 volts. How is that worse than European 220 volts? Secondly, the rate of heat is a result of amperage, not voltage, so what does that have to do with the voltage? As for the kettle selection, yeah, you're screwed here.

And Bert Douglas reckons that variety is the spice of life:

Large commercial electric customers, like Intel, can and do get any voltage that they want.

All other things being equal, it should take about 4 times as long to boil a typical household electric kettle. Power is proportional to the square of the voltage. Electric kettles are not very popular here. There are other solutions.

If things were the same everywhere in the world then life would be less interesting.

Actually, Bert, if things were the same then we'd be able to get a decent cup of tea anywhere in the world. I reckon it's your 'other solutions' which leads to the lukewarm travesty we get served Stateside.