How 120v/240v Works
Electricity. Something we can't live without, and something sometimes difficult to understand. Lets start with the basics of voltage. For all intents and purposes, there's only two voltages spas operate on (in the USA), 120 volts and 240 volts. Even then, these voltages can be described slightly differently. 120 volts can be called 110v, 115v or 120v. For all intents and purposes the three numbers are interchangeable and mean the same thing. As to why the different numbers are used, there are many "opinions". My favorite is that it's an east coast / west coast thing, with different sides of the country having slightly different voltages... the most believable is that in North America the utility companies are required to supply 120 volts, +/- 5%, and various things causing normal voltage drops will decrease this further. While obviously each is a slightly different voltage, in reality an "electrical appliance" will run just fine as long as the voltage is within +/- 10% of what it's rated for.
120v is achieved by combining 120v from one wire, with a neutral wire. "240 volts" is achieved differently and can be a bit confusing to understand. Unlike 120v, 240v does not use a neutral wire, but instead uses two 120v wires in combination. But, not just any 120v wires. As electricity moves through wires, it alternates back and forth, think of it like sawing wood. To obtain 240v, two 120v wires are used, in which the electricity is alternating in opposite directions in each wire. Think of it like a two-man tree saw, where the electricity being pushed through one wire, while it's being pulled through the other wire. This pushing/pulling action is continually changing direction. In the US the direction changes 60 times a second.
Testing for Proper Voltage
For a pictorial instructions CLICK HERE
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