Ultimate Power Cord Upgrade

January 26, 2012

Well, it’s not exactly a power cord upgrade; it’s a service line upgrade.  That’s the cable from the transformer to the meter drop down on your roof or the side of your house.  It’s a three conductor cable: two insulated 120 volt hots and an uninsulated neutral.  Each conductor is 0 gauge (also known as O AWG, #1/0, or one-aught) comprised of six strands of aluminum wire (copper and silver were not options), each of which, according to my calculations, is approximately 8 gauge.  My service is 200 amp.

The reason for the upgrade:  I noticed my lights dimming whenever I turned something else on, and the dryer was stopping and starting.  The electric company came out and immediately identified that squirrels had chewed through part of the uninsulated neutral.  Actually, they had eaten through five of the six strands.  Seems they like to sharpen their teeth on the neutral.

It was impractical to ask them to let me A/B the old and new service lines from my listening room, so I can’t comment on any change in the sound of my system.