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Voltages in bathroom appliance heating elements

  1. Sep 26, 2011 #1


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    I'm doing a lecture on electricity for my class and one of the students at the beginning of the semester wanted to know how a curling iron works. So I've never ripped open a curling iron but I assume there's coils of wires within the little 'arm' parts that rely on ohmic heating. However, since I want to do a realistic example, I was wondering if anyone knows the voltage one might see across the heating element in a curling iron or even a hair dryer. The voltage at the wall is obviously 110-120V but I'm clueless as to whether or not anything is used in such an appliance to step up or down the voltage or even convert it to DC. I'm googling but anything with "curling iron" and "voltage" leads right to "european voltage converter for your bathroom accessories!" :(.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 26, 2011 #2


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    Curling iron - The arms just hold the hair in place against the metal tube, which has the heating element at 120 volts. Temperature switch controls current to element ( or voltage ) Temperature overload protection.

    Blow dryer - 120 volts across element. switches to control motor speed and current to element. Overload temperature protection.

    Basically very simple circuits.

    Last edited: Sep 26, 2011
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