Is sleeping next to house electricity meter dangerous?

alexjholland85

Novice Member
Hey,

I have a new bedroom conversion in my garage, which is pretty awesome.

The most logical place for my bed is in the far corner - underneath our house electricity meter (the main distribution hub for all our house electricity).

We had a cupboard built over it, so that it could not be directly touched, but it is literally right above my head, with the main power cable for the whole house running up the back of my bed to it.

I have googled around and found articles suggesting electrical fields can be very dangerous, but they seemed to be of a slightly.. hollistic, or new-age type - albeit with some scientific reasoning.

Others have said it isn't an issue - but I haven't found anything specifically referencing these electricity distribution points (whatever they are called).

Any advice would be appreciated - thanks!

Alex
 

MarkE19

Moderator
The consumer board (aka fuse box) in my flat is beside my bed and hasn't sent me mad in the past 11 years that I have lived here - but maybe that is only because I was mad already :rotfl:

Mark.
 

vburmester

Standard Member
My Godmother developed a brain tumour, which was attributed to electricity running behind the headboard of her bed. Her husband did not develop a tumour. Perhaps it is the interplay of a person (and their genetic makeup) and the environmental risk...
Personally, I would spend the money to relocate your meter cupboard.
 

alexjholland85

Novice Member
Thanks for the information. Naturally this is something I'm keen to know about - more so than the latest DVD info!

Was that diagnoses made by a doctor?

Do you think switching ends so my feet are at that end would help?
 

vburmester

Standard Member
I don't know how the link between my Godmother's tumour and the electricity near her head at night was made, I suppose when one is diagnosed with a tumour the experts tell you the known issues that generate your type of tumour and for her, the finger was pointed at electricity.
Sadly, she died from her brain tumour.

I definitely think switching ends is a good idea, plus making sure as many electricity-guzzling appliances as poss are off and not drawing from your supply when you're asleep. Make sure you don't have an electric alarm next to you, too.

Here's a helpful link: Electro Magnetic Field (EMF) - Hazardous to Our Health?

Victoria
 

vburmester

Standard Member
p.s. I guess one should keep in mind that her husband did not develop a tumour and slept near the cables, too (although he may have had a side of the bed further from them). It's likely that my godmum had a predisposition that was triggered by electricity.
 

MarkTaylor

Novice Member
I think it would be best to draw a line under speculation and medical diagnosis issues on an AV forum.

I do not intend to remove any posts, but I would ask that we do not debate this sad information any further on here.

Moderator
 
Planning permision wouldn't allow for the conversion if not safe. Nor the build or desgin of some homes due to the layput of where the cable goes.

Bearing in mind the main feed is still a 240v but a monster size, with armor all over it, you get more rfi/efi/emi/nuking of your nads on std house hold cable for your light and wall sockets!

Sleep well
 

Alan Mac

Active Member
The seems to be a lot of confusion about what “fields” are involved.

In the context of electrical energy distribution, which is what we are talking about here, EMF stands for Electric and Magnetic Fields (Not Electromagnetic Fields, which are something different). (Incidentally, EMF may also stand for Electromotive Force).

Electromagnetic fields are associated with electromagnetic radiation in the form of Radio waves, Light rays, X-rays etc. To launch an electromagnetic wave requires an aerial of some sort, whose length needs to be a substantial fraction of the wave-length. In the case of “power-lines” at 50 Hz or 60 Hz we are talking about thousands of kilometres long.

I think it is the Magnetic field that is of relevance in the context of sleeping near an electric cable. The magnetic field around a wire depends on the current flowing in the wire. Since mains cables are normally made up of two wires in close proximity with the currents flowing in opposite directions, the magnetic fields produced by each individual wire largely cancel out.

However, at the electricity meter, where the electricity supply enters the house, the “go and return” wires are NOT close together so the magnetic fields around those wires do not cancel. (this is also the case with electric underfloor heating wires).


Alan
 

alexjholland85

Novice Member
Thanks very much Victoria.

I appreciate this debate is not between medical professionals Mark, but would appreciate to know the information Victoria has encountered - I have struggled to find anything of any integrity online.

I have already decided to sleep at the other end of the bed due to this information - so I really appreciate it. I'm hoping feet are far less sensitive to this kind of thing!

Out of interest, how did you find my post Victoria? I see these are the only posts you've made here - so appreciate you took the time to join to pass this information on.

Thanks again!
 

MarkTaylor

Novice Member
I appreciate this debate is not between medical professionals Mark, but would appreciate to know the information Victoria has encountered - I have struggled to find anything of any integrity online.
You are free to take this to PMs or to another more appropriate forum of course, we just have to be careful here when we get so far away from the subject matter that these forums are set up to handle, especially when there is a risk that people may be taking 'advice' or in other ways making health related decisions based on what they read.

Moderator
 

matt41

Novice Member
This site may be of interest and there is also a contact page where you may be able to address your concerns.

National Grid EMF - Finding Out More

My own opinion is that when your in bed, the current being drawn will be minimal as only the fridge/ freezer and say and alarm clock and bedside lamp would be on.

The fields will fall dramatically over distance and if you are really concerned I'm sure you could get the field levels measured.

It is also of interest to note that some people report (anecdotally) to be able to feel the effects of the household mains supply.

I work in the RF industry and sometimes work at moderate radiated power levels but I seem to be able to sense and uncomfortable feeling when others don't.
Funnily enough I also find it difficult to handle high power magnets for any lengthy period without my hands aching ( but I do suffer from a arthritic type of illness) so were all different ( I realise thats off topic as static mag fiels are a different matter).

Best regards

Matt
 
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alexjholland85

Novice Member
Thanks Matt

The electricity is literally the thick black cable carrying the power for the entire house, to the house distribution box/meter which was about a foot above my head in a mini cupboard!

Does this sound more dodgy?!

Either way, I sleep at the other end of the bed now so my feet are there and my head is 6 feet away. Perhaps coincidence, but I had a much better nights sleep than I have had in a while!
 

gmp

Novice Member
Don't want to be seen as the harbinger of doom but if you have had some building conversion work done I would want absloute guarantee that any associated electrical work done (ie linked to distribution board above your head) has been done professionally.

I'm coming at this from having had experience of a fire in our distribution board as a result such work not being done properly.
 

matt41

Novice Member
Thanks Matt

The electricity is literally the thick black cable carrying the power for the entire house, to the house distribution box/meter which was about a foot above my head in a mini cupboard!

Does this sound more dodgy?!
That would be the 'tails' which are rated at 100amps ( well fused to that) What this means in field strengh, I don't know.

Doggy? If you were near, when the house is pulling a lot of current, well I wouldn't... but at night with most all stuff off; it should be no problem.

BUT..then again why take the risk and have any worries. If you had a good nights sleep, then that is all that counts.

Stay that way around and be careful when using the bed for any form of exercise:smashin:
 

alexjholland85

Novice Member
The mains board was installed when I house was built 20 years ago so no dramas there.

The only electrical work done was some halogen lights fitted which were done by professionals, so again - no dramas.

I sleep at the other end of the bed, have the wireless on my bedroom router turned off so must be at a similiar level of expose to electricity as most now!
 

davehk

Active Member
Oh ***!

That thick black cable has two cores carrying current in opposite directions, which cancels out any field unless you are very close indeed to the cable. Even then most of the field would be cancelled.

Even if they were two separate tails a few cm apart, the cancellation effect would mean that the field was extremely small.

The same applies to all the cabling in the house - equal and opposite currents flowing in closely spaced conductors. Field is negligible.

Note also that any field reduces under an inverse square law - double the distance, 1/4 the field, etc
 

Alan Mac

Active Member
Oh ***!

Note also that any field reduces under an inverse square law - double the distance, 1/4 the field, etc

I think that, for magnetic fields, since they originate from magnetic dipoles and not magnetic monopoles, the magnetic flux density is inversely proportional to the cube of the distance (an inverse cube law, not an inverse square law). That of course means that the magnetic field strength falls off rapidly with distance.


Alan
 

alexjholland85

Novice Member
Ah. Well thanks for the good news!

Nonetheless, I will play it extra safe and continue to sleep at this end. Sounds like if I want to sit up at that end for a movie there is no great danger - but I'll sleep the other end just in case. Aside from anything else, it means I can't bang my head on the fusebox!
 

Alan Mac

Active Member
Something I have noticed (n the course of using lap-top computers for audio measurements) is that the electric field strength at 500 mm from the screen, (about where your eyes are likely to be when watching the screen) can be extremely high when the laptop’s internal battery is being charged.

For example, on my two-year-old Apple Macbook, the electric field strength at 500 mm from the screen is about 700 V/m when the battery is charging. Close to the screen it reaches over 3 kV/m. This drops to about 25 V/m (at 500 mm distance) when the “power” is switched off at the wall mains socket.

In contrast, my wife’s new Macbook Air laptop measures about 35 V/m at 500 mm from the screen when on charge and about 3 V/m when used without mains lead attached. This just about meets the Swedish Standard.


MPRII-Swedish Standards for Monitor Emissions, EMF


If my results are typical, it may be prudent not to use your laptop for long periods when the battery is on charge (or fully charged with the charger still connected and switched on).


Alan
 

alexjholland85

Novice Member
If the Macbook charger was able to lock into place I would simply remove its battery. However if I do this, one flick on the cable means it powers down and I possibly lose my music!
 

Alan Mac

Active Member
If the Macbook charger was able to lock into place I would simply remove its battery. However if I do this, one flick on the cable means it powers down and I possibly lose my music!

The MacBook also reduces its processor speed when no battery is present. So not a good idea to run without the battery.

I shall have to investigate further as such high electric field strengths do rather suggest some sort of fault with my particular computer or its charger.

It may or may not be significant that I am using a “non-Apple” charging unit purchased from Amazon (it was less than half the price of the “official” charger).


Alan
 

Alan Mac

Active Member
The extremely high electric field strength of 700 volts per metre at 500 mm from the screen was indeed attributable to the non-Apple replacement power supply. The replacement uses a detachable mains lead with a 2-pin connector, so there cannot be any mains ground connection.

The original Apple power supply, on the other hand, has a permanently-wired-in mains lead which does carry the mains ground connection. At the magnetic plug end, where the DC supply enters the computer, one side of this DC supply is connected to mains ground via a 1 kilo-ohm resistor.

The result of employing the official power supply is an electric field strength of about 20 V/m at 500 mm from the screen. This would still not meet the Swedish standard but is a vast improvement on 700 V/m.


Replacement 60W Apple MagSafe Power Supply Replacement: Amazon.co.uk: Electronics & Photo


Many PC’s power supplies seem to use 2-pin mains connectors.



Alan
 

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