How Electricity “REALLY” Works

A sheet of paper crossed my desk the other day and, as I read it, a realization of a basic truth came to me.  So Simple! So obvious we couldn’t see it.  One of our engineers had discovered how power circuits work.  He says that smoke is the real thing that makes power circuits work because every time you let the smoke out of something electrical, it quits working.  He claims to have verified this through testing.

I was flabbergasted! OF COURSE! Smoke makes all things electrical work.  Remember the last time smoke escaped from a transformer? Didn’t it quit working? Or when that control board let out its smoke — didn’t it quit working then too? I sat and smiled like an idiot as more of the truth dawned.  I remembered the awful destruction of a condensing unit at a job site.  The components leaked out so much smoke that  everything in the control compartment melted and quit working.


Yes, I know the engineers theory is, in fact, truth.  It’s the conductors that carry the smoke from one device to the other.  It all starts at the power plant where stuff is burned to produce the smoke.  The smoke we see coming from the stacks is the excess smoke the system doesn’t need.  The smoke is then sent down the conductors to transformers around the system. The transformers are big and require a lot of smoke to work properly.  That is why the conductors are so big feeding them.  If the conductors or transformers spring a leak and let the smoke out of everything, then nothing works.

I plan to spend more time with this engineer and some of his other theories.  He is now working on how to put the smoke back into a device to get it working again.  He says he could even produce a kit for it but hasn’t figured out how to inject it back in and how much to use to make it work correctly.  It should be interesting to see if he can accomplish this.


Until this happens, we’ll just have to make sure we don’t let the smoke out of things, or when it does happen, be able to diagnose why it happened and fix it so it doesn’t happen again with the new smoke-filled component we installed to replace the one that let its smoke out!

(“replacement smoke” photo compliments of Bruce Porter – Senior Manager of Field Service for UPG – Johnson Controls)



About yorkcentraltechtalk

I have been in the HVAC industry most of my life. I worked 25 years for contractors on anything from residential to large commercial boilers and power burners. For the past 23+ years I had been employed by York International UPG Division ( a division of Johnson Controls) as a Technical support/Service Manager but I am now retired. One of my goals has always been to "educate" dealers and contractors. The reason for starting this blog was to share some knowledge, thoughts, ideas, etc with anyone who takes the time to read it. The contents of this blog are my own opinions, thoughts, experiences and should not be construed as those of Johnson Controls York UPG in any way. I hope you find this a help. I always welcome comments and suggestions for postings and will do my best to address any thoughts, questions, or topics you may want to hear about. Thanks for taking the time to read my postings! Mike Bishop
This entry was posted in Just for Fun and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to How Electricity “REALLY” Works

  1. roger daigle says:

    Hilarious!!! Reminds me of observations of children, they see things just the way your theory goes. When’s Bruce going to market his smoke kit? I want to stock up early. ( Who said engineers are dry serious people? )

    • this goes along with my Astrometric Theories and How a Light Bulb Works (titled — this is what happens when I have too much free time). You have ot get a little silly once and a while. Glad you enjoyed it (and yes– I’ll let you know when Bruce begins to market the smoke replacement kit. :>)

  2. seven golf victor says:

    how do they get the smoke in at the factory?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s