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The lowdown on dirty electricity.

After surveying and remediating many 100’s of homes, dirty electricity or DE is, in my opinion the biggest electromagnetic issue for most people. Yes, admittedly a cell phone tower outside your house is at the top of the list and would trump DE as a priority fix. However, not all houses sit across the road from a tower and not all bedrooms are awash in uncontrollable outside radio frequency. There are many variables in regards to cell tower radiation that makes it an issue which we can cover off at a later date. If you want to take a quick look at what shielding a home looks like check out our home shielding overview here For those not immediately impacted by a cell phone tower, recognise that your own WiFi and multitude of transmitting devices add more radio frequency pollution in your house than what is coming in from the outside networks.

Lets talk DE

The ever growing rhetoric around energy efficiency coupled with growth in technology are the main contributors to the constant and increasing noise on our electrical circuits. Call it what you will, whether its electromagnetic interference, harmonics or microsurge electro pollution to pick just a few, they all mean the same thing; unwanted frequencies in electrical circuits. These free loading waves of polluting energy not only travel on each electrical wire, but are also present in the air around every energised cable in the broadcast field. This invisible electrical field extends out around one meter in multiple orientations depending on the positioning of the source wiring. This means that where ever we are in our home, we sit in electric fields full of other frequencies. The Epidemiologist Dr Sam Milham wrote well on this subject in his book ‘Dirty Electricity’.

DE can change rapidly with a change to the load on a circuit from an activated appliance such as a heat pump, TV, LED light bulb, computer or transmitting smart meter. Many of the items we plug into the wall and what are already integrated into the circuits, create DE frequencies. It’s not just these few simple examples, your electric bicycle charger creates pulses of DE, so does your EV charger, your local street lighting, fibre installations, cell phone towers, businesses, schools and community halls. On a larger scale, apartment buildings are always very high in dirty electricity as are rest homes unfortunately and hospitals. These types of buildings with a larger occupation footprint and therefore larger electrical and appliance footprint, also aggregate a vast array of DE frequencies that influence the entire building and those around it. For all the drive and incentives to move away from fossil fuels, we are loading up the electrical grid with increasing levels of interference. 

By far, the worst offender on the domestic front, is unfortunately solar power. The collection of photo voltaic panels, inverters and batteries may help your initial power bills and sit nicely in your ‘helping the planet and wallet’ mindset, but without paying attention to the EMF footprint from such an install you basically change fossil fuel pollution for domestic electro pollution. If you have solar, take a look at the owners manual and check out the specifications table about Total Harmonic Distortion or THD. This little number tells you how much distortion in the waveform your inverter is polluting your home with. I have written extensively on this subject and have a very informative factsheet on EMFShop talking about the DE footprint of solar power. 

DE Challenges

Dealing with DE is basically achieved by filtering out the unwanted frequencies using plug in filters. Ideally before filtering is done, we really need to tighten up all fittings and ensure all electrical wiring is bonded correctly at every light and plug socket. Over time from heat and cold the screws holding the wiring in place does loosen. Any loose wire or strand can arc and add to your issues. With that corrected we can look at filters. However, filtering over the years has been very challenging (for New Zealand) as the supply of filters is limited both in range and stock which is not helped as New Zealand and Australia use the plug type I (and also some pacific island countries) which is different to US, UK and Europe.

The main plug in filter to date has been the Stetzerizer which is the first and most identifiable one and also similar to the EMFields filter. These are the two smaller filters in the above image (white one is the Stetzer and black one is the EMFields). Keeping stock of these filters has been difficult as Stetzers are hard to get hold of and EMFields now no longer make their filter.

Looking at better performing alternatives, there is a DNA filter from Noble Electronics and the Pure Power Plug In from Satic. In our evaluation of both of these products, we have found the Satic model to be very effective and so now we are an approved supplier of their products. Satic offer a range of filters from this plug in version to whole house wire in products. They also include versions for dealing with solar power and have also released new versions of their units as part of their continuing generational upgrading.

Domestic DE would be reduced and removed by filtering in many situations where a home has no other electrical EMF issues like unpaired currents, loose wiring or grounding issues. Where a home has EMF issues, these need to be resolved first before any attempt to filter is considered. However, it needs to be stated that basic plug in filters are not designed for solar power DE issues and not recommended. In practice, adding plug in filters like Stetzerizer to solar power creates magnetic field issues which flow on to other circuits. The best and most effective method to remove solar power DE is by installing a whole house filter like Satic Power Perfect. This is installed into your electrical system by a suitably qualified electrician and will deal to the issue caused by inverters before it influences the rest of your homes electrical circuits.

There are some cheap filters out there on the market which you can pick up online that tend to come under the banner of ‘Power Savers’. Essentially these try to mimic the quality plug in type filters but with inferior and under rated components. The main sales termthey use of ‘Power Saving’ is a synonym for ‘line conditioning’ which is a far stretch from the truth. What they are trying to say is that it smooths out the waveform and therefore makes every appliance more efficient which saves you money. Every now and again these ads will pop up on social media making wild claims. In reality they are nothing more than a scam, and a poor quality scam at that. The one pictured below is a device I was asked to investigate and although it was brand new, I had to dismantle it to fix it to make it work to test it! There are many such claims out there so please watch out for anything running on social media that looks too good to be true. Many ‘EMF’ reducing devices are now using online influencers to peddle their wares and all claims of evidence generally only point to anecdotal breadcrumbs. Over the years I have amassed a cupboard full of all sorts of devices that I have tested, dismantled and disregarded. 

Measuring DE

Like any EMF issue, measuring and understanding the size of the issue is important before any assessment can be made on what if any solutions need to be adopted. At the professional end, accurate measuring of DE looks at the detail of the frequencies and is done by oscilloscopes with differential probes. This isn't necessary for most situations. And so the next best domestic alternative are meters like this one.

These are extremely easy to use and read. Having a DE meter is very useful as the environment outside and inside is constantly changing and periodically reviewing the footprint of your own home is important to allow you to make adjustments where necessary.

The Fourth Element

Dirty electricity unfortunately gets little airtime in the technology and health worlds except in the small EMF circles and yet, it’s the one that affects most people. Dirty electricity is an amalgamation of the other electromagnetic stressors like electric fields, magnetic fields and radio frequency. Dirty electricity is where every unnatural energies combine and share common characteristics. It is, by far the more intrusive EMF issue we have in our modern homes as it is pervasive on each circuit in every corner of a home and exposure comes from every angle. Essentially, while inside your own home sanctuary, you are inside a grid that isolates you from nature. A big part of this isolating field is dirty electricity.

“The question isn't whether or not there are effects from electromagnetic fields. The question is what level of exposure is safe.

Dr. Devra Davis, Epidemiologist and Founder of the Environmental Health Trust


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