Why Do Sparkies Have To Know Algebra? - Electrical - Contractor Talk

Why Do Sparkies Have To Know Algebra?

 
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Old 07-08-2015, 05:59 PM   #1
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Why Do Sparkies Have To Know Algebra?


I've met sparkies I know don't know a hypotenuse from a rhombus....so give me some examples
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Old 07-08-2015, 06:17 PM   #2
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Re: Why Do Sparkies Have To Know Algebra?


With intelligence built into test equipment, they don't.

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Old 07-08-2015, 07:09 PM   #3
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Re: Why Do Sparkies Have To Know Algebra?


You can't be serious. Heck, Ohm's Law is an algebraic statement.
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Old 07-09-2015, 09:29 AM   #4
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Re: Why Do Sparkies Have To Know Algebra?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Irishslave View Post
I've met sparkies I know don't know a hypotenuse from a rhombus....so give me some examples
Last I checked (which was probably around 40 to 50 years ago) "hypotenuse" and "rhombus" were terms from Euclidean geometry not algebra.
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Old 07-09-2015, 11:08 AM   #5
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Re: Why Do Sparkies Have To Know Algebra?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Lanya LaPunta View Post
Last I checked (which was probably around 40 to 50 years ago) "hypotenuse" and "rhombus" were terms from Euclidean geometry not algebra.
Sparkies have to know Ugly's. That is all.

Carry on.
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Old 07-09-2015, 12:45 PM   #6
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Re: Why Do Sparkies Have To Know Algebra?


Knowing algerbra is the engineer's job.
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Old 07-09-2015, 01:15 PM   #7
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Re: Why Do Sparkies Have To Know Algebra?


We did a job that had a 22' sloped ceiling. We had to find the center of the island below but the fixture was held off the ceiling by 2 or 3 inches. (The fixture had a stem coming out of the canopy). I found the roof pitch and did some math to find out how far off I needed to be at the ceiling so that the fixture was hanging dead center.... Made me mad when the builder did it in one tenth the time with his framing square.. LOL
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Old 07-09-2015, 01:32 PM   #8
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Re: Why Do Sparkies Have To Know Algebra?


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Originally Posted by C'est Moi View Post
the builder did it in one tenth the time with his framing square.. LOL
But if he had to do it your way it might take him longer than you took.

These aids can make someone mentally lazy.

When you have the chance, push yourself to beat his time.
And think of situations where his square cannot help him. You may find threads on this forum that ask for help for this very reason.
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Old 07-09-2015, 01:37 PM   #9
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Re: Why Do Sparkies Have To Know Algebra?


If you had the width and the height at the low and high end you could do it on a calculator in 60 seconds or less
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Old 07-09-2015, 02:22 PM   #10
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Re: Why Do Sparkies Have To Know Algebra?


Algebra is a mathematical language.

Geometry is the equations and formulas, expressed using algebra.

Sorry, that's the best I can do on that.

As for why Electrigicians need it?:

Conduit bending

Ohms law

Combination R-L-C circuits, where voltage and current are out of phase with each other

Wire size calculations

Conduit size calculations

Motor load calculations

General load calcs

Transformer calcs and sizing

Circuit testing

I could go on, but I'm getting bored.





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Old 07-10-2015, 01:26 AM   #11
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Re: Why Do Sparkies Have To Know Algebra?


what sucks in this field is when our a wiz at the calculations ( my math is sound no fingers or toes needed) but you cant remember the more advanced formula's ! Then you have to go to the book
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Old 07-10-2015, 06:30 AM   #12
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Re: Why Do Sparkies Have To Know Algebra?


Most geometry, used in the field, is Euclidean Geometry. Euclid's estimated birth was in the fourth century, BC and his death is placed in the third centrury.

Algebra was brought into geometry (assumed), by Rene Descartes. He was born in almost the sixteenth century, AD.

So, electricians do need to know algebra, but their command of geometry could be almost nil.

So, that's why many electricians may not know the difference between a hypotenuse and a rhombus.
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Old 07-10-2015, 06:51 AM   #13
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Re: Why Do Sparkies Have To Know Algebra?


When I taught aviation maintenance technology, part of the syllabi required teaching the formulas for mass air flow through turbine engines, mass air to fuel weight in consumption....lots of stuff like that....even lift equations on various wing airfoil sections, and then, as now, I am still convinced you can teach whatever math is needed for any application without going into the deep theories behind it.

I know machinists that can get out Machinery's Handbook and calculate how to cut spiral helix gears....some awesome trig at work, and these same guys could not pass algebra 1 in high school.

The math used in flying (as a pilot) can be challenging, but again, you can learn some pretty advanced stuff and never learn the basics behind it. It has worked well for years.

Once electricians use delta formulas, like ohms law, and the P*I*E stuff, then the rest can all be covered by tables and experience.
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Old 07-10-2015, 05:54 PM   #14
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Re: Why Do Sparkies Have To Know Algebra?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Adobe View Post
Then you have to go to the book
You don't need to know everything, you just need to know where to look it up and how to apply it.

And derive the formulas yourself, if you can.
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Old 07-18-2015, 11:22 AM   #15
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Re: Why Do Sparkies Have To Know Algebra?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Irishslave View Post
I've met sparkies I know don't know a hypotenuse from a rhombus....so give me some examples
My new favorite response when fixing the electrical installations of handymen and carpenters applies here:

This is something an apprentice learns in the first year.

In this area you can't enter the program without passing an algebra test. Many of the guys on sites are laborers. They know how to set boxes, drill holes and pull wires, but not much else.
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Old 07-18-2015, 12:19 PM   #16
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Re: Why Do Sparkies Have To Know Algebra?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiger View Post
My new favorite response when fixing the electrical installations of handymen and carpenters applies here:

This is something an apprentice learns in the first year.

In this area you can't enter the program without passing an algebra test. Many of the guys on sites are laborers. They know how to set boxes, drill holes and pull wires, but not much else.
That is true around here too. Most of the guys running wire, conduit and mounting boxes don't know algebra and barely know simple arithmetic. The foreman knows how to measure, subtract, add and divide, but that's about it too. Back at the office or headquarters they have an engineer that figures all the tough stuff out like algebra, trigonometry and geometry....he's the one that writes out the scope of work and procedures for everyone else.

As for me, I have to know all this stuff (algebra, geometry and trigonometry), plus physics, engineering, accounting, management and so forth.
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Old 07-18-2015, 12:41 PM   #17
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Re: Why Do Sparkies Have To Know Algebra?


For the most part we do not use algebra very often except perhaps for ohms law. Geometry a bit but really depending on your job you don't need it. We do residential wiring and there is seldom a need for any of that.

You can still be a good electrician and not know geometry or complex algebra. Myself, I took calc 3, linear algebra, differential equation and I quit my math major when I was supposed to take abstract algebra. Linear algebra and differential equations was abstract enough for me. Never needed it.
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Old 08-14-2015, 07:13 PM   #18
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Re: Why Do Sparkies Have To Know Algebra?


Voltage drop?
Pipe work (concentric bends, segmented bends, basic offsets etc).
Lighting layout
Ohms law equations

The ability to build things (electric room installs, switch yards, etc) that are plumb level and square.

I dunno. Numerous tasks. If we didn't have math we would all be pushing a broom, no offense.

Most basic tasks required math in construction. Most formulas use algebra. I like my wires cool and pipes looking good.
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Old 08-14-2015, 07:26 PM   #19
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Re: Why Do Sparkies Have To Know Algebra?


Algebra example:

Tommy has two apples
He gives one apple to Bob
How many peaches does Susan have?
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Old 08-14-2015, 07:44 PM   #20
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Re: Why Do Sparkies Have To Know Algebra?


How old is Susan?

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