The Cooking Room in The Fudge Facotry

Essay by saskiwi4Elementary School, 5th gradeA-, September 2009

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I recently visited your factory on a school field trip. As you took us through the tour, I noticed problems in every one of the rooms. The room that I want to tell you how to fix is the cooking room. In the cooking room, I noticed a couple of problems including fudge on the electrical outlets, three or four vats plugged into the same outlet, and some of the vats turned off before the power failed. If you fix these things, your cooking room should be in working order again. And then the rest of the Factory will follow.

I’m guessing that some fudge came out of some of the vats and dripped down the electrical cord. When the fudge coated the prongs of the plug, it stopped the electrical flow because fudge is not a conductor. A conductor allows electricity to flow through it while an insulator (fudge) does not.

Common conductors include steel, copper, water, and many other metals. Insulators include fudge, plastic, rubber, and cloth, to name a few. There could be a crack in the vat or maybe the vats just overflowed. The fudge on the plug is also a fire hazard. If there was ever a spark in that plug, you would be at risk for an electrical fire. To fix this problem, unplug all the vats and all the extension sockets. Check every single one of them closely. If there is any fudge on the cord or sockets, take a damp cloth and wipe it off. Make sure you get every bit of fudge out of the sockets and off the plugs. In addition, I recommend cleaning them regularly once a month so you can avoid this problem in the future. The extension socket or plug MUST be unplugged for the cleaning or you will be at risk for electrocution. If this is a regular wall outlet, turn off the electrical supply to the room and then clean it out. Before plugging the vats back in the wall, DRY OFF ALL OF THE PARTS THAT ARE WET. If you don’t do this, you could get electrocuted because water is a conductor. After you dry every part, plug them back in. While you’re doing this, look at the vats and see if you can see a crack or see fudge dripping from the top. If there is a crack, replace the vat with a new one or seal the crack with a sealant. I personally would consider replacing all of the vats considering how old they are, although I do realize that this could be somewhat expensive. If fudge is dripping from the top of the vat, you probably are overflowing it. You should simply be careful to fill each vat to a lesser amount. Remember; DON’T DO ANYTHING UNTIL YOU TURN THE SUPPLY OF ELECTRICITY OFF!It would appear that you have plugged two or three vats in the same outlet with a doubling or tripling device. Doing this can overuse the electricity. Overusing the electricity only allows a small amount of power to reach each vat. With each vat needing more power than is supplied, it tries to get more electricity out of the outlet. Eventually, the fuse will blow. You could just keep replacing the fuse, but I wouldn’t. You would go through a ton of them everyday. A fuse will blow every time a circuit is overloaded. You said that you’ve never had to replace anything in your factory and you just kept adding more of everything. The more stuff you add, the more electricity you use, and the less outlets are available. This means that over time, the outlets will become full and you will have to add doubling or tripling devices. If you are trying to power two high voltage pieces of equipment on a small amount of power, the circuit gets overloaded, the wire in the fuse melts, and the circuit stops. You should replace the fuse box with a circuit breaker. Instead of replacing a fuse, simply flip a switch to reset the outlet. It is more efficient to do this, especially in a factory. Find out how many volts a vat uses and plug one in each outlet. Don’t use any doubling or tripling devices. If there aren’t enough plugs for all the vats, have an electrician come and wire some additional ones. Please, don’t do it yourself. We can’t have you get hurt, and besides, electricians are trained to do this kind of thing. I’m not saying you’re not capable of doing this, but you should leave it to someone who can do it quickly and correctly so you can get your factory up and running again. Also do this for the heating elements. I encourage you to check them and make sure they are still in perfect condition. Make sure nothing is on them. If anything is on them, clean it off with a wet towel. Check both over and under each element.

The other two problems could have easily helped the vats turn off even before the power. The fudge could block the metal parts of the socket and plug causing the current of electricity to stop. The doubling or tripling of the vats could have overused the power of the socket and blown that particular fuse. From what I can tell, this room has a couple of series circuits. I think this is the case because you said a couple of vats went off before the power and the clue search revealed a couple of vats that had a problem and others that did not. If the ones that had no obvious problem went off, they must be on the same series circuit as the one that had a problem. This means that there is only one path on which electricity can flow. Changing this to a parallel circuit could make the factory run better. Parallel circuits have more than one path for the current to flow so if one vat goes off, the others can stay on and you can easily identify which vat has the problem. This will require an electrician’s work. I recommend doing this to the whole factory.

I hope you take my suggestions into consideration and get your factory back in order. Thank You.

References:1) Fudge Factory Class Project Book From http://interact-simulations.com2)Flick a Switch: How Electricity Gets to Your Home by Barbara Seuling3) In Class Notes on Diodes and static electricity