Electric Kettles in the US? More power, please.

TL;DR, Get 1500 watts minimum electric kettle in North America. Lower than that is useless, might as well use your microwave.

There is a reason that electric kettles are common as dirt in the UK and not in North America. Power. Well, actually voltage. Most of the kettles in the North American market are under powered because of the 120V standard. A higher wattage for the US (1500 watts or more) kettle comes close to eating up a 15 amp kitchen circuit all by itself. It’s worth it to commit that circuit1, especially if you have a newer (30 years) kitchen with multiple kitchen counter circuits required by code.

Lower power kettles (under 1500) take way too long to bring the water to boil. Other methods become faster, if not easier.

I have a 15 year old Krups model that is 1750 watts at 120v2. This is the highest power rating I’ve seen on a standard kettle available in the US. That’s on the hairy edge of acceptable for an American circuit, but I gladly commit that circuit to the kettle alone. I love the time and temperature it buys me. For any volume, it is 50% faster than my microwave and even more than that vs the stovetop.

The UK uses 240 volts as a standard. Therefore, they can have much higher power kettles. Due to their voltage, the UK has 3000 watt kettles for ~$40. That 3000 watt kettle uses twice the voltage and the same number of amperes as US voltage 1500 watt kettles. It is the number of amperes that matters to your circuit protection system, whether fuse or circuit breaker.

A 3000 watt kettle can boil water at an amazing rate. It’s almost as if it were on demand, especially for smaller amounts of water.

So that’s why every UK household has an electric kettle and loves it and Americans can’t figure out why you would ever want one. Voltage and Amperage. By the way, the same exact thing is going on with certain other countertop appliances, such as waffle irons.

For more information on how the UK is different than the US in regards to power, here is a very interesting video on the UK power plug. It is arguably the best in the world.

Notes:

1 – “Commiting a circuit” here refers to while the kettle is in operation only. I use it enough during the course of a day that I can’t use anything else of any importance on that circuit if I want the kettle available at all times without thinking about electrical load. YMMV due to how you use your kettle and other devices that may be on that circuit at other times.

2 – I like this thing so much that after it went off the market years ago, I purchased a spare on ebay to use when the first one dies. That was 7 years ago. I still haven’t had to use the spare one. The current kettle has been used for over 10,000 cycles or thereabouts, estimating 2 cycles (or cups of tea) a day for 15 years.

 

 

Change to IoT Router – Needs a couple of trap routes

Well, my IoT router was working just fine until I installed new firmware for my main router. For whatever reason, the new firmware is treating that special 255.255.255.252 network that we put together for 192.168.1.1  and 192.168.1.2 as a big old standard class C (255.255.255.0).

We can fix that.

On main router, add two static routes:

192.168.2.1 netmask 255.255.255.255 gateway 192.168.1.2 metric 5 if LAN
192.168.2.0 netmask 255.255.255.0 gateway 192.168.1.254 (some non-existent IP address) metric 10 if LAN

On  the IoT (secondary router), also add two static routes:

192.168.1.1 netmask 255.255.255.255 gateway 192.168.2.1 metric 5 if LAN
192.168.1.0 netmask 255.255.255.0 gateway 192.168.2.254 (some non-existent IP address) metric 10 if LAN

 

How do I set up a second Wi-Fi router just for guests or IoT?

I happened to see this question on a forum and this is an extended version of my response.

The forum answers went on for 3 or 4 pages, with varying success. Some used blacklists, some used static routes, some used filters, some went as far as getting to the command-line of the router and typing in firewall rules by hand.

My answer is actually pretty simple, and there is only one trick to it.

So let’s assume that you have a working router with real devices like phones, computers, printers, tablets, and other things that you don’t mind having on your main network. You want to have a secondary network for your connected imbedded devices that you really don’t want on your regular network.

Let’s also assume that you have another Wi-Fi router lying around, or you are willing to spend some money to get a new router.

The neat thing here is that we shouldn’t have to make any changes to your existing, working router. All of the configuration we will do is on the secondary router we are adding.  You don’t have to destroy your current working network to get the new additional network up an running.

The first router we will call Router 1 MAIN Network Router. The second router we will call Router 2 IoT (or guest) Isolated Network Router.

Let’s also say that the standard LAN network address for your current working router is 192.168.1.1. This changes by router manufacturer. Some use 192.168.0.1 instead. Just remember that when you look here. I originally wrote this up with both options listed (192.168.1.1 or 192.168.0.1) but it got very confusing. If there is any demand for it, I will gladly repost this with the other numbers.

So here we go.

Connecting the the routers together

Connect one end of an Ethernet cable to a LAN Ethernet port on Router 1 and then connect the other end to the WAN Ethernet port on Router 2.

Router 1 MAIN Network Router Settings

There should be no changes needed here, as long as things match up closely enough.
WAN Address:ISP provided address
WAN Network: ISP provided
WAN Subnet mask : ISP provided
LAN Address: 192.168.1.1
LAN Network: 192.168.1.0
LAN Subnet mask: 255.255.255.0
DHCP server DNS: Whatever you use (either ISP provided or user-specified DNS servers or 192.168.1.1)


Router 2 IoT (or guest) Isolated Network Router

Nothing here is default.
Everythng has to be set by hand.
WAN Address: 192.168.1.2
WAN Network:192.168.1.0
WAN Subnet mask: 255.255.255.252  This is the key element
WAN Gateway: 192.168.1.1
WAN DNS: 192.168.1.1 only
LAN Address: 192.168.2.1
LAN Subnet mask : 255.255.255.0
DHCP Server DNS: 192.168.2.1 only

Your particular router may ask for the network in slash notation, which is normally like 192.168.1.0/24 for a standard Class C network. The key element here would be 192.168.1.0/30. Most routers I know of ask for a subnet mask notation, not slash.

 


What’s going on here

  • The WAN subnetting on Router 2 stops the routing of 192.168.2.xxx to anything but 192.168.1.1 on that subnet.
  • The 255.255.255.252 subnet mask is limited to 4 total addresses, two of which are eaten up in administration.
  • So this .252 subnet only allows traffic between 192.168.1.1 and 192.168.1.2 on the 192.168.1.0 subnet as far as Router 2 (and anything behind it) is concerned.
  • Here is link that describes this .252 network.

    Ping Examples

  • Client MAIN1 has in IP address on the Main Network of 192.168.1.100.
  • Client IoT1 has in IP address on the IoT (or guest) Isolated Network of 192.168.2.100.
  • LAN side of Router 1 has in IP address of 192.168.1.1.
  • LAN side of Router 2 has in IP address of 192.168.1.2.
  • WAN side of Router 2 has in IP address of 192.168.2.1.

MAIN1 can ping google.com.
MAIN1 can ping LAN side of Router 1.
MAIN1 cannot ping WAN side of Router 2.
MAIN1 cannot ping LAN side of Router 2.
MAIN1 cannot ping IoT1. MAIN1 can’t see IoT1.

IoT1 can ping google.com.
IoT1 can ping LAN side of Router 2.
IoT1 can ping WAN side of Router 2.
IoT1 can ping LAN side of Router 1 (required to get out to Internet).
IoT1 cannot ping MAIN1. IoT1 can’t see MAIN1.

So both MAIN1 and IoT1 can each see the Internet but they can’t see each other. Job Done.

Here is screenshot of the Router 2 WAN setup page, based upon an ASUS router. Your page may vary, but the information required will be very similar.
asus_wan_router2.jpg