Dirty Electricity (DE) is electrical noise (or high frequency voltage transients/spikes) that travels along the mains electricity supply. DE can be generated within the home, or by neighbouring properties and other sources that share the same local power network. It can enter the home through the incoming power supply and travel around the mains wiring, radiating an electromagnetic field out beyond the wires and into the immediate environment.

DE is created by electrical devices that interrupt the current flow, such as switch-mode power supplies (AC adapters) and energy-efficient products. Some of the most significant sources of DE are low energy lightbulbs, dimmer switches, computers, plasma tvs, set-top boxes, induction hobs, solar panel installations and mobile phone base stations.

Levels of DE can fluctuate significantly throughout the day and night, generally increasing during times of greater demand for electrical power (such as at meal preparation times).

The deTekta meter provides an easy way of assessing DE noise on your electricity supply. The deTekta plugs into an electrical wall socket and measures DE in millivolts from 10 kHz to over 1 MHz. It has an audio function which demodulates the dirty electricity and allows you to hear it. 

The first step in assessing DE levels is to work out how much is created by devices within your home, and how much is coming in directly from your electricity provider. To do this, plug in the deTekta meter and take note of the readings at several points around the home to give you a clear idea of the levels you currently have. EMFields states that a sensible, achievable goal is to try to keep readings under 100 mV. 

The next step is to switch off and unplug all of the electrical and electronic devices in your home, so that they can't put DE on to your wiring (many modern devices use power even when they appear to be "off"). This includes things such as chargers, alarm clocks, mains adapters, etc - basically, if you can unplug it, then do so. Switch off and unplug all 'white goods' (washing machines, cookers...etc). Switch off all lights, as CFLs and some LED lamps can cause considerable DE. Also switch off the input from any solar panel arrays that may be installed - solar panel inverters are often the worst source of DE.

Once this is done, take measurements in the same places as before, and you are now measuring just the electricity being supplied to you by your electricity provider. Any differences from the previous readings are due to devices in your own home. If the differences are large, then some of the devices in your home are creating a lot of DE. Leave the DE meter plugged in, and try plugging in / switching on the devices one-by-one, to work out how much each device is creating.

If you find that a large proportion of the DE is being produced by a few internal devices, then the best solution for these (e.g. computer equipment, TV, video equipment, lights or dimmer switches) is to replace them or put them on a proper Mains Filter Socket Strip (that contains proper filters, not just surge protectors – available from EMFields), which prevents the DE from spreading onto the house wiring, confining it to a very small area. 

For any background DE which is coming in from your electricity provider, there are DE filters available that are effective at reducing these levels on your supply by "shorting out" the high frequencies. However, this does cause currents to flow on the wiring and some electrically sensitive people find that they cannot tolerate the effects that these filters produce. Some people choose to switch off individual electrical circuits at the consumer unit, when they are not in use, which effectively prevents DE and other electromagnetic fields from travelling around the wiring on those particular circuits, thus reducing overall exposure to DE. Prevention such as this is much better than using DE filters in order to deal with the resulting EMFs.

Note: It is recommended to check power-frequency magnetic field levels (ideally they should be under 0.1 microtesla) with the PF5 meter or other suitable meter as it is important that there is no wiring fault causing high magnetic fields as this will make any DE problems much worse.

Technical Specifications:

The deTekta runs on 200-250 volt supplies.

It comes with a detachable lead and UK mains plug.

Measures line noise 0-1999 mV in the frequency range from 10 kHz to over 1 MHz with an accuracy of +/-10%