Distribution and use of electricity throughout the home. Electrical standards vary greatly worldwide, so providing your location in your question or your profile helps ensure you get answers that are relevant to you. Posting photographs of wiring junctions or drawing a wiring diagram and posting ...

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

1
vote
1answer
143 views

Electrical problem

In my house we get a low voltage shock when you touch metal with wet hands. We had a electrician in who told us it was a problem outside our house. He said it had to do with the transformer that fed ...
11
votes
7answers
52k views

Should I put a dimmer switch on a ceiling fan?

I have a ceiling fan on our bedroom's vaulted ceiling. Since we don't want 7' pull-cords, the speed is stuck at full-tilt, which is no good. The fan has separate switches on the wall for lights and ...
10
votes
3answers
27k views

Do all wires on basement walls have to be in conduit?

I need to know if, when a basement is unfinished and an outlet is on the wall, is it required to put all wires in conduit?
7
votes
5answers
12k views

What could be causing AFCI breaker and GFCI receptacle nuisance tripping?

I have a very unusual set of electrical issues that have proven difficult to troubleshoot. I live in a newly constructed house. Each bedroom has AFCI breakers. In the past 3 years living there, the ...
7
votes
5answers
74k views

Can different gauge wiring be used in the same circuit?

I am extending a lighting and outlet circuit in a basement. The current setup has the following characteristics 15 amp. circuit breaker (200 amp service) 4 existing lighting fixtures using CFL bulbs ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

Why am I getting strange results when using a power meter to measure CFLs?

Over the years we have replaced just about every bulb in the house with a CFL. But here is the problem. Our electric bill is going up and not down. When I moved here 3 years ago we spent about $140-...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

What causes a partial blackout?

Last night, my neighborhood had a blackout, but for some reason, only half of the electrical circuits in my house went out. I was under the impression that there was only one main electrical feed ...
4
votes
1answer
7k views

Convert line voltage heating system to use low voltage thermostats

I currently have two line voltage ceiling radiant heating systems in my condo each with their own DPST thermostat. I'd like to use low voltage thermostats such as the nest. I found this transformer/...
3
votes
1answer
5k views

When wiring a switch loop, which wire is which?

If you're wiring up a lighting circuit, where the power enters at the lighting outlet. According to the National Electrical Code, which wire should be "hot" and which should be "switched hot"? ...
3
votes
3answers
9k views

Hooking up a 50A hot tub breaker to a 60A subpanel

I am considering adding a hot tub to my backyard. Most of the ones I've seen require a 240v 50A breaker, presumably with #6 4-wire. It would be most convenient to run the line for this from my ...
3
votes
3answers
34k views

How to properly ground a subpanel in detached building?

I Will be installing a subpanel in a detached garage. The subpanel will be 60 amp. The garage is about 30' from the main-panel in-house, and I will of course get an exact length before selecting the ...
3
votes
1answer
9k views

How can I get a standby generator with GFI to work with a 2-pole transfer switch?

I have a home standby generator that is equipped with a GFI, and my original electrician (who has long since flaked out on me leaving me in a lurch with this) installed a standard 2-pole transfer ...
3
votes
1answer
6k views

Is there a specific NEC code specifying the distance between water heaters and electrical panels?

I have a condo in a large building with many identical units. Several times other owners have mentioned that the original layout of the utility room isn't up to code due to the proximity of the water ...
2
votes
4answers
256 views

Why are all of my appliances becoming energized when ground wire is excluded?

I live in Australia, with three-prong 240v power supply including ground prong. I own a simple plug adapter that does not include the ground connection. As far as I'm aware, using any appliance with ...
2
votes
0answers
62 views

How to connect two dimmers to control two sets of lights independently

I have just moved to Germany, and have a room with a double-gang system. The lower is a rotary dimmer which controls the lights in the kitchen, and the upper is a double rocker switch that simply ...
14
votes
6answers
13k views

What is the right way to strip power wires?

I've been working with electrical circuits as a DIYer for years, including electronics and powerline work. But one thing I always feel like I do a terrible job at is stripping wires: both the outside ...
11
votes
3answers
24k views

What is electrical code for number of wires in a breaker?

US, Georgia I am adding some new ciruits to add some additional outlets. The closest place is to run a wire to the main panel box. My question is, can I connect more than one wire to a breaker and ...
9
votes
4answers
7k views

Why do my bulbs glow brighter when the microwave is running?

When I run the microwave oven in my rented apartment, the incandescent lights nearby glow much brighter. What sort of mis-wiring could cause this? EDIT: Suspecting a bad neutral connection, I ...
8
votes
3answers
218k views

How to connect multiple light fixtures to one switch?

I am remodeling my basement, currently I have 5 light fixtures and each one has its own switch. I would like to make it so when I turn on the switch at the bottom of the stairs all the lights turn on....
7
votes
1answer
27k views

Why doesn't my GFI receptacle reset?

I have a GFI receptacle in my kitchen that feeds four other receptacles. It tripped the other day and I cannot get it to reset. All of the other receptables on the circuit are not functioning which ...
7
votes
4answers
3k views

What should I do with a double gang box if I no longer need two separate switches?

We're relocating our TV to a side of our living room that has a power outlet controlled by a wall switch. The switch is part of a double gang box (1 switch controls the porch light, the other ...
7
votes
3answers
11k views

Does turning circuit breakers off cause wear?

A comment over on another SE got me thinking. With screw-in fuses, unscrewing it and then later screwing it back in causes negligible wear on either part of the installation. But what about modern "...
7
votes
8answers
12k views

How is it that two breaker switches control the same things?

Forewarning: I don't know that much about electrical terms, so please excuse any mistakes I've possibly made. I recently moved the TV in my living room and ran a new line for the electricity to the ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Is a negative reading from a non-contact voltage detector sufficient?

I'm a beginner at doing electrical work, and I want to make sure I'm not taking unnecessary risks. Let's say that I'm preparing to work on some wiring. I have a non-contact voltage detector that ...
6
votes
2answers
737 views

How do I troubleshoot noisy power lines for power-line networking?

I have some power-line ethernet adaptors that worked great in my previous house. At my new house, they can't get more than a few KB per second because there's too much noise in the line according to ...
6
votes
2answers
6k views

Why does my GFCI outlet trip as soon as the breaker is turned on?

I have an outlet feeding other outlets about 50 feet away. All the outlets are outdoor enclosed in a protective weather cover. Today I wanted to replace one of the receptacles with a GFCI so all the ...
5
votes
5answers
16k views

Is this an adequate junction box wire job using a standard electric box? (pic included)

I needed to splice a wire to repair nicked wire insulation, but I didn't feel like running to Lowe's just for a junction box. Instead, I used a regular electrical box. The wire comes up from the ...
5
votes
3answers
820 views

What is the explicit difference between the ground and neutral wire in 110V systems?

So, I've put in or replaced several outlets following wiring instructions online and in the box. Nothing big. I know that if I fail to turn off the breaker then I shouldn't directly touch the black ...
5
votes
1answer
12k views

How do I wire a duplex outlet from a switch/outlet combo?

The power comes first through a switch/outlet combo and I need to it take further down to a duplex outlet. The switch will control half the outlet and the other half will always be hot. This is ...
5
votes
1answer
77 views

Would this be the correct way to add a timer switch to an existing fan with thermostat?

We have an existing 120V AC exhaust fan wired to simple inline attic fan style thermostat. We would like to add a timer switch so the fan could be manually turned on as needed. Would this be the ...
5
votes
2answers
67k views

How do I extend outlets after installing a backsplash?

I have installed a back splash in my kitchen, if I use the plastic spacers how many should I use or is there a limit? I understand that this can cause to much air space around the receptacle or light ...
4
votes
2answers
7k views

Do open-back low voltage boxes have advantages over standard outlet boxes?

I will be running LV wiring in new construction. I've seen the open backed Carlon boxes, but have read that they are difficult to insulate, and therefore should not be used on exterior walls. I ...
4
votes
4answers
158 views

Does it cost more to run a refrigerator on an extension cord?

My new mini refrigerator is plugged into a 50 ft extension cord that is plugged into my house. Does it cost more to run because of the cord?
4
votes
4answers
3k views

How can I wire this three-way circuit between two buildings with only 3 conductors?

I am rewiring my entire house after a major malfunction of two antique knob and tube circuits. I'm up against a challenge with some outdoor lights. Here's the situation: I have a detached garage. It ...
4
votes
1answer
20k views

How to tell if a ceiling junction box is braced to hold the weight of a ceiling fan?

My new home is almost done being built, and one of the extras I asked for was for two of the rooms to have junction boxes in the ceiling suitable for hanging a ceiling fan in the future. The light ...
4
votes
3answers
56k views

Is a ground required when replacing an old single pole single throw switch?

I need to replace a switch that controls a single light source in a bathroom. The switch has two wires connected to it. I bought a replacement switch that has two screws (one for each wire), and a ...
3
votes
1answer
10k views

Why am I measuring 16 volts on a wire that should be at 0 volts?

I am replacing a power receptacle at my apartment. It has the standard four wires, with one of the two reds going to a nearby toggle switch. I am concerned because when the toggle switch is off, I ...
3
votes
4answers
8k views

How can I verify that the protective earth/ground is separate from the neutral wire in an electrical AC installation?

It's easy to verify which wire is the phase without relying on wire colors. But I'm not sure if I'm able to determine which wire is the ground and which is the neutral. I have heard that using a ...
3
votes
4answers
44k views

Can two circuits share a neutral?

I'm finally implementing the advice given in this question, I've managed to run the wiring up to the junction box, but I'm a bit confused by the contents of that box. There are three circuits ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Term to describe two circuits run through one /3 cable

For example, I have a 12/3 cable in which the red and black wires are controlled via separate breakers. The 12/3 drops into a single-gang outlet, out of which runs a 12/2 to another room. Is there a ...
3
votes
3answers
7k views

Why would a circuit breaker not trip if I accidentally shorted hot to neutral?

I am installing a set of recessed lights in a closet, replacing the existing fixtures one at a time. I removed power to the lights while installing each one by using the light switch, not the circuit ...
3
votes
1answer
234 views

Where in the span of a floor joist can I drill holes to run wiring?

How far from the end of a 2x12 or 2x10 floor joist can I drill a hole? NEC 502.8 does not give this answer, only that you have to be 2" above or below the edges, not in what part of the span it has ...
2
votes
2answers
8k views

How do I change the remote frequency options in my ceiling fan?

My Hampton Bay ceiling fan remote control is interfering with my neighbours. Inside the remote there are switches to adjust the remote frequency. Where in the fan do I make the corresponding ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

What gauge wire is needed to feed a 70 ampere panel 300 ft. away?

What gauge of wire do I need for direct burial for a 300 ft run for a 70 amp subpanel? I am going to install a 50 amp plug for a 5th wheel and eventually add some lights to a green house about 70 ...
2
votes
2answers
28k views

Why is half of my house without power with no flipped breakers? [duplicate]

The master bedroom and middle bedroom of my 3 bedroom mobile home is without power. None of the breakers have flipped. I even changed the breaker that controls that part of the house and my ceiling ...
2
votes
3answers
4k views

How to independently switch a GFCI outlet?

I would like to add a plug outside where each plug would be independently switched. The use of this is to be able to switch a rope light and a fan separately. This is being added to a new breaker so ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Suitability of flexible metallic conduit serving as ground

EDIT: The attached photo is the most easily accessible example of the conduit used in the entire house. This shows the conduit attached to the garbage disposal with the previously mentioned 3/4 set ...
2
votes
1answer
6k views

What are the codes for electrical wiring in attics?

What is the typical code for wiring in attics? I understand these vary but what's best practice? Can you just have electrical wires exposed with all the junctions, in junction boxes, provided all the ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Adding USB Dual Port Charger Receptacle Blows Mains

I purchased a Hubbell "USB Dual Port Charger with 15A Duplex Receptacle" from Lowes to replace the duplex receptacle on my kitchen island. I first opened the circuit labelled for the island. The ...
2
votes
2answers
30k views

How do I know what size grounding conductor is required?

Is there an international standard that specifies the size of the grounding conductor to bond a metallic part of the installation to a grounding bar?. And to connect the grounding bar to the ...