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.

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3
votes
1answer
8k 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 ...
2
votes
4answers
216 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
2answers
26k views

Ceilling light wont switch off after a new installation

I have bought a new ceiling light to replace an old-fashioned one. I have 3 grey cables hanging from the ceiling: 3 red wires connected together and 3 green wires connected together and 3 black but ...
1
vote
1answer
167 views

How do I determine what size Generator I need?

What are the number of factors and considerations to be taken into account before sizing a prime rated generator ??
14
votes
6answers
11k 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
22k 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?
10
votes
1answer
3k views

What is this drill guide/template used when fixing electrical sockets called and where do I buy one?

My dad used to have one, you use it as a drill guide/template when fixing electrical sockets, but I cannot find anywhere that sells them, and as I don't know the name Google is not much help! ...
9
votes
4answers
38k views

How do I troubleshoot power receptacles?

I just bought a recently renovated house and the house inspector said that all the plugs in the basement worked. Well... I plugged in several devices into the plugs and they don't power on. If I use ...
9
votes
4answers
6k 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
6answers
60k views

Can I connect ground to neutral in a 3 wire outlet?

I have a 3 wire outlet with the entrances for hot, neutral and ground. But I know that the ground entrance is not really grounded, so in effect useless. Now, since the neutral is grounded, could I ...
7
votes
7answers
10k 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
4answers
2k 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
14k views

What is the proper 'per code' method for running nonmetallic sheathed cable above a ceiling in the attic?

Can the wiring be run over the top of the ceiling joist, or must it be run through bored holes when running perpendicular to the joists? This is a non-habitable space, will have an attic entrance ...
6
votes
2answers
5k 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
708 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
5k views

How does a 2 way light switch work?

A two way light switch allows the light to be controlled from two locations, how does this work?
5
votes
6answers
4k views

Why will 26 1.2W 220V LED lights not work with an 800W inverter?

We live off the grid and have just installed 26 220V 1.2W LED lights. We are using 220V as the batteries are some way from the house and and thick copper wire is expensive. Everything works on the ...
5
votes
2answers
55k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
11k 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
5answers
14k 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 ...
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
16k 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
2answers
5k 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
4k 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
7k 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
6k 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
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 ...
2
votes
1answer
198 views

Why would two regular outlets stop working after I replaced GFCI outlets?

I replaced to gfci outlets and they are working fine, but two outlets on the same wall that are regular stopped working and are not receiving electricity. I checked and checked to see if I did the ...
2
votes
2answers
314 views

How should I connect a grounding wire from a device to this box?

I'm replacing this simple 2-connector light switch with a 4-wire dimmer. The 2 new wires present on the dimmer are neutral and ground, and only neutral has an obvious home. The box has no visible ...
2
votes
3answers
306 views

Do receptacles require a 20 ampere breaker?

I thought wall recepticles required a 20 amp breaker. Am I wrong?
2
votes
3answers
6k views

2 prong to 3 prong outlet help

I don't know too much about replacing outlets, only what I've read online or through YouTube videos. The house was built in the early 50s. Some outlets have been replaced (brand new kitchen) but some ...
2
votes
2answers
1k 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
2answers
1k 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
1k 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
781 views

What's the amperage on a circuit breaker that's “linked” together?

On our circuit breaker, we have several circuits that are linked together by a metal handle. For instance, there are several cases of three 20A circuits all linked together, meaning you can only flip ...
2
votes
2answers
849 views

What type of wiring should bedroom overhead lighting have?

On the phone with a friend in Cali this morning. He said that some municipalities are requiring /4 (12-3 or 14-3 romex) wiring for all new construction or rewiring for overhead lighting components. ...
2
votes
3answers
3k 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
1answer
5k 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
20k 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 ...
2
votes
4answers
3k views

Is a duplex outlet's max amperage rating for each socket or the whole unit?

If you have a duplex outlet thats rated for lets say 20 amps, is the whole unit rated for 20 amps, or is each socket rated for 20 amps? Edit: So if I had a circuit that had a 40A breaker on it, could ...
2
votes
2answers
7k 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
62 views

How would I connect power from an emergency security flood light fixture?

How would I connect power to the inside of my apt. Building from the emergency security flood light fixture outside the building?
1
vote
2answers
601 views

Can I build an electrical pole structure to hold a power wire into my property?

The power pole to my house is at the back right corner of the property. However, it's a little outside my property line. I wanted to run a power line straight down along the pole and into the ground ...
1
vote
1answer
242 views

Two Three Way Switches w 14/2

I have an existing three way switch hooked up already, it works fine. I would like to add another three way switch by connecting another switch to the existing three way switch. Can this be done with ...
1
vote
8answers
10k views

How can I locate and repair a break in a circuit?

After some effort, I have determined that there is a discontinuity between the wire from the breaker (hot wire) and the receptacle (socket). The breaker is okay because couple of other sockets in the ...
1
vote
1answer
193 views

Is it safe to replace a GFCI breaker with an arc fault breaker?

We recently had our electrical panel replaced/upgraded and I noticed that our GFCI breaker was replaced with an Arc Fault breaker. Is that safe? Are GFCI breakers obsolete now?
1
vote
1answer
6k views

Can dimmable (triac) LED bulbs be used on a motion sensor switch without neutral wire?

I bought a bunch of these motion sensor switches. I also want to use these dimmable LED bulbs. The motion sensors do not have a neutral wire connector. My outlets only have a live wire and it would ...
1
vote
2answers
8k views

What is causing a replacement ceiling fan light to flicker?

I had a Hunter ceiling fan with a light kit attached. It started making a humming sound and then a loud pop. This caused the circuit breaker to trip. After resetting the circuit breaker, the fan ...
38
votes
8answers
36k views

When I turn down the dimmer switch on my lights, do I actually use less electricity?

My wife and I have several lights on dimmer switches throughout our home. We generally prefer the ambient lighting provided by dimmed lights. I am curious, though, if we are saving any electricity by ...
36
votes
9answers
12k views

Is the Electrician trying to scam me?

I own a home in California and was emailed by my property manager about an electrical problem with an outlet. The outlet was fixed according to the tenant but the repair man through the manager thinks ...