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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5
votes
2answers
748 views

Is it safe to install a sconce light box inside a return air space?

In my finished basement, the space between one section of studs is being used as a return air duct for my furnace and central air. Here is a picture, looking up from the vent at the floor level: ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

What happens if I shave a little sliver off electrical wire with a utility knife?

I needed to replace an electrical wire with a longer one so I could move an electrical outlet. When I went to cut away the outer rubber cover of one of the wires with a utility knife (yes, dumb, I ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Trying to wire a 240v line-voltage thermostat

I am trying to replace my old 240v line-voltage thermostat with a modern version. The problem is that after wiring the new version in like the old it doesn't work. I have (2) 12-2 wires coming out of ...
11
votes
4answers
3k views

How can I detect reverse polarity on an ungrounded receptacle?

Recently moved into a 1950s-built house and am swapping out some of the older receptacles. On one particular ungrounded circuit there are four receptacles. The first two are as expected - the two ...
4
votes
1answer
824 views

What is permissible for a breaker box cover?

We're doing some remodeling in our kitchen and unfortunately the breaker box is right in the middle of a wall we are going to cover with tile. My current thought is to replace the existing metal ...
4
votes
2answers
555 views

How can I add a second light to a circuit?

I have recessed lights that are controlled by two switches. They used a black, red and white wire for each switch to a junction box then used a 14-2 wire to the recessed lights. My question is how do ...
4
votes
3answers
5k views

Splitting a circuit breaker into multiple lines

I recently found out that several rooms in my house are apparently connected to one circuit breaker. Setup: My wife was in the bathroom drying her hair and I decided it was time to nuke lunch in the ...
2
votes
1answer
4k views

How to add GFCI to a box with one outlet controlled by a switch?

I'm pretty inexperienced when it comes to electrical work, though I do know my way around a circuit diagram, thanks to some EE courses in college. I think this is one I can do myself, I just would ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Is it ever safe to have 14 gauge wire anywhere on a circuit proected by a 30 amp breaker?

I was doing some work in an old house I recently moved into, and found that my dishwasher and garbage disposal (and some outlets near them) are on a 30 amp breaker. However, some of the electrical ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

GFCI outlet won't come on

I have a couple recently installed (By a professional licensed electrician) GFCI outlets outside a barn, both on their own circuit. Both have water trough heaters plugged into them - 1500 watts each. ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Are T12 fluorescent lamps still available?

My '70s house is chock full of fluorescent tubes. the T12s look the best with the architecture. those pansy T8s are way too small. Anybody have a lead on where to get 48" 32W T12? PS. can we add ...
9
votes
2answers
396 views

Where can I get a switch for a 30A circuit?

I would like to add a switch to a 30A plug, but I am having trouble finding one (they are all rated at 15a/20a). Is there a reason you can't buy 30A switches or is it called something different? To ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

How can I solder a wire onto a piece of metal?

I am replacing the antenna on my radio. I removed the old antenna to find that a wire had been soldered directly onto the bottom of the antenna. I attempted to solder the wire onto the new antenna ...
4
votes
2answers
552 views

What's involved in upgrading a circuit?

I have a LOT of computer equipment in my bonus room. Additionally, during the summer, our HVAC system has difficulty keeping it cool (as a side note, the HVAC was replaced recently, so it is not ...
4
votes
1answer
193 views

What's wrong with an electrical outlet that will power a lamp but not a space heater?

Thought my space heater had died when I plugged it in and it wouldn't turn on, not even the "on" indicator light, so I went out and bought a new one. When the new one wouldn't work either, I tested ...
20
votes
4answers
12k views

Would you ever wire white and ground together?

I was replacing some outlets in my house with tamper-resistant ones, and came across one where the white and ground were wired together, as seen in this picture. Why? Is that okay or appropriate ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Can my apartment's electricity harm my computer? Is there an easy way to test the electricity?

I live in a (rented, 1980 built) row townhouse in the USA with slightly suspect electricity: A few of the outlets and light switches in the house (in various rooms) don't work at all. (Even ...
5
votes
1answer
372 views

What should I do with a 3-way light switch that is no longer needed?

How do I get rid of a 3-way switch? I am rewiring some lights in an older home and found that one of the switches is a 3-way. However, the light it was originally for was removed years ago. So we ...
2
votes
1answer
207 views

Where can I find a Powerline Internet Adapter with DIN Rail Mounting?

There are several products in the market to create a home LAN using the existing electrical wiring at home. In all of them the point of entry(or the emitter) is a device that is connected to a wall ...
3
votes
1answer
440 views

How can I wire a panel heater?

Bought my Mum a Dimplex Panel Heater for Christmas. My plan was to plug it into the single socket beside where I am mounting it however it did not come with a plug and look like it should be wired ...
2
votes
2answers
232 views

What is the proper installation of a dimmer switch?

I have a wall light that has 18 gauge wire. I want to hard wire this lamp in and put it on a dimmer switch that calls for 14-2 or 12-2 wire. Can this be done? I tried to hook it up but it keeps ...
3
votes
1answer
965 views

How can I install r-max insulation on the interior side of a cinderblock wall?

I am planning on insulating the lower level of my house with R-Max in a method similar to this: I have a few question about it though: Can I use something other than Treated wood as this is ...
3
votes
2answers
864 views

What could be causing strange voltage readings?

My wife bought some new wall sconces for the house and asked me to install them. I'm not an electrician (obviously) but this seemed like something I could handle. So I switched them out, following ...
8
votes
1answer
489 views

Can I have multiple GFCIs on one circuit?

I have a 70s kitchen with a very long countertop. I understand that I only need one GFCI to protect the downstream outlets (for example near the sink). However, I decided instead to install 3 separate ...
1
vote
1answer
537 views

Why won't the heat shut off in one zone?

we have a three zone baseboard hotwater furnace. a few months ago one zone would randomly stay on, we did change the thermostat we have not noticed the problem again, but in another zone we have the ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

How can I diagnose disturbing voltage potentials?

Earlier today, I read Acceptable ground to neutral voltage?, and thought it'd be fun to stick my multimeter in the socket and have a voltage to report back. Neutral to ground read 60 volts. My head ...
2
votes
2answers
952 views

How do I install GFCI on multi wire branch cicuit? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How do I install a GFCI receptacle with two hot wires and common neutral? I am planning on changing the old large gauge/3 wire that fed my electric dryer into a multi ...
4
votes
5answers
2k views

How Do I Power A 220 Water Heater Off Two 110 Breakers

First off I know this is not the best idea. To start my 200 Amp Main has suffered a partial failure and as it is old (60s) and unusual it will be very hard or impossible to replace it. Since the main ...
0
votes
1answer
707 views

How can I add a light switch to an existing lighting circuit?

I have a Light switch that runs four lights, I would like to add a switch to the last light. Is this possible and how could this be wired?
1
vote
0answers
94 views

Which electrical switch do I require? [closed]

I am confused at what to purchase to replace a 3 light switch and one of the lights is 2 way. It gives me the option of 2G 2 way, 3G 2 way or 4G 2way. Which do I need to purchase?
5
votes
2answers
2k views

How do I wire my wall-mounted HD TV?

This image wall-mount setup should give a good idea of the current TV set up on the wall. I wanted to use a SmartStrip to power my TV and all the other devices (receiver, BluRay player, Wii, cable ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

Why does voltage still exists when a circuit is broken by a 3-way switch?

My parents got a ceiling light for my parents for Christmas, which I was tasked with installing. I don't know why I bothered to check the voltage before putting the new fixture on (and after taking ...
1
vote
1answer
116 views

Is there a remote switch I can use to replace a switch located in a wall being removed?

I am removing two walls that contain light switches for the dining, and kitchen ceiling lights. Is there a wireless switch I can use for control, without fishing wires into the existing walls?
7
votes
4answers
2k views

Acceptable ground to neutral voltage?

First of all I'm pretty sure I know the theory behind the effect. I know about the inductive and capacitive coupling, about 3-phase balance problems and about ground bounce, so this question isn't ...
2
votes
1answer
168 views

Should I Buy Cordless Drill/Driver From USA And Use It In My Country?

I want to purchase DeWalt 18V Cordless Drill/Driver from USA where electricity standard is 120V - 60Hz and use it in my country with transformer where standard is 220V-230V - 50Hz but there will be ...
3
votes
2answers
783 views

How to wire a lamp to a junction box?

In my bathroom, I had an old wall lamp hanging above the mirror, that was connected to a junction box. I dismounted the old lamp and didn't pay attention to which wires it was connected. Now I need to ...
2
votes
1answer
459 views

several outlets dont work on same circuit

I tested my outlet and only had 85 volts on the black side and 24 volts on the white side why? There are several outlets on the same circuit that don't work with the same readings.I checked power in ...
3
votes
3answers
5k views

How can I troubleshoot a ceiling fan light kit Issue?

I have an issue with my ceiling fan light; the light is on, then eventually over time it starts flickering off and on, eventually over time shutting off. I'll switch the light off, and then switch it ...
3
votes
1answer
450 views

Is a water pressure booster pump with an induction motor suitable for kitchen tap use?

The water pressure in my kitchen is too low to achieve a reasonable flow rate through the kitchen tap. For many years I have fitted a series of booster pumps which are activated when water is flowing ...
3
votes
3answers
4k views

Can I using a 3-phase connection to power 1-phase AC unit?

I have preparation for an AC connection with 3-phase 220V 3X16A breaker. I want to install a 220V 1-phase unit, which also needs a 16A breaker. The physical connection has screw-on terminals, so there ...
4
votes
1answer
551 views

How do I connect a 240 to 110V transformers that measures 55V AC on both the “hot” and “return” wires?

For a European-style city power supply (240 V AC 50 Hz) attempting to accommodate appliances from another country (USA, 110 V AC 60 Hz), how should a "Nippon" ungrounded transformer be wired up? The ...
5
votes
3answers
21k views

How to properly wire a ceiling light fixture?

I rent an apartment and a tenant installed ceiling fan that was not well secured to the ceiling. I removed the fan and attempted to re-install the original light fixture after he moved out. I am ...
5
votes
4answers
4k views

What could cause the ground wire on my baseboard heater to burn?

On the photo below, you can see that the ground wire as burned. Description of what i know: the wire is connected on a 240V line to my baseboard heater the wire seems to be a AWG 14/2 I don't know ...
1
vote
5answers
4k views

Is there any feasible way to work with live electrical wiring? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How do I install an electrical outlet on a live circuit? I remember back in my college days, having a badly damaged outlet plug on a built-in dresser/vanity right above ...
8
votes
4answers
660 views

How can I automatically disconnect a coffee maker and space heater without tripping the building's 20A circuit breaker?

My small office has a 20A breaker and we have to run a space heater in the winter or else we freeze to death. Whenever someone turns on the coffee maker, the office circuit breaker trips and ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

Can I run a ground wire of a single circuit to the panel outside the house?

This is a follow-up to this question. I am adding (outlets) on to a 2-wire 12AWG (no ground) circuit and I want the new outlets grounded. Can I run a ground wire to the panel along the outside of ...
11
votes
2answers
28k views

How do you plan capacity for electrical circuits?

I'm finishing a section of my basement, which currently only has one bulb for bare light. In planning the electrical arrangement of things, how do I estimate the load of light fixtures or electrical ...
5
votes
1answer
660 views

How to deal with abandoned wire?

There is a 240V/30A circuit in a room of my house that used to be a patio. I think it was used for a baseboard/electric heater system. It had a surface mounted outlet that I have removed, but now I ...
5
votes
2answers
872 views

Confused about two way wiring on stair case

I have two light bulbs controlled by three light switches. I replaced two of them a while ago (can't remember what the wiring looks like) with no problems. However, I encountered the following issue ...
19
votes
4answers
4k views

Is it OK to borrow a ground wire from a different circuit?

I've got a circuit in the basement carrying a handful of outlets. This circuit has no ground wire. I want to add a couple of outlets and want them to be grounded. I may even want gfci outlets on ...