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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12
votes
4answers
33k views

Can I backfeed a portable generator into my house's electrical system?

Is there a safe way to power my house using a portable generator? The power rating for the generator is 6kW, and I want to run my electric water heater (4.5kW) and my refrigerator (0.5kW) and possibly ...
-1
votes
1answer
443 views

What are some good resources books/websites for learning basic home wiring?

As part of Home maintenance, I need some electrification work. Looking for some basics of home electrification like phase, neutral things, how to connect a fan regulator ....
10
votes
1answer
489 views

Humming Ceiling Fans

I have two Harbor Breeze 52in. Builders Series Ceiling Fans. Under normal operation these fans are smooth and quiet. However, during power outages like we've had recently, I use a Devilbiss 6000 ...
2
votes
1answer
130 views

oven not igniting

(Updated.) I have a gas stove and oven with no pilot light (so they ignite using electricity). The stove and broiler (at the top of the oven cavity) are lighting fine, but the oven is not (at the ...
4
votes
2answers
10k views

What should I use to wire a 220v electric baseboard heater and thermostat? 12/2 or 12/3

When I bought my baseboard heaters, thermostats and 220v breakers I was advised to get 12/3 wire. When I attempted to install the heaters I found that the thermostats, heaters, and even breakers have ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

What should I do with wires that are too large for back-stab terminals on a receptacles?

I am replacing all my electicial outlets and only one has wires that are too big to put into the back of the new outlet. Any suggestions?
1
vote
4answers
840 views

What types of flooring can be used with electric radiant heat?

I am considering converting an old enclosed sleeping porch into a usable room year round (in Ohio). Currently the floor is a big slope to allow for drainage when it was still open, obviously I want ...
4
votes
2answers
107 views

DIYer to skilled tradesperson

What is the process a DIYer has to go through to become a skilled tradesperson? Are the only options apprenticeships, or are there other paths to follow to learn a trade/become licensed? What type ...
4
votes
1answer
626 views

Control home's electricity sockets via PC

I'd like to control some of my home's electricity sockets via my PC. I was thinking about WiFi sockets (couldn't find any product for that), or sockets which are controlled by the electric network ...
5
votes
3answers
8k views

Why are homes wired using solid wire rather than stranded?

If stranded wire can carry more power for a given wire gauge, why are homes typically wired using solid? If solid wire is less expensive to make, that provides a compelling reason why solid is used, ...
3
votes
3answers
4k views

Can I tap into an exterior light in order to power a security camera?

I have an exterior light (shown below) that I was wondering if I could tap into, in order to power an outdoor IP cam. I understand I would have to pull appart some cables and potentially purchase ...
4
votes
1answer
391 views

What is the silver on the end of copper wire?

I am connecting a power cable to my dishwasher and I noticed the end of the copper wire looks like it has been dipped in solder. It is silver and very stiff. Should I be putting the wire nut on over ...
2
votes
5answers
1k views

Why are there multiple receptacles by amperage?

I could imagine the various receptacle shapes being a tool to protect you from making a mistake about what you plug in. Consider a 15A breaker with 14ga wiring to NEMA 5-15R receptacles. The circuit ...
1
vote
1answer
84 views

electric main rings of the house

How do I know if my two floor house has one or two electric rings, one downstairs and one upstairs, or just one for all the house.
5
votes
1answer
3k views

How do I convert a light circuit with a single pole switch to use two 3-way switches?

I have a box in the hall which includes a 3-way switch (with another switch at the other end of the hall), a single pole switch to the garage lights and a single pole switch to the exterior lights on ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

Why GFCI clicks, even when turned off?

I have a GFCI receptacle that is clicking. Every 5-10 minutes it clicks repeatedly for 1-2 seconds. The GFCI is turned off (the RESET button is sticking out) but it still clicks! What does this mean? ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the minimum required distance from a shower to an electrical outlet?

In Fairfax County Virginia, what is the minimum distance that an outlet must be from a shower in the bathroom? Does the minimum distance change if it is GFI outlet?
1
vote
1answer
1k views

How do I connect two 220V devices each with 12/2 wire to a 220V 12/3 feed?

I have a two devices I need to connect to a 220V feed on 12/3 wire. Previously there was/is 1 device connected but the connections from the feed to the 12/2 wire was done inside a ball of tape buried ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

Is it “OK” to have my pool heater and pump share a circuit?

I replaced a rusted out millivolt natural gas pool heater with a new model, but forgot to note that it needs an electrical connection as well (for vent,etc). I have a 240V line run out there for the ...
0
votes
1answer
338 views

Does a fridge thermostat need a ground connection?

I've recently replaced the thermostat in my fridge with a new unit with a much higher temperature range (this unit specifically). The unit I took out had a ground connector & the original wiring ...
12
votes
3answers
1k views

What is the right way to connect 7 conductors in an electrical box?

What is the "right" way to join 7 different wires in a single electrical box? Here's the situation. I opened up a four-gang light switch. There were four switches controlling five lights. As ...
9
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

How do I run a wire underground to an outdoor post lamp?

I live in Geauga county Ohio. My question is three part. First what type of wire do I need to run from the house underground to a post lamp 100 feet away? Second,does it need to be in conduit and ...
2
votes
1answer
358 views

what parameters should I look for when choosing an electric deadbolt?

I am looking for electric deadbolts for external steel doors - to place several of them on a door - one on each side (top, bottom, left, right) for extra security. I want to buy just the deadbolt ...
3
votes
1answer
208 views

Help decipher this wiring

I am trying to put a flourescent light fixture into our pantry into an existing fixture/junction box. The previous light was taken down by some previous help I had and they had made a couple of ...
1
vote
1answer
233 views

Installing a surface switch

I have a little utility room with bare cement walls. So I want to install a little surface switch. As far as i understand normally switches are installed on a hot wire, but this switch has no ...
2
votes
1answer
213 views

looking for a WATT-O-METER with specific features

Recently i have bought an OWL+USB WATT-O-METER and got very disappointed. Making a long story short, i'm looking for a device that will give me: accurate readings good software for data management a ...
5
votes
1answer
122 views

Bought a US appliance and powered directly off Aus mains, is it boned?

Hope this is on topic for this stackexchange. I recently bought a lamp from the US and had it shipped to Australia. Stupidly I powered it straight off the mains through an adapter. The device is ...
0
votes
2answers
166 views

trying to save a cheap electric driller

I wanted to use an old electric driller that it's battery has worn down and i couldn't find a new battery. on the battery it says 7.2V. So i took a AC-> 7.5V DC 1A Transformer and used it in place of ...
0
votes
2answers
2k views

salvaging DC motors from home appliances [closed]

In what home appliances I can find a 40V (or so) DC motor?
2
votes
1answer
417 views

Adding new lights to a switch

I have a single light controlled by a switch in my garage. It's really pathetic, so I decided to add some shop lights to the same switch. Upon opening up the light wiring box, I found not 1 but 4 ...
3
votes
3answers
565 views

What are some computer interfacing electric energy meters on the market?

Does computer interfacing electric energy meters exist? With possibilities to get/log current power usage and monthly used kilowatt hours. With ethernet/rs232 etc interface. I am looking for this for ...
0
votes
1answer
993 views

Goldline/Aquarite Chlorinator electrical problem--what went wrong?

I'm installing a Aquarite chlorinator, and something went terribly wrong! As instructed by the manual for 110V installations, I removed the jumpers from terminals 2/3 and moved them to terminals 1/2 ...
3
votes
1answer
809 views

Fishing wire through exterior wall — what problems am I likely to encounter?

I've figured out how to get Ethernet run from the basement up into my attic. I thought that would be the hard part, but that looks relatively tame. Now the next challenge is going to be fishing wire ...
2
votes
1answer
716 views

Electrical hum noise from shower fan electrics box

I had a shower fan installed about 8 months ago, a vent axia low carbon with timer on light switch. The separate small plastic box that contains all the wiring separate to the fan makes an electrical ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Does the specific gravity of a lead-acid battery indicate degradation?

Let say I have a battery that is a few years old. When it was new, the specific gravity was indicating 1.265 when full, and it lasted fairly long. If I do an equalization charge, for the same ...
2
votes
1answer
246 views

Fuse replacement in Xantrex solar charge controller

I have a Xantrex XW-MPPT60-150 solar charge controller. The moment came where I need to replace the fuse that protects the charger. The problem is that I need to replace it with Littlefuse KLKD 1 ...
2
votes
2answers
578 views

refractometer instead of hydrometer for battery testing?

some one pointed out to me that there is a better and more accurate way, as he says, to measure the specific gravity of my lead-acid battery then the simple hydrometer. he suggested some thing like ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

How do I trace the cabling in a “Ring Main”

I have a "ring main" with many sockets on it, it is clear that it has been extended over the years. How do I trace the cabling to. Check that it is a single ring That only one socket is on each ...
3
votes
2answers
782 views

What are some tips for deep cycle battery maintenance for an offgrid solar system?

I have an off grid solar system, with an 240AH 24v deep cycle battery, and the system (and all of the components in it) is a year and a half old. i have several questions and i hope that some one ...
8
votes
1answer
370 views

Is it worth it to replace old style breakers with GFCI or AFCI breakers?

I have older wiring on my house (2-wire) BX. And while it's all in good condition, and I do check the outlets monthly to make certain it's still grounded, I'm wary of the BX sheathing as the ground. ...
3
votes
2answers
3k views

How do I add a receptacle from a switch located on the end run of an existing split receptacle?

I need to add a new receptacle to a room. The only convenient source of power for that receptacle in behind a light switch. The challenge is that the aforementioned switch is located on the end run of ...
2
votes
3answers
3k views

Why is my AFCI breaker tripping and my surge protector clicking?

I've really got two possibly related issues here. We have a basement office that we wired ourselves. Code required that we put in an AFCI breaker. From what I've read these can be pretty temperamental ...
14
votes
4answers
6k views

Are push in connectors up to code?

Just came across a neat product at the local hardware store, but I wonder if they are up to code and safe to use. They are a wire nut that allows you to simply push the wires in, instead of twisting ...
1
vote
2answers
445 views

Refrigerator making strange sound every few minutes

Forgive my description of the sound but it's all I can think of to describe it. Every few minutes, I hear a very very faint sound that sounds like what you'd expect to hear when someone is being ...
-3
votes
1answer
141 views

What should I do about a board that sparks when I connect my PC but not other devices?

I have a board, which has three switches. When I connect my PC's power card to that board, I see a spark in the switch. However, if I connect a TV or a radio, I don't see any sparking. Do I have to ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

Should I bond a water softener's in/out pipes?

Our house was built in 1997. The pipes are copper (including the city water supply pipe). Some time after the house was built, the previous owners installed a water softener. The softener parts are ...
6
votes
1answer
453 views

What do I need to replace 4 light switches on the same circuit?

So we have a single light in our living room that can be turned on/off from four different switches at various entrances to the living room. We're currently replacing all the switches in our house as ...
34
votes
4answers
18k views

How can I fix electrical outlets that don't “hold” plugs that are plugged in to them?

In short, most of the outlets in my house have one working receptacle and one that any cord plugged in will immediately slip out of. Some of my outlets don't have any working receptacles (I hope I'm ...
3
votes
3answers
4k views

Which outlet box should I use for an unfinished basement?

I want to install a 15-amp AC receptacle in my basement between the ceiling joists. The basement's not finished so there's plenty of room to play around. Should I be installing a "new work" new ...