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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2
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2answers
3k views

Can I extend the ground/bus bar in a main service to accomodate subpanel equipment ground?

I am about to replace the main service breaker panel in my house. The old panel (a 200amp Siemens 40-circuit) had bus bars that extended the entire vertical length of the box. The new panel I would ...
0
votes
1answer
723 views

How can I add two bathroom receptacles behind and above a vanity?

Background I'm in the middle of a bathroom remodel, and had to take off some drywall to get the tub in, then thought I may as well take all the drywall on that side off to give me an easier taping ...
-1
votes
1answer
128 views

Can I get a completely flush plaster-in switch or socket?

I've seen recessed downlights that fit in/on the ceiling prior to plastering, then after the ceiling is plastered the light has no visible bezel, just a recess in which the light sits. Search google ...
1
vote
3answers
1k views

What lamps available in the UK are compatible with BS 546 plugs?

We have lots of spare BS546 plug sockets in our rented house (we are located it London, UK). In the bedroom, these are linked to the lighting circuit but we only have one lamp so the room is very ...
2
votes
2answers
740 views

There's a bunch of unshielded copper wire in a light switch - what is it and what does it do?

I was just replacing a faceplate, and noticed that there was a large amount of unshielded copper wire twisted together in the back of the light switch electrical box. The light switch box is a larger ...
2
votes
2answers
167 views

Should I replace an existing gas fireplace with electric?

Does it make sense to replace my existing gas fireplace with a newer electrical one? Would the new electrical one require less maintenance? Would it run more efficiently and in doing so cost less to ...
1
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2answers
8k views

What is code for installing a dishwasher in the U.S.?

I will be replacing my dishwasher and I am curious what is the current code for the wiring of the dishwasher.
6
votes
2answers
578 views

Does lamp maximum wattage matter for CF bulbs? [duplicate]

Say I have a table lamp that states (via a slightly scary sticker) that it takes a 60W max bulb. Of course, that was based around incandescent wattages. Is there any risk with putting in a CF bulb ...
5
votes
1answer
290 views

Can I obtain grounding from a different outlet?

I have a room with 2 ungrounded (2-prong) outlets and 1 switched grounded (3-prong) outlet. This has not been a serious inconvenience so far, as most of the equipment I wish to connect has ungrounded ...
5
votes
2answers
11k views

Is it code-legal to have a circuit breaker box within a storage room?

I am currently in the process of planning a room remodel to convert an existing bedroom into a home office and storage room. One thing that makes this conversion a little bit tricky, is the existence ...
-1
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2answers
205 views

how can I dim two sets of lights and run a fan by replacing my 3 manual switch [closed]

Can I get a switch that incorporates 2 dimmers and a manual switch to control a kitchen fan?
2
votes
2answers
3k views

How do I connect the wires inside a conduit junction box?

I have some wiring in my garage (done by a sparky believe it or not...) where the wire is quite loose, just tacked to the wall with clips, and there are a few junction boxes as well as the usual ...
1
vote
3answers
251 views

How can I rewire this circuit?

In my basement, I am removing an existing fixture and planning on installing pot-lights. Previously when I have switched out a fixture, I generally find white + black + ground, which is pretty easy ...
0
votes
1answer
4k views

How do I wire this GFCI receptacle/switch combination device?

I am trying to replace a switch/receptacle combo in our bath room with a GFCI switch/receptacle combo. I am no electrician but understand wiring for the most part however this one has got me stumped. ...
5
votes
3answers
5k views

Are non-GFCI outlets that are downstream of a GFCI outlet ground fault protected if they are fed from the GFCI outlet's load side?

Are non-GFCI outlets that are downstream of a GFCI outlet ground fault protected if they are fed from the GFCI outlet's load side? If those non-GFCI downstream outlets were not fed from the GFCI ...
1
vote
4answers
6k views

How do I wire a GFCI combination light switch when power enters at the light?

I have a Leviton 7299-NW GFCI/switch combo The diagrams in a response to the question "How do I wire a GFCI/switch combo?" is helpful. But I want to see a diagram for a situation where the power ...
0
votes
1answer
418 views

How to trace mystery switches

Since I moved into my house last year there are a couple of wall switches that remain a mystery to me. I don't know what they do, if anything. What are my options for tracing these switches? I'm ...
0
votes
1answer
380 views

How can I get my thermostat C wire connected? [duplicate]

I have an older furnace, on the switch block I have Y,C.W,R and an unlabeled screw that connects to the shut off it looks like. I need to hook up a thermostat that needs the C wire. I have a spare ...
1
vote
1answer
768 views

Why won't my clothing iron work in one outlet but works in others?

I've been using my clothing iron in the same outlet in my laundry room for the past 6 months since I moved into my house, but all of a sudden the iron won't work in that outlet anymore. I plugged an ...
0
votes
0answers
535 views

Why isn't my mini fridge staying cold?

My mini fridge has full power, but I come home after a couple of days to find that the compressor has shut off and everything has defrosted and the fridge isn't cold anymore. I can turn the knob and ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

What is a 'grounded neutral' and how bad is it?

I bought an electrical device a few months ago. A few weeks ago, it failed, complete with the release of magic smoke. I contacted the company, and they've had me mail it to them and have been ...
7
votes
2answers
645 views

What does the inspector mean by “Hot and Neutral are not separated”?

In an inspection report on my house, the inspector said "hot and neutral" are not separated. I think he meant "neutral and ground" are not separated. I've attached the picture, is that the case?
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2answers
302 views

Any way to monitor load on a power outlet and receive notifications of usage? [closed]

My sump pump float sometimes sticks. This is an issue because the pump can easily run dry and burn out, especially if we are away for an extended period of time. Ideally I'm looking for something ...
2
votes
2answers
8k views

Can I feed a sub-panel from a sub-panel?

here is what I have. On the corner of my house, I have the main breaker box. I also have a 2nd sub panel that was installed later on the other side of the house which has 240V ac running to it. This ...
4
votes
2answers
666 views

Is this switch properly grounded?

I replaced a standard single pole switch with an Intermatic ST01 timer switch, into a metal electrical box with three other switches. The switch I was replacing had no ground connection, but some of ...
6
votes
3answers
12k views

Why do light bulbs all over the house burn out disconcertingly fast?

I've found a couple answers to this question. This generally revolve around the scenario where it's bulbs in a general area such as a fan. My issue is that light bulbs all over the house burn out ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

Why does turning on one light turn off a different light?

I have a ceiling fan with a light and another light with switches on opposite sides of the wall. One side has a double switch which goes to the fan with a light and the other a single three way switch ...
3
votes
1answer
563 views

Can I use my old service panel as a sub-panel when I install a new one?

The main panel in my building is 100 feet from the where the feed wire comes in from the outside meter. Can I install a new 200 amp panel where the feed line comes in and use the existing wire to feed ...
2
votes
2answers
935 views

How can I turn off the power to an outlet if a water alarm is triggered?

I'm installing a dishwasher on a second floor, and after having 3x dishwashers leak during their run cycle during my life, I'm understandably hesitant. I will definitely be installing a water alarm. ...
1
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2answers
2k views

Can you terminate more than one common on the furnace C terminal?

TL;DR: Can you terminate more than one common on the furnace C terminal? Background: I've linked a diagram of how my non-programmable thermostat is currently hooked up. I want to replace it with a ...
0
votes
1answer
183 views

Why won't the GFCI-protected devices in my kitchen work even though they seem to have power?

I have a GFCI receptacle that will not reset, and all of the switches -- which are to my garbage disposal, dishwasher, and over-sink light -- will not work. I checked it with a voltage detector after ...
3
votes
1answer
600 views

What are switches activated by a closet door called?

My father-in-law set up all of his closet lights to turn on and off when the door opens. He used a switch that was apparently designed for that purpose, with a largish contact switch that turned on ...
-1
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1answer
213 views

Is it legal to just replace an existing extractor fan in a shower room with a similar model?

The existing ceiling mounted fan is not working correctly now. It is wired via an isolating switch high up in the room away from the shower. The fan has a built-in pull cord: pull for on, pull again ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

Why is there an arc when I pull a plug out of an outlet?

I notice that, on some of my (self-installed) power outlets, when I pull an appliance plug out of it, there is a small arc. This most frequently happens with an iron, which has no switch of its own ...
3
votes
1answer
3k views

Is it safe to cut and put a compression end on a live cable TV wire?

Just moving into a new US location. The location has both Verizon and Comcast available. I am trying to use Comcast. The Verizon installer appears to have cut the Comcast cable that went to an ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Why does my GFCI receptacle trip when I connect the load wires?

I was trying to install a GFCI outlet and when I install it with the five wire setup with the line on top and load on bottom, the outlet continually trips. I made sure which wire was the hot-line and ...
5
votes
3answers
4k views

Is it safe to install a three pronged wire into a four pronged dryer?

I just moved into an old home that has a three pronged wall jack as shown below: I have a newer dryer that has a four pronged wire. Please see the back of the dryer, I've removed the four pronged ...
1
vote
1answer
953 views

Can I steal a neutral wire from another circuit?

I have some Z-wave light switches that I want to install; below is a link to the diagram for the light switches. Basically I can have all the wiring completed minus the neutral wire for the switch at ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

How can I safely remove one baseboard heater out of a set of two?

I have two baseboard heaters on either side of my living room. They are both on the same breaker and connected to the same thermostat. The breaker looks like it takes up two spots and has a 20 on the ...
0
votes
4answers
5k views

How can I use a separate transformer to provide a C wire to my thermostat?

I Purchased the Honeywell WiFi Prog Thermostat to replace my Round Digital Honeywell Thermostat. I have separate Heating and Cooling (Heating is a Weil McLain Boiler for Hot water baseboard and Hot ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

Why is it OK to use a 50 A receptacle on a 40 A circuit?

NEC's Table 210.24 " Summary of Branch-Circuit Requirements" shows required condudcor and outlet requirements for different circuit ratings: Why is it permitted to put a 50 A receptacle on a 40 A ...
10
votes
1answer
582 views

What are “termination points” and why do I need them on my electrical supply?

An inspection of my electric supply service on the outside of my home in Maryland said I need 3 termination points and two grounding rods. The grounding rods I can get but I have no clue about these ...
10
votes
5answers
17k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
3k 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
2
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1answer
4k views

Why is my electric hot water heater producing lukewarm/cold water?

Yesterday after returning home from work I discovered my hot water is not working. When you turn on the faucet (any in the house) just a little warm water comes out and then it turns cold. I checked ...
5
votes
5answers
26k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
295 views

Can I connect wall sconces to an existing switched circuit?

My den has four outlets tied to one wall switch (top receptacle at each outlet). I am looking to install four sconces (two per wall on two walls) and was wondering if I can tie these into the existing ...
2
votes
2answers
297 views

Where does the excess electricity from my solar panels go?

When my excess electricity goes back into the grid, where does it go after it has passed through my meter? Does it go to the next closest house needing power?
1
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1answer
165 views

How do I select the right generator?

I'm looking for advice on what kind of generator I should get for my mobile home. We have had 3 pretty bad storms (2 hurricanes, 1 blizzard) and am looking to give my home backup power. Now I have ...