Tagged Questions

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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6
votes
2answers
5k views

Is there any acceptable way to cover a junction box?

The outlet for my range hood was misplaced. It needs to be 4 inches to the side. I can make the junction and move the wiring to the new location but I really don't want to have the empty plate ...
4
votes
4answers
1k views

How can I fix chewed through wires?

I have two standard two prong wall plugs my puppy has chewed through completely, and he managed to sink his teeth into a laptop cord as well. I'm thinking the wall plugs are history (a lamp and a ...
6
votes
2answers
6k views

How much weight can an old work box hold?

I will be installing new light fixtures in two bathrooms that look like this: Each fixture will be replacing a light box. Meaning it is a simple chrome plated box about 30" wide with a plastic ...
14
votes
1answer
31k views

What do I need to install LED strip lighting?

I've been looking to install LED strips, either RGB or white for lighting and ambiance. It wouldn't be the main lighting of the room, so no necessity for high power LEDs. The perimeter of the room is ...
3
votes
2answers
3k views

Why don't my 3-way switches work like 3-way switches? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How should I rewire a miswired 3-way switch? I just moved into a house and am trying to figure out all the switches. I have now determined there are two switches at ...
3
votes
5answers
4k views

Why is my 3-prong dryer outlet showing 240V between hot and neutral/ground 'L' prong?

I'm trying to tell what might be wired wrong with our dryer outlet. Using a Fluke 75 set to AC, I read 238V between the hot leads, 118V from one lead to ground, and 238V between the other lead to ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

How do I tell if a light switch is live?

I have a light switch that I want to get rid of. I don't know if it is active or not. I want to wallpaper the wall. How do I tell if the circuit is "live" and if so how to turn it off so it is safe ...
3
votes
4answers
340 views

In this scenario is my electrician giving good advice?

So I asked Why does my ceiling lights require some other outlet in the room to be turned on and off again before it works? a while ago, and the consensus was that my electrics were arcing and that I ...
0
votes
2answers
1k views

How can I replace a light switch with strange wiring?

Here's what we have in the box: (2) Black wires (1) Yellow wire (1) Capped cluster of white wires. Here's how it was wired: As stated above, the three white wires were capped. One black wire was ...
4
votes
1answer
493 views

Why is this ceiling light fixture wired this way?

I'm trying to replace the hanging light below and I've gotten a little confused. Shouldn't the brown wire on the left be connected to the live (red) wires rather than the neutral? I understand that ...
6
votes
3answers
5k views

How can I figure out what mystery wall switches might do?

I have a two-story house with blown-in insulation in the attic. There are at least four wall switches in my house (some on the ground floor, some upstairs) that seem to serve no discernible function. ...
4
votes
2answers
4k views

How can I convert Cat5e wired sockets to Ethernet?

I recently moved to a new home and I noticed that the phone jacks (RJ-11) were connected using Cat5e cable. I'm thinking I can replace the RJ-11 plugs with RJ-45 and use Ethernet over the existing ...
4
votes
2answers
12k views

How do I replace this dimmer switch to a conventional switch?

I want to replace the dimmer switch in my kitchen with a conventional light switch. However I could use a little guidance. I understand the two black wires are the hot wires, and the green is ...
3
votes
2answers
177 views

How do I trade the lights that these two light switches control with each other?

I have two light switches in my bathroom. I'd like to swap the lights that they operate with each other. I have no experience with this kind of thing, but I'm hoping the proximity of the two ...
3
votes
1answer
214 views

Can I wire a secondary 240V breaker box for lab equipment from Europe?

I have a dental lab in Europe and might want to move it to the USA. Some of the equipment rates as high as 4kW, and the the total maximum draw is 15kW for the whole lab. Can I wire a secondary breaker ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Can an external light fixture and an external receptacle share a circuit?

I have to get power to provide an outlet for an awning at high level. The nearest power source is an external light fixture. Can I wire into this? If so is there anything special I should know?
9
votes
3answers
36k views

What's the standard height for an outlet?

I am installing outlets in my patio room. What is the standard height recommended above the ground for these to be installed?
2
votes
2answers
677 views

Is it possible to detect from the power outlet if there would be current that needs grounding?

In my house we have 2 outlet power sockets (no earth) and whenever I charge my laptop I would get electric shock from the laptop when I am touching ground like if I hold laptop on my lap and touch the ...
10
votes
1answer
5k views

How many wires is too many for an outlet?

I keep finding outlets in my house that are wired in ways I've never seen. Today's find is an outlet in a bedroom with 4 hots and 4 neutrals. All connected to one outlet using the push-in connectors. ...
4
votes
1answer
168 views

How can I convert from 2 sconce lights to one vanity bar light?

Help! My husband is legally blind and we need more light in our bathroom. The only light source we have comes from two sconce lights above the vanity (controlled by one switch). We'd like to know how ...
5
votes
2answers
5k views

How to determine the correct capacity for a sub-panel for a shop?

I plan to install a sub-panel for my woodworking shop, and would like to determine the total capacity that should supply that sub-panel. These are the main items that will likely be running in the ...
12
votes
1answer
335 views

How to make this electrical main safe

An older home has a strung electrical main. The main connects with exposed lugs on the roof above the deck. Not only is the height and location unsafe, while working on the roof today I noticed that ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Is a special outlet or wiring needed when replacing an electrical outlet under a gas fireplace.?

The outlet under our gas fireplace that runs the blower fan has a short in it, and needs to be replaced. I have replaced a few standard wall outlets and was thinking of doing this one myself too, but ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

How do I wire a switch to control a GFCI Receptacle?

I want to switch a GFI outlet. It will be on a single 20 Amp circuit breaker with no other outlets or devices in the circuit or downstream from the outlet. It will be used to switch a dust ...
6
votes
2answers
4k views

Blown fuse replaced, still no power

Yesterday a contractor was doing work in our bedroom. At one point he plugged in a hammering drill and when he used it it blew the fuse. We confirmed the 15amp fuse was dead but I didn't have a ...
2
votes
1answer
324 views

Can I run electrical cable in old unused heating ducts? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Does the NEC allow electrical wiring to run next to a ventilation duct? My house has recently been converted to 200-amp electrical service, and I would love to run some ...
6
votes
2answers
3k views

Do I need exterior grade cables or conduit to run wire in an enclosed soffit?

I'm looking to add some lights on motion detectors (un-switched) and security cameras under the eaves of our house. I know standard romex is often used in attics, but the soffits seem like they might ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Why won't the bulbs light up brightly in my European chandelier?

I bought a European chandelier not knowing there were light bulb size differences. I ordered 12 European to Candelabra Reducers (E14 to E12). I was so happy when I received them, and couldn't wait to ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

Can I run electrical cable and sound cable in the same conduit?

In my house, I only have an underground conduit for electrical cable. I have a home theater system, but there is no separate underground conduit for home theater wiring. I want surround sound with ...
3
votes
1answer
822 views

Is it safe to remove a plug, and wire a light fitting into the wall?

I've moved into a house, and am fitting a series of 5 halogen downlights beneath a shelving unit. The wall on which I am fitting it previously had an uplighter. I removed this so now have exposed ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

Is this a “shared neutral” situation?

In 2001, some electricians added two circuits to my house in California. I took a close look at their wiring and had some questions. At the Service Panel, there are two 20-amp circuit breakers on the ...
1
vote
2answers
813 views

How do I install a bathroom wall light?

I live in a small, newly built flat in London. The walls are plasterboard. In our bathroom, the only lights are two halogen down lighters on the ceiling. I would like to install two new lights on the ...
2
votes
3answers
993 views

How to reduce brightness of recessed LED?

I have recessed LED in the bathroom which is way too bright. LED is dimmable but I can't put regular dimmer in front of it since it has small switch shared with two other switches. Neither I need ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

How do I choose a recessed alarm contact switch?

With so many window and door recessed contact switches, how does one decide the best one for the application? I was leaning towards Ademco 3/8" Diameter Miniature Press Fit Magnetic Contact, for ...
3
votes
4answers
818 views

Can I run an extension cord through my crawl space?

I have a lack of plugs outside my house and was wondering if it's okay to run an extension cord through my crawl space (from the garage, underneath my living room and through a crawlspace vent). Edit ...
0
votes
0answers
61 views

Is it possible to get wiring for charging USB devices? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Do USB sockets draw power when not in use? We're about to re-wire our house (in the UK). It occurred to me that having the ability to plug USB devices directly into ...
2
votes
2answers
3k views

How to wire two light bulb sockets inside a ceiling fixture?

I purchased a flush-mount ceiling light with 2 light bulbs. The wiring is a simple 1 black, 1 white, and 1 ground to the ceiling box, but there were also wires connecting one bulb to the other. ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

What are my options for installing 240v receptacles in an attached garage?

My workshop (attached garage) is currently wired with 120V receptacles fed from the main panel in the house by #10/3 with ground (1 black, 1 red, 1 white, 1 ground) attached to a double-pole 30A ...
3
votes
2answers
10k views

How can I figure out why my washing machine is tripping the GFCI receptacle?

I have a Kenmore 80 Series (Model No. 110.24872300) washing machine which up to this point has been working fine. Since it is near a sink, the outlet it is plugged into is a GFCI outlet. On the last ...
3
votes
1answer
19k views

How do I wire this Australian ceiling light?

I want to install a ceiling fixture. I have the manual and it looks pretty easy, but in the manual, it looks like I should have 2 cables coming out of my wall. Instead, I have 3. I don't know what ...
0
votes
3answers
1k views

How can I hide the wires to a self-made ceiling light fixture?

I have a simple self-made ceiling light fixture, but it currently lacks two things: some kind of a pipe to hide the wire. a cover to hide the ceiling junction box. I'd like to use something ...
0
votes
1answer
327 views

How do I wire a 4 terminal light fixture

How do I wire a porcelain ceiling light fixture with two sets of terminals (two hot/two neutral) instead of the usual two terminal fixture?
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Do outlets in damp locations require GFCI protection?

The title says it all. It appears wet locations require not only GFCI protection but also weatherproof boxes and appropriately rated everything, but I can't find much addressing damp locations. Most ...
6
votes
0answers
57 views

Beeping in My home [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: what is beeping in my house? For the past 3 weeks there has been a beeping in my house. It sounds like a smoke alarm. It beeps at about 40 second intervals. Early on ...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

Should I be concerned about fridge/freezer airflow?

We just recently had the following counter/cabinet system put into our basement family room. After everything was done, I started to get concerned about airflow. The enclosure was built in such a ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Are there octagon box extenders that are slimmer than 1 1/2" deep?

Is there an octagon box extender that's slimmer than 1 1/2" deep? So far I haven't been able to find one. Here's why: to cover up 30 years of patching on one of my plaster and lath cielings, I'm ...
3
votes
1answer
4k 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
892 views

Should I replace this fixture box or get creative with the mounting?

I recently took down a ceiling fan/light in order to replace it with track lighting. After disassembling the fan I was left with this fixture box: As you can see there are two holes in which to ...
7
votes
2answers
593 views

Will security system wiring cause interference in data cables?

Is it acceptable to run 22/4 security wire along side Cat6 and Coax cables, or is there any possibility for interference?
2
votes
0answers
61 views

Should I separate neutral and ground wires in the main breaker panel and why? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is it ok to have mixed grounds and neutrals on bars in a breaker box? I've recently opened my breaker box to connect a new line. I found that all the wires that go into ...