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
1answer
589 views

Is it reasonable to create a 30amp branch circuit for the purpose of feeding the panel from a generator?

I recently purchased an 8kW generator (Briggs and Stratton). It has a 4-wire twist lock outlet that can handle 30 amps. Suppose I were to: Run a 10/3 NM cable from the panel in the basement out to ...
4
votes
2answers
12k views

Should light bulbs above showers be “steam proof”?

In replacing the lighting in my apartment with LED bulbs, I noticed that the recessed can lighting above the shower (to be fair, the light is centered on the shower curtain) does not appear to be ...
3
votes
1answer
331 views

Are four gang plastic boxes stackable in a wall?

I would even be willing to go side by side but I would like to stay with the four gang sizes. I am hoping this would pass code and would prefer to stack so if there is someone that knows if it is ...
1
vote
0answers
340 views

Is there something wrong with this 3-way lamp switch?

We have a floor lamp with a three-way combined switch and socket. I noticed arcing sounds when rotating the switch, so I disconnected it. Later I found that the "low" and "high" settings worked fine, ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Is there a name for a duplex outlet that takes eight wires, plus ground?

In my home (built around 1970), I found a bizarre outlet when replacing the dated old ones. The front is your standard duplex, but on the back there are holes for 8 wires (4 hot, 4 neutral) plus the ...
0
votes
1answer
338 views

How do I replace a triple dimmer switch to a much smaller conventional switch?

Our kitchen lights are playing up, they're halogen spotlights controlled by a dimmer switch, and one by one they're either refusing to switch on, coming on if the dimmer is halfway on but off when ...
0
votes
2answers
258 views

Do I need a ground for a new 240 volt 20 amp circuit?

I ran a new 240 volt circuit to operate some motorized equipment. The equipment has a 3 prong grounded 240 volt plug. My source however doesn't have a grounding strip. Would it be better to not ...
5
votes
3answers
6k views

Does turning circuit breakers off cause wear?

A comment over on another SE got me thinking. With screw-in fuses, unscrewing it and then later screwing it back in causes negligible wear on either part of the installation. But what about modern ...
3
votes
1answer
981 views

What should I use as a base for my wall mounted PC case?

Here is an example of what I am trying to put together: What material could I use as a base onto which I can mount the motherboard, hard-disk and other wiring?
3
votes
3answers
9k views

How can I replace failing ballasts in recessed CFL housings if I don't have access to the attic?

I have a set of recessed CFL (4-pin) lights and a few of the ballasts are failing (CFLs fail to start randomly, even after replacing them with new sets). They are NHPSIC-626ELAT, CFL (4-pin) ...
2
votes
1answer
258 views

AFCI breaker tripped when there was no power to wire

I was wiring a ceiling fan in my new home, and I am not used to working with some of the newer electrical devices. I know very little about AFCI breakers, however I think I was somehow able to trip ...
1
vote
2answers
743 views

Why does my electricity blow when I plug in my oven?

I have a Sauter (electric) oven that was working fine last week. It was unplugged for a few days. Now, when I try to plug it in, it blows the main electric fuse. This happens with all the dials turned ...
2
votes
2answers
4k views

How do I connect a timer to circuit box which controls our outside lights?

Currently our outdoor lights are being controlled by the circuit breaker in the box. We want to connect a timer to the circuit-breaker. There is a junction box with Black, White and a bare ground ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

What does the latch position of a circuit breaker mean?

I bought a new home in December 2011. After some time the kitchen lights and the lights in the living room started to switch off randomly. Some days it would happen 3-4 times in a row. Other days it ...
0
votes
1answer
383 views

Does the listed gauge on a crimp cap take into account that two wires would go in the same end?

What size of crimp cap be used for 16 AWG wire? I could use butt splice of size 22-18 AWG but prefer crimp cap connector where both wires go in the same end (so double the diameter). Should I buy ...
2
votes
2answers
5k views

What is the purpose of a double pole breaker for separate 15A circuits?

My new house is done being built and I am going to come in and install my new gas range and dishwasher, both 120V 15A appliances. I got thoroughly confused looking at the breaker box because gas ...
1
vote
1answer
282 views

What could be causing my GFCI to trip?

My Christmas lights keep tripping my GFI in the rain. I've got one of those Light Show boxes with 6 different sections of lights plugged into it. When I have all 6 sections plugged in, the GFI trips ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Is there anything I can do to make it easier to remove plugs from receptacles?

Is there anything I can do to make it easier to pull plug ins out of the wall sockets? All of the wall sockets in the kitchen make it very difficult to pull the plug in out of the wall receptacle. ...
-1
votes
1answer
190 views

What is going on with my three way switches?

I have a three way switch I can't figure out why or how it works. I want to disconnect one of the three way switches and relocate it. I disconnected the switch (within three feet of the panel) that ...
14
votes
6answers
2k views

Is it dangerous to run electrical cords through heating vents?

I'm living in an old apartment, and my roommate has fed electrical cords through a heating vent from the living room into the bathroom, up to a power bar on the side of the sink. I see this as a ...
7
votes
2answers
10k views

AC/DC adapters making strange buzzing crackling noise in all house, what causes it?

Yesterday all of my AC/DC power supplies began making strange buzzing, crackling noise (quickly and intermittently repeated pops). First I thought that my computer's power supply is dying. So I ...
4
votes
3answers
24k views

Is a ground required when replacing an old single pole single throw switch?

I need to replace a switch that controls a single light source in a bathroom. The switch has two wires connected to it. I bought a replacement switch that has two screws (one for each wire), and a ...
10
votes
1answer
13k views

Can I add a standard receptacle on a GFCI circuit

So, I want to add a receptacle in the bathroom (I tend to run out of batteries on my phone while crapping at the end of the day). There's a GFCI outlet on the other side of the crapper wall that ...
2
votes
4answers
5k views

What could I have done wrong while changing to LED bulbs in my recessed lighting?

I have six recessed lights in the kitchen. I bought six new LED bulbs to replace the old incandescents. I had to lower the socket an inch or two along the track in the recessed fixture in order to get ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

How can I figure out why my breakers are tripping?

A few years ago, I installed a solid wood "pocket" sliding door for my workshop. It's on an exterior wall, so I had to add some thick sealing strips that keep the cold air from Wisconsin winters ...
5
votes
1answer
826 views

How do I mount this non-standard wall plate to a completed drywall wall?

I have this But it only has what you see in that pic. I was told I needed the box thing to go behind it to mount it to in the wall. There is no hole in the wall right now, so how do I get this to ...
1
vote
2answers
441 views

Can you crimp a tubular lug without a crimper plier?

I want to use these lugs on my electrical installation, but I can only find pliers for up to 16 mm2 cables and the mains cables are 25 mm2. I found one store that carried pliers able to do up to 50 ...
4
votes
2answers
3k views

How can I replace a ceiling fan light pull chain?

I have removed the light assembly from beneath the fan. In doing so, the lights (three with pull chain ) fell and I failed to catch it before it pulled out some wires. The wires coming from the ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Can I put acoustical putty *inside* the electrical box rather than around the outside?

For soundproofing applications, they make acoustical putty that you put around the electrical box. However, what if you can't get behind the electrical box? In my case, I have a wall floating on hat ...
4
votes
2answers
159 views

Could I use a UPS to power my humidifier on an underrated breaker with a little trickery

I recently bought a house with really nice hardwood floors, but the builder didn't put any thought into installing a humidifier system. I'm now looking into my options and steam humidifiers seem to ...
1
vote
2answers
3k views

Can I modify 3 ampere table lamps to work on 5 ampere round pin plugs?

I have moved to a property with 5amp round sockets around the room. I want to remove the standard 3 pin plugs from my table lamps and re-wire them with the 5amp round pin plugs I have bought. This ...
2
votes
7answers
9k views

How can I run a coaxial cable into an existing single gang electrical outlet?

The cable outlet in my girlfriend's living room is in a strange place. She wants to move her TV to a different wall but the landlord doesn't want any new holes in the wall or floor. If the wall was ...
2
votes
1answer
4k views

How do I install a bathroom exhaust fan?

I need to know how to wire a bathroom fan with a light and night light. The wiring has a black/white red/white blue/white and green. The bathroom has a light switch for the light fixture over the ...
1
vote
1answer
3k views

How do I wire a new ceiling light with power to the ceiling and 3-way switches?

I'm trying to install a new light fixture in the front hall. Currently, the light is activated by 2 switches (on each end of hall). The NEW fixture has 1 black wire and 1 white wire. The ceiling wires ...
5
votes
5answers
40k views

How much energy will continuously running a furnace fan use?

We have a bi-level (tri-level? There's a small entry way and utility room, then an upstairs living area and master bedroom and a downstairs living area with bedrooms) in mid-Michigan. The downstairs ...
2
votes
2answers
373 views

Am I missing some obvious way to change this lightbulb?

I thought I'd be able to lift the plastic shade and angle it out of the trim, but it doesn't lift at all. It slides side-to-side a bit, but the flanges are large enough to keep it firmly behind the ...
4
votes
1answer
12k 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
9k views

How can I install a timer with three-way switches?

I currently have a set of lights controlled by two switches. I believe they are both three way switches, I know one of them is. I am trying to install a timer while keeping the three way switch ...
3
votes
1answer
402 views

Is it OK to strip a wire in the middle for attaching a fixture?

When swapping out a closet light fixture this morning, I found that they had attached it by stripping a small section of each of the black and white wires and bending them around the appropriate ...
2
votes
1answer
576 views

How do I repair a burner on an electric stove that is on all the time even if turned off?

I have a free standing range electrical stove and one of the burners stays on all the time even if I turn it off. Can someone give me some ideas on how to fix this?
1
vote
4answers
1k views

Would my Lighting diagram work?

Hi, i was just wanting some people to take a loot at this diagram i threw together to see if this system would work? and if so do i need to put each area that i tie the main 12/2 together in a box ...
4
votes
1answer
656 views

Is it against code to secure junction box using Liquid Nails?

I need to extend a 14/2 WG wire a few feet. To do this I want to add the extra wire using a junction box. The problem is that I can't get a good angle to nail the junction box down so I was wondering ...
0
votes
2answers
195 views

What kind of timer socket is this and how can I get it working?

This is on an outdoor power receptacle that looks like it should be some kind of timer for switching power on/off. I'd love to use this for Christmas lights, but I can't seem to get it's little ...
1
vote
2answers
3k views

Why is my fuse board buzzing when I'm using the shower?

I have used an electric shower for years no problems, but all of a sudden my fuse board started buzzing when I use the shower. I replaced the shower with the same size unit and it still makes a ...
2
votes
1answer
391 views

Why does half the house go out when a single breaker trips?

The breaker box at my brother's house is well marked and balanced except when a breaker is tripped half the house goes out. I'm currently living on the third floor of his house. When I turned on a ...
128
votes
2answers
14k views

What is the purpose of these holes on my wire stripper?

I have been using this wire stripper for a while, but I have always wondered what was the purpose of those holes in the center and above LOOP, and those teeth on the handles.
4
votes
4answers
19k views

Can I safely ground a light fixture if the ceiling box has two hot and one neutral wire (no ground wire)

Checking for dupes, I saw this question, but the situation appears different as my box is metal, among other things. I'm fairly new to electrical projects, so bear with me. I recently installed a new ...
0
votes
1answer
606 views

What could have caused CFL bulbs to glow during a power outage?

Recently during a storm, I lost power to my whole house. For ~30-60 seconds after losing power, 3-4 CFL bulbs continued to glow faintly. The bulbs were on different circuits, and legs of the ...
4
votes
3answers
359 views

Can I use the tabs to chain 15A outlets on a 20A circuit?

When wiring 15A-rated outlet receptacles on a 20A circuit, is it acceptable to use the tabs & screws to chain the circuit from one outlet to the next? My instinct to overengineer says to use ...
2
votes
3answers
4k views

How can I replace a 4-way mechanical switch with occupancy sensor(s)?

There is a stairwell in our house, which is currently lit by a fixture controlled by three switches: a 4-way and two 3-ways. The wiring was done very recently and, I'm certain, in accordance to modern ...