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.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

13
votes
3answers
1k views

Can I safely use a switch rated for “1A at 125V” with 240V, assuming I stay below 125W?

I recently purchased a foot switch for a standing lamp. The switch is rated for 1A at 125V. I would like to use this switch with a low energy lamp (typically 10W or below) but with a 240V supply. Is ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Wiring gas hob with electric ignition to mains

We are currently in the process of moving into our newly renovated house. The electrician has completely rewired the house, and the plastering has been done. Only when we went to install the oven and ...
12
votes
4answers
1k views

What is this 110/24V 60Hz transformer in the breaker room for?

My friend sent me a photograph of this transformer, which is installed above the main breaker panel, with leads running from the panel into the transformer. The stamped labels read PRI. Volts: 110 ...
4
votes
1answer
6k views

What are the requirements for wiring an unfinished garage with lights and outlets?

I found this DIY article online which suggests that running Romex along the center faces of studs and rafters was code compliant for unfinished garages. How to Wire a Garage The article is dated ...
5
votes
1answer
519 views

Replacing chandelier with new, No ground wire in old chandelier

I am replacing a chandelier with new one, No ground wire in old chandelier and my vaulted ceiling is at least 30 feet high. Can I just not connect the ground wire and coil it up so it is out of the ...
6
votes
1answer
23k views

How do I wire a GFCI/Switch Combo?

I'm replacing an old GFCI/Switch combo. In the old one there are two wires coming into the line side, a hot wire and a neutral. On the load side there is one wire leading up to the lighting fixture. ...
6
votes
1answer
320 views

How can I get my Self-Destruct switches to do something?

In my house, there were some confusing panels of that had lots of switches on them, so I bought a labeling machine and put labels over all the switches in the house. There are two blank switches next ...
1
vote
2answers
240 views

Using an induction hob through a wooden surface

I'm going to be getting a couple of induction hobs, but I am wanting them mounted underneath a thin (approx 5mm) piece of wood. Is this possible from the safety point of view and would I have a major ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

How can I determine if my outlets can easily be grounded?

I'm not sure what to do here. I just moved into a building and my outlets are all 2 prong outlets. Here is what I know of for sure: All the outlets are 2 prong outlets The bathroom outlet has the ...
2
votes
4answers
5k views

How can I control a circuit breaker remotely?

We have a house in the country that largely sits abandoned. We have a large family, and we like to go visit for the weekends. When we leave the house, we turn off the circuit breakers to prevent high ...
3
votes
2answers
874 views

Term to describe two circuits run through one /3 cable

For example, I have a 12/3 cable in which the red and black wires are controlled via separate breakers. The 12/3 drops into a single-gang outlet, out of which runs a 12/2 to another room. Is there a ...
0
votes
1answer
274 views

How do I add a switch/light and two outlet from a single power source?

I have access to a hot line in the attic that I can cut and add a junction box to power a light through a switch as well as two outlets that are needed. How do I proceed?
2
votes
2answers
2k views

how can i find electric short from room to fuse box?

When I came home last night the wife was setting in the dark in the bedroom. Why are the two hall lights strobing I ask? She did not know, she took a nap and when she woke no power in the room. ok??? ...
3
votes
3answers
826 views

How many fixtures can run off a transformer?

How many twenty watt fixtures can run off a 100 watt transformer? Is it less than five? What overhead involved?
2
votes
1answer
1k views

How do I detect and repair faulty wiring?

Recently, during a storm, an outdoor spotlight was broken in its socket, its internal wiring shorting out. The lights happen to be on a motion sensor, and in turn on switch, and a breaker at the ...
6
votes
6answers
8k views

Why are bulbs burning out quickly in newly installed light fixtures?

I installed five incandescent, recessed light fixtures in the cathedral ceiling of my living room. The fixtures are wired in parallel series (A connects to B connects to C ...). All the wiring is done ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

How do I troubleshoot my generator and transfer switch installation?

I recently mounted a 10 circuit Transfer switch and attached about half of the wires to the electrical panel. After I start and plug in the generator, some of the circuits work fine (well pump, which ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

How do I wire these dimmer switches? The current wiring is crazy

I've installed light switches in other parts of our house, but there is one pair of dimmers that mystifies me. One is a normal dimmer and one is supposed to be a three way dimmer, but the latter is ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

Can I use a socket conversion unit to split a washing machine socket in order to add a dishwasher?

Is it ok to use a socket conversion unit to split a washing machine socket into 2, so that we can use it for a dishwasher? The socket conversion unit is 13Amp and the switch above the kitchen worktop ...
7
votes
1answer
76k views

What wire gauge should I use with a 30 amp breaker for a 220V welder?

I am installing an outlet in my garage for a 220v mig welder. The welder specs call for 30A breaker. The outlet for the welder is only 2 feet from the garage sub panel. The wiring refernece charts ...
13
votes
4answers
2k views

Why is this box constantly tripping?

After some heavy rain in Cornwall electricity does not work in the barns. This trip box seems at fault, though it costs 100+GBP to replace it I'm told. Can anyone give me more information on what ...
3
votes
1answer
6k views

Why won't the bulbs light even when the fixture is has power?

We thought the bulb went out only to find that a new one did not work either. When i got out my tester, the fixture seemed to worked fine in relation to the switch...on/hot, off/not. But no matter ...
10
votes
4answers
2k views

Would running a new subpanel in parallel meet NEC requirements? If not, what should I do?

Background U.S.A. Voltages/power present. My house has a 125A Power Mains breaker at the street. A buried line runs from the street breaker to my main panel on exterior wall outside of house. The ...
3
votes
3answers
893 views

Is there a way to mark/label a special use switch?

I'm going to be rewiring my front porch light, and in the process I've decided to pull cable for a switched receptacle for Christmas lights. I'm going to install a 2 gang box for both switches ...
1
vote
1answer
814 views

Why does my GFCI periodically trip, especially after a few days' rain?

I have a GFCI in my living room bath that controls a couple of lights in the basement and bedroom upstairs (weird, thats what it seems to control). Now, every 2 or 3 weeks or so, it seems to trip and ...
2
votes
1answer
373 views

Can I convert a European washing machine to work with a North American outlet?

I'm looking to hook up a European washing machine I got my hands on to either a standard North American outlet (unlikely) or a 220 V appliance outlet. Here's the info I have right now: 230V ...
0
votes
1answer
494 views

How to run electircal wire underground? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How do I run a wire underground to an outdoor post lamp? I need to run power to an automatic gate operator at the entrance to my driveway. I have 2 questions: 1) What ...
6
votes
1answer
13k views

Why doesn't my GFI receptacle reset?

I have a GFI receptacle in my kitchen that feeds four other receptacles. It tripped the other day and I cannot get it to reset. All of the other receptables on the circuit are not functioning which ...
5
votes
3answers
4k views

Does a grounding wire from a breaker panel to an outside grounding rod need to be in conduit?

I've got a breaker panel in my detached garage (it is not a sub-panel, but is a primary forked off just past the meter). The panel seems to be wired correctly- the neutral and ground bars are tied ...
2
votes
2answers
296 views

Can I use a GFCI on an ungrounded 2-wire circuit at the terminus?

I mistakenly ran 18ga twin lead through plastic conduit out to power 12 volt lights. Never hooked up. Now I want to power a .68 amp 120V pump on a water feature. Too many 90 degree elbows to be able ...
13
votes
3answers
32k views

Which Kitchen outlets do NOT need GFCI?

I have the 2 circuits in the kitchen with GFCI outlets, but I'm not quite sure which other ones do NOT need GFCI. Other circuits in the kitchen include Microwave, Fridge, and Dishwasher. It makes ...
10
votes
3answers
14k views

Do all wires on basement walls have to be in conduit?

I need to know if, when a basement is unfinished and an outlet is on the wall, is it required to put all wires in conduit?
6
votes
8answers
6k views

Why does my smoke detector chirp when my bathroom lights are turned on?

We have an wired smoke detector that is right outside a bathroom. Often, when we turn on the lights in the bathroom, the smoke alarm will chirp. The bathroom used to have a fixture with 4 40-watt ...
11
votes
5answers
73k views

How do I install a GFCI receptacle with two hot wires and common neutral?

In my kitchen, I want to replace a regular 120V receptacle with a GFCI-protected receptacle. The instructions describe what to do with a regular 2-wire + ground feed, with and without daisy chaining ...
7
votes
6answers
37k views

Can I connect ground to neutral in a 3 wire outlet?

I have a 3 wire outlet with the entrances for hot, neutral and ground. But I know that the ground entrance is not really grounded, so in effect useless. Now, since the neutral is grounded, could I ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

How do I install a ceiling fan without creating holes in the ceiling?

I wanted to install ceiling fans in my house but there there were no existing outlets in the ceiling so I got an electrician to do it. He created 2 holes in the ceiling and 2 in the wall to run the ...
5
votes
5answers
8k views

Can the socket in my recessed light be replaced without replacing the entire framing kit?

I have recessed lighting in my living room. One of the bulbs went out. I tried replacing it with a fresh one, but no luck. There is electricity flowing to the socket, but the socket appears to have ...
3
votes
2answers
670 views

How can I convert an exterior light junction box to an exterior duplex outlet?

I have two dedicated circuits that were supposed to be set up with exterior outlets, high up on the wall to run Christmas lights. What I got was two circuits terminated with wire nuts in junction ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

Can re-closing a circuit-breaker be dangerous?

I have a circuit breaker that keeps tripping. When i try to reset (close) it, it immediately jumps back to the open position with a noise that sounds a little scary. I have now stopped trying to do ...
4
votes
3answers
3k views

What voltage/amperage garage circuits should I install for welding tools and an air compressor?

As a part of renovating my garage this fall, much of the wiring is being re-done. Since doing the work before putting up walls will be much easier now than adding circuits in the future, I'd like to ...
2
votes
1answer
280 views

Is there a UL listed relay for a line voltage device?

I once saw a device with full UL listing that was effectively a relay that could switch on or off a line voltage device. It looked something like a short extension cord but then had a low voltage wire ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

Is my dimmer switch failing or is it bad wiring?

A few days ago my wife mentioned that there was a "burning smell" near the kitchen, but it went away before I could investigate. Today I turned on the dimmer switch in my kitchen, and the lights began ...
6
votes
2answers
3k views

Why does my GFCI outlet trip as soon as the breaker is turned on?

I have an outlet feeding other outlets about 50 feet away. All the outlets are outdoor enclosed in a protective weather cover. Today I wanted to replace one of the receptacles with a GFCI so all the ...
1
vote
0answers
263 views

Why does power loss leave my split/ductless AC unit inoperable for hours or days? [closed]

I've got an LG Ductless 12000 BTU unit that does the most annoying thing.. It is wired into a semi-standard (one of the prongs is sideways) 15A or 20A (can't recall) GFCI outlet inside - and if the ...
2
votes
4answers
2k views

Is connecting a 16A plug to 10A sockets for an electric water heater a problem?

I had an electric water heater installed in my bathroom this morning. It uses a 16A plug but I only have 10A sockets in the bathroom (the only 16A in the apartment is high on the bedroom wall for an ...
7
votes
9answers
11k views

Does one need to be certified in order to do residential electrical work?

I have a Bachelor in electrical engineering, a lot of hands-on experience with electrical work, and I'm very familiar with NEC 2011 and electrical codes. Can I do residential electrical work without ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

What's the difference between a childproof outlet and a normal one?

I was reading the latest entry on this blog and I saw that she'd mentioned that they'd installed some child-proof outlets. But they don't look any different from normal outlets to me! What's the ...
3
votes
1answer
181 views

What's the appropriate cable type along exposed rafters?

This is a followup to my previous, more general question. I installed (exposed) 2"x4" studs at strategic locations. These provide a mounting point for metal boxes, and EMT carries the wire up from ...
2
votes
2answers
873 views

What should I consider when replacing an outlet serving two kitchen circuits?

I have an outlet underneath my kitchen sink that serves my dishwasher and my garbage disposal. The latter's circuit is toggled by a switch above the countertop. I need to replace the outlet, and was ...
2
votes
2answers
143 views

Do I need a voltage converter to run an imported bandsaw?

I just bought a 220 VAC 50 Hz bandsaw and dust collector from someone who brought them back from Australia. Can I use my home 220 VAC circuit or will I need some type of converter?