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
votes
1answer
295 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
863 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
3k 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
939 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
435 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
4k 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
4k 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 ...
17
votes
7answers
13k 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
565 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
144 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 ...
5
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
624 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 ...
36
votes
4answers
37k 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
6k 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
6k views

Why has my garbage disposal started tripping the breaker every time?

I have never had a problem with my garbage disposal or that circuit before, however I am now having issues with it. Every time I turn it on, it immediately trips the breaker. I'm not even sure how to ...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

Is this 2 way light switch wired dangerously?

One of the switches in this 2 way setup has been acting up, I popped it off to replace it and it's wired like this: The only configuration I know of that is like this is the Carter system. Is this ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

How do I connect to a ground wire with no ends?

Story time: I'm trying to put a new fan in my bedroom where previously there was only a light-fixture. When I take off the light fixture, the light is connected to a brown wire (instead of black) and ...
7
votes
2answers
383 views

What should I consider with new electrical lines in an old house?

When I had our breaker box rewired, I had the electrician run a few extra lines (disconnected in the panel into the attic). I now need to run one of them downstairs through a wall. Two questions: 1) ...
1
vote
2answers
8k views

How do I test a furnace limit switch?

When my thermostat reaches the desired temperature, the furnace fan shuts off briefly, then cycles on and off a few times. Several internet posts pointed me to the limit switch, which seems to make ...
3
votes
3answers
3k views

How long will a treated post last in the ground?

The power company says I can put my permanent service entrance on a 6" x 6" pressure treated post. My friend suggested I consider a metal post sunk in concrete, for greater longevity. How long should ...
6
votes
5answers
9k views

Can a mix of receptacles and light fixtures be installed on a single circuit?

A while ago we had some renovations done in our house. After the electrician was done, we realized we now had one light switch in our kitchen that was no longer connected to anything. It is in a ...
10
votes
1answer
2k views

Should I install my own electrical service panel or hire an electrician?

I'm getting electrical service to bare land. This is not temporary service but permanent remote service to a pressure treated 6" x 6" post instead of a building. I already have covered the work to ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

How do I install a new exterior GFI outlet?

I have an interior outlet. I would like to place an exterior (GFI) outlet in approximately the same position on the outside wall. How should I do that? approx. loc. of desired outlet-| ...
5
votes
1answer
15k views

Is it ok to wire light switches and lights with 12/2 cable?

It sounds like light switches and lights are usually wired with 14/2 cable. Is it okay to use 12/2 cable instead? Would I need special switches?
9
votes
5answers
23k views

Why does my shower switch keep burning out?

I have a Mira Shower 10.8 kW. My switch is a 45A switch. I have a 50A fuse for the shower. The shower uses 10mm2 cable. 9 months ago the switch sparked and refused to turn off and the fuse ...
4
votes
1answer
3k views

Is it okay that a Leviton 9860-LHG CFL lampholder has no ground wire?

For code-compliance reasons, I'm planning to replace an old-school porcelain bare-bulb light fixture in a closet with a Leviton 9860-LHG lampholder that I bought a few years ago but never got around ...
2
votes
1answer
362 views

Better life span for halogen bulbs in ceiling lighting?

The halogen bulbs for our recessed ceiling spotlights have to be replaced quite often. Could we be using the wrong transformer/bulb combinations? How would I find out? Does the number of bulbs ...
3
votes
1answer
429 views

new mini CFLs don't seem to fit/work in fixtures?

In our bathroom we have a 6 light bar over the sink, it has 6 standard edison style screw in sockets in brass plated cups, and no shades, just bare bulbs. It's very similar to this light. Not long ...
7
votes
2answers
975 views

Can I plug a workbench mounted double gang outlet into a single gang wall outlet?

I'm thinking about building a workbench on one side of my garage, but I need more outlets for all of my tools. I'm not planning on running everything at once, I just don't want to keep unplugging ...
4
votes
1answer
224 views

Buzz in the phone

Why do I get a loud buzz in my telephone when the overhead fluorescent lights are on in my kitchen and can it be fixed?
3
votes
3answers
5k views

Why won't my AC system turn off after I flipped the breaker?

We've got a central cooling air conditioner that was installed in 1984 with a thermostat from that same year. We are replacing the thermostat with a new programmable one (which has a 100% ...
8
votes
3answers
4k views

What to do with an apartment with only 2-pronged outlets

I just rented an apartment (Colorado, for what it's worth RE code) that has 2-pronged outlets throughout the place except for two GFCI's, one in the bathroom and one in the kitchen. I bought the ...
15
votes
4answers
12k views

Is there a way to simply splice in an additional length of 12/2 NM-B cable?

Is there a way without using junction boxes to simply splice in additional length of 12/2 NM-B cable? Can I use twist caps? I'm putting in a dog door and as it so happens, there is some 12/2 right in ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

Why did my electric bill climb suddenly?

So we had a little mishap a couple of months ago involving some flooding. We had some folks come in and "dehydrate" our house. It involved lots of fans running for a couple of weeks. We expected ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

How do I differentiate between ground and neutral in black-white-red wiring?

I'm hooking up a dishwasher and failed to check wiring before I removed the old one. Black - Red = 120v Black - White = 120v Red - White = 0v. So obviously Red and white are Neutral and Ground. How ...
3
votes
1answer
129 views

How come the temperature is sometimes not maintained?

First let me come right out and say that I am a software guy and this seems like a hardware problem, so I already feel out of my league. That said, here's the deal: Background: I have two-zone "hot ...
2
votes
3answers
9k views

Is there such thing as a 4-way dimmer?

I have a 4-way switch I want to replace with a dimmer. I understand I can put the dimmer at one of the other 3-way switches, but they're more out of the way. Does such a device exist? If not, what ...
15
votes
13answers
3k views

How do I prepare my home for a power outage?

With several storms in the Northeast United States and more storms predicted this week, there have been lots of extended power outages. What are things to do to prepare your house for a power outage ...
8
votes
5answers
4k views

Why is there so much metal-clad wiring in my house?

My house was built in 1893. I was recently doing some electrical work in the attic, adding some light fixtures. While doing that, I noticed that several of the upstairs outlets were wired with old, ...
7
votes
2answers
9k views

Can I install an additional breaker bus bar on my main breaker panel?

I'm adding several new circuits to my main electrical panel as part of a kitchen remodel. The panel with accommodate the new circuit breakers, but it does not appear to have enough neutral and ground ...
13
votes
7answers
3k views

Is there a wall outlet power meter that I can interface with from a computer?

I'm wondering if there is a wall outlet power meter that I can somehow interface with from a computer. I'm aware of all the google power meter products, but those are for an entire house. I'm trying ...
4
votes
4answers
6k views

What is the proper wiring for a NEMA 14-30 240v receptacle?

We moved into a resale home, the previous owners had a Gas Dryer, we have an Electric. The laundry room has a NEMA 14-30 receptacle installed. I hooked up our brand new dryer and it didn't get power. ...
3
votes
1answer
296 views

Is it safe to simply replace a heating element in an electric water heater?

The bottom element in my water heater burned up. I took the bottom panel off, and everything inside was scorched - the insulation, the plastic cover, the thermostat - even the edges of the panel. The ...
1
vote
1answer
813 views

How practical is it is use a 6 Terminals junction box to extend a ring main?

Logically I can use 2, 3 terminal junction boxes, or a single 6 terminal junction box to extend a ring main (inserting a loop to the new socket(s) I am installing). However are there any practical ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

How can I determine the maximum wattage that I can hook up to a breaker?

All of my heating is on one breaker, 240V on a double pole breaker, each marked 20A (it's a small condo). I wonder how I can determine the maximum wattage I can hook up to that breaker.
10
votes
1answer
2k views

What is this drill guide/template used when fixing electrical sockets called and where do I buy one?

My dad used to have one, you use it as a drill guide/template when fixing electrical sockets, but I cannot find anywhere that sells them, and as I don't know the name Google is not much help! ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

Is there an easy way to strip twin and earth cable?

It seems whatever method I use I sometimes damage the wire and have to hope I have enough cable to have a 2nd try. Is there a method that works 100% of the time for someone that is not doing it every ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

Is there an easy way to make a square hole in plaster/brick to put an electrical outlet box in?

I am about to fix a few new sockets, I can run the cables down the back of some built in cupboards, but would rather not use surface mounted sockets. I do not have a SDS drill, just a standard ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

How do I mount a ceiling box in 4" thick ceiling?

I'm trying to install a ceiling light in two rooms that didn't previously have hard-wired lighting. After cutting a 4" hole for a circular ceiling box (using a hole saw attached to my drill) I'm ...
10
votes
1answer
9k views

How exactly does a 3-way switch work?

I just finished replacing all of the switches and outlets in my apartment, after fighting a long war with a weird 3-way switch. Needless to say, I won, but I'm still trying to grasp the concept of how ...