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

5
votes
1answer
1k views

Parallel Fluorescent Wiring

I've got a few ceiling lighting 'boxes' that have one capacitor, two ballast, two starters, and two fluorescent lamps in each. Everything seems to be nicely wired up internally and I just need to ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

Can I convert ceiling mounted octagon box to electrical receptacle?

I've installed a number of strip lights in my garage to replace the single incandescent fixture on the ceiling. They all use a 3-prong plug, not hardwired. I want to replace the incandescent fixture ...
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 ...
5
votes
1answer
11k 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?
5
votes
4answers
2k views

Are receptacle surge protectors a practical solution?

After mounting my television on the wall, I would like to put a receptacle behind it so the power cord will be hidden. While planning this I was trying to figure how to get a surge protector to be ...
4
votes
3answers
611 views

Concerns about replacing a worn out light switch

Our home is about 3 years old. New construction. New parts. The main lights in the kitchen are a 4-way circuit (3 switches, + lights). Since we primarily come into the room from one side, one ...
4
votes
2answers
842 views

How should I connect to a short ground wire in a metal box?

I live in a 50's era house that has breakers and a ground wire in every metal box of the house. The problem is they only used 2 prong outlets. They cut the ground wire short and wrapped it around the ...
4
votes
4answers
9k views

Can I use indoor Romex in buried outdoor conduit?

Or should I use outdoor Romex? I heard that outdoor Romex doesn't need conduit as you are just supposed to bury it. Edit: Ack, I should have mentioned I have existing conduit that I want to pull the ...
4
votes
4answers
8k views

Can I cover junction boxes in the attic with insulation?

This may be a duplicate of What are the codes for electrical wiring in attics? I have an attic which is accessible via a ladder through an access panel in the garage and in a bedroom. The trusses ...
4
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
7k 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
5answers
2k views

How do I raise light switches so my kids can't keep toggling the light?

My flat at the moment has all the switches at about 1 meter off the floor. Naturally my growing kids are starting to toggle the lighting now that they are tall enough. Is it possible to raise the ...
4
votes
3answers
34k views

How do I connect a dryer with a four prong plug to a three prong socket?

I've just moved house and my clothes dryer has a four prong plug but on the wall there's a three prong socket. Do adapters exist for this? Or do I need to get a new cord for my dryer? Or is there ...
4
votes
3answers
8k views

What is involved in installing a free-standing electric oven range?

My current oven just plugs into a big outlet in the wall. It's a giant three-pronged outlet. But all I need to do to get the oven to work (when it works) is to plug it into the outlet. I am now ...
4
votes
4answers
1k views

Risk from installing a “Nest” thermometer without shutting off home power?

I'm trying to install a new Nest-brand thermometer in my parents' house (unscrewing a thermometer from the wall and screwing on the new one. The first instruction in the manual is to shut off power ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

Convert Light Switch to Light Switch + Outlet Combination

I have a serious lack of outlets in my garage and that is a problem for a beginner carpenter. I have a light switch by my workbench and was curious if I could change it to a combination outlet + ...
4
votes
2answers
5k views

Can I split the direct wire to dishwasher to handle a garbage disposal as well?

I've just plumbed in a new garbage disposal unit under my sink. The plumbing appears to be fine - nothing is leaking so far. Now I need to wire it in. It's next to a dishwasher, but the dish-washer ...
4
votes
1answer
899 views

What is permissible for a breaker box cover?

We're doing some remodeling in our kitchen and unfortunately the breaker box is right in the middle of a wall we are going to cover with tile. My current thought is to replace the existing metal ...
4
votes
1answer
400 views

How should I wire up a yurt?

This yurt 30 ft. diameter; area is 700 sq. ft. ; circumference is 90 ft. The walls are lath lattice covered with canvas. There's no interior wall space to run Romex like a regular house. You can't ...
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
1answer
65 views

Can you have a GFCI breaker protecting a GFCI receptacle?

We have electrical outlets in two bathrooms on the same GFCI breaker. I would like to put a GFCI outlet for the only outlet in the guest bathroom so it can be easily reset if tripped. Can this be ...
3
votes
2answers
112 views

How can I hang a ceiling fan on a cathedral ceiling without wiring or an electrial box?

How do I install a ceiling fan on a cathedral ceiling that has no wiring and electrical box? I don't really want to cut into ceiling drywall. I'm worried about support for the fan.
3
votes
5answers
155 views

Is this too many items on a 20 AMP Breaker?

I live in a 2 bedroom 2 bath duplex, where we have issue's with the light's flickering, often causing mini power surges, and at times kicking a breaker. One 20 ampere circuit supplies 3 ...
3
votes
3answers
258 views

Why would a circuit breaker not trip if I accidentally shorted hot to neutral?

I am installing a set of recessed lights in a closet, replacing the existing fixtures one at a time. I removed power to the lights while installing each one by using the light switch, not the circuit ...
3
votes
3answers
215 views

How do you remove a wire from a push-in fitting when there is no release opening?

How do you remove a wire from a push-in fitting when there is no release opening? Note: “What could cause two of my receptacles to stop working?” is my post. Note: My home is a 1980 manufactured ...
3
votes
3answers
464 views

What should I do if my vacuum trips my AFCI device?

I have a vacuum that trips the AFCI device of the circuit that services my bedroom. The vacuum has some age on it, and there is some wear on the motor's commutator. This wear causes electrical ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Can a dryer receptacle be wired without a neutral?

In my apartment, I have a 4 wire 240V receptacle for a dryer where the neutral is not connected, only the 2 hots and ground. Is this configuration permitted for a dryer circuit? An electrician and ...
3
votes
2answers
205 views

How can I figure out why this electrical receptacle is dead?

One of the rooms in my house has a 20A circuit. I plugged an 11A device to one of the receptacles in that room for the entire day. Walked away, came back and that device was powered down. I connected ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Why am I measuring 16 volts on a wire that should be at 0 volts?

I am replacing a power receptacle at my apartment. It has the standard four wires, with one of the two reds going to a nearby toggle switch. I am concerned because when the toggle switch is off, I ...
3
votes
1answer
680 views

Can a built-in dishwasher be plugged into a receptacle?

We just bought a house in California. Can a built in dishwasher be plugged into an outlet or must it be hard wired?
3
votes
2answers
3k views

How do I install a bathroom fan with its own switch?

There is an existing light fixture and switch for the light fixture. I want to add a bath fan with its own switch. What is the easiest way?
3
votes
2answers
2k views

How do I install a receptacle in the soffit?

I'd like to add a receptacle (for x-mas decorations etc) in the soffit of my house. I'd prefer flush-mounted so it's the least visible possible. It will be wired to a switch (timer) inside the house; ...
3
votes
3answers
5k views

How do I wire a GFCI receptacle using two black wires and two white wires?

I recently purchased an older home and wanted to install GFCI outlets in the kitchen. When I opened up the outlet, there were four wires (two black and two white) in addition to the ground. I ...
3
votes
1answer
534 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
974 views

Can I connect a combination heater/fan unit to the existing bathroom wiring?

I have a dedicated 15A circuit for a top-floor bathroom fan with heat lamps which draws much less than capacity. There is nothing else on this circuit. I know that code for a 15A 14ga circuit at 80% ...
3
votes
2answers
46k views

How should I connect the ground wire for my light fixture?

I am replacing a light fixture in my bathroom and have the following setup: The electrical box is plastic The wire coming from supply has black (hot), white (neutral) and copper (ground). The light ...
3
votes
1answer
758 views

Can I replace a 3A plug on a light fixture (that comes with 3A cable) with a 5A plug?

Can I replace a 3A plug on a light fixture (that comes with 3A cable) with a 5A plug? The 1st problem I encountered is that the cable has 2 power lines rather than 3 which connect to the 5A plug. ...
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
4answers
8k views

What could cause ceiling fan lights to flicker on with power and then go out immediately?

I have ceiling light fan. The fan works fine. The light used to work fine. All of a sudden one day the light started acting up. When I turn on the switch, the light flickers on for about a second ...
3
votes
3answers
15k views

Can two circuits share a neutral?

I'm finally implementing the advice given in this question, I've managed to run the wiring up to the junction box, but I'm a bit confused by the contents of that box. There are three circuits ...
3
votes
2answers
6k views

What could cause a circuit breaker to trip when an exhaust fan is turned off?

In my bathroom, I have a switch for the light and a switch for the exhaust fan. It seems that on occasion, not all the time, the power will trip when I turn the fan off, not on. It also seems to be ...
3
votes
2answers
957 views

Why does my ceiling lights require some other outlet in the room to be turned on and off again before it works?

Picture the scene: I walk into a room and flick the light switch. Nothing happens. I grobble around in the dark to where a baby bottle warmer is plugged into a normal outlet and turn the warmer on. ...
3
votes
3answers
6k views

How can I troubleshoot a ceiling fan light kit Issue?

I have an issue with my ceiling fan light; the light is on, then eventually over time it starts flickering off and on, eventually over time shutting off. I'll switch the light off, and then switch it ...
3
votes
1answer
929 views

Should a generator transfer switch have continuity between all contacts in the “Gen” position?

I am finishing up installing my generator transfer switch today and I think I have a wiring problem... I have a six circuit transfer switch wired in with a power inlet box outside. Everything is ...
3
votes
2answers
684 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
4k views

How should I connect electrical wires to a cooktop (platetop)?

I'm having some problems understanding how to connect some electric wires for a platetop. The wire colors normally mean, blue=N, brown=L, and yellow/green=PE. My problem is, the platetop has L1 ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

What information do I need to select a circuit breaker?

I am having 2 new lines run in my basement to power a workbench's tools and an unrelated computer station. I have room in my panel for additional breakers, and rather than tie into existing wiring, I ...
3
votes
4answers
6k 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
5k 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. ...
2
votes
2answers
812 views

Installing of Honeywell Wi-Fi Programmable Thermostat

I need to install new wifi thermostat but I don't have the C wire. There are G, W, Y and R wires attached to my old thermostat. There is also one blue wire not connected on the wall.