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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1answer
5k views

How can I repair a ceiling fan that hums, but doesn't turn?

The ceiling fan/light has power. The lights work, but the fan doesn't turn even though it hums. Why is this, and how can I fix it?
4
votes
3answers
267 views

Is it possible to control 3 light fixtures with 4 switches?

I have an idea how I would like to tackle some wiring I am about to do, but I am having trouble figuring out how to actually wire it all. I was hoping some of you could help me out. Here's what I ...
4
votes
1answer
666 views

What's the recommended procedure for converting a single circuit light switch into two switches for controlling a bathroom fan?

I think my question might be similar to Controlling two fixtures on same circuit independently but I don't need anything as fancy. Summary: I'm remodeling a bathroom. Presently it has one switch ...
4
votes
2answers
10k views

What type of wire should I use to feed a 70 ampere subpanel?

Finishing a basement and I need to add a subpanel. Main panel is outside. Subpanel will be in the basement. 70 Amp breaker in the main to feed the subpanel. I was thinking THHN but would this mean ...
4
votes
4answers
3k views

If neutral carries current back to the breaker panel, why doesn't it need to be connected to a switch?

I've got some limited field experience as an electrical helper, but no real classroom experience yet. (saving up for school) I am of the understanding that the neutral wire carries electricity back ...
4
votes
5answers
6k views

Will switching to LED lightbulbs make a significant difference in my electric bill?

I asked Reliance Controls about a THP103 meter that I was having trouble with. Turns out that it's not a true RMS meter and thus is unable to give you accurate readings on a CFL or LED installation. ...
4
votes
2answers
7k views

Should I convert a single light switch to a receptacle/switch combo?

First I want to say I've done a little research on my question. I'm familiar (I think) with the wiring, but I'm uncertain if my solution is a good one because of what I plan on using the outlets for ...
4
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2answers
7k views

How can high and low voltage be mixed in a junction box?

So I'm aware of the standard rule of thumb, keep high and low voltage away from each other, preferably on opposite sides of a stud. However, while looking at some properties, I'm seeing telephone and ...
4
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2answers
2k views

Can my apartment's electricity harm my computer? Is there an easy way to test the electricity?

I live in a (rented, 1980 built) row townhouse in the USA with slightly suspect electricity: A few of the outlets and light switches in the house (in various rooms) don't work at all. (Even ...
3
votes
2answers
147 views

How should I wire a ceiling fan when there's only three wires in the box?

I'm replacing a ceiling fan and it has three wires as is common: black, white, and bare ground. I have a two-toggle wall switch. One switch makes the black wire hot (for the motor), and the other ...
3
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2answers
1k views

Is it possible (and safe) to adapt a 4-prong dryer outlet to a NEMA 6-20?

I'm considering an appliance that is 240v 16A 3500watt with a NEMA 6-20P plug. Is it possible and safe to create an adapter for this so that it can be plugged into a standard 4-prong 14-30R dryer ...
3
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2answers
22k views

How to properly ground a subpanel in detached building?

I Will be installing a subpanel in a detached garage. The subpanel will be 60 amp. The garage is about 30' from the main-panel in-house, and I will of course get an exact length before selecting the ...
3
votes
1answer
29k views

How do I wire two lights with a switch?

How do you wire two ceiling lights on one switch? I have installed the switch, and the two lights, but only one light is working. It is the light that the power source enters. My setup is like ...
3
votes
1answer
4k views

How can I add a GFCI breaker on two circuits with a shared neutral without rewiring? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How do I install a GFCI receptacle with two hot wires and common neutral? I have a pool to protect correctly. There is a 12/3 wire: red serves the receptacles at the ...
3
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1answer
5k views

Why won't my dimmer dim CFL Lights?

My dinning room had an on/off switch for the light which made it impossible to have romantic dinners there - the light was either too bright or off. So I decided to install a dimmer. Being energy ...
3
votes
4answers
6k views

How can I replace a two way switch with a ZW4001 Z Wave enabled light switch?

I am trying to replace a single switch connected to a single light bulb with a Z Wave enabled switch, model ZW4001Z; a link to the manual for the switch is at the bottom. There is a wiring diagram on ...
3
votes
2answers
4k views

Is this a valid way to add an electrical outlet?

I've got a feed from my electrical panel in the garage to a single outlet inside the house (for the entertainment center). This was installed by an electrician back in 2009. Through the garage, the ...
2
votes
2answers
90 views

Connecting 2 GFCI Breakers to 2 Hot Leads and 1 Common

So I just bought my first house and in lieu of changing loads of outlets in the kitchen for GFCI outlets I went with two 20A GFCI breakers. Upon going to install the breakers I found that the cable ...
2
votes
2answers
653 views

Why didn't homeowners get electrocuted when appliances were grounded through the neutral?

I read that appliance at certain times in the U.S. (for example stoves) were grounded through the neutral wire. Since the neutral wire carries current does this means the case of the stove itself is ...
2
votes
2answers
6k views

Can I extend the ground/bus bar in a main service to accomodate subpanel equipment ground?

I am about to replace the main service breaker panel in my house. The old panel (a 200amp Siemens 40-circuit) had bus bars that extended the entire vertical length of the box. The new panel I would ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

How can I turn off the power to an outlet if a water alarm is triggered?

I'm installing a dishwasher on a second floor, and after having 3x dishwashers leak during their run cycle during my life, I'm understandably hesitant. I will definitely be installing a water alarm. ...
2
votes
1answer
203 views

oven not igniting

(Updated.) I have a gas stove and oven with no pilot light (so they ignite using electricity). The stove and broiler (at the top of the oven cavity) are lighting fine, but the oven is not (at the ...
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vote
1answer
1k views

Can I connect two wires to a single screw terminal in my HVAC system?

I am installing a new honeywell WiFi thermostat but the old battery operated thermostat had batteries and no "C" wire. I look at both the thermostat and the air handler and found an extra un-used blue ...
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3answers
7k views

How many lighting circuits are needed in the LED era…? (US - NEC)

This is in a two story, ~1000square foot per floor building. With the advent of affordable, decent (IMHO) LED fixtures (finally!) the entire lighting load for the structure looks to be 500W - 1000W at ...
1
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3answers
1k views

What should I look for when diagnosing electrical circuit gremlins where load is much less than capacity?

We have an electrical circuit with these loads (all on different outlets): 15W aquarium pump, 250W LCD television, 35W cable box, 13W GoogleTV box, and a 100W ceiling fan (plus an integrated 50W ...
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2answers
6k views

It is dangerous to have a power outlet run from a light circuit?

Re this answer regarding wiring a garage door power point from a light is this legal I thought it wasn't but just checking. Edit: Legality will depend on location as mentioned in answers, I worded ...
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3answers
6k views

How should I wire RV hookups?

I want to put an RV hookup on a post next to an RV pad. Some RVs take 30A/120V, while others take 50A/240V. The main reason for the latter is to let you run two AC units at once, but in our mild ...
0
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1answer
13k views

Why is my Australian light fixture wired this way?

I just want to replace it with a new light fitting philips tcg701 but there's way too many wires and I don't know why it was done this way.
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votes
1answer
573 views

Help wiring 1-pole switch + USB in single outlet

I have the two products below and I need them to go in a single gang box that used to be a simple 1-pole switch. Product pages: http://www.legrand.ca/adorne/select/switches/aspd1531w8.aspx ...
19
votes
4answers
3k views

How can I get a wire that is outside a wall to be inside a wall

I recently removed an abominable drop ceiling from my dining room and found this close to the ceiling on the one side of the room. There is definitely a stud between these two holes. On the other ...
16
votes
6answers
5k views

Is there a lifetime failure count for a breaker?

I have an external cutoff for my air conditioner that has two physical fuses (TR-50's, time delay 50 amps) outside. This is between the condenser unit and the main power panel, where it is protected ...
14
votes
3answers
5k views

What is the right way to connect 7 conductors in an electrical box?

What is the "right" way to join 7 different wires in a single electrical box? Here's the situation. I opened up a four-gang light switch. There were four switches controlling five lights. As ...
12
votes
3answers
25k views

What's the minimum depth that an electrical box can recess into a finished wall? Does it have to be flush?

Do electrical boxes have to be flush to the finished surface? Can they recess any depth into the wall by as much as 1/8" or 1/4"? Edit: I appreciate everyone offering alternative solutions to ...
12
votes
2answers
5k views

Can I change a 1-gang electrical box to a 2-gang electrical box?

I live in a house built in the 50's in Maryland, US. Each bedroom contains 4 electrical outlets - configured in two 1-gang electrical boxes on opposing walls. However, with all the modern ...
11
votes
3answers
4k views

Is this electrical junction up to code?

I was up in my attic a few days ago, and I noticed a pretty ugly electrical junction that wasn't in a junction box. Here's the pic: Is this up to code? FWIW I live in north Alabama, outside city ...
10
votes
1answer
19k views

What is the correct way to wire a 4 prong oven receptacle?

I think I wired this the right way but I can't find an online reference that I trust enough to flip the breaker back on. This is how I wired it. Is this correct?
10
votes
3answers
18k views

What is electrical code for number of wires in a breaker?

US, Georgia I am adding some new ciruits to add some additional outlets. The closest place is to run a wire to the main panel box. My question is, can I connect more than one wire to a breaker and ...
9
votes
3answers
9k views

Can I use a UPS as a Voltage Stabilizer?

I need a voltage stabilizer for my refrigerator. Can I use a UPS for this? I own an APC Back-UPS marked "Output: 230V~, 2.6A, 50/60Hz...". The label on the fridge says "220V/50Hz". Can I use this UPS ...
9
votes
1answer
3k views

What type of connector is this and how do I remove it?

I was trying to install a ceiling fan in my apartment and came across these connectors when removing the light. What is this and how do I take it off?
9
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
9
votes
10answers
28k views

How can I get a shock from a circuit when the breaker is off?

While I was replacing an old outlet, I received a shock from something in the box. I think it was the metal box itself. Before I started, I performed the following to ensure the power was out: ...
9
votes
6answers
35k 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
3k views

Is there a difference between the two conductors in 120VAC wiring?

With DC wiring, there is an obvious, positive 'hot' wire and negative/ground wire. In AC wiring is there still such a concept as a single 'hot' wire? If yes, why is this since either wire will be at ...
8
votes
3answers
17k views

Are generator interlock kits permitted in residential applications?

There have been some questions on the site lately, that reference using interlock kits with portable generators. This has inspired me to read through article 702 Optional Standby Systems of the ...
8
votes
2answers
4k views

What kind of electrical outlet is this, and how do I replace it?

I have an electrical outlet which hasn't been reliable (the bottom one doesn't always have power unless you jiggle the plug), so I want to change it. I've changed a few plain outlets, but I found ...
8
votes
4answers
5k 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
5k views

Can I extend an electrical ground wire with a copper wire crimp?

I am working with an electrical socket and I need extra length on the ground wire. It doesn't seem unreasonable that I can attach an extra three inches to the existing one and attach it with a copper ...
8
votes
4answers
9k views

Acceptable ground to neutral voltage?

First of all I'm pretty sure I know the theory behind the effect. I know about the inductive and capacitive coupling, about 3-phase balance problems and about ground bounce, so this question isn't ...
8
votes
4answers
2k views

When wiring two circuits through the same conduit, what wire coloring is required?

Problem I am wiring a septic control/alarm box to a subpanel. They are on the same post, so the wire run is through a short stretch of 3/4" flex conduit. There are two circuits required: a 240V for ...
8
votes
1answer
2k views

Is there an average number of outlets that are wired off of one circuit breaker?

I recently demolished my basement to start a reconstruction/improvement project. My first horror was the electrical layout. I've got hidden junctions, mismatched wire sizes, improper junctions and ...