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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3answers
14k 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 ...
5
votes
6answers
59k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
3k views

Can I replace an old exhaust fan and connect it to an existing light switch?

I just purchased a new home and in one of the bathrooms there is an old exhaust fan and two light switches. There is a recessed light located in the ceiling above the shower and another light above ...
5
votes
2answers
6k views

Can a low voltage light switch be located in a closet as opposed to outside the closet?

Okay you guys I have next question. And like all good questions this one begins with a story. I was reading the post about a nick in a wire and read a couple of you mention that light switch in a ...
5
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1answer
2k views

How to deal with abandoned wire?

There is a 240V/30A circuit in a room of my house that used to be a patio. I think it was used for a baseboard/electric heater system. It had a surface mounted outlet that I have removed, but now I ...
5
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3answers
1k views

What's the best way to label a double gang box with two circuits

I'm installing some lights in my basement, and will be replacing the single gang box in the hall (currently only for hall light) with a double gang box. The idea is to accommodate the hall light ...
5
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7answers
5k views

How can I create circuit diagrams and what program should I use?

Circuit diagrams are very handy. On this site, they can really help illustrate the problem or solution (see here). They can help you visualize what needs to be changed when doing work on your house, ...
4
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1answer
7k 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
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3answers
333 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
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1answer
735 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
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2answers
12k 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
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4answers
4k 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
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3answers
26k views

Why does my laptop charger make a spark when plugged in?

From time to time (not always but often enough) when I plug my laptop's charger in the wall outlet it makes a spark (even if I use different outlets it's the same). Why does it do this? Is this a ...
4
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7answers
8k 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
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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
8k 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
3k 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
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1answer
607 views

Is there a way to plug a NEMA 6-20P plug into a NEMA 10-30R receptacle?

Is there a way to plug a 6-20p 208/220/250v plug into a 10-30r receptacle? I can't seem to find an adapter for this. I bought a 220v fahrenheat heater and want to be able to plug it into a range or ...
3
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4answers
51k views

How can I install a light fixture in the ceiling of a finished room?

In my dining room, I would like to install a ceiling light in the center of the room. This room is on the ground floor of a colonial two-story, so there is no attic access into the ceiling; my work ...
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
27k 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
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2answers
696 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 ...
3
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1answer
32k 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
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1answer
5k 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
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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
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2answers
5k 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
23k views

What height should bathroom receptacle be off the ground?

I am doing the rough-in electrical in my bathroom gut. I want to put a few receptacles (outlets) above the vanity. Is there a standard height I should be installing the receptacle? I don't have a ...
2
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2answers
105 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
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2answers
462 views

Federal Pacific / Stab-Lok Breakers [closed]

I have a bag full of old Federal Pacific Stab-Lok breakers. A quick Google search says one out of four of these are a fire hazard, and this question/answer corroborate the fact that this is a ...
2
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3answers
6k views

Is it safe to wire regular receptacles to the end of an extension cord?

Is it safe to cut off the single-plug end of an extension cord and replace it with several regular receptacles and a metal box? Should the box itself be grounded?
2
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2answers
7k 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
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3answers
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
212 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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1answer
2k 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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2answers
6k views

Can I connect all of my LED strips to a single power supply?

Im working on a project with LED light strips, and want to connect them all to a sd controller. The lights are ws2812b 60 LED/meter, and have 20 meters of it. It calls for 14.4w per meter @ 3 amps per ...
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3answers
9k 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 ...
1
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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 ...
0
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1answer
15k 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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1answer
692 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 ...
17
votes
7answers
6k 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
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3answers
6k 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
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3answers
27k 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
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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
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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
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1answer
21k 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?
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
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2answers
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?