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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8
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1answer
3k views

How can I trace cable through floors and walls?

How can I work out where an electrical cable runs through walls/floors? I am building a circuit map of a 1941 house with unfinished basement. I shut off all circuits at the main service panel, switch ...
3
votes
2answers
8k views

Does the NEC allow electrical wiring to run next to a ventilation duct?

I am about to install a vent to the outside for the range hood exhaust in the kitchen. In the same bulkhead that will have this vent, there is some electrical wire (some 12/2 NM and some low voltage ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

What's the best way to plug circular drywall holes left by electrician?

I'm having recessed lights installed and want to know the best method to plug the holes left by the electrician. I was thinking of something like paint stirring sticks and construction adhesive to ...
4
votes
4answers
2k views

Circuit breaker trips every couple of weeks

I have a 15A circuit breaker in my electrical box tied to the media room. Every couple of weeks, it trips. I bought an amperage/wattage load tester. Readings show 4 - 4.5A total in my media ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Does the Lutron Maestro C.L Dimmer Exist?

Lutron offers a family of "C•L" model dimmers (for use with dimmable CFL/LEDs) which includes the Maestro product line: ...
4
votes
3answers
685 views

What's a good way to customize or recess a lightswitch?

I saw this etsy project: Working Arcade Light Switch And while it's pretty cool, I'm not huge into arcade or fighting games, so I was going to make my own, and change the buttons. How would be a ...
0
votes
1answer
517 views

How to replace a single light switch with an electric dimmer switch

This is a very similar question to one I asked yesterday, which Ryan Walkowski kindly helped out with. This time, I'm looking for a some assistance in fitting a a single electric dimmer unit. I am ...
10
votes
1answer
3k views

How to replace a standard 2-gang light switch with an electric dimmer switch

I'm looking for a some assistance in fitting a new electric dimmer light switch. I'm in the UK if that makes a difference. I am trying to replace my existing two-gang light switch with a LightWaveRF ...
3
votes
2answers
563 views

Can I use a neutral from another circuit to install a 3-way switch? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is this an acceptable way to add a light to a 3-way circuit? My whole-house fan is currently on a dedicated circuit. I want to convert the single-pole switch to a ...
2
votes
3answers
3k views

How much can you do as a homeowner in Texas without requiring a permit/inspections? [closed]

Backstory: we recently added some furniture to a previously-unused room to make it a quickie guest bedroom for some upcoming family visits. On a whim, I got my electrical tester and plugged it in to a ...
2
votes
2answers
876 views

Will an ungrounded light fixture on a GFCI circuit cause the GFCI to trip?

Shed outlet is powered from a GFCI breaker in the main panel. I want to add a switched light in the shed using power from the outlet. The outlet is a standard 20a grounded outlet, not a GFCI. No ...
1
vote
2answers
11k views

Can I use a standard extension cord with my refrigerator?

I live in the US and my refrigerator is 115 Volt. I'd like to power it directly from the socket with an extension cord, but I've been told that it must be powered via a surge protector or a special ...
1
vote
2answers
5k 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
15k views

How should I wire a GFCI outlet and a switch to isolate the switch but provide GFCI protection further in the series?

I am replacing the outlets for my garbage disposal/dishwasher circuit in my kitchen. Currently on that breaker there is one non-GFCI outlet with a pigtailed switch controlling the garbage disposal and ...
1
vote
3answers
635 views

How easy is it to fit a garage door opener?

My wife is desperate to have a garage door opener, and she's found this kit at B&Q. Can anyone advise on how easy/straightforward these things are to install? It'll be me (and most likely my Dad) ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Is a negative reading from a non-contact voltage detector sufficient?

I'm a beginner at doing electrical work, and I want to make sure I'm not taking unnecessary risks. Let's say that I'm preparing to work on some wiring. I have a non-contact voltage detector that ...
9
votes
2answers
5k views

Is this fluorescent light fixture a major electrical problem / fire hazard?

(I am a new homeowner.) I went to replace a some fluorescent tubes that looked like they burned out, but after disassembling it a little to get the tubes out, I saw something a little alarming: ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

Why would an iMac computer cause lights on a circuit to flicker when it goes into sleep mode?

Background My wife has an iMac computer that is approximately 3 years old. When the computer goes into sleep mode the lights on the circuit the iMac is plugged into flicker. My house was built in ...
13
votes
4answers
58k views

How do I properly wire GFCI outlets in parallel?

I have two countertop outlets in my kitchen that I am in the process of replacing with new, GFCI-protected outlets. These two outlets are on a circuit together, and they are the only loads on that ...
2
votes
2answers
13k views

How do I know what size grounding conductor is required?

Is there an international standard that specifies the size of the grounding conductor to bond a metallic part of the installation to a grounding bar?. And to connect the grounding bar to the ...
3
votes
3answers
11k views

is it possible to do a 3 way switch if power source is in the second switch?

In my research on how to install a 3 way switch, i've seen different ways on how to install the wires but i haven't found the schema that would help me in my situation. Here's a screenshot of my ...
1
vote
1answer
121 views

What are the drawbacks to bridging phases in my home electrical?

I'm installing some powerline automation equipment and I can't (for obvious reasons) control equipment that are on the opposite phase as my controller. I've found a phase coupler, but I'm wondering ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Who to call to fix electric oven?

My electric oven stopped heating. The range works fine. The digital controls work fine. The oven light works fine. But neither the element at the bottom of the oven nor the one at the top heat up at ...
5
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
7k views

How can I tell what electrical service I have?

I hired an electrician to do some work on my house and he said that they did a check with the city and there was no permit for 100amp service issued so I must be on 60amp. I think this may be a load ...
5
votes
6answers
873 views

WR outlets; is it trying to tell you which way is up?

I know about this question (I posted an answer to it), but this one's a little more specific. Consider a weather-resistant outlet, like the ones below: Notice the first picture has the plug in ...
4
votes
1answer
820 views

How can I protect A/C condenser wires?

I bought a replacement condenser fan motor for my outdoor A/C unit. The old unit was CW direction only. This one is CW/CCW and has 4 wires stick out of the side that change direction depending on how ...
3
votes
2answers
497 views

Common kitchen/bathroom countertop devices that use 120V20A

I currently have a 110V20A GFCI outlet in my guest bathroom. It's the older type, with red and black buttons, and I'm planning to replace it with a new TR/WR GFCI receptacle as part of a general ...
2
votes
2answers
801 views

Is a multi wire shared neutral circuit a 220 volt circuit

I am wondering if a multi wire shared neutral circuit is considered a 240v circuit. I ask because in the code it says that AFCI breakers are not required on 240v circuits. A 240 20amp breaker costs ...
1
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2answers
1k views

Jury-Rigged Modification of 120v Circuit to 240v Circuit Using Steel-Armor of BX Cable as Neutral/Ground… [closed]

My house was constructed in 1980 in the City of New York. About twenty-five years ago, I installed a new 29,200 BTU Carrier A/C through the wall of the house. The unit was rated at 208v, drawing ...
6
votes
1answer
7k views

How can I determine if my receptacles are grounded, and how can I fix it if they are not?

My upstairs office has 3-prong outlets, but according to my surge suppressor, they are not grounded. I took one of the sockets off to inspect how it was wired, and it seems to have a ground wire ...
12
votes
6answers
20k views

What is simplest strategy to map circuits to breakers in the panel?

My breaker box is very poorly labeled and I want to figure out which circuits may have overloaded (or close to it) and which could reasonably handle a little more. In the past I have just tried ...
1
vote
2answers
4k views

Replacing chandelier, how many lights can it support?

I want to replace a chandelier that currently has 2 bulbs, and I want to replace it with one that has at least 5 bulbs if possible. We live in an older building (built in 1912), and a friend warned me ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Do I have to use armored (MC) cable to connect to a pot (recessed) light fixture?

Most of the recessed lighting fixtures I see in stores have a metal junction box separate from the can. There is an armored cable running from the junction box to the can already. You connect your ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

What debuzzing coil should I use to get rid of lamp hum?

I have two lamps which use these big 300W bulbs that I am dimming with Insteon LampLink modules. They buzz quite a bit, and I previously asked a question about reducing the buzz which led me to ...
12
votes
5answers
13k views

Why do my new dimmable CFL bulbs hum?

I just spent $100 upgrading our dining room lighting from regular incandescent bulbs with a dimmer switch to a CFL friendly dimmer switch with specifically marked dimming capable CFL bulbs. At full ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

How can I convert from an E11 socket to an E26 socket? [closed]

Our church has halogen light fixtures with E11 sockets. We would like to convert these fixtures to accept E26 bulbs. I am unable to find a direct adapter, is there any other way I can convert these ...
7
votes
2answers
473 views

What could be causing this electrical issue?

The problem occurs within one particular unit of an apartment complex. All other units are fine. The problem has gradually gotten worse. All electricity within the house will flicker on and off. It is ...
4
votes
1answer
4k views

was it ever legal to use 3 wire cable to operate two circuits one neutral 120 volts?

My house was built in the early 60s, I have 4 circuits that are created by using 2 3 wire cables, each hot leg goes to a 120v breaker side by side in the panel. The neutral goes to the neutral buss. I ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

How can I modify telephone Cat5 cables and jacks into Ethernet ports?

We just moved into a new house and I found out they used Cat5 to run the telephone network in the house. I found the junction where all the network/phone lines come together and disconnected all the ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

Are tamper resistant outlets required in a cabinet with child proof latches?

Like many people, I have a dishwasher and a disposer, which are plugged into an outlet in the cabinet under the kitchen sink. Also like many, this is where I keep a whole host of cleaning products and ...
2
votes
1answer
8k views

Are there locations in a residence where a non tamper resistant receptacle can still be used?

Assume for a second that my jurisdiction has adopted 2011 NEC code as legally binding without significant amendment. This code requires (406.11) that 120V 15/20A outlets in all areas defined in NEC ...
8
votes
4answers
4k views

Is it safe to touch the ground contact?

When plugging in a device in the dark, or behind furniture, it's hard to get the contacts aligned. It's tempting to put a finger on the end of a contact, use that finger to find the slot in the recep, ...
2
votes
1answer
211 views

How can I replace an integrated security light with a solar powered version?

Above our front door, we have (for want of a better word) a security light. This light can only be controlled by a switch near the front door. The light switch for the is just one of three on the same ...
4
votes
3answers
2k 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 + ...
3
votes
2answers
3k views

What could cause a brand new fluorescent fixture to not work?

I purchased a brand new fluorescent light fixture to replace my previous fluorescent light fixture (it was old and one of the ballasts was blown, so it half-worked). After drilling the holes in the ...
7
votes
1answer
3k views

Any reason not to ground the sheathing of MX wire?

Having recently bought an older house (c1943) I am doing a little work on the place. While rewiring a light switch I noted that there is newer Romex wiring from the distribution panel to the switch, ...
4
votes
1answer
390 views

Using a 16A energy monitor in a 10A socket

I'm in Australia (220-240 / 50-60Hz) and wanting to monitor some appliances energy usage. The sockets here are 10Amp standard. Am I going to run into dire trouble if I use a 16A monitoring device ...
1
vote
2answers
132 views

Why cordless hammer drill possess such few markets in Europe?What's the difference between hammer drill and impact drill? [closed]

Recently, I found in a GfK data report that cordless hammer drills have very little market share in Europe. But to my opinion, we use it very often when doing home improvement or building something. ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

How can I utilize a light switch for a specific outlet?

I just moved into a new apartment and in one of the bedrooms, there is a light switch that switches one of the outlets on and off. Unfortunately, this outlet is placed in the opposite side of the room ...