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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5
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3answers
34k views

How to properly wire a ceiling light fixture?

I rent an apartment and a tenant installed ceiling fan that was not well secured to the ceiling. I removed the fan and attempted to re-install the original light fixture after he moved out. I am ...
5
votes
4answers
7k views

What could cause the ground wire on my baseboard heater to burn?

On the photo below, you can see that the ground wire as burned. Description of what i know: the wire is connected on a 240V line to my baseboard heater the wire seems to be a AWG 14/2 I don't know ...
1
vote
5answers
7k views

Is there any feasible way to work with live electrical wiring? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How do I install an electrical outlet on a live circuit? I remember back in my college days, having a badly damaged outlet plug on a built-in dresser/vanity right above ...
8
votes
4answers
939 views

How can I automatically disconnect a coffee maker and space heater without tripping the building's 20A circuit breaker?

My small office has a 20A breaker and we have to run a space heater in the winter or else we freeze to death. Whenever someone turns on the coffee maker, the office circuit breaker trips and ...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

Can I run a ground wire of a single circuit to the panel outside the house?

This is a follow-up to this question. I am adding (outlets) on to a 2-wire 12AWG (no ground) circuit and I want the new outlets grounded. Can I run a ground wire to the panel along the outside of ...
14
votes
2answers
58k views

How do you plan capacity for electrical circuits?

I'm finishing a section of my basement, which currently only has one bulb for bare light. In planning the electrical arrangement of things, how do I estimate the load of light fixtures or electrical ...
5
votes
1answer
1k 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
votes
2answers
1k views

Confused about two way wiring on stair case

I have two light bulbs controlled by three light switches. I replaced two of them a while ago (can't remember what the wiring looks like) with no problems. However, I encountered the following issue ...
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4answers
8k views

Is it OK to borrow a ground wire from a different circuit?

I've got a circuit in the basement carrying a handful of outlets. This circuit has no ground wire. I want to add a couple of outlets and want them to be grounded. I may even want gfci outlets on ...
7
votes
2answers
653 views

How do I upgrade a conventional switch to a dimmer?

I have a single pole light switch (I guess that means 1 switch controls the light?). The top switch turns the light on, the bottom switch turns the fan on. I bought a dimmer, that has a black screw, ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

Why would a single electric receptacle stop working?

A single receptacle suddenly stopped providing electricity in my living room. It is not a GFCI. The other outlets work fine and the circuit breaker didn't trip. Any ideas?
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2answers
10k views

half of all home outlets not working

About a year ago we started noticing outlets in our upstairs bathrooms not working, and eventually none of the bathroom outlets worked at all. Hallway outlets, bedroom outlets still work fine. ...
6
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3answers
2k views

Environmental protection for computer equipment in unheated garage

I live in Minnesota, and I have an unheated, detached garage. I would like to place an "offsite" data backup device (possibly a NAS) in the garage, which I should be easily able to connect to the ...
5
votes
1answer
147 views

Can I use a hot wire on another panel?

I have a room upstairs that's the size of a small studio apartment. My daughter decided to move back home but my tenant noticed that the room she moved into is tied into their apartment. I went to the ...
7
votes
1answer
32k views

Light switch setup using only hot wire. Is it normal?

I was changing the light switches around the house when I came upon this setup. The two switches to the right are all wired using the hot wire (black) from the two electrical wire on the back panel. ...
2
votes
1answer
524 views

Alternatives to extension cord over the grass to light a Christmas tree

I have a nice little pine tree that sits about 30 feet from the corner of my house. Ideally, I think it would look nice to throw some Christmas lights on it and spread some holiday cheer. I hesitate ...
5
votes
3answers
4k views

Line tester reads power to 220V outlet when the breaker is off

Bought a house in May that came with a window air conditioner connected to a 220V outlet. The air conditioner is gone with no plan to replace so I want to remove the outlet. I went to the breaker, ...
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vote
3answers
13k views

What did I do wrong??! Wiring error is tripping circuit breaker

Here's the scoop: There are 3 switches in my hallway. One switch on side A and two switches on side B. Side A switch controls same light as one switch on Side B. I replaced the switch on Side A ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

How can I ground old 2-prong receptacles? (120V)

I have several old receptacles that are 2-prong. There is armored cable running from the breaker panel to each receptacle. What do I need to do in order to install and properly ground new 3-prong ...
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vote
0answers
594 views

Does a homeowner need a permit for electrical work in indianapolis [closed]

i have a 100 amp breaker box i want to replace with a lager 100 amp breaker box do i need a permit in the city of Indianapolis?
3
votes
1answer
431 views

What do I need to do to safely reconnect an A/C-powered smoke detector?

In an unfortunate incident, the plastic plug for one of my A/C-powered smoke detectors became detached from the wires coming out of the ceiling. My ceiling now looks like so (click for full size): ...
2
votes
1answer
4k views

Potterton EP3000 -> Horstmann C27 boiler programmer wiring

I'm in the UK, using an ancient tempermental Potterton EP3000 boiler programmer, but I have a brand new Horstmann C27 which I'd like to replace it with. Apart from the mains supply, there are three ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Should the tester start flickering when I touch my chandelier's top wiring cover?

(First time quiestion here, so correct me if something's wrong) I recently installed a lamp on the ceiling (a metallic chandelier). Two wires connected to the ceiling (one phase and one "zero"). The ...
3
votes
3answers
4k views

Troubleshooting of lamp which refuses to work after bulb change

The lamp on the ceiling of my living room consists of two bulbs. One of them recently got broke, so I removed it, checked it, and bought a similar one (60 W all of them). I fixed the new one, and now ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Are there energy saving lamps which work with touch/electronic dimmers, timers, etc.?

Dimmable energy saving bulbs are usually labeled as "Use only with standard dimmers. Not to be used with touch dimmers, electronic dimmers, timers, ..." After reading ...
5
votes
1answer
6k views

How do airtight recessed lights compare to IC-rated ones?

I'm trying to figure out what recessed lights to purchase. The ceiling room has an attic directly above with insulation in between. It appears that IC-rated cans are necessary here, correct? How ...
4
votes
4answers
531 views

How can I wire an array of ceiling lights for easy reconfigurability?

I want to put in 16 new recessed lights (roughly a 4x4 grid), and I want to control them with two panels (one on each entrance to the room) of switches. But since we are constantly rearranging the ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

What are the “rules” for connecting different kinds mains electrical wires?

Aluminum wires can't be connected directly to copper wires - otherwise the contact spot overheats badly, such connections should only go through steel connectors. I was rather surprised when I found ...
1
vote
1answer
937 views

How can I provide power to a dehumidifier in the bathroom?

I have an interior bathroom which has always been damp. I want to try and do something about it and am thinking of getting a wall mounted continuous flow dehumidifier and attaching the drain pipe ...
4
votes
1answer
497 views

Is there aluminum wiring in my vent fan?

I just purchased and installed a new Panasonic FV-10NLF1 inline exhaust fan. My house has copper wiring, but the wires on the fan appear to be aluminum (they are silver in color). I didn't think ...
5
votes
2answers
4k views

How do I extend electrical boxes 3 inches or more?

I am hanging a new wall using Genie Clips. After the clips, hat track, and two layers of drywall, we're talking about an added distance from the electrical boxes of over 3 inches. Quick research has ...
3
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
361 views

How do I clean an oxidized steel terminal before attaching a wire to it?

I have to replace wiring in a power meter box in an apartment building. There're four really beefy wires running vertically through the whole building and each wire has a short stripped segment inside ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

Was there a NEC Code Change that disallows 14 gauge wire in a residential receptacle?

I am thinking of remodeling my home. I have a bunch of 14 gauge THHN wire. A friend told me I can't use 14 gauge wire in a residential receptacle application. Has there a code change that would not ...
5
votes
3answers
3k views

What's the procedure for stripping wires with pliers?

In this answer to this question on stripping wires pliers are mentioned as a tool suitable for that job. I guess it can be done, but I feel quite paranoid about damaging the conductor which is made of ...
19
votes
8answers
17k views

Why are “Wire Nuts” not used in the UK?

I have never seen a wire nut used in the UK, but they seem to be very common in the USA, why?
3
votes
1answer
527 views

How reliable are connector strips with plug-in terminals and how do I select and use them properly?

Here's a close-up photo of a connector strip with plug-in terminals It's used for connecting 220 volt mains wires – you can see a bare metal wire coming in – that's 4mm2 aluminum wire. Each of the ...
3
votes
1answer
17k views

How can I add a single pole switch next to a 3-way switch?

I currently have a 3-way circuit in the family room. I would like to install a 2 gang box @ one of the switch locations and add a single pole switch to control an exterior light. Can I wire the single ...
13
votes
3answers
1k views

Can I safely use a switch rated for “1A at 125V” with 240V, assuming I stay below 125W?

I recently purchased a foot switch for a standing lamp. The switch is rated for 1A at 125V. I would like to use this switch with a low energy lamp (typically 10W or below) but with a 240V supply. Is ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Wiring gas hob with electric ignition to mains

We are currently in the process of moving into our newly renovated house. The electrician has completely rewired the house, and the plastering has been done. Only when we went to install the oven and ...
12
votes
4answers
1k views

What is this 110/24V 60Hz transformer in the breaker room for?

My friend sent me a photograph of this transformer, which is installed above the main breaker panel, with leads running from the panel into the transformer. The stamped labels read PRI. Volts: 110 ...
4
votes
1answer
6k views

What are the requirements for wiring an unfinished garage with lights and outlets?

I found this DIY article online which suggests that running Romex along the center faces of studs and rafters was code compliant for unfinished garages. How to Wire a Garage The article is dated ...
5
votes
1answer
526 views

Replacing chandelier with new, No ground wire in old chandelier

I am replacing a chandelier with new one, No ground wire in old chandelier and my vaulted ceiling is at least 30 feet high. Can I just not connect the ground wire and coil it up so it is out of the ...
6
votes
1answer
24k views

How do I wire a GFCI/Switch Combo?

I'm replacing an old GFCI/Switch combo. In the old one there are two wires coming into the line side, a hot wire and a neutral. On the load side there is one wire leading up to the lighting fixture. ...
6
votes
1answer
323 views

How can I get my Self-Destruct switches to do something?

In my house, there were some confusing panels of that had lots of switches on them, so I bought a labeling machine and put labels over all the switches in the house. There are two blank switches next ...
1
vote
2answers
254 views

Using an induction hob through a wooden surface

I'm going to be getting a couple of induction hobs, but I am wanting them mounted underneath a thin (approx 5mm) piece of wood. Is this possible from the safety point of view and would I have a major ...
7
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2answers
2k views

How can I determine if my outlets can easily be grounded?

I'm not sure what to do here. I just moved into a building and my outlets are all 2 prong outlets. Here is what I know of for sure: All the outlets are 2 prong outlets The bathroom outlet has the ...
2
votes
4answers
5k views

How can I control a circuit breaker remotely?

We have a house in the country that largely sits abandoned. We have a large family, and we like to go visit for the weekends. When we leave the house, we turn off the circuit breakers to prevent high ...
3
votes
2answers
917 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 ...
0
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1answer
276 views

How do I add a switch/light and two outlet from a single power source?

I have access to a hot line in the attic that I can cut and add a junction box to power a light through a switch as well as two outlets that are needed. How do I proceed?