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

2
votes
1answer
17k views

How can I replace a single switch with two switches?

I have a single pole switch on a wall that turned on a ceiling light. I want to replace this ceiling lamp with a fan/light combo. I also want to replace the single switch to double switches (so I can ...
7
votes
3answers
3k views

What is my dryer's fourth prong for?

We just moved and had to change plugs on the dryer from 3 prongs to 4. What is the fourth prong for? I know about positive, negative and ground, but I can't think of why a fourth would be needed.
1
vote
2answers
239 views

How to know whether fuse is sufficient for electrical device?

How can I find out from the information about an electrical device whether fuse and wiring is sufficient for that particular device? For example, we are considering buying a septic pump; from the ...
0
votes
2answers
61 views

Can I have a sub panel right below the attic access?

I'm rewiring an old house where I've already installed a 50 amp sub-panel. Now the carpenter decided to put his attic access in the ceiling right above the panel is this permissible.
1
vote
2answers
115 views

What could be causing cable signal to be lost? [duplicate]

One tv stopped working while all the others in the house work. Comcast guy claims the cable in my wall behind my fireplace went bad. They told me that before and were wrong. How can I check if ...
2
votes
1answer
641 views

How can I prevent the receptacle in my yard from tripping the GFCI used to power my sprinklers?

I have a GFCI in garage that protects one receptacle in the garage and one in the yard. The GFCI receptacle itself feeds the sprinkler timer. The other receptacle in the garage is hardly used. The ...
4
votes
1answer
27k views

Is it okay to have an ungrounded light fixture?

I recently moved into an older home (built in 1968) and have been replacing some of the older light fixtures. We pulled down one of the lights and found that there is a ground running into the box but ...
3
votes
2answers
312 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
69k views

Which side of a two-wire cable should be used for “hot”?

I bought a custom length of a 16/2 cable (two 16-gauge stranded wires, individually insulated). The two wires have identical colors and insulation; the only thing to tell them apart is that along ...
10
votes
4answers
88k views

What do I do if there are only two wires coming from my ceiling electrical box?

I'm about to install several Hunter ceiling fans. This will be the first time I've done anything electrical past changing a bulb. The instructions that came with the fan show three wires coming from ...
6
votes
3answers
752 views

What type of outlet is in the picture?

I recently purchased a early 1970's home that has this interesting outlet installed in the master bedroom. It is the only outlet in the entire house like this and I'm not real sure what it is for and ...
2
votes
1answer
195 views

How do I troubleshoot my electric oven?

I've got a Kenmore electric oven, model no. 911.94391790. The other day, the oven was on bake mode @ 350° I heard it make some funny beeping noises and the clock/display area started to flash random ...
4
votes
1answer
361 views

Can a dedicated circuit have a junction box somewhere between the fixture and the panel?

Whoever installed the central air conditioning unit in my house correctly used a dedicated circuit, however, they cut the wire too short (there is a ~12 inch splice in the panel) and the wire was ...
1
vote
2answers
4k views

Are there any advantages to installing a 125A subpanel instead of a 100A panel? [closed]

I noticed that most Square D sub panels are 100 AMPS, but Siemens has one that is 125 AMPs (maybe other brands also, I haven't checked). Is there any differences I need to know about when I suggest a ...
3
votes
1answer
7k 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
153 views

Can I install wiring in the space used by a sealed air duct and PVC water supply lines?

I have a space between walls that is about 14" deep and 8 foot wide, and goes from the floor to the ceiling. This space is on the second floor. Petty much in the center of the house. The space ...
2
votes
1answer
165 views

How do I renovate 45 year old aluminum wiring for a new outlet for a new cooktop and range?

We are currently updating our '69 era kitchen and are relocating some if not all of the receptacles. The old cooktop and range that we have now removed, were hardwired and used aluminum wire. We have ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

Is it safe to wire a plug-in sconce directly to the junction box?

There is a wall sconce that I would like to buy, but it is a plug-in variety and there is no power outlet nearby (only an existing light fixture). Is it safe to cut off the plug and wire it directly ...
2
votes
3answers
325 views

Is it safe/compliant for one circuit to supply grounded wall outlets in both a kitchen and a living room?

On one side of my wall (in kitchen, not the refrigerator or stove plug) is a three prong grounded outlet. Would it work without overloading a circuit to put a new outlet on the other side of the wall ...
2
votes
1answer
579 views

What would cause a hardwired smoke alarm to give one short beep when appliances are turned on?

I have hard wired smoke detectors. I've noticed that when I plug my tablet into a power strip connected to an outlet in my living room it caused the upstairs detector to emit a quick beep. I now ...
3
votes
1answer
265 views

How do I troubleshoot a newly installed non-working outlet?

I recently spent several frustrating hours trying to figure out why an outlet on a new branch circuit would not power a load even though there was proper polarity at the outlet, my non-contact voltage ...
1
vote
2answers
5k views

How can I control several LED strips with one remote control?

I want to install several LED strips that cannot be connected to each other. Each would have it's own power supply. Is there a way to control them all with a single remote control? I seen several ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

How do I troubleshoot an intermittent problem with a ceiling light/fan?

We have a ceiling fan that includes a light fixture. One day the light went off several minutes after turning it on. I checked the panel, and found that the breakers were ok. Room receptacles from ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Why does my GFCI trip when I plug things into load side receptacles?

I installed a new outdoor circuit. The line comes out of the house and into the LINE side of the GFCI outlet. I connected a wire to the LOAD side and ran it to two standard outlets downstream. My ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

How do I wire a GFCI to provide continuous power to a dishwasher and switched power to a garbage disposal? [duplicate]

I am replacing a regular three pronged outlet with a GFCI for my disposer and dishwasher. There is a white, black, red and ground. How do I install it so as to keep constant power to the dishwasher, ...
1
vote
1answer
3k views

How can I get my fluorescent light fixtures to work with an occupancy sensor?

I have a Leviton PR150-1LI occupancy sensor in my garage. I have two 4 foot T8 fluorescent fixtures (each has 2 bulbs). Neither fixture originally had rapid magnetic start ballasts. At this time, the ...
2
votes
2answers
4k views

Why would the electricity intermittently trip out when turning on a light switch?

I live in the UK and recently had some building work done (replastering, new light fixtures, new switches, laminate flooring, etc). During the work the builders discovered a lot of dodgy electrical ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

Is it okay to run a switched and unswitched hot on the same neutral?

I have a room where I need to toggle the lights by a switch and the outlets in the room to not be affected by the switch. As they are on the same circuit, am I able to run a 3 wire cable from the ...
3
votes
1answer
5k views

What is a bus bar in an electrical switch board?

I am doing some research in electrical wiring and mains switch boards and was wondering what a bus bar is and what it does?
0
votes
2answers
1k views

How can I connect a 120V compressor to a 3 phase WYE 208 electrical system?

I have 4 cables from a power supply which are 3 phase WYE 208 volt. so if I measure between neutral and hot I get 120V. The problem is that I need to hook up a compressor for 110V single phase (just ...
6
votes
1answer
14k views

Is there a length limit on grounding conductor to ground rod?

My service panel is over a concrete patio, it was improperly grounded in the crawlspace. I cannot drive a proper ground rod in the crawlspace so I would like to drive one into the earth on the side ...
4
votes
1answer
6k views

How many ground rods are required for panel and subpanel?

I have a main service panel with two breakers: the main service breaker and a single large breaker to another subpanel in the same structure. All other circuits are serviced from the subpanel. My ...
3
votes
1answer
2k 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?
2
votes
0answers
669 views

How can I wire a bathroom light switch which has an outlet, exhaust fan, and vanity light all from same junction box?

Trying to wire the bathroom light switch, but vanity light will not come back on. There are two wires, black and red, plus a ground wire that wasn't hooked to anything originally just touching the ...
7
votes
2answers
3k views

How can two different breakers both turn off the same circuit?

I have a 40 yr old home with circuit breakers. While looking for the breaker to turn off a circuit (I was replacing a light switch), I found that two breakers, on the same side of the bus, but ...
4
votes
3answers
20k views

Can my generator power my deep well water pump?

I have a 120/240 volt generator with an output of 3250 watts peaking at 3750. I want to be able to power my well water pump but I'm getting conflicting answers on whether this generator packs enough ...
7
votes
2answers
168k views

What wire gauge do I need for a 100 Amp subpanel at the end of a 60' wire run?

I am adding an attached garage to my house. I'm going to be putting in a 100 Amp subpanel which is about 60 feet away and run through the basement joists. What gauge wire do you recommend for ...
2
votes
1answer
208 views

How do I wire a switch to a fixture that is served by wires in an iron pipe?

I have wall sconces similar to the one pictured below in my apartment: The only difference between this and the picture is in addition to containing the switch, there is a power outlet in the ...
3
votes
2answers
6k 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?
2
votes
1answer
772 views

Can I use 16ga wire to complete a 150W landscape lighting circuit?

I am installing some landscape lighting. The kit came with 14 AWG wire. I have 10 lights at 11 watts apiece and a 150 Watt power pack. I need a few extra feet of wire and have some 16 AWG laying ...
1
vote
7answers
4k views

Can a NEMA 6-15 Device be connected to a NEMA 6-20 receptacle?

I have a new -80 deep freezer that calls for NEMA 6-15R receptacle, but the old one it is replacing called for a NEMA 6-20. I note that the plug actually seems to fit in the 6-20, but is there a ...
3
votes
3answers
4k views

Can I attach the main ground from my service panel to the old steel water main in my house?

My current main ground is improperly connected to the water line in my house and I am planning on changing it this week. It is "connected" to (read: formerly soldered, now kind-of-sort-of laying on) a ...
0
votes
5answers
1k views

How can I connect a timer to my bathroom exhaust fan?

I have a bathroom fan, but it only runs when the light is on (i.e. no delay). The fan itself is really good, but it should really run on after (I think this might be part of the Building Regulations ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

Why do my lights dim, when my neighbor's central AC turns on?

I understand that the lights would dim with a dryer or large AC on my own circuit system, but is it normal for that to happen when my neighbor's central AC turns on? I validated the timing (hearing ...
4
votes
5answers
449 views

How would I wire a thermal circuit breaker and switch together?

I want to wire a circuit breaker and switch to a GFCI and some other outlets. This is for power outlets on a work bench. Something like: I have this for a circuit breaker: and this for a switch: ...
2
votes
1answer
777 views

Can I run an unrelated electrical cable under a bathtub?

I have an older house with a mixture of grounded and ungrounded outlets. Every room has at least one grounded outlet in it, except one. I've long wanted to run a new cable to that room and at least ...
1
vote
2answers
9k views

Why isn't my GFCI receptacle working?

I am installing a GFCI outlet and I am having some issues. I have identified the hot and neutral wires. They test positive with the voltmeter when I turn on the switch. I connect the receptacle to ...
1
vote
1answer
343 views

Why aren't my motion detector lights working?

I have 4 motion sensing lights on 4 corners of my home and only one works and the other three do not light-up when I walk by... what might be the problem? Here is an attached picture to show the ...
4
votes
2answers
274 views

How can I recess an electrical outlet that protrudes from a glass mosaic tile wall?

The electrical outlet in my newly installed glass mosaic tile backsplash protrudes. How can I recess it without damaging the glass tile? It is a wall switch that runs to my disposal.
0
votes
1answer
264 views

Should I reorganize the main service panel when adding a subpanel?

I am currently in need of a new 240V circuit for a welder in the garage but my main breaker is full. Adding a subpanel seems to be the only solution that would be to code, but I have a couple ...