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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6
votes
9answers
22k views

How do I put a fluorescent light on a motion sensor?

I have a couple closets in my basement that I have outfitted with a fluorescent light attached to a motion sensor (this one). The idea was that when you open the closet door, the light comes on ...
2
votes
3answers
3k views

How do I replace a 3-way lamp socket so that it doesn't die after 6 months?

I've replaced the 3-way socket in a table lamp about 4 times in the past 6 years. Each time it works for 6 months or so, but eventually the secondary contact that touches the "ring" on the base of ...
0
votes
1answer
155 views

How to create an fast and easy dimmable lamp?

I want to connect this plug to this socket using this dimmer. I have AWG 16 wire... how would I do this? I have very little experience with electrical work
3
votes
4answers
976 views

Why is the amperage lower for higher wattage devices?

Can anyone explain how electrical amperage associates to device wattage? From what I understand amperage is the amount of electrical current running through the circuit (if I imaging the AC current as ...
3
votes
4answers
506 views

Buzz in my electronics

I bought a house that had a lot of fluorescent lighting installed. The kitchen has four fixtures with 2 42" bulbs each. The front bathroom has a fixture. The garage has 12 fixtures. The shed has 8 ...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

Can you do electrical work yourself in the UK?

I have been told that you are not allowed to do any electrical work yourself in the UK and need a qualifies sparkie to do it all. Is this true? What can you do yourself?
3
votes
4answers
6k views

How do I fix a ceiling fan that won't turn off?

I have a ceiling light/fan fixture in one of my rooms connected to a single electrical switch. There are two pullchains on the fixture, one that controls the light, the other controlling the fan. I'd ...
7
votes
2answers
6k views

How much should it cost to add a circuit breaker?

In this question, I asked about problems between my circuit breaker for a circuit shared by my microwave and sump pump. The conclusion was that another circuit should be added to support the microwave ...
5
votes
1answer
871 views

Do I need an electrician to install a whole house surge protector?

We have some pretty terrible storms and a pretty terrible power company where I live. We experience power surges quite often. So I'm interested in installing a whole-house surge protector. Is this ...
9
votes
4answers
11k views

Why does my microwave keep throwing the circuit breaker?

I have a circuit that powers several things in my house: Kitchen microwave Basement lights Basement sockets Sump pump Recently, this circuit has been thrown with alarming frequency when I use the ...
10
votes
4answers
1k views

How do I use three-prong appliances when my outlets are mostly two-prong?

I am living in a house where most electrical outlets are two prong. There are a smattering of three prong, in particular where an addition was put on. Am I hosed when it comes to where I can plug in ...
2
votes
2answers
6k views

How do I change the remote frequency options in my ceiling fan?

My Hampton Bay ceiling fan remote control is interfering with my neighbours. Inside the remote there are switches to adjust the remote frequency. Where in the fan do I make the corresponding ...
2
votes
2answers
490 views

Power keeps cutting out to hot tub

I have an outdoor Hydropool hot tub and have recently been having an issue with power. It seems that periodically a build up of 'gunk' (my technical term for it) builds up around one of the ...
5
votes
4answers
31k views

Can I use a 50 Hz device in a 60 Hz power frequency?

My mother in law just returned from Europe and brought me an espresso machine. It's rated 220v - 50 Hz (as written in the label), but the power system here is 220v - 60 Hz. Funny thing is that in the ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

What causes a partial blackout?

Last night, my neighborhood had a blackout, but for some reason, only half of the electrical circuits in my house went out. I was under the impression that there was only one main electrical feed ...
8
votes
5answers
16k views

What are the different gauges of electrical wire available?

What are the different gauges of electrical wire available for homes and how do you determine which gauge you should be using? If it helps, I'm wondering specifically about recommendations as I finish ...
3
votes
1answer
611 views

What is a smart switch?

I was looking at this question which mentions smart switches. What are they? What are there uses?
1
vote
1answer
580 views

How do I go about fixing an apartment buzzer?

My apartment's buzzer has stopped working. I can use the intercom and buzz people in but if someone presses the button outside I hear nothing. What's likely the problem here and how can I go about ...
36
votes
9answers
83k views

How do I run wires for a wall-mount flatscreen TV?

Like a lot of you, we have several wall-mounted LCD HDTVs in the house. The TVs have two wires -- power and HDMI -- running down the wall to the power outlet and cable box. I've historically been too ...
5
votes
0answers
325 views

What are the pros and cons of different types of smart switches on the UK market? [closed]

When putting in a new switch for a light, it is often less work to put in a smart switch than run the mains cables. However how do you choose the type of smart switch to use? See Also "What are ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

What are the pros and cons of different types of smart switches (that are on the US market) ?

When putting in a new switch for a light it is often less work to put in a smart switch than run the mains cables. However, how do you choose the type of smart switch to use? See also "What are ...
18
votes
8answers
21k views

What's the best way of replacing a plug or switch in a house with aluminum wiring?

My house has aluminum wiring, which from what I understand isn't recommended any more. How do I replace a plug or switch since the new unit only takes copper wiring?
9
votes
5answers
66k views

How do I add more circuit breakers once the breaker box is full?

My house was completely rewired by the previous owner. They tore out all the old knob-and-tube and replaced it with modern wiring. I definitely appreciate this, but unfortunately they left ...
5
votes
2answers
565 views

How do I wire a 3 way light switch?

Two way light switching is common, but how do I setup a 3 way system so the light can be controlled from 3 places?
6
votes
2answers
4k views

How does a 2 way light switch work?

A two way light switch allows the light to be controlled from two locations, how does this work?
2
votes
1answer
114 views

What are the building regulations in the UK for fitting a light in a bathroom?

What designs of lights are allowed? When do I need to get a building regulation inspection?
6
votes
1answer
4k views

What is a ring main?

What is a ring main and why are they used in the UK but not elsewhere?
12
votes
3answers
794 views

What is “knob and tube wiring”?

I assume this is some USA wiring system, am I right?
3
votes
2answers
5k views

What are the differences in the wiring standards between the USA and the UK?

There are lots of electrical questions that assume everyone is in the USA, so what is different for people that are in the UK?
3
votes
4answers
1k views

How do I make a lamp cord stick to drywall?

Because trying to fish electrical wire through the walls and ceilings of my old house was too daunting, I have resorted to using a lamp cord to power a ceiling-mounted light from an existing outlet on ...
8
votes
2answers
234 views

What is an Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter?

What is an Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter (AFCI) and where should they be used?
31
votes
9answers
19k views

Should old knob and tube wiring be replaced?

I have been doing some electrical work in my house and I noticed it has old knob and tube wiring that is still hot, should this be replaced as found or is it fine to just leave it? It seems really ...
15
votes
7answers
2k views

How do I safely replace a worn out electrical outlet?

I have a number of outlets that are old and worn out (plugs fall out of them mainly.) Obviously I need to turn off the breaker to replace them safely but any guidance on how to rewire them, how to ...