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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3
votes
2answers
685 views

Why does the breaker keep tripping on a circuit with two rooms' lights and a sewer pump?

I have a circuit-breaker that is connected to lights in two rooms, and to a sewer pump in the basement. I had the sewer cleaned out and the pump inspected, and no problems were detected. I then had ...
1
vote
1answer
11k views

Why would my kitchen ceiling fixture not have any current?

Last weekend, my kitchen ceiling fixture stopped working. It's a fluorescent fixture, and since the house is about 20 years old, I figured that ballast had gone bad. I went to the nearest home ...
5
votes
4answers
13k views

Why does my circuit breaker trip with any small load, even after replacing the breaker?

I have a 20A 240V GFCI breaker in my main breaker box going to a conduit to another breaker box outside. All worked well last summer. Now, when I put any load (weed-eater, light, etc.) on an outlet ...
6
votes
3answers
3k views

Is there a tool designed for holding multiple electrical wires together to keep them in place for wire nut?

I am trying to wire three hot wires together with a pigtail which means I need to twist four 14-gage wires into a nut (I am using a tan nut which I believe is suitable for this). The problem I'm ...
4
votes
1answer
652 views

Is it OK to have a GFCI downstream of a standard circuit?

I would like to extend a standard electrical circuit to the outside with a GFCI outlet. Can I install a GFCI downstream? This would be easier than running a new circuit back to the breaker panel.
5
votes
1answer
4k views

Can I use a 20 amp and a 15 amp breaker on one 12-3 wire split into 2 circuits with a common ground

Running from my house panel to my garage I currently have a 12-3 wire split into two circuits with a common ground, each circuit has a 15 amp breaker. I know 12 gauge wire can support a 20 amp but my ...
5
votes
3answers
9k views

Why is my lighting circuit tripping the breaker?

I have several MR16 2 pin style light bulbs in my kitchen - The other day the trip switch for the light bulbs tripped when turning these bulbs on - I went and flipped the trip switch and tried again ...
4
votes
3answers
499 views

What material to use to close a too wide wire tunnel?

During the cold days I noticed a little draft coming from the light switch next to my house door. Removing the switch revealed that the tunnel for the cables was widened to fit the cables for the ...
8
votes
1answer
9k views

How can I mount an 12V transformer for LED lighting inside a wall?

The stairs to my basement has one light fixture at the bottom, and that casts a shadow on the rest of the stairs. I want to run a strip of LED lights up the crown molding or on top of the upstairs ...
2
votes
4answers
17k views

Why does the circuit breaker for my bedroom continue to trip without any visible event after a power loss?

The 20A breaker for my bedroom will trip whenever we have a power outage at my house. If you reset it, it will trip again after an interval, say 5~10 seconds. The longer you wait to reset it, the ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Which is the bare wire in a 12-3 gauge cable?

What purpose does the bare wire in a 12-3 gauge cable serve?
3
votes
1answer
10k views

Why did my surge suppressor make a “pop” sound when I plugged something in?

I bought a surge-protecting power bar yesterday. It's a seven-outlet model, made by American Power Conversion Corp.; I found it at the thrift store for $4 second-hand. It appeared to be in decent ...
3
votes
2answers
18k views

Does it matter if I mix neutrals and grounds in the main panel?

Code question here. I do a lot of electrical and like to follow code exactly. I have done pretty much everything but hook up lines to main box. Taking a stab at it this time. First I see that I ...
1
vote
0answers
210 views

Can I convert my front intermediate light (with only 1 wire) to a junction box with live, neutral and ground wires?

I want to change my entire front light housing because it is old and uses an intermediate-base light bulb. The new one I have purchased has black, white and copper wires. The old one only has a wire ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

How do I remove a bolt that's stuck in a ceiling junction box?

I cannot get the bolt off the screw in a ceiling junction box. The junction box is damaged and I need to replace it to be able to put in a new one so I can rehang the ceiling fan. It's time for summer ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Do 240V receptacle use the same connectors as 120V receptacles for the same amperage?

I feel like I'm missing something obvious. I know different plug styles are used based on a circuit's amperage (in the US) but is the same style of plug used for both 110V and 220V outlets of the same ...
1
vote
1answer
20k views

Where do I attach the grounding conductor to my bedroom light fixture?

I have a problem, I broke the center piece that holds the glass part on my light fixture in my room. I purchased a replacement and removed the two screws holding my fixture on to the ceiling. Now I ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Why am I getting 20V from a light socket after changing the bulb?

I had a bulb burn out, and when I went to replace it, the new bulb didn't work. I put a multimeter on the socket to test it and I'm getting 20V instead of 120V. There are no other electrical problems ...
2
votes
1answer
23k views

How do I wire a 3 gang switch in my new bath?

I am putting a basement bath in and I need help. I will be adding a new 20 amp circuit for the single pole outlet. Also, a 20 amp line for a 3 switch box. Switch #1 is for the vanity light, #2 is for ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

How can I electrically test an RJ45 plug?

I live in a dorm and there's a RJ45 connector on the wall, which is connected to a router somewhere in the building (which I do not have access to). Supposing I do not know the exact hardware ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

How should I ground two switches in a handy box that were previously ungrounded?

I am replacing two light switches in my bathroom. One controls the light above the sink and the other controls the fan in the ceiling. When I took the old switches out, I saw that the three neutrals ...
3
votes
1answer
850 views

How do I string a low voltage wire between two buildings?

I need to get Cat6A to an outbuilding for network communication; underground is not an option. I think I have an idea on the method: grounded pillars with a guyline and the outdoor cable. What NEC ...
1
vote
2answers
316 views

Can CFL bulbs in a fixture with a dimmer switch damage old wiring?

Our wiring is not functioning now after using a CFL bulb in a dimmable light fixture. Is it possible that use of the CFL bulb could affect our old wiring? We may have to replace the wire leading to ...
2
votes
4answers
17k views

How can I stop this GFCI receptacle from tripping?

In my garage I have two wall receptacles on opposite sides of the garage. On one side the receptacle is a GFCI receptacle and the other side is a normal one. In the normal receptacle I have a small ...
0
votes
0answers
277 views

Why did my ceiling light fixture stop working after adding an outlet on the same circuit?

I recently added a receptacle for hanging my TV on the wall. To do it I fished a wire through the wall and attached wires to an existing receptacle that's at a lower level on the same wall. This is ...
1
vote
1answer
127 views

Plug HRV (Constructo 2.0 ES) into power bar?

Would there be any issues if I plugged this HRV into a power bar? I have this unit (says 200 watts of power) which is in the closet of the master bedroom and plugged directly into a wall socket. I ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

How can I install a pendant light fixture on a cathedral ceiling with no attic space?

My house has an integrated ceiling/roof with exposed rafters... the ceiling/roof is sloped and surfaced with V-edged 2" redwood boards over 4x6 rafters 4' on center. I want to hang a pendant light ...
1
vote
0answers
565 views

Where can I connect the ground wire when replacing my oven heating element?

My old heating element finally burned out and had to be replaced. That element is not made anymore, but an appliance store gave me the part # for a replacement that works for that oven. I took out ...
10
votes
3answers
11k views

Can I use two wire nuts instead of one to connect 6 wires inside a 3-gang box?

Is it considered acceptable practice to use two wirenuts in a situation where it is possible to use only one but may be easier to use two? I have a three-gang box with six cables coming into it. The ...
2
votes
4answers
5k views

How can I install an electrical panel when the stud cavity is too narrow?

I am installing a sub panel in my garage and ran into a problem. I have the usual 14" of space in the stud cavity but the problem is that the subpanel I bought is 14 1/4" wide. I'm wondering what ...
2
votes
1answer
532 views

Can I upgrade my garage to 20amp service without a headache?

I have an unfinished garage which I am looking to upgrade the service to. Currently it is 15amps running through some difficult to access sub-ground conduit, but if I run the band saw plus the ...
0
votes
1answer
178 views

How can I add a relay to the manual control for my HVAC unit?

I have a self standing HVAC unit that has a control panel with manual buttons. There is no thermostat. Eventually my goal is to create a relay that can be controlled via IR/RF so I can install a Nest ...
-1
votes
2answers
426 views

How can I add lighting in my bedrooms without too many visible wires?

I will be moving in to my new house in 2 months. My wife and I thought that we might not need ceiling lights, and that our builder charged too much for the lights anyway. We did not order any ceiling ...
3
votes
4answers
11k views

Why am I getting 50V at a light when the switch is off?

I am trying to put in a switch and a light it controls in a storage building and this is how I wired it. Click for larger view When I checked the wiring it registered 120V when the switch was on, ...
3
votes
1answer
225 views

How do I install a bathroom exhaust system?

We are set to close on our house in about three weeks and one of the problems that the inspector noted was that the vent in the guest bath vents into the attic (never going outside) and the master ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Why is my electric water heater making an intermittent groaning noise?

My 8 year old electric water heater started to make a strange rattling noise a couple of weeks ago. The noise happens at random and lasts for only a few minutes. Short bursts of noise about a minute ...
-1
votes
1answer
3k views

What wires do I need to run to my wall mounted tv?

I'm in the planning stages of a home theater setup. What do I need to run to the tv so I can hook up various components? I planned on running power, HDMI cables, RCA cables, coax, and an ethernet ...
2
votes
2answers
223 views

Do z-wave products suffer any limitations in the UK because of radio limits?

I'm looking into home automation and I think I'm settling on z-wave as my choice. however, I was slightly worried by this comment on wikipedia; In Europe, the 868 MHz band has a 1% duty cycle ...
5
votes
5answers
24k views

Can I cover junction boxes in the attic with insulation?

This may be a duplicate of What are the codes for electrical wiring in attics? I have an attic which is accessible via a ladder through an access panel in the garage and in a bedroom. The trusses ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

How does one typically do “Old Work” with metal junction boxes?

I am trying to add a light fixture to a room. I have access to the studs in the wall (new wall being added to the room), but the ceiling is drywalled. There is no attic access. Unfortunately, the ...
2
votes
2answers
17k views

Why do the lights on my newly installed ceiling fan flick on and then off immediately?

We just installed our new ceiling fan with lights. The fan works fine but the light will flick on and then off again immediately. We took it back down and reinstalled it, ensuring that all wires were ...
2
votes
4answers
129 views

What's a simple solution to have 2 NEMA 14-30 receptacles and switch power between them?

Currently I have a NEMA 14-30 receptacle for the dryer. I'm wondering is it possible to split one receptacle into 2 NEMA 14-30 receptacles and install a switch to select which receptacle to use when ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

Why isn't my thermostat clicking on/off automatically?

My thermostat is not clicking on/off automatically, I have called my landlord and they replaced a very old one with a brand new one and it is still not clicking on off automatically, but will ...
2
votes
1answer
772 views

Why am I only getting 92V at receptacles?

There are about 5 or 6 receptacles in 2 rooms that all stopped working at once. We were getting a reading of about 92V and it's a 120V circuit. We changed out the receptacles but still the same ...
1
vote
2answers
125 views

Is it practical to install a second water heater near my kitchen?

My bathroom and my kitchen are very far apart in my house. The original water heater is in the bathroom. Is it practical to install a second water heater (small) near the kitchen so that it runs (the ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

How can I wire this dimmer switch?

I'm trying to put a light and a dimmer switch together for use in a chicken brooder. I have the switch and porcelain light socket but am a bit confused on the wiring diagram. My diagram looks exactly ...
-5
votes
1answer
876 views

How can I immerse a light bulb in water? [closed]

I have a transparent wine glass which I want to be filled with colored water and then place a light bulb immersed in the water so that when I switch on the bulb the wine glass emits the color of the ...
4
votes
2answers
947 views

Is there any NEC code requirement for how far off the floor Category 5 wiring must be run?

I am currently running conduit for Cat5e cable in the home office I am finishing off. Are there any rules in the code for how far off the floor Category 5 wires in conduit must be run?
9
votes
3answers
10k 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
312 views

What would happen if I went over the wattage limit specified by my path lights?

I have a set of path lights that specify 5 watt maximum for replacement. What happens if I put a higher wattage bulb in there? Can it burn my system up or cause a fire?