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
2answers
1k views

Can I use 22/4 wire instead of 20/2 wire?

My central vacuum system needs 20/2 stranded low voltage wire (24 volts I think). Can I use 22/4 wire and pair-up two each to equal or better 20/2? I could save some money by using surplus 22/4 ...
-2
votes
1answer
109 views

Ceiling wifi wiring help [closed]

I'm mounting wifi in hallway ceiling; I have 110v in attic and plan on running Cat6 from structured media closet to supply internet. How do I wire for portable hard drive wifi backup? I believe it ...
3
votes
1answer
337 views

How can I repair a damaged UF cable

I'm in the US, and have a run of UF cable serving floodlights along my driveway. It leaves the garage in a conduit, and reappears at each of 3 locations where a junction box about 12" above ground ...
2
votes
2answers
3k views

Is it safe to have a gas stove on the same circuit as a couple lights

I've always heard that stoves and ranges should be on their own circuit, but am not sure if that applies to only electric or both. We have a gas stove and I discovered recently that it is on the same ...
-1
votes
1answer
515 views

How do I wire 3 way switches?

For cosmetic reasons, I've been replacing the switches and outlets in my house (from beige to white). It's been going well until I ran into two 3-way switches in a hallway that turn off and on one ...
1
vote
3answers
1k views

Can I ground my workbench using an unused outlet's neutral?

I haven't found any advice on my specific predicament, so I'll ask here. First, some background. I just moved into a house with old electrical wiring (read: ungrounded outlets). Unfortunately, the ...
2
votes
1answer
995 views

Why is the light always on after replacing the light fitting?

I replaced the light fitting in our living room, which is controlled by a dimmable switch, and now the light is always on. When the dimmer is in the off position, the light is not very bright. When I ...
0
votes
5answers
6k views

How can I wire an exhaust fan to turn on from multiple locations?

I just bought a Panasonic FV-20NLF1 inline bath exhaust fan that I planned to used to exhaust 2 different bathrooms. I want each bathroom light switch to control the fan, so when the lighting turns ...
3
votes
4answers
5k views

How to wire MR16 LED lights?

I am building a wall cabinet with downlights in the shelves, for which I would like to use MR16 LEDs. However, my first attempt was obviously deficient, since two of the LEDs blew. I'd appreciate some ...
0
votes
2answers
7k views

How do I wire 3 way switches where the power comes in at the light?

Have a 3 way switch question about a garage I'm helping a local homeless shelter fix up. They have already installed some 3 way switches, wiring and places for 2 lights, but they aren't sure how to ...
9
votes
2answers
3k views

What type of connector is this and how do I remove it?

I was trying to install a ceiling fan in my apartment and came across these connectors when removing the light. What is this and how do I take it off?
4
votes
1answer
1k views

How should I connect my light fixture?

I'm installing a ceiling light to a fixture that was previously unused. However I'm having trouble because there are 2 groups of white wires. Which white wire should I connect with the white wire of ...
6
votes
1answer
728 views

Is it reasonable to create a 30amp branch circuit for the purpose of feeding the panel from a generator?

I recently purchased an 8kW generator (Briggs and Stratton). It has a 4-wire twist lock outlet that can handle 30 amps. Suppose I were to: Run a 10/3 NM cable from the panel in the basement out to ...
4
votes
2answers
18k views

Should light bulbs above showers be “steam proof”?

In replacing the lighting in my apartment with LED bulbs, I noticed that the recessed can lighting above the shower (to be fair, the light is centered on the shower curtain) does not appear to be ...
3
votes
1answer
388 views

Are four gang plastic boxes stackable in a wall?

I would even be willing to go side by side but I would like to stay with the four gang sizes. I am hoping this would pass code and would prefer to stack so if there is someone that knows if it is ...
1
vote
0answers
387 views

Is there something wrong with this 3-way lamp switch?

We have a floor lamp with a three-way combined switch and socket. I noticed arcing sounds when rotating the switch, so I disconnected it. Later I found that the "low" and "high" settings worked fine, ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

Is there a name for a duplex outlet that takes eight wires, plus ground?

In my home (built around 1970), I found a bizarre outlet when replacing the dated old ones. The front is your standard duplex, but on the back there are holes for 8 wires (4 hot, 4 neutral) plus the ...
0
votes
1answer
432 views

How do I replace a triple dimmer switch to a much smaller conventional switch?

Our kitchen lights are playing up, they're halogen spotlights controlled by a dimmer switch, and one by one they're either refusing to switch on, coming on if the dimmer is halfway on but off when ...
0
votes
2answers
365 views

Do I need a ground for a new 240 volt 20 amp circuit?

I ran a new 240 volt circuit to operate some motorized equipment. The equipment has a 3 prong grounded 240 volt plug. My source however doesn't have a grounding strip. Would it be better to not ...
7
votes
3answers
10k views

Does turning circuit breakers off cause wear?

A comment over on another SE got me thinking. With screw-in fuses, unscrewing it and then later screwing it back in causes negligible wear on either part of the installation. But what about modern ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

What should I use as a base for my wall mounted PC case?

Here is an example of what I am trying to put together: What material could I use as a base onto which I can mount the motherboard, hard-disk and other wiring?
3
votes
3answers
13k views

How can I replace failing ballasts in recessed CFL housings if I don't have access to the attic?

I have a set of recessed CFL (4-pin) lights and a few of the ballasts are failing (CFLs fail to start randomly, even after replacing them with new sets). They are NHPSIC-626ELAT, CFL (4-pin) ...
2
votes
1answer
320 views

AFCI breaker tripped when there was no power to wire

I was wiring a ceiling fan in my new home, and I am not used to working with some of the newer electrical devices. I know very little about AFCI breakers, however I think I was somehow able to trip ...
1
vote
2answers
940 views

Why does my electricity blow when I plug in my oven?

I have a Sauter (electric) oven that was working fine last week. It was unplugged for a few days. Now, when I try to plug it in, it blows the main electric fuse. This happens with all the dials turned ...
2
votes
2answers
5k views

How do I connect a timer to circuit box which controls our outside lights?

Currently our outdoor lights are being controlled by the circuit breaker in the box. We want to connect a timer to the circuit-breaker. There is a junction box with Black, White and a bare ground ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

What does the latch position of a circuit breaker mean?

I bought a new home in December 2011. After some time the kitchen lights and the lights in the living room started to switch off randomly. Some days it would happen 3-4 times in a row. Other days it ...
0
votes
1answer
456 views

Does the listed gauge on a crimp cap take into account that two wires would go in the same end?

What size of crimp cap be used for 16 AWG wire? I could use butt splice of size 22-18 AWG but prefer crimp cap connector where both wires go in the same end (so double the diameter). Should I buy ...
3
votes
2answers
10k views

What is the purpose of a double pole breaker for separate 15A circuits?

My new house is done being built and I am going to come in and install my new gas range and dishwasher, both 120V 15A appliances. I got thoroughly confused looking at the breaker box because gas ...
1
vote
1answer
509 views

What could be causing my GFCI to trip?

My Christmas lights keep tripping my GFI in the rain. I've got one of those Light Show boxes with 6 different sections of lights plugged into it. When I have all 6 sections plugged in, the GFI trips ...
2
votes
2answers
3k views

Is there anything I can do to make it easier to remove plugs from receptacles?

Is there anything I can do to make it easier to pull plug ins out of the wall sockets? All of the wall sockets in the kitchen make it very difficult to pull the plug in out of the wall receptacle. ...
-1
votes
1answer
219 views

What is going on with my three way switches?

I have a three way switch I can't figure out why or how it works. I want to disconnect one of the three way switches and relocate it. I disconnected the switch (within three feet of the panel) that ...
15
votes
6answers
3k views

Is it dangerous to run electrical cords through heating vents?

I'm living in an old apartment, and my roommate has fed electrical cords through a heating vent from the living room into the bathroom, up to a power bar on the side of the sink. I see this as a ...
7
votes
2answers
14k views

AC/DC adapters making strange buzzing crackling noise in all house, what causes it?

Yesterday all of my AC/DC power supplies began making strange buzzing, crackling noise (quickly and intermittently repeated pops). First I thought that my computer's power supply is dying. So I ...
4
votes
3answers
48k views

Is a ground required when replacing an old single pole single throw switch?

I need to replace a switch that controls a single light source in a bathroom. The switch has two wires connected to it. I bought a replacement switch that has two screws (one for each wire), and a ...
10
votes
1answer
22k views

Can I add a standard receptacle on a GFCI circuit

So, I want to add a receptacle in the bathroom (I tend to run out of batteries on my phone while crapping at the end of the day). There's a GFCI outlet on the other side of the crapper wall that ...
2
votes
4answers
8k views

What could I have done wrong while changing to LED bulbs in my recessed lighting?

I have six recessed lights in the kitchen. I bought six new LED bulbs to replace the old incandescents. I had to lower the socket an inch or two along the track in the recessed fixture in order to get ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

How can I figure out why my breakers are tripping?

A few years ago, I installed a solid wood "pocket" sliding door for my workshop. It's on an exterior wall, so I had to add some thick sealing strips that keep the cold air from Wisconsin winters ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

How do I mount this non-standard wall plate to a completed drywall wall?

I have this But it only has what you see in that pic. I was told I needed the box thing to go behind it to mount it to in the wall. There is no hole in the wall right now, so how do I get this to ...
1
vote
2answers
804 views

Can you crimp a tubular lug without a crimper plier?

I want to use these lugs on my electrical installation, but I can only find pliers for up to 16 mm2 cables and the mains cables are 25 mm2. I found one store that carried pliers able to do up to 50 ...
4
votes
2answers
4k views

How can I replace a ceiling fan light pull chain?

I have removed the light assembly from beneath the fan. In doing so, the lights (three with pull chain ) fell and I failed to catch it before it pulled out some wires. The wires coming from the ...
3
votes
2answers
3k views

Can I put acoustical putty *inside* the electrical box rather than around the outside?

For soundproofing applications, they make acoustical putty that you put around the electrical box. However, what if you can't get behind the electrical box? In my case, I have a wall floating on hat ...
4
votes
2answers
169 views

Could I use a UPS to power my humidifier on an underrated breaker with a little trickery

I recently bought a house with really nice hardwood floors, but the builder didn't put any thought into installing a humidifier system. I'm now looking into my options and steam humidifiers seem to ...
1
vote
2answers
5k views

Can I modify 3 ampere table lamps to work on 5 ampere round pin plugs?

I have moved to a property with 5amp round sockets around the room. I want to remove the standard 3 pin plugs from my table lamps and re-wire them with the 5amp round pin plugs I have bought. This ...
2
votes
7answers
12k views

How can I run a coaxial cable into an existing single gang electrical outlet?

The cable outlet in my girlfriend's living room is in a strange place. She wants to move her TV to a different wall but the landlord doesn't want any new holes in the wall or floor. If the wall was ...
2
votes
1answer
5k views

How do I install a bathroom exhaust fan?

I need to know how to wire a bathroom fan with a light and night light. The wiring has a black/white red/white blue/white and green. The bathroom has a light switch for the light fixture over the ...
1
vote
1answer
3k views

How do I wire a new ceiling light with power to the ceiling and 3-way switches?

I'm trying to install a new light fixture in the front hall. Currently, the light is activated by 2 switches (on each end of hall). The NEW fixture has 1 black wire and 1 white wire. The ceiling wires ...
5
votes
6answers
59k views

How much energy will continuously running a furnace fan use?

We have a bi-level (tri-level? There's a small entry way and utility room, then an upstairs living area and master bedroom and a downstairs living area with bedrooms) in mid-Michigan. The downstairs ...
2
votes
2answers
421 views

Am I missing some obvious way to change this lightbulb?

I thought I'd be able to lift the plastic shade and angle it out of the trim, but it doesn't lift at all. It slides side-to-side a bit, but the flanges are large enough to keep it firmly behind the ...
4
votes
1answer
18k views

How to tell if a ceiling junction box is braced to hold the weight of a ceiling fan?

My new home is almost done being built, and one of the extras I asked for was for two of the rooms to have junction boxes in the ceiling suitable for hanging a ceiling fan in the future. The light ...
4
votes
2answers
13k views

How can I install a timer with three-way switches?

I currently have a set of lights controlled by two switches. I believe they are both three way switches, I know one of them is. I am trying to install a timer while keeping the three way switch ...