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

1
vote
2answers
4k views

Why is my fuse board buzzing when I'm using the shower?

I have used an electric shower for years no problems, but all of a sudden my fuse board started buzzing when I use the shower. I replaced the shower with the same size unit and it still makes a ...
2
votes
1answer
542 views

Why does half the house go out when a single breaker trips?

The breaker box at my brother's house is well marked and balanced except when a breaker is tripped half the house goes out. I'm currently living on the third floor of his house. When I turned on a ...
144
votes
2answers
19k views

What is the purpose of these holes on my wire stripper?

I have been using this wire stripper for a while, but I have always wondered what was the purpose of those holes in the center and above LOOP, and those teeth on the handles.
4
votes
4answers
27k views

Can I safely ground a light fixture if the ceiling box has two hot and one neutral wire (no ground wire)

Checking for dupes, I saw this question, but the situation appears different as my box is metal, among other things. I'm fairly new to electrical projects, so bear with me. I recently installed a new ...
0
votes
1answer
846 views

What could have caused CFL bulbs to glow during a power outage?

Recently during a storm, I lost power to my whole house. For ~30-60 seconds after losing power, 3-4 CFL bulbs continued to glow faintly. The bulbs were on different circuits, and legs of the ...
4
votes
3answers
421 views

Can I use the tabs to chain 15A outlets on a 20A circuit?

When wiring 15A-rated outlet receptacles on a 20A circuit, is it acceptable to use the tabs & screws to chain the circuit from one outlet to the next? My instinct to overengineer says to use ...
2
votes
3answers
7k views

How can I replace a 4-way mechanical switch with occupancy sensor(s)?

There is a stairwell in our house, which is currently lit by a fixture controlled by three switches: a 4-way and two 3-ways. The wiring was done very recently and, I'm certain, in accordance to modern ...
7
votes
3answers
8k views

Is it OK to have a 20 Amp receptacle on a circuit with 12 AWG wiring and a 15 Amp breaker?

I have a hypothetical question: If you have a 15 Amp breaker connected to a 20 Amp T type outlet with (20 Amp) 12 AWG wire, is it within code, below code, or above code, where code means the National ...
2
votes
3answers
2k views

What model circuit breaker is this?

I live in an old 50 + year old house and it still has the original circuit breakers. I am trying to search for one that died, but don't know the model or even if they make these anymore. If any ...
3
votes
3answers
843 views

Do I need to plug my snow thrower to GFCI outlet?

I bought a snow thrower with 13.5A power. One area of my house is close to a GFCI outlet but the other side of the house is not. It's just a regular outlet. So I am not sure it can be safe to use with ...
0
votes
2answers
689 views

How can I get my ceiling fan lights working again?

After my light kit on my hunter type 2 fan stopped working I determined there is power entering this device (white wire) but none exiting it (pink wire). The pink wire runs to the pull chain for the ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

How do I get my fluorescent 4-tube under-cabinet lights to come on reliably?

How do I get my fluorescent 4-tube under-cabinet lights to come on reliably? When they have been on a while and just been turned off they will reliably come on again immediately with no flicker. ...
0
votes
1answer
457 views

Why won't my new Craftsman garage door opener power on?

I installed a new Craftsman garage door opener by following the instruction booklet it came with, but after the installation was done and I plunged it in the outlet nothing will power up. Nothing lit ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

Is it possible to boost an electrical circuit for more current draw?

In my attic I have a relatively decent electrical circuit that runs a family room with a modest entertainment system, a home office with a monster PC, and a couple of ceiling lights. I've never had ...
6
votes
7answers
332 views

Projects to Pursue while Studs are Bare?

I'm stripping my small 950 sq. ft. 1950's-era home to the studs -- walls and ceiling -- so that I can install a vapor barrier and insulation in the walls and ceiling. While I have the studs available ...
0
votes
1answer
75 views

How can I adjust my dimmers to work the way I want?

I have SmartLabs dimmers #2476d in my house and some will turn on all the way on a single tap while other turn half way and then when tap second time they go all the way. Any idea how I can ...
3
votes
4answers
6k views

Lights lowering in the kitchen when turning on microwave oven: symptom of an unstable electric environment?

Is it normal for my kitchen lights to lower their intensity for a second when I'm starting my microwave oven? Is it a symptom of a bad/particularly unstable power environment? The reason I am asking ...
2
votes
1answer
756 views

How can I replace these light switches?

I am trying to change a couple of switches which are in the same junction box. They control the light on my deck and the flood lights on the corners of the house. I took out the first switch - it ...
3
votes
3answers
19k views

Can I share the neutral in 12/3 cable between two GFI circuits with different current ratings?

I think I know the answer to this question however I have been known to be wrong before! I am using GFI breakers to protect multi outlet circuits. One is 15 amp and the other is 20 amp. I realized ...
4
votes
2answers
106k views

How should I connect the ground wire for my light fixture?

I am replacing a light fixture in my bathroom and have the following setup: The electrical box is plastic The wire coming from supply has black (hot), white (neutral) and copper (ground). The light ...
19
votes
4answers
3k views

How can I get a wire that is outside a wall to be inside a wall

I recently removed an abominable drop ceiling from my dining room and found this close to the ceiling on the one side of the room. There is definitely a stud between these two holes. On the other ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

How can I safely remove an outlet from service?

I have an unwanted 240v outlet in my hallway, on the same circuit as my sewer pump. I pulled the cover and the box is an old work type. I noticed a junction box in this area of my crawlspace, so I ...
2
votes
1answer
143 views

Appropriate tool to remove wires in push wire

I have several switches that have the push wire in the back and I'm going to replace each one with new ones. However, nearly all of them are using the push wire technique and its deep. I have on a ...
-1
votes
1answer
82 views

Step up converter for TV and home cinema set [closed]

Soon I will move from Europe to Canada and I am planning to take my TV and home cinema set with me. TV is a Techwood (Samsung panel) LCD TV with the specs: On the back of the TV it says: 220V-240V ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

How do I wire a light fixture with two white wires to a ceiling box with three white wires?

I am trying to install a new light fixture. The ceiling mount has three white wires and one black one. The problem is that the fixture has two white wires and one black wire. They do not match up. ...
10
votes
3answers
38k views

Does it matter which 3-way switch I put a dimmer at on a 4-way circuit?

I was working a side job today and re-wired quite a few 3 and 4-way circuits. I have a good understanding on how each work, but when I hooked up a 3-way dimmer on a 4-way circuit, the light would ...
1
vote
1answer
953 views

Cool bulbs into a min 90C fixture with 60C wiring

I bought a light fixture that has a min 90°C warning. The wiring leading up to the fixture is NM (60°C wire). I was wondering if an easy workaround to this would be to install a newer, more ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

Could a disconnected ground wire in the breaker box have caused any problems?

A major home improvement company renovated the outside of our home. During the process the subcontractor jacked into our breaker box without permission and without the use of an electrician. After ...
-2
votes
1answer
8k views

Why does my pool pump keep tripping the breaker?

Please hang with me on this question and I hope I can explain it with enough detail to firgure out what is happening before hiring someone to come out and take a look. I am not getting enough power ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

What's the right connector for connecting #12 solid copper to #14 stranded?

Still working on installing my exhaust fan. It required a dedicated 20A circuit so I ran #12 copper. The wiring from the unit appears to be #14 stranded. It's also silver colored but I don't know if ...
15
votes
4answers
14k views

My house was hit by lightning. What should I do?

A huge thunderstorm passed by the other night and lightning hit the condo building I live in. The fire department came out and inspected the attic, and removed the antenna that was hit. Inside the ...
2
votes
3answers
2k views

Do I need to cut into my drywall to install a switch?

I'm looking to put a light in outside my house. The light is going to be positioned directly behind the outlet I have pictured below where the wires are sticking out. I want the switch to control ...
12
votes
5answers
16k views

Is “don't mix data and power cables” and “don't loop power cables” still valid nowadays?

There are two sayings I keep hearing when talking about wiring e.g. home cinema or computer hardware; Don't wrap data/network cables and power cables up in the same loop because the power cables ...
8
votes
2answers
4k views

What kind of electrical outlet is this, and how do I replace it?

I have an electrical outlet which hasn't been reliable (the bottom one doesn't always have power unless you jiggle the plug), so I want to change it. I've changed a few plain outlets, but I found ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Motion sensing light triggered by fan on the same circuit

I have an inexpensive motion sensing light on the outside of my house, which is on the same circuit as a 120V thermostatically controlled duct fan that pulls warm house air into the space (it's an ...
0
votes
1answer
213 views

Are there any issues with having a garage and a washer on the same circuit?

Background My project this weekend is to get my garage repowered so my tenant will be able to plug his car in during the winter months. When I bought my house it was recently renovated by house ...
1
vote
3answers
2k views

Should I be worried about this gap in electrical conduit?

Background My project this weekend is to get my garage repowered so my tenant will be able to plug his car in during the winter months. When I bought my house it was recently renovated by house ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

Why does my dusk to dawn light go off when the furnace kicks in?

My dusk to dawn light goes off whenever my furnace kicks in throughout the night. It obviously comes back on right away, but it takes a minute or so to be fully restored. What is the reason behind ...
3
votes
3answers
9k views

How can I determine why my lights are flickering?

I have a child at home who has learning difficulties. Sometimes she jumps up and down on the floor. Recently this has caused the downstairs living room light to flicker. Upstairs under the ...
3
votes
1answer
692 views

Two switches in same box, on different circuits

Is it acceptable by US NEC standards to have two switches in a double wall box that operate on entirely different circuits in a late 50's house?
5
votes
3answers
4k views

Is GFCI protection required for a dedicated exhaust fan circuit?

I'm considering installing an exhaust fan in my bathroom which includes light and heat, and requires a dedicated 20 amp circuit. Would this circuit need GFCI protection? The instructions for the unit ...
4
votes
2answers
10k views

How do I mount the new work electrical boxes with the nail-in flange?

I have to install several electrical boxes for outlets, switches, and fixtures before installing some drywall. The boxes I have look like this: The distance between the front of the mounting ...
-2
votes
1answer
95 views

Current flowing in to a house [closed]

How can I find out the maximum current that can flow in to my house?
2
votes
2answers
456 views

What do I need for new home electrical service?

I am bring new power into a new building site. The power company requires that I install a meter pedestal with a disconnect. I can do this myself or hire an electrician. Since there is no live ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Did I make a mistake with this fluorescent light installation?

I bought a fluorescent light fixture with 2 light bulbs. I wanted to test if the light bulbs where good before mounting the fixture to the ceiling. So I simply plugged the cable to a 120V outlet. I ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

How did I mess up this wiring?

I had to take down a ceiling light to remove an old wire while renovating. I eventually managed to wire everything up correctly, but I'm still puzzled by how I miswired it the first few times. I ...
0
votes
3answers
206 views

What could be wrong with this receptacle?

the power outlet where my tv was plugged in lost power all of a sudden. However, when I plug in a receptacle tester, the power goes back on but when I remove the receptacle tester, power goes off ...
1
vote
0answers
69 views

How to mount a flat screen TV above a fireplace? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How should I run wiring for my above-fireplace mounted TV? I have a flat screen TV on a wall mount that I'd like to move to the brick above the fireplace (which is only ...
5
votes
1answer
560 views

Can a single metal electrical box use two ground clips?

Inside a metal electrical box, can I use multiple ground clips (one for each conductor), or is it required that all ground conductors be twisted together and pigtailed into the same clip?
13
votes
1answer
2k views

What are the disadvantages of having electrical conduit penetrate my foundation below-grade?

I'm having an electrician wire a lamppost in the backyard. His initial proposal was to do something like this picture shows: (The diagram is from this article.) The conduit's rise from the ground ...