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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5
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5answers
1k views

What is a good tutorial on the use of a multimeter?

I am ashamed to admit, that despite my many electrical (mis?)adventures.. I have no idea how to use a multimeter. I have installed automobile sound systems, central air air-conditioners, and every ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

How can I get recessed lighting on a middle floor? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How do I install uninsulated halogen can lights? I would like to install some recessed lights in my living room. I've done this sort of job in houses with an attic ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

Are there any differences in the quality of products sold at contractor's supply store vs. big box hardware stores?

We are in the early stages of building a new house & went shopping for lighting fixtures yesterday. We get an allowance from the builder which we know will be used up very quickly after visiting ...
2
votes
2answers
25k views

How can I separate a light switch to power two different devices?

My house had an addition after it was built - a covered porch which includes a lit ceiling fan. I very recently screened in said porch and love it out there. When the initial addition was put on, ...
2
votes
1answer
284 views

How to move a garage opener switch and minimize damage to sheetrock

The garage opener was installed a couple feet away from the door which makes it awkward to trigger in enough situations that I finally just (temporarily) nailed it over next to the doorway. But I ...
4
votes
2answers
3k views

What are the current and voltage limits when determining low vs. high voltage wiring?

I'm trying to figure out what is considered a power line( for outlets) and data communication line. What are the qualifying factors here. I know outlets have 120V AC at 60Hz and data lines have ...
17
votes
7answers
6k views

Is there a lifetime failure count for a breaker?

I have an external cutoff for my air conditioner that has two physical fuses (TR-50's, time delay 50 amps) outside. This is between the condenser unit and the main power panel, where it is protected ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

How can I add 100 amp electrical service to a shop?

I am going to wire my shop and want ot run #2 copper to a 100amp breaker panel. I really do not have the space in the 200 amp panel in the house, my question - is there a way to pull this wire off the ...
5
votes
1answer
3k views

Can I connect two load lines to a GFCI receptacle?

I just bought a leviton GFCI and the instructions say if there are two load lines in the box, do not connect the GFCI in that box. I can't understand why this is a problem, especially since the ...
2
votes
1answer
5k views

How can I add a “C” common wire to this system? [duplicate]

I would like to add a "C" / Common wire hookup to my hvac system and get a fancy new thermostat. I've read Options for adding "C" wire to thermostat and still have some questions. First of ...
2
votes
1answer
947 views

How can I attach cable clips to an outside wall?

I have plenty of cable clips that work great indoors, but I want to attach a cable to an outside pebbledash wall. The existing cable clips, which have broken, appear to have been nailed into some kind ...
2
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1answer
1k views

How do I appropriately/safely connect multiple power tools to a 20-amp outlet?

I've got a collection of power tools in my garage, most of which are connected to a 15-amp circuit, that is also shared with all the exterior power outlets. So, if I'm using the mitre saw, tablesaw, ...
8
votes
3answers
196k views

How to connect multiple light fixtures to one switch?

I am remodeling my basement, currently I have 5 light fixtures and each one has its own switch. I would like to make it so when I turn on the switch at the bottom of the stairs all the lights turn ...
9
votes
2answers
8k views

How can I add a circuit breaker when there are no openings available in the neutral bus bar?

I'm trying to add a 20 amp circuit breaker into my existing main panel. The main panel has one vacant slot to put the breaker, but the neutral and ground bars have no more vacant slots. My question is ...
6
votes
1answer
6k views

Which exterior outlet cover is required by NEC?

There are two types of outlet covers used on external outlets. The first type is for damp locations that covers the outlet when it's not in use: And the second type is for wet locations that allow ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

What else should I check when troubleshooting a light fixture?

Yesterday the fiance was in the kitchen and complained that one of the lights (three separate single bulb lights on the same switch that hang over our island) stopped working. Had worked fine earlier ...
5
votes
4answers
9k views

How can I make outlet wall plates mount flush after removing wood paneling?

I recently removed some old wood panelling in my basement that was up against drywall. I refinished the walls and painted but now the outlet covers don't mount flush against the wall anymore because ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

How do I replace 4 GFCI receptacles on the same circuit?

The first GFCI has not worked in years. Today a hair dryer quit, and the remaining 3 GFCIs are not working. Replaced the first one and it seemed to be working properly. Went to the last in the series; ...
4
votes
4answers
37k views

Can I share a 240V outlet between two devices?

I have a single 50 amp 240 volt outlet. However, I've been using both my dryer and a welder on this same outlet, both have 3-prong (10-50P) plugs. It can be difficult to plug and unplug cords from ...
6
votes
7answers
108k views

How to detect whether there is a signal on TV cable

I'm not receiving TV in my room and the cable guy has determined that there is no signal on my coax outlet in the wall. There is a signal in other rooms, so there must be a broken or disconnected ...
4
votes
4answers
5k views

Do you know any switches which turns on/off based on day light?

I am looking for having some sensor based switches which will turn on/off the lights based on the light conditions during the day (i.e. turn on when there is less light and turn off when there is more ...
4
votes
3answers
16k views

How to replace 12v halogen under cabinet lighting with LED lighting from scratch?

Somebody initially wired up six 12 vac 10 w halogen bulbs under my kitchen cabinet, wiring them in parallel. The 12 vac power supply was putting off a lot of heat, and within a day or two appeared to ...
11
votes
2answers
2k views

Can I use old abandoned iron pipe as electrical conduit?

I have an older house (1920) and I have been planning on doing some rewiring to get rid of some k + t stuff. Anyway, I just noticed today that there are some irons pipes that used to be part of the ...
4
votes
3answers
4k views

Can I plug an air conditioner and a chest freezer into the same outlet?

I have a Gibson/Frigidaire through the wall AC unit plugged into a dedicated 3-prong outlet in my a room of my apartment. I'd like to put a chest freezer in my office for homebrewed beer. Is it safe ...
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0answers
50 views

Do they make AC power meters that measures average, min and max watts used? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is there a wall outlet power meter that I can interface with from a computer? Is anyone familiar with an AC power meter that I can get the min, max and average watts ...
4
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2answers
7k views

Why does the outlet short out when I turn on the garbage disposal?

Okay, when I first moved into the house, everything worked fine. After about a year, my garbage disposal stopped working. I thought maybe it was jammed but the blades still move when I turn the hex ...
2
votes
5answers
22k views

How do I wire an old furnace motor so I can use it as a garage exhaust fan?

Since last I posted, I moved WAY south (lil warm down here) and the house I moved into was a foreclosure so a few things needed done, namely the AC and furnace. When the guy did the job he said he ...
4
votes
3answers
21k views

How do I replace a GFCI receptacle in my bathroom?

we're remodeling our bathroom and were simply looking to switch out 20 year old light almond outlets and light switches for white. While I thought this would be easy I've run into a problem with the ...
1
vote
1answer
5k views

Do I have to staple romex to the studs behind the wall? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Do I really have to fasten interior-wall electrical wire to a stud to keep it from moving? I have some plaster walls in my house and I am attempting to add an outlet to ...
4
votes
2answers
8k views

How do I wire a two tube ballast to a single tube fixture?

I am replacing a ballast for a single tube. The new ballast I purchased is designed for two tubes but states that it is also compatible with a single (more powerful) tube corresponding exactly to what ...
10
votes
5answers
12k views

Why would there be a 50 amp plug on a 30 amp appliance?

I have an old conveyor dryer, which my office purchased used some time ago, just sitting in storage. The dryer is for silk screen t-shirts and has a large heating element and a variable speed conveyor ...
7
votes
1answer
3k views

What is the difference between an electronic and a magnetic ballast?

The ballast in my bathroom burned out (brand new bulb won't light up). Looking online, it seems that there are two different types of ballasts: electronic and magnetic. I recently replaced my ...
2
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2answers
295 views

Ok to use 3 wire to wire pairs of lights, for pairs of dimmers?

I have a room with 9 pairs of halogen lights, currently all wired to one switch, and one circuit. So 18 total lights, with pairs sharing appropriate boxes. This might actually be more then is allowed ...
1
vote
4answers
11k views

Is it alright that I did not turn off the power while installing my thermostat?

I just installed the Nest thermostat, I forgot to turn the breaker off everything seems to be working fine. Is it safe to assume it is ok?
13
votes
3answers
7k views

Is there a device that will allow a bathroom fan to run for 5 minutes after it is switched off?

There is one switch that controls the lights and fan in the bathroom. Users turn the light/fan on when they enter, and off when they leave. I'd like for the bathroom fan to run for a time after they ...
2
votes
1answer
3k views

Which color wire do I connect the switch to on a power cord?

I am trying to add an on/off switch to a power cord. i opened up the cord and there is a black and white wires in there. I know that the switch will work on either one, but is there a better wire to ...
1
vote
1answer
422 views

How do I connect a lamp wire to an actual circuit?

I've got an old lamp that we want to use as an overhead light fixture, which has lamp wire coming out of it. Currently, that wire terminates in the outlet prongs, but I intend to cut those off. The ...
8
votes
4answers
10k views

Is an LED light strip safe to use under a bed?

I see a lot of RGB LED light strips being sold on sites like Amazon etc. The lights appear to be of decent quality, run off of 12V but do need up to 5-6 Amps to power. This is a lot of current, so ...
0
votes
0answers
730 views

Is it possible to retrofit an external kitchen fan in an existing house?

I have a 2-storey half duplex that was built in 2008. The kitchen (1st floor) has a range hood fan that exhausts to the side of the house through 8" aluminum duct. The outside vent is not directly ...
5
votes
3answers
37k views

What kind of gloves do I need for working around electrical wires?

What kind of gloves could I wear before manipulating electric wires if I really want to be safe even after having turned off house electricity? And where to buy them?
7
votes
3answers
4k views

What should I do about a receptacle with 2 circuits going through it where white wires are hot?

I have a receptacle that has 3 white wires and 1 black. The black wire is hot and 2 of the white wires are hot but on a separate circuit than the black one (2 bedroom's outlets on separate circuits ...
3
votes
3answers
17k views

How can I attach modern fixture to knob & tube wiring?

I have a modern external light fixture that needs to be attached to an existing exterior electrical 'box'. The older parts of the house have knob & tube wiring and there is evidence of gas ...
3
votes
5answers
34k views

How much less power does a three-phase air conditioning unit use than a one phase unit?

I'm planning to install a 5 ton central AC. I'm deciding between a condensing unit that runs on 220V and a costlier unit that runs on 207Y three-phase. My understanding is that three-phase motors use ...
2
votes
2answers
454 views

How much current should I expect this motor to draw when it's running steadily?

This fan lists its "Max. Amperage" as 3.2. I assume the motor draws that much when it's first turning on, then settles down to some lower current. How much current should I expect it to draw when ...
5
votes
1answer
4k views

How do I install electrical through existing stucco (e.g. “old work”)

Is there such a thing as an "old work" stucco junction box? Rather than cutting and flashing a 4" hole for a new junction box, can I cut a 1/2 hole for the non-metallic cable, and attach some sort of ...
3
votes
1answer
711 views

What is the labeling scheme on these outlets?

This is in a hotel, where there are obviously many, many circuits to manage. Can we tell what information is encoded in these labels?
7
votes
1answer
1k views

How much drywall should I cut to re-route some wires?

I am just looking for advice on how much drywall to cut to move some wires. There's a wire in the ceiling that has incoming power, and a switched leg for the light in the entry way, and another ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

How do I determine if adding an air conditioner will overload a circuit?

I'm going to take advantage of some Memorial Day sales and pull the trigger on a portable AC unit for my "basement-ish" (bottom of windowsill is mid chest, rather than head height) apartment. Before ...
5
votes
4answers
76k views

How do I connect a dryer with a four prong plug to a three prong socket?

I've just moved house and my clothes dryer has a four prong plug but on the wall there's a three prong socket. Do adapters exist for this? Or do I need to get a new cord for my dryer? Or is there ...
3
votes
1answer
326 views

What is the best way to wire a Cooper E-Z Wire recptacle?

I'm looking at replacing a few outlets that are old and loosely hold in plugs now. They are 15a 125v as is the wiring and breakers. I bought several Cooper E-Z Wire outlets and I am now trying to ...