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

8
votes
2answers
2k views

How can I ground old 2-prong receptacles? (120V)

I have several old receptacles that are 2-prong. There is armored cable running from the breaker panel to each receptacle. What do I need to do in order to install and properly ground new 3-prong ...
1
vote
0answers
790 views

Does a homeowner need a permit for electrical work in indianapolis [closed]

i have a 100 amp breaker box i want to replace with a lager 100 amp breaker box do i need a permit in the city of Indianapolis?
3
votes
1answer
513 views

What do I need to do to safely reconnect an A/C-powered smoke detector?

In an unfortunate incident, the plastic plug for one of my A/C-powered smoke detectors became detached from the wires coming out of the ceiling. My ceiling now looks like so (click for full size): ...
2
votes
1answer
4k views

Potterton EP3000 -> Horstmann C27 boiler programmer wiring

I'm in the UK, using an ancient tempermental Potterton EP3000 boiler programmer, but I have a brand new Horstmann C27 which I'd like to replace it with. Apart from the mains supply, there are three ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Should the tester start flickering when I touch my chandelier's top wiring cover?

(First time quiestion here, so correct me if something's wrong) I recently installed a lamp on the ceiling (a metallic chandelier). Two wires connected to the ceiling (one phase and one "zero"). The ...
3
votes
3answers
8k views

Troubleshooting of lamp which refuses to work after bulb change

The lamp on the ceiling of my living room consists of two bulbs. One of them recently got broke, so I removed it, checked it, and bought a similar one (60 W all of them). I fixed the new one, and now ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

Are there energy saving lamps which work with touch/electronic dimmers, timers, etc.?

Dimmable energy saving bulbs are usually labeled as "Use only with standard dimmers. Not to be used with touch dimmers, electronic dimmers, timers, ..." After reading ...
6
votes
1answer
9k views

How do airtight recessed lights compare to IC-rated ones?

I'm trying to figure out what recessed lights to purchase. The ceiling room has an attic directly above with insulation in between. It appears that IC-rated cans are necessary here, correct? How ...
4
votes
4answers
639 views

How can I wire an array of ceiling lights for easy reconfigurability?

I want to put in 16 new recessed lights (roughly a 4x4 grid), and I want to control them with two panels (one on each entrance to the room) of switches. But since we are constantly rearranging the ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

What are the “rules” for connecting different kinds mains electrical wires?

Aluminum wires can't be connected directly to copper wires - otherwise the contact spot overheats badly, such connections should only go through steel connectors. I was rather surprised when I found ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

How can I provide power to a dehumidifier in the bathroom?

I have an interior bathroom which has always been damp. I want to try and do something about it and am thinking of getting a wall mounted continuous flow dehumidifier and attaching the drain pipe ...
4
votes
1answer
601 views

Is there aluminum wiring in my vent fan?

I just purchased and installed a new Panasonic FV-10NLF1 inline exhaust fan. My house has copper wiring, but the wires on the fan appear to be aluminum (they are silver in color). I didn't think ...
5
votes
2answers
5k views

How do I extend electrical boxes 3 inches or more?

I am hanging a new wall using Genie Clips. After the clips, hat track, and two layers of drywall, we're talking about an added distance from the electrical boxes of over 3 inches. Quick research has ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

Should a generator transfer switch have continuity between all contacts in the “Gen” position?

I am finishing up installing my generator transfer switch today and I think I have a wiring problem... I have a six circuit transfer switch wired in with a power inlet box outside. Everything is ...
0
votes
1answer
434 views

How do I clean an oxidized steel terminal before attaching a wire to it?

I have to replace wiring in a power meter box in an apartment building. There're four really beefy wires running vertically through the whole building and each wire has a short stripped segment inside ...
5
votes
1answer
3k views

Was there a NEC Code Change that disallows 14 gauge wire in a residential receptacle?

I am thinking of remodeling my home. I have a bunch of 14 gauge THHN wire. A friend told me I can't use 14 gauge wire in a residential receptacle application. Has there a code change that would not ...
5
votes
3answers
4k views

What's the procedure for stripping wires with pliers?

In this answer to this question on stripping wires pliers are mentioned as a tool suitable for that job. I guess it can be done, but I feel quite paranoid about damaging the conductor which is made of ...
20
votes
10answers
23k views

Why are “Wire Nuts” not used in the UK?

I have never seen a wire nut used in the UK, but they seem to be very common in the USA, why?
3
votes
1answer
558 views

How reliable are connector strips with plug-in terminals and how do I select and use them properly?

Here's a close-up photo of a connector strip with plug-in terminals It's used for connecting 220 volt mains wires – you can see a bare metal wire coming in – that's 4mm2 aluminum wire. Each of the ...
3
votes
1answer
25k views

How can I add a single pole switch next to a 3-way switch?

I currently have a 3-way circuit in the family room. I would like to install a 2 gang box @ one of the switch locations and add a single pole switch to control an exterior light. Can I wire the single ...
14
votes
3answers
2k views

Can I safely use a switch rated for “1A at 125V” with 240V, assuming I stay below 125W?

I recently purchased a foot switch for a standing lamp. The switch is rated for 1A at 125V. I would like to use this switch with a low energy lamp (typically 10W or below) but with a 240V supply. Is ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

Wiring gas hob with electric ignition to mains

We are currently in the process of moving into our newly renovated house. The electrician has completely rewired the house, and the plastering has been done. Only when we went to install the oven and ...
12
votes
4answers
1k views

What is this 110/24V 60Hz transformer in the breaker room for?

My friend sent me a photograph of this transformer, which is installed above the main breaker panel, with leads running from the panel into the transformer. The stamped labels read PRI. Volts: 110 ...
4
votes
1answer
9k views

What are the requirements for wiring an unfinished garage with lights and outlets?

I found this DIY article online which suggests that running Romex along the center faces of studs and rafters was code compliant for unfinished garages. How to Wire a Garage The article is dated ...
5
votes
1answer
565 views

Replacing chandelier with new, No ground wire in old chandelier

I am replacing a chandelier with new one, No ground wire in old chandelier and my vaulted ceiling is at least 30 feet high. Can I just not connect the ground wire and coil it up so it is out of the ...
6
votes
1answer
31k views

How do I wire a GFCI/Switch Combo?

I'm replacing an old GFCI/Switch combo. In the old one there are two wires coming into the line side, a hot wire and a neutral. On the load side there is one wire leading up to the lighting fixture. ...
6
votes
1answer
328 views

How can I get my Self-Destruct switches to do something?

In my house, there were some confusing panels of that had lots of switches on them, so I bought a labeling machine and put labels over all the switches in the house. There are two blank switches next ...
1
vote
2answers
357 views

Using an induction hob through a wooden surface

I'm going to be getting a couple of induction hobs, but I am wanting them mounted underneath a thin (approx 5mm) piece of wood. Is this possible from the safety point of view and would I have a major ...
7
votes
2answers
3k views

How can I determine if my outlets can easily be grounded?

I'm not sure what to do here. I just moved into a building and my outlets are all 2 prong outlets. Here is what I know of for sure: All the outlets are 2 prong outlets The bathroom outlet has the ...
2
votes
4answers
8k views

How can I control a circuit breaker remotely?

We have a house in the country that largely sits abandoned. We have a large family, and we like to go visit for the weekends. When we leave the house, we turn off the circuit breakers to prevent high ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Term to describe two circuits run through one /3 cable

For example, I have a 12/3 cable in which the red and black wires are controlled via separate breakers. The 12/3 drops into a single-gang outlet, out of which runs a 12/2 to another room. Is there a ...
0
votes
1answer
290 views

How do I add a switch/light and two outlet from a single power source?

I have access to a hot line in the attic that I can cut and add a junction box to power a light through a switch as well as two outlets that are needed. How do I proceed?
2
votes
2answers
4k views

how can i find electric short from room to fuse box?

When I came home last night the wife was setting in the dark in the bedroom. Why are the two hall lights strobing I ask? She did not know, she took a nap and when she woke no power in the room. ok??? ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

How many fixtures can run off a transformer?

How many twenty watt fixtures can run off a 100 watt transformer? Is it less than five? What overhead involved?
2
votes
1answer
2k views

How do I detect and repair faulty wiring?

Recently, during a storm, an outdoor spotlight was broken in its socket, its internal wiring shorting out. The lights happen to be on a motion sensor, and in turn on switch, and a breaker at the ...
6
votes
6answers
12k views

Why are bulbs burning out quickly in newly installed light fixtures?

I installed five incandescent, recessed light fixtures in the cathedral ceiling of my living room. The fixtures are wired in parallel series (A connects to B connects to C ...). All the wiring is done ...
3
votes
2answers
3k views

How do I troubleshoot my generator and transfer switch installation?

I recently mounted a 10 circuit Transfer switch and attached about half of the wires to the electrical panel. After I start and plug in the generator, some of the circuits work fine (well pump, which ...
6
votes
1answer
3k views

How do I wire these dimmer switches? The current wiring is crazy

I've installed light switches in other parts of our house, but there is one pair of dimmers that mystifies me. One is a normal dimmer and one is supposed to be a three way dimmer, but the latter is ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

Can I use a socket conversion unit to split a washing machine socket in order to add a dishwasher?

Is it ok to use a socket conversion unit to split a washing machine socket into 2, so that we can use it for a dishwasher? The socket conversion unit is 13Amp and the switch above the kitchen worktop ...
8
votes
1answer
114k views

What wire gauge should I use with a 30 amp breaker for a 220V welder?

I am installing an outlet in my garage for a 220v mig welder. The welder specs call for 30A breaker. The outlet for the welder is only 2 feet from the garage sub panel. The wiring refernece charts ...
13
votes
4answers
3k views

Why is this box constantly tripping?

After some heavy rain in Cornwall electricity does not work in the barns. This trip box seems at fault, though it costs 100+GBP to replace it I'm told. Can anyone give me more information on what ...
3
votes
1answer
13k views

Why won't the bulbs light even when the fixture is has power?

We thought the bulb went out only to find that a new one did not work either. When i got out my tester, the fixture seemed to worked fine in relation to the switch...on/hot, off/not. But no matter ...
10
votes
4answers
3k views

Would running a new subpanel in parallel meet NEC requirements? If not, what should I do?

Background U.S.A. Voltages/power present. My house has a 125A Power Mains breaker at the street. A buried line runs from the street breaker to my main panel on exterior wall outside of house. The ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Is there a way to mark/label a special use switch?

I'm going to be rewiring my front porch light, and in the process I've decided to pull cable for a switched receptacle for Christmas lights. I'm going to install a 2 gang box for both switches ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

Why does my GFCI periodically trip, especially after a few days' rain?

I have a GFCI in my living room bath that controls a couple of lights in the basement and bedroom upstairs (weird, thats what it seems to control). Now, every 2 or 3 weeks or so, it seems to trip and ...
2
votes
1answer
411 views

Can I convert a European washing machine to work with a North American outlet?

I'm looking to hook up a European washing machine I got my hands on to either a standard North American outlet (unlikely) or a 220 V appliance outlet. Here's the info I have right now: 230V ...
0
votes
1answer
534 views

How to run electircal wire underground? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How do I run a wire underground to an outdoor post lamp? I need to run power to an automatic gate operator at the entrance to my driveway. I have 2 questions: 1) What ...
7
votes
1answer
20k views

Why doesn't my GFI receptacle reset?

I have a GFI receptacle in my kitchen that feeds four other receptacles. It tripped the other day and I cannot get it to reset. All of the other receptables on the circuit are not functioning which ...
6
votes
4answers
6k views

Does a grounding wire from a breaker panel to an outside grounding rod need to be in conduit?

I've got a breaker panel in my detached garage (it is not a sub-panel, but is a primary forked off just past the meter). The panel seems to be wired correctly- the neutral and ground bars are tied ...
2
votes
2answers
310 views

Can I use a GFCI on an ungrounded 2-wire circuit at the terminus?

I mistakenly ran 18ga twin lead through plastic conduit out to power 12 volt lights. Never hooked up. Now I want to power a .68 amp 120V pump on a water feature. Too many 90 degree elbows to be able ...