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. Posting photographs of wiring junctions or drawing a wiring diagram and posting ...

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5
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2answers
9k views

How can I replace multiple 3 way switches with motion sensors?

My tenants never turn the lights off in the stairwells of my 3 family house, so I'd like to replace all of the light switches with motion sensors. Here is a crude diagram of how this is set up now. ...
1
vote
2answers
761 views

Are CFLs available with mini candelabra bases? [closed]

Trying to replace a light bulb that has a mini candelabra base and want to replace this bulb with a CFL bulb but can't find any. Are CFLs available with mini candelabra bases?
5
votes
1answer
836 views

Do I need to attach a wire fished through a ceiling?

I have a finished basement and am mounting a flat-screen TV on the wall and I want to put an electrical box behind the TV. The two existing outlets are both two joists over and each separated with a ...
16
votes
4answers
130k views

What is a GFI outlet used for, and where should I install them?

What purpose does a GFI serve? Where should they be used?
4
votes
4answers
14k views

How to diagnose an electrified refrigerator frame?

Recently (or, perhaps, I recently noticed) my garage fridge started shocking me if I touch it in the wrong place. (A sampling of "wrong" places: the door hinge, a spot on the other corner where the ...
5
votes
3answers
6k views

Can I add four 20Amp circuits in a subpanel with a 10-3 feeder?

My garage has two 20 Amp circuits and an unused 10-3 w/ground connected to two 30 amp breakers. I want to use those unused wires for a subpanel but i'm not sure how big of a panel could I install? I ...
4
votes
2answers
925 views

Can I add a second circut using an existing ground and neutral?

I would like to add a second circuit to my BBQ area. There is conduit running from the panel to the BBQ with three wires, hot, neutral and ground. Can I just add a second breaker and run a second hot ...
2
votes
2answers
6k views

Where can I get NM cable clamps for a metal box?

Doing old work with 12 AWG cable makes finding large enough boxes tricky. I have seen some appealing metal boxes, but I am wiring using NM cable (Romex), which needs cable clamps where it enters a ...
10
votes
3answers
18k views

Why is ENT rarely used for electrical wiring?

As best I can tell, the National Electrical Code 2011 allows electrical non-metallic tubing ("smurf tube" or ENT) to be used for running 120 V electrical wire. But everywhere I look, I see remarks to ...
3
votes
1answer
803 views

How do I attach a receptacle box to brick instead of a stud?

I need to install some new outlet boxes in an old lathe and plaster wall. I have the baseboards pulled out so I can see where the studs are, which is just great. However, behind the lathe is a brick ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

Why am I measuring low voltage when I connect this fluorescent fixture to an existing circuit?

My bathroom has two switches: one [was] connected to two overhead can lights (with CFLs), and one [was] connected to a fluorescent wall sconce (one of those ugly circular plastic things that I can't ...
4
votes
2answers
9k views

How can high and low voltage be mixed in a junction box?

So I'm aware of the standard rule of thumb, keep high and low voltage away from each other, preferably on opposite sides of a stud. However, while looking at some properties, I'm seeing telephone and ...
2
votes
2answers
6k views

Connecting a digital timer with 4 wires in a box with only three wire, white, black, and ground

I installed a digital timer in a box that previously contained a switch to an outside porch light. The box has only a white, black, and ground wire. The white wire in the box is hot, not the black, ...
3
votes
1answer
532 views

What is this orange clip my ground wire is connected to?

I am trying to replace a dome light with a nice small ceiling fan. When disassembling the old light, I notice an odd orange/clear clip connecting the lights ground to the house. What is this called, ...
11
votes
15answers
69k views

When wiring outlets should I use pigtails or both sets of outlet screws?

I'm replacing the outlets in our house and pulled out one that had two black and two white cables. My first thought was that it was two circuits, one of them being switched, but then realized the tab ...
4
votes
2answers
5k views

Why does my computer have a ground fault only when a peripheral is attached?

I have a weird problem regarding grounding: I have a computer, printer and a LCD screen connected to the electric outlet through a power strip. My computer is zapping me when I touch the body so I ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

How can I extend a wall outlet?

I have a interior brick wall, with wall outlet in it, I am covering the wall with 1/2" sheet rock. But I am ancoring 1x2's on the brick so I can hang the sheetrock. How would I extend the wall outlet ...
5
votes
4answers
14k views

What could cause ceiling fan lights to flicker on with power and then go out immediately?

I have ceiling light fan. The fan works fine. The light used to work fine. All of a sudden one day the light started acting up. When I turn on the switch, the light flickers on for about a second ...
5
votes
5answers
2k 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
2k 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 directly ...
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
29k 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
321 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
7k 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
3k 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
4k 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
1k 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
votes
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
217k 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 on....
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
7k 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
2k 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
41k 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 ...
7
votes
7answers
119k 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
6k 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
17k 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 ...
12
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 ...
1
vote
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 used ...
4
votes
2answers
8k 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 ...
3
votes
5answers
26k 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
22k 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
6k 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 one ...
4
votes
2answers
9k 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
13k 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 ...