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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4
votes
1answer
16k views

How can I use these “closed” power outlets?

I just bought a new home. It seems that the builder had some outlets open (where I can plug any devices), while some are closed (I can't plug anything). Is there a device I can rent or buy from any ...
2
votes
2answers
34 views

Switch out a Dimmer Switch with 5 Black Wires

I want to switch out a dimmer switch with a regular switch. There are 5 black wires attached to this 2 wire dimmer switch - 1 to 1 and 4 to 1. How do I install a regular switch with two screws? 4 ...
1
vote
1answer
19 views

new construction wiring a mid-line receptacle to a switch

how do you wire a mid-receptacle to a switch? I have 3 receptacles running with a switch to the mid receptacle.
0
votes
5answers
169 views

Is 12-gauge wire adequate to run into between a 7000 watt generator and circuit box?

I have a Briggs and Stratton model 040301A stand-alone generator I bought used I'm trying to figure out what gauge wire I use to feed my circuit box. When I took it apart it had a black and a red wire ...
2
votes
1answer
78 views

What gauge wire do I need for my dryer?

I wand to add a washer & dryer to my garage, but breaker box is on the wrong side of house. No matter which way I run the wire, its 110 feet of wire required. Will 8-3 with ground work? Or is the ...
1
vote
1answer
25 views

Remove outlet from switch

I have a double light switch that controls the porch light and outlet below but only with only one of the switches. What I want to do is remove the outlet from being controlled by the switch all ...
1
vote
1answer
170 views

Thermal protection switch replacement in recessed incandescent can lights

I find very little discussion of this issue on the net. My son has a Nutone Scovil 60 watt max incandescent recessed can light, damp location rated, in a shower with a high ceiling. Its thermal ...
1
vote
2answers
103 views

Source of periodic buzzing noise in the walls

Just moved in to a new place and I've noticed during the quiet of the night when trying to sleep that there is this periodic electrical sounding buzz, sort of like the hum of my subwoofer if I leave ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

What voltage adapter do I need for a 5 meter 5050 LED strip?

I have a 5050 5 meter LED strip and it requires an AC/DC adapter to run the full strip. I was told that I needed a 2A adapter, but I went to electronic store to buy an end adapter and they said this ...
1
vote
0answers
11 views

Remote Halogen Light Dimmer switch

A 2-in-1 ceiling fan and halogen bulb remote switch has stopped operating the light bulb (either on/off or dimmer) but still operates the fan properly. Any ideas?
1
vote
1answer
20 views

New thermostat for electric radiant ceiling heat

I live in the Pacific NW where radiant ceiling heat is common in older homes. I a have home built in 1969 and want to upgrade the thermostat to something newer that we can program and save money. This ...
1
vote
2answers
77 views

Are the old A-head terminals for connecting to knob and tube wiring still compliant?

I'm in the process of decommissioning the last active (hopefully) knob and tube circuit in my house (I'm in the U.S.). The problem is that about 90% of the lighting in the house is on this circuit, ...
3
votes
1answer
130 views

NEMA 14-30 in 1-gang box

I recently wired a new laundry room for a family member's renovation project. He already had the electrical materials on hand and all of his boxes attached to the studs, so I ended up installing the ...
1
vote
4answers
108 views

Laser printer on same circuit interferes with lights and LCD monitors

I have a newly built 110V 20A basement office wired with 12/2 with eight T8 bulbs overhead, 850 watt PC, three LED monitors and a big Canon MF8380Cdw laser printer on the same aforementioned 20 amp ...
0
votes
1answer
33 views

Receptacle not working

I have a receptacle that notoriously trips a breaker. However this time the receptacle stopped working as in nothing plugged in will work but will work everywhere else, and it did not trip the ...
1
vote
2answers
57 views

Why is an outlet box outside of the wall?

I'm considering putting an offer in on a house and am questioning this outlet prior to being able to do a home inspection. Is there any reason to be alarmed that this outlet is boxed outside of the ...
1
vote
3answers
180 views

Is it safe to ground a portable generator using the house ground at the service panel?

I've bought a portable generator that I'll use when the power goes out. The instructions in the paperwork state that the generator needs to be grounded before use. Can I use the house ground at the ...
7
votes
9answers
885 views

Does a receptacle have to supply the max current that it is rated for?

Suppose you come across a L5-30R (120V, 30A receptacle) somewhere. By spec, can you assume that there will be 30 amps at it? Follow up: if you come across a L6-30R (250v, 30A), does it have to ...
10
votes
5answers
28k views

What types of electrical outlets are found in a typical home in the USA?

I do not live in the USA. If I were to buy a home in the USA, what are the key facts I should know about USA household electrical supply at outlets in homes? E.g. when buying a clothes dryer or other ...
3
votes
2answers
109 views

Is is possible to have “bad” electricity in your home?

I live in a small 5-unit condominium building in a city and have noticed that light bulbs are constantly popping well ahead of their anticipated shelf life and other electronic equipment (most of it ...
0
votes
1answer
46 views

Dead circuits with breakers across from each other

I have 4 dead circuits which were intermittent off/on at first- now dead. The 20 amp dual tandem breakers are across from each other in the breaker box. The breakers/circuits above and below the ...
1
vote
1answer
36 views

Why is my 3 way switch suddenly not working?

I just replaced the switches on a 3 way light fixture and wired them exactly how they were from the wall before. When I turned the power back on everything worked fine and the 2 switches activated ...
7
votes
9answers
37k views

How do I uninstall a receptacle when the wires are stuck?

I just installed a receptacle in my basement and I realized I need to reinstall it someplace else. The leads are inserted into the holes behind the receptacle and I can't get them out! The ...
4
votes
2answers
58 views

One 4-way switch and two 3-way switches

I decided to be handy and change all of my receptacles in the house. Everything went well until the garage. There are 3 light switches in the garage that go to 1 light source that has me stumped. Two ...
1
vote
1answer
38 views

How do I wire a 3 wire receiver unit to a ceiling fan that has 6 wires from the fan unit

Original switch was a mechanical wall mounted (plugs into an electrical outlet) push button switch (3 buttons for each of 3 speeds, 1 button for the light, one off button and one slide switch for ...
2
votes
1answer
119 views

Can I hide a transformer in a metal box in my cabinet?

I put LED lights under my cabinets. I ran the wires into the cabinet where I put a 4 in metal box. Was going to put the small unit and wires inside the box but noticed the transformer gets real warm. ...
1
vote
1answer
14 views

3-way switch AND sgl pole dimmer in one gang [on hold]

I have a problem...I only have room for a single gang box. Currently a 3-way switch resides there. We need to add a single pole, dimmer switch to the box. Isn't there a fan switch that would house ...
2
votes
0answers
22 views

Garden light connected to main lounge light stopped working

I have recently moved into a new property and all light fittings came with no shaders/were pretty basic. I have then proceeded to (safely) remove the light fitting of the living room, replaced it with ...
2
votes
2answers
43 views

Shower Light connected to bathroom ventilation fan. Does it need GFCI?

I am going to attempt to make this as clear as possible. In my bathroom, there is a switch that directly controls only the bathroom ventilation fan. I would like to add a recessed light over the ...
2
votes
2answers
73 views

Moving electrical panel. Do I need to rewire all circuits?

We are planning a large remodel in our home. As part of creating a basement apartment we have to relocate the electrical panel so that it's accessible to us as well as the tenants. We will do that by ...
0
votes
2answers
35 views

Noisy exhaust fan starting itself

Our bathroom exhaust fan is located on our second floor bathroom. It's the original installed in 1986. Suddenly, it started to make an unbearably loud noise upon operation. So loud that the sound ...
1
vote
1answer
5k views

Why do I have low voltage and backfeeding between circuits throughout my whole house?

If I plug a hairdryer or anything else into a outlet, I lose voltage in the whole house. If I plug the iron in, the stove surges. This is a nightmare. I can't run the fridge; I can't even get the TV ...
9
votes
10answers
32k views

How can I get a shock from a circuit when the breaker is off?

While I was replacing an old outlet, I received a shock from something in the box. I think it was the metal box itself. Before I started, I performed the following to ensure the power was out: ...
1
vote
3answers
11k views

What to look at first when when circuit breaker that fridge is on is tripping?

I have a house where the circuit breaker has tripped a few time over the last several days. It flipped one evening, we flipped it back and was ok for a couple days. We went away for the weekend and ...
1
vote
3answers
82 views

NEC 6/12 rule clarification

I understand that you must have an electrical receptacle 6 feet from any obstruction or break in the wall, such as a doorway, and no more than 12 feet from the previous electrical receptacle. Does ...
1
vote
0answers
16 views

How to mount an exterior light that doesn't cover the junction box [duplicate]

I'm trying to mount this light on the exterior of a house, but it doesn't cover the hole like the existing lights do. In some places there's an existing light that's mounted directly to a junction ...
6
votes
3answers
49k views

How to properly wire a ceiling light fixture?

I rent an apartment and a tenant installed ceiling fan that was not well secured to the ceiling. I removed the fan and attempted to re-install the original light fixture after he moved out. I am ...
3
votes
4answers
462 views

Tripping Breaker

One evening, my lights in the living room went out. I checked the breaker and it was tripped. I turned it back on, and now it keeps tripping. This has never happened before. Could this be a bad ...
0
votes
1answer
94 views

How can I prevent my computer from interfering with the TV signal?

I have an antenna tv and every time I turn on my computer, it knocks out the signal to my tv. I have tried plugging the computer in to different areas in my house and buying a booster for the antenna ...
2
votes
1answer
26 views

Can I change an outlet circuit to 240V (NEMA 6)?

I'm in an American house sitting in a jurisdiction that applies NEC 2014 unaltered. I've got a home office room with all the outlets on one 20A circuit. It is legal to 2014 code in all respects. Who ...
5
votes
1answer
3k views

When is it generally safe/acceptable to use a wire nut?

Can someone please clarify for me when exactly it's safe/acceptable to use wire nuts? Regional building codes withstanding, I think the general rules of thumb are: Only use wire nuts in ...
1
vote
1answer
31 views

GFCIs tripping on their own

I have GFCIs on their own breakers that will trip when lights on a separate breaker are turned on. To reiterate, the lights that trip the GFCIs are not fed from the tripping GFCIs. What could cause ...
1
vote
8answers
13k views

How can I locate and repair a break in a circuit?

After some effort, I have determined that there is a discontinuity between the wire from the breaker (hot wire) and the receptacle (socket). The breaker is okay because couple of other sockets in the ...
4
votes
7answers
8k views

Will switching to LED lightbulbs make a significant difference in my electric bill?

I asked Reliance Controls about a THP103 meter that I was having trouble with. Turns out that it's not a true RMS meter and thus is unable to give you accurate readings on a CFL or LED installation. ...
1
vote
1answer
25 views

LED bulb with slow on motion detector

Can an LED bulb be used with a retarded on motion detector? Incandescent bulbs come on slowly with this type of detector to extend the lamp life. These are externally mounted on an electrical box ...
0
votes
1answer
50 views

Safe way to remove an outlet

We recently removed a wet bar from our living room and we're going to replace it with a kegerator. On the wall above the wet bar, there are currently two switches and one outlet, but not in a row; one ...
0
votes
1answer
37 views

What would cause a led light to turn off after one second?

I have an older house for number of years. I got tired of the old kitchen light and decided to replace it with led light. I bought a kitchen led light that is oval in shape and takes two 13 inches ...
1
vote
2answers
57 views

Use cat5e 2-pair RJ11 cabes for network connection

I've thought cat5(e) means always RJ45 lan cable. But my house has "cat5e 2-pair rj11 green (data) cables" from the living room to each room. My internet router is in my living room in the 1st floor ...
0
votes
2answers
40 views

Adding a light fixture to an existing fixture

I added a new light fixture by splicing into an existing fixture. When I turn the light on, the existing light comes on, when I turn it off, the new light comes on. What have I done wrong? I want ...
4
votes
3answers
600 views

What is a line to neutral load?

I'm looking at the electrical code and it states "Multiwire branch circuits shall supply only line-to-neutral loads." Could someone explain what line-to-neutral loads are?