Tag Info

Hot answers tagged

27

Yes. And here's why. Rheostat dimmers Old dimmers, used a variable resister to dim the light. Lets look at a simple example. We can find total resistance (RT), by adding up all the resistance. RT = R1 + R2 = 0 Ohms + 144 Ohms = 144 Ohms Then we can find the total current (IT). IT = ET / RT = 120V / 144 Ohms = .83A We'll then calculate the voltage ...


17

I had this EXACT issue when I moved into my new (to me) house. The original owner was a bit of a handyman and had done several small (and big) projects all over. In many cases regarding electrical work he'd done, I had to go back in and clean up. Here's a fail-safe process to fix a three way setup that isn't working: Turn off the breaker controlling this ...


17

Here's a diagram. On the left the hot wire comes in and is switched to one of two wires going to the othe switch. The right switch selects eithe the on or off wire from the other switch. So either switch can be toggled to turn the light on or off.


16

It can depend on the dimmer type - older ones just used to drop the load across a resistor, so you ended up dissipating the same power, just converting it to heat in a resistor rather than heat and light in a bulb. Modern ones should save some power, they switch on and off rapidly, and just change the duty cycle to give more or less 'on' time.


14

Here is a diagram. You'll need 2 3-way and 2 4-way switches. [North America] (Note: This is North American terminology) [Europe]


12

Short answer is yes, you will save in electrical cost. Probably any dimmer made in the past 20 year has the technology to save you money. This is from Lutron, one of the largest dimmer manufactures in the world. As you see, not only will you save electricity but your lamps will last longer. Thats why 130 volt lamps last longer than 120 volt lamps. ...


11

Most motion detectors have a built-in override: Normally the switch is kept on all the time. The motion detector monitors ambient light (daylight) and then activates when it's dark enough, and motion is detected. If you turn the switch off and on within a second or so, the light will stay on, and this overrides motion detection. To go back to normal ...


10

If it's an apartment, meaning you are renting, then this should be a request to the landlord, and they may or may not have it done for you. I'd instead consider an alternative...namely the wireless switches they now sell. You plug it in-between your lamp and any outlet, and then you mount the switch (which is wireless) next to your regular wall switch with ...


10

They make various types of "child proof" switch guards, which might be a more practical approach than moving all the switches.


9

Take a look at the diagrams in the Wikipedia article you linked to. These will tell you what you're dealing with. There are some big red flags that are easy to look for: First, kill the power to this circuit at the panel. This will allow you to poke around in the wiring safely. Use a non-contact voltage tester to make absolutely sure there's nothing live ...


9

Never, ever, work on live electrical wires. Turn the power off at the breaker/fuse. You should have a voltage detector to verify the power really is off, like one of these:


9

Turn off the power at the panel for this circuit (flip the circuit breaker). Remove the cover plate from the switch. Test with a non-contact tester to make sure that there is no power in the circuit box. Unscrew the switch. Remove the two wires from the switch (unscrew or, if they are press in types, cut them close to the switch) Straighten the wires ...


8

As long as you have a 15A circuit breaker on that circuit, it's OK to use 12/2 NM cable for your lights. Since the maximum current on the circuit will be 15A, you won't need special switches. You should label the wire that it is 15A, not 20A, so that someone else doesn't come along and treat it as a 20A circuit. Pro: 12/2 cable is a slightly better ...


8

I'm surprised that the switch controls the entire outlet -- generally in that setup (in North America at least), the switch only controls one plug, and the other plug is constant power. In that case of course, the answer is to use a power bar. It may even be worth checking in the plug to see if there is constant power available. You may be able to fix the ...


8

I was not able to find any sections in NEC that prohibit switches from being installed in closets, so until somebody can point to a specific section I'd say it's not a problem. There may be adaptations to the code in your local area, so you'll have to check with the local Electrical Inspector to be absolutely sure. The NEC does, however, have a section on ...


8

There are many different solutions depending on how much you'd want to spend, how much DIY you want to do, and what exactly you are trying to achieve. I would not try to directly switch this load: inductive loads generate voltage spikes when switching them, which can damage electronics and such that are not designed to handle it. They also have high in-rush ...


8

This is perfectly normal. One of the two travelers can be hot at all times if the switches are wired correctly. Which traveler is hot depends on the orientation of the switches. That said, you shouldn't touch any wire in a circuit box when the branch is live. If you happened to have provided a better ground path, someone else very well could have been ...


7

Search for a switch lockout or a switch guard. Either will solve your problem, but the lockout is easier to open and change the setting, the guard is more permanent. A third option is any of the child proof switches.


7

Yes, that is correct. Another alternative is to disconnect the existing supply, and run a new line to the switch/receptacle. It really just depends on which line is easier to run. (Note, I just copied the original image, but didn't erase the ground. The ground should be connected to the box and the ground nut on the receptacle, and switch if it has one. ...


7

You may not find one at a box store or your local hardware store, because they are rare in residential settings. However, if you go to an electrical supply store, they will have lots of them. Hubble, Square D, and others


7

You can use a low-voltage retrofit mounting bracket, which is the same size and has the same screw dimensions as a standard outlet box, but without the "box" part. Because it's low-voltage, you don't need the mechanical protection of the box like you do for high-voltage. It also gives you a lot more room to work with, which is very nice for bulky ...


7

Move the run over a few feet, which would it stick it beside the air duct (I think there's about 1/2" between the duct and the adjacent stud. Is it safe for them to be so close?) There is nothing I see in the NEC that puts restrictions on running electrical line near HVAC as long as it meets other code requirements. It must be properly anchored to the ...


7

Check the fine print To find out if the dimmer can work with the fan, you'll have to inspect the dimmer. For this, you'll have to remove the cover plate and possibly pull the switch out of the box (in which case, make sure you shut off the power at the breaker). If you see the text "For Incandescent Only"; or something similar, you should not use this ...


6

As Karl points out, first find the hot (source) wire. On a standard three way switch, this is usually attached to the screw on the side of the switch that only has one screw. The screw on the switch is usually a darker color too. There will be one of these on each switch obviously, so there are really only two wires to test. Use a multimeter by touching ...


6

First of all, if you don't know exactly what you are doing , working on live wires is extremely dangerous. On a three way switch circuit, (light or devise controlled by two switches) the hot wires change depending on the position of the switches. Only one switch has the hot feed on the off colored screw, the load hot on the other switch off colored screw, ...


6

Use a timer switch for the switched receptacle. You can get a two gang face plate that has one standard 15A switch opening next to a decora (square) opening. That's a very common configuration for a powder room, where you usually see one single pole switch next to a GFCI receptacle. The switch I linked to is just an example. You can get one that has typical ...


6

Found some helpful diagrams here. Wiring Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter Switch With this arrangement a receptacle, switch and disposal are protected with the ground fault breaker built into the device. Wiring Ground Fault Interrupter and Light Switch With this arrangement the receptacle is protected but the switch remains outside ...


6

Amazon shows them as available. Search for 'push button light switch' to find more variants (including 3 way and dimmer units).



Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible