Tag Info

Hot answers tagged

7

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 ...


6

Big box stores definitely carry different grades of light switches ("standard duty", "heavy duty", "commercial grade", "medical grade"...), but I can't attest to their relative endurance. For what it's worth, I've seen several light switches fail, so it's not like this is some freakish event. 3 years seems a little quick to me but of course these things are ...


6

The type of wire you use depends on what kind of circuit you are attaching to. Go to your electrical box, find the circuit for the current light switch, and read what it is rated for (probably 15 or 20 amps). If it is 15 then you use 14-3 wire. If it is 20 then you need 12-3 wire. The "3" will give you an extra red wire and that will be used to separate ...


6

Yes, I would replace any switch that is consistently making the "popping" noise. This noise is from sparking of the switch contacts and is a bad thing and could lead to switch failure or even a fire. When choosing a new switch choose one that has a quality snap action to it. Lastly stop teasing the switches by moving them slowly. This is a bad practice ...


5

It's not a switch, for one thing. It's a dimmer - a switch, in the same circumstances, would be just fine with full rated amperage of LED or CFL. Unless you have a great deal of interest in dimming, your best option if you have 200W of LEDs on the circuit would be to use a switch. The limit comes from the interaction of the power supply circuits internal to ...


5

Besides an arcing switch, there are 2 other common 'loose wire' scenarios to consider. Loose wire wrapped around a side screw terminal. Turn off the breaker and tighten the screw. The wire should wrap under the screw head nearly 360 degrees (clock-wise). The insulation should cover the wire to within 1/8 inch or less. 'Back stab' connections are ...


4

My expectation when opening a door (either hinged or pocket) is that the switch is inside on the strike side of the door. Strike side location would avoid the pocket door completely. You are asking for trouble by routing the cable so near the surface. If you are trying to use NM cable, you would have to armor the cable the whole way up, because its not ...


4

If your hypothesis is correct, which it most likely is, that the switch controls one of the outlets, then the extra pair of wires in that outlet have to do with the switch. Either they provide a separate loop to control just one half of the outlet (some switched outlets are like that: a switch just controls one of the receptacles out of the pair). Or else ...


4

If it switches the mains power supply to the fence charger, yes, of course. If you are using it to switch the energized fence wire, no of course not - that's generally tens of kilovolts, and far exceeds the rating of the switch.


4

The thermopile in your fireplace puts out millivolts, nothing near the 120V the light switch was designed for. It's probably just a matter of finding a switch with a low enough on resistance. A generic low voltage switch from a electronics store, or ripped out of a toy, would probably do it (for example a 12V SPST). Really here the smaller the better, but ...


4

It would be easy to change the half switched outlet to always on (by replacing it), but not trivial to make the switch control a different outlet. There is a dedicated wire running from the switch to the top half of your outlet (see red wire below). To control a different outlet, you'd need to run that wire to it.


4

A 2 ways switch should totally do it: wire the common of the switch with the line cable wire one of the switch ways to the bathroom light and the don't walk light wire the other switch way to the walk light wire all lights second wire to the neutral cable if your walk/don't walk sign has a metal frame, wire it to the protective earth cable Just ensure ...


3

I've annotated your image... It's not possible from the image to tell which of the wires marked with red is the feeder from the breaker, and which is the feeder to other devices on the circuit. However, since you're simply replacing a switch with a timer, you'll not have to touch these wires anyway. The neutrals can also be ignored, unless you're ...


3

The loop in the black wire is normal when electricians are running a hot wire from device to device. It saves them time and is really safer since it involves fewer wire nuts. The orange wire is the wire that is going to the light. The power enters the switch where the black wire is looped over the screw, and exits to the light through the orange wire. Yes, ...


3

The easiest technique - ie one that won't require you to run a second line from the wall to the fan - is to install a remote control switch in place of the existing one. The way that works is you disconnect the fan from the wiring, and insert a receiver unit which connects to light and fan separately, and then you replace the original switch with a control ...


3

You'll need to run a grounded (neutral) conductor into the box. It sounds like the power is supplied to the fixture, and only a switch loop is run to the switch. You'll have to run a 3 conductor cable with ground (14/3 or 12/3), from the fixture to the switch. If there is conduit between the fixture box and the switch box, you can simply pull an additional ...


3

If this is, in fact, a split outlet, you should be fine wire nutting the blacks and a black pigtail, the reds and a red pigtail, and you can connect the whites directly or wirenut them and a pigtail, as you prefer. You will need to break the tab connecting the receptacles on the hot side, at least (my guess is that they broke the hot tab and left the neutral ...


3

It's possible that the switch does power an outlet, but that the installer did not remove the fin that connects the top and bottom outlets. When the fin is removed, the top and bottom outlets are isolated from one another so that they can be independently powered. If the top and bottom outlets are wired with two wires of the same phase, you would not ...


3

You can use the switch to operate both the fan and light, if you so choose. In fact, this is a common feature in single user public restrooms. As long as the switch and wiring are rated for the amount of current, which unless you get a huge fan, it should be. If you have the ability to install a new cable (or pull an extra wire, if the wires happen to be ...


2

Perhaps cable clips like these. I would drill a hole through the base and install them with metal screws into the edge of the stud, then insert the cable. The hole into the metal edge of the stud should be pre-drilled. If they fit, I would use several to ensure that the cable did not stray into the door channel. There are also cable clips that use zip ...


2

Yes, You need 14-3 or 12-3 going to each switch from the light/power: Call the switches L(eft) and R(ight): Connections@Light: LineInPwr(white) -> Lamp(white) LineInPwr(black) -> L(white tagged black) LineInPwr(gnd) -> tied in common Both L(gnd) and R(gnd) L(black) -> R(black) [traveler] L(red) -> R(red) [traveler] R(white tagged black) -> ...


2

This explanation assumes you are trying to control both sets of lights at the same time and not independently. If they are on the same circuit, having separate hot wires to each switch is really redundant. The return wires from the switches are not. There is no problem ganging both lighting fixtures on the same switch so long as the switch is rated for the ...


2

No. You do not have the required conductors at the box. It sounds like you simply have a switch loop, where one conductor is ungrounded (hot), and the other is an ungrounded switched conductor. To power a ceiling fan, you'll also need a grounded (neutral) conductor. If you could pull an additional conductor (or cable) from the power source of the ...


2

You may need an extra wire between switches Normal three-way switch Three-way switch with pilot light Ignore that the incoming power is from different sides in these diagrams.


2

After receiving help, I realized that the switches were just faulty and my wiring is correct. I did also consult with an electrician who also told me that 1 in 4 of these switches can be dead on arrival. In my case, 3 of the 3 were dead. For some more additional information on the dead switches: Measuring with a multimeter of traveler wire to ground. ...


2

I'd use a toner-tracer designed for locating telecommunications wires. Remove each breaker, hook up to the bare wires, and use the tracer to find the first segment. Pull it, and lather rinse repeat to the end of each run. These are also called "fox and hound" units.


2

I'd start by turning off the power at the breaker, and verifying it's off using a non-contact voltage tester. Remove the cover plate, and remove the screws holding the switch in place. Gently pull the switch out of the box, being careful not to pull too hard. Verify that all the wires are firmly attached, and are not broken or damaged. If nothing looks ...


2

You're looking up parts with the wrong terms. What you want is a transfer switch. You don't need the kind that includes breakers, etc., since you're using an interlock; just a simple transfer switch. In a transfer switch where the neutrals are bonded or overlapped during switching, the advantage is reduced arcing and transients during switching. The ...


2

You can purchase a door bell button mounted in a cover plate that is designed to mount on a single gang electrical box. The one I located is sold on-line only through the big orange box's web site. Here is what it looks like:


2

Well...I typed that too fast, I guess. I just found the answer! Sure enough, this is not actually designed to handle fan loads. UGH. Just blew $40 on two of these. Apparently there's some small print. To quote a review on Home Depot's web site: Works great for lights,but as I'm finding a common problem with all electric supplies you must read the fine ...



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