Hot answers tagged

41

Electricity doesn't care about color. But electricians (both pros and amateurs) do. The color is meant to inform both you and any future worker which wires are hot (usually black or red, but occasionally other colors, such as blue), neutral (white or sometimes grey), ground (bare, green or green/yellow striped). If it is not bare, white or green, it is ...


14

Yes, the first switch in the circuit from the panel would be a three-way switch. The last switch in the circuit before the pump would also be a three-way switch. Then the other 10 switches would all be four-way switches.


11

Yes, you use 4-way switches. Here is an animation that shows how they work. You can have as many 4-way switches as you want, in the middle. http://users.wfu.edu/matthews/misc/switches/4WayAnimation.html Changing the switch causes the pump to change. If it was on, it will be off, or vice versa. The switch position will not tell the user whether it's on ...


10

"Switch Loop" is what you're asking about and very common. Mark the white wire with black tape to indicate it's a loop. No codes violated. If that's all you're asking about, then by all means do it. But please don't get creative and use a green wire for hot, blue for neutral and red for ground or something crazy like that. If you search this site for ...


9

It's probably just a broken switch. My guess would be that the switch contact is worn out to the point that it does not make contact, but jiggling it a bit (by turning off and on again) may solve the problem, at least for a little while. Replacing a light switch is a pretty simple matter for a DIYer. I recommend swapping it out and seeing if that solves ...


8

Congratulations! You just found a Carter 3-way! This configuration switches each "side" of the lamp between hot and neutral, as depicted in the illustration below: (source: Wtshymanski/Wikipedia) However, due to the switch in the neutral wire, it was possible for the shell of the lampholder to be hot even if it was switched off, leading to a shock ...


8

This is commonly used in industrial controls: I've drawn it as a ladder diagram because I think it's easier to see the individual circuits and the interactions between them. You can translate from that to the actual wiring. I'm using a second relay contact to power the load so that the control circuit only has to handle the relay, which is almost ...


7

To summarize what the NEC itself requires on this topic: The neutral (grounded conductor) must be white, gray, some non-green color with three white stripes, or white with some non-green stripe (this isn't listed in the NEC, but is technically allowed as it's how the second neutral in an x/2/2 cable is configured). Certain cables where colored insulation ...


7

Typically the metal screws in the face plate/trim of a home electrical device (outlet, light switch, etc.) attach to the electrical device itself. This, in turn, should be grounded. To address your question in general (the spirit of what you're after): If it only shocks you one time, which is to say if you touch it and it shocks you, but subsequent ...


6

So, the box in the ceiling has two pair coming into it. Two black white pair. One comes from the power source. Think of that one as Line and Neutral. The other one runs to the light switch wherever that is. ( If you open the switch, you should find a black and white on the two screws. ) Therefore, the two black wires are connected and beep your ...


6

What you have there is a single pole switch that has been tapped to continue the permanent hot to another source. Perhaps an outlet or dishwasher. If you are installing a new dishwasher it will probably have significantly more amps. This could become an issue with the old practice of putting the disposal and dishwasher on the same circuit.


6

Yes. If you're getting rid of the receptacle, you should cap off the grounded (neutral) conductor in the switch box. Just make sure there's no exposed wire sticking out of the connector, and you use a twist-on wire connector rated for a single wire.


5

It's either a loose connection, a bad switch, or a poltergeist. Turn power off to the circuit. Verify power is off. Remove the cover plate from each switch. Remove the screws holding the switches to the box (should be two, one top, one bottom). Pull the switches out a bit. Inspect the wiring and connections, looking for loose wires, charred/burnt/melted ...


5

Short answer, the NEC does require identification by color coding or other means. The specifics depend on the size of the wire, and there are different rules for hots, neutrals, and grounds. The practice you describe, running a wire to use as a switch loop, is perfectly acceptable, safe, and code compliant in the past. You would mark the white with ...


5

For that many locations, I'd strongly consider one of the types of switches intended for home automation applications. One switch would actually control the pump, and the others would signal that switch to turn on or off. Some of them offer battery operated remotes that can be used without any permanent wiring, or you can mount a switch in a normal ...


4

Typically you'd run 14/2 to the vanity, and 14/3 to the fan/light combo. In the switch box, Connect all the grounded (neutral) conductors. Connect all the grounding conductors. Connect the ungrounded (hot) conductor from the vanity to the switch. Connect one of the ungrounded (hot) conductors from the light/fan to the switch. Connect the other ...


4

You have a single pole switch It is wired in a way that lacks quality workmanship, to save a moment's time, and a wirenut The top backstab (i like that much better than push-in) is connected electrically to the top screw. The backstab has almost no contact surface area, and this is the reason that they are frowned upon. So rather than making a pig-tail to ...


4

Most 3-way lighted switches work by adding a light between their line and load terminals: This actually causes a small current to flow through the load (light) -- with incandescent or fluorescent bulbs, it's not enough to actually cause the light to go on. But with your LED blub, it's enough to at least start the bulb. Your potential solutions: Replace ...


4

You've likely just swapped a couple wires, if you even have to do anything. If the fan and light are controlled by simple snap switches, then you don't really have to do anything (other than relearn which switch is which). If you have specialty fan controls and/or dimmers, you'll want to switch things around. In the ceiling box above the fan, there should ...


4

Based on the photograph, I'd say the black wires are feeding voltage from the panel (hot) and carrying the voltage onto another switch or outlet. The red wire is presumably going to the light (load). You need to connect the black wires to one screw of the new switch and the red to the other. Leave the green (ground) screw unconnected. It's generally not ...


4

Pressure Switch I've never seen a "safety cut-off" on a pressure system before, but typically the switching is done by a single box (known as a "pressure switch"). Pretty much all of them (at least from the last ~20 years) look something like this: The large nut is used to control the pressure (both cut-in, and cut-out) and the small one controls the ...


4

According to the instructions found here, you'll have to replace the other switch with a Retractive Press Switch when using a dimmer. Important notes - for two way and multi - way installation Read General Installation Safety Instructions before starting work. Any existing 2 Way or Intermediate switches MUST be replaced with Retractive Press ...


4

The switch/outlet combo you have could physically work, but as pointed out by @Speedy Petey, it would not be code complaint since all outlets in bathrooms need to be GFCI. Consider replacing it with a GFCI/switch combo such as this. The wiring you have should work. One of the cables (which consists of one black and one white wire) is from the mains, and ...


4

I'd get yourself a non-contact voltage tester: These will only light up when it's right near something hot. Test it to make sure it's working by putting it in an outlet: Make sure it's lighting when it should. Then, touch the screws with it. If the NCVT lights up (and stays lit) when you touch it to the screws, they're hot. If it flashes very ...


4

No, this will cause inductive heating if it passes through anything ferrous. Like a Romex clamp, locknut, MC cable, or steel conduit. It is called splitting a neutral and is really bad workmanship. Depending on the current load, it could become hot enough to start a fire. Change it as soon as possible.


4

As Wolf says, a combination of SPDT and DPDT switches. One switch on each floor, top and bottom are SPDT, all others are DPDT. The number of switches is one more than the number of lights. Here are a couple of ways to wire it: The left diagram shows the sane way. Blue is the neutral leg. The right diagram shows how to use the Carter three-way pattern to ...


3

Your circuit contains two 3-way switches. Referring to the diagram below: if the switch with the incoming "hot" is the one you want single control from (shown at left)- 1) replace that switch with a single-pole switch 2) connect either of the "traveler" wires to the load side 3) remove the other (unwanted) switch and connect the traveler wire used in ...


3

If you live in an apartment, then the chance of your neighbor having the same fan is pretty high. Try setting the dip switches on the fan receiver and remote to a new setting. Just make sure they're the same.


3

If you've replaced most of your lightbulbs with CFL or LED bulbs, they present a more inductive load to your power line than incandescent bulbs. This inductance, usually caused by a power converter inside the bulb, doesn't like it when the switch opens. This inductance will actually force current through the switch as it opens, causing a much larger arc ...


3

Not as long as you have at least one switched outlet. There's a difference between outlets and receptacles. In your case the switched outlet is the overhead lights you added. No other provisions are required.



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