945 reputation
621
bio website jeremywsherman.com
location Atlanta, GA
age 28
visits member for 1 year, 11 months
seen Feb 26 at 5:13

Jul
13
comment What's the best way of replacing a plug or switch in a house with aluminum wiring?
If you need to connect copper to aluminum, do not directly twist copper with aluminum. The two will eat at each other, and resistance and heat will increase. The only way to splice copper to aluminum safely is using a device listed for that use. Others here mentioned a wire nut that you can safely use instead.
Jul
13
awarded  Commentator
Jul
13
comment What should I do with wires that are too large for back-stab terminals on a receptacles?
Just because a wire fits in the backstab terminal doesn't mean you can safely stick it there. The quickwire terminals of some older receptacles accept 12 AWG wire, but Code has since changed to restrict quickwiring to use with 14 AWG wire only.
Jul
13
comment What should I do with wires that are too large for back-stab terminals on a receptacles?
You can put 15A receptacles on a 20A circuit. A 20A circuit is able to safely supply up to 20A of power draw. A 15A receptacle can safely supply up to 15A of power draw, which obviously can't exceed the 20A its circuit can supply. The T-shape prong on a 20A plug prevents plugging a device that draws more than 15A into a receptacle that can't safely deliver that kind of power.
May
25
accepted How can I trace cable through floors and walls?
May
17
awarded  Quorum
May
17
comment Inferring wire gauge from cable size
I wanted to work out wire gauge from mid-run cable. It seems that's not really possible, so per @Steven's answer, I'll just use an AWG wire gauge directly on already exposed wire in the breaker box.
May
16
awarded  Scholar
May
16
accepted Inferring wire gauge from cable size
May
16
comment Inferring wire gauge from cable size
I will open up the breaker panel and gauge the wires then. I could use the same trick to gauge the 2-wire no ground fabric-coated stuff, as well, rather than trusting they ran 14/2 W/G to 14/2 no ground. Thanks!
May
16
comment Inferring wire gauge from cable size
Using a magnifying glass is a good idea. I don't have one handy, but that's a cheap fix. I did manage to read the embossing on several more cables by turning out all the lights and then shining a flashlight on angle at the embossing, so shadows filled the letters. Some of it was still too worn away to read.
May
15
asked Inferring wire gauge from cable size
May
15
comment What to do with an apartment with only 2-pronged outlets
GFCI works without ungrounded cable because its purpose is to interrupt a ground fault by opening the circuit, not to ground power. It measures flow in and out, and when the delta exceeds a limit, it opens the circuit to stop the flow of current entirely. The assumption is that the missing current was diverted across your heart, and you'd appreciate living another day.
May
15
comment Fishing wire through exterior wall — what problems am I likely to encounter?
Could drilling through a fire block compromise the fire retarding capability of the fire block?
May
15
comment How can I trace cable through floors and walls?
@Tester101 Browsing the fox-hound/analog/digital toner listings on Amazon left me fairly confused as to feature and quality differences between options. With prices between $15-$75 for seemingly identical options, then a big jump to $500 for intro pro kit, I haven't the faintest idea what to get or what its real-life limits might be. Guess I could ask further questions. AC and EMT probably require different kit, like a magnetic stud finder or metal detector…
May
15
awarded  Editor
May
15
revised How can I trace cable through floors and walls?
Suggest analog tone and probe kit.
May
15
comment How can I trace cable through floors and walls?
Given the state of the electrical wiring, I can't imagine them taking the trouble to pull cable they weren't going to use. Even if capped off, I'd still like to trace the cables to be sure. Same technique/tool (if it exists) would also come in handy when chasing wandering circuit paths between outlets.
May
15
comment How can I trace cable through floors and walls?
Some rewiring was definitely done. It looks like a service panel upgrade for washer/dryer hook-ups followed by somewhat more recent work when most of the attic was finished. Ground floor is still serviced by fabric-wrapped 2-wire without ground, with the old service panel serving as an impromptu junction box (ugh).
May
15
awarded  Student