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Questions tagged [electrical]

Distribution and use of electricity throughout the home. Electrical standards vary greatly worldwide, so you need to provide your location in your question or profile to ensure you get answers that are relevant to you. Posting photographs of wiring junctions or drawing a wiring diagram and posting it is also highly recommended.

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Large voltage swing on incoming main hot line- definitely outside?

So for much of last fall, I had an issue of flickering lights in my house (half of the house seemed to flicker in unison). Back in December, I called the electric company, who came out, and claimed ...
MarkD's user avatar
  • 5,125
1 vote
5 answers
1k views

Light fixture inside knee-wall storage

We framed knee walls in our attic and want to use the areas behind them for storage. These areas are triangular in cross-section, about 3' high at the knee wall, and of course the ceiling hits the ...
Matthew Leingang's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
5k views

How to tidily integrate power into an island

I'm currently running the ducts for wiring into my gutted kitchen and was wondering how best to integrate power into my island. I've seen pop-up products like this and this that fit nicely into the ...
Justin Lawrence's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
415 views

Where should I place a stove master switch on an island?

We're having our kitchen redone and I would like to integrate our free-standing stove into the island unit. Where would be decent place to put the stove master switch within this island as there are ...
Justin Lawrence's user avatar
1 vote
5 answers
27k views

How to power 12V LEDs from a 12V AC power supply

I have a 12V power supply that I am using to power some lights in my garden. I want to also power (in parallel) a set of 12V LED lights which (of course) require a 12V DC supply. Is there a simple ...
Matt Wilko's user avatar
12 votes
4 answers
19k views

Why do my bulbs glow brighter when the microwave is running?

When I run the microwave oven in my rented apartment, the incandescent lights nearby glow much brighter. What sort of mis-wiring could cause this? EDIT: Suspecting a bad neutral connection, I ...
nibot's user avatar
  • 351
5 votes
2 answers
48k views

low voltage from circuit - bad breaker?

Background: I'm doing some rewiring work in the kitchen. There were three circuits coming into a junction box that controlled the sink disposal, dishwasher, a few receptacles and a light. So I got ...
Rex M's user avatar
  • 185
3 votes
2 answers
11k views

How do I replace a condenser fan motor in a central air unit?

The condenser fan motor on my central air unit has seized up (tried like crazy to turn it it, but no go). I'm not sure how old the motor is but I'm guessing it's original, so about 12 years old. I ...
Darren Kopp's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
3k views

Replacing Halogen with LED bulbs

I've just purchased some 12V LED MR-16 bulbs, intending to use them to replace the existing 12V Halogen MR-16 bulbs in my bathroom. I have found, much to my chagrin, that the LED bulbs seem to have ...
rtclay's user avatar
  • 43
7 votes
2 answers
23k views

Replace two-wire thermostat

I'm replacing an old mercury thermostat with a digital one. The new unit has 7-8 connections (labeled w1,wh,r1,rh,y,c, etc.) and a bunch of instructions about how to connect similarly labeled ...
mgb's user avatar
  • 1,615
7 votes
3 answers
4k views

Why only a few volts between the legs of a 240 V 3-wire dryer outlet?

I installed a new dryer in our house. It runs but won't heat. It has a 240V 3 wire connection. There is a 30 amp double pole breaker installed in the breaker box. (the box is very old) I've read ...
Jon's user avatar
  • 71
21 votes
8 answers
370k views

Can I backfeed a portable generator into my house's electrical system?

Is there a safe way to power my house using a portable generator? The power rating for the generator is 6kW, and I want to run my electric water heater (4.5kW) and my refrigerator (0.5kW) and possibly ...
Doresoom's user avatar
  • 15.8k
-1 votes
1 answer
626 views

What are some good resources books/websites for learning basic home wiring? [closed]

As part of Home maintenance, I need some electrification work. Looking for some basics of home electrification like phase, neutral things, how to connect a fan regulator ....
user2521's user avatar
  • 101
10 votes
1 answer
3k views

Humming Ceiling Fans

I have two Harbor Breeze 52in. Builders Series Ceiling Fans. Under normal operation these fans are smooth and quiet. However, during power outages like we've had recently, I use a Devilbiss 6000 ...
Kenneth James's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
464 views

oven not igniting

(Updated.) I have a gas stove and oven with no pilot light (so they ignite using electricity). The stove and broiler (at the top of the oven cavity) are lighting fine, but the oven is not (at the ...
msh210's user avatar
  • 131
7 votes
7 answers
174k views

Should I use 12/2 or 12/3 to wire a 220V electric baseboard heater and thermostat?

When I bought my baseboard heaters, thermostats and 220V breakers I was advised to get 12/3 wire. When I attempted to install the heaters I found that the thermostats, heaters, and even breakers have ...
Luke's user avatar
  • 71
6 votes
3 answers
84k views

What should I do with wires that are too large for back-stab terminals on a receptacles?

I am replacing all my electicial outlets and only one has wires that are too big to put into the back of the new outlet. Any suggestions?
Mike's user avatar
  • 61
1 vote
4 answers
2k views

What types of flooring can be used with electric radiant heat?

I am considering converting an old enclosed sleeping porch into a usable room year round (in Ohio). Currently the floor is a big slope to allow for drainage when it was still open, obviously I want ...
auujay's user avatar
  • 5,295
4 votes
2 answers
185 views

DIYer to skilled tradesperson

What is the process a DIYer has to go through to become a skilled tradesperson? Are the only options apprenticeships, or are there other paths to follow to learn a trade/become licensed? What type ...
Tester101's user avatar
  • 132k
5 votes
1 answer
884 views

Control home's electricity sockets via PC

I'd like to control some of my home's electricity sockets via my PC. I was thinking about WiFi sockets (couldn't find any product for that), or sockets which are controlled by the electric network (...
shlomiw's user avatar
  • 153
29 votes
4 answers
108k views

Why are homes wired using solid wire rather than stranded?

If stranded wire can carry more power for a given wire gauge, why are homes typically wired using solid? If solid wire is less expensive to make, that provides a compelling reason why solid is used, ...
JYelton's user avatar
  • 2,502
10 votes
6 answers
109k views

Can I tap into an exterior light in order to power a security camera?

I have an exterior light (shown below) that I was wondering if I could tap into, in order to power an outdoor IP cam. I understand I would have to pull appart some cables and potentially purchase ...
Brian's user avatar
  • 829
4 votes
1 answer
6k views

What is the silver on the end of copper wire?

I am connecting a power cable to my dishwasher and I noticed the end of the copper wire looks like it has been dipped in solder. It is silver and very stiff. Should I be putting the wire nut on over ...
Jim Mitchener's user avatar
2 votes
5 answers
13k views

Why are there multiple receptacles by amperage?

I could imagine the various receptacle shapes being a tool to protect you from making a mistake about what you plug in. Consider a 15A breaker with 14ga wiring to NEMA 5-15R receptacles. The circuit ...
Jay Bazuzi's user avatar
  • 11.7k
1 vote
1 answer
147 views

electric main rings of the house

How do I know if my two floor house has one or two electric rings, one downstairs and one upstairs, or just one for all the house.
user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
24k views

How do I convert a light circuit with a single pole switch to use two 3-way switches?

I have a box in the hall which includes a 3-way switch (with another switch at the other end of the hall), a single pole switch to the garage lights and a single pole switch to the exterior lights on ...
bill's user avatar
  • 61
2 votes
2 answers
14k views

Why GFCI clicks, even when turned off?

I have a GFCI receptacle that is clicking. Every 5-10 minutes it clicks repeatedly for 1-2 seconds. The GFCI is turned off (the RESET button is sticking out) but it still clicks! What does this mean? ...
Jay Bazuzi's user avatar
  • 11.7k
5 votes
3 answers
13k views

What is the minimum required distance from a shower to an electrical outlet?

In Fairfax County Virginia, what is the minimum distance that an outlet must be from a shower in the bathroom? Does the minimum distance change if it is GFI outlet?
user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
3k views

How do I connect two 220V devices each with 12/2 wire to a 220V 12/3 feed?

I have a two devices I need to connect to a 220V feed on 12/3 wire. Previously there was/is 1 device connected but the connections from the feed to the 12/2 wire was done inside a ball of tape buried ...
hometoast's user avatar
  • 383
4 votes
3 answers
20k views

Is it "OK" to have my pool heater and pump share a circuit?

I replaced a rusted out millivolt natural gas pool heater with a new model, but forgot to note that it needs an electrical connection as well (for vent,etc). I have a 240V line run out there for the ...
hometoast's user avatar
  • 383
0 votes
1 answer
1k views

Does a fridge thermostat need a ground connection?

I've recently replaced the thermostat in my fridge with a new unit with a much higher temperature range (this unit specifically). The unit I took out had a ground connector & the original wiring ...
Mark McDonald's user avatar
20 votes
3 answers
33k views

What is the right way to connect 7 conductors in an electrical box?

What is the "right" way to join 7 different wires in a single electrical box? Here's the situation. I opened up a four-gang light switch. There were four switches controlling five lights. As ...
Joel Spolsky's user avatar
  • 1,681
16 votes
3 answers
103k views

What is electrical code for number of wires in a breaker?

US, Georgia I am adding some new ciruits to add some additional outlets. The closest place is to run a wire to the main panel box. My question is, can I connect more than one wire to a breaker and ...
Mark Schultheiss's user avatar
9 votes
2 answers
8k views

How do I run a wire underground to an outdoor post lamp?

I live in Geauga county Ohio. My question is three part. First what type of wire do I need to run from the house underground to a post lamp 100 feet away? Second,does it need to be in conduit and ...
user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
773 views

what parameters should I look for when choosing an electric deadbolt?

I am looking for electric deadbolts for external steel doors - to place several of them on a door - one on each side (top, bottom, left, right) for extra security. I want to buy just the deadbolt ...
ria's user avatar
  • 259
3 votes
1 answer
314 views

Help decipher this wiring

I am trying to put a flourescent light fixture into our pantry into an existing fixture/junction box. The previous light was taken down by some previous help I had and they had made a couple of ...
mattsmith321's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
643 views

Installing a surface switch

I have a little utility room with bare cement walls. So I want to install a little surface switch. As far as i understand normally switches are installed on a hot wire, but this switch has no ...
Vitalik's user avatar
  • 667
2 votes
1 answer
300 views

Looking for a WATT-O-METER with specific features

Recently I bought an OWL+USB WATT-O-METER and got very disappointed. Making a long story short, I'm looking for a device that will give me: accurate readings good software for data management a watt-...
Asaf Chertkoff's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
179 views

Bought a US appliance and powered directly off Aus mains, is it boned?

Hope this is on topic for this stackexchange. I recently bought a lamp from the US and had it shipped to Australia. Stupidly I powered it straight off the mains through an adapter. The device is ...
radman's user avatar
  • 153
0 votes
2 answers
222 views

trying to save a cheap electric driller

I wanted to use an old electric driller that it's battery has worn down and i couldn't find a new battery. on the battery it says 7.2V. So i took a AC-> 7.5V DC 1A Transformer and used it in place of ...
Asaf Chertkoff's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
6k views

salvaging DC motors from home appliances [closed]

In what home appliances I can find a 40V (or so) DC motor?
Asaf Chertkoff's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
748 views

Adding new lights to a switch

I have a single light controlled by a switch in my garage. It's really pathetic, so I decided to add some shop lights to the same switch. Upon opening up the light wiring box, I found not 1 but 4 ...
morganpdx's user avatar
  • 691
3 votes
3 answers
1k views

What are some computer interfacing electric energy meters on the market?

Does computer interfacing electric energy meters exist? With possibilities to get/log current power usage and monthly used kilowatt hours. With ethernet/rs232 etc interface. I am looking for this for ...
Lauri's user avatar
  • 35
0 votes
1 answer
3k views

Goldline/Aquarite Chlorinator electrical problem--what went wrong?

I'm installing a Aquarite chlorinator, and something went terribly wrong! As instructed by the manual for 110V installations, I removed the jumpers from terminals 2/3 and moved them to terminals 1/2 ...
richardtallent's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
3k views

Fishing wire through exterior wall -- what problems am I likely to encounter?

I've figured out how to get Ethernet run from the basement up into my attic. I thought that would be the hard part, but that looks relatively tame. Now the next challenge is going to be fishing wire ...
Doug T.'s user avatar
  • 1,407
2 votes
1 answer
8k views

Electrical hum noise from shower fan electrics box

I had a shower fan installed about 8 months ago, a vent axia low carbon with timer on light switch. The separate small plastic box that contains all the wiring separate to the fan makes an electrical ...
user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
3k views

Does the specific gravity of a lead-acid battery indicate degradation?

Let say I have a battery that is a few years old. When it was new, the specific gravity was indicating 1.265 when full, and it lasted fairly long. If I do an equalization charge, for the same ...
Asaf Chertkoff's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
603 views

Fuse replacement in Xantrex solar charge controller

I have a Xantrex XW-MPPT60-150 solar charge controller. The moment came where I need to replace the fuse that protects the charger. The problem is that I need to replace it with Littlefuse KLKD 1 (...
Asaf Chertkoff's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
3k views

refractometer instead of hydrometer for battery testing?

some one pointed out to me that there is a better and more accurate way, as he says, to measure the specific gravity of my lead-acid battery then the simple hydrometer. he suggested some thing like ...
Asaf Chertkoff's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
12k views

How do I trace the cabling in a “Ring Main”

I have a "ring main" with many sockets on it, it is clear that it has been extended over the years. How do I trace the cabling to. Check that it is a single ring That only one socket is on each ...
Walker's user avatar
  • 6,249