Questions tagged [usa]

For questions specific to or mostly about the United States of America.

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1answer
52 views

Dealing with ants coming in from walls

We just moved to California, and specifically one of the many areas that has a major problem with Argentine Ants. The house we're renting is relatively new (1980s construction), but it seems like it ...
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2answers
118 views

Rewire a European power strip to use NEMA plugs?

(This might be more of a DIY question, if you think so I will gladly move it there) I recently moved to the US and intend to use some of my 230 V appliances on "native" 240 V here in the US, ...
0
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1answer
109 views

Circuit breaker that fits in a spot for a standard light switch?

I have a few projects in mind where it would be handy to have a dedicated circuit breaker accessible outside of the main breaker box. I don't want to go through the expense of buying a separate ...
2
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2answers
121 views

What wire should I use to replace URD in underground conduit

I have a detached garage, about 80 feet away with a roughly 1" conduit, maybe 2", would have to measure, with an LB on the garage and house straight from ground. Knowing where this is going? ...
6
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2answers
1k views

Does electrical code allow NEMA 14-60R receptacles in residential settings?

I know that NEMA 14-60 plugs and receptacles exist, but they seem really rare. I've come across a few random online forums where people say that this is because they're not allowed by code, since any ...
2
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1answer
75 views

Add a junction box to recessed lighting housing to give more space?

If the junction box on a recessed light is too small, is it okay to use a box spacer to add a second junction box to it? This would allow adding a second junction box, that pulls down in the exact ...
-1
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1answer
129 views

Are lumber prices now high enough that building with brick/concrete is more price efficient in the US? [closed]

I’m looking at purchasing a piece of land and building my own home within Washington state. Traditionally, single family homes around here are built with lumber rather than brick or concrete due to ...
11
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4answers
3k views

Can I use a single 20A circuit for two bathrooms?

Can I put two bathrooms on one 20amp breaker for the respective outlets or do I need a separate 20amp circuit for each bathroom? I am running out of panel space in my subpanel otherwise I would just ...
8
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4answers
1k views

How can I fix the mounting of these outlets in this box that is taller than the outlet?

I have 4 outlets in my garage mounted in an exposed box where they do not seem to be centered. (This seems to be a 4-11/16" box.) Removing the cover plate reveals that each pair of outlets is ...
18
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5answers
5k views

Is there a benefit to having a switch control an outlet?

In my house there is a switch in every room that controls an outlet. I’ve asked my electrician to remove that so that the outlet is always on. He says it’s safer to have a “control switch” but I can’...
1
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1answer
55 views

How to properly use a transformer which bundles its high & low voltage wires together?

Here's an example of an HVAC transformer that will go from 120 or 240 to 24 VAC. Obviously, all wires exit the device through the same pipe nipple; the device is intended to be installed by screwing ...
5
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3answers
1k views

When do I need a neutral on a 240V branch circuit?

I'm installing a 240V outlet in my shop to run a welder and I'm trying to understand when a neutral is needed and when it's not. The welder has a NEMA 6-50P plug, so I don't need to run a neutral ...
0
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1answer
39 views

Second Pressure releif valve in hot water system?

My water heater has a pressure releif valve attached to the top, with a downspout that drains on to the floor. There is a second release valve on the hot water distribution pipes, this one drains to ...
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0answers
54 views

Are these aluminium crimps? Are they safe?

Or should i change to alumiconns?
4
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3answers
173 views

How to safely connect EU (220-240v) induction cooktop in the USA

Is it possible to safely connect European made (for European market) Bosch Induction 2 burner cooktop, 3700w, 220-240v, 50/60Hz in the USA? Cooktop connection diagram comes in 3 wires: brown, blue and ...
18
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4answers
5k views

Buying a home with 2 prong outlets but the bathroom has 3 prong outets

I'm looking at a home for my family and trying to assess the amount of work needed (no home-inspection is present). I saw that most of the electrical ports have 2 prong outlets and am worried that I ...
0
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1answer
43 views

Large vertical crack at end of concrete block wall

I'm thinking of putting an offer in on this house. It is 40 years old and a lake front property (Kentucky). This picture is from the basement and you can see a large vertical crack at the end of a ...
2
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1answer
125 views

Are you supposed to leave the pigtail lead on an GCFI / AFCI breaker curled up?

Here's an example of the kind of breaker I'm thinking of: They come with the lead neatly curled up. Is this curl meant to be maintained for some reason once the breaker in installed? Or is it just a ...
15
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5answers
4k views

Do studs in wooden buildings eventually get replaced as they lose their structural capacity?

I'm living in a 30 years old building made of wood - an ordinary apartment complex in Seattle. As I was drilling a hole into a stud, a thought occurred to me - over the years, these studs have ...
0
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1answer
87 views

Red wire with 40 Volts

I have a switch that I believe controls the lower socket on a split outlet. There is a red wire from the lower socket that goes into the switch, but it appears to be carrying 40 Volts AC relative to ...
2
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1answer
56 views

How do easements work with gas lines on new construction?

I have a gas line (2" polyethylene main) going down my long (1/2 mile long) driveway. Half-way down, it splits to serve the neighbor and myself, each of us being another 1/4 mile apart and the ...
2
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4answers
1k views

How can I diffuse the light coming out of recessed LED lamps?

I live in a US condo building which has standard recessed lights, looking somewhat like this: I find the light to be too harsh and would like to have a way to diffuse it. Is there some sort of a ...
0
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0answers
15 views

Gas dryer, spacing requirment between vent and valve?

I see a lot of Dryer Boxes for sale which have knock-outs for both the exhaust vent and the gas valve in the same plastic box. Is this OK, code/safety-wise to have the gas valve so close to the out-...
1
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1answer
63 views

Move a gas meter 150ft or install your own gas line?

I am DIY-ing a house in Montana where a mobile home used to exist nearby (150ft away). There is an existing NG meter (250CFH). Of course my home is much larger and needs a little over 500 CFH. This ...
0
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1answer
92 views

How to keep my tankless water heater safe in a cold room?

I have a room in my apartment that can sometimes get around 40°F (4°C), and that's where my new tankless water heater is installed. Should I take any special precautions to keep my pipes from freezing ...
0
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3answers
179 views

Does power distribution within a house need individual neutral lines from the circuit breakers?

My house has "star connections" (from the central circuit breaker panel box) for the neutral lines to power different rooms, as is normal. There is no GFCI to worry about. Would any problem ...
30
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3answers
7k views

Would it be Code legal to have an all-240V house in the United States?

My goal is to have a house where all loads are powered by 240V, that is fully livable in all the normal ways. And this question concerns the hard, in-house, built-in wiring; we will armwave the ...
0
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2answers
1k views

Can I convert a Sunbeam Radiant Control T-20C toaster from 120V to 230V?

For some reason, I now own a Sunbeam Radiant Control toaster, model T-20C. While I found it in The Netherlands, it's fitted with a US cord and plug. On the bottom, it reads: VOLTS 110-120 WATTS 1275 ...
1
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0answers
121 views

Best location for an electrical pedestal

What are the variables I should be considering in this situation? What i'm trying to decide is the best location for the pedestal. Pictured is my build site and house orientation with the attached ...
1
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2answers
158 views

Flood Plain Craziness - Do I really have to listen to the county here?

Question: Preface - I am NOT building in the flood plain. Is the burden of proof on the county to prove i'm not complying with the rules? What is the worst to happen if I simply build a 100% flood ...
11
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3answers
6k views

Getting a power pole moved

Anyone ever had this done? What does this kind of thing typically cost if I have to pay for it? The utility cooperative here won't tell me anything without first paying hundreds of dollars for a "tech ...
5
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2answers
2k views

Is it common for residential foundations from the 1960s to contain asbestos?

Is it common for residential foundations to contain asbestos (circa 1968)? We recently had a drain line extended and I don't recall seeing any protections in place other than light dust masks.
5
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5answers
2k views

Can I use a 2-wire NM cable staple on 3-wire cable?

I have a package of Gardner 1/2 inch staples and the package shows that they are good for 2-wire, see below: I am running some 14/3 wire (flat) wire for AC hardwired smoke detectors but these staples ...
15
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5answers
3k views

Should I run 240v for any supported appliances?

I am having my main circuit breaker panel replaced (by a licensed electrician) and he told me I can run new circuits for him to hook up to the new panel. Is there any benefit to running 240v circuits ...
13
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1answer
4k views

Why are adjacent breakers for unrelated circuits ganged?

I'm looking at electric panels in some newer residences and seeing something confusing: Circuit breakers that are adjacent to each other, but that cover unrelated circuits, are ganged, as shown below. ...
9
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3answers
2k views

Are "terminal block" style junction boxes allowed in the US?

In the UK it seems pretty common to see junction boxes with built-in screw terminals that are used only for splicing wires from 2 or more cables together. Typical example: (source) Sample wiring ...
8
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4answers
5k views

GFCI for aluminum-wired house

I recently bought a house built in the US in the 1970s. It has all-aluminum wiring. A last-second fix to pass the occupancy inspection involved replacing some malfunctioning GFCIs with, unbeknownst ...
8
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4answers
2k views

What else would an hot red wire be for in a split-tab outlet?

We are replacing some older outlets in our home with newer, more modern outlets. In one room, we found that two of the old outlets have two hots: a black and a red wire. The tab has been removed on ...
11
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3answers
936 views

First time changing switches and outlets (receptacles). Anything special I should know?

I am replacing a bunch of switches and receptacles in my house. While I understand the basics, this is pretty much my first electrical project, and I figure there must be some hidden "gotchas" or ...
6
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4answers
7k views

Dimmer switch not connected to ground

I know just the basics of electricity and am trying to replace an older dimmer switch that broke with a new very similar switch. The old switch is not connected to ground. The new switch has the ...
22
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5answers
5k views

Central Vacuuming: Is it worth it, and how does it compare to normal vacuuming?

I am in the process of buying a brand new home in the US through a builder. The home will be approximately 3,000 sq ft and I was given the option of buying a central vacuuming system for the house. ...
3
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2answers
2k views

How can I acquire or create a replacement latch for my service panel?

(I apologize if this seems like a shopping question - but I am out of ideas right now) The black plastic, flat handle of the door to my domestic electrical box snapped off and I stupidly threw it ...
4
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3answers
3k views

Are tamper resistant receptacles really safer?

Tamper-resistant receptacles (marked with TR, sometimes know as TRR) are designed to be safer than regular outlets by making it more difficult to insert foreign objects. That said, there are lots of ...
0
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1answer
777 views

Grounding Wire to copper pipe for cable

I'm working on renovating my basement, but first am replacing all of my existing copper pipes with modern CPVC to eliminate the constant leak headache since we are on a well. Last night I found this ...
8
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2answers
1k views

Toilet Seat Style

Why is it that in most home or apartment environments you find toilet seats that look pretty much like this: (Picture Source) And yet in offices and public places you will most often find toilet ...
1
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2answers
93 views

Operational Electrical Panel in an unfinished building -- safe? Sane? Legal?

Is it realistic to have an operational and functioning load center panel (with power supplied only to temporary outlets mounted near the panel), fed by an offgrid solar system, in a half-built ...
0
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3answers
181 views

How to wire a USA 50amp 2 phase double pole breaker supply for a UK 240v high capacity shower pump

I have recently moved to the USA from Scotland. I brought with me a "Waterfall" 3 bar shower pump, operating on UK 240V, 50Hz A/C,rated at 4 A, 850W, IPX2. In our house we have a disused 50amp supply ...
0
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1answer
316 views

Can I install junction box on a basement rim joint from inside

I am pulling wire from my basement for an outside receptacle. I drilled a hole through the rim joist. To secure pvc pipe from inside, I wanted to install a junction box on inside, and use a metal box ...
1
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1answer
106 views

What is this sensor/device located near the master bath tub?

This thing was in my old house and the new owner is asking me what it is. I never knew, and asked a few people. It is the size of a standard electrical outlet socket, and it is located near the master ...
0
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2answers
110 views

How do I know which wire is which is this old switch?

I'm replacing the following: With this one: But since there's not a white, I have no idea which is neutral. I tried hooking it up as pictured, but only the red wire had any power (and the switch ...