Questions tagged [usa]

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

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What cable do I use to connect my generator to my panel?

What is the type of cable I should use for electrical panels for generator sets in the United States? If I am not wrong, the American standard for this kind of cable should be rated 600 volts or less. ...
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2 votes
2 answers
157 views

Is #8 wire suitable for an oven on a 50A breaker?

My house took considerable damage to the roof and electrical supply to my home in a wind storm. The main breaker panel was in a sorry state and so while the damage did not technically reach the panel ...
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3 votes
3 answers
315 views

How do I wire a new duplex GFCI-enabled receptacle to run two 15 amp appliances simultaneously?

Original situation: I have a 14/2 circuit, where the circuit powered 7 lights and 3 outlets. One of those outlets was in the kitchen and was powering a microwave and sometimes an air fryer. During ...
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  • 197
3 votes
2 answers
134 views

Remove plaster from brick

We recently purchased a 130+ years old house and have been restoring the plaster walls. We realized one of the walls is the chimney to the fireplace. I removed the plaster as best as I could before ...
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1 vote
2 answers
290 views

How to legalize unpermitted half bathroom?

I live in Daly City (SF Bay Area) and I recently purchased a house with an unpermitted half bathroom that was converted in the back portion of a 2-car tandem garage. It looked like it was installed ...
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0 votes
1 answer
86 views

USA- 220v receptacle giving 200v

I just put in a new 220 circuit to run a rackmount UPS for some servers. However, there are some issues with the ups, and it notes that the input voltage is only 200v, versus the expected 220v. This ...
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0 votes
1 answer
70 views

Hot dryer cord after use

This question is a follow-up to this question titled "Dryer door switch" which I asked a bit ago. Thank you to @SiHa who answered my question! I just was using my dryer (which now works). It ...
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1 vote
1 answer
111 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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1 vote
2 answers
186 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, ...
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0 votes
1 answer
153 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 ...
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  • 289
2 votes
2 answers
271 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? ...
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6 votes
2 answers
2k 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 ...
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2 votes
1 answer
136 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 ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
215 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 ...
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12 votes
4 answers
5k 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 ...
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8 votes
4 answers
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 ...
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  • 233
0 votes
1 answer
943 views

Pull power from hard-wired smoke detector?

I'd like to put a power outlet in a closet to power some tech. I have access to the attic above the closet so I'm looking for possible sources to tap into. I first thought about ceiling-mounted lights,...
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  • 1,165
7 votes
5 answers
791 views

Possible to use trim with routed out channel to hide 12/2 or 12/3 wire instead of using Wiremold?

I plan to add some lighting in positions on the ceiling that doesn't have nearby wire available. The there is no free space between the ceiling/roof in which to run a wire (there's the wood, then ...
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  • 135
18 votes
5 answers
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’...
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  • 325
1 vote
1 answer
82 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 ...
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  • 4,934
5 votes
3 answers
2k 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 ...
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  • 1,308
0 votes
1 answer
86 views

Second Pressure relief valve in hot water system?

My water heater has a pressure relief 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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2 votes
0 answers
70 views

Are these aluminium crimps? Are they safe?

Or should i change to alumiconns?
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4 votes
3 answers
279 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 ...
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  • 41
18 votes
4 answers
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 ...
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0 votes
1 answer
57 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 ...
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  • 712
2 votes
1 answer
335 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 ...
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  • 4,934
15 votes
5 answers
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 ...
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0 votes
1 answer
131 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 ...
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  • 1,165
1 vote
1 answer
95 views

Can anyone identify this valve

I have several old sinks in a house I'm working on and I think I probably need to replace or at least rebuild a few of these valves. But I'm not sure of the make much less the model. Can anyone ID ...
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2 votes
1 answer
71 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 ...
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  • 1,074
2 votes
4 answers
3k 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 ...
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1 vote
1 answer
79 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 ...
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  • 1,074
9 votes
3 answers
3k views

Why do I hear water flowing in a floor drain near commercial bathroom fixtures?

I work in a government agency building, less than 10 years old, built to some kind of 'green' standards. When I am in a men's bathroom, either at a urinal or a commode, when someone flushes a toilet, ...
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0 votes
1 answer
124 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 ...
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  • 461
0 votes
3 answers
298 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 ...
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  • 143
30 votes
3 answers
8k 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 ...
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3 votes
2 answers
234 views

Transformer won't work for US plug

I live in the UK but have a few US appliances in my possession which I would like to use here in the UK. To avoid having to rewire all the plugs, I bought a transformer to step down the voltage from ...
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  • 53
0 votes
2 answers
2k 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 ...
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  • 475
1 vote
0 answers
207 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 ...
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  • 1,074
1 vote
2 answers
163 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 ...
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  • 1,074
11 votes
3 answers
9k 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 ...
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  • 1,074
5 votes
2 answers
6k views

Grounds twisted without wire nuts

In my 1984 house, inside switch boxes, there are many instances where bare ground wires are twisted together without wire nuts. They are twisted really tightly about 4-5 turns. It has almost ...
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  • 1,769
5 votes
2 answers
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.
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  • 189
5 votes
5 answers
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 ...
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16 votes
5 answers
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 ...
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  • 298
13 votes
1 answer
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. ...
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  • 2,509
9 votes
3 answers
3k 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 ...
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  • 4,934
8 votes
4 answers
7k 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 ...
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  • 415
8 votes
4 answers
3k 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 ...
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