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Questions tagged [wire]

Questions about wires, usually seen in electrical applications. Questions with this tag are typically about sizing wires appropriately for the projected usage, but could also be about properties of or problems with a wire.

187
votes
2answers
38k views

What is the purpose of these holes on my wire stripper?

I have been using this wire stripper for a while, but I have always wondered what was the purpose of those holes in the center and above LOOP, and those teeth on the handles.
21
votes
4answers
79k views

Do I really have to fasten interior-wall electrical wire to a stud to keep it from moving?

I am fresh out of cable staples and would rather not go all the way to Lowe's just to get a box. What are the implications of not fastening loose electrical wires to a stud? It's not like there's ...
13
votes
3answers
4k views

Mysterious cord running from wall. Safe?

My wife and I are preparing to sell our home and are discovering some weird things. Our home was built in 1958, so it is older. We found this in a corner that had some furniture in front of it. We ...
9
votes
4answers
2k views

Want to switch to tankless, but can I use my existing wiring?

The tankless water heaters I am looking at require 8 AWG wire but the existing wiring is 12 AWG. Can I do this without having to rerun new wire?
8
votes
1answer
15k views

Can I extend an electrical ground wire with a copper wire crimp?

I am working with an electrical socket and I need extra length on the ground wire. It doesn't seem unreasonable that I can attach an extra three inches to the existing one and attach it with a copper ...
7
votes
5answers
16k views

Is this exposed wire dangerous?

I have this wire some of the inner part of which is exposed. My friend claims that this is highly dangerous, but I don't think that touching it would be lethal, and in the worst case scenario there ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

Will my breaker accept #10 wire even though the chart lists #14?

I am hooking up a disconnect for heating air unit. The instructions state use a 25 amp 2 pole breaker with 10-2 wire. The breaker says wire size 14-2. It is an Eaton BR225 beaker. Will it work with 10-...
7
votes
2answers
7k views

What is this lamp base wire clip and how do I remove the wire without breaking the clip?

I'm trying to replace the socket in an old desk lamp, and I need to pull the wire through. However, the wire is secured tightly by a black plastic clip at the base. I'm wondering what this clip is ...
6
votes
5answers
9k views

What's the suggested standard gauge wire for a given current?

I'd like to see a reference to an US or EU standard that lists in a table the suggested wire gauges for AC/DC and volts / amps.
6
votes
4answers
25k views

Options for lubricating wires for conduit?

I am trying to pull four #8 stranded wires through a flexible PVC conduit that is 25 feet long. I can get the wires just a few feet into the conduit before they bind. I know there is a commercially ...
6
votes
4answers
65k views

Is it safe to install a three pronged cable into a four pronged dryer?

I just moved into an old home that has a three pronged wall jack as shown below: I have a newer dryer that has a four pronged cable. Please see the back of the dryer, I've removed the four pronged ...
6
votes
2answers
13k views

How can I secure NM cable to a metal stud?

I use NM staples to secure NM cable to wood studs but I am unfamiliar with the options to secure NM cable directly to metal studs despite trying a number of different search terms. Would it be okay to ...
5
votes
2answers
297 views

Why do electrical devices use such small wire?

I know that it is unwise to use 14 awg wire on a 20 amp circuit and that 12 gauge should be used because the larger wire can handle the larger load, right? Then how come when I open up a night light (...
5
votes
7answers
46k views

How should I wire for a security system during construction?

I would like to run wires in anticipation of a future hard-wired security system. However, I have yet to find any information that pulls everything together regarding what is required. From what I ...
5
votes
2answers
18k views

Do metal junction boxes used solely as pull boxes need to be grounded?

I am planning to pull three sets of four conductors (3 AWG wire) through 2" EMT conduit for a 30' length that is common to all three sets of wires, and then branch off at a listed metal junction box (...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

Can i run my cables from the outside box to the inside breaker box through 2x4 studs?

I am turning our carport into a living room and we have a 100amp breaker box outside that feeds power into the breaker box on the inside of our house. the conduit is going to be in the way of the wall ...
5
votes
3answers
8k views

What gauge wire/cord do I need for these outdoor lamps?

I have two 700 watt outdoor halogen lamps, each connected to a splitter, then back to a power source. Given the distances illustrated below, what gauge cord should I use?
5
votes
2answers
5k views

Are the wires for my generator transfer switch undersized?

I purchased a Reliance Q510-C transfer switch to use with a 50 amp generator at my house. The transfer switch is rated at 50 amps. I have wired it into my main electrical box. I also wired a 50-amp ...
5
votes
1answer
809 views

Hangman's Noose vs Uni Knot

Is there any practical difference between the Hangman's Noose and the Uni Knot (a.k.a. Duncan loop)? The difference I see between the two is that the coils are wound inside the loop in the uni knot ...
5
votes
3answers
7k views

Do I need to derate wire ampacity for two or more sets of wires in the same raceway for subpanel wiring?

I was planning to pull three sets of four conductors (3 AWG wire) through 2" EMT conduit for a 30' length that is common to all three sets of wires, and then branch off at a listed metal junction box (...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

Seeking good method to locate short on buried AC power cable

We have experienced a failure or short in one leg of a buried 3 wire 2.0-gauge aluminum cable that runs 150’ from our house to a detached garage (2 hots and a neutral, no ground -USE-2 RHH 60 MIL XLP)....
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Household Wire Insulation (Asbestos Risk?)

So I am redoing light fixtures in my 1946 house located in the USA. I guess I'm overly scared of asbestos, and just wondering on your opinion if this household branch wire is asbestos containing. It ...
4
votes
4answers
766 views

Can I use #8 wire in a 15 or 20A circuit?

I have a customer with a detached garage/shed unit that wants to install a few outlets and light fixtures/recessed lighting - common residential use, meaning no heavy power tools, washers/dryers, etc. ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Are splices required in a junction box?

If I have a conduit with 6 wires (3 separate circuits), and I want them to split at some point, can I send the conduit (A) to a 4-inch square junction box and then send 2 wires to leave the junction ...
4
votes
6answers
4k views

What can I use to lubricate CAT6 cables while installing them?

I am about to run some network wires inside the wall at home. I had already done so but apparently too much pressure on them while pulling caused one of the pairs to go bad and therefore prevent ...
4
votes
2answers
3k views

How do I connect a stranded wire to a bus bar?

A typical bus bar has this design: and connecting a solid wire to it is more or less easy. But how do I connect a stranded wire? I expect the following to happen: when I drive the screw in, the screw ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

How can I repair a nicked wire without adding a junction box?

I had to open up a wall for a plumbing repair and accidentally nicked the jacket of a NM electrical wire with my drywall saw. From what I can see, only the outer jacket was affected, but I admittedly ...
4
votes
3answers
35k views

What type of wire should I use to feed a 70 ampere subpanel?

Finishing a basement and I need to add a subpanel. Main panel is outside. Subpanel will be in the basement. 70 Amp breaker in the main to feed the subpanel. I was thinking THHN but would this mean ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

How can I route an unknown amount of wires through an outside wall?

I'd love to figure out the best way to make a reusable junction through an outside wall for routing cables through it. (Specifically, ham-radio coax cables). It would be fairly simple if I was going ...
4
votes
1answer
490 views

Does copper wire need to say it's copper?

I just saw this picture of wire. Pirelli Cable-X - 500 MCM Type THHN or THWN-2 600V Gasoline & Oil Resistant II AWM (UL) Wait a minute. It's routine common THHN, like you might use in a ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Can't find the release for this wiring harness connector

I am unable to unlock any "tabs". The video text just says use a slot screwdriver to release the locking tabs. Any help is appreciated.
4
votes
1answer
13k views

What are these wires I found in my yard?

I was digging the holes for some crepe myrtle saplings and I sliced into a wire with one unlucky shovel stroke. They do not seem to be carrying any voltage, but I haven't hooked my multi-meter up to ...
4
votes
4answers
19k views

How can I fix chewed through wires?

I have two standard two prong wall plugs my puppy has chewed through completely, and he managed to sink his teeth into a laptop cord as well. I'm thinking the wall plugs are history (a lamp and a ...
4
votes
1answer
643 views

I need to add a subpanel for my electric car, need to know wire gauge/breaker for main

My new car needs a charge station that will run off a 60 amp circuit breaker. I have plenty of room for the added load in my 200 amp service to the house, but not enough spaces to fit a new double ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

Can I use romex in my unfinished, detached garage or should I use MC?

I bought my house with an unfinished detached garage. I will never finish the walls. The previous owner has junction boxes with romex coming out of them and going to the fixtures. I've only seen MC ...
4
votes
3answers
3k views

How should I label and organize my home electrical circuits?

I am looking to make the wiring updates in my home extremely simple to understand while doing so in a code-approved manner. I cannot find anything against wrapping a thin band of colored electrical ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Wiring 2 or 3 outlets controlled by one switch

I want 2 ( maybe 3) outlets controlled by the same switch. Easy enough. But, in addition, I want half of each outlet controlled by the switch and the other half of each outlet always hot. Is there a ...
3
votes
3answers
22k views

is it possible to do a 3 way switch if power source is in the second switch?

In my research on how to install a 3 way switch, i've seen different ways on how to install the wires but i haven't found the schema that would help me in my situation. Here's a screenshot of my ...
3
votes
1answer
18k views

Can i connect 14-2 wire to the current 12-2 wire in this case?

i have already had 12-2 wire running through my garage. Now i have a small shed which is 50 feet away from the garage. My plan is to dismantle one of the outlet in the garage which is where the 12-2 ...
3
votes
1answer
3k views

What is the best way to run underground electrical and low voltage in the same trench?

I'm putting in a couple of new electrical lines for my back yard. I have a trench dug from point A, to B, to C, etc.. I then had a bright idea. Why don't I put speaker wires and CAT6 under ground ...
3
votes
2answers
21k views

Why doesn't my motion sensor light work?

I want to install a simple motion sensor (Lutron Maestro MS-OPS2) on a single pole switch in my garage. When I installed it the light would not turn off. The instructions (PDF) that come with the ...
3
votes
2answers
141 views

Was it ever acceptable in the past to use 20A breakers with 14 AWG wire?

Background I recently bought a house which was made in 1965 and which still had the original Bryant outdoor main box and breaker, a subfeed to the original GE subpanel in the garage, and (with a few ...
3
votes
1answer
58 views

What is the service wire sizing based off of on a temporay power pole?

I know how to use the wire sizing tables, but I'm unclear on how to size wire before a breaker, and when the panel has no main breaker. For example, If I have a temp power service panel that is rated ...
3
votes
1answer
177 views

Can I use individual wires from romex bundle?

I am wiring three overhead florescent lights in my unfinished basement and I need 14/3 because of where the switch is located. The wiring already present between the fixtures is 14/2. I have a length ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Are these wires dangerous?

I pulled on a cord for the light switch hanging from the ceiling in my bathroom and some plastic and metal casing fell off. This is the result. I know nothing about electronics - these look like ...
3
votes
1answer
62 views

Should I increase wire size when extending a 75 foot circuit to reduce voltage drop?

I have a 1200W smoker which I currently hook up to an outdoor outlet. The outlet runs on about 75' of 12 gauge wire from a 20A breaker. There is nothing else on that circuit. I am moving the outlet to ...
3
votes
1answer
5k views

New light switch has blue, black, and white wires. Wall has black, white, and ground. Can I make it work?

I bought a new light switch that is supposed to allow me to automate my lights easier. Here is what it looks like: It has blue, black, and white wires. Coming out of my wall, however, I only have a ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

Inferring wire gauge from cable size

Is there any way to infer the gauge of the wires inside an NM cable from the size and shape of the cable? I reckon a round cable is generally -/3 W/G and a flatter cable -/2 W/G, but I do not know how ...
3
votes
2answers
148 views

Ethernet Gauge Too Small for Patch Panel

I have run into a small issue when upgrading my home network's central hub with a larger switch and a patch panel. While I was able to patch down most of the cables with no issues, one of the cables ...
3
votes
2answers
226 views

How can I tell if a contractor is trying to scam me by charging more after starting a job?

I have a remodeling project for about $2,500 and I have already signed the contract. When the contractor was making a new door on the wall he found a wire inside the wall. Now he is asking for an ...