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.

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193
votes
2answers
41k 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.
22
votes
4answers
85k 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 ...
12
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?
7
votes
5answers
18k 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
8k 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
29k 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
17k 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 ...
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
67k 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
14k 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
314 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
47k 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
797 views

How to repair basic cable/wire issue for household appliances

I have a set of very old computer speakers that works fine except for one problem. One of the wires connecting to the volume control dial is loose, so that if the wire is jostled or flexed, the ...
5
votes
3answers
461 views

Can I reuse old electrical wire?

I'm adding new lights to my basement ceiling. I pulled out the old messy tangle of wires and ran new romex, but was missing the 4ft needed to reach the last box. I reused the old wire. Will this ...
5
votes
2answers
21k 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
9k 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
1answer
15k 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 ...
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
981 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
9k 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
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 ...
4
votes
2answers
2k 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
2k 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
3k 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
2answers
1k views

How many wires can safely be secured in a Marrette 33 wire nut?

I need to secure four 14 AWG solid copper wires and I have black wire nuts stamped Marrette 33, which look something like in the following photo except that the spring is copper: Should it be ok? I ...
4
votes
6answers
5k 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
4k 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
3answers
36k 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
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
4answers
21k 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
3k 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
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 ...
3
votes
2answers
4k 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
2answers
134 views

Adding wires to EMT conduit to add circuits

unfortunately, the kitchen wiring in our new condo is severely outdated. Just two circuits; one 15amp for lights and one 20amp for fridge, microwave, gas stove and oven, garbage disposal, dishwasher ...
3
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
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
550 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
23k 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
180 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
250 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
23k 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
1answer
68 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
806 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 ...
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 ...