Questions tagged [wiring]

The installation of wire and/or electrical devices, to allow the transmission of electricity from one point to another.

64
votes
15answers
33k views

What should I consider regarding LAN wiring before building a house?

I am planning a small house (4 rooms, 2 floors, no basement, no attic, 120 sq.meters) and I want to run a lot of LAN cables throughout because of poor WiFi experiences in my apartment. Because the ...
42
votes
11answers
12k views

What are insulated screwdrivers for if you’re not supposed to work on a live circuit?

It’s not just that I’ve been told by some people to never work on a live circuit as an amateur (I know that electricians often do work on live circuits)... but the package itself containing the ...
39
votes
7answers
192k views

Can Romex (NM-B) be run through conduit?

A few days ago I asked an electrician if I could run Romex through conduit - he gave me a funny look and said "No, Romex is not allowed in conduit." When I searched online, there seems to be a wide ...
37
votes
11answers
29k views

Why don't you connect unused hot and neutral wires to “complete the circuit”?

I'm new to home wiring and had a question I'd like explained to me. I removed a vent hood over my oven and I thought I had to complete the circuit so I tied the hot and neutral wires that were ...
36
votes
7answers
49k views

How do I run ethernet cable through a wall cavity?

I want to install an ethernet jack in an interior wall of one room. I'd like to run the cable up through the wall cavity (so it is hidden) into the crawl space and back down another wall to another ...
34
votes
5answers
15k views

Why does my home's power fade and surge when I plug things in?

I live in Texas. I ran 300 ft of aluminum electric direct-bury 4-4-2 from the pole on street to my new home. The pole is metered and yes, I had my utility's blessing to do so. Everything worked ...
34
votes
11answers
6k views

Home electronics break daily and wiring is OK. Any ideas?

We have a very old house, circa 1850-1900. It seems that as often as every week we have had to replace an electronic device. In the past six months, we have had to in total, replace: 1 washing ...
32
votes
4answers
305k views

How do you know when and where it is safe to drill into a wall?

Lots of home projects involve cutting or drilling through walls (everything from nails, screws, or hooks to mount things to cutting through drywall and drilling through studs to run wire). In general,...
32
votes
9answers
78k views

How should I go about installing a 12 volt DC residential circuit?

I have a couple deep cycle batteries that trickle charge from a solar panel, for emergency use. Right now the only way I get useful power from them is to use a 12VDC -> 120VAC inverter, e.g. the type ...
30
votes
3answers
16k views

When doing electrical work, what do I use to check wires are safe?

If I am thinking of replacing a light switch, a light-fitting, a socket/outlet or doing other work with household wiring where there may be 120 Volts or 240 volts present ... There is already a ...
30
votes
1answer
8k views

Metal spike with heavy metal cord found in front lawn

While raking my front lawn I came across this metal stake in the ground, wrapped in a thick metal wire/cord. I could not pull the stake up. I dug around and found the wire, pulling up on it and it ...
30
votes
8answers
147k views

Can I run CAT5/6 cables parallel to electrical cables?

I am building a new house and am planning to hardwire network cables into each room. Can I run CAT5/6 cables parallel to electrical wires without introducing any general safety issues or losing much ...
29
votes
8answers
57k views

How do I wire an old house with Cat6?

I have a older home (build in the 50's) with 1/2" dry wall and then plaster on top. I would like to run Cat6 cable through most of the house (living room, kitchen, entertainment room,etc). So, I'm ...
29
votes
4answers
5k views

How to future-proof a long cable run

I'm starting on a project that will involve digging a long (roughly 150-200 meter) trench from my house down to the road. The trench itself will be a considerable expense and so while the ground is ...
26
votes
5answers
290k views

Is it ok to have mixed grounds and neutrals on bars in a breaker box?

So to continue my line of electrical questioning (and perhaps narrow down my flickering light problem), I took a look through the two panels in this house. There is a 200amp main service in the ...
25
votes
3answers
10k views

Can anyone tell me what this little white box on my outlet is?

Recently bought a house that's about 40 years old. The previous owner was clearly very fond of doing the wiring himself and has left me some idiosyncrasies to work out. One is this box in one of my ...
25
votes
3answers
5k views

Can you cut open a plastic junction box and just lay splices inside?

This doesn't look like it should fly to me, but the "electrician" hired by the seller of this property is arguing that this is an acceptable way to put an open splice into an box. I know this shouldn'...
24
votes
4answers
9k views

While drilling into kitchen wall, hit a wire - any advice?

While fixing the extractor hood yesterday, I accidently hit a wire when drilling and exposed the copper. The wires are too tight to get some kind of a box in there and putting an electrical tape may ...
23
votes
7answers
29k views

How do I run cable through my ceiling?

I have a cable that I need to run through the ceiling. I'd like to go under the floor, but I have a split level house, and this is the lower floor, so I don't believe there is room in the bottom half ...
23
votes
4answers
139k views

How do I properly feed coax through an outside wall?

I would like to add a new cable outlet to an outside wall and wanted to find out what kind of drill bit is needed to drill through and feed the coax cable as well as anything else to be mindful of. ...
22
votes
5answers
43k views

What is the proper way to run Category 6 underground?

I'd like to run some Category 6 cabling underground, for a distance of about 120 ft, between a main home and a 2nd unit, for ethernet connectivity between the two homes. I've run Category 5 indoors ...
22
votes
1answer
3k views

240v Outlet with 120v and 215v - How?

Ok this is a weird one and maybe I just don't understand how mains work (though I feel I have a good enough knowledge to stay safe and do basic breaker work & wiring). Buddy moved into a new shop ...
21
votes
6answers
12k views

Is it important not to scratch copper wire when removing insulation?

I use a small cutter made for max 14 gauge wires, but I'm bad at removing insulation, it takes me a bit of time to get it right, so I end up cutting and repeating, because I see scratches on copper ...
21
votes
7answers
24k views

Ethernet cable instead of Thermostat wire?

I need to pull new wire from my furnace to my thermostat and was wondering if there would be any problems in using an Ethernet cable instead of standard thermostat wiring. The reason being is I have ...
21
votes
4answers
25k views

What should I use to secure/organize data cable runs?

I am running Cat-6 and Coax in new construction. I am looking for advice/best practices on how to organize and secure the cables during the runs. I will be running 2 Cat-6 and 1 Coax to a single-...
20
votes
6answers
18k views

Is this light switch installation safe and legal?

I did this wiring in my bonus room years ago, and now I'm wondering if it is in fact legal and safe. This is a built-in book case that I built and installed myself. The bookshelf went in over a ...
20
votes
3answers
580k views

What wire gauge do I need for a 100 Amp subpanel at the end of a 60' wire run?

I am adding an attached garage to my house. I'm going to be putting in a 100 Amp subpanel which is about 60 feet away and run through the basement joists. What gauge wire do you recommend for ...
19
votes
6answers
4k views

Can a 40amp breaker be used safely and without issue with a 40amp device on 6AWG wire?

We are installing a Cooktop that calls for a 40amp circuit. I was given 6AWG wire (instead of the 8AWG wire I asked for) by mistake. The electrician saw the 6AWG wire (that I had already run) and used ...
19
votes
2answers
3k views

Can you identify this receptacle?

I was walking through a house during the middle of construction and came across what appears to be a recpticle attached to a pvc pipe that seems to pass a low voltage wire. Also connected to the ...
19
votes
3answers
23k views

Is running ethernet cable through an air return allowed under US code?

I'm looking to wire up the second floor of my house and the cold air return provides a convenient, straight run from the office to the utility room. Is it safe and within code to run ethernet cable in ...
19
votes
4answers
5k views

How can I get a wire that is outside a wall to be inside a wall

I recently removed an abominable drop ceiling from my dining room and found this close to the ceiling on the one side of the room. There is definitely a stud between these two holes. On the other ...
19
votes
3answers
1k views

Is it permissible to have exposed mains conductors in holiday lights?

I've just had a holiday lights company install some outside tree lights, and I found they had done it so that at several places the prongs of mains cable plugs had been left exposed, and carrying ...
19
votes
5answers
263k views

What is a GFI outlet used for, and where should I install them?

What purpose does a GFI serve? Where should they be used?
18
votes
7answers
21k views

What is the right way to strip power wires?

I've been working with electrical circuits as a DIYer for years, including electronics and powerline work. But one thing I always feel like I do a terrible job at is stripping wires: both the outside ...
18
votes
18answers
125k views

When wiring outlets should I use pigtails or both sets of outlet screws?

I'm replacing the outlets in our house and pulled out one that had two black and two white cables. My first thought was that it was two circuits, one of them being switched, but then realized the tab ...
18
votes
1answer
648 views

What is this velcro-like product?

Does anyone have an idea what this product might be? It was found it on some hired equipment, used as a cable tie / cable tidy. It is reversible and each side will stick to itself, unlike velcro. ...
17
votes
5answers
16k views

If I install a GFCI on the first outlet in a circuit will the other receptacles on that breaker circuit have GFI protection?

I have three electrical outlets in my garage which appear to be connected to one circuit breaker. I am assuming the outlet closest to to the panel is first in the three receptacle circuit. How ...
16
votes
6answers
9k views

How do you push a cable through a standard conduit inside the wall?

I want to expand my network and transmit it wired through my home and office (in another floor). I know the IT part kind of well, but don't know how to push the network cable through a conduit (...
16
votes
4answers
3k views

Getting UPS Power from One Room to Another

I’d like to run power from a Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) in ROOM A to where a work computer is used in ROOM B. I was thinking of installing an outlet box in ROOM A near where the UPS is plugged ...
16
votes
3answers
7k views

Do new wire runs in an existing ceiling need to be stapled down?

I've heard some people say that code requires wiring in the wall to be stapled to framing every so often (how often?), but when you are doing a remodel, is that necessary? I have a two story house, ...
15
votes
4answers
5k views

Are my wires in this junction box too short?

This my first attempt at a junction box . I am kind of worried the wires are too short. They are all in the push connectors. Is this safe?
15
votes
3answers
4k views

Condensor went, HVAC guy is blaming electrician, is this possible?

My brand new HVAC unit, the condensor died. The unit has a sticker that says the following: Minimum Circuit Ampacity 32 amps Max Fuse / Breaker 50 The electrician ran a 8 gauge wire with a 40 ...
15
votes
9answers
240k views

How do you release the wires from a push-in wire connector?

I would like to reposition some pot lights - before drywalling the ceiling. They have been wired using push-in wire connectors. How do you release the wires from a push-in wire connector ??
15
votes
3answers
22k views

How do I run ethernet, speaker wire, and coax through a wall into a crawlspace?

I would like to run three low-voltage cables from my entertainment center through an old plaster wall, down (1-3 feet) through the sill plate, and into the crawlspace. The cables are Ethernet, ...
15
votes
2answers
3k views

Considering doing a 100A sub panel install on my own. Any guidance would be much appreciated

My background: I am an Electrical Engineer by schooling and I'm a pretty handy guy overall. I have been working on and around just about everything since as long as I can remember. I have a good grasp ...
14
votes
3answers
6k views

Can I use 220 V outlets on a 15 ampere breaker and wire it up as 110 V?

I purchased a 220 V outlet and didn't realize it. My circuit is 15 amperes. I wanted to hook up a series of normal 15 ampere 110 V outlets. When I look at the outlet it looks exactly like a regular 15 ...
14
votes
5answers
7k views

Why would a switch be wired with its neutral connected to ground?

I'm rewiring a few bedrooms in my house and came across some interesting wiring on both of them: The wire at the bottom is the power source and the wire at the top goes up to the light/fan. Why ...
14
votes
3answers
2k views

What is this electrical cord for?

I found this odd cable while cleaning out the garage of a house I recently bought. It's plugged in to a live outlet but doesn't appear to connect anywhere. It also has some wrapped junction in the ...
14
votes
6answers
161k views

How should I run wiring for my above-fireplace mounted TV?

I'm going to mount my 47" LCD above my fireplace. I'm not looking for arguments against this decision. I'm looking for wiring solutions. The diagram below should help explain the situation. ...
14
votes
2answers
1k views

How many power cables can a coaxial cable cross?

I am running coax RG6Q to my FiOS box. I know to cross electrical cables perpendicular, but is there a limit to how many wires I can cross in a short area? See my picture: the coax is the black line ...