Questions tagged [wiring]

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

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27 votes
3 answers
917k 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 ...
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36 votes
3 answers
28k 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 ...
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30 votes
5 answers
449k 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 ...
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  • 5,015
55 votes
7 answers
404k views

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

A few days ago I asked an electrician if I could run cable 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 ...
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2 votes
5 answers
3k views

What to do with a new duplex outlet when the tester says Hot & Ground are Reversed?

I switched out a regular outlet with a LeGrand Radiant Duplex Outlet, connecting all of the wires (2 White, 2 Black and 1 Green) exactly as the previous outlet was wired and according to the ...
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13 votes
4 answers
292k views

Where does the ground wire go in a 3-prong dryer cord configuration?

We moved to a new place where the dryer connection is 3-prong instead of 4-prong. The dryer was originally 4-prong, so we bought a 3-prong cord and installed it. It works fine, except I am not ...
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18 votes
7 answers
206k views

What is the proper 'per code' method for running nonmetallic sheathed cable above a ceiling in the attic?

Can the wiring be run over the top of the ceiling joist, or must it be run through bored holes when running perpendicular to the joists? This is a non-habitable space, will have an attic entrance ...
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  • 181
40 votes
10 answers
265k 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 ...
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  • 503
10 votes
3 answers
8k views

Can ground shock me? It's bonded to neutral in my panel

I have no outdoor outlets. I want to install a GFCI outlet underneath my main service panel. Inside the panel there is only one bar with both ground and neutral wires connected to it. If I connect ...
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  • 101
17 votes
7 answers
134k views

Why is it safe to use 15 A receptacles on a 20 A circuit?

OK, the one answer I got was way off target, and another commenter couldn't figure out what I was asking, so I'm restating the question... Are 15A 3-prong grounded outlets actually rated to 20A, ...
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  • 14k
11 votes
5 answers
75k views

Can different gauges of wire be used on the same circuit?

My father-in-law is a builder. He has put in 20 amp and 15 amp breakers, and ran 12-2 as the home runs to the switch's and the first plug to make them hot. He then ran 14-2 to feed the rest of the ...
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  • 121
8 votes
9 answers
255k views

How many outlets can you have on one 15 amp circuit?

In my rebuilding project I have counted 18 outlets and lights on one bedroom circuit that travels through 3 rooms. Is that ok?
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27 votes
5 answers
115k 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 ...
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15 votes
2 answers
25k views

What is a multiwire branch circuit?

What is a multiwire branch circuit? (also known as "multiwire circuit", "multiwire branch circuit", "split phase shared neutral", "two circuits fed from one 12-3 or ...
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3 votes
3 answers
34k views

Controlling 110v swamp cooler using Nest thermostat

I currently have an HVAC system that is connected to a Nest thermostat (2nd generation) and I'm planning to use the same Nest thermostat to control a 110 swamp cooler that is currently not connected. ...
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6 votes
5 answers
143k views

Why am I getting 50V at a light when the switch is off?

I am trying to put in a switch and a light it controls in a storage building and this is how I wired it. Click for larger view When I checked the wiring it registered 120V when the switch was on, ...
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6 votes
3 answers
26k views

Cat 5/6 in same conduit as power: is NM-B required, or is THHN acceptable?

Preface: I'd like to avoid the question of whether one should run data and power together; my question is focused on Code compliance. I'm trying to ensure I interpret Code correctly when running Cat ...
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39 votes
7 answers
79k 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 ...
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  • 515
3 votes
7 answers
347k views

How should I wire a ceiling fan remote where two switches are used to control the fixture?

I have 2 wall switches. 4 wires coming out of ceiling (black-hot, red-hot, white-common, bare- ground), a ceiling fan and a remote. How do I wire them and still be able to use wall switches? I can ...
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  • 31
13 votes
1 answer
69k views

How can I install this programmable switch where a neutral is not present?

I'm trying install this programmable switch but the instructions do not match reality. The instructions refer to the existence of a black (load) cable and a white (neutral) cable supposedly coming out ...
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  • 621
12 votes
5 answers
301k views

Can different gauge wiring be used in the same circuit?

I am extending a lighting and outlet circuit in a basement. The current setup has the following characteristics 15 amp. circuit breaker (200 amp service) 4 existing lighting fixtures using CFL bulbs (...
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4 votes
2 answers
9k views

When wiring a switch loop, which wire is which?

If you're wiring up a lighting circuit, where the power enters at the lighting outlet. According to the National Electrical Code, which wire should be "hot" and which should be "...
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  • 129k
8 votes
6 answers
44k views

Getting shocked by a neutral wire

I'm trying to figure out how I got a shock from a neutral wire. I didn't think it was possible until I read this article on being "in series with the neutral." Here's what happened: I was ...
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  • 81
35 votes
4 answers
442k 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,...
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  • 811
20 votes
4 answers
270k 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?
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16 votes
3 answers
28k 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, ...
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20 votes
8 answers
107k views

Is switching the neutral OK?

What’s the worst that can happen if I put a switch in the neutral instead of the phase? I just found out that 3 light bulbs sockets in my home are connected this way. It came to my mind to fix it, but ...
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  • 301
10 votes
3 answers
379k views

How should I connect the ground wire for my light fixture?

I am replacing a light fixture in my bathroom and have the following setup: The electrical box is plastic The wire coming from supply has black (hot), white (neutral) and copper (ground). The light ...
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7 votes
1 answer
21k views

What is a split bus panel, and how do I recognize it in the field?

I'm having trouble identifying a split bus panel. I design and install Solar systems, and lately (after Mr Wiley gave a few seminars to local inspectors) the local authority having jurisdiction (AHJ) ...
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  • 71
4 votes
6 answers
42k views

Can I install a Subpanel (in a seperate building) using a 3 wire connection (2 hots and 1 grounded neutral)?

Can I use a 3 wire connection (2 hots and 1 grounded neutral) to install a sub panel in a separate structure if I install a separate ground rod to the grounding bus in sub panel? I have 8/3 w/o ...
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  • 49
9 votes
2 answers
3k views

Can I run stripped Romex/NM through conduit?

If I have NM cable running into a junction box, can I strip the sheath of the NM cable starting inside the junction box and run the conductors without a sheath through conduit that is connected to the ...
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  • 113
4 votes
3 answers
64k views

What is the maximum 12/2 wire length from a 20A breaker to a baseboard heater?

What is the maximum distance from a 220V/20amp circuit breaker to an 2000 watt electric baseboard heater using 12/2? At what distance would it require 10/2?
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  • 41
70 votes
14 answers
38k 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 ...
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15 votes
6 answers
199k 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. ...
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13 votes
8 answers
98k views

Is there an NEC-compliant method of repairing minor damage to electrical wire insulation without a junction box?

While trying to pry loose a stubborn cable staple that fastens a 14-gauge electrical cable to a stud, I accidentally tore a very small hole through both the outer jacket and the insulation around the ...
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11 votes
4 answers
383k views

Which side of a two-wire cable should be used for "hot"?

I bought a custom length of a 16/2 cable (two 16-gauge stranded wires, individually insulated). The two wires have identical colors and insulation; the only thing to tell them apart is that along one,...
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  • 459
9 votes
2 answers
7k views

How do I run a wire underground to an outdoor post lamp?

I live in Geauga county Ohio. My question is three part. First what type of wire do I need to run from the house underground to a post lamp 100 feet away? Second,does it need to be in conduit and ...
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9 votes
6 answers
177k views

Can a 20 amp circuit have a 14 gauge pigtail directly to one receptacle?

I'm rewiring a a small part of a wall and I'm confused about a combination of the NEC and the products that I'm able to find. I'm working on a 20 amp circuit (with 12g wire of course). I'm ...
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9 votes
1 answer
5k views

Why am I getting shocked by a water heater?

Background: I live in Metro Manila, Philippines where the electric distribution company, Meralco, delivers split-phase power to residential buildings. Our old (1980s) Meralco service drop consists ...
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6 votes
4 answers
81k 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 ...
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4 votes
3 answers
22k views

Can I tie into a 12 gauge 20 amp line with 14/2 NM-B to run a light?

My refrigerator line is 20 amp with 12 gauge wire. Can I tap into that with 14/2 wire, and run a light switch and 1 LED light?
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  • 43
2 votes
2 answers
8k views

Why are most of my cable/coax wires disconnected?

I'm researching an ethernet-over-coax solution for my home. In my closet where all the cabling meet, all but two coax cables are disconnected. There are 14 cables altogether, with 12 cables entirely ...
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1 vote
3 answers
18k views

Can I install two independent gfci outlets in one double-gang box?

Cam I have two GFCIs connected to one double gang box in my laundry room and if so can I do a single line connection so that they both can work independently? I have a 12/2 going from the panel ...
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1 vote
3 answers
597 views

If I run CAT5/6 cables parallel to electrical cables, is it possible to shield the cables with copper tubes to stop interference? [duplicate]

I'm remodeling my home and I wanted to hardwire some extensions of my ethernet near my 220v outlet, by near at least a foot away from it. I was wondering, would I be able block the interference if I ...
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0 votes
3 answers
15k views

Can I use 14 gauge wire on a 20 AMP electrical circuit? [duplicate]

Running 12-2 Romex cable from the electrical panel to a J-box located in attic. J-box will connect two GFCI outlets and extend a 14-2 cable to the ceiling light fixture box, where other 14-2 cable ...
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  • 57
0 votes
0 answers
113 views

Best way to run power to mobile home

I have 3 feeder wires coming up underground from the meter and main disconnect. They tie in to a 50amp receptacle box and a 6 AWG cord With 8Awg ground all in one. That cord goes into my electrical ...
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218 votes
2 answers
58k 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.
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  • 3,056
22 votes
4 answers
33k 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-...
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  • 795
6 votes
2 answers
99k views

How do I wire a GFCI receptacle using two black wires and two white wires?

I recently purchased an older home and wanted to install GFCI outlets in the kitchen. When I opened up the outlet, there were four wires (two black and two white) in addition to the ground. I ...
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4 votes
1 answer
71k views

How do I wire two lights with a switch?

How do you wire two ceiling lights on one switch? I have installed the switch, and the two lights, but only one light is working. It is the light that the power source enters. My setup is like this:...
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