All Questions

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
10
votes
11answers
24k views

How can I remove mice from my house?

I live in a townhome which is a 2nd and 3rd floor unit. On the 3rd floor is a closet with a crawlspace entrance which is the attic. There are definitely mice running around in there. I tried to ...
7
votes
3answers
4k views

How do I soundproof my vaulted townhouse wall?

I want to soundproof my wall. In fact, it's this wall: I know, right? It would probably be an enormous task, but I really want to get it soundproofed because I have a neighbor on the other side and ...
7
votes
1answer
16k 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) ...
4
votes
1answer
7k 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 "switched hot"? ...
46
votes
9answers
27k views

Which way is up? (electric outlet)

My house has electric outlets in both orientations. Which one is correct? Should the ground hole be at the bottom or the top? OR
18
votes
4answers
67k views

How much weight can you mount to a wall?

I would like to mount a fairly heavy shelving unit (~150lbs) to a wall with a number of L-brackets. It being a shelving unit, I would be putting all kinds of books and random stuff on it, thus ...
11
votes
2answers
43k views

Must I remove asbestos from my heating vents?

I've got an old house with some asbestos tape on the heating vents, and some old floor tiles which are asbestos suspects as well; duct cleaning firms won't do cleaning on the vents with the tape ...
10
votes
2answers
93k views

How do I replace oven insulation that has been soiled by mice and smells bad?

We've had mice work their way into the oven insulation of our standalone range and now it stinks when we turn the oven on. Looking around on the web suggests that replacing the oven is the most ...
9
votes
5answers
196k 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 (...
6
votes
2answers
16k views

How do I convert a light circuit with a single pole switch to use two 3-way switches?

I have a box in the hall which includes a 3-way switch (with another switch at the other end of the hall), a single pole switch to the garage lights and a single pole switch to the exterior lights on ...
5
votes
6answers
34k 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
5k views

Does a GFCI receptacle provide overcurrent protection?

Does a GFCI receptacle provide over-current protection? (note that I'm not referring to GFCI circuit breakers as may be found in a service panel, nor to specialty devices such as an inline plug-in ...
4
votes
4answers
7k views

Running NM-B in PVC SCH 40 Conduit from Outdoor Breaker Panel

For space-saving reasons, I have outdoor breaker panels, and most of my branch circuits are wired through the attic down to individual outlets. Currently, the wires run through the wall from the ...
0
votes
2answers
21k views

Unexpected voltage with switch turned off

I am doing some work on a ceiling light and I notice that, even though the light-switch is off, my voltage tester shows voltage present. Answers to other questions (below) explain about phantom ...
14
votes
4answers
86k views

If my wall has metal studs, is it better to anchor heavy objects through just drywall or also through the studs?

I live in an apartment that has that has metal studs. I'm considering hanging various things from the wall, including a coat rack that will span 5 or 6 studs. I've seen advice that says metal studs ...
9
votes
3answers
4k views

why is a service neutral grounded but not the subpanel-neutral?

I know it's code (refer to NEC 250.24(A)5 and 250.32), but I don't understand why you can't use a bonding jumper to connect the ground bus and neutral bus in the subpanel? I've been told it's because ...
8
votes
2answers
49k views

Insufficient voltage to dryer receptacle; what next?

I just moved into a home and I am hooking up a used dryer (which I'm told works). The dryer spins, but I get no heat. I bought a multimeter, and it tells me that the receptacle provides insufficient ...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

With a shower, should the edge where the wall meets the floor be caulked, or is grout okay?

Some of the shower tiles have come loose in my shower and need repair (specifically the ones at the base of the wall). There's no 'tub' per-se, the whole thing is tiled, and it looks like whoever ...
6
votes
5answers
102k views

How do I connect a dryer with a four prong plug to a three prong socket?

I've just moved house and my clothes dryer has a four prong plug but on the wall there's a three prong socket. Do adapters exist for this? Or do I need to get a new cord for my dryer? Or is there ...
6
votes
4answers
6k views

Can I run a ground wire of a single circuit to the panel outside the house?

This is a follow-up to this question. I am adding (outlets) on to a 2-wire 12AWG (no ground) circuit and I want the new outlets grounded. Can I run a ground wire to the panel along the outside of ...
6
votes
6answers
42k views

Why does my GFCI circuit breaker trip with any small load, even after replacing the breaker?

I have a 20A 240V GFCI breaker in my main breaker box going to a conduit to another breaker box outside. All worked well last summer. Now, when I put any load (weed-eater, light, etc.) on an outlet ...
6
votes
4answers
21k views

How do I fix a hole in a hollow door?

My son sometimes has a temper, and has been known to hit his door when sent to his room. He has actually done so enough to punch a bit of a hole in it. I'm trying to figure out what might be doable to ...
6
votes
1answer
20k views

How does an external tower style bathtub drain work?

I have this style tub drain and can't figure out how it works. Does it simply block the flow of water when lowered? Or is there something more complicated happening? My tub has stopped draining and ...
5
votes
2answers
30k views

Is an explicit ground wire required through steel conduit?

We just bought a Chicago-area house and found that there's no ground wire in some of the recently re-wired areas. I thought that the national electrical code requires a ground wire for new ...
3
votes
2answers
49k 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?
0
votes
4answers
79 views

Is there any reason testing the neutral line on a dimmer light socket wouldn't work?

I am repairing a vintage lamp and replacing the socket with a dimmer socket. When I do a continuity test on the old socket, both the hot and neutral lines work. That is, they make a high-pitch noise ...
19
votes
4answers
1k views

What are some scalable, affordable home automation options?

I've been looking to set up a home automation system in my house for a while now, but I'm having trouble committing to any one starting point. I'd like to set up an initial system that controls maybe ...
21
votes
20answers
11k views

What projects should never be DIY?

What are the most common DIY projects that you should not do yourself? What must be hired out? Edit: Just to be clear, what we're looking for here are the things that a regular homeowner might think ...
29
votes
10answers
62k views

Why are “Wire Nuts” not used in the UK?

I have never seen a wire nut used in the UK, but they seem to be very common in the USA, why?
20
votes
4answers
376k views

What's the most common cause of A/C refrigerant lines freezing?

I noticed my house wasn't getting under 75°F this weekend when I had the thermostat set for 70°F. Since I'd done a lot of drywall sanding inside recently, my first idea was to replace the filthy air ...
19
votes
16answers
136k views

Should drywall be hung horizontally or vertically?

For reasons including time, money, ease of installation, and structural strength, should drywall be installed horizontally or vertically.
14
votes
3answers
88k views

What kind of mortar should I use to point a fieldstone foundation?

What kind of mortar should I use to point a fieldstone foundation? The old mortar is crumbling, and sandy mortar is falling out onto the basement floor. I plan to remove the crumbling mortar (see ...
16
votes
2answers
122k views

How do I fix a leaky toilet that only leaks from underneath?

I am noticing some water spots on my concrete in my (unfinished) basement. When I look up for the cause of the water I can see water dripping around the hole that is used for the sewer pipe for the ...
20
votes
5answers
24k views

What are the different types of drywall anchors, and what are the advantages of each?

I recently put up wire shelving in my pantry, and spent forever figuring out what type of drywall anchor I should use. I even found several types that I didn't even know existed. It might be good to ...
9
votes
2answers
3k views

What are the proper steps for staining a deck?

My deck just past its 10-year mark and is starting to look quite tired. It's time to restain it. What steps do I need to take to make sure I do everything right, from start to finish?
15
votes
4answers
18k views

How do I clean vinyl siding without a pressure washer?

My vinyl siding is turning green from mildew and I have to clean it up this weekend. I let a friend borrow my pressure washer at the beginning of the summer, and he's out of the country for awhile. ...
10
votes
3answers
98k views

What is the purpose of a watt regulator in my ceiling fan?

The lights on my harbor breeze fan stopped working this morning. When I came home from work, I got the ladder and took down the lights. I don't have a multimeter but I saw that there is this Watt ...
14
votes
6answers
162k 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. ...
10
votes
4answers
52k views

Toilet does full-blast, one-second refill every hour or so

I wouldn't lose sleep over this, except the unexpected and fierce sound startles my girlfriend and cat every time. So I just replaced the refill valve on our toilet (using a kit, so everything from ...
7
votes
4answers
9k views

What is the danger of a bootleg ground on a 110 outlet wired from a 3 wire 240 circuit?

This is not a question about whether it is in code, or safe to wire a 110 outlet with its neutral to the ground of a 240 circuit. I accept that it is unsafe, and it's certainly not up to code, I'm ...
6
votes
3answers
67k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
4k views

How should I install a curtain drain in my crawl space?

Since I have wet areas in the crawl space, I have decided to dig a trench at the perimeter of my crawl space to take care of the water. This would also allow me to install rigid foam insulation on ...
16
votes
3answers
57k views

Are both legs of a home's power supply equally used?

This is basically just to satisfy my curiosity. Please correct me if I'm wrong about any of this: I believe power supply to a home's main panel usually consists of: A neutral wire A hot wire 120 ...
14
votes
3answers
65k views

What is electrical code for number of wires in a breaker?

US, Georgia I am adding some new ciruits to add some additional outlets. The closest place is to run a wire to the main panel box. My question is, can I connect more than one wire to a breaker and ...
12
votes
1answer
13k views

How can I trace cable through floors and walls?

How can I work out where an electrical cable runs through walls/floors? I am building a circuit map of a 1941 house with unfinished basement. I shut off all circuits at the main service panel, switch ...
10
votes
2answers
14k views

My neighbor keeps complaining about my music. How to soundproof my apartment?

I live in an old apartment building and the walls are thin. This is a problem because I love to listen to music -- sometimes at odd hours of the night. Yes, I can be an asshole in this way. But my ...
10
votes
2answers
12k views

How should I address my bathroom's flickering lights and GFCI tripping mysteriously? (Schematic included.)

So I inherited a bit of a nightmare for wiring in my bathroom. I'll be calling in an electrician, but wanted to have an understanding of the problem first, as not to be ripped off, lead astray, etc.. ...
9
votes
2answers
5k 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
143k views

Is it normal to have a light switch setup using only the hot wire?

I was changing the light switches around the house when I came upon this setup. The two switches to the right are all wired using the hot wire (black) from the two electrical wires on the back panel. ...
6
votes
3answers
7k views

Why does using a dimmer with this ceiling fan and lights cause energy saving bulbs to flicker?

At a hotel I manage we purchased 34 ceiling fans with two integrated light sockets that operate on a dimmer all controlled by a remote control. Obviously using a dimmer with fluorescent bulbs won't ...

15 30 50 per page