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6
votes
4answers
8k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
3k views

Half of my lights and oulets are not working after heavy winds?

We have solar panels and mains power. Last night was very windy; we heard quite a few bangs from outside and thought it might be the wires getting knocked together. Woke up this morning and we have ...
4
votes
2answers
58k 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?
3
votes
1answer
6k views

What is best caulk for a 3/8“ wide X 1” deep gap between a shower floor and wall?

I planned to use Loctite Polyseamseal with a backer rod. I called Loctite tech support and they advised against it in that Polyseamseal won't hold up in a standing water situation. That surprised ...
2
votes
6answers
70k views

Can I take a 220 line and convert it to a regular house outlet what would be the damage?

I have a electric 220 dryer hook up in my kitchen now I want to convert it over to use for a higher grade power supply for my microwave blender and toaster without converting Any wires or touching the ...
68
votes
15answers
36k 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 ...
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 ...
20
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 ...
15
votes
3answers
111k 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 ...
21
votes
16answers
170k 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.
21
votes
4answers
392k 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 ...
17
votes
2answers
135k 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
21k 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 14-3 NM-B cable", "shared neutral ...
20
votes
5answers
25k 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
4k 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
6answers
185k 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. ...
12
votes
3answers
121k 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 ...
32
votes
6answers
169k views

What is the purpose of tape when taping and mudding drywall?

Sorry if this is a stupid question, but it doesn't seem immediately obvious how a thin strip of paper tape actually helps the mudding process in drywall installation except for perhaps reducing the ...
27
votes
4answers
5k views

Why does my shed door expand/shrink?

I built a shed door last summer and have had a few problems with it since. Using pressure treated outdoor timber I made a fairly simple shed door. I wood glued the long planks together and then used ...
17
votes
3answers
66k 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 ...
11
votes
4answers
58k 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
186k 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. ...
9
votes
2answers
22k views

What are the pros and cons of soffit vents vs. roof vents?

During my latest foray into the attic, I discovered that my bathroom exhaust fans vent directly into the attic. I'm worried about moisture buildup and I'm considering routing the exhaust to an ...
9
votes
4answers
17k 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
2answers
87k 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 ...
2
votes
7answers
269k 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 ...
14
votes
2answers
119k views

Does a plumbing vent need to penetrate the roof? (Can it penetrate a wall?)

We're going to move our washer/dryer to the garage (the front loader needs to sit on concrete to keep it from shaking our house to the ground). I'll need to add a washer drain to the garage for the ...
12
votes
1answer
15k 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

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.. ...
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 ...
9
votes
2answers
6k 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 ...
7
votes
5answers
12k views

How can I stop our duct work “pinging” at night?

I'm in Canada, and our home is a bit older, ~20 years, and the duct work seems to be making a rather loud "pinging" noise at night. I assume this is due to colder weather in general, and the hot air ...
6
votes
8answers
166k views

Can two circuits share a neutral?

I'm finally implementing the advice given in this question, I've managed to run the wiring up to the junction box, but I'm a bit confused by the contents of that box. There are three circuits ...
6
votes
3answers
8k 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
10k views

How do I install electrical through existing stucco (e.g. “old work”)

Is there such a thing as an "old work" stucco junction box? Rather than cutting and flashing a 4" hole for a new junction box, can I cut a 1/2 hole for the non-metallic cable, and attach some sort of ...
5
votes
3answers
6k views

How can I improve ventilation in my room with a window fan while filtering pollen from a nearby tree?

This is a campus building in Aalto University where you have a tree about 10 cm away from the window. The Espoo city does not allow the student organisation AYY to cut down the tree. There is a poor ...
5
votes
4answers
55k views

Can I safely ground a light fixture if the ceiling box has two hot and one neutral wire (no ground wire)

Checking for dupes, I saw this question, but the situation appears different as my box is metal, among other things. I'm fairly new to electrical projects, so bear with me. I recently installed a new ...
4
votes
2answers
40k views

Replacing a Challenger breaker with an after-market breaker

I have a Challenger panel board and one of my breakers is no good. When I went to buy a new one they don't carry them anymore. They said they only carry the after-market ones. So I got that one, but ...
23
votes
3answers
16k views

Why are 2“x4”'s really 1.5“x3.5”?

Just curious as to the reasoning, is it a spec, or is it simply 'backwards compatibility'?
16
votes
4answers
102k views

When to use holes instead of side terminals to wire an outlet

This question comes from Shirlock's comment on this GFCI wiring question. When and why should you use the holes on the back of an outlet rather than the side terminals? I always assumed the holes on ...
13
votes
5answers
105k views

Can metal studs support a 64" plasma TV on a swiveling mount?

Alright, I need a sanity check here. I've been tasked with mounting a 64" plasma TV with an articulating mount onto a metal stud wall in the corporate boardroom. It's the quadruple-threat with no room ...
13
votes
1answer
4k views

How can I fix the noise level in my home?

When anyone walks above me in our two level home it sounds like a herd of elephants stomping through. Is there any way to fix this?
12
votes
5answers
28k views

Does turning circuit breakers off cause wear?

A comment over on another SE got me thinking. With screw-in fuses, unscrewing it and then later screwing it back in causes negligible wear on either part of the installation. But what about modern "...
10
votes
2answers
5k views

What is this thing on my junction box?

This thing is on my junction box but i don't know what it is or what it's for.
10
votes
4answers
353k 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,...
9
votes
4answers
154k views

Can I replace a 15 ampere circuit breaker with a 20 ampere breaker?

When I plug-in a conventional heating pad or a hair dryer into any bedroom duplex, the lights dim; and/or trips the circuit breaker. The home is of new construction-- placed in service 31 Dec 2013. My ...
8
votes
1answer
4k 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
103k views

Why does a subpanel need separate ground and neutral?

Why does a power sub panel have to have separate neutral and ground bars other than code satisfaction? Does a sub panel need a main breaker if there is one at the main? Also, does the sub panel ...
8
votes
5answers
123k views

How do I vertically connect two 4x4s on a deck to build a roof?

I have a deck I am going to put a roof over. It has 4x4s for vertical supports that I need to extend upward to attach my trusses to. What is the best way to connect two vertical 4x4s?

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