35 votes

Why are there occasionally sparks in my old breaker panel?

Shut 'er down, Clancy! This is arcing. It can start a fire. This was caused by someone not using a torque wrench to torque the lug to spec. (Don't repeat the mistake.) Do take it out of service ...
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16 votes
Accepted

Can I hookup a electric cooktop on 20 Amp breaker?

You may want to either talk to the manufacturer or go look at an actual unit in Home Depot. The specs of 12.5A, 1800/750 + 1200 only make sense if this is a 240V unit. 1800 (largest of burner 1) + ...
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12 votes

Why are there occasionally sparks in my old breaker panel?

Is it an optical illusion in the photo or is that black wire going into the 60 amp breaker mostly cut off with just 3 little strands actually making contact? If so, that ain't good either. Either way,...
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  • 5,169
10 votes

Would like to change a 230 Volt 12/2 into 2 each 115 Volt separate plug lines without having to run another 12/3 from panel?

You don't. There is no safe way to get two 120V circuits from 12/2 cable, unless you are willing to install a transformer and a panel. What you can do is get a single 120V/20A circuit out of it, by ...
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7 votes
Accepted

Is my garage subpanel safe for 100 amps?

Your panel was wired improperly in the first place. But we can save it. What they did was combine two cables to get enough wires to do the job. That's not allowed. I would call it "cheap" ...
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6 votes

What is a Non-automatic AC Disconnect

A "non-automatic" disconnect is a molded case switch in a box All fusible and most non-fusible AC disconnects are of a type known as a "pullout disconnect" where there are fuses or ...
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5 votes

Why are there occasionally sparks in my old breaker panel?

There’s no point trying to play forensic photo analyst but from what you’re saying and zooming in close on the blue dots, those look like loose connections. Especially the larger neutral connection to ...
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  • 1,351
5 votes

House Wired Incorrectly? - MWBC

Yes, this is a big problem. Your understanding is correct. With full-size breakers (which is the case for everything in this picture), the hot legs alternate, so by skipping a space with an MWBC you ...
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4 votes

Would like to change a 230 Volt 12/2 into 2 each 115 Volt separate plug lines without having to run another 12/3 from panel?

Your question has some confusing details, but I will try to answer what you are likely asking. Most likely you have 240v being fed by 12/2 (or 10/2) cable, if done properly the white should be re-...
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4 votes

What is a Non-automatic AC Disconnect

Non automatic disconnect is a switch that requires a person to disconnect (no fuses). There are really inexpensive one that has a shorting bar that is pulled out. This is the most common type in use ...
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  • 95.5k
3 votes

Why does my ceiling light fitting has 2 of every wire

Because it's not the only thing on the circuit. Take pictures before you remove any wires, (too late for you now, evidently) as wires might not be connected the way you might assume. i.e. when power ...
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  • 132k
3 votes

GFCI Circuit Breaker won't reset after construction

Instead of jumping to the conclusion that an expensive safety device is faulty and replacing it, look at the wiring itself. Somewhere, likely near where the concrete was broken up, there are loose or ...
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  • 29.1k
3 votes
Accepted

I have a ded circ for my fridge with 2 neutrals attached to the receptacle. 1 of the neutrals is shared with 2 other cir. Can I remove the shared?

That's completely insane! The previous person did not know how to wire a house. Neutral current = hot current Current flows in loops. Power must go out one wire and come back another wire. Now on ...
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3 votes
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200A Meter Socket Ground / Bonding Strap

Leave it there Since meter sockets sit upstream of the service disconnecting means, and thus the system neutral-ground bond, they're required to be bonded to the neutral. So, don't mess with that ...
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3 votes

Should I terminate individual conductors exiting conduit or run all the way between panels?

Well, the lugs on the panel are made of aluminum. Which undercuts most people's reason to consider copper. Couplers are costly, so it's better if you can avoid them. However, it's difficult to find ...
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3 votes

Should I terminate individual conductors exiting conduit or run all the way between panels?

It’s always better to run unspliced wires end to end. If you are in a position where you can use conduit connected to both panels without breaks and pull individual wires through, I would say that’s ...
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  • 1,351
3 votes
Accepted

Best way to align cast-in-place conduit to desired box location

I'd suggest moving the radiator the 3/8" or so to the left (as seen in the picture) and mounting the box on the conduit where it is. Unless the radiator is wedged against the wall or other ...
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  • 29.1k
3 votes

Is my garage subpanel safe for 100 amps?

No, it is not safe for 100A. Your 6Ga wire is rated for 55A maximum (if the cables are NM-B or UF-B, 65A in the unlikely even that they're SE or USE). It would be a code violation to attempt to ...
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  • 2,782
2 votes

GFCI Circuit Breaker won't reset after construction

Disconnect parts of the circuit. If power gets from the GFCI breaker to the first device with all other devices disconnected, the fault is not in that piece of (cable, or conduit and wires,) Then ...
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  • 132k
2 votes

Why are there occasionally sparks in my old breaker panel?

I think that whole breaker panel could do with a tidy up. Probably best left to a licensed/qualified electrician, electricity can kill. I'm less familiar with U.S. wiring but sparking and arcing is ...
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  • 31
2 votes

Best way to align cast-in-place conduit to desired box location

People always go for those "handy-boxes". Nope... go for a "4x4 metal box with a 1-gang mud ring". That will provide pretty much exactly the hole offset that you need. It will ...
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2 votes

Large Kitchen Island Outlets

Your choices: pop up or dangle down There are three basic ways to install receptacles in the middle of an island work surface that does not have a "step" or kneewall in it: Come up out of ...
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2 votes

Why are there occasionally sparks in my old breaker panel?

This looks like a "rule of six" panel: there are lugs to the right of the breakers; conductors from these run under the partition to the right a conductor from the top of the neutral bar ...
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  • 19.5k
2 votes

Whole House Fan Emergency Shutoff / Limit Control

I would recommend using a device designed specifically for your concern. Here's an "attic fan fire safety switch" (from Home Depot). No, it's not resettable. No, you don't want to "...
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2 votes
Accepted

Grounding a Legrand Metal Wall Box from existing box that's too short

Your wiring is in conduit (as evidenced by the blue wire which isn't a standard cable color). IF your conduit is properly grounded (as it should be), your metal box will already be grounded. Simply ...
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  • 29.1k
2 votes

How can I identify my switch wiring for a smart switch?

You have to start with understanding the 3-way circuit you are working with. Now here is a schematic for a 3-way circuit. All 3-way circuits work like this. However it is only one of at least 5 ...
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2 votes
Accepted

How can I identify my switch wiring for a smart switch?

TL;DR Put the smart switch in the other location and things should be easier A typical 3-way switch setup using cables (as opposed to individual wires in conduit) has: Switch 1 = Hot + Travelers In ...
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1 vote

Large Kitchen Island Outlets

You say island that is 12’ by over 4’ wide. in that case I would say yes you need an outlet within 2’ or 48” apart max. if in a kitchen area now if each end go in 4’ and yes you need 2 more ...
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  • 95.5k
1 vote

How do I fix this 2-way switch wiring?

This looks like the older UK style of 2-way wiring, where the switched terminals of each switch are connected together and then the common terminals are run separately to a junction box. The switched ...
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  • 201
1 vote

What can cause a partial and temporary loss of power?

I have experienced similar situations on three different places. All of them where related to "false contact" or some wires in the main feed being broken or damaged due to traffic accidents ...
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  • 109

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