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63 votes

My room lights' brightness pulses when I turn on my toaster oven

I've been in my attic and saw that some of the wires have been chewed bare by mice. Whether this is the cause of the dimming or not, you need to immediately get an exterminator to rid your home of ...
jwh20's user avatar
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23 votes
Accepted

Is it normal for GFCI receptacles to explode and burn?

This happens all the time if an exterior GFCI is not weather-resistant. I've never had a weather resistant GFCI go up in smoke. Yes, they can be in a metal box, but they still should be marked WR (...
Ed Beal's user avatar
  • 103k
21 votes
Accepted

Does unblocking power bar outlets through short extension cords increase fire risk?

Yes, but negligibly. Any connection increases fire risk by increasing the chance of heat buildup due to resistance, sparks due to arcing, etc. The question is how much, and the answer is not much. ...
isherwood's user avatar
  • 141k
16 votes

Does unblocking power bar outlets through short extension cords increase fire risk?

In fact, there are UL-listed power strips that provide an octopus of short cords-on-sockets. (by the way it was hell to find a genuine UL-listed unit of good provenance from Stanley; most of the ...
Harper - Reinstate Monica's user avatar
14 votes

Is it normal for GFCI receptacles to explode and burn?

Move the GFCI GFCIs have sensitive electronic components, as you found out the hard way. A regular outlet does not. If you can move the GFCI protection to an indoor location and then replace this with ...
manassehkatz-Moving 2 Codidact's user avatar
13 votes

Help me understand what happened and how the machine left works

Likely a transformer, or autotransformer (or it could be an inverter, with current tech) making a new neutral, so the problem becomes fix when convenient rather than Fix immediately. Just need to ...
Ecnerwal's user avatar
  • 220k
11 votes
Accepted

Ground wire giving shock

This can be caused by a bootleg ground together with a poor neutral connection at the service panel. In building wiring, a bootleg ground is an electrical ground that is wired from the neutral side ...
A. I. Breveleri's user avatar
11 votes

My room lights' brightness pulses when I turn on my toaster oven

There are more issues to cope with: Damaged wiring, as jwh20 suggested. Yes, call electrician in and inspect all wires for damage. Enclose them in rodent-resistant tubes or something. (I am used to ...
Crowley's user avatar
  • 1,411
10 votes
Accepted

Can I burn away a rotten fence post in the ground?

Drill it out. If your drill (or drill bits, or drill bits + extensions) won't do the job, rent or purchase one that will. Even if the gas line WASN'T right there, the heat from burning it out would ...
9 votes

My room lights' brightness pulses when I turn on my toaster oven

The damaged wires (and the underlying pests that could cause even more damage) are definitely your #1 concern. Once's that's addressed... The pulsing could be the thermostat in the toaster oven. To ...
Lily Finley's user avatar
9 votes

My room lights' brightness pulses when I turn on my toaster oven

Obviously, other posters are correct to note that the bare wires are the real issue here. However, as explanation for the dimming itself: Many LED lights, especially those designed to be backwards-...
bracec's user avatar
  • 191
7 votes
Accepted

Is wrapping Roxul around hot water tank pipe a fire hazard?

No. As you seem to be aware, Roxul is a mineral wool product, and mineral wool is fireproof. You're right that it will "trap the heat" but this is exactly what you want and the result will be less ...
iLikeDirt's user avatar
  • 12.6k
7 votes

Does unblocking power bar outlets through short extension cords increase fire risk?

The problems of 'greedy' power supplies can be resolved by using power bars which have proper individual sockets for each position. They also tend to have better quality contacts than the cheap multi-...
Owain's user avatar
  • 2,673
6 votes
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Why are my wall plates bowing outward?

You typically don't use domed head screws to mount the receptacle to the box (they stick out too far). You can get away with it if the back of the wallplate has a big indentation for those screw ...
fixer1234's user avatar
  • 6,118
6 votes

What are the requirements for fire doors in homes?

In England, the regulation is Approved Document B of the Building Regulations 2019 In Wales, Approved Document B of the Building Regulations (Wales) and amendments In Scotland, Part 2 Building ...
Owain's user avatar
  • 2,673
6 votes

Is it safe to use the neutral wire as a ground

The ground is just for safety, it is not to be used as part of the circuit, so a big no. Should get the same voltage between neutral and ground to hot, ~120 volts. If you are only getting 92v on ...
crip659's user avatar
  • 25.7k
5 votes

Should all Federal Pacific panels be replaced?

Yes, I'm making a second answer. Why? Because today I needed to shut off a circuit in an old stab-lok control center. I flipped the breaker and fortunately I checked. It did not actually turn off. ...
Bryce's user avatar
  • 10.9k
5 votes

Should old knob and tube wiring be replaced?

A big problem with K&T is the horizontal runs - sagging over time means stress on the insulation, which becomes brittle from oxidation (not the wire - the rubber insulation), and can break off. ...
George Steele's user avatar
5 votes
Accepted

GU24 to E26 light socket adapter -- any risks?

If I buy a GU24 to E26 adapter and install a 30- or 60-watt incandescent in it: Is there a risk of fire because the fixture can't handle the heat produced by a 14+ watt light bulb? Is there ...
manassehkatz-Moving 2 Codidact's user avatar
5 votes
Accepted

Reflective bubble insulation for making stairs fire-resistant?

Wrong rating for the wrong job The "Class A" fire rating you see on a package of reflective-bubble insulation is an ASTM E84 surface burning rating, measured using a horizontal apparatus ...
ThreePhaseEel's user avatar
5 votes

What material is used to create oven/cooker kitchen cabinets?

Every oven / cooker manufacturer will provide you with clearances that clearly state the distances needed on all sides of the appliances between the appliance and adjacent surfaces for safety. Please ...
RibaldEddie's user avatar
  • 2,420
5 votes
Accepted

How can I hide power cords for an entertainment system behind drywall?

If you want to hide all the wires, PSUs and accessories from view in both the TV location and the dining room behind, and assuming the dining room wall is finished, you will have to build a cabinet to ...
jay613's user avatar
  • 41k
5 votes

Is it safe to use the neutral wire as a ground

NO It is NEVER okay to use neutral as ground, or vice versa. They serve two completely different functions. The purpose of neutral is to carry current back to the source. It carries current, and can ...
maples's user avatar
  • 387
4 votes
Accepted

Do i need a short-time timer for coffee maker/water boiler?

If the appliances have their own timers built in, then I don't think an additional in line timer adds significant safety or energy efficiency. And given that any device can malfunction, any additional ...
Jim Stewart's user avatar
4 votes

Is wiring laying alongside an attic access opening a code violation or safety concern?

This sounds like an issue from a physical damage standpoint While the NM cable only needs to be protected by guard strips if it's within 6' of a scuttle hole in your case, as per NEC 320.23(A) (...
ThreePhaseEel's user avatar
4 votes

Lamp base out of wood, containing wires. Is there a safe way?

I know you've seen LED replacement "bulbs" that screw in, and you know those fail. What is failing isn't the LED. It's the conversion power supply which converts 230V to 3V for the LEDs, which tend ...
Harper - Reinstate Monica's user avatar
4 votes

What can be done to mitigate risk to property from large trees other than removal?

Your question is a bit broad since you've provided very little detail about the situation, but hiring an arborist to guide structural pruning would almost entirely eliminate risk of blowdown. We ...
isherwood's user avatar
  • 141k
4 votes

My room lights' brightness pulses when I turn on my toaster oven

A lot of older homes are not up to code especially in regards to wiring & circuits for the kitchen. I suspect you have lights sharing a kitchen outlet, which is not in compliance with current ...
SteveSh's user avatar
  • 6,912
4 votes

My room lights' brightness pulses when I turn on my toaster oven

Old wiring can develop high resistance at various junctions throughout the house which can cause noticeable voltage drop under load, as you are experiencing. Since this seems to affect multiple ...
user2647513's user avatar
4 votes

What happens when you accidently connect a neutral wire with a hot wire with a screw?

Normally if the proper breaker or fuse was used it would trip the breaker or blow the fuse. Normally the conduit would contain all the damage. Less commonly the fast arc in the pipe will vaporize ...
NoSparksPlease's user avatar

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