New answers tagged

2

No, you can't feed a split receptacle from circuits with differently-sized breakers. Here's why: The National Electrical Code now requires that the two hot wires in a split receptacle must be connected to a double-pole circuit breaker, so that when the breaker is shut off, the action will automatically disconnect both receptacles. That way, the outlet ...


2

Is it practical? I guess the question is, "does lightning strike twice?" One problem is with near misses. Lightning has so much voltage at biblical amperage, that it creates a voltage gradient across the ground. Earth at your remote outlet could be 20,000 volts hotter than your house. This is what kills animals; the voltage on their front feet is ...


5

Removing an outside load bearing wall is serious, it will be worth the few hundred dollars to ask the opinion of a structural engineer. They will be able to calculate the loads and give you a stamp of approval. I take it you're doing this without pulling any permits.


2

The 20 amp circuit breaker with 12/2 cable and 15 amp duplex receptacles allows for a total sustainable power consumption of 1,920 watts (20 amp x 80% x 120 volts) as opposed to 1,440 watts (15 amp x 80% x 120 volts). Thus, the 20 amp circuit breaker allows me to run a 1,500 watt spacer heater, a 170 watt laptop power adapter, and 2 external monitors all on ...


3

First, watch out for common gotcha's in changing outlets or switches. If any receptacle tabs have been broken off, this is a whole different ballgame. I am assuming you didn't mess with any of the other wires that were pushed back into the box and nutted to each other. If you did, and especially if the receptacle has been split, one of the black/white ...


2

The best solution to this problem is to pigtail the outlet: wire-nut all three hots together with a new, short length of 12 gauge black wire, and then connect that to the outlet. Do the same with the neutrals, using a short length of white. Ground can be either green or bare. As to which wire nut to use, that may vary a little based on brand, but ...


8

Your two options here are to pigtail the hots and neutrals, or get a new "backwire" outlet. A backwire outlet has small wire clamps on the sides of the outlet so the wire can be inserted straight in rather than looping around the screw. This type of outlet might be sold as "heavy duty", but they are great for handling up to 4 conductors on each side. The ...


4

If you really want that, you can use an MWBC It sounds like you want to throw more than 20A into a room. That can be done. But you really, really need to bone up on the particulars of Code, because this is easy to dangerously botch. You can use a multi-wire branch circuit, which uses a /3 cable to provide 2 hots and a common neutral. You are able to then ...


3

You might get yourself a house wiring book and brush up before you have things smoldering. :) You can't reduce wire size like that. #12 and #14 have no business on a 30A circuit. You can increase wire size from the panel and then reduce it downstream to prevent voltage drop over very long runs, but I doubt that's necessary here. If you do, be sure to label ...


3

Safety First Always: It is very important that anything permanently installed - lights, receptacles, switches, etc. - be properly listed for your area. In the USA, this normally means UL listing. Beware of other marks - CE and many other marks (if legitimate!) do not actually mean the device was tested to meet verify that it meets safety requirements. ...


5

Yes, aside from checking with a tester to make sure the circuit is actually off... there are several subtle issues that frequently catch novices. Don't remove screws all the way - they are captive. After some distance they will start getting stiff. Stop there, don't force them. There's your tab. This $1 outlet was ruined, by soldering (!) and removing ...


3

The only safe thing to do is to disconnect the wires at the other end. That could be: The main panel A subpanel A junction box - e.g., the wires might come out of the ground next to the house and go into a junction box to splice to another set of wires that go to the main panel If you disconnect any place other than a panel (which obviously would be ...


1

A plug-in smart outlet is the wrong device for this Instead, what you want is a smart relay, or smart light switch. That way, you can wire directly off the load side of your GFCI, and will not need a creative solution to connect the output of a NEMA 5-15 socket into your fixed building wiring. Option 1: UL Listed Smart Relay Although specific product ...


2

You are correct. You have two choices, neither pretty. Rewire the circuit If you are in a rental unit, this option is not available to you without landlord consent; and then; a licensed electrician must do it. Since the socket is NEMA 6-15, it is fairly likely the wire and cable behind it are 14 AWG. Open it up and have a look. If you're very ...


4

I agree, this is "nope". The way I would handle this - first, I'd use metal boxes because I'm lazy about running ground wires. I'd start by removing the current box. I'd knock out the highest 1/2" or 3/4" knockout and fit an EMT spacer to connect to a 4-11/16" square steel box. We'll need the room. Fit a steel cover that provides 2 Decora. One slot ...


5

It does violate the NEC (assuming that you are in the US and the NEC applies to you). UF cable is not designed to connect to portable cord devices, portable cord devices are not designed to accept UF cable. Article 110.3(B) states: "Listed or labeled equipment shall be installed and used in accordance with any instructions included in the listing or labeling....


0

If I'm interpreting your drawing correctly, 3 possibilities (all incorrect under current code) may have existed in the past: They may have had a 220v line at one time split between 2 cables. They had 2 cables but a wire got cut or broken so they used a wire from each of the cables to build a circuit. They paralleled wires from 2 cables for higher ...


7

The supply circuit breaker has to protect not just the cables in the wall, but also the flexible cords to the appliances. If you had 50A circuit breakers, the appliance cords would have to be rated to carry the higher fault current in the event of a short-circuit. The fault current would be several times 50A, but usually for a short time, depending on the ...


4

I suspect it comes from long experience, and that it's all about current, not voltage. Why? Because despite being isolated when these standards were set, everyone reached the same conclusion - UK, Germany, Greece, Russia, Soviet Union, Italy, Spain, etc. I believe that's because of the relationship between breaker trip and the potential fire damage an arc-...


10

Why 20A? Receptacle design constraints, most likely The reason why general receptacle circuits top out at 20A is because the notion of a duplex receptacle doesn't work for larger plug sizes (just can't fit enough meat in there at a suitable spacing for it to work), nor does the idea of a "shared" receptacle (T-slot) that can accept 15A or 20A plugs, as well ...


2

While you are correct that a few milliamps can kill, circuit breakers are about protecting the wire and home from fires, not about protecting against electric shock. That's the job for a GFCI system if it's required by code for the application. A "standard" residential receptacle is rated for either 15A or 20A. For higher capacity circuits, you must use a ...


4

Standard is 48" to the top screw hole of the box. So it looks aesthetically correct with the switches. I am a residential electrician, that's what we set them at.


2

It's not necessarily the cause of your problem, but I saw a situation just like it once: Plug a light into the socket and see that it is "on". One by one, turn off and on each breaker in the panel. Go through the entire set of breakers, and the light never goes off. Eventually discovered cause: one circuit had been wired in a loop, with a separate breaker ...


0

So you have metal boxes? The findings of 120 V hot to ground, 120 V hot to neutral, and low resistance neutral to ground are consistent with separate ground and neutral paths to the panel and that is almost certainly what you have. The ground and neutral are supposed to be connected in the panel and only in the panel. If that is what you have, the ...


3

Indeed they are crossed. It doesn't matter because the linking tabs are intact So, electrically it makes no difference, both left screws do the same thing, both right screws do the same other thing. and so top and bottom are interchangeable. When you replace the outlets you should probably wire one romex to the top outlets and the other to the bottom, if ...


5

Check the tabs. Check the tabs. That is the #1 trouble spot. If a tab is broken off on the old receptacle, do the same with the new. When there are 2 wires on a side, what that means is totally different if the tabs are broken off, versus not. White wires on silver screws, black on brass screws The old one should be like that. If you see a case ...


3

The first thing to check is to see if the metal tabs on the sides are broken off or still intact (I cannot tell from your photo). If one or both are broken off, then the two receptacles are powered separately (maybe one is switched). In this case, you must wire the new unit the same way and break off the same tab(s). If the tabs are intact, then both wires ...


3

First question is - are any of the outlets switched? Also, if any are switched, and technically even if they aren't, its important to be sure that each outlet is controlled by only one circuit breaker. For the most part you should find the answer to be yes, but its still a really great idea to confirm it, especially since you aren't the person who wired it ...


8

Depends. If you're using "screw-to-clamp" type receptacles Then your "go-to" is #12 stranded THWN-2. These are sold as individual wires. Also #12 solid bare or green ground wire. (ground wires need to be pigtailed regardless, so you may already have this.) The stranded wire is much easier to work with (push the pigtails into the back of the box and ...


3

For outlets I would go with 12awg even if on a 15 amp circuit it is ok to use a larger wire size. But if you purchase 14 and it is on a 20 amp circuit that would be a code violation. These are the 2 sizes for standard 120v outlets or receptacles used in the U.S.


3

A picture of the main panel would be helpful. But it sounds like at some level - either in the panel or possibly before the panel you "lost a leg" - that would result in 240 --> 120 and 1/2 of your 120 --> 0. If that is really the case, CALL YOUR UTILITY COMPANY as it can be a very serious problem. The big question is whether the problem is caused by ...


4

The side screws may have come loose, possibly because the outlet was improperly mounted. Once you've verified the power is off, unscrew the outlet from the box and make sure they haven't come loose. If your outlet isn't screwed securely to the box (or there's a gap that prevents that) you're pushing (or pulling) solely against the wires now. Over time, they ...


6

This could happen if the bedroom wall switch controls both the switched outlet and the overhead light, and is also a digital switch without a neutral wire. Try putting incandescent bulbs back in the overhead light, and if that fixes it (I'm assuming they're currently LED or fluorescent), then we have a better idea of what your problem is and how to help. ...


45

Defective receptacle. Kill it with fire, before it kills you with fire. And if it has backstab connections (wires jabbed in back holes that auto-grab them) this is a good time to get rid of em. Because they cause this kind of mischief too.


19

Chances are about 90% that you have a loose connection in the outlet. If I had to guess, I'd say it is a "stab-in" wire connection on the back of the outlet (as opposed to the wire attaching with a screw), so that when you plug something into that outlet, it pushes the connector tighter onto the wire to complete the connection, but when you remove it, the ...


0

The problem was another outlet since I made one spark the older ones gave up


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