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84 votes

Can anyone tell me what this little white box on my outlet is?

Conveniently, it still had the UPC barcode label and you captured it quite clearly in the picture. A search at upcdatabase.com shows that it is: Description Brinks Home Security System AC Power ...
  • 4,734
27 votes
Accepted

Buying a home with 2 prong outlets but the bathroom has 3 prong outets

Grounding is no longer red-alert essential Since there are other ways now to provide better protection. Particularly, GFCI protection is so good that you're allowed to fit 3-prong outlets as long as ...
25 votes
Accepted

What outdoor lightbulb is this?

There is probably a spring loaded contact on one end. Try moving the bulb gently both ways and see if moves. If so, move it far enough to remove it via one of the slots on either end of the bulb ...
22 votes

What are the dimensions of US outlet holes?

Let me introduce you to the wonderful world of Google Image search: nema 5-15 dimensions It's a great way to find drawings and other visual information. Here's a drawing pulled from the search ...
  • 26.9k
16 votes

How do I change a bulb from my recessed lighting fixture?

Here is what the process of pulling the cover down will look like. The bulb is inside. If you can't get your fingers around it to unscrew it and need to use the suction cup, you can squeeze the spring ...
  • 14.5k
15 votes

Buying a home with 2 prong outlets but the bathroom has 3 prong outets

There are a few possibilities: The bathroom outlets were changed to three-prong and the ground screws are unattached. This means they're not grounded and are potentially unsafe. New wiring (or ...
  • 110k
14 votes

What outdoor lightbulb is this?

The socket is called R7s. These halogen light bulbs have lengths of 78 mm, 118 mm, 189 mm or 254 mm. From the picture it seems to be an 118 mm, which is most common. (Measure or read the imprint) You ...
13 votes

I need to drive a 7/16" nut but am unsure how to use the socket I bought for my screwdriver

You need two things.... 1/4" drive 7/16" socket ...and a 1/4" hex shank socket adapter... That adapter kit will allow you to use multiple drives of sockets for hundreds of future uses. You probably ...
12 votes
Accepted

Are CAT 5 sockets compatible with CAT 7 cable?

Cat7 connectors are compatible with Cat5, with enhancements and caveats Cat5, Cat5e, Cat6 and Cat7 are physically and electrically compatible. It's when you try to do 10Gb/s or higher signaling on ...
  • 5,726
12 votes

I need to drive a 7/16" nut but am unsure how to use the socket I bought for my screwdriver

What you bought was a hex bit socket, not a simple hex socket. What's confusing you here is the bit coming out of the top of the socket. You've confused that for a drill shank. The square portion is ...
  • 21.7k
11 votes
Accepted

How do I change a bulb from my recessed lighting fixture?

Try grabbing the trim ring underneath the edges and pulling straight down. They usually have a springy bracket that holds them in place. Once down, the bulb will be exposed.
  • 63.1k
11 votes

Load on one socket

You're not blowing fuses/tripping breakers because each appliance draws a maximum of 10A (I think that's what you're saying). However, they don't always draw 10A - they usually only draw that much ...
  • 33.6k
11 votes

Can I split a single washing machine outlet for a lamp?

Just replace it with a duplex. There needs to be (current code, hasn't been that way "forever") a dedicated 20A circuit for the laundry room. But it can be a duplex receptacle, which would ...
10 votes
Accepted

Load on one socket

There are 2 issues here. First, most socket splitters are cheap. They are made for cell phones, not washer-dryers. And so they tend to burn up even if you use them within their spec, because most of ...
9 votes

Is there any reason to prefer non-impact sockets?

Yes. The normal sockets have thinner walls, and thus are able to reach bolts that are set close-in. (The designers of those machines need to be close, and are well aware of the dimensions of ...
8 votes
Accepted

Meaning of socket connector labelled 'A'

There are three sockets: two are fed from black L-connection the third one with the switch symbol next to it is fed from orange/red A-connection. This can be used in conjunction with a switch in ...
  • 236
8 votes

Load on one socket

Not an ideal setup you have now, and you are correct to be doubtful about adding yet more load onto it. "Why hasn't it tripped the 16A breaker" comes down to "The ACTUAL load of your ...
  • 153k
8 votes

Buying a home with 2 prong outlets but the bathroom has 3 prong outets

TL;DR Unless there is a major panel replacement needed, you're looking at hundreds to replace every receptacle and/or add GFCI protection, not thousands. The electrical code (NEC) and actual practice ...
7 votes

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

If it's a 4-prong receptacle, then you could do it. Though you'll have to swap out a breaker in the panel. This will leave you with a 20 ampere multi-wire branch circuit (MWBC), which can be used to ...
  • 129k
7 votes

How do I change a bulb from my recessed lighting fixture?

On many types of fixtures... You just unscrew the bulb! On those fixtures there is a small margin between the bezel and the flat lensed/Fresnel'd surface. That flat surface is the bulb. See, it ...
7 votes

Can I split a single washing machine outlet for a lamp?

To answer your primary question, yes, you can use a splitter. It's marginally less safe and runs the risk of working loose over time, but some common sense makes it viable. Just use one that looks ...
  • 110k
6 votes

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

IF you have a "4-Prong" (Hot, Hot, Neutral, Ground) dryer outlet you could make (or perhaps "have made" would be safer depending on your skill level) a "plug-in sub-panel" that would take the (...
  • 153k
6 votes
Accepted

What are these male sockets called, and what are they used for?

Hex shank to square drive adapter This bit is a hex shank to square drive adapter, which allows you to use square drive bits with a drill/driver. Hex shank socket The second set of tools is hard to ...
  • 129k
6 votes

Will 2 multi-port USB chargers overload a 13A socket?

You're comparing apples to oranges. You're using the power output, to try and determine the input. Without knowing about the transformer, and other circuitry, that's going to be quite difficult. ...
  • 129k
6 votes

Need help choosing correct Allen or Hex tool

I believe you're looking for an allen head ratchet set, like the one below. A trip to your local hardware or home improvement store might be in order so you can see some products to get a sense of ...
  • 4,734
6 votes
Accepted

For phone jack, which terminals are used by modem?

You need to connect to the center two wires in RJ-11. Since RJ-11 is usually 6 pins, these are pins 3 and 4. If yours has only 4 pins, these should be pins 2 and 3. Leave the other pins unconnected. ...
  • 1,183
6 votes

What does 13A on my computer monitor power plug means?

That's the maximum rating for the plug. It doesn't change anything about the current in your attached device. If you exceed that current for some reason, the plug will open the circuit for protection.
6 votes
Accepted

How do I replace a generator's 4 pin socket with a 3 pin socket?

This is largely impractical. Your generator's 240V is 120V-neutral/ground-120V with 240V between the two hot wires, and 120V from each to neutral/ground Your house power is 240V-Neutral/ground. One ...
  • 153k
5 votes
Accepted

Why my wall sockets are buzzing when I plug something in?

The socket spring is sprung. The buzzing says you have arcing in there. Very bad news. I suspect the wire is getting loose because it's a type of connection we call a "back stab" where you jab the ...
5 votes
Accepted

Is it safe to replace a lamp's UK 5 amp round 3 pin plug with a 13 amp rectangular 3 pin plug?

Yes - almost certainly. You need to get the wiring right (the wires should be colour coded in the usual way - if in doubt post pictures). The pins are in the same positions in both plugs. The 13A ...
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