Hot answers tagged

59

It depends on the type of bulb. Regular incandescents won't consume any electricity if the bulb is dead, since there's no continuous path for the current to take. It's just like an open switch. With CFLs and LEDs, it depends on why the bulb burned out, but in general they will consume some amount of electricity even when burned out. Some CFLs may even ...


45

Yes. And here's why. Rheostat dimmers Old dimmers, used a variable resister to dim the light. Lets look at a simple example. We can find total resistance (RT), by adding up all the resistance. RT = R1 + R2 = 0 Ohms + 144 Ohms = 144 Ohms Then we can find the total current (IT). IT = ET / RT = 120V / 144 Ohms = .83A We'll then calculate the voltage ...


42

Electricity doesn't care about color. But electricians (both pros and amateurs) do. The color is meant to inform both you and any future worker which wires are hot (usually black or red, but occasionally other colors, such as blue), neutral (white or sometimes grey), ground (bare, green or green/yellow striped). If it is not bare, white or green, it is ...


33

Is there too much voltage/amperage going through this circuit? There is most likely too much voltage, as ArchonOSX commented. How? You miswired it and got 240V. You can check this using a voltage tester. Shouldnt the 15-amp breaker switch keep this from happening? No, the job of the breaker is not to block too much voltage but to disconnect the ...


26

You've probably connected one of the 2 power wires to the incorrect traveler terminal on the switch. This switch can be used as both a standard two-way switch as well as a three-way switch. (A three-way switch is used when there are 2 switches controlling the same device.) In standard two-way arrangement, one of the power wires should be attached to the ...


24

The picture that you show indicates some very serious and dangerous wiring connections. This was clearly done by someone that had NO clue to proper wiring craft and codes. Since you have found similar issues in two spots it leaves to question about how much the rest of the abode is wired in similar careless and dangerous way. I would recommend that you ...


23

The sockets I've been using for the last 15 years have standard screw connection, holes behind that location where the screw pulls a plate against straight stripped wires and the push-in holes. After you've encountered a few burnt sockets from using the push-in connection in the first couple outlets in a daisy chain, you start to realize something. The ...


21

Wiring diagram, though I hope you don't really need it: Don't forget to break the tabs off the hot side of the outlets.


21

Removing the cover to look at the switch is safe IF you first turn off power to the circuit at the breaker panel. If you aren't completely sure which circuit it is, then either turn them all off, or double-check with a multimeter or non-contact voltage detector. However, most likely you will not be able to see what's wrong with the switch because the ...


20

Short answer is yes, you will save in electrical cost. Probably any dimmer made in the past 20 year has the technology to save you money. This is from Lutron, one of the largest dimmer manufactures in the world. As you see, not only will you save electricity but your lamps will last longer. Thats why 130 volt lamps last longer than 120 volt lamps. ...


18

It can depend on the dimmer type - older ones just used to drop the load across a resistor, so you ended up dissipating the same power, just converting it to heat in a resistor rather than heat and light in a bulb. Modern ones should save some power, they switch on and off rapidly, and just change the duty cycle to give more or less 'on' time.


18

Yes, this is normal. There are two ways to wire a two-way switch with 2-core cable like you have: one where the switch is between the supply and the light fixture(s). This is how your switches are wired. As you can see from the diagram, the white wire is used -- it completes the circuit back to the electrical supply's neutral line. one where the light ...


16

Most motion detectors have a built-in override: Normally the switch is kept on all the time. The motion detector monitors ambient light (daylight) and then activates when it's dark enough, and motion is detected. If you turn the switch off and on within a second or so, the light will stay on, and this overrides motion detection. To go back to normal ...


16

This should definitely be redone with a standard 14/3 NM-B cable Whoever installed this lightswitch used the first thing they could get their hands on, apparently SPT-2 parallel cordage of some sort, instead of NM cable. As a result, there is no ground in this box at the moment, nor is their a neutral, which is now a requirement to provide at switch ...


16

This is what happens when you randomly tear stuff off the wall without taking pix first. I'm guessing you assume the wire colors are meaningful in some way; colors mean less than than you think, and less than nothing at all in 3-way circuits. That stinks, so get some yellow electrical tape; we need to make colors meaningful. Looking at the 3-way switch ...


15

The naked wire is the ground (sometimes colored green) and is not the same as the neutral. Your particular installation requires a neutral so that the switch can be powered without sending power to the load. If there is no neutral in your electrical box it means that the power source (line) does not come into that box and instead you are just switching the ...


15

If you're trying to cover the whole box Blank plate Blank cover plate Blank wall plate Blank electrical box cover Blank switch cover If you're trying to cover one slot of a multi-gang box Blank insert Blank switch insert Blank toggle insert Blank Decora insert If you just want to lock the switch in the ON/OFF position Switch guard Switch lockout Switch ...


14

Yes, the first switch in the circuit from the panel would be a three-way switch. The last switch in the circuit before the pump would also be a three-way switch. Then the other 10 switches would all be four-way switches.


13

Check the fine print To find out if the dimmer can work with the fan, you'll have to inspect the dimmer. For this, you'll have to remove the cover plate and possibly pull the switch out of the box (in which case, make sure you shut off the power at the breaker). If you see the text "For Incandescent Only"; or something similar, you should not use this ...


13

You may also have a problem with your neutral wire. In any sort of split-phase 120/240V wiring, if the neutral is loose or poorly connected, it can cause the two 120V sides to have wild voltages between 0 and 240V. The dead giveaway is that they will still add up to 240V, so one will be higher than 120 and the other lower. So if your careful ...


12

The bare copper wires are the ground (grounds are either green or bare wires). You need to add the green wire from the dimmer to this bundle in the wirenut. The white wires are probably the neutral, providing a return from the lamp to your electrical panel. If you had a smart switch that needed a neutral connection, you would connect there. Note: this ...


11

Yes, you use 4-way switches. Here is an animation that shows how they work. You can have as many 4-way switches as you want, in the middle. http://users.wfu.edu/matthews/misc/switches/4WayAnimation.html Changing the switch causes the pump to change. If it was on, it will be off, or vice versa. The switch position will not tell the user whether it's on ...


11

Put it back together the way you found it. I don't really care if you substitute a new switch when you reassemble it. I'm more concerned with the wires being where they belong. The #1 mistake people make in situations like this, is they take too much stuff apart because they're curious, and then they end up with a mess. And it's even harder to ...


11

Here's a quick diagram. Switch 1 in the first box has 3 wires, and so does switch 2. In this diagram sw1 is "up" and sw2 is "down" so no current flows left to right. Just join the "down" wire on sw2 (the one you don't want) with the wire that proceeds to the light (or from power), disconnect or remove the other "up" wire, and then sw1 is in complete ...


10

I was not able to find any sections in NEC that prohibit switches from being installed in closets, so until somebody can point to a specific section I'd say it's not a problem. There may be adaptations to the code in your local area, so you'll have to check with the local Electrical Inspector to be absolutely sure. The NEC does, however, have a section on ...


10

If it's an apartment, meaning you are renting, then this should be a request to the landlord, and they may or may not have it done for you. I'd instead consider an alternative...namely the wireless switches they now sell. You plug it in-between your lamp and any outlet, and then you mount the switch (which is wireless) next to your regular wall switch with ...


10

They make various types of "child proof" switch guards, which might be a more practical approach than moving all the switches.


10

The type of wire you use depends on what kind of circuit you are attaching to. Go to your electrical box, find the circuit for the current light switch, and read what it is rated for (probably 15 or 20 amps). If it is 15 then you use 14-3 wire. If it is 20 then you need 12-3 wire. The "3" will give you an extra red wire and that will be used to separate ...


10

"Switch Loop" is what you're asking about and very common. Mark the white wire with black tape to indicate it's a loop. No codes violated. If that's all you're asking about, then by all means do it. But please don't get creative and use a green wire for hot, blue for neutral and red for ground or something crazy like that. If you search this site for ...


10

Yes, that can be done. Connect the neutral from the light, and the neutral from the receptacle to the feeder neutral. Connect the feeder hot to one side of the switch. Connect together a wire from the other side of the switch, the hot to the light, and a wire to the hot side of the receptacle. Connect all grounding conductors. If you're a more visual ...


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