Hot answers tagged

157

Minor superficial marking is just that. Unimportant. Deep nicks around the circumference create weaknesses. Those would cause problems. Redo. With the right tools, careful use and a little practice, you will be able to strip insulation without nicking or scratching the copper. Suitable tools, in the same spirit as photo in Q :-)


137

Call your UTILITY now on their EMERGENCY NUMBER Your service neutral is going bad. This is a power outage even though it doesn't appear so -- the fluctuations in light and heat you see are because the 0V reference mark for all your 120V outlets is no longer acting as such, resulting in outlets getting higher and lower voltages depending on what else is ...


102

You don't need to "complete the circuit". Tying together the hot and neutral wires creates a short circuit, which should immediately trip the circuit breaker. If you're removing a vent hood, you should put a wire nut on the end of each now-unused wire (to prevent a short circuit) and close up the box. Every unused outlet in the house is an "incomplete ...


93

The idea is to not rely on any single point of failure. For you to be planted six feet under, you want at least three things to have gone badly wrong at the same time. Your lockout padlock fell off. Someone didn't realise you were working on the circuit and switched the breaker back on. You forgot to turn off the isolator switch. You didn't notice the ...


82

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 Adaptor Size/Weight 5x3x3, 12 ounces Issuing Country United States A Google Search for that UPC brings up a number of hits, including on at Parts Express ...


81

Here is what happened. Before you started, this is what the system looked like: Then you removed the vent hood: OK so far. But then "I thought I had to complete the circuit so I tied the hot and neuteral wires that were powering the hood together with a wire nut". I can't even begin to guess how you dreamed up the idea of tying the hot and neutral lines ...


70

Shut the circuit off. Leave off til fixed. You took a chunk out of the wire, if not severed the whole wire. That means it's thinner, or out of contact entirely. If it's thinner, that means current is squeezing through a narrow part. This will make the wire hot there. It could get hot enough to ignite a fire on the wrong side of the walls. Of if the wire ...


68

A de-energized circuit is like an unloaded gun Once I worked on a circuit. I shut off the breaker (I knew the circuit well, since it powered the lighting in the electrical parts crib) and double checked power was off. As a a third check, I brushed the now-dead hot wire against EMT ground. Was expecting nothing or possibly a huge, sunburn-making arc flash....


66

You can see right there where the steel cable is bonded to the lighter colored of the three service entrance wires. Yeah, you lost a neutral. This is when we get out the big font and say This is a power outage. Call your power company NOW. Normally these arise as “Hey, my appliances keep blowing up”... or “I measured 84 volts on an outlet” “check your ...


64

Send it back right now You bought it off Amazon Marketplace, the world's biggest junk shop. A step down from eBay, even, because this garbage hides amongst legitimate products. Here. See what you had to notice to even spot it? Note the "Sold by some_random and Fulfilled by Amazon" part. That means "Amazon Marketplace" flea market. Often, they also ...


63

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 the mice problem and an electrician to assess and correct the damage. Bare/exposed conductors is an exceedingly dangerous condition that cannot wait.


60

It's a grounding rod, probably 8 or 10 feet long, such as is required for any residential installation. They're usually proximal to the breaker panel or fuse box in the home or outbuilding. You may have encountered an obsolete one that's been disconnected. You'll need to trace the bare copper wire to be sure. You can drive it down below the surface if you ...


60

Turn off 120V appliances NOW. Call the power company and report an outage. What you have is a classical "Lost Neutral". The dead giveaway is when circuits teeter-totter: when one pole's voltage goes down and the other one's goes up. This is the most dangerous type of power outage. If you lose a hot wire, half your circuits go dead until a 240V appliance ...


60

To me it sounds like the conduit was used as the grounding conductor, as allowed by code, and it rusted through, therefore it works when the ground is wet and you have a ground connection through the soil and water. If this is the case, then an additional electrode at the garage probably won’t help as the pipe is in the ground. Your electrician wanting to ...


58

Yes, NM cable can be in conduit. In fact. NEC calls for it to be in conduit, when protection from physical damage is required. National Electrical Code 2011 ARTICLE 334 Nonmetallic-Sheathed Cable: Types NM, NMC, and NMS II. Installation 334.15 Exposed Work. In exposed work, except as provided in 300.11(A), cable shall be installed as ...


56

Test Tools In approximate descending order of safety (though the professional multimeter could arguably be higher if you are careful about how you use it) Voltage tester A professional electrician would very likely have one of these: If you expect to do occasional DIY electrical work in the rest of your life, you should consider buying something like ...


46

You seem to be under the impression your electrics work like this: When infact, your circuit will more than likely look something like this To bridge the live and neutral causes a short back to the distribution board, which can quite easily cause fires. Please, do not do this kind of work if you do not understand the basics of how it works. I am not trying ...


46

You got a bad roll of the dice. Very good ideas and attempts that would work in more normal soil conditions. The problem is, if you continue then you will likely undermine the soil because that small rock will fall into the hole from the sides. That will be very difficult to back fill properly and over time it will settle and form a slight ditch / depression....


46

It needs to be fixed now. That nail has contact with electricity and anyone touching it that and is also grounded can die. It can also heat up the wire and cause a fire. Turn off the breaker for that circuit until it is fixed. Do not leave until it is fixed. It is dangerous to you and your house. Turn off the breakers one by one until the light goes off. ...


44

Red tag party, anyone? Hoo boy, that installer needs to get knocked back to school with a Codebook! What's in the photos alone violates several sections of the NEC, starting with 314.17(A) on the excessive openings for conductors: (A) Openings to Be Closed. Openings through which conductors enter shall be closed in an approved manner. We then move on ...


44

Your "electrician" is not one of the brighter bulbs in the pack. The 40A is to protect the wiring and the device. If the wiring is AT LEAST 8Ga then it's adequate to protect the wiring. It also protects 6Ga, (or 500 MCM for that matter) just fine, and it properly protects the device at the end of the wire just fine. "Ohms law" has squat to do with this. ...


44

That plug needs redoing. Urgently. It is unsafe. Make sure the clamp is on the covering for the cable not the individual wires This is a correctly wired UK plug... different live & neutral colours and there's a fuse, but you get the idea that the cable grip goes over the outer covering of the cable and is properly tightened. The exposed power wires ...


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 ...


42

Ed Beal's post covers a major point... here's a little backgrounder on that. A 20A breaker @ 120V will supply 2400 watts nominal. "Sounds like plenty, what could 2 bathrooms possibly use?" Well, one hair dryer is between 1500 and 1800 watts. So while it's perfectly legal for any number of bathrooms to share 1 electrical circuit (one McMansion was ...


41

No, 108V is NOT "within reason". You have all the symptoms of a VERY SERIOUS power wiring problem. You should consult a licensed electrician immediately before your house burns down. The symptoms you describe suggest that your power wiring could catch your house on fire at any moment. Seriously, this is not something to fool around with.


41

The problem with almost any adhesive is that the longer it stays on, the more likely it is to either fall off when you don't want it to fall off, or stay on when you don't want it to (typically this means "top layer of paint comes off with the tape"). Aesthetic considerations may not be an issue right now (when I was a kid, I definitely ran wires ...


40

Of course you can't. The 20A plug was put there for a reason. Believe me, the manufacturer would much rather have put a 15A plug on there to make it more widely usable - they didn't use a 20A plug to annoy you... It's because they can't use a 15A. The 80% rule also applies to portable appliances. No portable appliance using a NEMA 15A plug can draw more ...


40

Run Conduit Then if you need a 2nd fiber later, or this one goes bad, or you want to add something else, you're all set. Plus, one staple that hits wrong, and you've clobbered your fiber - you can't (realistically) splice and patch the way you could with copper Ethernet.


39

Why bury a cable when you can be future-proof? The primary issue with direct buried cables is that you have to dig them up in order to upgrade them, a costly proposition. Hence, it's a far better choice to spend the money to lay a couple of fat PVC conduits now and then pull wires through them, than to have to dig things up 5 years down the road because ...


39

Ho Le Crap! most of the pics you are showing involved phone service, not in house Ethernet / LAN. Your 6 pin connectors are for RJ16 jacks/plugs (3 line phone service). RJ45 requires 8 conductors and an 8 pin jack/plug. cat5e or cat6 can be terminated on a patch panel, but not a punch down block ("A" in your pics). It can be pretty simple: Connect all ...


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