Hot answers tagged

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 ...


59

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 ...


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

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

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.


36

Divide and conquer. You turned off the main breaker and the switch went dead. So you know it is going through that panel. Leave the main breaker on and turn off everything else. If it is still on at this point, then you have something really strange going on - time for a professional. But assuming that does turn power to the switch off: Turn on the ...


36

Nope! Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS) jacks were usually daisy chained as you describe. Ethernet requires a "home run" from each jack to a modem, router or switch. Also, it's probably cat-3 which is unsuitable for Ethernet. EDIT: Based on comments (which sometimes go away, but answers don't), I'm adding to my answer here: According to others ...


33

Unless you go to more expensive industrial products, you'll have trouble finding thermostats that operate reliably at near freezing temperatures. Using a space heater to heat up the entire crawl space is going to be inefficient when all you need is to keep the pipes above freezing. Heat tape seems like a much better option, it's made for this exact purpose. ...


33

There are two issues, one trivially easy, one a big "maybe": Don't Use a Patch Cable Don't use a patch cable. Period. The reason is that patch cable ends break. Oh, I'll just crimp on another connector. Where did the good crimper go (only use it once every 5 years...)? Oops, got two wires swapped, I'll have to try again..., etc. Far, far better to ...


33

Read the jacket - I think I can see, but not make out, faint red printing on at least two of the gray cables in your picture. But there's no guarantee that all the gray cables are the same, if this system grew organically over time rather than having been all installed at once. Even if it's CAT3, it will run ethernet (slowly by modern standards.) That will ...


31

Are you trying to break a record for "most code violations"? Code exist for a reason, the reason is safety. Tech is supposed to serve us, not kill us. Your entire logic is that "Code is a bunch of nonsense legalese" simply because you don't understand it. No, every rule has a safety reason. Further, you have a bunch of beliefs that are ...


31

TL;DR Remove the tab on the hot (red/black) side "A/B" plus the symptoms sounds like you have a Multi Wire Branch Circuit or MWBC. With an MWBC, you can have the top receptacle's hot on one part of the circuit and the bottom receptacle's hot on the other part of the circuit. Each receptacle is then 120V hot-to-neutral but the two hots are 240V ...


30

No, you can't do anything like that at all. That's a suicide cord. Meaning it has 2 plugs on it, and in certain conditions the prongs of one can be unplugged and live. Nothing should ever have 2 plugs. Remove the "plug-in thermostats" from the equation - they're cheap anyway. Use hardwired thermostats -- those can be paralleled in the manner you ...


30

Another option no one has mentioned is to use cable raceway The raceway itself will come with adhesive, or sometimes be nailed into the wall. It's more expensive, but the end result will look much nicer than tape or staples, and be more flexible for future expansion. For even more flexibility, you can terminate it to an ethernet jack: By the way, ...


29

In a perfect world, black is hot and white is neutral. Unfortunately,that's not always true. I have seen houses wired opposite, against code. I've seen part of the house wired opposite. What you need to do is get a meter, not a wonder stick, and test your black group for voltage to ground. You should get 120v +-, then test white group to ground and you ...


28

The "best way" is to replace all the damaged wire. Either completely (from where it starts and ends now) or by adding two junction boxes (which must remain accessible) where you can join the undamaged parts of the wire to new undamaged wire between the two junction boxes. If you can reach one end with new wire, you may only need one new junction ...


26

To directly answer your question, there is direct bury ethernet cable. You would probably want to go at least 18" deep with it. But there is still a chance it will break, and then you'll be replacing the whole run, so it might make sense to place it in conduit right away to make future replacement easier. However, the real issue is that 1000 ft is much ...


26

What a mess... Assuming that your diagnosis is correct - two wires in the same cable connected to totally separate breakers, you have several different problems going on: A 30A dryer receptacle should be on a pair of 30A breakers. This is 2 independent 15A breakers. You don't add (though it sounds logical) 15A + 15A to get 30A, because the 30A refers to 30A ...


26

So I called my sweetie over, who is the resident chef, but knows nothing about electrical, and explained you had extra gang spaces and wanted to eliminate them. Other than that, I did not "lead the question". The instant response: "This, please!" See, now that's the difference between an electrician and a chef. I've learned to be ...


25

The images show a cable similar to a spool I have of "cable-in-conduit" which is used for cable television service. Typical cable television cable drops, from the service point (tap) to the house can be 6 mm diameter, but the c-in-c will be slightly larger. It's hard to tell from the image, but even if it's direct-bury drop cable, it's not ...


25

The answer is yes a single circuit can supply everything in a single branch circuit OR The receptacles only for multiple bathrooms. NEC 210.11.C .3 & the exception allow for the above statement in both the 2017 & 2020 code. I have seen this code taken to an extreme 3 bathrooms only receptacles. The owner was trying to save $ and would not budge as ...


24

Barring you bother to source high-voltage rated Cat5e or Cat6A, sharing a conduit with line voltage is a clear and blatant code violation. It's got nothing to do with nails. You should have put in two conduits, or three to cover the unknown next thing. Cat5e will carry full gigabit the same distance that Cat6 or 6A will. If you are committed to a cable ...


24

That right there is a crimp connector. Few ways to remove one, mostly you want to avoid damaging wire and losing length. It's a compressed ring. First thing I'd try is side cutters. Cut between the wires and once one side of the ring is removed you should be able to bend it out of the way. That one looks particularly easy to cut this way. If side cutters ...


23

I'd suggest that a single cable to bring signal from the entry point to the required distribution point is far "prettier" than a bodge of 27 WiFi access points & signal boosters! Have you considered bringing the cable from the garage to someplace somewhat midpoint in the house - maybe a hall coat closet, or something off the kitchen? Terminate ...


23

I'd like to expand on longneck's (correct) answer a bit and explain why code forbids this: There's a saying, code is written in blood and ash. What that means is that in developing the code, experts looked at incident reports from thousands of fires, electrocutions, and other deaths, and figured out things that would have prevented those deaths. And of ...


23

Switches don't have silver screws (unless they have brains inside) Your rule about "black to brass, white to silver" is a good rule of thumb for how receptacles are wired. However, since a "dumb" lightswitch simply connects terminals to other terminals, it needs no connection to the neutral wire at all, and thus has no silver screw on it ...


22

Hmm, when I see your first try then maybe my improvisation-style is sufficient for your needs. If appearence is not critical and money-is-out, instead of using tapes I use my stapler and cut rectangular pieces of card-paper to make a loop around the cable keeping a tongue to be stapled to the wall. The problem of destructive tapes doesn't occur, and the ...


22

The wires in NM aren't labeled for use outside the cable jacket, and may not be the correct type for use in conduit to begin with First off, the wires inside a NM cable are not marked or labeled at all, which automatically makes them unsuitable for use in a conduit wiring method, as NEC 310.120 requires conductor insulation to be marked/labeled with the ...


21

Two options that come to mind: manassehkatz's answer to use cable clips is a great one if you'd like a lasting solution to using a long ethernet cable. I'd like to offer an alternative to having a long running ethernet cable. Powerline adapters! A Powerline adapter is a device which uses your homes electric wiring to transmit communications signals. The ...


21

Since you've got conduit, and since most lights are not designed to be directly on 30A circuits (normally in the US designed for 15A or 20A circuits), run two 15A or 20A circuits through that conduit instead. It will take more spaces in your panel - if that is a problem, upload a picture of the panel for help. Note that 2 x 15A is perfect for the lighting. ...


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