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Why do I have three electricity meters? And how to choose a provider?

I just moved into a new house (in Sydney). We have three old fashioned looking electricity meters in the meter box. Why are there three? [more inside]
posted by lollusc on Jun 17, 2014 - 8 answers

You remind me of the babe.

Or what do I have to look for on a portable generator to recharge my camera and tablet. [more inside]
posted by Fermin on Feb 11, 2014 - 11 answers

lightning blew up my power

There was a huge lightning storm this morning, in the middle of it my power went out. All the breakers on my boat are on, all e breakers on the power bollard are on. The odd thing is that the bollard has power to the meters and register 5v on the ac setting of my multimeter across live and earth. Also the RCD buttons trip out the breakers. This suggests that it has power. But nothings coming out. Any ideas for a) How come it has some power but no output b) Is there anything I can do. My electrical skills = I own a nice multimeter My fear of zappy death = relatively high [more inside]
posted by Just this guy, y'know on Jul 22, 2013 - 11 answers

Green Mountain Energy in NYC

New York City dwellers: Do you use Green Mountain Energy for your household power? Why or why not? [more inside]
posted by greta simone on May 21, 2013 - 3 answers

Put me in charge!

Explain to me the technology of charging devices. Is it mainly about voltage? About current? How close to the "required" values must you be? [more inside]
posted by Obscure Reference on Nov 16, 2012 - 9 answers

Electricians/IT experts: Can you solve this mystery?

My computer cycles off without warning, and it's on a battery pack/surge protector UPS. What gives? [more inside]
posted by Chris4d on Nov 14, 2012 - 13 answers

How does electricity work?

I need a primer on how (electrical) power works. [more inside]
posted by asnowballschance on Aug 24, 2012 - 6 answers

Is my power green?

In 2009, 91.2% of Seattle's electricity was from hydroelectric sources, and in 2010, 87.9% was hydro. Is the hydro capacity maxed out, or will it scale up to meet additional demand and maintain that ratio? Here's what I'm getting at: If I were to use more electricity than now, will that incremental power effectively come from non-renewable sources rather than ~90% hydro?
posted by hodgebodge on Jun 6, 2012 - 14 answers

Power surges from rapid on/off?

Does flipping a switch on and off rapidly damage electrical equipment? [more inside]
posted by antgly on Mar 24, 2012 - 12 answers

What device is used to regulate power over several circuits?

A friend of mine has 20+ old arcade games in his basement. He has essentially set up a small arcade museum at his house. It's pretty sweet! The games are split between several circuits in the house but power is becoming a concern. These old electronics are sensitive to spikes and low voltages and we want to keep them running as long as possible - most of the circuit boards are not made and difficult to replace or repair. What should we consider for 110v line conditioning? [more inside]
posted by rwheindl on Feb 29, 2012 - 6 answers

How do I get to waffles from here?

After months of rambling on the wonders of waffles to my UK housemates, I was gifted the best present ever...a waffle maker! I am desperate to make this thing work. Need electrical advice. [more inside]
posted by iamkimiam on Jan 12, 2012 - 34 answers

How many soldering irons can I plug in before blowing a fuse?

I'm about to teach a soldering class to kids, and it occurs to me that I may blow a fuse in the room that I'm doing the event in if I plug too many in at once... Any idea of how to gauge how many I can plug in simultaneously? This is the soldering iron I have. http://www.elexp.com/sdr_5258.htm Ideally, I'll plug in 12 at once... thank
posted by davidvan on Nov 29, 2011 - 6 answers

How does power spikes work?

Calling all electricians: please explain to me how power surges work. [more inside]
posted by Hakaisha on Nov 3, 2011 - 4 answers

Grounded by faith

How the heck is this outlet 'grounded'? [more inside]
posted by zvs on Oct 26, 2011 - 20 answers

oh brother

Need a step-down converter for plugging a printer sold in the US (110V power) into a 3rd-world socket (240V power). I get the voltage part but watts and amps and such are a bit beyond my electronoobicity. [more inside]
posted by allkindsoftime on Jul 27, 2011 - 18 answers

I want everything to be without wires.

Wires, cables - I hate them. What options are currently available (or really just around the corner) to make my world wireless. [more inside]
posted by HopStopDon'tShop on Jul 25, 2011 - 6 answers

Is this electrical outlet dead and what should I do?

I know you are not my electrician, but: Why does this electrical power outlet no longer work? [more inside]
posted by docgonzo on Jun 27, 2011 - 8 answers

2011 Macbook Pro power consumption

How can the new Macbook Pros use 90+ watts of power when they only have 85W power adapters? [more inside]
posted by mpls2 on Mar 25, 2011 - 6 answers

Where to buy a 4 1/2" outlet box that is open on both sides for back-to-back light fixture installation?

Where to buy a 4 1/2" outlet box that is open on both sides for back-to-back light fixture installation? [more inside]
posted by Jim Biancolo on Dec 12, 2010 - 7 answers

An on-again, off-again model train?

Is there a simple way to put an electrical outlet on a "two minutes on, five minutes off" duty cycle? [more inside]
posted by TPIRman on Oct 4, 2010 - 7 answers

Electricity, how does it work?

What are the potential risks of leaving things plugged in on one end (to an outlet, to a computer) and free on the other end? [more inside]
posted by neuromodulator on Sep 26, 2010 - 8 answers

New power cord not exactly what I expected, should I return it?

My laptop power cord's ground prong (the third prong) broke off, and it stopped working in most wall plugs. I ordered a new one and when it came, it didn't have a third prong, but it works fine. Why is that? And more importantly, is there some future situation where I'm going to regret not replacing the old one with a new, three-prong plug? [more inside]
posted by malapropist on Sep 20, 2010 - 4 answers

Ambien for my computer?

After a move, our computer (an older aOpen desktop) can't sleep through the night. It's fine if we leave it powered on, but if we put it to sleep, it seems to lose power sometime in the night and does not wake up properly in the morning. Will a cheap UPS (this one, for example) solve the problem? Any other ideas?
posted by Xalf on Sep 12, 2010 - 19 answers

Travel Power Strip

Where can I find a compact power strip (that I can travel with) - kind of like the USB octupus but for electricity. I always run into trouble sharing power outlets at airports etc. I'm living in Europe.
posted by mathiu on Jun 27, 2010 - 7 answers

We don't need no water!

I'm going to be out of town for three weeks. Is it safe for me to turn off the water heater in my high rise apartment? Each unit has its own and I'd like to save water while I'm gone.
posted by Aanidaani on Jun 11, 2010 - 18 answers

Air Conditioners and Power

ElectricityFilter: How many A\C units can I plug in? [more inside]
posted by jeffamaphone on Jun 5, 2010 - 26 answers

How do I buy a generator for my house?

Help me buy a generator! Degree of difficulty: 5-ton AC. [more inside]
posted by neilkod on May 27, 2010 - 9 answers

A few volts here, a few amps there, and before you know it there might be nothing left!

Does leaving my phone's car charger plugged in to the car at all times significantly drain my car's battery? [more inside]
posted by Vorteks on May 20, 2010 - 22 answers

Tim Allen lied to me.. I need less power

Trying to figure out just how out-of-whack my Northern VA power bills are. [more inside]
posted by FatherDagon on Mar 11, 2010 - 13 answers

Which uses more power: Disney or Las Vegas?

Which uses more electrical power: All of the hotels and attractions on the Las Vegas strip, or all of the hotels and attractions within Walt Disney World in Florida? [more inside]
posted by Mwongozi on Feb 13, 2010 - 9 answers

help me understand three phase electricity

So the place I work is about to grow and needs more power in the building for more people and a very large serverfarm upgrade. I am a bit unclear on a few topics, mainly related to three phase vs single phase power. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jan 17, 2010 - 7 answers

Too good a discount?

Construction electrical: why is this service panel on sale at more than an 80% discount? [more inside]
posted by XMLicious on Mar 16, 2009 - 5 answers

Epson Artisan 800 All-in-One Printer bought in USA? How to use in U.K?

Just returned from fabulous 2 week holiday in New York. I Brought back Epson Artisan 800 All-in-One Printer from Staples costing $230. Unfortunately, I cannot use it in U.K., unless I plug voltage converter/transformer products. Has anyone else bought this set over there with more success? Any advice \ information appreciated. Please specify me What exact voltage converter product to buy & where to buy it from USA online store. Thanks. [more inside]
posted by omaralarifi on Jan 28, 2009 - 4 answers

What percentage of U.S. power plants can run on either natural gas or residual fuel oil?

What percentage of U.S. power plants can run on either natural gas or residual fuel oil? Please cite source.
posted by zembla3 on Jan 16, 2009 - 4 answers

Is my new (aftermarket) power adapter safe for my laptop?

Can I damage my laptop by using a power adapter that has a slightly higher wattage than the original adapter? The original adapter was 65W, and the aftermarket one is 70W. The voltage is switchable. My original adapter had a voltage of 18.5V, this one says that if I need 18.5V, I should choose 18V. Any chance of damaging the computer by using this one? [more inside]
posted by leticia on Nov 13, 2008 - 8 answers

Charge me up, just don't charge me a lot

Does anyone have any recommendations on the best power companies to use in Houston, TX? [more inside]
posted by arcticseal on Nov 6, 2008 - 3 answers

What can cause a house's lights to flash?

What can cause a house's lights to dim and flash? [more inside]
posted by Nelson on Sep 8, 2008 - 7 answers

Does carbon trading make a difference?

Why should energy supply companies bother making people houses greener when they are essentially reducing demand for their good? (quite a UK based question) [more inside]
posted by henry.oswald on Sep 8, 2008 - 11 answers

How can I reduce my electric bill?

First time living alone, and just got my first electric bill... what's using so much power? How much power does my computer really use? [more inside]
posted by Kosh on Sep 4, 2008 - 35 answers

Why does my Mac power adapter spark?

When I plug my MacBook Pro Power Adapter into most/all outlets, I see a blue spark as the prongs enter the outlet. Is this normal? [more inside]
posted by plasticbugs on Aug 17, 2008 - 10 answers

How do national grid forecast demand acturately

How do national grid forecast demand acturately? [more inside]
posted by henry.oswald on Jul 31, 2008 - 7 answers

Drill It Into My Head

Help me understand electricity and physics and how they apply to motors. I have my head around electricity basics and electromagnetism, but I have a few unanswered questions about the more subtle aspects. [more inside]
posted by kaizen on Jun 22, 2008 - 11 answers

Watts a volt, anyway?

Can anyone help me figure out what kind of power source I need for my outdoor art project? [more inside]
posted by xo on Jun 5, 2008 - 10 answers

DIYWAMH

Working on DIY solar charger from modified garden power lamps. Of course the panels look different than the ones in the pictures! [more inside]
posted by aetg on Feb 17, 2008 - 6 answers

How can I use this UK appliance in the US?

British appliance, US power: can they find happiness together? [more inside]
posted by bac on Dec 9, 2007 - 15 answers

Anyone know a simple and cheap solar panel setup to run a small boombox about 9-12V DC?

Anyone know a simple and cheap solar panel setup to run a small boombox about 9-12V DC? [more inside]
posted by Bengston on Dec 4, 2007 - 3 answers

At the mercy of power surges and I'm not an electrician

When it rains / storms our power inevitably blinks out (usually comes right back online in a few seconds) and we have lost 1 TV and another one is now behaving erratically. Need help coming up with a plan of action. [more inside]
posted by dino terror on Oct 9, 2007 - 8 answers

Tell me why I just spent $75.

So the electrician said nothing was wrong. But something WAS wrong, only it fixed itself by the time he got there. Help me diagnose this maddening problem our tenant had. [more inside]
posted by dhartung on Sep 21, 2007 - 17 answers

I (don't) have the power!

2 outlets & a ceiling light stopped working at the same time. None of the circuit breakers were flipped. What would cause this, and how can I troubleshoot it? [more inside]
posted by designbot on Aug 30, 2007 - 15 answers

Screen-printed solar panels?

Solar photovoltaic fabric. I'm trying to find or recall about a particular type of technology that I half-remember, as well as find out more about the current state of the art for flexible and/or fabric and/or imprinted solar panels. [more inside]
posted by loquacious on Jun 6, 2007 - 4 answers

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