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No more staticky coffee grounds

What can I do to reduce static cling on my glass coffee grinder hopper so less coffee sticks to the sides and makes a big mess? [more inside]
posted by leahwrenn on Nov 11, 2011 - 20 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

Tell me about the secret lives of utility workers.

What is it like to work on a tree/line crew restoring power after a big storm? [more inside]
posted by mskyle on Nov 1, 2011 - 8 answers

Grounded by faith

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

The electric bill is too damn high

How much are your Con Ed bills? Help me work through some issues with my electricity bill in NYC. [more inside]
posted by dixiecupdrinking on Oct 10, 2011 - 18 answers

how long is the electricity going to the last post apocalypse?

So I'm watching The Stand, and I noticed late plague, the power's still on. So how long will the power run without maintenance. [more inside]
posted by garlic on Oct 9, 2011 - 31 answers

Not Shocking

Has anyone had a fatal electric shock while working on a computer? Is there any data?
posted by parallax7d on Oct 6, 2011 - 17 answers

Turns out the inspector really can't see through walls

Why would nearly all of a 1940s-era house be run on two 15-amp circuits? [more inside]
posted by brentajones on Sep 18, 2011 - 10 answers

Can an electrical outlet be "weak"?

Our 11 year old refrigerator stopped getting cold enough (42 to 48 degrees). It's done this before and we've replaced parts. This time I decided enough and replaced the unit. Now this new LG refrigerator is doing the same thing. I've had a tech come out and they replaced the board with all the pertinent parts and it still isn't getting colder. But I've plugged in our old unit in the garage, where it is cooler, and now it's at the correct temp. Is it possible that it can be something to do with the electrical outlet? Wouldn't the service guy have had something to test that?
posted by miramy on Aug 22, 2011 - 13 answers

Am I right to think it's practical start a commercial electric vehicle charging station?

I just bought an electric car -- Nissan Leaf -- and I am curious about what it'd take to start a commercial quick charging station in my area (Santa Monica, California). How do I best frame my thinking and analysis? [more inside]
posted by haykinson on Aug 17, 2011 - 8 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

Energy required to turn seawater into drinking water

Assuming an island with its own supply of power via generator and/or solar power, how much electricity is consumed to turn N liters of sea water into potable drinking water? [more inside]
posted by thewalrus on Jul 27, 2011 - 11 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

Lightning Fixed My Landline. Really?

Could a bolt of lightning have fixed my landline? [more inside]
posted by BitterOldPunk on Jul 15, 2011 - 12 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

What do I do with a downed wire/cable?

There's a downed cable/wire in my building's backyard. It is similar to this previous question, but there is no serial number on the wire so I can't confirm what it belongs to. Also, one side is attached to our building and the other end is attached to...nothing. What do I do with it? [more inside]
posted by bibbit on Mar 29, 2011 - 7 answers

Whence came this short, sharp shock?

I got a mild shock while putting together a seed starting light set-up in the unfinished basement of my rental apartment. The light was unplugged when I received the shock. What gives? [more inside]
posted by Knicke on Mar 26, 2011 - 6 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

Not very utile!

Please help me find the lamp I want (or tell me that the one I can find is hackable). [more inside]
posted by dame on Mar 18, 2011 - 11 answers

Suck it, plaster volcanoes.

Do natural gas and oil fired power plants release radiation in the form of radium, or otherwise? How much radiation per MW would be released by a typical plant? Would the release of such elements be reduced by cogeneration of steam? [more inside]
posted by evidenceofabsence on Mar 15, 2011 - 10 answers

Is there any point to using the 'storage' part of storage heaters if you don't have an offpeak tariff?

I've just moved into a new place that only has storage heaters for heat. However, the tariff on the electricity does not have an offpeak component. Given this, I was wondering if there's any point in using the storage aspect of it (if its more efficient, for example) than just using the 'boost' function that gives you heat instantaneously.
posted by vckeating on Mar 12, 2011 - 3 answers

Why won't my oven and GFCI outlet cooperate?

My oven "trips" the GFCI outlet it's plugged into. Is this an oven problem or an outlet/wiring problem? [more inside]
posted by celilo on Mar 1, 2011 - 10 answers

Electric power for the little guys

I am looking for quantitative information on energy demand for mobile devices with low power requirements, such as alarm clocks, book lights, TV remotes – things that usually require batteries to run (but not devices with higher power requirements like smartphones or laptops). Does anyone know where I can find such information? [more inside]
posted by Rickalicioso on Feb 22, 2011 - 4 answers

You shall not... forget the light on.

I want to convert a wall switch into a door switch (for a wardrobe light). Is this easily feasible? [more inside]
posted by ddaavviidd on Feb 16, 2011 - 5 answers

unplugged: again

How much current does an AC adaptor draw when it's plugged in but not powering anything, or the device to which the adaptor is attached is powered off? [more inside]
posted by RockyChrysler on Feb 9, 2011 - 18 answers

Shazam! Off goes the microwave! But why?

My power strip has been spontaneously switching itself to off when my microwave's going. Nothing's plugged into it but that microwave. What's going on? Is the microwave safe to use? [more inside]
posted by cadge on Jan 25, 2011 - 15 answers

How is my bedroom wired? Can I fix this myself?

My bedroom is wired like a Myst puzzle. How is my ceiling light fixture supposed to be powered? If this isn't something I can fix myself, how much might an electrician charge? Pictures and diagrams inside. [more inside]
posted by 0xFCAF on Jan 24, 2011 - 8 answers

Is this a new era of solar panels?

Help me understand the costs and benefits of solar panels. [more inside]
posted by anotherpanacea on Jan 20, 2011 - 10 answers

Is smart a/c a smart move?

Smart A/C Saver question. [more inside]
posted by fixedgear on Jan 19, 2011 - 3 answers

How can I prevent getting electric shocks constantly in my apartment?

I am getting constant electric shocks in my apartment, no matter what surface I touch (including other humans.) This is really annoying and doesn't happen in other locations. Is there anything I can do to prevent these shocks? [more inside]
posted by melodykramer on Jan 5, 2011 - 10 answers

Dirt power in a bucket

Does anyone know of detailed instructions for building the kind of microbial fuel cell described here? Or know enough to explain to me how it's done?
posted by ryanshepard on Dec 18, 2010 - 2 answers

Why does the electricity shut off on my train just before exiting or entering a station?

Every time I take the train, just before leaving or entering the station, all the lights go out and it seems like the ventilation shuts off too. A couple minutes later everything comes on again. Why does it do that?
posted by Sully on Dec 17, 2010 - 12 answers

Solar panels on the roof?

I want to install solar panels when I replace my roof next summer. What do I need to know about manufacturers, incentives, and costs? I am in Washington state. [more inside]
posted by bq on Dec 14, 2010 - 10 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

what just went ka-bing on my stove?

What just went ka-bing on my stove? I was just cooking pancakes on the stove. The oven was also on at 300 degrees, to keep the pancakes warm as they came off the griddle. The overhead bonnet light was on as well. Suddenly there was a strange flash. It happened in such a fraction of a second that I cannot tell you where it was from. It was like a tiny red sparking mini-explosion -- somewhere! I turned off the stove -- and could NOT turn off the light on the bonnet! [more inside]
posted by keener_sounds on Dec 6, 2010 - 8 answers

Free data on electricity spot prices?

I would like to have a time series of hourly electricity spot market prices, for at least one year, possibly more, to test a statistical model I'm investigating. Can I get them for free anywhere? [more inside]
posted by themel on Nov 30, 2010 - 4 answers

Why is my car randomly refusing to start after new stereo install?

Why is my car randomly not starting? I just installed a new stereo head unit and I assume it has something to do with the ground... [more inside]
posted by lakerk on Nov 12, 2010 - 4 answers

dualing light switches

Two sets of dual light switches control two lights at the top and bottom of my staircase. One switch on each set stopped working, why and how can I fix it? [more inside]
posted by wigner3j on Nov 5, 2010 - 6 answers

Radio dropped in a lake?

What would happen if you had a radio attached to a power outlet and you like dropped that radio in a lake? Would everyone in the lake die? How would it work?
posted by xmutex on Nov 5, 2010 - 17 answers

Poltergeist was fiction, dammit!

When we use our Kitchenaid mixer plugged into one socket, the coffee grinder plugged into a different socket starts to grind, sort of. What the hell? [more inside]
posted by fatbird on Oct 31, 2010 - 14 answers

Appliance Clock Anomaly

Why would three digital clocks lose time at exactly the same pace? [more inside]
posted by Mr. Yuck on Oct 29, 2010 - 10 answers

Did you find "Time-of-use" metering helpful?

Looking for anecdotal data: when you switched to a time-of-use electrical meter for your residence, what happened to your bills in the first year, and what changes did you make that seemed to have the largest impact? [more inside]
posted by davejay on Oct 25, 2010 - 1 answer

*ZAP*

I just bought a Gardner Bender GET-3213 Voltage Tester. It doesn't seem to work...what am I doing wrong? [more inside]
posted by randomstriker on Oct 20, 2010 - 11 answers

buzz headache

Looking for a pair of speakers for a classroom with lousy electric lines. The circuit has a dimmer, florescent lights that cause all types of buzzing through our current speakers. Our current speakers have noise reduction circuitry, but it shuts off after a few minutes after the sound stops, leaving a buzz.
posted by parallax7d on Oct 7, 2010 - 3 answers

Advice on making a simple wind-powered generator in a high-school.

Advice on making a simple wind-powered generator with high-school students. [more inside]
posted by a womble is an active kind of sloth on Oct 6, 2010 - 14 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

Help Me Get My Electrical Use Under 200 kWh per Month.

I need real energy saving advice, not that wimpy "use a power strip" and "replace light bulbs with CFLs" stuff. [more inside]
posted by Leta on Sep 15, 2010 - 37 answers

The Best Little Electric Company in Texas?

Help my sister choose a Retail Electric Provider in Arlington, Texas! [more inside]
posted by blue grama on Sep 14, 2010 - 3 answers

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