428 posts tagged with electricity.
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Help me turn a toaster into a lamp

I have an odd fascination with lighting. I want to learn how to rewire various consumer electronics into functioning lamps without electrocuting myself and/or burning down my apartment building. [more inside]
posted by krakenattack on Apr 26, 2012 - 13 answers

Trying to replace three-way switched grounded light fixture with ungrounded fixture

Want to install an ungrounded hanging light fixture in place of an existing grounded flush-mount dome light. Controlled with existing three-way switches. [more inside]
posted by reeddavid on Mar 27, 2012 - 4 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

How many amps can my sub-panel hold?

Panel to Garage sub-panel. How many amps can my sub-panel hold? (You are not my electrician.) I will be hiring a licensed electrician, I’m just curious as to what to expect. [more inside]
posted by otto42 on Mar 6, 2012 - 3 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

So how many appliances can I plug in there before starting an electrical fire?

I have a two-plug outlet with a three-plug adapter, meaning that I have four things plugged into the outlet. Am I going to set my sublet apartment on fire? Or rather, how can I keep from doing so? [more inside]
posted by kensington314 on Feb 22, 2012 - 10 answers

How much is my space heater costing me per hour?

Can a math / electrician whiz help me figure out how much my little space heater is costing me to run? The heater is listed as 120V 60Hz 1500W, and I run it on its highest setting for about 8 hours a day. According to my last utility bill, my electric was $118.64 for 1536 kWh, or $0.077239583 per kWh. So how much is this little heater costing me to run per hour?
posted by bjork24 on Feb 8, 2012 - 13 answers

To toast, or not to toast?

I'm trying to figure out if it will be cost-effective to buy this electric toaster oven, versus using a large gas oven. [more inside]
posted by mikeand1 on Feb 4, 2012 - 8 answers

Snap, Crackle, Pop, Ouch.

Why do my headphones give my ears little electric shocks in the winter, and how can I avoid it? [more inside]
posted by custard heart on Jan 23, 2012 - 5 answers

What is electricity made of?

In a bid to prolong bed-time, my four-year-old just asked me, "What is electricity made of?' I told her to close her eyes and go to sleep, which has bought me 9-10 hours till she wakes me up and asks me the same question again. What's the most accurate answer I can give her that she will understand and not be bored by?
posted by Hogshead on Jan 22, 2012 - 22 answers

How can a lightswitch that controls both outlets be converted to switch just one?

How can a lightswitch that controls both outlets be converted to switch just one? [more inside]
posted by cacophony on Jan 15, 2012 - 4 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

DIY lamp project

Do I have everything I need to safely put together this lamp without burning my apartment down? [more inside]
posted by ps_im_awesome on Dec 23, 2011 - 10 answers

How to ground my home electrical in accordance with code?

Help me understand the national electric code with regard to rewiring and updating several rooms in my 1940s-era house. [more inside]
posted by JohnFredra on Dec 6, 2011 - 8 answers

Why is this lightbulb flickering?

Why is this lightbulb flickering? [more inside]
posted by The corpse in the library on Dec 5, 2011 - 13 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

Prepayment meter to credit meter?

My new flat has a prepayment meter for gas and electricity. I think we want to switch to a credit meter, but I'm not sure and I don't really know what I'm doing so I'm afraid of screwing this up. Help? [more inside]
posted by Put the kettle on on Nov 18, 2011 - 6 answers

Why does my range trip the circuit breaker when the oven and all burners are used?

Why does my electric range trip the circuit breaker when the oven and all burners are used? This behavior is new. [more inside]
posted by wnissen on Nov 14, 2011 - 17 answers

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

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