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]
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]
Does flipping a switch on and off rapidly damage electrical equipment? [more inside]
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]
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]
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]
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?
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]
Why do my headphones give my ears little electric shocks in the winter, and how can I avoid it? [more inside]
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?
How can a lightswitch that controls both outlets be converted to switch just one? [more inside]
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]
Do I have everything I need to safely put together this lamp without burning my apartment down? [more inside]
Help me understand the national electric code with regard to rewiring and updating several rooms in my 1940s-era house. [more inside]
Why is this lightbulb flickering? [more inside]
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
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]
Why does my electric range trip the circuit breaker when the oven and all burners are used? This behavior is new. [more inside]
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]
Calling all electricians: please explain to me how power surges work. [more inside]
What is it like to work on a tree/line crew restoring power after a big storm? [more inside]
How the heck is this outlet 'grounded'? [more inside]
How much are your Con Ed bills? Help me work through some issues with my electricity bill in NYC. [more inside]
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]
Has anyone had a fatal electric shock while working on a computer? Is there any data?
Why would nearly all of a 1940s-era house be run on two 15-amp circuits? [more inside]
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?
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]
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]
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]
Wires, cables - I hate them. What options are currently available (or really just around the corner) to make my world wireless. [more inside]
Could a bolt of lightning have fixed my landline? [more inside]
I know you are not my electrician, but: Why does this electrical power outlet no longer work? [more inside]
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]
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]
How can the new Macbook Pros use 90+ watts of power when they only have 85W power adapters? [more inside]
Please help me find the lamp I want (or tell me that the one I can find is hackable). [more inside]
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]
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.
My oven "trips" the GFCI outlet it's plugged into. Is this an oven problem or an outlet/wiring problem? [more inside]
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]
I want to convert a wall switch into a door switch (for a wardrobe light). Is this easily feasible? [more inside]
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]
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]
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]
Help me understand the costs and benefits of solar panels. [more inside]
Smart A/C Saver question. [more inside]
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]
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?
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?