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Where are cool places to have electricity in a house?

Building a house, we're meeting with the electrician tomorrow to talk about where to put outlets/wire runs. I'm looking for interesting places that we may want to put wiring. [more inside]
posted by cmm on Jun 21, 2010 - 43 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

Help me measue current.

Can I install an amp meter in the positive side of a circuit? [more inside]
posted by Climber on May 26, 2010 - 7 answers

electrical energy from your car

How can you run a large appliance (e.g. a washing machine machine) off of a running automobile? What's the best way to convert the huge amount of power generated by the car into 110V A.C. at a high wattage? [more inside]
posted by grizzled on May 23, 2010 - 5 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

...and then we'll take it higher.

Why do I feel electric currents? [more inside]
posted by kaseijin on May 17, 2010 - 22 answers

Wiring multiple quartz clocks together?

I'm an artist trying to wire 30 quartz clock mechanisms together so that they run off a single power strip. They each originally take 1 AA battery. I'm having trouble getting it to work. It's important that the clocks start simultaneously because the piece involves precisely planned movement. [more inside]
posted by davidriley on May 5, 2010 - 18 answers

Monitoring electricity usage

What are the options for monitoring our household electricity usage using Google's PowerMeter service? [more inside]
posted by SueDenim on May 1, 2010 - 2 answers

Advice on DIY electrical work

How to route electrical cable around a pipe, a question about a floor box for an electrical outlet in a kitchen, and a good book for general home electrical work? [more inside]
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Apr 21, 2010 - 7 answers

Lights off. Heater on. What?

Why does turning off my lights sometimes cause my heater to turn on? [more inside]
posted by 0xFCAF on Apr 6, 2010 - 10 answers

I am doing European electric in America! Or am I?

I am trying to install a lighting fixture. It is 240v. I am in America. And also what is this electrical wiring weirdness coming from my ceiling that I am hooking it up to? [more inside]
posted by RJ Reynolds on Mar 31, 2010 - 15 answers

Bulbs burn out

Why do my lightbulbs burn out so fast?! [more inside]
posted by malhouse on Mar 29, 2010 - 15 answers

Just how dangerous is the interaction between leaking water and my ceiling light?

Water leaking from an upstairs apartment seems to be short-circuiting a ceiling light. How dangerous and how urgent is this problem? [more inside]
posted by sueinnyc on Mar 20, 2010 - 13 answers

My office needs a computer in it

If I run an extension cord or long power strip under my steam radiator, will something bad happen? [more inside]
posted by doift on Mar 16, 2010 - 14 answers

The little PA system that could, I hope.

Will I blow up my PA system? A question of ohms, watts, speakers, amps and the love affair that almost tore them all apart. [more inside]
posted by otolith on Mar 13, 2010 - 12 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

Current used by florescent lighting at start-up?

I want to add some more florescent shop lights in my basement but I have a question about how many I can safely add. [more inside]
posted by bondcliff on Mar 11, 2010 - 7 answers

When did lightbulbs and toilets become a fact of life?

When did electricity and indoor plumbing first become widespread and commonplace in even the poorest urban first world homes, in the same way that owning a television is unremarkable now? (Obviously rural communities took longer to acquire utilities.)
posted by desjardins on Feb 17, 2010 - 10 answers

Help me not be the annoying new roommate who killed the house.

I am not an electrician. But I'm poor, and I'm not an idiot. Unfortunately, I think I did something stupid when wiring a new wall plug; I accidentally touched two wires together, and now the electricity is off in two rooms. More electrically savvy people: can you help me? [more inside]
posted by koeselitz on Feb 15, 2010 - 34 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

Ways to save

I'm trying to save money on monthly bills. I recently read that "40% of all electricity used to power home electronics is consumed while the products are turned off." Is this accurate? If so, what devices or ideas are there to conveniently "unplug" things (whose plugs often have 3 prongs). Related tips for stopping money leaks like this are welcome. [more inside]
posted by cashman on Feb 12, 2010 - 26 answers

Help me be cheap and assuage my ecoapocalyptic depression.

I want to make my apartment more energy efficient. I don't have any control over how much heat I get, so I'm most concerned with a) making sure as little heat is escaping through the windows as possible and b) reducing the amount of electricity I use. [more inside]
posted by ocherdraco on Feb 3, 2010 - 17 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

What would be a good battery to use for renewable energy generation?

What would be a good battery to use for renewable energy generation? If the anual average wind speed of an off-grid house was 6 m/s and had a roof at 30 degrees due south (for the use of solar PV). What kind of battery would you suggest I purchase so that it can be used for a turn key system and last for up to 3 days using wind power and solar PV? - The average power consumption per week of the house is 111.657 KWh [more inside]
posted by sockpim on Dec 30, 2009 - 27 answers

watt?

If I have a stereo amplifier that puts out 200 watts per channel, with two speakers per channel, how many watts per speaker?
posted by 31d1 on Dec 29, 2009 - 26 answers

where do these wires go?

I'm wiring NM-3 cable into a fuse box. Where do the wires go? [more inside]
posted by crazylegs on Dec 26, 2009 - 5 answers

let there be light!

Help me re-wire a complicated old lamp. [more inside]
posted by crazylegs on Dec 6, 2009 - 6 answers

Speaker noise when metal USB plug touches my computer case and other electrical problems.

Speaker noise when metal USB plug touches my computer case and other electrical problems. [more inside]
posted by archagon on Nov 1, 2009 - 9 answers

It's not all Ben Franklyn and ENRON is it?

Tell me all you know about electricity markets. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Oct 21, 2009 - 11 answers

How much electricity do you use?

In the interests of science, please tell me how many kilowatt-hours (kWh) your house or apartment used last month and how much it uses in the middle of winter. If possible include variables like whether you use electric heat, air conditioning, electric or gas hot water heater, etc. [more inside]
posted by thewalrus on Oct 14, 2009 - 27 answers

Kludgy home electronics melts pizzas

How can I inexpensively stop my washing machine from melting my ice cubes without burning my house down? [more inside]
posted by M.C. Lo-Carb! on Sep 17, 2009 - 13 answers

Two bulbs, one switch

Can I wire two light switches into one switch? [more inside]
posted by furtive on Sep 7, 2009 - 6 answers

Identify ceiling fixture wiring

Replacing ceiling fixture. Removed old fixture. Help me identify the wiring so I can wire the new one? [more inside]
posted by stupidsexyFlanders on Sep 5, 2009 - 11 answers

Electronic Catan

I want to create a customized Settlers of Catan board. For the purposes of this question, it could also be a custom Monopoly board. I want the pieces ( cities / hotels ) to light up when they are placed on the board. I know I would put LED's in each piece, but besides that, I am not sure if or how I could power up the LED's. I am not an electrical engineer, but magnets, watch batteries or inductive charging sound good to me. Help me make an awesome electronic board game!
posted by jasondigitized on Sep 4, 2009 - 8 answers

My air conditioner causes my room to have brown-outs. Can I fix this?

When my window-unit air conditioner revs its motor, my overhead light dims... then seriously brightens up when the AC slows down. It's annoying. Is there anything I can do? [more inside]
posted by SuperNova on Aug 19, 2009 - 13 answers

Help me repair a few jimmied EXIT signs!

Do 2 or 4 bulbs in a regulation exit sign light up automatically? Ie, are the two outer small bulbs automatic and the two inner 120V/4W jobs there as backup? I'm not an electrician and retailers don't have much (anything) in the way of repair guides..only product order forms. [more inside]
posted by JaiMahodara on Aug 13, 2009 - 1 answer

Argh blargh monopolies

My new rented house used to be a duplex, and it still has two electricity meters. Do we really have to pay two bills every month because of this? [more inside]
posted by showbiz_liz on Aug 12, 2009 - 14 answers

Shutting off the Electricity to the Solenoid Valve

One of the zones in my outdoor sprinkler isn't working, caused it appears by a malfunctioning solenoid valve. I spent the morning learning how to inspect, repair and/or replace it, and I'm about to do so, but I am unsure as to whether electricity is running to it. How can I know? [more inside]
posted by scunning on Aug 8, 2009 - 7 answers

Alternatives to running a ground wire?

Will a surge protector or UPS plugged into an ungrounded outlet do anything to protect my electronics in the event of a power surge? [more inside]
posted by nitsuj on Jul 30, 2009 - 9 answers

Light switch making popping noise.

Calling all MeFi electricians: why does my light switch make a popping noise, and will it kill me? [more inside]
posted by feathermeat on Jul 1, 2009 - 12 answers

What are the best options to measure the electricity usage of common area in a condo?

What are the best options to measure the electricity usage of common area in a condo? [more inside]
posted by coust on Jun 16, 2009 - 8 answers

window fan + lightning storm - will sparks fly?

Is it okay to use a window fan during a thunderstorm? [more inside]
posted by MesoFilter on Jun 11, 2009 - 7 answers

What do I need if I want to put out a newsletter but I don't have any infrastructure?

What would it take to print a few thousand sheets of paper every other day while completely off the grid? [more inside]
posted by croutonsupafreak on Jun 6, 2009 - 20 answers

In the dark about my light bulbs

Why do the glass parts of my light bulbs keep separating from the metal? [more inside]
posted by emumimic on Jun 2, 2009 - 7 answers

Aside from the inconvenience, it ruins phone sex

What can I do to help a friend with interference issues causing phone problems in her house? [more inside]
posted by notashroom on May 13, 2009 - 7 answers

Extending digital camera battery life

Should I keep my camera turned on to save electricity? [more inside]
posted by devnull on May 13, 2009 - 7 answers

Will this TV kill me redux

How dangerous is it to take apart an old TV if it has been unplugged for many months? [more inside]
posted by yarrow on May 2, 2009 - 15 answers

What DC voltage does an average LCD monitor use?

What DC voltage does an average LCD monitor use? [more inside]
posted by leafxor on Mar 27, 2009 - 4 answers

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