435 posts tagged with electricity.
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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


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

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

New Nervous Tick

Four days ago there was a storm. Standing ankle deep in water which had flooded up to my front door step, I stuck my metal key into my apparently 100% metal door and ended up sort of electrocuting myself, feeling a tingle and shock going up my arm. Since then I've had this weird tingling sensation in my right hand and arm up to my elbow... just now I tried to hold up a can of soda my fingers and hand tremble. Now what? [more inside]
posted by peachtree on Sep 4, 2010 - 7 answers

Is my bathroom light fixture arcing?

Our overhead bathroom light fixture flooded from above earlier. The water's been dumped out, and the leak in the bathroom above ours has supposedly been fixed. But now I'm hearing this sound... [more inside]
posted by limeonaire on Sep 3, 2010 - 8 answers

What's with my oven?

Help. My electric oven just went crazy! [more inside]
posted by Wordwoman on Aug 21, 2010 - 6 answers

Rewiring a warehouse lamp

How to rewire a warehouse lamp? [more inside]
posted by Sreiny on Aug 21, 2010 - 7 answers

Cycling music playlist

Music-playlist-filter. An attempt at the world 24 hour record for producing electricity by cycling needs a soundtrack. Can you suggest some appropriate music? I'm thinking cycling, electricity, endurance would all be good themes, but any other related themes would be welcomed too.
posted by Jakey on Aug 20, 2010 - 21 answers

How can I argue down an aberrantly high electrical bill?

Is it possible to get an electrical company to reduce an aberrantly high bill? Bonus complication: it was my final bill, so I no longer live in their service area and I no longer have access to the apartment in question. [more inside]
posted by Johnny Assay on Aug 17, 2010 - 13 answers

[How] Can I safely repair the nick in this electric cord?

[How] Can I safely repair the nick in this electric cord? Is there anything I can use besides electrical tape? [more inside]
posted by needs more cowbell on Aug 11, 2010 - 18 answers

We are sure you will be pleased with this agreement.

What is a fair way to estimate, over an entire year, the proportion of an electrical bill that is being used for electrical heating? (Previously) [more inside]
posted by porpoise on Jul 6, 2010 - 8 answers

Bathroom GFCI wiring

Our bathroom has a GFCI combo switch/socket where the switch is hooked up to the bathroom fan/light. It's wired downstream of another switch controlling the vanity fixture, and set up so that the socket is only hot when the switch is on. This makes it suboptimal for, say, charging an electric razor or toothbrush overnight, because that means leaving the fan on. What's the best way to change this? [more inside]
posted by holgate on Jul 3, 2010 - 7 answers

Tired of getting static shocks

It's one of those either-or situations: either you help me stop getting/giving static electricity shocks or my wife will divorce me. [more inside]
posted by dcrocha on Jul 2, 2010 - 29 answers

The wiring in this house is shocking!

Please recommend an electrician in the Chapel Hill/Triangle area that you know is good and can perform a house inspection. [more inside]
posted by corn_bread on Jun 30, 2010 - 0 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

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

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