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?
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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?
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]
Why would three digital clocks lose time at exactly the same pace? [more inside]
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]
I just bought a Gardner Bender GET-3213 Voltage Tester. It doesn't seem to work...what am I doing wrong? [more inside]
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.
Advice on making a simple wind-powered generator with high-school students. [more inside]
Is there a simple way to put an electrical outlet on a "two minutes on, five minutes off" duty cycle? [more inside]
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]
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]
I need real energy saving advice, not that wimpy "use a power strip" and "replace light bulbs with CFLs" stuff. [more inside]
Help my sister choose a Retail Electric Provider in Arlington, Texas! [more inside]
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?
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]
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]
Help. My electric oven just went crazy! [more inside]
How to rewire a warehouse lamp? [more inside]
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.
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]
[How] Can I safely repair the nick in this electric cord? Is there anything I can use besides electrical tape? [more inside]
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]
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]
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]