425 posts tagged with electricity.
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Do I have a poltergeist?

Why is my electricty going on and off? It's not a blown fuse/circuit because it comes back on again. What would cause this? What should I tell an electrician to do in order to get them to fix the problem? [more inside]
posted by mulkey on Aug 21, 2006 - 8 answers

Can I afford not to waste electricity heating up my showers?

My old electric hot water service has sprung a leak, and I'm researching replacement options. Is there anything greener and more cost-effective available to this Australian than off-peak electric? [more inside]
posted by flabdablet on Aug 7, 2006 - 11 answers

Bill's Big

Why is our electricity bill so high? [more inside]
posted by popcassady on Aug 1, 2006 - 23 answers

Do chargers use electricity when they aren't being used?

ChargerFilter: Do chargers for things like mobile phones, digital cameras, camcorders etc. use power (and cost money) if they are left plugged in? [more inside]
posted by Glum on Jul 28, 2006 - 21 answers


Physics filter: The original fuse for an Ikea lighting system was rated for 6.3A and 250V. After a power surge, I noticed that the fuse had been toasted. Upon visiting 3 hardware stores, the best I could find was a similar fuse rated for 3.15A and 125V. Since V=I*R, it follows that the resistance is identical when the original fuse is compared with the replacement. Does this mean that these fuses are functionally equal?
posted by |n$eCur3 on Jul 3, 2006 - 14 answers

How do electric meters work?

How do electric meters work? How do they measure the amount of charge you used? I suspect they must know the amount of charge that enters the home, and then they have some way to measure the amount of charge that leaves the house, but I'm really not sure. [more inside]
posted by willnot on Jul 3, 2006 - 18 answers

I just don't want to shower in the dark.

Homerepairfilter: a light bulb blows out. The glass and metal part separate. How do I get the metal part out so I can replace the bulb? [more inside]
posted by Famous on Jun 6, 2006 - 21 answers

How do I keep my neighbors from stealing my power?

I just found out our new neighbors are stealing our power. What to do? [more inside]
posted by radioamy on Jun 5, 2006 - 61 answers

Help me insulate my windows from the Florida heat/sun.

I'm trying to insulate my window/frame... can anyone help me devise a solution? [more inside]
posted by mhuckaba on May 31, 2006 - 13 answers

Deregulation and Electricity: More than Just A Headache?

EnergyPurchaseFilter: What is the deal with non-regulated electric purchasing? Who's had experience with this, and was it all the [highly suspect] awesome hoopla that it's played to be by the companies/government? Bonus points if you live/have lived in New Hampshire, where I'm trying to figure out this whole mess. [more inside]
posted by plaidrabbit on May 30, 2006 - 3 answers

How does Economy 7 switch?

In the UK we have cheap rate electricity between 12.30am and 7.30am, but how does it work? [more inside]
posted by twine42 on May 4, 2006 - 19 answers

Free electricity!?

I've been living in my apartment since December, and I still haven't received an electric bill from ConEd. It was made clear that we had to sign up to receive power and we did that -- my wife called in, gave them her social security number, address, etc. Still, no bill. The meter man comes by every month and checks the meter. Still, no bill. [more inside]
posted by jeffxl on Apr 26, 2006 - 28 answers

I need to make the bulbs in a lamp pulse on and off.

I need to make the bulbs in a lamp pulse on and off. [more inside]
posted by bkeaggy on Apr 7, 2006 - 11 answers

Shocking iPod question.

How do you get your music off a malfunctioning iPod? [more inside]
posted by spinifex23 on Mar 18, 2006 - 11 answers

Using an extension cord, safe?

Safe to use an extension cord for a small refrigerator? [more inside]
posted by KneeDeep on Mar 12, 2006 - 15 answers

TiVo with Dish Network = boom?

TiVo with Dish Network in a 30-year-old high-rise Chicago building? [more inside]
posted by MeetMegan on Mar 11, 2006 - 7 answers

How can I safely make sparks for a film shoot?

I'm looking for a safe way to generate a lot of sparks for a film. [more inside]
posted by MattS on Mar 11, 2006 - 18 answers

Making the most from brook in back yard: waterwheel generator?

On our property there's a rather substantial brook running through it, which runs year round and doesn't freeze over. It's probably too wide for a traditional undershot waterwheel (at least 12 feet across at its most narrow), to supply some alternate power to our house, but maybe there's something else that could make the most of the constant flowing water?
posted by Gudlyf on Feb 25, 2006 - 16 answers

garbage disposals and GFCI

My garbage disposal trips the nearby GFCI circuit every time I use it. What can I do? [more inside]
posted by MrMoonPie on Feb 25, 2006 - 10 answers

How can the energy cost of an electronic device over a span of time be calculated?

How can the energy cost of an electronic device over a span of time be calculated?
posted by airguitar on Feb 21, 2006 - 6 answers

Have Cat... Will generate electricity for food...

Cat Filter - In the winter the static electricity gets in the way of the cat & my... well... lets just say personal time. Any advice? [more inside]
posted by meta x zen on Feb 16, 2006 - 19 answers

Learning about electricity, the bright and colorful but not completely dumbed-down way?

I'm looking for a book that teaches electricity well. The Mims book definitely doesn't cut it - I want something more along the lines of "The Way Things Work" in clarity and accessibility, but I still want it to actually teach the underlying math; i.e., I want it to show me the material in pictures and equations. [more inside]
posted by dmd on Feb 11, 2006 - 10 answers

Electric Shock Made My Computer Restart

I was typing on my laptop and my husband touched my face. His hand gave me a shock, and then my computer restarted itself. [more inside]
posted by JuliaKM on Feb 7, 2006 - 9 answers

Unsealed fridge contributing to high electricity bill?

How much electricity is wasted from a fridge that isn't sealed properly? [more inside]
posted by Jase_B on Jan 29, 2006 - 10 answers

I need an adaptor but am an electricity ignoramus

I can sequence DNA, but when it comes to electricity, I can't tell my AC from my DC. Help me. [more inside]
posted by docgonzo on Jan 10, 2006 - 7 answers

Grounding appliances in a 2-prong apartment?

Grounding my old Marantz stereo amp in a two-prong outlet? (We're talking American 110v.) [more inside]
posted by electric_counterpoint on Jan 5, 2006 - 8 answers

How do I judge the electrical system in an apartment?

How do I judge the electrical system in an apartment? [more inside]
posted by Caviar on Dec 27, 2005 - 13 answers

power strips with individual on/off strips?

Can you buy power strips in the US that have separate on/off switches for each socket? [more inside]
posted by holgate on Dec 22, 2005 - 15 answers


Why is electricity so much more expensive then natural gas? Am I reading my bill wrong, or is it really an order of magnitude cheaper? [more inside]
posted by delmoi on Nov 30, 2005 - 18 answers

One solution for exercise and powering the home?

I'd like to help power the house and exercise, both solved with one solution, and need some suggestions. [more inside]
posted by vanoakenfold on Nov 21, 2005 - 21 answers

nirvana unplugged.

I love my lotus lamp. I hate the cord. Is it possible to convert into a little battery-powered beacon of enlightenment? [more inside]
posted by digifox on Nov 8, 2005 - 5 answers

running a 240V device on 110V

Will a 240 VAC panini grill work on 110 VAC? [more inside]
posted by randomstriker on Oct 30, 2005 - 15 answers

Was Edison's original light bulb really designed to never run out?

Was Edison's original light bulb really designed to never run out? [more inside]
posted by sjvilla79 on Oct 29, 2005 - 14 answers

If the bulb is out, or empty, but the switch is on, are you still paying for power?

If the bulb is out, or empty, but the switch is on, are you still paying for power?
posted by airguitar on Oct 1, 2005 - 17 answers

What is (+,−)?

What does (+,−) mean? [more inside]
posted by Count Ziggurat on Sep 18, 2005 - 10 answers

light bulb blowout

How do I fix a light fixture which causes a bulb to blow out, but only after a month or so? [more inside]
posted by mono blanco on Aug 25, 2005 - 6 answers

What are some good resources to learn about basic electricity?

What are some good resources to learn about basic electricity? [more inside]
posted by frenetic on Aug 11, 2005 - 13 answers

Electrical arc photo identification needed.

Please help me find this great picture of electrical arcs. I saw this photo a while back. I'm pretty sure it was in a magazine. It was of a great big round room, with some sort of large apparatus, like a collider or something (it wasn't a collider I don't think). There were scaffolding and cat walks running everywhere. Lots of pipes and fittings. Everything was gold or copper or something. And the entire room is covered in arcs of electricity. Great big bolts running all around the room, with smaller and smaller branches and fingers breaking off to fill up every metal surface area with arcs. It was some sort of electrical discharge as a result of the experiment that was being run. I can't remember what it was, so I don't even know what to look for in Google. Any help would be appreciated. Even just a guess as to what the device was that would produce that, so I have a starting point to try and find it. Thanks.
posted by gummo on Aug 1, 2005 - 12 answers

How can I keep lightning from destroying my stuff?

I'm losing a lot of electronic gadgets to lightning strikes. What are the best ways to prevent further damage? [more inside]
posted by junkbox on Jul 26, 2005 - 18 answers

Here comes the sun: tell me about solar electricity

SolarPowerFilter: My wife and I love the idea of solar power and would love to compliment our current electrical consumption with some tasty renewable energy, but where do we start? [more inside]
posted by bjork24 on Jul 22, 2005 - 13 answers

How much does it cost to wash?

How much does it cost (or what is the amount of electricity / volume of water used) to do one full load of laundry, as an average. Or, how would I go about getting precise figures for this? I want to know how much too much we pay to operate the pay-per-load laundry machines in our new apartment building.
posted by ChrisR on Jul 16, 2005 - 5 answers

Getting shocked while ungrounded

Why is it that if I walk up and stick my finger in a wall outlet, I'll get shocked even though I'm not grounded? I can see getting shocked when standing barefoot on wet ground, but come on... on a floor wearing tennis shoes? How does that work?
posted by rolypolyman on Jul 10, 2005 - 20 answers

My wiring frightens and confuses me

My boyfriend and I live in a flat built in the '20s. We have reason to suspect that the outlets provide inconsistent amount of electrical current. Is there something we need to get for our computers to protect them? [more inside]
posted by FortyT-wo on Jul 7, 2005 - 16 answers

efficiency and power consumption of computers

I have two computers, each with something like 350W power supplies. By keeping them on 24/7, am I consuming the equivalent of seven 100-watt light bulbs around the clock? What can I do (either software or hardware) to make my machines more power-efficient? Also - while I'm on the subject - does an incandescent bulb consume less when it's on a dimmer and that dimmer is turned down? [more inside]
posted by scarabic on Jul 7, 2005 - 18 answers

A power station in my backyard?

Living near power lines? Searching for a home, my girlfriend and I have found a house we want to make an offer on. It's our dream house in a nice town, but there's an issue... the house sits about 100 yards away from this... a relatively small power distribution/transfer station adjacent to the property. Do we have anything to be concerned about or should I go buy some lead boxer shorts? [more inside]
posted by evoo on Jul 1, 2005 - 21 answers


Just a stupid question that's puzzled me for years: Why is it that, on electric fans, the order of the settings on the switch is OFF - HI - MED - LO? I'm sure there's an electrical reason for this, but I don't know what it is, since I know nothing about circuitry. One would think that OFF - LO - MED - HI would make more sense. Can someone explain this to me?
posted by Dr. Wu on Jun 14, 2005 - 23 answers

Will I burn down my apartment?

I just replaced a burned out bulb in my overhead kitchen fixture. The bulb that burned out was a 60 watter. I only had a 100 watter on hand. I know I'm hastening fossil fuel depletion, but am I also causing a fire risk? What about ignoring the wattage recomendations in favor of higher watts in table lamps?
posted by incessant on May 26, 2005 - 16 answers

Electricity bill doubled

Is my water cooler doubling my electricity bill? [more inside]
posted by toftk on May 19, 2005 - 16 answers

How to undo central light switch setup?

In my new apartment, the outlet I have to use for my computer system is hooked up to a lightswitch that also controls the room's lights. Any good ideas on how to undo this situation? [more inside]
posted by edlundart on Apr 28, 2005 - 16 answers

AC power

If I have AC power at 50Hz, does it mean my lightbulb is flickering 100 times a second and I just can't see it? Is this why, when passing a street light in a speeding train, it can appear as a series of dots in your vision?
posted by Pretty_Generic on Apr 16, 2005 - 11 answers

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