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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
The lights in my house occasionally pulse--that is, they'll rapidly get noticeably dimmer and brighter numerous times within a matter of just a few seconds. I'd say "flicker," but they never seem to actually go completely dark. Does this indicate faulty wiring, or something else? [more inside]
posted by kimota
on Mar 11, 2005 -
I have a number of X10 switches controlling lights throughout my apartment. I have a number of problems with them... [more inside]
posted by Caviar
on Feb 22, 2005 -
Electricityfilter: standard grounded outlet works fine with a lamp, radio, etc., but I plugged a Belkin surge protector into the outlet and it popped the circuit breaker. [more inside]
posted by badger_flammable
on Feb 17, 2005 -
Multi-unit property, single utility meter. Unit size/occupancy varies widely, and so does the monthly bill. What's a fair (to both parties) way to bill tenants for utilities since their actual usage cannot be determined?
posted by nakedcodemonkey
on Jan 14, 2005 -
Voltage query: What are the disadvantages of regularly using electronics made for 110V using a step down voltage transformer in a 220V - 240V country?
posted by riffola
on Jan 11, 2005 -
How many strands of Christmas tree lights (100 lights/strand) can I safely plug into a single outlet and/or connect to each other?
posted by Dr. Zira
on Dec 17, 2004 -
Global citizen looking for either 240V only or bicurious with 110V CD Clock Radio in NYC or via online sites. O' Wise Ask MeFi, where do I find the perfect alarm clock to wake up with when in Bombay? I'm not yet desperate enough to make exceptions for 110V clocks in drag using a voltage convertor. [more inside]
posted by riffola
on Dec 8, 2004 -
Electricity: I'm wiring up a new dishwasher with the power cord from the old dishwasher. Just to make things interesting, the power cord has absolutely no indication of which side is positive and which side is negative. Is this because it's AC and it doesn't matter? I'm in the US on 110.
posted by yerfatma
on Dec 6, 2004 -
I'm sitting in my living room watch my dining room light turn on and off, dim and brighten, turn off again, then turn on. I know the house isn't haunted, but what is happening to my light? Should I be worried? [MI] [more inside]
posted by pwb503
on Dec 2, 2004 -
TransformerFilter: I've just relocated to the US and have a rechargeable drill that uses a 17V DC transformer. I need to replace the transformer, since the one I have runs on 240V power (and has the UK prongs). The problem here is that I can't find a suitable replacement at the likely suspect places: hardware stores, Radio Shack...
I know that the voltage must match precisely and that the amperage must be at least as high as the noted amperage, and that the polarity must also match. So where can I go to find a good transformer? I'm in NYC, but I prefer to shop online.
posted by yellowcandy
on Nov 28, 2004 -
Electricity and computers. 3 questions about:
1] Mains frequency
2] Computer clock speed
3] Putting 1 and 2 together. [~240v inside] [more inside]
posted by twine42
on Nov 23, 2004 -
What is a good, small, inexpensive, energy-efficient space heater? Living in a leaky old house, we're starting to dread the approach of our first winter here. All we have is one crappy gas wall heater, this electricity-sucking system on the roof that pumps down solar-heated air, and a fireplace in the bedroom. We need more. (We're already going to seal the windows with plastic where we can.)
posted by gottabefunky
on Sep 23, 2004 -
I've devised what I believe to be a simple project for myself to help me learn some basic electronics skills. however, being an absolute neophyte, I know not where to begin. [perhaps there is more inside?] [more inside]
posted by mcsweetie
on Sep 16, 2004 -
I have a Vector MAXXsst 225 Watt DC to AC power inverter that I run in my truck. Problem is, it keeps blowing the truck fuses... It's gotta be a short, right? What am I missing?
posted by ajpresto
on Sep 11, 2004 -
She looked at her dining room, and saw that it was without light, so she said, "Let there be light." This had no effect, so she went to Home Depot and bought a chandelier, because she saw that it was good. Then she came home, took out the fuse, took down the old ceiling fan, and began to assemble the chandelier. Then she ran into problems, got frustrated, dropped the third person, and asked MeFites:
How should I connect a light fixture when there are black, white, and red wires in the ceiling and the chandelier has two spliced-together brown ones and a ground wire?
posted by orange swan
on Aug 22, 2004 -
If we can have wireless voice communication and wireless data transfer, why can't we have wireless electric current?
posted by PrinceValium
on Aug 8, 2004 -
I want to replace the horrid ceiling light fixture in my office. Step 1 is to turn off the appropriate breaker, but...duh...I can't find it. [more inside] [more inside]
posted by gottabefunky
on Jul 15, 2004 -
Does anyone have a relatively safe & painless method to discharge all the static electricity I'm building up these days? [more inside] [more inside]
posted by .kobayashi.
on Feb 17, 2004 -
Carpets in new home are producing tremendous amounts of static and lots of sparks. What are good solutions to reduce the static to protect computers and other electronic equipment? Ideally, the solution would reduce the static across the entire house, as trying to protect each piece of equipment with an anti-static mat or some such would quickly become cost prohibitive.
posted by rushmc
on Jan 31, 2004 -
I'm not well-versed in electrical terminology, but the layman's terms for what I'm looking for is the following: A power adapter that has a regular american 2-prong male wall plug on one end, and on the other end, a female plug of the auto-cigarette-lighter variety. Basically, I have a couple of devices designed to be plugged into my car's lighter, and I'd like to use them inside my home. Help with better terminology, and links to units I can buy are greatly appreciated. Thanks! [more inside]
posted by scarabic
on Dec 25, 2003 -
Where can I find an Encyclopedia of Electricity
for a very bright, engineering-oriented ten-year-old? [more inside] [more inside]
posted by soyjoy
on Dec 10, 2003 -