22 posts tagged with home and electrical.
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DIY: Old ceiling light, no ground -- what's the worst that can happen?

I replaced a ceiling light in a 1950's-wired apartment. There are insulated black and neutral wires, but no ground connection (fixture has ground wire but just connected it to mounting bar). If wired backwards, what happens when I flip the switch? When I touch the fixture while power and/or switch are on? [more inside]
posted by ArgyleGargoyle on Oct 21, 2014 - 10 answers

Is this electrical feature dangerous?

When I'm sitting in the room with the breaker box to my house, I hear a series of short buzzes, like "bzzzt." The noise seems to be coming from the breaker box, and I notice that a faceplate to one of the switches is missing (breakers were last switched off a month or two ago, when new heat pump was installed.). Here is (or should be) the image (if not, there's just copper surface where the breaker faceplate should be):
posted by mmiddle on Jun 20, 2014 - 11 answers

Visual doorbell in a rental home

What is the easiest, cheapest, least intrusive way to have a light go on in my basement when someone pushes a button at my front door? [more inside]
posted by ltisz on May 24, 2014 - 3 answers

A circuit breaker switch won't turn back on. Do I call an electrician?

One of our circuit breakers tripped, and it won't return to its "on" position. I push it toward "on," but it doesn't stay, just returns to a middle position between on and off. It serves only a single hallway in the home, and nothing is plugged in there. Does the breaker need to be replaced? Should I call an electrician?
posted by jackypaper on Apr 29, 2014 - 17 answers

Transformer in basement ceiling buzzing--what is it?

I heard this weird buzzing sound coming from my basement today, and I eventually opened up the ceiling and traced it to this transformer or something that's up in there. I tapped it with a piece of non-conductive material and it stopped buzzing. Tapped it again, it started buzzing more quietly, and then I tapped it again and it was silent. Anyone have any idea what this is, and why it's there? The house is from 1952 and doesn't have any electrical issues that I know of. Pictures: Pic 1 Pic 2 Pic 3
posted by Slinga on Oct 23, 2013 - 7 answers

Do I need to get an electrician to sort this out?

Home electrical wiring with voltage between neutral wires - is this normal? [more inside]
posted by exogenous on Nov 12, 2012 - 6 answers

Rented carpet cleaner seems to have killed a bunch of outlets/lights in my house. Any ideas?

Rented carpet cleaner seems to have killed a bunch of outlets/lights in my house. Any ideas? [more inside]
posted by wongcorgi on Jun 26, 2012 - 6 answers

How to ground my home electrical in accordance with code?

Help me understand the national electric code with regard to rewiring and updating several rooms in my 1940s-era house. [more inside]
posted by JohnFredra on Dec 6, 2011 - 8 answers

Need help with garbage disposal

Need help with wiring a garbage disposal. [more inside]
posted by KevinSkomsvold on Oct 14, 2011 - 4 answers

In-Wall Ethernet? Woo-hoo!

Ethernet ports in every room, but none of them work. The brains of the system which is in the wall of a closet is a Square D Multi-Link Structured Wiring System. How do I find out how it's set up and how do make it work as it should? [more inside]
posted by cgomez on Sep 15, 2011 - 20 answers

Shoud I use an unlicensed electrician?

I might hire an unlicensed electrician to work on my home. Is this bad? Worst case scenario? [more inside]
posted by thisisdrew on Feb 22, 2011 - 31 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

Miswired receptacle.

This switch/receptacle has been miswired for years. For starters, neither device had the grounding wires attached. I want to put things the way they should be. [more inside]
posted by dhartung on Mar 23, 2010 - 14 answers

hungry for amps

DIY: How can I swap my 1500W/220V in-wall space heater with two safe 220V outlets? I am in the state of Oregon and would prefer to do this myself. [more inside]
posted by roygbv on Feb 4, 2010 - 8 answers

Power surge; breakers say "meh"

Power surged in the house; circuit breakers did not break... [more inside]
posted by shino-boy on Jan 2, 2010 - 12 answers

How soon is my house going to burn down?

When my living room lights are off, touching the screws on the faceplate for the electrical switch gives me a tiny little frisson of electricity. When my living room lights are on, I get a fairly painful shock from touching the screws on the faceplate. How dangerous is this? [more inside]
posted by jacquilynne on Nov 9, 2008 - 23 answers

outlet mishap

Home electrical problem/mystery: I accidentally plugged the phone charger into an outlet incorrectly and now that outlet and the dishwasher don't work. Help? [more inside]
posted by mundy on Jun 27, 2008 - 10 answers

I (don't) have the power!

2 outlets & a ceiling light stopped working at the same time. None of the circuit breakers were flipped. What would cause this, and how can I troubleshoot it? [more inside]
posted by designbot on Aug 30, 2007 - 15 answers

Is this an electrical fault ?

I know, I know, light bulbs seem to fail in clusters, but I don't think this is to do with putting a bunch of lights in at the same time. This week for instance, I got up and turned on my kitchen lights (8 x 50w small spots) and one blew and tripped my Ground Floor Light fuse. A day later and I get home and turn on the same lights, another goes and trips the lights circuit again. Later in the week, another goes in my study. I replaced all the bulbs today. I turn them on, everything is fine, I go outside and turn on the porch/side lights (3 x 60w) and two of them blow. I nearly always have an inop light or two. My question is this : Is there an electrical fault which might explain this pattern of failure ? Thanks
posted by matholio on Oct 7, 2006 - 11 answers

Why do the lightbulbs in my office burn out all the time?

Why would the lightbulbs burn out much more frequently in one room of my house? [more inside]
posted by pornucopia on Feb 22, 2006 - 9 answers

Can I ground it myself?

Is there a safe, easy way to ground a household outlet? [more inside]
posted by Gilbert on Sep 1, 2005 - 11 answers

Bathroom electrical issue

We just moved into a townhouse. In the guest bathroom, the light and fan are operated by the same switch, so that the fan automatically comes on when you turn on the light. We hate the sound of the fan and would prefer to have two separate switches, one for the light and one for the fan. How complicated is this to do? Is it something we could reasonably learn how to do ourselves or should we leave it to an electrician?
posted by widdershins on Oct 18, 2004 - 10 answers

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