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Aziz! Light bulbs!

Why do these light bulbs keep dying? [more inside]
posted by purple_bird on Sep 11, 2014 - 9 answers

Can I Get My Furnace Fan to Function Independently of Heating/Cooling?

We have this furnace. In the summer it would be nice if we could run only the fan (We don't have central air), but according to the manual, Fan Only Mode requires the R and G thermostat contacts be wired. As you can see, only the RC/RH and W contacts are wired. Would simply swapping the orange wire from RC/RH to RH/G create the circuit needed for sweet, sweet fan action, or will it be necessary to run a new wire from G to the control board in the furnace, therefore requiring professional help? [more inside]
posted by Alvy Ampersand on Aug 8, 2014 - 4 answers

Botched Electrical Job, Unresponsive Electrician

I hired an electrician to upgrade my service, and I just found some live tube ferrule wiring beneath a bathroom floor (he promised me none of it would be live). What actions can I take against the electrician? [more inside]
posted by Quisp Lover on Jul 1, 2014 - 6 answers

Do I need all this coax for Fios?

Yay--we bought a house! The house has what seems like miles and miles of coaxial cable in every room. I'm trying to figure out if we actually need it or not. [more inside]
posted by DiscourseMarker on May 16, 2014 - 9 answers

Networking a House

How I should network my house? I understand the basics of running cables, punch-down blocks, patch panels, jacks, network switches, etc. What I don't understand is how to put all of these together in a way that gives me what I want. Details inside. [more inside]
posted by Betelgeuse on Apr 28, 2014 - 12 answers

Replace radio with aux-in only?

My car radio was stolen last night, and I'd like to turn this tragedy into something awesome. I've always wanted to have a custom setup that consisted only of a volume knob and an aux in. I don't know how to design circutry, but I can follow instructions. What do I need to do to make this work? [more inside]
posted by jsturgill on Feb 24, 2014 - 11 answers

How's it hanging?

I want to hang a fluorescent strip light above my workbench. How can I do this? [more inside]
posted by Caskeum on Feb 15, 2014 - 6 answers

You are not my electrician.

I need some help figuring out the wiring in my switched ceiling junction box in order to connect a basic light fixture. In the box I have three pairs of black/white wires and one yellow wire. My fixture has one pair of black and white wires. [more inside]
posted by stopgap on Jan 31, 2014 - 10 answers

Need help with a home electrical wiring problem.

I am attempting to add one electrical outlet to my attic wiring. After installation there is enough power to the outlet to set-off a wire tester but not enough power to run anything plugged into the outlet. If there are any electricians or experienced DIY'ers around who could take a look at the wiring diagrams I made and see if anything is obviously wrong it would be much appreciated. Or, if you know of any forums where I could post the diagrams for help that would be good too. [more inside]
posted by pixlboi on Jan 1, 2014 - 15 answers

How do I safely implement this one-off home electr(on)ics project?

How do I safely and (pretty) cheaply implement this one-off home electrics / electronics project? I have a low-wattage controller that will drive a high-wattage load having to do with the heating of water. I already have a GFCI extension cord that will stand between EVERYTHING and the wall outlet. The main complicating factor is that this is a single, custom-built thing so I need to use off the shelf pieces for a housing, etc. [more inside]
posted by Joey Buttafoucault on Dec 2, 2013 - 6 answers

Can you help me to rewire this very old telephone?

As part of my ongoing efforts to remain stuck in the twentieth century, I'm trying to rewire and use this telephone. [more inside]
posted by crazylegs on Jul 16, 2013 - 6 answers

Help me find this article about household AC power.

I once read a great article explaining why we use polarized plugs, grounding, and GFCI outlets in household AC circuits. It was written from the perspective of an electric company whose customers keep getting electrocuted by their appliances. The company introduces the safety measures one by one and the article explains how people still get shocked. It might even have been a comment on Metafilter; I'm not sure. Where can I find it?
posted by scose on Jul 7, 2013 - 1 answer

Upgrading to kit stereo tube amp from 5.1 digital receiver

In past questions (1, 2), I've described my stereo setup and my desire to build a stereo tube amp. I have no worries about actually building the kit amp, but I'm not sure what I'd do with all my speakers. In thinking about this, I realized I don't know much about my stereo in the first place. Can you help me understand what it actually means to have a stereo amp? [more inside]
posted by Admiral Haddock on Apr 11, 2013 - 2 answers

Help me understand the electronics in my doorbell

I'd like to hook up a small raspberry pi project to my apartment's doorbell. I've taken the case off to take a look at the wiring and it looks pretty simple, but I have some questions about it; apart from some breadboard experiments I'm an complete newbie to electronics. [more inside]
posted by whir on Apr 4, 2013 - 5 answers

What's the easy way to get 12V power and ground to test some car parts?

I've got some car parts I'm selling on eBay, and I need to hook them up to power in order to check a few things and make sure that they work. [more inside]
posted by iknowizbirfmark on Apr 3, 2013 - 12 answers

Why did this light go off with a bang and a spark?

We had lots of wiring replaced recently, including two lamps connected to a dimmer switch; the dimmer was also replaced. Yesterday we noticed that the dimmer was now only allowing fully on or off. Today the light went off with a loud popping sound and a visible spark from one of the lamps, though both bulbs themselves work fine. What happened and how do I fix it? Is it likely just a faulty dimmer switch? Do I need to turn off the circuit (which has many other lights on it) as a precaution?
posted by parudox on Mar 25, 2013 - 8 answers

Help a noob wire a ceiling light in an old apartment

Installing my cheap Ikea ceiling light is proving more difficult than anticipated. The issue: after removing the old light, I can't tell which wire is which. [more inside]
posted by neroli on Mar 10, 2013 - 15 answers

Should I tear out the walls and start over?

I live in a one-floor condo unit that was, to put it mildly, poorly built. I, and all my neighbors, have dealt with too many issues to count regarding insulation, wiring, and even window and door frames. I'm no longer satisfied fixing things one at a time... [more inside]
posted by trivia genius on Feb 1, 2013 - 24 answers

Help me figure out how to wire for my home theatre

What wiring should I run to facilitate building a decent home theatre setup? [more inside]
posted by smcniven on Nov 30, 2012 - 4 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

Circuitry Mystery

Electrical Filter: Help me figure out how an electrical circuit seemingly got rewired overnight. [more inside]
posted by dortmunder on Nov 11, 2012 - 32 answers

Portland OR telephone/data/wiring brick and mortar?

Portland OR telephone/data/wiring brick and mortar? Preferably on the eastside? [more inside]
posted by dan g. on Sep 11, 2012 - 4 answers

Danger high voltage!

Another home wiring question: Old apartment, and I want to plug a three-prong plug (for a small fluorescent grow light) into the only two-prong outlet. For the past couple of days, I've been using a cheater plug, but I supposing this is not a good long-term solution. Should I just bite the bullet and use an extension cord to a grounded outlet? [more inside]
posted by Admiral Haddock on Sep 4, 2012 - 23 answers

How to wire a ceiling light fixture?

How do I tackle this simple home wiring problem? [more inside]
posted by whatisish on Sep 4, 2012 - 9 answers

Please help me verify the electrical work of my apartment maintenance high-schooler.

Please help me verify the electrical work of my apartment maintenance high-schooler. I don't trust the work he has done. [more inside]
posted by Dunwitty on Aug 21, 2012 - 15 answers

Network All the Things!

I finished the half-assed ethernet setup we inherited with our new place. Now tell me everything I can plug into it. [more inside]
posted by backseatpilot on Aug 6, 2012 - 3 answers

Wire a GFI switch receptacle combo

WiringFilter: How do I safely wire up this switch/receptacle GFI combo? [more inside]
posted by denriguez on Jul 30, 2012 - 4 answers

Is our house killing our MacBook chargers?

In the past year or so, around four MacBook chargers have basically stopped working (I've lost count as this includes a couple of old chargers from early MacBooks we had lying around), all in mysterious fashion. Generally they overheat more than I think is normal, and often they switch to the dreaded, "Not charging" status. On one of them, the rubber insulation melted completely then buckled. I am wondering whether it's just a coincidence that so many chargers have died, or if the wiring in our old house could be to blame? [more inside]
posted by nosh, daven, shtup on Jul 13, 2012 - 9 answers

Can I convert these light fixtures from 220-240v to 110-120v?

Can I convert these light fixtures from 220-240v to 110-120v? [more inside]
posted by arcticseal on Jul 1, 2012 - 10 answers

Help me not do something dangerous

Can you help me read the diagram for the retrofit rewiring of the ballast for my T12 florescent bulbs? [more inside]
posted by about_time on Jul 1, 2012 - 8 answers

My employers need an electrician. I need advice on hiring one!

Hooray! I got my employers' approval to get some electrical work we've badly needed for a long time in our lab/office suite done. I have no word-of-mouth recommendations of local electricians to go on, so I'm checking around online and trying to get quotes. As such, I have a few questions on how to most effectively screen for quality, recognize a fair price for the work, and deal with the etiquette aspects of the quoting process. [more inside]
posted by aecorwin on Jun 28, 2012 - 10 answers

Does anyone recognize this electrical connector?

Does anyone recognize this electrical connector? [more inside]
posted by nathan_teske on Jun 25, 2012 - 15 answers

My apartment is suddenly in a state of electrical chaos

I just installed a new lightswitch in my bathroom. Now, when I turn my living room air conditioner OFF, the power in most of my apartment goes out. And even when the AC is on, the power level is extremely low. WTF??? [more inside]
posted by Artifice_Eternity on Jun 10, 2012 - 40 answers

How to track the source of high-pitched audio interference?

I have high-pitched ringing in my the recording set-up of my new home voice recording studio (it seems to have a pulse, not steady, and occaionally disappears). Where should I start trying to get rid of it? [more inside]
posted by acm on Apr 11, 2012 - 21 answers

Need help with exposed wiring.

Light install went bad. We have a positive negative and ground wire dangling from the wall. Is it safe to turn the breaker back on if we put a wire nut on the end of each wire (separately)? More, does the ground wire need a nut? [more inside]
posted by arniec on Mar 25, 2012 - 13 answers

How many amps can my sub-panel hold?

Panel to Garage sub-panel. How many amps can my sub-panel hold? (You are not my electrician.) I will be hiring a licensed electrician, I’m just curious as to what to expect. [more inside]
posted by otto42 on Mar 6, 2012 - 3 answers

Help Installing Nest Thermostat on Millivolt System Using 24v Transformer

I just purchased a new Nest thermostat. My old thermostat gets power from an ancient millivolt system (thermopile on top of pilot light generates 0.7VDC). This is incompatible with the Nest, since the Nest requires standard 24VAC. Nest support told me they've heard some customers have had success using 24v step-down transformer. After lots of research, I think the wiring is supposed to go something like this: W from furnace (common, -0.7VDC ?) --> W on T-Stat 24 VAC power from transformer (+/- ?) --> C on T-Stat R from furnace (+0.7VDC ?) --> RH on T-Stat 24VAC power from transformer (+/- ?) --> RH on T-Stat As you can see, I'm still a bit fuzzy on the details. Questions are below the fold! [more inside]
posted by jesseendahl on Jan 22, 2012 - 17 answers

DIY lamp project

Do I have everything I need to safely put together this lamp without burning my apartment down? [more inside]
posted by ps_im_awesome on Dec 23, 2011 - 10 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

Why is this lightbulb flickering?

Why is this lightbulb flickering? [more inside]
posted by The corpse in the library on Dec 5, 2011 - 13 answers

Cable outlet installation by someone other than the cable company?

Cable outlet installation by someone other than the cable company? [more inside]
posted by mccxxiii on Nov 28, 2011 - 6 answers

iTunes and speakers for a small house?

What I have: a MacBook Pro running iTunes. What I need: some speakers and a way to get the music into the other rooms of a small house. [more inside]
posted by 5Q7 on Nov 7, 2011 - 24 answers

Need help with garbage disposal

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

Can I have surround sound that isn't ugly or obtrusive?

Can I have surround sound that isn't ugly or obtrusive? [more inside]
posted by dottiechang on Oct 13, 2011 - 39 answers

Turns out the inspector really can't see through walls

Why would nearly all of a 1940s-era house be run on two 15-amp circuits? [more inside]
posted by brentajones on Sep 18, 2011 - 10 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

What kind of ethernet-looking cable is this?

What kind of ethernet-looking cable is this? [more inside]
posted by Your Time Machine Sucks on Sep 2, 2011 - 41 answers

What to do before putting up the walls?

I'm wiring and insulating a garage. What kind of creative things should I do now, before the walls go up? [more inside]
posted by Stagger Lee on Aug 29, 2011 - 20 answers

Glowing light bulbs in my hair: help me wear this piece of art

Help me create a functional light bulb crown! I saw this amazing sculpture at an art walk this week, and I'd like to make it into something wearable for Burning Man. My guess is that I can start by buying this type of bulb, but I need some advice beyond that. Wiring type and strategy? Batteries? How about affixing them to my head? I have long hair and could do something creative with little buns - I want to secure everything in a minimalist way (no baseball hats) so that the focus is on the lights.
posted by red_rabbit on Aug 20, 2011 - 11 answers

Lightning Fixed My Landline. Really?

Could a bolt of lightning have fixed my landline? [more inside]
posted by BitterOldPunk on Jul 15, 2011 - 12 answers

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