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Answers to Electrical Questions About Converting a Band Saw to 220 Volts, Installing New Bathroom Circuits and Changing a Dryer Receptacle

August 10, 2008

Question mark C. Jerry Walker asks:
Where do I find a 60 watt 220 volt light bulb? I bought a band saw. I changed the motor from 110 volts to 220 volts. At 110, it pulled 15 amps, at 220 it pulls 7 1/2 amps. However there is a work light attached to the saw and it says to use a 60 watt bulb. Since I have change to 220, I need a bulb rated for 220 volts. Is there a way to rewire the switch from 220 and make the light 110 again?

I would try a hardware store, a home improvement store or an electrical supply house. Regular incandescent lamps rated for 220 volts are not cheap and they are difficult to find because they are very uncommon.

I highly recommend having a licensed or qualified electrician look at the saw before you use it. Changing a piece of equipment from 110 volts to 220 volts is usually not as simple as changing the motor leads. On a band saw, there are also control and safety circuits that need to be looked at.

I would also abandon the existing light on the saw and install a new light where your band saw is. You can mount a fluorescent light above the saw or a flood light with a spot lamp somewhere near the saw so you can direct the light where needed. The easiest solution would be to use a portable light.


Colleen asks:
I am pretty handy and trying to figure out if my electrical needs are something I can learn about and tackle on my own. We are fixing up a bathroom which currently has a light switch and one plug within the same outlet. We want to add an exhaust fan and convert the outlet to GFCI. This current switch/plug is wired onto the same circuit as three other lights and three other outlets in three other rooms. Clearly it needs to be put onto its own circuit, and I believe the GFCI also has to be on its own separate circuit, correct? How do you remove part of what is on a circuit and move it to another? Thanks for your time.

The lighting does not need to be on a dedicated circuit, but the GFCI does. If you have a 2-gang box, then simply remove the existing receptacle and wire nut the wire. Then install a new dedicated circuit for the GFCI receptacle. You may also use the lighting circuit to control your new exhaust fan. The easiest way is to use the single pole switch to control the fan and lights. Or remove the single pole switch and replace it with a single pole stack switch. A stack switch is 2 single pole switches stacked on top of each other and it only takes up a single space in your outlet box.

If you only have a single gang box, then remove the existing box and enlarge the opening to accept a 2-gang or 3-gang box.


Ken Crawford asks:
I have new 4 wire dyer. I need to know how replace wall receptacle. I have 3 wires where do thay go on the receptacle. Do You have a diagram on this?

You can’t do this. If you wish to upgrade the receptacle, then you need to install a new 10/3 with ground NM cable (romex). For a 4-wire receptacle to work safely, you need 4-wires. If the receptacle is existing, then you are permitted to leave it and change your dryer cord.

Please see my “How to” article How To Change a 4 Prong Electric Dryer Power Cord To a 3 Prong Electric Power Cord for step by step instructions with pictures.

Indoor Light Fixtures Recalled by Progress Lighting

August 8, 2008

Progress Lighting pendant light fixture On August 7, 2008 Progress Lighting, of Greenville, S.C. recalled approximately 6000 pendant style ceiling mounted indoor light fixtures. The ceiling-mount assembly that supports the light fixture can fail, causing the fixture to unexpectedly fall and injure consumers. Progress Lighting has received three reports of incidents, including one report of a fixture falling from the ceiling. No injuries have been reported.

The recall involves the following models of pendant-style ceiling-mounted light fixtures: P3601-09, P3602-09, P3603-09, P3603-09EXP, P3685-09, P365-09EXP, P4260-09, P4261-09, P4261-09EXP and P4262-09. The product number is located inside the canopy located flush with the ceiling. The fixtures have frosted white glass and a brushed aluminum finish.

These units were sold by electrical/lighting distributors and select Home Depot and Expo Design Centers nationwide from January 2005 through May 2008 for between $180 and $1,000 and manufactured in China.

You should carefully remove the glass from the fixture and contact Progress Lighting to schedule a free inspection and replacement. For more information, contact Progress Lighting toll-free at (877) 369-4548 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday or visit the firm’s Web site at

Progress Lighting pendant light fixture Progress Lighting pendant light fixture Progress Lighting pendant light fixture


Quality Speakers at Half the Price

August 7, 2008

Quality Speakers at Half the Price only at tSc!
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The Speaker Company stands behind each of the speaker systems they offer with a 5 year warranty. And not only do they provide FREE SHIPPING, but they also provide you with a 30-day in-home trial period and FREE RETURN SHIPPING should you decide their speakers are not right for you. Visit The Speaker Company today to see what’s on sale or clearance!

Harbor Freight Tools Recalled Their Halogen Work Lights Due to Fire and Shock Hazards

August 5, 2008

Chicago Electric halogen light in a box On August 5, 2008 Harbor Freight Tools, of Camarillo, Calif. recalled approximately 58,000 Chicago Electric halogen work lights. The halogen work lights can overheat and melt, and pose a risk of fire and electrical shock to consumers. There have been three reports of incidents in which the recalled halogen work lights overheated and melted. No injuries have been reported.

The halogen work lights are 500 watts. Model number 30858 is included in this recall. The lamp measures 7 inches wide x 5 ½ inches high and is mounted on a yellow frame. “UL Listed E163392” and “Work Light 8F95” is printed on a sticker on the back. The model number is printed on the light’s packaging.

These units were sold at Harbor Freight Tools stores nationwide, Harbor Freight Tools’ catalogs, and at from February 2006 through March 2008 for about $10. They were manufactured in China.

You should immediately stop using the halogen work lights and contact Harbor Freight Tools for a full refund. For additional information, contact Harbor Freight Tools at (800) 444-3353 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. PT Monday through Friday, visit the firm’s Web site at, or email the firm at

Chicago Electric halogen light front view Chicago Electric halogen light rear view


Answers to Electrical Questions About Mounting Height for Baseboard Heaters, Troubleshooting 3-Way Switches and Troubleshooting a Fan Motor

August 4, 2008

Question mark Frank Geddes asks:
I am reinstalling two singer baseboard heaters. How high above the vinyl should they be hung on the wall? In other words, how much space, if any, should be between the vinyl floor and the bottom of the box?

Electric baseboard heaters are rated to sit directly on the floor; even on carpet. The clearance that you need to be concerned with is above the heater. There must be a minimum of 12 inches of clearance above the heater. It is best to mount an electric baseboard heater under a window as the rising heat clashes with the cold air creating a natural convection. You cannot mount an electric baseboard heater under a receptacle either.


Lisa asks:
I think I mixed up the wiring on my fan switches and killed my fan’s motor. 1 switch I have a red, white and black wire. On the other switch I have 2 reds and a white wire. On the first switch I have the white on the black screw and black/red on brass. On the other I have red wire on the black screw that is from the same group as the white (on brass) and the other red on the brass. Wired differently before, I turned the lights on and both light and fan died. I want to make sure this is wired correctly because i think I have to buy a new fan. Do my current connections sound correct? thanks

The connections could be correct, but I’m not sure what the other wires are doing. There are other wires for this circuit that you did not mention. I created some 3-way switch wiring diagrams a while ago that may help you.


Gerie Lopez asks:
I have a ceiling fan that has been installed for about 8 years. Two years ago, or so, the fan stopped working when the chain was pulled. The light however, has never had a problem and operates perfectly from the chain. The fan does, however, start to run whenever it chooses to do. This rarely happens in the winter. For the last three days it starts to run, maybe for about 5 minutes, and then stops. It then will start again a while later, maybe an hour, maybe 6 hours, maybe the next day. When it runs, it runs smoothly with no strange noises or other issue.

Any idea how I can get it to run by my command (pull chain) rather then by its own mood?

I think you may have a bad fan motor. But, try a few things first. Check for loose connections at the light switch and fan. Check the voltage at the fan. The voltage should be approximately 120 – 125 volts between the hot and neutral and between the hot and ground. However, there should be zero volts between the neutral and ground. Check for amperage at the fan with it running and not running. The amperage should be approximately 3 amps, but this depends on the fan motor size and age. Look to see if there is a nameplate with the amperage rating somewhere on the fan. If everything checks out, then you probably have a bad fan motor.

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