Take the Worries and Confusion Out of your Home Wiring. All your Electrical Related Questions can be Answered here


Wiring A Motion Sensor Light, Connecting A Power Cord To A Portable Generator And Troubleshooting A Septic Lift Station

September 30, 2009

Question Jack Laponto asks:
I’ve got 3 wires coming from a light sensor (red, black & white) and 2 wires + ground that come from my light. I know that I connect white-to-white and black-to-black, gnd-to-gnd; where does the red wire connect?

The red wire connects to the power source and the black wire connects to the black wire going to the light.


Dillard Baker asks:
I have a Generac GP 65000 gas generator that has a 4 wire female receptacle and I would like to use a 3 wire female at the end of my cord when plugged into the generator. All my other devises that require 220 are 3 wire. Can I use a 4 wire plug and not use one of the connections in the plug and only use three and if so which three?

It really depends on which 220v devices you are feeding. I’m guessing that you only need to connect the 2 hot wires and the ground wire. However, you need to ensure that you ground your generator as well. When I used my portable generator for back-up power, I had an 8 foot ground rod driven into the ground where I parked the generator. I also kept a 6 foot coil of #6 bare copper wire connected to the ground lug on the frame of the generator. When I needed the generator, I would back it into place and connect the ground wire to the ground rod. I recommend that you do this for your generator as well.


David Figaro asks:
My basement toilet and bath are below ground. I have an extractor or sump pump to take the waste water to the sewer. I noticed that my pump only works when I plug it into the outlet directly and not via the automatic plug that is plugged into the electrical outlet first. What could be the problem? It worked fine last week so I am not sure what went wrong. The pump works it is just not automatically coming on after numerous uses of the toilet as it should. I have to manually unplug the automatic plug and the sump pump plug then directly plug in the sump pump plug for the pump to work. I can’t leave it plugged in because I don’t want to burn out the pump’s motor. PLease help.

You have a bad float. You should have 2 or 3 floats in the tank where your pump is. one float is to turn the pump on. Another float is to turn the pump off and if there is a third float, it is for an alarm. You need to test your floats. Check for continuity across the 2 wires with the float up and down. The float with no continuity in either position is the bad one.


Ready Solar Announces Availability of Ground Mounted Solar in a Box Systems

September 29, 2009

Ground mount solar panels Product accessory adds new option for installing fully pre-assembled, all AC solar electric systems.

San Mateo, CA (PRWEB) September 11, 2009 — Ready Solar announced today the availability of a ground mount accessory for its fully pre-assembled Solar in Box™ photovoltaic systems. The ground mount accessory, which simply bolts onto the standard Solar in a Box frame, is available for immediate shipment. The product development continues Ready Solar’s mission of broadening the solar installation network by providing the industry’s easiest to install solar electric systems.

“Our product team did an excellent job of listening to customer input and then creating a very simple and effective addition to our product line,” says CEO Bob Giles. “No factory modification is required to the Solar in a Box frame. This is consistent with our goal of providing a standardized yet flexible product that is very easy for contractors to order and install.”

Chief Technology Officer Duane Davis adds, “The design allows the ground mount assembly to simply bolt on to our Solar in a Box frame in a manner similar to our roof mount kits. By making use of the strength the frame, we were able to minimize additional materials and provide a very cost effective solution.”

The ground mount follows on Ready Solar’s development of mounting systems for composition shingle, tile, and metal roofs for its pre-assembled, all AC Solar in a Box system. Ready Solar estimates that Solar in a Box installs in 1/3 to 1/2 the time of traditional solar installations.

“It has been proven that our factory assembled, all AC Solar in a Box product is the easiest solar electric system in the world to install,” continues Giles. “The ground mount provides contractors with even more options for simple and high performance installations.”

About Ready Solar
Ready Solar created the solar-in-a-box industry, changing the way solar electric (photovoltaic) systems are installed. The company’s turnkey systems, pre-engineered and pre-assembled with the first All-AC components, are the easiest and most cost-effective way to install rooftop solar for general contractors, electrical contractors, home builders and other trades-people with basic electrical proficiency.

Visit Ready Solar to learn more about Solar in a Box.

Contact: Ready Solar

Installing Above Cabinet Accent Lighting, Sizing The Breaker For A 220 Volt Heater, Upgrading An Electric Service And Wiring An Electric Wall Oven / Microwave Unit

September 28, 2009

Question Patricia L. Mireles asks:
There’s an outlet below the cabinet could I drill a hole for the extension cord, and run it through the cabinet to the top for accent lighting?

I wouldn’t recommend doing this. I recommend installing a new receptacle above the cabinet for your accent lighting. It is very easy to fish a wire approximately 4 feet straight down the same stud bay.


Ken Good asks:
I have 220 volt- 30 amp heater. What are the safe breakers in the panel? I had 2×15 but they are tripping periodically. Would 2×30 be too heavy?

A 2-pole 30 amp breaker is required for your heater.


Chris asks:
I have an older home, built sometime in the 50’s. The service meter is on the front of the house, the breaker panel is located inside a closet. I want to upgrade my service, but I’ve been told that panels can no longer be located in closets. Do I need to relocate my entire service to another location?

No, just the breaker box in the closet. I would leave the existing box and cover in place as a junction box but, remove the entire guts from the breaker box. After you choose your new panel location, you just need to run all of your circuits to the old breaker box and make all of your splices. You are permitted to have a junction box in a closet but, not a breaker box.


Bob asks:
I am installing a new electric wall oven/microwave unit. The old 220 volt line was only 2 strand wire, while the oven unit requires three (an extra white neutral wire). Can I use the old 220 line if I run a white (neutral) wire from a nearby 110 volt outlet?

No. You need to install a new circuit back to the breaker box.


ENERJOY® Radiant Bathroom Comfort Center Title 24 Compliant

September 26, 2009

ENERJOY Bathroom Comfort Center All-inclusive radiant heating, ventilation and lighting system with ENERJOY Radiant Heatmodules yield warm bathrooms and unequaled energy efficiency.

Old Saybrook, CT (PRWEB) September 25, 2009 — SSHC, Inc.’s new low-sone fans and energy efficient lights in their Bathroom Comfort Center radiant heating system conform to the newly revised regulations for California’s Title 24 for building code compliance. “Now California residents can have code compliant, energy efficient ENERJOY radiant comfort and quiet ventilation in new or existing building bathrooms,” according to Richard Watson, President of Solid State Heating, Inc. SSHC, Inc..

The ENERJOY Bathroom Comfort Center is a compact energy-efficient radiant heating, lighting and ventilation system designed specifically for bathrooms. A new exhaust fan, light and nightlight conform to the most recent Title 24 regulations making SSHC’s electric radiant Comfort Center the most energy-efficient bathroom heating system available to homeowners and businesses. Heating is provided with electric radiant panels, providing warm floors and other surfaces with “twice the comfort of other systems using only half the energy”.

California’s Energy Commission adopted the Title 24 Building Energy Efficiency Standards updates in 2008, and building permits for applications submitted on or after January 1, 2010 are required to comply with regulations. The Energy Efficiency Standards for Residential and Nonresidential Buildings were established in response to a legislative mandate to reduce California’s energy consumption. According to their website, the Commission expects California’s building efficiency standards (along with those for energy efficient appliances) to save an estimated $23 billion by 2013.

UL Listed, the Bathroom Comfort Center supplies clean, quiet radiant heat with a ceiling-mounted ENERJOY heat panel. Centered within the heat panel is a room light, a night light, and a low sone fan for ventilation and exhaust. Comfort is maintained with an operative temperature-sensing Euro-white thermostat. The 3-rocker Decora switch enables control of lighting and exhaust.

The unit can be ordered in multiple sizes and voltages. ENERJOY ‘green’ radiant heat panels are light-weight, fully recyclable, have a low carbon footprint and life of the building longevity. For more information, go to ENERJOY Bathroom Comfort Center.

With a low amp draw, ENERJOY partners well with wind and solar energy sources. The Dept. of Energy and the National Association of Homebuilders have verified energy savings of 33%-52% using ENERJOY radiant heating systems.

SSHC, Inc. produces and distributes electric radiant heating systems and is the pioneer of ENERJOY I Radiant Heatmodules.

Answers To Electrical Questions About Electric Baseboard Heaters, Boxes For Thermostats And Supplying Power To A Pole Barn

September 25, 2009

Question Michael asks:

You can’t do this because the cord from anything that you plug into the receptacle will melt from the heat. Once the insulation is melted someone can come in contact with the live wires or they could short out causing a fire.

You can purchase electric baseboard heaters with receptacles already in them. I recommend doing this and blank off the existing receptacles. However, the receptacle in the heater can’t be tapped off of the heater circuit. I recommend installing a new cable from your existing receptacle down the wall and into your heater.


Gerard Edwards asks:
Hi I am installing Thermostats for my Baseboard heaters what kind of a box do I use to mount the thermostats to. kindly appreciate your answer Thank you

The thermostat should be installed in a single gang box. If it is a residential new construction application, then use a single gang nail on box. If it is a residential remodel application, then use an old work box for flush mount or a 4″ square with a single gang, no raise mud ring for surface mount.


Aaron Crawford asks:
I just built a new pole building on my farm and I need to run some electric to it for lights and maybe some outlets. My father suggested that I splice into a 220 volt circuit I have running outside for a water pump. That would be fine with me, but I want to have 110 Volts out in my building. I told him that I would have to use a Voltage converter but I am not really sure if I do or not. Could you please give me some idea on how I can splice into a 220 Volt circuit and get 110 Volts for my power supply without using a converter? Thanks …

You can’t do this! This is very unsafe. This can’t be done because the well pump has 2 hot wires and 1 ground wire running to it. For a 120 volt circuit you need 1 ground, 1 neutral and 1 hot wire. The 220 volt circuit is protected by a double pole circuit breaker. If you tap 120 volts or 1 leg of the circuit, then the circuit breaker will not trip.

I recommend installing a 50 amp 240 volt circuit to your pole barn. This will give you plenty of power for lighting as well as receptacles. If you plan to plug a block heater in for a tractor or some other piece of equipment, then you will need a dedicated circuit for each block heater. If you plan on welding in the pole barn, then I would increase the amperage to 60 or 100 amps.

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