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Answers to Your Electrical Questions from a Master Electrician

March 24, 2007

I’ve created this post because I receive numerous emails from everyone trying to figure out how to ask their electrical wiring questions on this blog. I’ve tried instructions in the side bar in text and audio and this did not work. I downloaded an awesome plugin that creates a very simple form, but Yahoo! does not allow PHP mail from any email address that is not on my domain. In my opinion this is useless. Why would I want a contact form for other people on my domain to contact me only. The other people on my domain are employees. They already know how to contact me. Oh well, enough with my rants; there is no negotiating with Yahoo!.

Where can I get help with electrical questions?

You may submit any residential electrical wiring question in the comments section of this post. You may also submit your question in the comment section of any related post on this blog. I will answer the first residential electrical wiring or troubleshooting question posted to this blog daily. I will answer your electrical question within 24 hours. If you need immediate assistance, please visit DIY Electrical Help.

What kind of electrical wiring projects can you help me with?

At this time I will only offer help for residential electrical wiring projects. I will not offer help for commercial or industrial wiring projects as you are required to be a qualified electrician to do this type of work. However, in most areas, homeowners are permitted to complete electrical wiring projects on their own homes. Please check with your local building codes department before beginning your wiring project to ensure you are legally permitted to do this type of work in your area.

What kind of experience do you have?  

I have over 21 years experience in the electrical trade. Where I have worked on a wide variety of projects from small jobs like adding receptacles to large industrial projects like a co-gen power project and most everything in between. In my opinion the co-gen power project was the coolest job I had the opportunity to wire. I was a working foreman on this project and managed as many as 20 other electricians and apprentices. This project was at a landfill where we used the methane gas the degrading trash creates as the fuel supply to power two – 1 megawatt generators and feed the utility company 35,000 volts.

I will answer your DIY electrical wiring question either in a separate post by itself or in a “Q&A” post with others.

DIY Electrical Wiring Help from a Master Electrician Do you need assistance with your electrical wiring project? Please visit my DIY Electrical Wiring Help from a Master Electrician page. Where I provide electrical wiring tips, expert electrical advice, answers to your electrical questions and electrical consulting & design services over the phone, via instant messenger or via email.

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387 Responses to “Answers to Your Electrical Questions from a Master Electrician”

  1. Casson Kennedy on March 28th, 2007 5:13 pm

    I am moving from MA to NY where I have just bought a house. In MA, a homeowner is allowed to do his or her own rough wiring, is the same true in NY??

  2. Administrator on March 29th, 2007 9:42 am

    Hello Casson,

    Thank you for your electrical question.

    The building codes vary by city and county in NY. I lived and worked in upstate NY for a couple of years. In fact, I completed the co-gen project at the Albany landfill. Ten years ago, in the Albany, Schenectady and Troy areas, a homeowner was permitted to do their own wiring.

    However, I’m not sure of the rules today. I recommend contacting the local building codes department.

  3. Frank on April 2nd, 2007 5:08 am

    I want to install a new ceiling fan in the bedroom. In the attic area above the bedroom, there is an electrical circuit that feeds a switch that controls a light in the attic. I want to take a 14/3 cable from this circuit before the swith and run to the new ceiling outlet. This will result in the ceiling fan being only contolled in the bedroom via the pull chain on the fan. Is this OK or do I have to have a new wall switch on this circuit…..contolling the fan? Thanks for any help

  4. Marc Pellegrino on April 2nd, 2007 7:27 pm

    I read your post hoping it would help me, but it didn’t. So I figured I’d ask you my question directly. I have a room with two single gang boxes in different locations and a ceiling fan/light unit. I would like to be able to control both the fan and the light from both locations. However, I would settle for the fan from just one location, but the light from both locations. Any suggestions? Thanks

  5. Administrator on April 3rd, 2007 12:11 pm

    Hello Frank,

    Thank you for your electrical question.

    If there is not an existing ceiling light in the bedroom, this will work. However, you only need a 14/2 with ground cable. Be sure to turn off the power to this circuit before working on it.

    Make sure you get a fan rated box for your new fan. A normal metallic box is not fan rated. The box will specify on it if it is fan rated or not. A fan rated box is between $5.00 and $20.00 and you can get one at your local home improvement store or a hardware store.

    The National Electrical Code does require a switched light in this room. Are the receptacles switched for lamps? If they are not, I recommend installing a 14/3 from the new fan to a switch. The 14/3 will give you the option to control the fan and light separately.

  6. Jason on April 4th, 2007 10:38 am

    I want to replace the double rocker switch in my kitchen that controls both the overhead can lights and garbage disposal with a switch that can dim the overhead lights and still control the garbage disposal. There is a double rocker switch in place. I really don’t want to have to cut out another hole to install a standard switch. Is there any way around this?

  7. Administrator on April 4th, 2007 1:15 pm

    Hello Marc,

    Thank you for your electrical question.

    I wrote a recent post that explains how to control a fan and light separately from 2 different 3-way switches. Please click on the link below to this post.

  8. mike perry on April 5th, 2007 7:53 am

    currently there is three-way switch that powers a hall light from both ends of the hall—can i connect into that from the box near the living room to power a ceiling fan in the living room with one switch for the fan and one for the fan light and how would i do that?


  9. Jerry White on April 5th, 2007 12:24 pm

    I want to power a 240 volt 3 wire device from my power generator that has a L14-20R 4 wire 240 volt twist lock outlet. I am making my own extension cord and my problem is what do do with the fourth wire. The manual says its OK to wire the neutral and ground together at the load side. I was going to jumper the neutral and ground in the twist lock plug but the tech rep says it can only be connected together at the load side. So my 240 volt device is a heater with a 3 prong plug. I need to make a three prong outlet for it – no problem. It is okay to connect the two wires neutral and ground together inside the 3 prong outlet receptable that I’m making? What do I do with that fourth wire??

  10. Administrator on April 6th, 2007 12:32 pm

    Hello Jason,

    Thank you for your electrical question.

    There are several ways to do this. I’m assuming the switch box is a single gang box (approximately 2″ wide) verses a 2-gang box (approximately 4″ wide).

    The first option, and what I would do, is remove the existing 1-gang switch box and enlarge the opening to accommodate a 2-gang box. Install the 2-gang box and install separate switches; 1 for the light and 1 for the disposal.

    Another option is, if you are able to send constant power to the garbage disposal receptacle, you can install a switch inside the cabinet for the disposal only. This would allow you to install the dimmer switch in the existing switch box and your disposal would be controlled by the new switch inside of the cabinet.

    Another option is, if you can get a combination switch that will dim the light and control the disposal separately. However, I don’t know of any that will do this.

  11. Administrator on April 7th, 2007 9:01 am

    Hello Mike,

    Thank you for your electrical question.

    Tapping power from a switch depends if there is constant power with a neutral and ground in the box or not. If there is then you may tap power from these switch boxes. However, if the is not constant power with a neutral and ground in the box, then you may not tap power from these switch boxes. You also need a 3 conductor cable with a ground from your new switch to the ceiling fan to switch the fan and light independantly.

    I wrote a recent post on installing 3-way switches for a ceiling fan. Please click on the link below to read this post.

  12. Administrator on April 7th, 2007 10:44 am

    Hello Jerry,

    Thank you for your electrical question.

    Never connect the neutral and ground together.

    It sounds like your 240 volt heater only requires 2 hots and 1 ground. I recommend using a 3-wire cord to simplify things. However, if you already have the 4-wire cord, then do not connect the white wire at either end.

    If your heater requires a ground, then you need to ensure that the generator’s frame is grounded. You will find a ground lug somewhere on the generator’s frame. Connect a #12 AWG ground wire from the ground lug to an 8′ ground rod.

  13. Linda Schaefer on April 7th, 2007 4:18 pm

    How many 12 gauge or 14 gauge wires or combinations of the two can be run in one 1/2 conduit pipe?

  14. Administrator on April 8th, 2007 10:41 pm

    Hello Linda,

    Thank you for your electrical question.

    The number of wires permitted in 1/2″ conduit depends upon the type of conduit and wire to be used. Please refer to the tables in Annex C of the National Electrical Code.

    For 1/2″ EMT, the maximum number of # 14 AWG copper wires with THHN or THWN insulation is 12. The maximum number of # 12 AWG copper wires with THHN or THWN insulation is 9.

    If you are not using EMT conduit, please specify the type of conduit you are using.

  15. Tim Dickinson on April 9th, 2007 11:00 am

    I need to upgrade my service above the existing 125amp panel (only 12 slots and a defunct manufacturer) in my circa 1920 home to accommodate household upgrades and a workshop in the detached garage. I’m competent in nearly every aspect of household wiring but I’ve never done a complete service change and I will be doing the work myself.
    Q. Are there any “hidden” materials that I will need besides what comes in the service kits at the box stores and appropriate additional breakers?

    Also, I’ve received mixed messages regarding meters and incoming service. Incoming service is approx. 1/2″+ dia. aluminum. (I’m not getting close enough to measure the gauge!)
    Q. How do I know whether I will need to upgrade my meter socket and/or related materials?

  16. Matthew on April 9th, 2007 1:13 pm

    Two questions:
    * Amount of electrical service to residence (125A versus 200A or more)
    * Federal Pacific Stab-lock panel

    I have two questions, rolled into one, I guess.

    I live in a home, built in 1972 by my grandparents. It has a Federal Pacific Stab-lock main panel, which I hear are “fires waiting to happen”. The house has 125A service from the utility pole. We have central air conditioning, LP gas heating (shared blower fan with the AC unit), and the usual mix of appliances (fridge, full size freezer, washer/dryer, stove/oven, dishwasher).

    My concern is that in 1972, they didn’t have a computer, and my grandparents were content to only have room lights on in the room they were in, SO many different rooms are on a single circuit (I suppose, under the assumption that usage would only occur in one or the other rooms, but not all simultaneously). Therefore, the few circuits that exist could potentially be overloaded, especially since I would like to add more outlets in some rooms (for my computers), as well as create dedicated circuits for things like computers and other electronic equipment (TV, audio, etc.).

    The question is, would it be prudent to go ahead and change to 200A (or greater) service from the utility pole, and if so, who does that? How? And/OR…. could the existing 125A service be re-configured by replacing the Stab-lock panel (which I know should be done anyway)? If just the panel needs replacing and the subsequent rearranging of the circuits, could that be done by myself? I’ve put in whole new lighting systems in this home, and am comfortable with *most* electrical projects— I’ve just never done anything like this….

    Just looking for some guidance.

  17. david on April 10th, 2007 2:01 pm

    how on new construction do i wire up one light and two switchs one up stairs and one down stairs with 12-2 wire

  18. Doug Simon on April 10th, 2007 3:47 pm

    trying to install a 4 way switch into a circuit that already has 2 three way switches. The feed is coming into the middle fo the circuit where i want (need ) to put the four way switch. Question is how do I connect the feed to the four way switch and continue to the last three way switch?

  19. Administrator on April 11th, 2007 8:20 am

    Hello Tim,

    Thank you for your electrical question.

    You need to check with you local building codes department to determine if you are able to do this work legally. Most areas do not permit homeowners to install their own electrical service.

    As for your question on “hidden” materials, this depends upon on what you are upgrading. This also depends on whether you need an overhead service or the power will come in underground.

    To determine if you need to change out your meter base, you need to check with you local utility company. Most utility companies publish a set of guidlines of what they require.

    As for upgrading materials, this depends if you are going to upgrade to a 200 amp service or keeping your 125 amp service. If you upgrade to 200 amps, you need to increase the wire and conduit sizes, your breaker panel and possibly the meter/main.

  20. Ted Harwood on April 11th, 2007 10:17 am

    I live in Delray Beach, FL. We need to upgrade our electrical service from 150amp to 250amp. The 150amp service currently comes in from an aerial feed on the north side of the house. The 150 amp circuit breaker box is on the south side of the house in our laundry room. A 2″ PVC conduit runs from the service meter, under the house’s concrete slab to the other side of the house. There are three wires that run through it.

    To upgrade to 250amp, what size wires will we need? What size conduit will we need? How likely will it be that we can pull them through the existing PVC given that the run is about 50 feet and goes under the house?

    I can alternatively run the lines through conduit in our attic space which may be easier. If so, how often do I have to tie down the pipe to the attic rafters?

    I do not intend to do all of the work myself, but whatever I can do to save time and costs, I will get done. I am thinking that if I run all the conduit and wiring, then the electrician just has to swap out the panel and tie in the new service.

  21. Bridget Jump on April 12th, 2007 2:48 pm

    I have rewired an old ceiling light fixture and I am ready to connect it to the ceiling. The white will connect to the white and the black to black. I have a green wire coming from the ceiling box. Where does that connect to? Does the light fixure need a ground wire? It is old and did not have one.

  22. Dean Anhorn on April 12th, 2007 5:51 pm

    I am installing a bathroom fan/light combo where there was only a light before. Here’s the deal, the new fan/light has 2 whites, a black and a blue wire coming from it. I only have a black and white wire where the old light was. I want both the fan and light to come on at the same time with the switch. What do I do with the blue wire?

  23. Brian Carpenter on April 13th, 2007 1:45 pm

    I’m building a detached garage(32 x 44) and need advice if I can supply the power to it from the panel in my attached garage. The panel in the attached garage is 200 amp sevice. It’s not clear to me how much excess capacity my 200 amp panel has. My detached garage will have the usual florescent lights, recepticles, 220 volt air compressor, and possibly some day a milling machine and lathe. thanks in advance.


  24. Stu Goforth on April 13th, 2007 1:53 pm

    I have a old GE loadcentewr in a residence over full. I added a Q style Siemens “piggy back” breaker and was told that this was not in compliance. The bus in the loadcenter accomidated the breaker with no alterations. Is there a spacific reason why this is not in compliance. Only other option is to replace existing service Very costly.


  25. Mark Suitor on April 13th, 2007 4:55 pm

    I have a barn to which my 200 amp underground service and feed and 200 amp feed thru panel are located. I am building a house about 140 feet away and want to feed the house thru conduit underground to a 200 amp panel in the basement. My question is will I run into a voltage drop issue with 2/0 feeder conductors from the barn to house with a run of approx 150 feet from panel to panel? Will I need to go up a wire size to 3/0? (Hopefully not since it’s about 2x the cost)


  26. JohnHealey on April 13th, 2007 10:28 pm

    I have a question about water heater wiring. Sometime back I had to replace my water heater. I see in the installation instructions the ground is not to be attached to the heater. They suggest a metal conduit.
    Because of the lenght involved can a disconnect box be used adjacent to the heater? What type of box?
    Could a single breaker be used?

  27. Leon Engelun on April 14th, 2007 6:54 am

    I had a power outage in the area of my cabin. It was down for a short time, but as I found out I had no power in one of my rooms and no lights in the kitchen either. I found that the circuit breakers (Square D type) did not seem to work. I went and bought new breakers and still no power. I transfered the lines to other breakers and I had power to the rooms and kitchen lights. After more investigation I found that I had no power to 3 of the 6 slots in the circuit breaker box.
    Is it possible that the power outage caused a spike or surge to kill the breaker contact slots? Will I have to purchase a new circuit breaker box to remedy this?

  28. Administrator on April 14th, 2007 11:41 am

    Hello Matthew,

    Thank you for your electrical question.

    I highly recommend replacing that old Federal Pacific breaker box and breakers. You are correct, these are fire hazards. The problem is, these breaker do not trip.

    I recommend upgrading to the 200 amp service. This is the most common sized electrical service these days. This will allow for future growth and add resale value to your home.

    Typically, a licensed or qualified electrician is required for the electrical service in most states. However, some areas permit homeowners to do this type of work on their own homes. You need to check with your local building codes department first.

    If you are permitted to install/upgrade your own electrical service, I still recommend hiring a licensed or qualified electrician to do this work. The electrical service is one of the most important parts of your electrical system and needs to be done right.

    If you are permitted to install/upgrade your own electrical service, and do not want to hire an electrician, I offer a consulting service at, where I can offer you step by step instructions and a materials list for this project.

  29. Administrator on April 14th, 2007 12:04 pm

    Hello David,

    Thank you for your electrical question.

    You will also need a piece of 12/3 with ground to go between your two switch boxes.

    The simplest way to do this is supply power using a 12/2 with ground to one of the switch boxes. Then install a 12/3 with ground between the two switch boxes. Finally, supply power to the light from the opposite switch box that you supplied power to.

    Clear as mud right? I have a wiring diagram of 3-way switching that may help you located at:

  30. Administrator on April 14th, 2007 12:17 pm

    Hello Doug,

    Thank you for your electrical question.

    I recommend removing the feed from this box. Hopefully, you are able to pull it back into an attic space, crawl space or unfinished basement. Once you pull the feed back to one of these spaces, put it in a junction box. Now splice onto the feed cable in the junction box and extend it to your new 3-way switch box location. You will also need to install a 3 conductor cable with ground, from the switch box that you just removed the feed to your new 3-way switch box location.

    I have 4-way switch wiring diagrams that may help you located at:

  31. Administrator on April 14th, 2007 1:05 pm

    Hello Ted,

    Thank you for your electrical question.

    Are you sure you need 250 amps? 200 amps is more common, considerably cheaper and doesn’t require current transformers (CTs).

    I believe you need to hire a licensed or qualified electrician to do this work in Florida. However, some areas permit homeowners to install their own electrical services. You need to check with your local building codes department first.

    Your 2″ conduit is the correct size for a 200 amp service. Your electrician needs to remove the old conductors, install new 2/0 THHN copper conductors, upgrade the breaker box and upgrade the main breaker; then you have 200 amps.

    If you need more than 200 amps, I recommend stepping up to 300 amps. There is not much difference in price between 250 amps and 300 amps. However, the 300 amp service is a more common size, will allow for future growth and will add resale value to your home.

    However, it will be costly to upgrade your electrical service above 200 amps. The utility company can only meter up to 200 amps then they need CTs. If you need more than 200 amps, your electrician will need to remove the old meter/main outside, install a new meter base, CT cabinet, 2 breaker enclosures, new breaker box, conduit, wire and miscellaneous parts.

  32. Administrator on April 14th, 2007 1:23 pm

    Hello Bridget,

    Thank you for your electrical question.

    If the light fixture does not have a ground wire, connect the green wire either to the ground screw on the fixture bar or something metallic on the light. The fixture bar is the strap that connects to the light box, then the light fixture connects to it.

    Not all lights require fixture bars for mounting. If your light does not have a fixture bar, drill a hole through the metalic base and connect the green wire to a nut and bolt. Be sure to scrape the paint off where the green wire will touch the fixture to ensure good continuity.

  33. Administrator on April 14th, 2007 1:27 pm

    Hello Dean,

    Thank you for your electrical question.

    Connect the blue wire to the other two black wires. The fan has two separate wires incase you want to switch the fan and light separately.

  34. Administrator on April 14th, 2007 1:47 pm

    Hello Brian,

    Thank you for your electrical question.

    Supplying power to your detached garage from the breaker box in your attached garage depends on what load is on the existing breaker box.

    Is the breaker just for the garage or does it control the entire house?

    If it is just for the garage, you may supply power to your detached garage from it. If it contols the house, you still may be able to supply power to the detached garage from it. However, probably not enough to do what you want to.

    If this existing panel controls the enire house, tell me how many circuit breaker are currently in the breaker box, what amperage they are, and what each circuit controls. I also need to know which circuits have double pole breakers and which ones have single pole breakers. With this information, I can tell you if you can supply enough power to your detached garage from this breaker box or not. 

  35. Administrator on April 14th, 2007 2:10 pm

    Hello Stu,

    Thank you for your electrical question.

    The specific reasons adding your “piggy back” breaker is not is compliance are:
    1. You are overloading the breaker box.

    Your breaker box needs to be labeled class “CTL” to be able to handle “piggy back” breakers. No residential breaker box can have over 42 breakers.

    So, let’s say you have a class “CTL” breaker box that is labeled as 30/40 circuits. This means you are able to install 20 regular circuit breakers and 10 “piggy back” breakers only.

    The second reason this is not in compliance, is the Siemens breaker in a GE loadcenter voids the UL listing. You must use a GE breaker in a GE loadcenter.

  36. Administrator on April 14th, 2007 2:38 pm

    Hello Mark,

    Thank you for your electrical question.

    I’m sorry to say, but you will need the 3/0 conductors. The NEC only permits a 5% voltage drop to the end of the branch circuit. I calculated this to be an approximate 6% voltage drop to the breaker box using 2/0 conductors.

    I created a post a while ago that shows you how to calculate voltage drop.
    The CM for 2/0 is 133100
    The CM for 3/0 is 167800
    You will need these number for the calculation.

    Please click on the link below to this post.

  37. Administrator on April 14th, 2007 2:51 pm

    Hello John,

    Thank you for your electrical question.

    Yes, you may use a metallic disconnect. You may also use a metallic box. I recommend a 4″ square box with a blank cover plate. Make sure you connect the ground wire from the power supply to a green ground screw in the 4″ square box. This will ground the box, metallic conduit and water heater. I also recommend using 6′ or less steel flexible conduit to connect to the water heater from the 4″ square box; instead of EMT or aluminum flexible conduit.

    I have never seen this for a water heater before. Typically, there is a green ground screw just outside of the electrical connection box on the water heater.

  38. Administrator on April 14th, 2007 3:00 pm

    Hello Leon,

    Thank you for your electrical question.

    I doubt you need to replace your electrical box, but it is possible. I’ll bet that either the main breaker only partially tripped causing you to receive only 120 volts instead of 240 volts or the you lost one of the”hot legs” from the utility company.

    Try turning the main breaker all the way off and then back on again. After you do this, check the voltage between the 2 teminals on your main breaker. You should have 240 volts. If you do not, call your utility company. If you have 240 volts and still no power on these three slots, call an electrician or repost your findings.

  39. Damon on April 14th, 2007 3:36 pm


    I have a wiring problem that is driving me nuts that I hope you can help me resolve.

    Set up. The interior light stwitch controls deck light that is on a light sensor. I spliced off this switch to put a light around the side of the house. This light has its own motion sensor.

    When I trurn the light on, the deck light works. The first time around, the motion sensor on the side kight works. But, once it turns off it stays off unless it rains, then it comes on and off repeatedly.

    Iwould like to be able to have one switch control both lights. The deck light should come on with its motion sensor, and the side light come on with its sensor. I don’t care if both lights come on with eaither sensor.

    Ok, I know I made a mistake, but I don’t know how to fix it :(

    Thanks for your help.

  40. Apurva Muddappa on April 14th, 2007 4:35 pm

    I have a 3 way switch I would like to tap to feed another switch. The power feeds to the first 3way switch which feeds a set of lights. So I have a red, black and white&black wire.
    Can this be done?

  41. Todd Tennant on April 14th, 2007 4:58 pm

    Hi. I dont know how to tell how many amp service i have. The main diconnect has 2 breakers, each say 100. I have only 9 circuits 3 are dryer, range, and a/c. the other 6 are for lights and outlets. I have no more room in the box for extra circuits but we are putting in a pool and i wonder if i need an upgrade or just a new box. Any help would be appreciated, Thank you.

  42. Ron on April 14th, 2007 8:09 pm

    I was cutting some pampas grass with my electric hedger and sliced though the extension cord. The breaker didn’t trip but all outlets on this circuit do not work. I pulled out the breaker and replaced it but that wasn’t the problem as it still is out. Any ideas what the problem might be?

  43. Brian Carpenter on April 15th, 2007 10:57 am

    Ref: powering detached garage.

    My panel in the attached garage(supplies house) has (5) double pole breakers, 40,50,3×30 amps,and (14) single pole breakers, 9x20amps and 5×15 amps.
    The service to my home is underground from a pole 200 ft. away. I would prefer not to have another meter for this project. If my existing panel cannot supply the new detached garage, can I somehow spice in between the existing meter and the 200 amp main breaker in my panel in the attached garage? thanks a lot for your help.


  44. Administrator on April 15th, 2007 3:09 pm

    Hello Damon,

    Thank you for your electrical question.

    I’m not 100% certain what is going on either. I need more information to solve this problem. Here are a few things that you should check.

    1. Is the switch on the bottom of the motion sensor on the side light in the test mode?
    2. Do you have a neutral at the side light? With the light switch on, test for voltage between the black and white wires. Should be approximately 120V. If no voltage between black and white, check between the black and ground (bare copper). Should be approximately 120V.
    3. Check for loose connections
    4. Check to ensure the connections at the motion sensor are correct. (eg. power supply to line side, load side to light, all neutrals together.
    5. Check to ensure the fixture is mounted properly to avoid water penetrating behind the fixture.

    The light turning on and off repeatedly during the rain bothers me. Giving this a quick second of thought makes me believe that possibly the rain is allowing the light to work by completing the continuity between a loose connection.

    Are the motion sensors removable on each fixture? If they are, try swapping them to rule out a bad motion sensor.

  45. Administrator on April 15th, 2007 3:16 pm

    Hello Apurva,

    Thank you for your electrical question.

    I don’t believe so, but I’m confused as to how many conductors there are in the box. Are there 3 or 4 conductors in the box? Are the last wires you listed a white wire and a black wire or 1 single white and black wire?

    To tap power from this box, you need an unswitched hot wire, a neutral wire and a ground wire.

  46. Administrator on April 15th, 2007 3:23 pm

    Hello Todd,

    Thank you for your electrical question.

    I believe you have a 100 amp service. Are the 2 – 100 amp breakers joined together with a common handle?

    To determine the size electrical service that you have, look at the size of the first main breaker or electrical disconnect located directly after the meter. Some areas require a meter/main located outside and other areas permit just a meter outside and a main breaker located at the top center of your main breaker box inside. (eg. if this breaker is a double pole 100 amp breaker, then you have a 100 amp service.)

  47. Administrator on April 15th, 2007 3:30 pm

    Hello Ron,

    Thank you for your electrical question.

    I believe you have a tripped GFCI receptacle somewhere. A GFCI receptacle is the rectangular receptacle with the trip and reset buttons located in the center.

    This receptacle could be located in one of several places. It is sometimes placed outside at another receptacle location, in a crawl space, in a garage, in a basement, in a utility room, in a mud room. It is really difficult to say where it is.

    Are you 100% certain that the breaker is not tripped? Somtimes a breaker will trip internally, but the handle will not move to the tripped or off position. I recommend locating the breaker that controls this circuit, then turn it off then on again.

  48. Administrator on April 15th, 2007 3:43 pm

    Hello Brian,

    Thank you for your additional electrical question.

    I believe you will be ok to supply 100 amps from the breaker box in the attached garage to feed the detached garage. 100 amps should allow enough for your future milling machine and lathe. However, this depends upon the exact specifications of these machines.

    With your compressor, fluorescent lights and receptacles, I estimate you will only use approximately 40 amps allowing for 60 amps towards future usage.

    Using the 100 amps from your existing breaker box assumes you will not use the majority of the large loads in the house at the same time you are working in the shop.

    I’m assuming that the 40 amp breaker is for a range, the 50 amp is for a hot tub, 1 of the 30 amp breakers is for a dryer and possibly the final 30 amp for a well. When you are using all 100 amps in the shop (in the future), you can’t operate more than 2 of the 4 large loads in the house at the same time.

  49. Brian Carpenter on April 15th, 2007 5:24 pm

    Re: detached garage.

    40 amp=range, 50amp=heatpump(air handler), 30 amp=heatpump(compressor), 30 amp=water heater, 30 amp=dryer.

    thanks again for all your help, you have a great website.

  50. Dave Herrman on April 15th, 2007 6:07 pm

    We have a 7,500 watt portable generator that we want to use to provide emergency power to our house (specified circuits only) and we would like to run the generator from our barn, with adequate exhaust ventilation of course. The house is about 250-300 feet from the barn. Should we install the EmerGen Transfer Switch (Model 10-7501) in the barn or house? If we have to mount the EmerGen switch in the house what is the proper way to extend the power cord? What size direct burial feeder-cable will we need to use to minimize voltage drop? Is this even practical or legal? Ahh, the woes of being a rank amateur!
    Thanks for your Help,


  51. Jan on April 15th, 2007 6:26 pm

    Hello! i bought LED lights to replace my old lights under the kitchen cabinets. There are no hard wire install instructions. The wiring is coming out of a hole in the dry wall and it’s not close to a stud. The LED accent light is plastic, there isn’t any place for the ground wire and of course, I now have a hole that I don’t know what to do with. Any advice? I could just plug the LED light in but if I do that what do I do with the wire coming out of the wall? Thank you so much for this blog!

  52. Administrator on April 15th, 2007 8:06 pm

    Hello Dave,

    Thank you for your electrical question.

    I don’t believe that it would be practical to place your portable generator in the barn 250 – 300 feet away. To compensate for voltage drop you would need to increase your wire size to a # 6. Just the wire is approximately $1,000.00 for this length. I recommend placing the generator as close as you can to the transfer switch at the house.

    Your transfer switch needs to be place at your house. You need to check with your local building codes department to see if you are legally able to install your transfer switch. Most areas do no permit homeowners to install their own transfer switches.

    Transfer switches can be tricky and dangerous if improperly installed. I highly recommend hiring a licensed or qualified electrician for this project.

  53. keith wilson on April 16th, 2007 6:53 am

    I have bought an electric wind out sunshade, it has a reverser mech on one end and four wires, earth, blue, brown and black. unfortunately, no wiring instructions, could you give any suggestions?

  54. Apurva Muddappa on April 16th, 2007 9:06 am

    Well this is how I have it wired, I am 99.9% sure it is not possible to tap into the swtich at then end of the run(the switch without power coming into it), but could you just confirm.

    Great site by the way….

  55. Tim on April 16th, 2007 10:45 am

    I want to connect a photocell to existing outside front lights. there is a box on the side of the house with two pairs of wires two black and two white. This box is in same location of other houses with photocells installed. Photocell has a red wire but no red in box. Tried wireing red to one black and black to other black but photocell doesn’t control lights. ?????

  56. David on April 16th, 2007 10:47 am


    Purchased a ceiling fan w/remote control and receiver. I have three switches tied to it. At the ceiling fixture, I have two whites, two blacks and two grounds. How do you suggest wiring from ceiling to receiver ((going in white, black) (going out to fan, white, black, blue, ground))
    to fan (has white, black, blue and ground)

  57. todd on April 17th, 2007 2:03 pm

    Hi there.

    I’ve installed low voltage lighting in the back yard. We have a bar area that I would like to light using the low voltage supply from the transformer. Is it possible to install a dimmer just for the lights in the bar? The only dimmer I can find is one that is supplied with power before the transformer (120v). Thanks for any information.


  58. Dante on April 17th, 2007 3:05 pm

    Hello. I am trying to run power from my detached garage to my home. The garage is already wired inside, and it just needs to be powered up. Several questions here. Can I use THHN wire the whole way as long as I run it in conduit? I mean buried in the ground in conduit to the house and then run along the attic rafters (without conduit) to the breaker box. The county inspector says its okay, but some local electricians tell me I have to run direct burial and then connect to SE once I am in the house. I would prefer one long wire instead of connecting two together. If I can use THHN, and I want a 50 amp circuit, do I need #8 or #6 copper wire? If I have a grounding rod at both the detached garage and the house, can I get away with running 3 wires and not 4 and what size conduit would I need? Thanx very much.

  59. robert on April 18th, 2007 7:13 pm

    i have a breaker box come from the meter with two 40 amps breaker in it one for my air condition i want to tap into one side of the 40 amps breaker a run a # 12 wire to a room i’m add to my house is this a safe way to do this

  60. Mark Bryan on April 18th, 2007 9:11 pm

    I have a question concerning the amperage rating on circuit breaker panels. If you buy a panel that is rated as a 100 amp panel the main breaker has two 100 amp breakers mechanically tied together. Theoretically couldn’t you draw 95 amps on each bus bar and not trip the main breaker, thus drawing 190 amps in a 100 amp rated panel? Also on a 220 circuit when using a 220 appliance does anything go to ground or since the polarity is reversed on each leg is the electricity just flowing between the two 110 lines? I have been trying to find the answers to these questions on my computer but haven’t had much luck.

    Mark Bryan

  61. Tara Codner on April 19th, 2007 12:27 pm

    I am building a new house and would like to have a sound system installed so that music can play in most of the rooms in the house and the sound may be turned off in the individual rooms if desired. I am wondering:
    1) What material I will need to accomplish this?
    2) How do I install the sound system?
    3) Any additional information that you can provide me.


  62. carlos on April 19th, 2007 2:19 pm

    I need to draw a diagram of a 3-way switch with feed at 1 switch leg at the other?

  63. carlos on April 19th, 2007 2:30 pm

    if in a residential single phase circuit a 3 wire was employed to feed cut to 2 circuits, need to draw a diagram indication phasing of the 4 wires of the 3 wire:

  64. Dave Brown on April 19th, 2007 2:36 pm

    I had a house built 2 years ago and I am trying to understand how it is wired. I want to add some outlets in the basement and have matched the wire with what is already in the house(12-2 nm-b 600v). I have 15 20A breakers, 2 20A AFCI(bedrooms), dbl 40A(range) dbl 30A(dryer), dbl 25A(AC). Without testing what amperage is going thru the 12-2 wire, should I assume because its a 20A breaker that is the current going thru that wire? If its 20amps do I need 20amp receptacles? I thought all you needed to power lights were 15A? Help! Thanks.

  65. andy on April 19th, 2007 8:17 pm

    I have a a problem I’m hoping you can help me with.I am remodeling my basement and installed four can lights.its been a good week and I smell a slight burning smell when the lights are on and its only on one side of the room.I have checked the wires in the junction boxes just out side thte lights but the wires seem fine.any ideas would be great

  66. Anthony on April 19th, 2007 8:32 pm

    14/2 wire is connected to recessed light from 15 amp. I want to add 2 more recessed lights and bought 12/2 wire. Can I connect new 12/2 wire to existing 14/2 wire? Thanks!

  67. will on April 20th, 2007 6:31 am

    1-how to wire a single pole switch to a light fixture with hot wire comming from panel box there are 3-blacks, 3-whites, 3-grounds type 14-2 wire

  68. Suzanne on April 20th, 2007 7:55 pm

    About when were GFCI circuits in common use/required for residences? We are trying to determine whether the exterior outlets (not GFCI) in our 1980 house complied with code at that time.

  69. Judith Madill on April 22nd, 2007 7:20 am

    If you leave your cell phone charger plugged in when phone is not being charged-does it still use electricity?

  70. Jimmy Ivey on April 23rd, 2007 10:24 am

    I am enjoying reading your responses to some dangerous questions.

    I have a problem. I re-sand hardwood floors and have for over 12 years. So far I have not run into this problem…but it is just a matter of time until I do. My sanding machines are 50 years old and they have three wire cables. When I go onsite to work, I unplug the stove or dryer and connect my sander to their 220v. All new construction has 4 wire connections. What is going to be the safest method for me to continue to use my old sanders. I am sure in the near future I will be purchasing one of the new 4 wire sanders…but can’t do it yet. Thanks for your response!!

  71. Randy on April 24th, 2007 9:31 am

    I have a two tier island in the kitchen and want to install plug molding for outlets on the lower side. My question is can I run the electrical plug molding continuous past the back of the sink. It sets up 1 1/4″ off the counter top to the bottom of the molding and need to have outlets on both sides of sink.

  72. Duane Stabler on April 24th, 2007 10:25 pm

    I have a 240 Volt heater wired to a 20 amp circuit. It requires 8 amps to operate. I now have added a 240 volt in floor heating unit that also takes 8 amps. I want to use the same circuit for both. Do I need to wire the two in parallel or in serial to make both operate correctly?


  73. Theo on April 25th, 2007 8:07 am

    I recently purchased a house and decided to replace most of the light switches as they were old and starting to become worn out. Of the first three switches I replaced, two did not have the ground wire connected to the switch. I have remedied this when replacing these switches, but am curious as to why the grounds would not have been connected. Also, is this an issue (and why) and should I be inspecting the rest of the switches/outlets in the house to determine if ground is connected to them?

  74. Mark Nagel on April 25th, 2007 9:35 pm

    I need to move my air conditioning condenser/compressor to fit a shed behind my garage. The electical shut off also needs to be moved about 5 feet. The wire from the Breaker box to the shut off is too short to move 5′. Can I add an electrical/junction box and splice 8′ more length with wire nuts to move the air conditioner shutoff box? I’ve done this before for lights and outlets, but not a high load 220 line. Does this need to be continuous from the breaker box or can I splice in and extend it? Also anything special beside wire nuts?


  75. Lori Meehan on April 27th, 2007 7:27 am

    Is it possible that my computor could be causing my hot water heaters breaker to flip off?

  76. T on April 27th, 2007 12:04 pm

    My inlaws are moving out of thier house and are passing it on my family. My wife and I would like to upgrade the electricity from just a 120 in order to be albe to use modern dohikies. your help would be grreatly appreciated.
    Thank u

  77. Dick on April 27th, 2007 5:57 pm

    I’ve had no electrical problems in the 5 years since we built the house, 200 amp service. But suddenly the double wall plug in the laundry room has started cutting out when it has a load (washer or gas dryer): it runs fine for the first 2-5 minutes, then no power for 3-5 seconds, then back on for a minute or 2, etc. It stays on fine with low load, eg a radio. It seemed a no-brainer that the wallplug had gone bad but I replaced it without fixing the problem.

    As far as I can tell the 20 amp circuit contains only this plug (cables from above and below are wired into it) and one other across the room (which has just one cable, so it must be at the end of the circuit). I put a voltmeter on everything while causing it to short out by running a hair dryer in the bad plug, and what happens makes no sense: when the problem plug cuts out, the voltage drops to zero in both of the double plugs and also between the hot and ground terminals of that plug. But during those seconds that the power is off at that plug, the meter holds a steady 120 v. everywhere else — even at the plug in the other wall which has to be farther out on the same circuit! And the voltage also stays steady at the 20 amp circuitbreaker terminal, so there is no problem there either. It seems impossible — any ideas? Thanks!

  78. Andy D. on April 28th, 2007 10:41 am

    My house was built in 1948 in the state of N.J.
    I have 220 power serviced through a main basement breaker panel. What I intend to do is add a breaker subpanel to the second floor which contains converted attic rooms serviced by a fusebox which runs up from the main basement service panel . Can I use the fusebox’s bx cables to connect into the new subpanel? Also, can I add a “feeder” cable of higher power capacity to this subpanel when I add a couple of more breakers. After completion I will discard the old attic fusebox.

  79. victoria on April 29th, 2007 6:28 pm

    Hello! I am having a problem with switching out a 3 way fan switch 4 wires. I wrote down the color wire position and can’t find it. I do not know the brand of the fan it’s about 4 years old from Scotty’s, before they went out of business. Someone said it was a A09 switch. I have had a very hard time finding a switch at Lowe’s and Home Depot. I finally found 1 and that is all any of the Home Depot’s had. I tried installing the wires the way I really beleived were right: 1-yellow, 2-purple, 3-black, L-orange. The fan still is not working. Could I have the purple and black wires crossed or could the switch be bad?

    Thank you in advance for your help.


  80. Michel Lavernhe on April 30th, 2007 11:41 am


    When I was living in the US, I bough an electric Dryer (from Kenmore) equipped with a 3-prong plug.
    I am now back in France and would like to get my Kenmore dryer to work here in France where the power is 220V/60hz, mono-phase.

    1- Is-it possible to rewire my dryer to get it working here in France ?
    2- Could you give me some advise on how to rewire ?
    3- I could get a 220 to 110 converter. If I can’t plug my dryer directly to the wall, can I use a converter ?

    Thank you very much


  81. Sam Klatt on May 1st, 2007 6:52 am

    What is the standard height electrical recepticals and voice/data gang boxes are placed from floor in a residential home in the state of Maryland?

  82. Tom Henderson on May 1st, 2007 9:07 pm

    how do u determine what color a wire is used with a 3 phase system. If I said circuit 67, how do I find out if its red black or blue

  83. Steven on May 3rd, 2007 3:32 am

    Garden power.
    50m garden, socket half way down (25m), shed at bottom (50m).
    When installing a 240V ip rated socket outlet in the garden on a PME system, you don’t install an earth stake.
    When running power to a shed on the same instalation you do need to install a earth stake.
    Is this correct?
    Why don’t you need an earth stake on the garden power?

  84. Ron on May 3rd, 2007 9:35 pm

    I am installing one outdoor receptacle for a portable generator and it will feed 2-200amp panels each with a generator feed breaker which is mechanically interlocked with each panel’s Main Breaker. I will parallel the feed from the receptacle to the generator breakers in each panel so that any circuits may be selected in an emergency as long as the total is not exceeded. Do I run a neutral and ground from the outdoor receptacle to just one of the two 200amp panels? It seems to me that it would be unnecessary to wire to both panel’s neutral buss.

  85. Carl on May 5th, 2007 4:14 pm

    Not sure exactly how to describe this, but here goes.

    I have a single, 14/2 wire coming straight from my electical box that I would like to “split” into 2 separate 3-way switched circuits for lighting in my basement. At the first set of 2 3-way switches, I have connected all of the white wires together with a wire nut and pigtailed the black wire, essentially splitting it so it feeds the hot to the 2 different 3-ways. With everything connected correctly, I am getting some strange results. With the black wires connected to just one of the 3-ways, it works fine.

    Am I doing something wrong?


  86. Donna on May 5th, 2007 6:25 pm


    I have a question for you. :-) I have a new Affinity Frontload dryer that required a 3 prong cord at our previous residence. We recently moved and we need to use a 4 prong cord at our new place. Here’s the deal…(I read your other article about changing prongs but…) we disconnected the bonding jumper & the white wire that was connected to the dryers neutral terminal.

    We then connected the green wire (on the 4 prong) in the location where the white wire use to be. Then in the other remaining terminal blocks (which are not marked) we placed them in this order…red in the first connector block….2 white wires in the second connector block (on top of each other)….then the black in the last connector block.

    We were told (by Best Buy) that the white wire that was initially placed on the dryer’s neutral terminal (when the 3 prong cord was attached) it had to be placed along with the white wire (on the 4 prong) in the middle connector block.

    But…the dryer is still not working.

    So I was wondering if this setup is correct? green (outside frame) + red + 2 whites + black

  87. Joseph Sellitto on May 6th, 2007 8:18 pm

    I now have electric basebord heat. I am considering to replace my electric basebord heating units with Liquid-Filled Electric Hydronic Heater units.
    I am concerned with the following questions.

    (1) Could i save money by switching from electric basebord heat units to Liquid-Filled Electric Hydronic Heater units by providing a more steady or longer heat flow each time it cuts off?

    (2) What is, are the Best brands of Liquid-Filled Electric Hydronic Heater units?

    (3) Do these units ever leak over time, and if yes how safe would they be if they leak?

  88. lisa lussier on May 7th, 2007 9:56 am

    i need to change dryer cord FROM 4 prong to 3 prong due to receptacle and 3 prong cord is NOT color coded

  89. Don Sementilli on May 8th, 2007 1:05 pm

    I have an above ground pool. I’ve been using a heavy duty extension cord to supply power from an outlet at the outside back of the house to the filter for the past three years, which I know isn’t a good idea. A friend and I ran some direct burial cable through pvc conduit underground to an outlet box under the deck of the pool late last year, and asked an electrician friend to make the inside and outside connections. He refused, since the conduit was only buried to a depth of about 3 – 4 inches, which he said was way below code. (He also said that direct burial cable in conduit was overkill, which I can understand). My question is as follows: Since I already have the direct burial cable running from inside the house, through the conduit (although only 3 – 4 inches below the ground), and to a point near the pool, is there a way that I can make this direct burial cable into an “extension cord”?? I figure that this must be far safer than the extension cord that’s been laying in my back yard for the past 3 seasons. I would plug the inside end into a timer that would be plugged into a ground fault receptacle in the basement, and the filter into the other end. Please let me know if this will work, or is this not a good idea. (I would prefer not to have to dig a 24″ deep trench across the backyard and under the deck. Thanks for any help you can offer!

  90. Jeremy on May 8th, 2007 6:46 pm

    The switch for a bedroom outlet stopped working about a month or so ago. There is no tripped breaker in the basement. I tested the wires leading to the switch with a voltage meter(set to 200 volts/AC). When I tested the wires, the reading fluctuated between 0.1-0.3 volts (it seemed to spike to 4.0 volts or so at first). It seemed odd so I tested a known “dead” outlet to compare it with, but the meter only displayed 0 volts for the “dead” outlet.

    A new breaker box was put in about nine months before I moved in. The house has three bedrooms, but none of the bedrooms are listed for any of the breakers. Again, no breakers appear to be tripped anyway.

    The problem circuit may share the same circuit as the “Deck Outlets.” I found these to be dead this spring (they were working fine last fall). I am not sure if the two problems are related because I do not exactly know when deck outlets stopped working over the winter.

    Anyway, what can I do next to determine the problem? And, what’s up with the fluctuating reading I got from the voltmeter?

    Any help you can provide is greatly appreciated.


  91. Elisha on May 8th, 2007 6:51 pm

    How can I bypass the on/off switch of a shopvac?
    The switch doesn’t work. Vac is out of warranty.
    It has very few hours of use.

    Thank You

  92. Craig on May 8th, 2007 10:15 pm


    I am hooking up four recessed light fixtures in a bedroom to be controlled by two three way switches with power coming from the fixtures. I am a book bought at Lowes’. I am coming into the first light fixture with 12-2 wire as the book says to. I then go to the the remaining three light fixtures with 14-3 wire as the book says. I go from the last light down to the first switch with 12-2 wire and on to the final switch with 14-3. So, I only have 12-2 between the power and lights and between the lights and first switch. I have 14-3 between the light and between the switches, as the book says. My final result is that the first three lights work but the final light in the chain does not. Also when the first switch is turned off it throws the breaker. If I turn the breaker back on with the second switch on they work too but when I flip either switch the breaker is tripped again. My first problem was with the red wire at the first light. I was told by my book to hook it to the silver terminal but the fixtures don’t have a silver terminal. The book says to connect the white wire from the other lights into the final light’s silver terminal as well but of course, no silver terminal. Tech help for Juno lighting said it’ll work and two electricians (friends and family) say it will work but no one can tell me how to fix it without suggesting I go through the switches with the power instead of through the fixture which would create a lot more work in this 65 year old house. Confused yet?! Thanks in advance!

  93. John Murphy on May 12th, 2007 6:45 am

    I have a electric box outside my house that connects to my central air
    condenser. Inside the box, there looks to be a small exposure of the
    power wire. Is it neccessary to run a entire new wire from the circuit box or can the wire be cut and fixed where the problem exists. ie pull back into
    the basement and install box and relay new wire.
    Thanks for any help.

  94. Lou on May 13th, 2007 8:35 am

    I have replaced my old load center made by Federal Pacific. The new load center made by Cutler Hammer has 2 ground blocks inside the panel. The paperwork said to run ground wires to one block and Neutrals to the other. In the existing box both grounds and Neutrals were on the same block. What is the difference? Why two blocks?

  95. SHERRY on May 13th, 2007 1:26 pm

    I have a commercial ice cream machine, on the motor it has a sticker that states, (three phase motor protected under primary single phasing conditions) Can I use this in my building that has one phase wiring?
    thanks, Sherry

  96. Mike Laufman on May 16th, 2007 2:20 am

    I am helping my aunt convert her triplex wireing so that there are four electrical pannels in the basement. Can the ground follow through each panel and back to the ground source?

  97. Harry on May 16th, 2007 1:13 pm

    I need to run my 200 Amp service about 150 feet underground. What guage wire would you use and and conduit size?

  98. Mary on May 16th, 2007 1:58 pm

    I am trying to figure out if I can use a heavy duty extension cord with a treadmill. I have a True 500 CI Treadmill that I would like to put in a big closet that does not have an electrical outlet. The manual that came with the treadmill says, “Your True treadmill requires a dedicated 110 VAC 15 amp grounded outlet circuit. WARNING: Do not use an extension cord or an ungrounded outlet. The ground helps prevent electrical damage to your treadmill and enhances your safety by preventing shock. A GROUNDED OUTLET IS CRITICAL FOR THE HRC SYSTEM TO FUNCTION PROPERLY.”

    Is there a 15′ Heavy Duty Extension Cord (with surge protector?) that would work for me and not do damage to my treadmill nor be a safety hazard to myself? I would only be plugging the extension cord into the wall approximately 1-2 hours a day. I would be turning the treadmill off when not in use and unplugging the extension cord from the wall.

    (I don’t know if this is important, but the other specs on the treadmill indicated “115V/60 Hz”)

    Thank you,

  99. Ben on May 17th, 2007 10:05 am

    I want to install a sub panel in my Garage. The house is completely finished so I have no where to run the cable other than on the exterior. The previous owner ran 2 14/3 wires directly from the main panel to the Garage. Can I use these two wires somehow to connect to a sub panel then run my garage wires to that sub panel? Will it support a 30amp welder with the proper breakers or is the wire too small.

  100. Steve on May 17th, 2007 9:02 pm

    I have these two light fixtures in my living room that are controlled by the same switch. In doing some minor renovations, I have decided to add another light fixture, but all I have to go on is the black and white wires going to the switch (going off one of the other light fixtures is impossible). Is this something that’s doable, or am I stuck with a useless wire in a wall and a hole to plug?!

  101. Paul Grooms on May 18th, 2007 5:23 am

    Good morning. To start, I do not know much about electricity. Need to install a dryer upstairs in my duplex. Purchased a dryer that runs on 110. My problem is I don’t have outlet in area I want to install.
    I called electrician and going to have 110 & 220 (for future ref) installed at same time in case I need to install standard dryer upstairs.
    Would like to do this myself but honestly don’t know where to start.
    I would like to believe that I am handy.

    Would entertain your thoughts please.

  102. Ronnie on May 18th, 2007 9:04 pm

    hey boss i live in california and i am instaling a 277/408amp free standing pannel on the side a chruch. i just can not find how deep the slab of concret has to be for the free standing pannel to sit on. i would like if u answer my question soon. thank you brother

  103. Bruce on May 19th, 2007 3:59 pm

    I have a chicago electric arc wilder and lost the manual its a 110 & 220 unit I’m wanting to wire it to a 110 plug it has a black,brown,blue, & yellow wire with a green strip…… Can you Help?

  104. David Watts on May 19th, 2007 6:03 pm

    I was replacing a standard 110 chandelier style light in dining room with a low voltage monorail and pendant system w/ magnetic transformer and a magnetic low voltage dimmer switch. Everything seemed fine in hookup, but when I turned it on, it kept tripping the built in breaker in the transformer. Trouble shooting, I double checked voltage and ohm resistance at the transformer hookup and every thing seemed fine. I called lighting place that sold it to me, and he said transformer may be bad and gave me a new one. Before installing, I decided to double check again, and strange things happened. With switch on I got 120 volts. With switch off, it still showed 50 volts. This ceiling box has only two wires, one red and one white. I went back and removed switch. Switch box has only 2 bare wires coming out, one red, one black(hot). With the meter, I get a smal needle movement, maybe 10 volts. Black(hot) to the ground, I get the full 120 volts. With ohm I get nothing black to red, and full deflection black to ground. The wiring coming in the switch box is a 12/2, and a 12/3. Removing the forty five year old tape off the connected whites, I get 120volts black to whites and full ohm deflection. As far as I can tell, no one has been in switch box before, and have never had a problem with the old light. I don’t understand why I have black and red at switch box, but white and red at ceiling box. Sorry for the long dialogue. I just want to get some ideas before calling an electrician and and him telling me he needs to start ripping up walls. This is an extremely well built house that is over engineered compared to anything I see built now.

    Thanks for your time

    David Watts

  105. Sean on May 20th, 2007 10:28 am

    Ingroumd pool wiring was cut during the installation of a lawn sprinkler system. Can the wires be spliced with an “underground wiring repair kit” or do they need to be replaced? Safety is my main concern. Thanks.

  106. Aaron Thompson on May 21st, 2007 4:05 am

    I would like to know how to wire a two way light switch i have one light switch in the hall way to one light and need another light at the other end of the hall .But require another switch that will also turn of the existing light, can you please help me with this probably simple problem

  107. Keith on May 21st, 2007 12:27 pm

    I live in walker, michigan and I going to have a pool installed, I Have the electrical spec’s for the wiring but it does not tell me how far down in the ground for my conduit for the wiring, can someone help me out

  108. Jerry Leonelli on May 21st, 2007 12:45 pm

    I want to install a submersible pump for a pond. My pump model is beckett G535. My questions are,
    1. Do I need a ground fault circuit interrupter?
    2. can I connect to an existing out side house light?
    3. I have about 35 feet from the existing light connection to the pond with summersible pump. What wire would I need?

  109. Alan on May 21st, 2007 4:30 pm

    I live in an area that suffers occasional brownouts. I have a water system pump, a pool pump and a refrigerator. How can I protect these motors during a brownout? Is there a device that will shut the power off if there is insufficient voltage and turn it back on again when full service has been returned?

  110. Art on May 22nd, 2007 8:20 am

    I have an older electrical service with some of my breakers are double tapped. I want to upgrade the Box, however I am not sure how much it will cost or what the benefits would be by doing this. I know currently the box is completely full and probably on 100 amp service – do I need to upgrade to 200? Thank you

  111. ben clay on May 22nd, 2007 9:35 am

    i just installed track lighting in my kitchen yesterday and i was able to get partial success. i installed 3 Hampton Bay tracks that are connected by 2 Hampton Bay Flexible Track Connectors (clicked into place and secures with screws) and can only get the main track to light up the fixtures. i’ve made sure that the ground sides of the tracks and connectors all match up, but the adjacent tracks do not power up the lights. i’ve also tested the heads to make sure that they were not the problem. any advice you could offer would be most helpful.

    thank you in advance!

  112. dan on May 22nd, 2007 1:54 pm

    I am replacing a whirlpool tub where there previously was another one; the new tub specs say it uses two 15 amp for the pump…one for the heater. My problem is that there is already two complete dedicated 20 amp circuits complete with 20 GFCI breakers at the panel. My question is simple: is it ok and safe to use these 20 amp circuits or do I need to rewire for 15 amp? thanks

  113. Ryan Wylston on May 25th, 2007 7:23 am

    could you get killed by an electric shock while wireing

  114. Rick on May 26th, 2007 3:01 pm

    Any restrictions on nonmetallic (plastic) recep and switch boxes in a finished basement?

  115. Bill Joanitis on May 26th, 2007 11:22 pm

    I need a wiring diagram for a ceiling fan with–pull swthch—three speeds—reverse switch—Thank You

  116. Shaun on May 27th, 2007 10:56 am

    I have two existing circuits being feed by a 12/3 with ground romex. One circuit feeds a GFCI receptacle. The other circuit feeds the bedroom. I installed an arc fault circuit breaker on the circuit feeding the bedroom. When I turn on the circuit breaker feeding the GFCI receptacle the arc fault breaker trips out. Is this happening because the two circuits share the same neutral? The two circuits are on opposite phases. How can I correct this problem?

  117. Steve on May 31st, 2007 2:18 pm

    Wow, I never thought this question would be so difficult to obtain an answer or a clue. Anyway, I have a double light switch, that is, a switch that has two switches on it. It controls two different ceiling lights. Each switch controls a different light. Somebody in the past (no me) put in a new switch to replace the old original one, and I think wired it up wrong because only one light works now, and the other switch does nothing. I checked the fixture, it’s okay. Here goes: two screws on each side. Left side has a red wire on one screw, and nothing on the other. The right side has a white at the top and a black on the bottom. There is a tab connecting the two right side terminals. Nothing seems to connect the terminals on the left side. Is this right? Should the tab on the right side be broken off? Or what? Thanks!

  118. don on May 31st, 2007 6:42 pm

    Can you have a circuit breaker box in a bedroom? Can you have the circuit breaker box in the closet of the bedroom? I am looking at buying a house built in 1997 and the box is in a small bedroom closet. Doesn’t seem to code, but, not sure.


  119. phil dijoseph on June 1st, 2007 8:50 pm

    help? i have a attic fan with a thermostat,and a receptical with a on/off switch and a lite on it in my hall way.the lite would come on when thermostat turned the fan on,or i could turn the fan on with the on/off switch to turn the fan on,well the lite stopped working so i took all the wires appart in the attic and a cant figure out how to put them back the same way.i have 8 wires in the attic,black and white(power),b&w fan,b&w from receptical in hall way,b&b from thermostat,i bought a new receptical because i think the lite blew out,any help would be apprciated thanks phil

  120. Greg Elder on June 2nd, 2007 6:55 pm

    I have two sets of wiring coming through the wall from one GFCI outlet. I want to connect one set to an outside receptacle and one to a set of wiring running through conduit to an outbuilding. So I have 2 each black, white and copper coming through the wall into the top of a junction box (where I want the receptacle to mount) and one each brown, green and white coming up through conduit into the bottom of the junction box. What connects to what?

  121. Melanie on June 3rd, 2007 11:49 pm

    I have read your posts about changing a 3-prong dryer plug to a 4-prong dryer plug. I have successfully done all the attaching, but I now have a random green wire (from the inside of the machine, not from the new plug) that is just hanging there. I am too afraid to plug it in this way – what do I do with this extra green wire. It does not appear to be connected to any “bonding plate”, nor does it appear to be coming from the white terminal. It looks like it disappears into the original wiring bundle.
    Thank you for your help! I have just moved and have a boat-load of laundry awaiting your sage advice.

  122. A Lawlor on June 4th, 2007 11:53 am

    I recently moved into a 5 yr old town house and want to make a change in how basement lights are switched.
    The basement stairway light is on 3 way switches at the top and bottom of the basement stairs.
    The basement lights are on a single conventional switch at the foot of the stairs.
    I want the 3 way switches to operate the basement lights as well as the stairway light.
    The basement 3 way switch and the basement light switch are in the same box qt the foot of the stairs.
    Both the stair light and the basement Lights are controlled by the same circuit breaker.
    The basement 3 way switch is wired:
    Red to brass screw on left
    white to brass screw on right
    B;acl wire to black screw on

  123. A Lawlor on June 4th, 2007 12:01 pm

    continuation of 11:53 comment

    The basement 3 way switch is wired:
    Red wire to brass screw on left
    White wire to brass screw on right
    Black wire to black screw on right.

    The basement conventional light swwitch is wired:
    Black to bottom screw on right
    Black to top screw on right

    How do I reconnect the basement switch wires so that the 3 way switch will operate the Basement light as well as the basement stairwway light?

  124. Brian O'Donnell on June 4th, 2007 4:14 pm

    I recently moved into a new home with a 4 prong dryer outlet. My question isn’t the typical changing from a 3 to a 4 prong, but rather this. My terminal block on the back of the dryer was stripped out, and upon trying to remove the wires from the terminal block I was forced to cut the white connector from the dryer to the terminal, as well as the white wire connector on the plug in order to get them off the terminal. Where can i find new connectors? Mine do not have insulation on them. The one on the plug side is a ring connector, and the one on the dryer side is square, also not insulated. Can you point me in the right direction or give me compatable connectors safe for using on a dryer? I can’t seem to find these exact connectors at any Home Depot, or hardware stores.

    Thank you,
    Brian O’Donnell

  125. will on June 5th, 2007 12:54 pm

    Not sure if this is a question that has been asked but i can not find any help about this any where, So here it goes I have recently removed a small baseboard from a room to be used for 2 computers that was before a walk in closet. The problem is there are two cables an each hold only 3 wires RED, BLACK an a BARE GROUND i need to put an outlet for at least a power bar for one computer and an air conditioner as it is a small room with 2 computers an at least 2 people its gonna get hot in the summer. How should I do this i`m not sure if I cap one of the cables and just use the one. And what the coulors matter for it cuz i`ve noticed most of the diagrams I have looked at have 4 wires or when there are three its BLACK, RED and WHITE also what kind of outlet should I get and dose it matter that the white wire is not there? hpoefully I can find sum help an thanx in advance.

  126. dennis kent on June 5th, 2007 4:58 pm

    I am an insurance inspector and some times have difficulty determining the capacity or total rated amprage for a breaker box if it doesn’t have a main breaker.
    For example. I did a house with # 4 200 amp breakers in a line with the 2 in the middle jumpered together. What is the total amperage for that box?

    I can’t believe that it is 800 amps, thanks

  127. Mark Henshaw on June 6th, 2007 6:59 am

    I have recently built a stand alone garage approximately 50′ from my house. I am running a 70 amp sub-panel from my house. Was told by an electrician friend that I only needed a 3 wire run from the house to the garage (2 hots and neutral). After running the wire underground and filling the trench, I have heard differing opinions as to whether a ground wire is necessary. Please let me know as I do not relish the idea of trying to run an additional wire.

  128. Paula on June 7th, 2007 10:39 am

    I would like to know what type of track I need for an A17 end connector with cord and switch (Hampton bay)? I cannot seem to find a track that works with the plug in cord. I bought the plug at Home Depot but no tracks available (they told I could use the regular track but it did not work). Any advice would be appreciated.


  129. Cass on June 8th, 2007 1:12 pm

    Recently, my air conditoner and some wall outlets went dead.
    I checked the voltages at the receptacles and found 130 vac on the top
    of some receptacles and 0 vac on the bottom of others, and vice versa.
    Is this a problem with my wiring or the city’s wiring?

    Thank You,

    Cass from California

  130. Kevin on June 9th, 2007 6:22 pm

    Hello, I have an elctric heat pump for my pool. It requires a 50amp/240 volt circuit. The scematic shows a connection for L1 – L2 – and a Ground. I’m assumping the two hots from the breaker connect to the L1 and L2 and the Green ground to the Ground screw. My question is , where does the White/Nuetral wire connect ?

  131. chris in Kansas City on June 9th, 2007 7:08 pm

    Here’s one for you — I recently got a Brinkmann Electric Smoker, which does not have an inline temperature control. It’s set at a constant 250 degrees, with a 1500 watt heating element that has a grounded three-prong plug that requires a 120 volt outlet.

    I’d like to use a plug-in dimmer switch to control the heat of the smoker, because different meats could use a slightly lower cooking temperature (say, 210 degs rather than 250).

    I see from an online search that such switches are available, but they’re obviously intended for use in lamps. I’m assuming that they might not be sufficiently heavy-duty to be used by the grounded heating element — is that a correct assumption?

    If so, how might I construct something like the following?

    What components should I get, and how should I wire it?

    I know this is a somewhat unusual query, but I hope you don’t mind answering it.

  132. Bill on June 11th, 2007 7:34 am


    I plan to install electric baseboard heat in a bedroom on my third floor, I have 100 amp service. Can I simply wire this to my 110 outlet that is already there?


  133. dale on June 11th, 2007 12:38 pm

    I replaced a twenty year old window (through the wall) a/c unit with a new one. The new unit is 18000BTU and rated at 12 amps. I replaced the existing outlet with a 125V 20 amp outlet with 12/2 wire going to it’s own breaker (20 amp) in the service box. I only find two bars in the service box for grounds or commons. The existing wires coming in have both white and ground wires attached to the same bars. I did the same. We have 100 amp service. I measure 120 volts at the outlet. The problem is that the a/c fan runs well but the compressor only runs a few minutes and then the breaker trips. I’m wondering if 100 amp service is enough. I’ve calculated the load for the building based on existing appliances and come up with 78 amps. The breaker trips with all other appliances off also. I’m about to return the a/c unit….any ideas before I pull that honker out of the wall?

  134. JERRY MOORE on June 12th, 2007 5:17 pm

    My main service panel is full of breakers and I want to add a pool pump. I have some slim line breakers already. I’m told that I must add a sub-panel.
    Is there a limit to the number of slim line breakers that I can use?

    I have 200 amp service and this old has a lot of small curcits that are filling up the panel.

    I live in Hillsborough county ,FL.

    thanks Jerry

  135. Bill on June 13th, 2007 1:50 pm

    I recently had a home inspection on the house I am looking to buy. The house has some old knob and tube wiring in it and it is still live. The breaker box in the basement the bottom panel has corrision on it. I want to replace all of this wiring and bring it up to the 21st century. I am looking for a good ball park figure of how much this would cost. Also I am hoping that alot of the new wiring can be fished through without smashing holes in the plaster. Any help or advice would be appericated

  136. greg flanagan on June 14th, 2007 5:33 am

    I am installing a flat panel tv above my fireplace. I removed an old metal box with 1 outlet and put in a 3 gang box and ran romax up to the tv. MY circut tester is saying I have an open ground on all 4 of the new outlets. The outlets on the same circut on both sides are correct. What do I do to fix this.

  137. Eric Nelson on June 15th, 2007 7:25 pm

    I live in a residence with an overhead utility that comes in over my back yard. I have an above ground pool that is near the utility (code distance away, but still near). The cable seems to me very unsafe, especially since a long aluminum pole is sometimes used for pool cleaning.
    I want to bury the utility, and would like to know what is involved.
    My plan would be to install a utility pole at my yard edge where the utility crosses, run the wires down the pole (in conduit) and then underground to the outdoor fusebox (about 50 feet). Where the weatherhead is currently attached, I would add a 180 to go downward instead of up through the roof as it currently does.
    Aside from the need of a permit and the need to have the utility temporarily shut off at the pole, I would like to know:
    1) what depth would the burried conduit need to be?
    2) what type of conduit is appropriate?
    3) what type of wire needs to be used in the buried conduit?
    4) how to connect the existing electrical wires to the new wires before they enter the burried conduit? I’m thinking a weatherhead arrangement similar to what currently is in place, only relocated to the top of the new utility pole – but what method to splice the old/new wires, or is there a mechanical device available to bolt all the wires into some kind of box?
    I’m guessing this is out of the realm of normal DIY electrical projects, but I’m always looking to save money when possible. I just want to be safe and follow codes.
    Thanks for your advice.

  138. Jeff on June 19th, 2007 12:01 pm

    Two questions please:
    If I am wiring a garage, can I run a 12/3 and have 220V for the first outlet and continue with 12/2 for two more boxes of 115V? If so, does the 220 breaker have to be ganged togther, and will a short or something in the 115V trip a double breaker?
    In wiring my new kitchen, I have run 12/3 for the two required kitchen circuits. If I alternate each box (vs having one breaker on one side of the sink and the other breaker on the other side) can I use 1 GFI for each circuit. The inspector wasn’t sure and was concerned about backfeeding the second GFI through the neutral. I would think with one common neutral that this would be the case regardless. Thanks much.

  139. Jay on June 19th, 2007 2:31 pm

    Hi, I am trying to move my electric oven about eight feet from the outlet.
    Do they make cords long enough or do I have to move the outlet as well.
    Can I move the outlet by connecting the same size wire withing the box?

  140. Pat on June 20th, 2007 1:31 pm

    I am trying to replace a hard-wired range hood with an over-the-range microwave. There is a dedicated outlet in the upper cabinet for the microwave. What should I do with the wires from the range hood? Thanks you.

  141. tony on June 20th, 2007 1:34 pm

    I have power going into a 3-way switch at one end, followed by 5 flourescent fixtures (in my basement), and ending at a 3-way switch. I think I’ve connected the wires wrong. I’m using Black & Decker book that says how to wire the 3-way switches, but not how to connect multiple fluorescent lights. I have the reds all connected to each other, the whites connected to each other and the white from each ballast, and same for blacks. Is this right? thanks

  142. skip mccrory on June 21st, 2007 8:13 am

    How do you tell what amp feed to install for an arc welder for home use.I know the voltage but not the primary amperage

  143. pcman on June 22nd, 2007 11:06 am

    I live in an old house with a 100 amp panel. Panel overall looks good and can add more circuits to it. The house is two story. Unfortunately, when the wiring was done (years ago) it was wired with only one 15 amp circuit breaker on the whole second floor. I would like to rewire the second floor to make three branch circuits: one for each of the two bedrooms and one for the bathroom. I am thinking of installing a subpanel on the second floor and running a feeder down to the main panel. This would save me a tremendous amount of time and labor of only running one line from the second floor to the basement. I am thinking of installing four electrical outlets for each bedroom (which would mean just replacing the exisiting ones with new wire and adding additional wire for the new outlets where necessary. I would keep the existing outlet in the bathroom and replace with new wire and recepticle. In addition, I will be adding air-conditioners to each bedroom, one bedroom having 5 – 6,000 btu and the other bedroom slightly bigger size about 7 to 8,000 btu. How would I calculate the amount of amps required to the master breaker in the subpanel. What wire size would I need going from the subpanel to the main panel. Should I use 10 gauge wire for the air-conditioners in the bedrooms to the subpanels or would 12 gauge suffice? In my state 14 gauge in the minimum standard but 12 is most commonly found in branch circuits. No heavy duty applicances will be used on the second floor. However, in the bathroom I am thinking of installing an exhaust fan. What is your opinion of using the subpanel or should I just retrace all the wires to the basement in this old house? Many thanks.

  144. Christy on June 23rd, 2007 9:10 am

    I had a swtich in a bedroom that controls and outlet and was not working. I changed the swtich and the outlet. When I plugged the lamp into the outlet it trips the circuit breaker for that room. Can you please tell me how to fix this or what is causing this? Thanks!

  145. Donald Walsky on June 25th, 2007 5:18 pm

    I have a 1.5 hp Hayward pool pump and I need to know how to connect a 3 wire power cord to the motor,which is set up for 115V. Do the black and white wires get connected to L1 or L2 ,2 prong connectors or do they
    each connect to separate Lines ,white to L1,black to L2???? Please advise.
    Thank you for your expertise.

  146. Steve on June 25th, 2007 10:36 pm

    I am installing an electrical cooktop, and I’m quite familiar with electrical work and other home improvement projects. I am at the stage of re-wiring (installing) the new electrical cooktop. Before doing so, I tried to cutoff the power to the 240 volt circuit. I opened every circuit breaker in my house, and it still shows 240 volts on my multi-meter! I can find no more breakers in my garage, attic, outside or anywhere? Where can the breaker or fuse be? How can I find it?

    Thanks for this great site!

  147. Dave on June 27th, 2007 12:34 am

    I’ve installed a sump in what will be a finished bathroom. The pump and float cords exit the sump via 1.5 inch EMT (in the wall), which dead-ends in an open 8×8 box about 5 feet off the floor. The plug for the pump fits through the EMT without problems but the float plug is a pass-through type (to control power to the pump) and will simply not squeeze through the EMT. Increasing the diameter of the EMT is not an option.

    Functionally I know that I can cut the float cord and splice the plug back on once I’ve pulled the cord through the EMT. I’m hoping this is allowed by code and if so, I’m wondering how to do it so that I can pass inspection.

    Thanks in advance!

    P.S. I LOVE Bozeman this time of year!

  148. Joe on June 27th, 2007 9:02 am

    Interested to see if you can speculate about my situation. Here goes: I have a piece of test equipment called a Pot Null Tester that of late has been very problematic. I am trying to understand it better so that I may fix it and be able to troubleshoot any other problems that may arise. It is used in testing Fuel Flow Transmitters (FFT, for JT8 aircraft engines). This tester interfaces between the FFT itself and a 115VAC 400Hz power supply, 60VAC 8Hz “power supply” (actually a transformer, this receives 115VAC 400 Hz and transforms it into 60VAC 8Hz to supply to the FFT (in order to run a motor with known 240 rpm near the FFT inlet, which as it spins imparts force to the fuel and directs it onto a turbine, which is attached to a spring, at a specific angle – as the flow increases, the turbine deflects more and sends a signal thru a pickoff coil out of the FFT, indicating position which in turn creates a certain voltage which is related to flow amount) with power.

    The signal into the pot null is compared to the signal out of the FFT through a Phase Angle Voltmeter (wall power supplied to it, but input and reference signals obtained via Pot Null Tester). A decade voltage divider on the pot null tester apparently takes the input signal and when the test technician adjusts it to a proscribed amount (which increases for each fuel flow rate) compares this signal to the output signal from the FFT. If they are within allowable phase tolerance on the phase angle voltmeter then the actual fuel flow rate is close enough to the fuel flow rate read by the FFT.

    Now that you understand the function of the pot null tester, here is the problem. The pot null has gone bad somehow. The decade voltage divider went bad so I had that fixed and reinstalled. One of the three transformers in the pot null, the variac which controls/provides 115VAC (of the 115VAC 400Hz voltage) went bad. I had this transformer replaced, and another one of the transformers went bad (it appeared this transformer is for isolation). Everytime I fix a component, something else goes bad. I want to better understand this pot null tester for two reasons, either so that I can fix what ails it, or so I can altogether replace it with a Fluke 87 multimeter (as I have been told is possible).

    The pot null has three transformers in the setup (one variac and two others, not manual adjustable), several resistors (ranging from 1K to 50K), and a capacitance selector/switch to allow several different model FFTs to be tested – each one requires a different capacitance for testing.

    What appears to be the function of the transformers (aside from the variac), capacitance, and resistors, and decade voltage divider? Does it seem that this setup could be replaced with a multimeter? I have been told that the purpose of the capacitance is to function as some sort of filter to essentially read the output signal without acting upon it and thereby increasing or decreasing it.

    Long post. Thanks for any insight.

  149. geovany on June 27th, 2007 12:28 pm

    I just purchased a home,and it doest have a meter…I had the light company come out but they told me I need it to get a meter.I don’t know where to get that from

  150. Jones on June 27th, 2007 10:01 pm

    Hi. I need an electrical outlet in my attic but the only thing in the attic is a light switch. Is there anyway to switch the light switch with an outlet? If not is there anyway to get electricty to my attic without tearing up the walls?


  151. Jason on June 30th, 2007 8:51 pm

    I have a 20 amp cirucuit feeding my garage and (in my house) three outlits, one light, and a radon mitigation fan. I would like to isolate the garage on its own 20 amp or more circuit. I have a double 50 amp 220 for my range that I plan on converting to gas. I know can run a 220 line from this dbl 50 to an expansion box in the garage, but its costly and more amps than I need out there. Couldn’t I pull the dbl 50 and replace it with one 20 amp using both sides/all for the garage? (This would also leave me with a space to expand to in the future.) How would I run both 20 sides to the garage? Would I have to run 2 12 gauge wires side-by-side or could I combine them somehow?

    Thank you.

  152. Derek Taylor on July 1st, 2007 5:12 am

    Just purchased a 50 year old house. All the wiring was brought to code in the 90’s. The previous owner had a large workshop built on concrete foundation and to code for R-1 housing in my area While building he had an electrician install wiring for 6 outlets, 1 light switch, and there are two exposed areas I assume where for lighting. The problem is he never connected this building to the breaker in the house. I want to run a 220 welder in this shop but I have no idea what kind of wiring is in the walls or how to run a line safely to actually get power out to it. My orginal plan was to run 220 underground from the breaker in my garage and install a breaker in the shop where I could run power from there to everything else is this even feasible? The route I would take would be about 60 feet from garage to workshop.

  153. roger on July 1st, 2007 1:06 pm

    Whenever I grabbed my stormdoor handle I got a small tingling like a light shock . what would cause this? Never done this before I had some remodeling and rewiring done.

  154. Mark on July 3rd, 2007 7:57 am

    Looking to set up a feed for a future cabin however, am planning on a temp 50 amp for a trailer on site. The cabin may have electric heat so I want to make sure I have the right size wire to the temp pole now so I can then go from there to the cabin site. The distance to the temp pole underground is 350′ and another 150′ to the cabin location. Planning on running 4/0, 4/0, 2/0 alum triplex through 3″ PVC. Is this size wire sufficient for my future cabin needs? If I am calcuating it correctly even at this distance my voltage drop is acceptable – do you agree?


  155. Phil Gribbins on July 3rd, 2007 8:48 am

    I have a 1/3 hp 2 speed motor that has to be hooked up. There are 3 wires in the cable, red, white and black. Connector 1 in the motor is for the common wire and connectors 3 & 4 are for hi speed lo speed based
    on direction of motor rotation. How do I connect the wires?


    Phil Gribbins

  156. Jim Lee on July 4th, 2007 11:17 am

    Hello,Great site!!
    I have a cabin and I want to run some wire to my shed .In the shed I will have 2 receptacles and a light that is controlled by a switch.The question I have is where should the circuit start….at the switch ,or the light, or at a receptacle.Could you please provide me with a detailed diagram showing red and black wires and the grounds.
    Thankyou in advance,

  157. Ernie on July 10th, 2007 6:53 am

    Hello, thanks for reading my question. I am rebuilding a shed in the backyard and wanted to run electricity out to it. So I dug a 2′ deep trench from the side of the house to the back of where the shed will be and ran a #8 Underground rated line in 1.5″ Underground PVC. I then cut open the wall below the breaker box at the house and ran the line to it.

    Here is my problem – the breaker box is full. I thought about going with Tandem breakers which look like it should pop right in but I guess you need a special/newer box for it since they stop half way when installing (I looked at the bottom and noticed there is a tab that prevents them from seating all of the way).

    Can I double up on breakers? In other words, can I combine two lines on two separate breakers to one breaker as long as I do the math to make sure I am not going over 80% of the breakers rated load?


  158. Dave on July 10th, 2007 7:09 pm

    I’m an exhibits department volunteer with the USS Midway Museum in San Diego, and I’m helping to restore one of the spaces used for computer navigation. Some of the equipment (computer tape drives) use motors that are pretty big, maybe five inches around and 10 inches long. Each has four wires — black, white, green and blue — and the wires are fairly thick, which makes me think the motors might run on 110 VAC. There aren’t any technical markings on the motors, but they were made by Potts Instrumentation (or Instruments).

    I’ve done some searching, and it seems as if the motors are either reversible AC motors or are stepper motors. Can you provide any assistance?



  159. Mary Jacobs on July 10th, 2007 8:15 pm

    What should we do about radios and TV’s with sound that goes loud and then soft? It’s all over the house, and we’re concerned about some kind of surge going on.

    Thank you for any guidance you might have.

  160. Kusaywa on July 11th, 2007 5:32 am

    I will be installing a new Main Breaker Load Center (200 amp). What gauge wire type do I use from my electric meter to the breaker box? THANKS!

  161. Derek on July 11th, 2007 6:00 pm

    Hello. I am renovationg my kitchen and have 2 questions. Can I hook up a dishwasher to a regular outlet, eventhough the dishwasher is made for hardwiring? Second, I am changing the regular over range fan/light range hood with a microwave range hood combo. Here I have hardwiring , but I need to change it to a recepticle. Any suggestions?

  162. R.Sankar on July 14th, 2007 10:03 am

    In electrical dustribution board why neutral cable got burnt. (what is the reason for this incident)

  163. Jim on July 15th, 2007 11:31 am

    I have a 3 way switch at the top and bottom of a stairway, I turned the light on the other day and nothing..I have power to the haning light I can turn one switch one and my beeper says theres power but the light blub will not light I change and checked the blubs there fine.. I can go to the other switch flip it on and the beeper goins off when I put it in the light scoket but again the blub won’t light??? Help.. I have know clue why this is happening…. Thanks Jim

  164. shane sexton on July 16th, 2007 8:47 am

    hello awsome sight I’ll get down to business and my question I purchased a hot tub from a relative one year old very nice one do not have the extra money for the electrician at the moment wished i did , pretty hands-on though.

    My question is i have a default box out side that the tub is wired to to kill any power needed to tub also for safety. then the wire leave sthe default going straight into the breaker box i believe that i have a big enough service to provide another 220-breaker or room for two 110 -breakers

    I have never hard wired a 220volt 0r one ten for that matter too a breaker box could you please help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Thank You Shane Sexton

  165. greg fosse on July 17th, 2007 12:11 pm

    i stapled some lath to the outside of my house and hit a wire. i opened the wall up and found a burnt pin hole in the wiring which had tripped the breaker. i wrapped several layers of electrical tape around the area. will this suffice?

  166. Ash on July 18th, 2007 10:11 pm

    This is kind of a followup to Jeff’s question on June 19th (his question is copied below). Specifically, what is the best way to wire alternating small appliance circuits in the kitchen? I can’t find a good diagram anywhere. The ones I have found say use all GFI outlets, or use two 12/2 lines with a GFI outlet beginning each circuit. But shouldn’t you be able to use 12/3 and onlly use 2 GFI outlets on a 6 outlet alternating circuit?

    In wiring my new kitchen, I have run 12/3 for the two required kitchen circuits. If I alternate each box (vs having one breaker on one side of the sink and the other breaker on the other side) can I use 1 GFI for each circuit. The inspector wasn’t sure and was concerned about backfeeding the second GFI through the neutral. I would think with one common neutral that this would be the case regardless. Thanks much.

  167. Dan Brown on July 20th, 2007 3:15 pm

    Im tring to supply electricity to my garage from the house. The problem is concrete no dirt.

  168. Jack on July 21st, 2007 1:57 am

    I am installing a ceiling fan / light assembly. The house is less than a year old and the box in the ceiling is designed for a fan and had a cover plate on it. There are 4 wires coming from the ceiling outlet: Blk, Wht, Red & plain grnd. They are controlled from a triple light switch, with two switches controlling this box and the third controlling something else, possibly the top half of a switched outlet. My question is about the measured voltage in the ceiling box when the switches are switched on. One switch applies approx 120vac to the red wire, and at the same time about 48vac to the black wire. The second switch does the same thing, only the black wire powers with 120vac and the red with 48vac. With the switch off, each measures about 2vac. Voltages were measured with a digital meter between the neutral (white) wire and the respective black or red wire. In the switch box there are 3 sets of wires coming in, 1 is 14.2 w/grnd and 2 are 14/3 w/grnd. The 4th wire in the latter two is red. Of the 3 sets of wires, the 14/2 connects with the White attached to all the White wires; the Black to a large bundle of Black wires and the gound to all the ground wires. In the box, all white wires are connected together. The one switch that does not control the box in the ceiling connects its White to the White wire group; its Black to the Black group and the red to one side of the switch. The other side of the switch attaches with a Black wire to the bundle of Black wires. Of the two switches controlling the overhead box, the remaining wire set goes to both switches as follows: The Red wire connects to one half of a switch, with the other half connecting to the previously mentioned bundle of Black wires; the Black wire connects to one side of the other switch and another Black wire goes from the other terminal to the bundle of Black wires. Where is the 48vac coming from, and I am assuming that I do not want that voltage to be there? Thanks for the help. Jack

  169. RON JONES on July 21st, 2007 2:49 pm


  170. A. J. Hankel on July 23rd, 2007 7:22 pm

    I have a sump pump by its self on a 15amp circuit and a 15amp GFI reciptical. all of a sudden the pump trips the GFI. A smaller pump doesn’t. The pump (actually i have two new ones now cause i first thought it was the pump) that trips the GFI works anywhere else including other 15amp GFI recipticals. The house breaker never trips. I have replaced the GFI reciptical and the reciptical still trips. An answer would so nice, THANK YOU in advance.

  171. Tim G. on July 24th, 2007 6:57 pm

    I am going to put an exterior outlet on my deck. Exactly how high from the surface of the deck should I mount the box ? I live in Alabama.

    Thanks in advance.

  172. Dan on July 25th, 2007 12:16 pm

    I have three 2-gang boxes that I would like to wire together in parallel, each box contains 2 duplex outlets. Could you please help me with the correct way to wire the outlets together before exiting the box?


  173. Martin on July 25th, 2007 7:48 pm

    I have a 200 A meter on the exterior wall in a Square D socket that is integrally connected to a main breaker box. There are currently (2) 100 A breakers in this outside box, each feeding a 100 A sub panel in the basement. Everything was fine until I had an electric boiler installed (125 A breaker – pulls 106 A at full load)) and the “electrician” added that 125 A breaker to one of those inside boxes and ran power to the boiler from that sub panel. Needless to say, that was a horrible idea and on the cold days it would trip the outside 100 A main.

    I have a proposal by another electrician to add a 125 A breaker to the outside main breaker box and run power from there to the boiler. That would make 3 breakers of 100 + 100 + 125 = 325 in that outside main box with a 200 A meter and socket. I don’t see how that could possibly be allowed (no matter the local code) because, unlikely as it is, it would be possible to pull 325 amps (or at least certainly more than 200) and the meter (and potentially everything upstream) would not be properly protected. What do you think of that idea? Thanks.

  174. Brandon on July 27th, 2007 3:23 pm

    How far down does underground wire have to be buried?

  175. andrew on July 28th, 2007 1:28 pm

    How can I determine energy usage on a per circuit basis? Devices that measure individual appliances are great, but don’t cover lights, hard wired items or straight blade and/or high voltage items. Ideally I would like to be able to measure usage per circuit at the breaker panel.
    Thank you.

  176. Fred M on July 28th, 2007 1:46 pm

    Ceiling Fan Wiring Question

    I am moving in to a new home and starting to install fans. I have done this many times before but I am running in to a situation that has me stumped. The electrical contractor has provided one switch for the ceiling fan rough-in. At the switch, there is a ground, a red wire and a black wire. According to my voltage tester, both legs stay hot when the switch is on or off. (when I touch the contact to either wire and the ground I get voltage regardless of switch position). At the ceiling fan box, there are four wires. Black, white, red and a bare ground.

    I know that the box is wired so that a fan with a light kit can have the light switched and the fan controlled by the chain. I do not have a light kit and will not install one later. I want to be able to control the fan with the switch, but I can’t seem to make that happen. I have tried numerous combinations, all to no avail. Fan is always on. Can you help out?

  177. Ron M on July 29th, 2007 9:11 pm

    I have a room with 5 recessed lights. I came home one evening and none would light when the switch was activated. Everything was fine and now no light. Breaker is on and outlets in the room work. I moved new bulb around the different sockets, no luck. What’s my next move?

  178. Jack C on July 30th, 2007 10:00 am

    I have an electrical outlet less than 2 inches from a metal medical cabinet. I would like to move the outlet inside the medicine cabinet. Would this cause any kind of safety issue? Thank you.

  179. fred Brown on July 30th, 2007 4:30 pm

    I am going to get rid of old 25 year old drop in electric range i i know it is hot wired in Can i install a new recepticle myself for a new range and how?

  180. michael on July 30th, 2007 10:47 pm

    I have a new(er) elec clothes dryer with the new 4 prong plug. Problem is my old dryer outlet is 3 wire (2 hot + bare gnd). Is there any safe way to use existing wiring without having to install new 4 wire circuit all the way back to the breaker box?

    THANKS for your help!!

  181. Eren on August 1st, 2007 9:36 pm

    Hi, one of my outlets just burst into sparks and flames causing everything to short out. I checked the Breaker box and nothing is tripped. The breakers look fine and I switched them off and on anyway and my lights still wont come on. Any suggestions why this would happen?

  182. Shan on August 4th, 2007 4:43 pm

    Hi! I am a pretty competent amateur electrician – my husband and I have remodeled over 30 houses, and I understand wiring basics, and can do routine wiring such as installing new breakers and wiring 3 and 4-way switches, and have completely rewired several of our houses – with inspections. But, this one has me stumped. My husband was trenching to add a water line to our barn, and I wanted to run some electricity out there while we were at it. The closest source of electricity was our well pump, so we put some underground wire from the well to the barn. Today, we hooked up all our barn wiring – interior lights and outlets, switches, thermostats, fans, electric eyes, and exterior spots, but when I went to hook them up, I realized our well pump is 220! After I got over the impulse to kill myself, I started trying to figure out the easiest way out of this mess. Obviously, code would require that we rent the ditch witch again, cut a new trench, and connect to a 110 line, but that’s going to be an expensive pain in the rear, and we both have day jobs, so I’m trying to figure if there’s any way around it. The well pump only has 2 hots and a ground, but it’s a dedicated circuit, so its ground goes straight to the buss in the panel box. What I thought is that I could hook my black line to one of the hot leads, my white neutral to the ground, turning it into a neutral, and grounding both the well pump and my new line to a new ground stake. I know I can ground my barn stuff this way, but is there any reason the 220 well pump couldn’t be grounded this way? Does it have to go back to the buss? Well, obviously, something’s wrong, because when I tried this, the result was that everything worked for about 90 seconds. Then, everything in the barn shut down, although the breaker didn’t pop, and the well pump kept on working fine. In about 90 seconds, everything in the barn came back on, but 90 seconds later, it all shut off again. That’s what it does – cycles on and off at approximate 90 second intervals. The breaker doesn’t pop, the GFCI, which is the first thing in line at the barn, doesn’t pop – everything just goes on and off, but the well pump seems to keep working fine. I removed the GFCI, thinking that was the culprit, but even straight wired, even when I hook up only one light or outlet at a time, it still just cycles on and off. I checked my panel box and noticed that the buss bars for the grounds and neutrals are separate – could this have anything to do with it? Heeelllllpppppp!

  183. Jennie on August 4th, 2007 8:32 pm

    I am installing a three way switch to run the lights in my attic. But I can’t get it to work correctly. The power source runs to a switch at the top of the stairs. If this is on, then the bottom switch works just fine. However, if the switch at the top is off, then the one at the bottom of the stairs doesn’t work. I’ve tried making the white “hot” (capping the white from the top switch to the black in the lower switch like this: However it STILL doesn’t work. What am I doing wrong???

  184. Steven on August 5th, 2007 9:56 am

    I have an electrical problem that has me baffled. BACKGROUND: I have a circuit (#15B, 15 amp as a matter of fact) that controls the following lights via a 3 circuit switch in my foyer. Switch #1- carriage lights at the end of my driveway (1 each, left and right with 4@ 15W lamps); Switch 2 – Carriage lights on the outside of the house (4 @25 W, 1 @ 40W); Switch 3 – Foyer Chandelier (25 @ 15 watts). My problem is with Switch #1- the carriage lights at the end of the driveway. PROBLEM: If I turn on the lights- either at the breaker with the switch on, or at the switch, the following occurs: I get 120V (well, 119V at the lights for around 2 minutes (if it is daylight and warm outside and 4-5 minutes at night. After that, I lose power to that switch only, but the breaker doesn’t pop and the other circuits work fine. I have tried the following: a) replace the switch. b) disconnect the lights and check the feed with a volt meter. I get the same )results. If I turn the breaker off, and wait 5 to 10 minutes, I get power back and the cycle starts over again..POTENTIAL CAUSES: (disclaimer- I am an amateur :) ) It almost seems like something is heating up – though I have no evidence of that and that once it does, I get some sort of short. In this scenario, what I don’t understand is why the beraker doesn’t trip. It is also interesting to me that the period that I have power changes with temperature – it takes les time to lose power durin the day than at night. I have also checked to make sure hat there is no phohoelectric cell in the circuit. Got any ideas?
    Thanks in advance.

  185. Bob Miller on August 5th, 2007 9:08 pm

    I recently baught a 50 year old house. It has a main service panel that is 100amp. (at some point I will replace this.) In the panel is a 40 amp breaker that terminates in a 4 fuse fusebox on the opposite side of the basement. (roughly 40 feet away)

    I would like to replace the fusebox with a sub panel with breakers. It is my understanding that any sub panel farther than 5 or 6 feet away from the main panel has to have a disconnect attached to it to disable the entire sub panel.

    Is this correct based on the 2003 electrical code?

    If so do I need to put in a sub panel with a built in main breaker like the main panel or do I need a separate disconnect just outside the sub panel?

    I want to put a Washing machine, a gas dryer, an Ejector pit and a sump pump on this sub panel.

    I have been looking for a 40 amp fusible or no fused disconnects and have not had much luck.

    Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.

  186. Franklyn Elliott on August 6th, 2007 10:41 am

    I wish to use a mini breaker-hoiw do I disengage or remove the metal strip
    that prevents the breaker from being installed?

  187. Mark on August 6th, 2007 3:21 pm

    I need to run an underground service line from the meter.. location is rural in Wi. I will probably trench in underground rated cable from the meter for the first 200feet then bring it up to a junction box…id like to bring the rest of the cable to the building site with underground conduit.. do i need underground rated cable for this part .. or is the standard thhn stranded wire ok.? also , should i use aluminum wire to make things cheaper or go with copper.. i read that the rating of the wire is at 90deg f. max at the connector.. does that mean the ambient temp cannot be above that.. if so, I could not use aluminum above ground at all in Wi, correct, as it gets above 90f..thanks

  188. Jimmy M on August 6th, 2007 8:36 pm

    We have a very old house, guessing the electric is probably 40+ years old. We’ve been doing mild remodeling and decided to replace elecric outlets & light switches with new. We’ve ran into 2 problems. Around the sink area there is a regular outlet on one side and on the other is a combo of a regular outlet and a light switch (light is above the sink). We decided to replace the regular outlets with GFCI’s. We’ve got the outlets working fine but every time we hook up the light switch and turn the breaker on it pops the breaker. There are 3 black wires and 3 white wires.
    Second problem, we have 2, 3-way light switches to operate the kitchen light. One at the entrance from the Living Room and one at the Front Entrance. We replaced these with 3-way switches but cannot get them to work correctly (they were working the correct way before). The only wires we have inside are 2 black and one white. Thank you for any help you can give.

  189. Franklyn Elliott on August 8th, 2007 8:01 am

    How do I remove the metal guard on double mini breakers?

  190. Jim Hays on August 8th, 2007 9:32 am

    I recently purchased a 1937 house for my daughter in college. My home inspector tells me I have a 200 amp box and only 100 amp service. The home has room air conditioners (3 bedroom, bath, attic, and 2 downstairs). Can I rearrange the breakers to “even” out the electric in the house.

  191. Q.Gilbert on August 9th, 2007 6:44 pm

    I have a Homeline breaker box with 29 breakers and would like to use “piggy back” style breaker since I’m out of space. I can’t find a matching 15/30-30/15amp double-pole breaker which continually blows on the outside heat-pump unit that allows up to 35amp. Is this available anywhere?

    I only found a separate 35-35amp replacement. A slimline piggy-back style breaker would manage this. Is that ok or should I seek other options?

  192. John J on August 10th, 2007 8:33 pm

    Series of 8 15amp outlets are out. I changes three and the breaker. Picked up a circut tester and when I plug into outlets it tells me the ground and hot are reversed? The outlets were changed with care as not to mix up any wires. The wiring is of course very simple anyway. What can be wrong is a wire maybe partically stripped causing this?

  193. Larry Salliotte on August 11th, 2007 10:34 am

    what do you call it when two black wires are attached to a single breaker lug?

  194. barb schauer on August 13th, 2007 4:46 pm

    How many inches above a kitchen counter top should electrical outlets be installed?

  195. Ro on August 15th, 2007 10:40 am


    Yesterday, in my kitchen, I had a near calamity! The left back burner of my GE unit was on high, and within five minutes of its being on, I heard crackling and saw sparks flying. Quite shaken, immediately, I ran to the stove and turned it off. The red light that indicates if the stove is on or off did not go off, however, but the burner began to cool down and so I felt “safe.” Anyway, soon, I unplugged the entire unit.

    The unit is about 13 years old. I don’t understand why what happened, happened. The part of the coil where the sparks flew from is burned out.

    My questions to you are:

    1. Could I use the other burners on the stove? Even if the red light stays on?
    2. Why does the red light not go off? (I plugged the unit back in and the light came back on and so I unplugged it again).
    3. Which is better?
    –Change the burner and the metallic part (now it’s unusable)that connects the burner to the wiring to the tune of nearly $200, or more, or
    –Get a new stove? If so, which brand do you recommend?

    Thank you.


  196. Justin S. on August 17th, 2007 12:25 am


    I’m living in an old apartment, and am trying to install some Hampton Bay track lighting to what I’m guessing is a junction box prepared for a ceiling fan. On the track box, there are three wires: black, white, and green. In the ceiling junction, there are two free wires (red and white) loosed from the previous fixture, and a capped grouping of three black wires running through the box. There is no place to attach a grounding wire. So…how do I wire it? I’ve tried a few iterations (black to red, white to white, green squeezed against the side of the box), nothing’s worked! Thanks so much for your help. I truly appreciate it.


  197. Jim Alexander on August 19th, 2007 4:31 pm

    Hi, I am trying to install a 60 Amp GFCI interupt switch for a hot tub. The GFCI and hot tub both require #8 4-wire, however the box that I have in the basement that will feed the GFCI is supplied by only #6 3-wire. I read in an earlier post that you should never combine nuetral and ground, but can I use the 3-wire ground as nuetral and run the GFCI and hot tub ground to a grounding rod? To run a new four wire from main box to basement would be extremely intrusive. Thanks for your advice. This is a great website.

  198. Jerry on August 26th, 2007 11:06 am

    Hi, I have a breaker that keeps tripping in our house due to having the pond pump running on it, when my wife turns on the hair dryer it trips out, well yesterday we noticed the pond pump not working, so I checked the breaker, it was NOT tripped, what use should I look for, could it be that the breaker has gone bad?

  199. Barbara on August 28th, 2007 9:55 am

    Can a circut breaker be used as a switch? Ex: A circut breaker for a hot water tank can it be turned off and on (twice daily) or will this affect the breaker. Also can turning the hot water tank off and on twice a day affect the life time of the hot water tank? Also turning the hot water tank off and on twice daily will save energy or use more energy?
    I would appreciate you input very much

  200. Jimmy on August 29th, 2007 9:44 pm

    I have an outside light, postlight, that I would like to control by a photocell to turn it on and a dimmer switch to dim it when I would like. I have tried a dimmer with a photocell but if the dimmer isn’t turned up all the way to the brightest the light will come on and go off every few minutes. Is there any way I can find compatibility between the photocell and dimmer switch. I was told by someone that I need a photocell that can handle flourescent loads to work with a dimmer. Thanks for your help.

  201. Sherman on August 31st, 2007 1:01 pm

    Hi, last night the electricity went out in my children’s restroom. I checked each breaker to determine what was the cause of the outage, but I have been unable to come to any conclusions. None of the breakers appeared to have any “slack” in them to signify a power surge. Is it normal for this occurance? Also, after turning each breaker off and on, I turned the main breaker off and on to no avail. What would you suggest is the problem(s)?

  202. Greg on August 31st, 2007 3:04 pm

    I bought a mobile home with 100 amp service and had it moved. The wire at the breaker box that was in use is #2 wire. Is that wire big enough to carry the load if I need to run 100 ft. of it to the pole? Thanks for your help.

  203. Nick on August 31st, 2007 7:09 pm

    As of recently certain items, along with certain areas: i.e. A/C, oven, microwave, fridge, washer and dryer are all turning off at the same time. And coming back on, sometimes one minute after it does this and sometimes hours after everything turns off. I have done the obvious like checking the breaker box for thrown swithes and turned the main off and on with no luck.
    Any advice?

  204. ken on September 2nd, 2007 5:01 am

    I am installing a whirlpool tub. I am bringing 220 volts via a 20amp GFCI circuit breaker using 12-3 wire. the junction box provided by the manufacturer only has 3 wires. Brown and Blue for the hot leads and a ground wire (green with yellow stripe) for the ground connection. I called the manufacturer and asked what I connect the white nuetral lead to from the main panel and they said you don’t connect it to anything. This doesn’t seem right. Should it then not be connected at the main panel? Also the installation instructions suggest you provide a seperate equipment earthing conductor for the earth lug. what is that and is it necessary?

  205. Harry Gordon on September 2nd, 2007 12:00 pm

    Hello, Great site. I am purchasing a newly built (2007) home next month and I want to add a small workshop with a 30 Amp welder and several outlets on one 20 amp circuit. The new 200 amp breaker box is full. The 220 circuits are=1- 50 amp range, 1- 50 amp heat pump/heater, 1- 40 amp a/c compressor, 1- 30 amp water heater, 1- 20 amp well and the rest are 15 and 20 amp utility circuits with the majority 15 amp. Can I take out from the mail panel 2 non-essential 15 amp circuits to the bedrooms and baths, add a 60 amp 220 volt sub panel from their location and move the 15 amp non-essentials to it then add a 40 or 50 amp leg from the sub-panel to the worlshop with it’s own breaker box. Can I use 3 conductors and a ground rod to the workshop? I have completely wired new service in numerous homes under homeowners permits and am very capable but this is something that I am not completely sure about. I cannot believe that a 2400 Sq. Ft. House uses this amount of service for lights and convience outlets. I am extremely thankful for your service. Thank You.


  206. Elizabeth on September 3rd, 2007 11:54 am

    Hi – I bought a corded wall lamp that I’d like to change to direct wire. Is it as simple as cutting the cord and stripping the 2 wires? Then how will I know which to connect to the live wire and which to the neutral? What about grounding? Thanks so much! Glad to hear that your own “electrical” problem is under control : )

  207. Carol Beal on September 4th, 2007 12:42 pm

    Can I switch over a 110V ceiling light to a 12V by rewiring or changing the ballast or something like that? thanks.

  208. HARRY LACHER JR on September 4th, 2007 1:39 pm


  209. Mike on September 4th, 2007 2:33 pm

    I have 4 breakers running my kitchen. The other day all 4 tripped. Two of them are combined to make one, I believe for the range. The other 2 independant ones are for the outlets and garbage disposal. None of them will reset. I do have a GFI in the kitchen also. Any thoughts?

  210. Gary Rossi on September 5th, 2007 2:37 pm

    For Chicago Electrical Code how deep must residential 120v wire be buried and in what type of conduit? Also, how deep is low voltage 12v to be buried and in what type of conduit?

    Thank you.

  211. Stacie on September 6th, 2007 9:36 am

    I am having a house built in NY. The electrician had to move the new, 200A meter main to a new location. In this process, he told me that there were some tight bends of cable in the conduit. In fact for one of the bends, he said he had to heat the cable. This does not sounds like an acceptable practice. Any thoughts? Thanks.

  212. Kelly on September 6th, 2007 1:41 pm

    The back burner on my kenmore range takes hours to cool down. What should I do? Thanks in advance!

  213. Mike on September 7th, 2007 5:47 pm

    My sister bought a typical bathroom fixture (four bulb type), but she wants me to mount it in my nieces room over a mirror on the wall for a makeup desk.

    My question is this: can I buy an extension cord and cut off one end to attach to the light so that it could be plugged into the wall? (the wire would be behind the mirror going to the plug down below.)


  214. Ron Pierce on September 8th, 2007 9:35 am

    Took old outlet out in bath next to vanity………installing ground fault but when I connect the neutral and hot wire the ground fault clicks like crazy . Will I be able to install the ground fault ???

    There is just one wire coming into box


  215. LINDA on September 10th, 2007 8:34 am

    Several outlets in the basement do not work. An electrician was out for another problem and said the outlets are getting power but when you plug something in it does not power the appliance. I have reset all the GFCU switches I can find. What next?

  216. janet on September 10th, 2007 8:55 am

    My mother had an old TV with cable hook-up that worked without problem. She bought a new 32″ High definition TV. When they attempted to hook the cable wire to the TV, they got shocked. She returned that TV and bought another and the same thing happened. She called a licensed electrician who tested here outlets and then told her polarity was important and that specific outlet was wrong. He reversed some wires and told her all was OK. She tried a 3rd TV and the same thing happened. A retired electrician she knows came in and tested all the outlets and told her although the ground wire was connected, somewhere there was break. He replaced the ground wire. She had returned the 3rd TV and the same thing happened with the 4th. The cable box cable works with old tV but she is now paying to have that checked by the cable company. Any suggestions to what may be the cause. The house is about 45 yrs old.

  217. Mia on September 10th, 2007 10:50 am

    We are trying to wire a ceiling fan into the dining room box. The switch current controls a ceiling fan in the dining room, we put a ceiling fan in the living room and bought a single pole 2 switch 3 way combo. We have tried to wire it several times but we can’t get power to the second fan. The original wiring to the dining room fan are red, black , and white. the wiring for the living room is black , white, and brass. How do we wire this so that the top switch turns on the dining room light/fan and the bottom switch runs the ceiling fan in the living room. Please help.

  218. Cavetta Tarr on September 11th, 2007 2:33 pm

    i am installing overhead service to old barn. The distance is about 165′.
    If I use triplex #6/3 cable, what size of a breaker do I have to use?

    Thanks for help.

  219. Joe on September 12th, 2007 8:19 pm

    Hi, I have power running from the service panel to a switch that controls alight. From the light , the power goes into a duplex receptacle. This receptacle is only hot when the switch is on . How can I change it to always hot? Is it OK to run a 12-3 wire from the switch to the light and pigtail the switch?

  220. darian on September 14th, 2007 7:56 am

    Hi all,
    I want to replace the ‘regular’ light switch in my daughters room to be a dimmer unit.
    I have opened the existing switch and it has 3 live connections to the existing switch. 2 of them are connected together and 1 of them is on its own.
    None of the neutral wires are connected, is this normal?
    and how will i go about wiring the dimmer?

  221. Darren on September 16th, 2007 10:00 pm


    I have a home that the tenants, upon leaving, decided to steal a nice kitchen hanging lamp. Unfortunately, they left the box in the ceiling with four bare wires, and two grounds that were connected to each other. The four wires, two whites and two blacks, are coming from two separate pieces of romex bundles The problem is, that the light had a dedicated dimmer switch, and I for the life of me cant figure out how to rewire it. Everytime I do, It end up constant hot, with the dimmer switch, nor any other switch in the kitchen working.

  222. Rob on September 18th, 2007 5:12 pm

    I have a friend who wants to run a 100 amp line out to a barn from his current 200 amp box. Is this possible with just a breaker in the 200 amp box or will I have to run something else. Thanks

  223. Phil on September 21st, 2007 8:35 am

    I’ve wired up a junction box and off it two external lights. The power supply is linked to a fused switch. Currently there is a three amp fuse in the switch.

    When I turn the power on it seems to trip the fuse box so that all sockets in the house don’t work. Happens straight away so don’t even have time to check whether the lights work. Is it likely that I’ve wired the junction bow up wrong (in junction box have input wire where I connected the live, neutral and earth, then internally linked the Live and neural to the two other connectors in the box, then wired one output light to each of the spare connectors plus earth) or is my fuse too small, should I connect up the earths in the Junction box ?

    Any advice much appreciated. Many Thanks

    Many Thanks

  224. Keith on September 22nd, 2007 4:08 pm

    Is there a maximum number of dimers that you can put on one gang box? I would like to put 4 dimmers in a 4 gang box but have heard that it’s too hot.

  225. John Micholle on September 23rd, 2007 12:22 pm

    I have added a mudroom off of my kitchen and the wall I cut the door in had an electric baseboard heater on a 220v circuit. Can I somehow split this into two 110v wires for a plug-in receptical? Thanks, JM

  226. Leslie on September 23rd, 2007 1:12 pm

    In my bathroom I have a single switch that controls the light and fan, with a duplex gfi receptacle. I want to install a dual stack rocker switch so the light and fan can be controlled separately. When I opened it up, all the grounds were capped together. I removed the hots for the fan and light from the single switch and one of them was a continuous loop to the receptacle. I screwed them into the dual rocker switch and turned the power on. It was continually hot. I traced the three grounds and screwed them in – the receptacle worked, but nothing else. I moved the hots around and removed the receptacle ground, but still only the recptacle worked. How do I do this?

  227. Allan on September 24th, 2007 12:43 pm

    I moved into a ’50s home and I am baffled about a unreconized electrical outlet. It is a duplex and each individial recptical has room for two plugs (not at the same time). My voltmeter measure 120v for each receptical. I have searched the web and this outlet remains a mystery.

  228. Scott J on September 24th, 2007 5:29 pm

    I have a receptacle that has 12/3 NM coming in and 12/2 NM going out to power other receptacles in the same room. However, the black wire on the 12/3 is not connected to the receptacle and remains hot/live even when I turn off the breaker that controls the receptacles in the room. The unattached black wire on the 12/3 only goes dead when I turn off the main breaker to the house, which leads me to believe the black wire in the 12/3 is connected directly to the main breaker.

    Any idea why this would be and what should do with this black wire?

  229. patsy on September 24th, 2007 8:20 pm

    I need to know what the code is in Michigan when putting in a new plug in. how high from the foundation should it be? Thank you for any help that yopu can offer

  230. Vince on September 24th, 2007 11:20 pm

    Wiring question: I recently purchased (10) low voltage lights for under my kitchen cabinets from Home Depot. No transformer required. The plug into a strip and then into a standard outlet. Thing is, I want to go directly into the wall and setup a Dimmer switch for the lighting. I plan to take power from an existing outlet on the wall. Wall is accessible and open.

    My plan is to run all low voltage wiring into a platic wall box which will be in the wall and will have a Blank cover on it upon completion. I will run power to the box mentioned above so that the lights have power and in there will be my Dimmer switch.

    I am assuming this to be the case, but why would I not be able to combine 14/2 NM with black low voltage wiring and tie into this a Swtich for lighting?

    I will be splitting the pucks into two sets of (5) and at two locations. Once all is in place I am installing a tumbled marble

    Please advice.

  231. Ren Vendetti on September 25th, 2007 1:53 pm

    Nearly everyday a group of lights and outlets stop working for several hours, then they simply work again. The electric company has come to the house and has not found anything wrong outside (at the Pole, I geuss.) Do you have any idea what the probelm could be?

  232. Tim on September 26th, 2007 4:58 pm

    how do you actually do the load calcualation for a service could you give me and example

  233. les on September 27th, 2007 9:18 am

    is 12/2with round sufficient for a dedicated air conditioner line

  234. Thereca on September 27th, 2007 5:16 pm

    Ok here goes, I have a ceiling fan with light kit that I need desperately. I live in a place with no over head lighting or preexisting electric in the ceiling.. I need both the fan for ventilation and the light for seeing with out killing myself..
    I was told I can wire that to a wire with a plug and plug it in so that when I move I can remove it and fill a couple of holes and not worry from land lord..
    so I bought 15 feet of cord to make a swag.. put on the plug.. and wird the fan to the cord. it worked wonderfully.. except the light still wont come on on the ceiling fan..
    The cord I used has two wires, the fan light combo has a blue wire, a black wire, and a white wire I put the black and blue and one wire from the cord together.. I put the white wire to the other cord wire..
    now here is where I am stuck. there is a green wire that is listed as ground it is screwed to the mounting bracket and the other end is stripped and open(i capped it)
    I assume that is why the light is not working, bcause it did at one time when my ex had it wired in but we broke up and I am not electrically inclined to reinstall this with out asking for help..
    Where would I wire this green bare end to? the white >?

  235. Jay Charney on September 28th, 2007 12:13 pm

    What is the difference between a single pole and double pole 20A breaker? I have some outdoor lighting I need to supply power to, but I only have a double pole 20A circuit to tap into. The only device on this circuit currently is a large room air conditioner. Whould it be safe to run 2 out door lights and switch to this circuit?

  236. John on September 29th, 2007 9:25 am

    I have a push button dimmer switch which operates a 5 bulb (60 watts) fixture. If left on the bitton and switch plate become warm. Is this normal or a bad switch? Thank you.

  237. Nick Holt on September 29th, 2007 9:24 pm

    Dual questions, but related…
    I want to replace my over range light/fan with a over range microwave, however, I just found it’s on the same circuit as all the plugs in the living room (it’s a condo, go figure). It’s a 15 amp circuit. Is it enough to power the microwave without blowing the circuit?
    Second: If, as I suspect, I SHOULD put in a new circuit for it, my breaker box is full. I have some heavy load items that take two slots (stove, furnace, etc.). and the rest are 15 and 20 amp breakers. (don’t know the type, but most of them have a yellow “D” in a square stamped on them).
    Is there a way to make room in the box? IE is there a 1/2″ breaker that combines two breakers in one 1/2 unit without causing any danger? or do I have to add a new box (arrgh)?
    Thanks for your help,


  238. chester / patriot on September 30th, 2007 8:59 am

    What is the differance between braided wire and solid wire? I have a portable work shop and want to run a supply line from the breaker box in the shop to a junksion box on the outside so I can use that point to conect and disconect from the main line in the house about 100 feet away.
    Would solid wire or braided wire be better and what size should I use? I have lathe and radil arm saw in the shop all 110 volt.

  239. Gary Prexta on September 30th, 2007 8:59 pm

    I’m wiring a garage. I have one circut comming in for a garage door opener. Now they want to add a switched light. Can You E Mail a simple wiring diagram?

  240. Bruce Oman on October 2nd, 2007 6:53 am

    I want to install electric baseboard and need to know what size wire to use in the circuit and the size of the breaker required. I expect to use four 1000 watt units.

  241. dawn on October 2nd, 2007 6:17 pm

    hi and thank you for this service!
    i’m a female home remodeller working on an electrical project and hoping you can help me.
    i came across at 12 gauge wire on a 15 amp circuit. since a 15 amp circuit is typically for a 14 gauge wire, can i connect a 14 gauge wire to the end of the 12 gauge wire coming from the 15 amp circuit or do i need to stick with 12 gauge since that’s what’s coming out of the breaker?
    your help is much appreciated!

  242. Rob on October 3rd, 2007 11:53 am

    I hope you can help. I recently moved a washer and dryer to an existing upstairs laundry room where the previous owner had already ran the 220v electrical service and the plumbing. But, when I connected the dryer, the dryer ran but it didn’t produce any heat. Prior to moving the dryer, it worked fine.

    After talking to the dryer repair service and doing some research on the internet, I tested the voltage coming into the outlet box. There are 4 wires (Red, Brown, White and Ground). When testing the Red/White or Brown/White, my meter registers 110. But, if I test Red/Brown, my meter registers nothing.

    Thinking this was not logical, since I was expecting 220v, I purchased a new meter and got the same result. The only other item to note is that these wires are connected to two different breakers.

    Do you have any suggestions on where to start?

    – Rob

  243. Josh H. on October 5th, 2007 4:22 pm

    In buying my home there was already a barn shed out in the yard which was already wired and working good. I recently purchased a gable style shed as well. I installed all the wires properly , turned on the switch, I noticed I was getting power out of the outlet because my battery charger that was plugged in started blinking. It last about 5-10 seconds and then shut off completely. I went to the barn shed and now that outlet itself is not working as well. Any feed back on what this could be ? how can I fix it ? and or your instructions on how to wire the shed so I can walk through one last time…

    Thank you,

  244. Mary Machac on October 6th, 2007 8:40 am

    My husband and I just purchase virgin land in Texas. The property is almost nine acres. We plan to live on the property after retirement and build a home, but for now we plan to build a small cabin-like structure approximately 700 sqt. ft. The electric company stated that they will come out to added the electrical pole and maybe a temporary metered pole….my question is how we remove the temp metered pole to the cabin, once we get the cabin or should we get the cabin first, before the electrical company bring in the metered temp pole?? We are so lost as far as what to do first, water, electric or the cabins, there will be no gas on the property…please help or give advise on what we should do.

    Thanks very much
    *confused Mary :)

  245. Keith Markum on October 6th, 2007 10:22 pm

    In a light circuit, with power and switch on, I measure 120V from Black to White, 70V from Black to Ground. With the circuit switched of I measure close to 0 ohms from Black to White. This indicates a short to me, but the lights, for the most part, are working. Having trouble with flourescent lights on this circuit, but after replacing a ballast, the fixture where these readings were taken is working great. The 4-light fluorescent fixture in question was connected when the readings were first taken, then completely disconnected with the same readings.

    Is this normal, and what should I check to solve this?

    I have wired the 2 houses I have owned, with no problems yet, but I have never seen this before. The house with this problem is probably at least 30 years old, and I did not wire it. It contains mostly 2-prong outlets, so I am surprised to find a ground wire at the lights, but I am not very familiar with the wiring of that era (high school for me).

  246. Rob Rose on October 7th, 2007 7:12 pm

    I am installing a new 20A circuit to add some new cans to the master bedroom area and 1 outlet that will be used for a vanity area (not in the bathroom). The 20A circuit splits into 3 directions in a junction box in the attic- one for the outlet, one for 8 recessed cans (par30/75W @), and 1 branch for 2 cans that are separately 3-way switched. My questions is on this branch (2 cans): the existing 3-way switch wire would be VERY difficult to replace and is 14-3. I know the preferred answer would be to replace but that would be almost impossible. Am I inviting trouble having 14-3 on a 3-way switch leg for 2 lights off of a 20A circuit?

  247. Russ on October 8th, 2007 2:07 pm

    Good Evening
    What will happen if you use one of the new screw in compact fluorescent blubs with a photo cell ? Do they make a compact fluorescent blub that can be used with with a photo cell or dimmer switch.

  248. Richard on October 9th, 2007 11:57 am

    My wife called me one night while I was at work and told me that the lights won’t stay on. The circuit breaker won’t stay on. I concluded later that it had to be the ceiling fan on our main floor. You see we have the old knob and tube wiring throughout most of our house. One of our circuit breakers is on all the lights up stairs and two rooms on our main floor. I managed to get the lights back on, but as soon I turn on turn the light switch for one of the rooms on the main floor the ceiling in that room popped and the circuit breaker went out again. So I took the ceiling fan down and decided to install a light fixture. The idea was to minimize the the ampage to the one circuit breaker. It doesn’t work. There is two lines of knob and tube coming from the ceiling and two lines from the light fixture. I connected it, turning the light on…nothing…switched the wires turned the light on and nothing! Note, I did turn the circuit break back on. Please help Thanks Richard

  249. brad on October 10th, 2007 6:56 pm

    I would like to run wiring from a breaker box to a switch that goes to a light fixture and then runs to an outlet, but i would like to have the switch control the light but have power in the outlet at all times.

    Is this possible.


  250. Paula on October 10th, 2007 7:43 pm

    My outlets in my bathroom suddenly stopped working, but the rest of them work fine in my house. I checked the circuit breaker, no problem there, and the lights work? Any ideas?

  251. Frank on October 11th, 2007 1:53 pm

    What would happen if two single pole switches were inadvertently wired to the same light and were both turned on ? The switches are wired in parellel.Would the effect be the same if both switches were on the same circuit as it would if the switches were on two different circuits ?

  252. Aden on October 11th, 2007 3:47 pm

    Hey there just a little question. I have been an electrician for almost 9 years now and I ran into an interesting question.. High power transmission lines go almost everywhere now a days, and I normally look up at them, but I started to notice that birds were not landing the phases, but they were landing on the neutral. I wondered about it so I checked out a lineman landing on wires from a helicopter and there was a massive arc that went from the line to the helicopter. Just wondering if birds dont land on these lines because of that? Heard many people say birds are different because they have thick skin and all kinds of stuff I didnt really believe let me know what you think.

  253. Kathy on October 12th, 2007 9:42 am

    Hi, we took apart a hot tub pump to replace a seal. The wires came off and we are wondering how they go back together. There is a white and a black that go into the pump and a black and a yellow that come out of the pump. We are not sure where the yellow or white should go. Any ideas?
    Thank you,

  254. robert on October 12th, 2007 5:49 pm

    Hello I just wanted to know if you can put 2 romex 12-2 wires in one hole of a single gang switch box? I have read the code book for my city and there is no code against it. But the home inspector came and told me that was incorrect. What would you know about this.

  255. Pat on October 12th, 2007 7:07 pm

    Heres my question.: In my main breaker box on both sides of the breakers , there is a neutral bar on one side and a ground bar on the other. is it ok to mix the wires or should I keep all the ground (bare wires) on one side and the neutral (White color ) on the other? some bare and some white on the same side. If this is NOT good, Can I buy something to lengthen the wires to fix the problem, ie bare on one side and white on the other?

  256. shawn on October 12th, 2007 8:06 pm


    I’am helping a friend wire his finished basement. He has a 1 gfi receptacle on a 20amp breaker and that is all on that circuit, how many receptacles can we add to the load side of this gfi and should we use 20 amp receptacles, if we use 20amp receptacles will all lighting and t.v.’s that are rated for 15amp 120v operate with any problems on this 20 amp circuit. Also he wants to replace an existing light and add eight recessed lights, the light is wired i’am sure with 14/2 and a 3 way wiring method can we remove the existing light and put eight recessed lights on this circuit
    can we put these eight recessed lights on a 3 way dimmer switch. thank you for any help you can give. this will be good practice for me i’am a first year apprentice.

  257. RYAN on October 13th, 2007 7:08 am


  258. Mike on October 16th, 2007 12:56 pm

    Hey I have had trouble with my kitchen light outlet. The outlet is not working at all despite any bulbs I try. Everything else in the kitchen is working fine it is just the 1 outlet that is a problem. Is there a quick fix I can try?

  259. Lauren on October 19th, 2007 8:02 am

    In my bathroom there is a light above the sink and one by the shower. This morning I went to go flip the switch for the one my the shower and nothing happened. I changed the bulb, but that did not help. The light above the sink works just fine. What might be the problem?

  260. carig on October 19th, 2007 8:22 pm

    I was planning on putting in some base board heaters in the cabin. I’m not sure what size breaker to use or wire size, I plan on adding 5 heaters (6 ft 4ft 2-3ft 2ft) the 6 and 4 will be on one circuit and the 2-3ft an 1ft on another circuit. Do I add up the watts for wire size or just use the highest watt, and do I just add up the amps for breaker size. The heaters are mainly going to be used to keep the place warm from freezing in the winter while it sits empty or not in uses about 50 degrees.

  261. Dave on October 19th, 2007 11:39 pm

    I have an Amana heavy duty laundry dryer, model #LE8217W2, 23 amp, 5400 watt. It has a 220 electrical cord and I have a 110 outlet in my house. Is there such a transformer that converts the 220 plug to 110 without doing any changes to the outlet? When I go to Europe the reverse is no problem.
    Thanks for you input……….Dave

  262. Dr L on October 20th, 2007 12:27 pm

    I am installing a new Jenn-air cooktop that has four wires: red, black, white and green. My electric supply has two blue wires and a white wire. I understand that I need to connect the blue wires to red and black wires, but I’m confused on the green wire (ground to frame of unit) that the instructions say should be connected the unit’s white wire. Do I connect both the white and green wires of the cooktop to the white wire of the supply or not connect the green wire at all?

  263. Aaron on October 20th, 2007 1:08 pm

    I was drilling into a wll and hit a wire that sparked and knocked out all the power in one room to include outlets. I tripped the breaker back on but I’m not sure how bad I damaged the wire because the lights came back on. Although, when I plugged into one of the outlets across the room it Arked and shot sparks from the outlet and a different breaker tripped in my power box. Do I need to call an electrician? Should I shut off the breaker for this particular set of wiring in this room? Is there the possibility that I can cause a fire in the wall? or do you think it will be ok because the power came back on in the room once I flipped the breaker?

  264. yvette on October 21st, 2007 2:25 pm

    hi i have a two part question please. since we moved in our house almost 3 years ago (we had it built, bad experience) when you turn on lights sometimes you can hear a pop also lately i notice that when i turn on the light in the master bathroom it makes the tv in the master bedroom blink. i just starting seeing this happen. what is going on please?

  265. John on October 21st, 2007 3:09 pm

    I am replacing a light switch in my dining room. After replacing the defective switch, there is no power to the switch after I switch the breaker back on. All the oulets work that are on th esame breaker, and so do the other 2 switches. What is wrong?

  266. Chip Hindes on October 21st, 2007 6:18 pm

    I have a double floodlight outside my garage with darkness and motion sensor, maybe ten years old.

    When one of the floodlights burned out recently, I decided to go green and replace both lights with the new compact flourescent type.

    First, the new lights didn’t screw into to existing fixtures as they had a fatter base (the glass part not the screw in part) than the original incandescent floodlights. This was kind of annoying as there was no indication on the advertizing or packaging for the new lights that they might not fit in existing fixtures.

    So anyway, I went back to the home store and bought two new bases and installed them.

    The lights now work but the motion detector doesn’t. It is a Universal RE100A model.

    Normally you can turn the light on indefinitely (i.e., disabling the darkness and motion detector) by turning the switch off and back on within three seconds. This works.

    Then, you are supposed to be able to put the lights on automatic (motiion detector) mode by leaving the switch off in excess of three seconds before turning it back on. This does not work. It worked before I replaced the lights. I tried diddling with the sensitivity of the motion and the darkenss detectors and the timing, but nothing works. Is there something strange about flourescents which makes them not work with this older controller?

    I’m a fair number of dollars into this right now and I hate to give up and return to incandescent. I will replace the controller if necessary, but it seems there’s no guarantee a new one will work either. I noticed, for instance, that a $16 double floodllight kit with motion controller specifies “incandescent”. Does this mean it won’t work with my CF bulbs? I understand why conventional dimmer switches don’t work with flousescents, but these are really only on-off switches.

    Thanks in advance for your help.

  267. kevin lowery on October 22nd, 2007 5:24 pm

    i would like the answer to melanie’s question from June 3rd. i have attached the 4 prong as instructed in your site (very well done). i, too, am hesitant to start it with the internal ground wire just hanging there. thanks so much.

    cell 7035876556

  268. Shane Durkin on October 23rd, 2007 4:02 pm

    I want to add two double sockets and add two lights to my detached brick garage which is roughly 50ft away from the house.What size armoured cable would this be? Also would this mean adding a sub-unit in the garage feeding from the a socket of a ring in the house or adding a MCB to the house’s Consumer Unit and running the cable up to the garage into a fused spur?

  269. Jill Rash on October 25th, 2007 2:31 pm

    I have a strange problem. Last night my husband and I heard a very loud buzzing sound-kind of like a buzzer in a garage or shop-coming from the upstairs. It lasted about 15 sec. My husband sais that this happened a few months ago in our daughter’s room, and he smelled an “electrial” type odor. Everything seems to be working fine. Can you help?

  270. john on October 26th, 2007 8:19 pm

    I have installed a 1 and 1/2 ” pvc conduit from the panel to the crawl space approximately 5’so I could install wires to the panel. I would like to know how many romex wires I can put into the conduit One is a 10-2 with ground to water heater. I am new to this site I see the questions however I do not see to many answers. Hope you can help. John

  271. Richard SMith on October 27th, 2007 1:41 am

    I am hooking up a combo oven microwave where an older double oven used to be. The line from the panel is 6 awg 4-wire, 7-strand (each wire) aluminum wiring. My new combo oven is 8AWG copper . I have all the proper lugs and anti-oxidant for the connection, but my problem is that the L1, L2 and Neutral from the panel are not identified and are all sheathed the same (Black). How can I determine which is which?

  272. Duke Edwards on October 27th, 2007 1:21 pm

    I have 2 circuits that share the same nuetral wire, but have their own hot wires. With a normal outlet in the first spot on circuit one, everything on both circuits work fine and measure fine. When I put a GFI in the place of outlet 1, when I touch the nuetral wire from circuit 2 to ciruit one so that it goes back to the panel, it trips the GFI. So how do I fix this? Do I have to run a seperate nuetral to circuit 2 so it has it’s own?

  273. Neda Burapavong on October 29th, 2007 3:00 pm

    I would like to plug in my treadmill, but the only outlets in the room are two-prong. Is it sufficient to buy a 2 to 3-prong adaptor (ie – no ground), or do I need to ground the outlet?

  274. Dennis P on October 29th, 2007 6:35 pm

    I have a Halloween project… Im trying to make a project using both 12v and 110. I have a washing machine solenoid (110) hooked up to an air compressor. I also have a 12v light system that I have powered by a landscaping electrical transformer. Im trying to see what type of switch I can use (DPDT?) to turn them both on at the same time, and how I would wire this. Any Ideas?

  275. John K. on October 30th, 2007 10:28 am

    I have a four lamp flouresent fixture that requires a ballast replacement. I removed the ballast and purchased a new one. The person at the place told me the one I purchased would work. However I noticed some differences and hence have not opened the new one. Here are the differences:

    Old: 120 volts 60 hertz 1.57 amps
    New: 120 volts 60 hertz 0.94 amps

    Old: Advance standard REB-4P32-SC
    New Advance standard REL-4P32-SC

    Will this new ballast work?


  276. Rob Sampson on October 31st, 2007 10:06 pm


    This site is great. I don’t want to put any electricians out of a job but sometimes its handy to know how to fix something simple yourself. I have two questions.

    1) I need to complete the installation of a new electric stove and basically I have the BX cable coming from the electrical panel and the wire coming from the new stove which is some kind of black rubber insulated wire. The question is being that this is 240V, is there any different procedure to installing a junction box and wire nutting everything together as opposed to any other 120V junction box?

    2) My home has Radiant electric heat (panels in the ceiling) and I want to replace the thermostats as they are old and some of them do not seem to function properly. I have looked online at thermostats and there seems to be many different kinds. I don’t know if my system is 120V or 240V or if its single or double pole.. or single or double throw? All I know is I that my current thermostats are simple dial thermostats, not digital or anything and they have 4 wires connected, 2 black and 2 white. From the gauge of the wire, I am confident that these are line voltage but thats all I know. I am quite certain I can change them out but how do I know what to buy?

    Thanks a million,


  277. Justin on November 1st, 2007 5:25 pm

    hello, i am wondering, i have a 100 amp household breaker box and i am having AEP do a service drop to a new meter and they say i need a emergency disconnect in the line between the meter and the breaker box. But i don’t know what size disconnect i need, will a 60 amp work or do i have to have a 100 amp?

  278. Bill N on November 3rd, 2007 3:59 am

    Hi, I have a new bathroom light bar to go over a medicine cabinet. The old cabinet had a pull chain and a plug on it. with all that removed i am left with a wire that is hot! it has a white,black and a ground,how do i wire in a pull chain switch to the light bar..Thanks

  279. Tracey on November 4th, 2007 2:46 pm

    I saw a post here that ask the same question I have, but no response was posted. My question as andrew on July 28th 2007 at 1:28 pm put it;
    “How can I determine energy usage on a per circuit basis?…. Ideally I would like to be able to measure usage per circuit at the breaker panel.”

    I have a lot of electrical appliances, motors, and devices that I use in my home. My energy bill is getting out of control and I would like to determine where (on which circuit) my big energy consumers are. I can then isolate my search to find way’s to reduce our home energy consumption. I know that some applicance use alot of energy, but I would like to be able to measure how much. Is there a device that I could connect to the breakers in the service panel to measure the usage over time? I am not an electrician but I did all of the wiring on my 1 yr old home and am quite proud of my work.
    Thanks for your help.

  280. Bill Filbert on November 5th, 2007 3:48 pm

    I have flood lights around the house and four locations in the house for light switches that can turn them on and off. They stopped working and I am assuming it is because one of the switches went bad. How can I check the switches to see if one is bad? If they still do not work after checking the switches is there a possible other cause?

  281. Lee Hill on November 5th, 2007 7:59 pm

    I have a 220 line running from the house to the water pump. The line consist of the two hot wires and a common. Can I tie into one of the hots and the common at the well and have a 110 to service an outside light?

    Thank you, Lee Hill

  282. Rob Nigro on November 6th, 2007 3:23 pm

    Hi there- first of all, thanks for having this site available- it’s a great resource.

    I have a question about residential breaker boxes. I am selling my condo, and the buyer’s inspector said that the cover to my unit’s breaker box is not up to code, because of how it fits over the breaker switches. I am confused to hear that, because the box cover is metal and fully covers all switches and latches shut against the wall. The electrician who looked at it said it will cost $250 to make a new cover that is “up to code,” or about $650 to replace the whole box.

    Does this sound right to you? I bought the condo just two years ago, and it passed inspection then and also passed City inspection when it was redeveloped just a few months before I bought it. The City gave an occupancy permit for the building units at that time.

    Thanks very much for any help you can provide.



  283. Scott on November 6th, 2007 4:33 pm

    I am replacing a 220V baseboard heater with two 110V in floor heat mats. Can I use the existing wires and breaker (I am replacing the thermostat with one designed for the mats) and wire the mats in series as 220V?

  284. Greg on November 7th, 2007 3:23 pm

    I have a precor treadmill. Each time after starting it cold (its been off for a few days) it blows the circuit breaker (CB rated at 20A + treadmill is 13A, requires 20A fuse). After I reset the circuit breaker then turn the treadmill back on, it works fine. The cycle repeats after leaving the treadmill off for a few days. If I connect the treadmill to an extention cord, it works fine without blowing circuit. Any thoughts on how to fix?

  285. Greg on November 7th, 2007 3:27 pm

    One more thing….the treadmill is the only thing on the circuit

  286. Tom Brown on November 7th, 2007 9:50 pm

    What is the reason for a plug with two short leads and one long lead?

  287. Tom Brown on November 7th, 2007 9:54 pm

    What is the preferred lighting in a building? Example low sodium, high intensity or florescent

  288. Justin Weisenbach on November 8th, 2007 3:34 pm

    I lost power to the upstairs of my house. I changed the circuit breaker in case that was bad, but that did nothing. I was wondering what else could be the problem. Thanks.

  289. mike on November 8th, 2007 9:16 pm

    hi there i bought a house that had a garage that was converted into a family room everything was working fine but now i dont have any electricity in this room. I went up into the attic to check the wires thinking maybe they got looe but they werent i also tried replacing a breaker that i thought could be the problem but it wasnt do you have any other suggetions of what it might be?

  290. Adam on November 9th, 2007 12:00 pm

    I am replacing an existing ceiling fan, but I would like to wire it differently than the way it was. It was set up that the light and fan were both controlled by the lightswitch. I would like to install it so there is power to the fan constantly so it is run off the chain and the light works off the switch. When I took off the old fan it had blue and black wires from the fan connected to a white wire out of the ceiling, and then the white wire off the fan connected to a different white wire from the ceiling as well. In the box there are four “groups” (white and black insulated together) coming into it, two from the direction of the light switch and two going out to the other wall where there is a wall plug and the bedroom bathroom is located. If you could give me some guidelines on how to wire this fan up and what wires in the box to use I would greatly appreciate it.

  291. tekmann on November 9th, 2007 12:46 pm

    First let me apologize since I am a total newb when it comes to electricity. My trade is computers and other than the basic electrical concepts, I am lost when it comes to troubleshooting anything electrical.

    I recently moved into an old apartment building (built in the early 1900’s) and saw that the room had a three pronged outlet. So I immediately thought that the outlets were grounded. After I moved in, it occurred to me to test the outlets with a circuit tester (the kind that has three bulbs on it) and two out of the three outlets come up as “open ground”. Well, the middle bulb is lit and the left and right bulb are dim, so I am not sure what that means.

    Anyway, this causes me concern since I live on the second floor and it is quite humid up there, thereby increasing chances of static electricity.

    I’ve emailed a few city officials about this to see if I have any recourse if my landlord puts up a stink about it, but my question is if there is anything I could buy to alleviate the risk of a potential problem. APC makes UPS battery backups that have “Power Conditioning”, so I am not sure if that would address this grounding problem or not.

    If not, is there any electrical appliance that I could get that would protect my precious computer equipment from an ungrounded outlet?

  292. Scott Ansert on November 9th, 2007 7:22 pm

    When terminating branch circuits at the main panel, do the neutrals and grounds have to go to their respective terminal bars or can they each be landed on both? In my panel, the ground bus is on the right and the neutral is on the left. So when bringing in my branch circuits, on the right side of the box,couldnt I just land the neutral and ground on the bus bar on the right side? After all, the neutral and ground are tied together at the main panel. I just want to make sure that isnt a code issue. Thanks!

  293. Marc Brandon on November 10th, 2007 2:13 pm

    is the ac disconnect bonded back to the panel? ANd is it ok by code to ground a satellite dish to the ac disconnect?

  294. Ed Moulder on November 11th, 2007 10:44 am

    I am subdividing some land for residential home lots.
    The homes will be of avarage size and I am determining what size transformers we will need.
    The locations will have between 3 and 49 total units. This is on an island where things tend to fail sooner than in other locations, so sometimes more smaller units are better than one large unit. Is there a standard alocation per home?

  295. Lynne on November 11th, 2007 9:05 pm

    I have a ceiling fan/overhead light unit and one bulb went out about a week ago (both bulbs have been in the unit for a very long time since the light is used infrequently). Today, the light was on when I heard a loud pop and the other bulb went out. I replaced both bulbs and when I switch the light on, neither lights up. I put both bulbs in another lamp and they are not defective. Any thoughts as to what might have happened? The fan still works; but I’m afraid to use it now.

  296. Jodie Mutchler on November 12th, 2007 7:27 am

    Help!!! I am trying to install a chandelier in my dining room. We had an existing chandelier that we removed and just put a cover over until we found a new style that I liked. There is an existing dimmer switch and two outlets are being fed from this same circuit. We have tried and tried to get the new chandelier hooked up to no avail. In the ceiling box there are three white wires, three black wires, ground wires and a red wire. In the dimmer switch there is a black and red wire hooked up to the screws. We thought that we kept the right wires hooked up when we replaced the ceiling box, but we must not have. The chandelier has a live wire, a neutral wire and a ground wire. Can you help?

  297. Mary on November 12th, 2007 9:29 am

    I am installing a ceiling fan (replacing light fixture) The fan does not have a pull chain. There is a black wire, white wire, black/white wire and a green ground wire from the fan. My house has aluminum wiring – the fixture has a black wire, white wire and a bare aluminum wire.

    I have connected white to white, black to black ALSO connected the black/white wire to the black wire and I connected the green ground wire to the bare aluminum wire. But my fan/light does not work. Can you tell me what I have done wrong? THANKS!!!!

  298. Travis Herl on November 13th, 2007 10:42 am

    I have a room that at one time had a switched receptacle. All of the plugs in the room are currently hot regardless of switch position.

    Could there be something wrong with the switch or receptacle?
    Did someone just disconnect the switch?
    What’s the easiest way to tell which receptacle was controlled by the switch?

    Thank You

  299. Henry on November 16th, 2007 12:22 am

    I just moved into a new apartment and purchased a new television. After connecting the TV to the standard coaxial cable line, I found that the picture was distorted.

    The cable company sent someone to work on the problem and we noticed arcing across the coaxial line when connecting the TV to the wall outlet. The cable man insisted it was the TV causing this, so we returned the TV for a replacement and have encountered the same problem.

    After calling the cable company, they insist that there is no current coming through their line.

    What are the chances that this is a Television problem? Where could this current be coming from? When the cable guy comes again, what is the best method to determine where the current is coming from?

  300. Anthony on November 19th, 2007 3:33 am

    I am very confused regarding light switches and the word “gang”.
    All over the internet there are conflicting answers, if 1 person says that it is the amount of switches then another will say no it’s the amount of wires going to each switch and someone else will say it’s the size of the box.

    My example is that I was looking at buying a specific light switch that has 2 physical switches on it but it is available in “1 gang” “2 gang” and “3 gang”.

    Based on my example it does not seem that gang has anything to do with the amount of physical switches on the fitting.

    If you can please help out with a final answer to what the difference between 1, 2 and 3 gang is then I would realy appreciate it.

  301. Mike on November 19th, 2007 9:41 am

    I am wiring a new residence. I there any NEC height requirement for running the wire horizontally through stud bays.

  302. BBBertram on November 21st, 2007 8:35 am

    Do circuit breaker tracers/finders really work? I have tried a couple and they only narrow the search down to 6 or7 breakers which isn’t much help. Is there one you recommend?

  303. mike bucknall on November 26th, 2007 9:36 am

    this is a confusing question i hope you can help
    i recently re wired a home in bulgaria the home required 5 loops 3 for the plug sockets and lighting 1 for the boiler and 1 for the cooker, the mains board consisted of 5 x 25amp trip switches and 1 x mains switch of 60 amps all necessary checks were carried out sucessfully and the house ran without problems for 3 months. the mains supply to the house (bulgarian electric ) is supplied through a 80 amp glass fuse prior to entry into the mains fused box. on hand over to the customer every thing was a ok however the owner of the house left the home alone for 3 months on his return this month he pluged in a 2 bar heater the type you buy from your local store this immeaditly blew the glass fuse 80 amps but did not trip the trip switches not being there i can only assume the mains box has been tampered with, or the supply to the home is faulty, after all i lived in the home during the rewiring and ran a no of big pull appliances like the cooker and tumble dryier i also ran an electric cement mixer as well as various industrial tools, i really would appreciate an input from yourself you may reply directly to my email address if you so wish
    best regards and keep up the good work
    mike bucknall

  304. Chris on November 26th, 2007 7:09 pm

    I recently wired a low voltage floor warming system. I have 4 pairs of 24 Volt wire in conduit to power terminal boards. I checked the system before final wiring and now after I completed the wiring one piece of conduit gets warm? Is this caused by an exposed wire that might have been created during pulling the rest of the wire through the conduit. I checked the junction box, and terminal box have no heat at all. All the terminal boards also read 24 volts. Or is 8 wires of 14Guage to many through conduit.

  305. Ken Lawrence on December 9th, 2007 6:42 pm

    Can the electrical panel be installed in the bathroom of a residence

  306. Helen Prinold on December 17th, 2007 9:18 am

    When I plug anything into the plug in our basement garage, the lights in the upstairs kitchen on the other side of the house flicker all the time.

    Should I just not plug stuff in and am I just overloading a circuit, or does this indicate some kind of significant wiring issue?

    Can you give me any sense of is this an emergency (call asap and don’t plug anything in outlet until they come), or a “take your time and call someone to have a look, you may need to adjust the load the circuit is able to carry” situation? Is there any way I can tell without a service call?


  307. James Harris on December 19th, 2007 1:57 pm

    I live in Mo and recently lost power for several days. I had a 5000 watt
    generator, was using it and it quit on me. I purchased another 5000 watt
    generator to use in the emergency.

    When I get the original generator fixed can I someway wire them togather
    and have 10000 watts availabe for my energency home use?

    Thanks for any reply
    James Harris

  308. c wo on December 20th, 2007 1:26 pm

    I added an outlet to an existing one already had two black wires on one side, and two whites on the other side, plus a ground wire.

    I added the new black wire to the brass screw directly, and the new white to the silver plus the ground wire to the existing ground wire.

    So now one side has one black on the upper screw and two black ones on the lower screw. Same for the white wires going to the silver screws.

    Is this safe ? It works, but just want to make sure if this is safe and if this passes code.

  309. Sheena on January 29th, 2008 7:56 am

    I am installing recessed lights in my basement. Can I use 14-2 wiring instead of 14-3?

  310. Wayne Gilchrist on February 1st, 2008 5:14 pm

    Hi Sheena,

    You should be able to, it just depends on how you are going to wire the lights. If you only need switched power at your lights, then 14/2 will work. If you need constant power and switched power at your lights, then you need 14/3. There could also be several other variations. I really need more information on what you are doing to give you a definitive answer.

  311. chas on February 7th, 2008 6:07 am

    I have a computer and a battary backup that is constanly blowing a circuit in my house. I have disconennected the lazer printer and it still trips the circuit. 1) the circuit is a ground fault 15 amp and I used 14-2 wire. Can I upgrade to 20amp or might there be something else wrong.

    When I relocate the computer the circuit stays non interupted. When I switch to a circuit that is not ground fault the 15amp breaker doesn’t trip.

    It is ground fault because it is in my basement.

    Thank you

  312. Darterdave on February 7th, 2008 11:59 pm

    I’m currently remodeling my basement and since everything old is torn down I thought it would be a good time to install a new service panel (I currently have a FPE Stab-Lok 125 amp panel with a 50 amp double pole main breaker). I have #3 AWG feeders. Does that mean that I can install a 150 amp panel? Or, could/should I install a 200 amp main lug load center and equip it with, say, a 60 or 70 amp double pole main breaker giving me the option to upgrade to a 200 amp meter base in the future, without another new panel, if need be?

    Thanks for your time.

  313. Darhl E. Fuller on February 9th, 2008 8:50 am

    Building a new two unit condo that requires a 100 amp panel. Can we use
    a 200 amp double meter base with two 100amp disconnects.

  314. angela weller on February 12th, 2008 7:49 am

    I arrived home last night my outside lights were off , my garage would not work
    the inside lights in garage were off, However early in the afternoon I did
    use the keypad to enter the house, but when I arrived home from work
    the outside lights which come on automatically and garage lights and door
    would not work, Please Please help and tell me what I need to do.

    thank you

  315. Hal Bern on February 23rd, 2008 3:21 pm

    I am trying to install 6 or 7 flourescent fixtures in line off one switch. I connect the blacks together and whites together and then run a 12/2 line to the next fixture. All the fixtures are grounded. However the only fisxure that lights up is the first one. Each fixture works independently when connected to a power source. The power is getting all the way thru the circuit when tested with a circuit tester. Do you have any suggestions?

  316. mark on February 25th, 2008 5:34 pm

    in a new house the bathroom G F I . are all bath outlet are to be on one circut, with nothing else on that circut?

  317. Peter Merrill on March 2nd, 2008 6:32 pm

    I am having a dimmer switch situation. I have added a junction box to accomidate a high on the wall mounted Flat screen TV, I had problems from the get go because I jumped off a lower wall mounted wall receptacle up to the new box higher on the wall, but as I found out it was connected thru a dimmer switch. When I finally got power to both receptacles that are slaced thru the dimmer, I found that my TV was making a noise. I switched the plug to the top half of the receptacle and the noise stopped. I definitely know that the switched outlets can not handle the power the TV needs to operate. I would like to do away with the dimmer, so that I have the required power to use with the newly mounted box up high on the wall. Ant help with this would be greatly appreciated. THANK YOU!!!!

  318. Mike on March 7th, 2008 7:33 pm

    I have a house built in 1937. I just want to make I sure It’s safe to swap out the old single pole basement light switch, with a new illuminated switch, that has a place to attach a grounding wire. (My house old black and white wires have no ground)

  319. lorin on March 8th, 2008 7:18 pm


  320. lorin on March 10th, 2008 9:00 am

    how long can extension cords be example i want to run power to back of my property about 300 feet to run power tools i want to join multiple cords to reach will this provide enough electricity to run my power tools and would it throw breakers? i heard you lose power the longer the cord is ,is this true? and what happens if i do it any way. thank you very much for your help. Lorin

  321. tim carlson on March 12th, 2008 5:38 pm


  322. chris on March 22nd, 2008 5:07 pm

    I built a room in my basement and want to make the light run off a single pole switch. As of now all five lights are on a typical three way sitch with 14/3 wire, I want to make this light independent of the rest with a single pole swith and 12/2 wire. Can I get the power from the existing 14/3 that is at the light or do I have to connect somewhere else?

  323. Winston on March 26th, 2008 2:04 pm

    I installed 3 ceiling fans using a 16 gauge extension cord ( 2 25 feet and 1 50 feet long) and I plug it in the garage outlet/receptacle to get a power. Is this safe using the extension cord or do I replace it with 14 gauge wire/extension cord.

  324. Winston on March 31st, 2008 7:08 pm

    Please need your answer on I installed 3 ceiling fans using a 16 gauge extension cord ( 2 25 feet and 1 50 feet long) and I plug it in the garage outlet/receptacle to get a power. Is this safe using the extension cord or do I replace it with 14 gauge wire/extension cord?

  325. gmoney on April 18th, 2008 7:31 pm

    I found someone’s electric cooktop and electric oven on one 50 amp circuit.
    Is this okay , or are they required to be on their own individual circuits?

  326. Dan Schicker on April 21st, 2008 3:49 pm

    I need to find info on upgrading a residential electrical service to 200 amp. Where do you find this info. The property is located in Kent, NY. I have tried calling the Underwritters for the area but all he tells me is to give im a call when ready for the inspection. I have installed seveal new or upgraded services and the local power company has helped out but not this time. An examble would be the Ground Rod(s) needed and how far apart.

  327. Jeff on April 21st, 2008 9:11 pm

    Hopefully this is a simple question. My circuit box has your standard array of 15, 20 and larger amp circuit breakers, but at the very bottom of each column there are different circuit breakers. One is a 15 amp breaker with a blue toggle switch, and one is a 20 amp breaker with a red toggle switch. All of the other circuits are labelled, but these two are not. I always like to know what each circuit breaker controls. I would also like to know why these two have different colored toggle swtches. Hope you can enlighten me!

  328. John WHite on April 27th, 2008 9:17 pm

    What is two black wires attached to a single fuse or breaker lug?

    Is it a double loop, double tap, a two for one, or a 2x loop tap

  329. Bob Rogers on April 30th, 2008 12:21 am

    How would I wire a switch and outlets as follows:
    Power (2 wire)
    switch (single pole, double pole?)
    3 wire
    outlet (bottom switched, top always hot)
    outlet (bottom switched, top always hot)
    outlet both top and bottom always hot
    2 wire
    outlet both top and bottom always hot
    outlet both top and bottom always hot
    outlet both top and bottom always hot
    outlet both top and bottom always hot

    This is a remodel, and most of the outlets have not been touched. We are adding a switched outlet after the switch and did not pay enough attention when we took down a wall and wiring.

    Bob Rogers

  330. lloyd on May 2nd, 2008 2:52 pm

    How do you calculate the amount of wire needed to wire a building for lights and plugs.

  331. Ben on May 9th, 2008 10:45 am

    I have a Kenmore 90 Series Dryer.

    I am switching back to the original 4 prong connector from the 3 prong but forgot the locations of the wires. I am assuming that the WHITE is the neutral and goes in the middle. The RED and BLACK go on the left and right. The GREEN goes to the location marked “External Ground Connector”. Now there is a GREEN/YELLOW STRIPE wire coming from the inside. I am guessing that goes with the WHITE wire? This would be the second ground wire?

  332. jeff wotherspoon on May 16th, 2008 9:43 am

    I have a cottage at a lake with a square D 200 amp panel. I am adding an aditional panel box 50 meters away with a 100 amp service. I have bought the breaker and the square D water proof panel. I am using concentric wire. I opened up the water proof panel box and it is quite different fom the main panel box. there is a lug on the far left side, 2 lugs to the right, one uper and one lower. I know i have run a ground plate from the groung bar.

    I think one of the black wires goes to the left and the other goes to the lower right and the copper braded goes to the upper right.

    With the 100 amp breaker I think the 2 black wires goto the breaker, and the braided wire goes where the white wires go.

    I thank you for your comments on my problem. I can’t seem to find installation instructions on the internet, and where I live it is really hard to find an electrition willing to come hook it up.

  333. nathan on May 16th, 2008 7:23 pm

    My wife and I are looking at homes. The one we like only has 30amps. How difficult and expensive would it be to re-wire the home and upgrade to 100amps? I would probably be able to pull the majority of the wires myself.

  334. Everett Clausen on May 19th, 2008 10:02 am

    While drilling metal the other day, the drill bound up and obviously blew something as the line was dead. I checked the circuit breaker and it was not tripped to OFF . In any event I toggled it several times but it did not restore power to the outlet. I removed the outlet cover and checked the connections with a circuit tester and no power to the outlet.
    I wonder if you have any ideas on the cause or solution to this

    Thanks Everett

  335. joseph on June 11th, 2008 9:32 pm

    1. need advise: I took the 4 burner electric element with the top frame from a 220v electric range along with the 4 knob control panel for the burners (I am making a Japanese teppanyakki table) which I plan to place under a 2?x4? sheet of stainless steel #304 as a heat source for my grill/table. when I followed the wires from the burners to the control panel then to the terminal block – the ONLY 2 wires connected to the 4 burner control panel are red and blue (both hot 110v each) there is NO white common wire to the top 4 burner element. the grounding strap is in place connecting the frame and terminal post center together. a three wire plug was used to power the stove – my question I have a dedicated 220v 50amp GFI breaker – i connect the red and blue of the electric 4 burner to the 2 hot wires in the breaker – I think I should connect the ground from the breaker to the metal frame of the 4 burners via the third wire of the 3 prone cord that came with the stove (since there is no actual white wire needed) by connecting the ground – will this shut off the GFI breaker in the case of electric shock?

  336. Tom Maslar on June 16th, 2008 5:11 pm

    I have a 200 AMP Main Service in the garage with yet another 100AMP SUB Panel to the basement coming off the main 200AMP Panel using a 100AMP Breaker and #2/3 cable from the 100AMP Breraker to the Sub Panel Load Center Connectors in the Basement, said sub-panel used to supply current to various outlets and appliances. When I checked with PP&L the Utility Company about the service coming into the main panel they tell me it is the same guage even if I had a 400AMP service.

    My question pertains to an American Home AWH24 120amp Tankless Water Heater that has three seperater heater elements each element with it’s own #8 AWG wires (Red & Black) each set of wires get attached to one of the three 40AMP Breakers (one double pole 40amp and one single pole 40amp breaker equivalent to three 40amp breakers.) one Ground from the Water Heater goes to the Ground in the Load Center Sub Panel.Hookup.

    When the house was constructed the Electrician installed yet another 125AMP Breaker in the Main Lug Loadcenter in the garage and ran the #2 wire (three wires & a ground) to the basement for future use.

    Now what I intend to do if it is safe and feasable is to install a second Load Center (Breakrer Box) in the basement affix the #2/2 guage cable to the load terminals one to theNeutral Bar one4 to the Ground bar. Then install the Double Pole 40amp and one single pole 40Amp and run the total of six # 8wires one red and one black for each element from the Water Heater to the 40amp breakers and the ground to the ground bar. Can you advise if all that I have said is acceptable.

  337. dametri on June 25th, 2008 7:48 am

    my question is, i have a dishwasher that i know works cuz i tried it before installing it and there is 120voltscoming and going from the breaker(which is a 15amp split breaker between the D/W and the Garbage Disposal, which works) , light swtich and the dishwasher itself, but the D/W is not working???? thats seems like an electrical problem because the D/W works just not in this apartment… can u help???

  338. Robb Moss on July 7th, 2008 11:55 am

    I want to hang a bug zapper about 60’from my house, nothing else will be on the line. What size and type of wire should I use to do this. I will be pluging it into a ground fault plug.

    Thanks in advance for your good help.


  339. Colleen on July 11th, 2008 10:16 am

    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.

  340. Don Allen on July 14th, 2008 1:46 pm

    I installed a koi pond in my yard and had a electrician run a wire to a GFI box on a pole which supplies power to my pump for the waterfall and pond circulation. Recently during two thunderstorms the GFI has tripped at the post outside but not at the breaker in the inside box. The lightning from the storms was not all that bad but it still causes my pump to stop running to circulate the water. Could it be that the GFI receptacle is not properly grounded at the receptacle outside? Really has me stumped. Appreciate any thoughts or help you may share.

    Thank you in advance for your help.

    Don Allen

  341. Steve on July 18th, 2008 1:53 pm


    I’m installing a power attic vent, already have it mounted and the thermostat wired according to the manufactures instructions. I’d like to tap an existing light/junction fixture box for power which is confusing me a little bit.

    The area was wired for a kitchen (it hasn’t been changed over to one though) prior to my purchasing the home so I’m fairly certain that it is a 20amp circuit as all the wiring is done with 12/2 instead of 14/2 I don’t think I have any 15amp breakers in my box anyway. So this should be ample service for my vent.

    I’ve also wired my attic vent with 12/2 for consistency as well.

    My light fixture/junction is located in a convenient place so if I can get some help with tapping it that’d be great.

    So there are two 12/2 wires going into the fixture/junction. There is a white and black connected to the actual light which is operated by a switch. Black is hot and white is dead until the switch is on to complete the circuit.

    There is also a white joined to a black my tester shows this is also hot. I do believe it is related to an outlet on the circuit. If I connect my black from the attic exhaust to this group I know it’s my common hot.

    But that leaves me a live black and dead white connected to my light to have as a common neutral if I use the white my fan logically won’t have power/a completed circuit until the switch is on.

    So can I / should I use the black as my common neutral? I would think so, but I’d like to confirm it.

    By the way I’m located in Rotterdam/Schenectady NY I read above that you have done work in this location. As far as I know a homeowner can still do his or her own wiring I had noticed a question regarding that issue as well.

    Thanks in advanced,


  342. Kim on August 4th, 2008 7:47 pm

    Hello, I have a three wire cable into my house from my old generator (recently passed away) I need to get 240 into my house via this cable. My new generator has a 120/240 volt twist lock 4 pin receptacle. Can you tell my how i wire my 4 pin plug with my 3 wire cable to get 240 volt from this recepticle, or should i change the receptacle at the generator to a 3 pin and join two 120 volt cables together at this point. (i think this is what my electrician did with the first generator

  343. na on August 5th, 2008 5:45 pm

    Is there a California code that requires you install a flourscent light under you cabinet over the kitchen sink when you remodel? What is this code and why?
    Thank you,

  344. Brian on September 21st, 2008 12:21 pm

    Hopefully someone here can help. My in-laws just bought a house that has a barn. The previous owners ran power wires from the house to the barn – these are the same thickness wires as are run from the powerpole to the house for a 200amp connection. I’m thinking of the following setup. From the house existing breaker box, run appropriate wire from a 50 or 60 Amp breaker to a simple on/off box where the other wire comes in. Connecting the thinner wire to one side and the thicker wire to the other side of this switch. Then in the barn hooking up a second breaker box and running all barn wiring from that. Will there be any issue with the thicker wire between the house and barn – it’s about 100yards underground to the barn.


  345. Tom on September 23rd, 2008 6:57 pm


    I have a Cutler-Hammer 200A 40/40 main panel and have filled up all the breaker spaces on both sides of the panel. On the left side of the panel, I have a combination of 12 GFCI and AFCI breakers installed, along with 8 standard breakers. By my calculations, I then need individual terminals for 24 AFCI/GFCI neutrals (since AFCI or GFCI breakers each have an additional curly neutral which requires its own terminal), plus 8 terminals for the standard breaker’s neutrals. Since my panel only allows up to 3 -12ga. ground wires per terminal, I’m out of terminals on the left neutral/ground bus in the panel (I count 34 holes per side)
    Are longer ground buses available for main panels (I checked on the Cutler-Hammer site, but can’t find any), or is it permissible to wire an additional neutral/ground bus in a panel? If so, can an additional bus be connected to the present neutral/ground bus with solid #4 copper, and does it have to be independently bonded to the main panel? (I live in Minnesota)

  346. J. W. Roberts on September 30th, 2008 4:59 am

    I have recently had some wiring done for electric baseboard heaters. I want to know how to connect up the thermostats. There are three sets of wires coming into the box. One is power, one goes to the heater, and the other goes to the next thermostat.

  347. james topps on October 3rd, 2008 5:59 am

    I have a 200 amp service in my house and i am running power out to my barn
    I am using 2-2-4 wire. I put aa 100 amp box in my barn. so in turn I bought a 100amp breaker to put in the 200 amp box in house. out to the barn i hooked up the 2-2 wire to the100 amp serve and i put the 4 wire on the nuetral bar then i hooked up a bare number 4 copper wire and ran it to two ground rods 8ft deep 7ft apart hopefully this is right so fair . the only problem i have is that i do not know
    if i have to hook up the two 2-2 wire right directly into the 100 amp breaker in the house because the breaker has two spots to hook wire into. I pretty sure I will put the 4 wire on th nuetral ground bars. also am i supposed to swap wires?
    i am so confused

  348. jw on October 5th, 2008 9:18 am

    After shutting power off to the rooms I was working on, I checked the outlets to make sure the screws that hold the aluminum wiring were tight. I found that the bottom socket in a two socket receptacle had no wiring around it and the top was looped around (Im told this was a short cut sometimes used by electricians) which is why it’s never had power to it. I cut the wires then looped around bottom screws to provide power, which both sockets now have. When I turned to circuit breaker back on, the lights in three other rms. that were on the same circuit won’t come on. The receptacles work, just not the lights. I have gone through the entire line of light switches and receptacles on that circuit but everything is tight. Any suggestions?

  349. Tim S on October 6th, 2008 9:14 am

    I have THREE 120V Lightcraft track lights controlled by (2) 600V single pole slide dimmer switches. One switch (Left) has 2 wire %2B ground and is jumped to the other switch (Right)and this send the power to 2 of the lights. The Right switch box also has a 2 wire and ALSO a 3 wire (Black, White and Red and grnd) Wiring was configured as such inside the box: -left switch The 2 wire white was pigtailed to black in the right box(hot wire)from the existing 2 wire that came into the right box. There was a jumper added and connected right dimmer switch wire. The black from the left switch pigtailed to the black of the 3 wire and is pigtailed and rolled up. The white from the 3 wire and the white from 2 wire coming into right box pigtailed and ends there. The RED from the 3 wire was connected to the dimmer switch wire. I also need to tell you that when I turn off the power it also turns off the bathroom lights as well as part of my bedroom. I think this is significant because the bathroom light is controlled by a 3 way toggle dimmer switch one end and a single pole switch on the other end. I believe this is where I get the 3 wire coming into my switch I am working on. I want to replace the old ugly dimmers with one new toggle dimmer like the one for the bathroom, eliminate the left switch and consolidate into the right switch box plus I want to remove one of the track lights from the equation, leaving just 2 tracks on 1 dimmer switch. I took out the left switch, pigtailed the 3 wire black to 2 wire black and 3 wire white to 2 wire white and grounds to each other. It was suggested to me that I terminate the Red and connect the white and black and ground to the switch. I did that and turned the power back on and the light was ON, eve though the switch was OFF. I switched the light on and it arced and burned out the switch. The breaker did not pop though, which concerns me. I turned off power. I tried pigtailing the whites together leave in box, and pigtailing blacks together and send the blacks and red to the a new dimmer switch. I turned power back on and the light was on again. This time, I did not try to turn the switch on. What am I doing wrong? Sorry for the lengthy explanation. I did draw out the original wiring to the switches. Can I send it to you?

  350. John on October 16th, 2008 12:45 pm

    My family lives in a 19-year old 3-story townhome with an attached common wall. Our next door neighbors moved out and new ones moved in a little over a year ago. A week after they moved in, all of the power on the third level (all bedrooms, etc.) began to go out and you could hear the inside circuit breaker tripping in our master bedroom. This went on for a few more weeks and after it would happen, I would walk outside to see that the main circuit breaker panel would be left open, but no one was there so I would close it back. In time, our television downstairs would turn on/off on it’s own, the master bathroom lights would flicker when turned on, and our computer would lose internet connectivity repeatedly as well as shut down on it’s own while plugged into any upstairs a/c electrical outlet. These occurrences never happened with the old neighbors. We contacted the Power Company and they sent out a technician who explained to us that someone had tampered with the outside breaker panel and that it required being locked down as this was all he could do. Not too long afterwards, we began to experience higher voltage than normal coming through the a/c outlets which resulted in the following components being “fried”: 2 computer monitors, a pc system board, a 300gigabyte external hard disk (lost all data after power surge), Xbox 360, and a few other items (items mentioned had been connected to non-overloaded UPS surge protected equipment). We contacted our home warranty insurance and had 4 different electricians come in to investigate as they literally all said the same thing – – “there might be a problem but can’t figure out what it could be because it’s not happening at the time.” We also attempted to speak to the neighbors about the issue(s), but they were not very cooperative. We had to then hire an independent electrical contracting company to come in and do extensive testing to which the troubleshooting electrician committed to paper that “he believes our home’s electrical appears to be tapped by someone on our grid.” What would you recommend we do to resolve this problem as well as isolate and protect our electricity? Thanks for your help.

  351. carlos lazen on October 20th, 2008 8:10 pm

    how close to a cooktop an outlet can be install.

  352. gaetano on October 21st, 2008 5:47 pm

    I just recieved my new table saw for my shop it is a 600 volt 3 phase
    can i hook it up directly to my electrical panel on 3 circuit breakers??
    P.s the shop has a 45 KVA transformer 600 volts.
    If not then how can i hook it up ….Thanks

  353. arthur civatte on October 28th, 2008 8:42 am

    how to hook up a six inch fan to draw heat from the attic in the winter during sunny days controlled by a thermostat. arthur

  354. Mari Jarvis on November 10th, 2008 6:00 pm

    Everytime I turn on my hot tub the circuit breaker pops out. Why? Is there a simple fix? Thanks so much,

  355. Kemon Dukas on November 15th, 2008 9:52 am

    I would like to control two lights from one switched receptacle Thank you,Kemon Dukas

  356. patricia L. Mireles on November 21st, 2008 2:27 pm

    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?

  357. Gilbert Raimbert on November 24th, 2008 12:47 pm

    I want to wire a transformer to construct an arc welder. I do not know how to determine the primary and secondary wire sizes and number of turns.
    lamination core = 1.75 in.
    lamination stack = 3.0 ln.
    please help !!!

    note . supply voltage = 230ac

  358. Carl on November 27th, 2008 9:10 am

    I added a receptable to a bathroom. I used a tester and touched the ground wire and black wire i have power but if i touch the black and red wire no tester but i have powwer in the receptable
    It appears the groung wire iand black is feeding the receptable.. i
    checked and I do have all ground wires connected and all black wires connected
    and all wihte wires connected. there is 2 other light connect to to this junction box.

    Any ideas?

  359. David Figaro on November 30th, 2008 12:22 pm

    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.

  360. chanda on November 30th, 2008 5:28 pm


  361. Frank on December 21st, 2008 10:43 am

    I have an outlet in our family roomthat is no longer working properly. It is only reading 30v ac when I test with my meter. I have replaced the receptacle with no change and have checked the wires connected to it.

    There is an outlet on the other side of the wall in a bedroom that is on the same circuit and it works fine as does all the other outlets.

    Also on the circuit is a hall light with a dimmer switch.

    Any ideas?


  362. Stan on January 2nd, 2009 11:21 am

    At my cabin the washer drains into a dry well. The main electrical service is underground and enters the house very near that drywell. If we do several loads of laundry and I use the outside faucet in the same general area, I sometimes get a slight shock if wet or if on wet ground and touching the metal handle. (I have measured this at 4 to 7 volts AC). My electric system is grounded also in that general area. Would this go away if I ran a ground line from the main circuit box to the laundry cold water pipe? (Or would this just make it worse?

  363. wayne carver on January 3rd, 2009 7:08 pm

    i want to install three different lights into my ceiling in my building, how do i run the wires into one switch

  364. john on January 7th, 2009 9:30 pm

    Hi i am currently going to school to obtain my journymans,in my third question is what year nec book and section tells you the requirements for 18 inch centers for recepticles mounted above finished floor ln residential applications.The 2008 nec book tells me nothing about what i am looking for.Thanks john.

  365. Louis Mangiacapra on January 23rd, 2009 7:48 am

    I want to connect from my service entrance to my workshop. I would like to bring 100 or 150 amp service to my shop. I have 2″ conduit buried already. My service entrance is a 200 amp panel. My question is how large is the wire that I need to run for either 100 or 150 amp service?

  366. bob on February 3rd, 2009 6:39 pm

    i have a new treadmil that trips the afci breaker when first turned on but is fine when breaker is reset

  367. Steve on February 4th, 2009 2:21 am

    I am installing a new load center to replace my zenco. Problem is that it does not have enough space for the cks I have. The new panel is a Siemens but does not indicate that I can use qt breakers. If I can use 4 20 amp qt breakers it will work. Can I do this. The breakers will fit. I cannot seem to find a tech support on the Siemens web site. Thanks,

  368. Kevin on February 11th, 2009 7:51 am

    I am installing a garbarge disposal in my kitchen, but there is currently no pre-run electrical for the new appliance. However, there is an outlet placed near the sink where you would usually see a switch for the garbage disposal so, I’m wondering… How would I go about converting that outlet into a switch for the disposal?

    My concerns are, how to insert a switch there without interrupting the rest of the outlets on the blacksplash/countertop circuit? and Is it ok to put something that draws 10.2 amps on a backsplash circuit running on a 15 amp breaker? Will I run the risk of tripping the breaker if I happen to be making coffee or toast when I run the disposal?

    Your advice will be much appreciated!

  369. Les on March 16th, 2009 7:02 pm

    I have just finished putting new outlets and switches in my customers house. She had the old 70’s style devices that the wires pushed into holes in the back of the devices. You would have power in and power out feeding another outlet and if you had a bad connection or a wire had popped out, you would lose power to the rest of that circuit. What a nightmare! I’ve counted about 100 oulets and switches that I have changed. My problem is that when I installed GFI outlets in all the bathrooms, kitchen, utility room, bar, and outside outlets, all worked great except the one bathroom that has two three way switches that control vanity lights. Every time I turn on the lights the GFI’s blow. I inspected the light fixtures and found no problem. I feel like there is a split neutral or there may still be an outlet I missed with a neutral that is barely making contact. Do you have any ideas short of putting the GFI’s on a seperate circuit?


  370. Shelia on September 11th, 2009 9:10 pm

    Concern, about 3- 5minutes , after turning my ceiling light switch off ; I hear a soft sound rattling or vibration. I am wondering what this is. Ceiling lights are part of a ceiling fan, 4 bulbs. I have had the fan for 10 years, I just starting hearing this sound. Only when the light is turned off. Please advise and Thanks is advance.

  371. Kelly on March 5th, 2010 5:36 pm

    I have 2 questions that are related. When there is an outlet wire (20amp) coming from the fuse box going to the first outlet box and it is too short to reach the outlet box. What can be done to lengthen the wire besides running a new wire? Such as, I have seen instances were someone soldered a 6 inch piece of wire and taped up the soldered joints to reach the outlet box. But I do not think that is legal. What is the legal way to lengthen the wire?

    Why is it not legal to hide a junction box in a wall or ceiling? It seems safe to me. It is metal. Nails or screws can’t penetrate it. I can more easily nail through a legally run wire then I can a metal junction box. Everyone says it is illegal but no one seems to know why? A lot of people try to make an educated guess. But no one seems to be sure.

    Thanks Kelly

  372. Gary Holzworth on March 9th, 2010 11:17 am

    OK, here’s the problem. I own a 4 unit townhouse in central Ohio. One of the units gets extremely high electric bill during the months of January, and February. As much as $50.00 to $75.00 higher than the other 3 units. Can you give me some insight on where to start looking for the problem. Do base board heaters have a tendency to draw more amps as they age causing the spike in the bill? This is the second winter we have experienced this problem with two different tenants, obviously their going to move out after their agreement is finished. We’re going to try turning off the breakers to the baseboards and look to see if there is a reduction of speed on the wheel of the electric meter. This might be an indicator I don’t know. Whats your thought about it?

  373. joe on April 29th, 2010 9:35 pm

    I need to know if one can put a dishwasher beside an electric range and still be within code. thanks joe

  374. Gus Vigil on May 14th, 2010 12:27 pm

    I have a living room ceiling light is connected directly( black to black, white to white, and green to green) to the dinning room ceiling light wiring. A switfch controls both. What is the best way for to intall a separte control switch? The home is rather old and the current switch has only a black and white wiring.

    I appreciate your time.

  375. adrian dean on May 17th, 2010 5:55 am

    how do I go from a 4 prong twistlock to a 3 prong dryer plug? I have a porter cable generator and want to be able to use my welding machine away from home

  376. Shirley Fabley on May 20th, 2010 8:01 am

    We are trying to put in a new gcfi receptacle instead of the old 3 prong outlet. We have 3 black wires, 3 white wires and a ground. We are not sure which black/white wire goes where but after many unsuccessful attempts, it still doesn’t work. Any suggestions?

  377. ray brooks on May 31st, 2010 3:26 pm

    I lost power a few times last winter and have the following questions. I have a master cut off breaker on the house, so;
    Can I power the house (except for the heat pump) by pluging the generator into the outside recepticle?
    Would it only charge the circuit it is pluged into?
    If so, is there a male/male cord made or marketed for this or can I make one?
    If I make one should it be a high amp cord, or would it over tax the system?

  378. cinda dewerff on June 15th, 2010 7:48 pm

    i have two recepticles in bathrm that are not working but everything else seems to be. nothing seems to be tripped on elect. box either. what could be the problem?

  379. jerry on June 20th, 2010 7:33 pm

    I wish to put two fluorewscent lights together with one pull switch> How do I wire it ?

  380. Brian Caslick on January 30th, 2011 11:32 am

    What gauge of wire do I use for a kitchen split circuit? 12 or 14. I know I need 3 plus a ground, but I don’t remember if it is 12 or 14 gauge.

  381. Nathan on March 12th, 2011 10:39 pm

    Went to check the hot water heater at a rental property and the 220 on the to legs read 0 on the voltmeter, but individual they both read 120 each. What is the cause, it was working perfectly before. Thanks

  382. Kyal on September 19th, 2011 3:18 pm

    I have a dual switch in a bedroom. One switch controls the light and one switch controls the fourth plug in on dual receptacles. The lights are on one breaker and the receptacles on their own also. I changed the receptacles to white along with the switches exactly the way they were wired before with red black ground and red and now my fourth outlet is hot all the time and does not work with switch?? I used single pole switches, is that my problem? do I need to use a double pole switch??

  383. Loren Harbison on September 26th, 2011 7:24 pm

    I have a double gang box whith light switches in it. The face plate will not go on because it hits trim that is around a window near box. Is there any way I can move light switches over 3/8 inch inside double gang box so face plate will bypass trim and go flush to wall. I do not want to cut side of face plate to make it fit. Also cutting trim so face plate will fit is a no go. Guy who put trim on window has trim over lapping the double gang box by 3/8 inch I need to move switches over so face plate will fit. Or any other way to make face plate fit so it looks good. P.S I can put original face plate back on that home owner took off. It is already cut on one side so it will fit. Home owner dose not like the way this looks.

  384. Ronnie on October 10th, 2011 11:42 am

    I want to replace a wired timer for my carriage lights. The new timer has a black, red, white and green wire. The junction box has a black, red, white and 2 blue wires. I know black is to black, red is to red. I tried white to white with capping off the blue wires. The timer works. However, the lights are not working.

  385. Alice Strang on October 12th, 2011 6:22 pm

    The long florescent light across the top of my control panel on my electric clothes dryer came on by itself,and I haven’t a clue as to how I might turn it off. Any ideas?

  386. RJ Ducain on December 31st, 2011 4:58 pm

    On a single three wire kitchen plug system (Red,Black.White,& Ground) there are 4 split receptical kitchen plugs. All the individual recepticals have the top as one circuit and the botom is a separate circuit. How would I wire in to the main panel two separate 15 Amp Federal Stab Loc Ground Fault breakers to protect these circuits? On each breaker the instructions say to use Load Power and Load Neutral on main screws of the breaker and the supplied neutral wire coming out of the breaker is to go to the main panel neutral bus bar. That works for the first 15 Amp GFI breaker but where do I get the second Neutral Load wire for the second 15 Amp breaker?

  387. lance on January 4th, 2012 11:17 am

    how do i wire 2 switches in a 4gang box on a generator

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