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Ceiling Fans Turning Off and On Mysteriously, Rule of Thumb for Voltage Drop and Dryer Configurations

May 11, 2010

DIY Electrical Wiring Help Nelson Boudreau asks:
I have three fans that come on and off by themselves what’s wrong?

It’s hard to say. Did you check for loose connections? Are the fans controlled by a remote control? Another remote could be on the same frequency.


Chris Salamida asks:
I am running a 20 amp dedicated circuit for a 2 hp swimming pool pump. I was going to use 12/3 romex in PVC conduit. It occurred to me that since the pump is approximately 60-80 feet away from the source I may have to increase the 12/3 to 10/3. Any rules of thumb for this?

The rule of thumb is you are fine for the first 150′ then increase your wire size by 1 for every 100′ thereafter. However, it is best to do the calculation for longer runs or for runs with larger wire.

One problem with your design is that you can’t install romex in any type of conduit. The wires get too hot because of the outer sheath. You need to strip off the outer sheath or better yet, just buy some individual conductors to install in the PVC.

Pools are tricky and should be left to the professionals; in my opinion. Remember, electricity and water do not mix. At the very least, make sure that you get a permit for this project. You definitely want an inspector to sign off and verify that everything is done properly.


John asks:
I just bought a home with just the 2 hot wires and a neutral hanging from the ceiling in the basement (3 prong). My dryer has a 4 prong cord so I bought a 4 prong receptacle and put the two hot wires in the corresponding holes in the receptacle and put the neutral wire where it goes so there is nothing in the ground in the receptacle end, but the dryer turns on. Should I hook that ground up to the ground screw in the dryer panel or just buy a 3 prong cord and 3 prong receptacle and bonding strap? I don’t want to use it til I know it’s safe.

My recommendation is to always upgrade your wiring to 4 wires. However, if this can’t be done very easily, then you need to go with the 3-prong, 3-wire configuration.


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