Home Improvement Electrical

Lights Dim When AC Turns On? (Possible Causes & Fixes)

There is no mistaking when the AC comes on in your house.  Not only can you hear the condensing unit start, the lights in the house flicker, dimming for a few moments each time.  What does it mean with the lights dim each time the AC turns on?

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Is Surge Protection Required By Code?

The most common causes of  electrical surges come from internal sources within your home, which can send hundreds of thousands of volts through your system at once. When the voltage goes up throughout your house at this velocity, all sorts of things can happen- including fires from overheated wires to tripped breakers and short-circuiting outlets.

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Common Questions About AFCI Requirements In Homes

Every homeowner understands the importance of electrical safety. Sure, this isn’t something one thinks of daily, as usually there isn’t cause to think about the electrical systems in your home. You turn your lights on, use appliances, and go about your day without considering all that’s required to reliably provide your home with electricity day in and day out.

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GFCI Outlet Buzzing? (Possible Causes & Fixes)

Ensuring that your wall outlets, GFCI included, are functioning properly is essential to the prevention of electrical fires, short circuits, and other possible electrical problems in the home. If your GFCI outlet is buzzing, this could be a result of a number of different issues. Their main purpose is to prevent electrocution, and when you’re experiencing any sort of malfunction with your GFCI, it’s important that you troubleshoot and fix the problem as soon as possible.

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What Gauge Wire For 50 Amp 220v?

It is crucial to ensure that wiring is appropriately sized for the amperage rating of the circuit. Whenever you need to extend a circuit, rewire it, or install a new one, using the correct gauge wire is essential. So, that being said, what gauge of wire would you use for a 50 amp 220v?

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Are Dimmer Switches Safe? (Find Out Now!)

Recently, I typed up an entire article about the way that dimmer switches run hot. As someone who grew up in a home where dimmers were a thing, I was pretty shocked to hear how hot they get. Dimmer switches apparently have a reputation for that. Unsurprisingly, some people believe they’re unsafe. I can’t blame them, if they never experienced it. It’s a debate worth discussing. Are dimmer switches safe?

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What To Do If Your Doorbell Wires Are Not Labeled? (Do This!)

If your doorbell wires are not labeled, then you need to locate the chime and the low-voltage transformer. The chime could be in your living room, kitchen, or another open area. The transformer may be near your electrical panel, garage, or mechanical room.

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How Many Outlets Can Be On A 20-Amp Circuit? (Find Out Now!)

Each home’s electrical panel has circuit breakers that act as a safety device for your home. They are each is designed in a way so as to cut power off when the current that passes through exceeds the designated rating.

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Can You Put Insulation Over Electrical Wires? (Find Out Now!)

You may be building your new dream home, remodeling your present home, or simply upgrading the insulation on your attic. Batt or loose insulation is often the easiest for the do-it-yourselfer to install insulation. Many homeowners wonder if you can put insulation over the electrical wires in your home.

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Can IC Rated Lights Be Covered With Insulation? (Find Out Now!)

Downlights, also referred to as recessed lights, are a very popular and cost-effective way to provide lighting to your living spaces. They are installed in both new constructions and home renovation projects, providing many advantages to homeowners that lack the space for traditional lighting fixtures. Recessed lights can be easily tucked in between ceiling joists to add extra lighting and ambiance, with the need for pendant or freestanding fixtures.

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What Is The Cost To Replace A Ballast?

A ballast is a passive electrical component used to limit the amount of current in an electrical circuit. Ballasts are used in industrial fluorescent lighting and typically last upwards of twenty years. However, cold environments and bad light bulbs can reduce their lifespan.

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Can You Turn A Light Switch Into An Outlet? (Find Out Now!)

If you have a light switch that you hardly use, it might be more beneficial to convert it into an outlet. But can that even be done? The answer is a resounding yes!

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Can I Share My Electricity With My Neighbor?

It’s no secret that heating your home with electricity can be expensive. Because of that, it may have crossed your mind to share the burden with a neighbor instead of paying for everything on your own. That begs the question: is this even possible?

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How To Reduce Your Electric Bill

The shock of a massive electric bill is enough to make any homeowner want to curb their energy consumption. Whether it be in the dead heat of summer or the harsh cold of winter, you can’t simply go without heating or cooling. Luckily, there are some great ways to reduce your electric bill and save energy.

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Why Is Electrical Wire So Expensive? (Find Out Now!)

Whether you’re in the midst of a new construction project or rewiring a house, purchasing electrical wire is a must. The overall price of wires varies based on material and square footage, but there’s more to the story, too.

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Reverse Polarity Dangers: Ways To Test & Repair

When you get shocked by an appliance you thought worked correctly it can be startling or downright scary. This shock is reverse polarity, and it can be a very serious potential problem.  It damages electronics and can even cause severe electric shock. This problem is fixable. There are even simple ways to test for it.

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What Wire Size For 30 Amp 240 Volt Circuit?

Wiring your home is a tricky business. There are all sorts of factors to take into account when you start planning an electrical project that involves re-wiring. There are the safety considerations, the locations and the appliances themselves. You even need to take special care when choosing all your electrical wire to make sure it can withstand the electrical demands. So when you are choosing the wire for a 30 amp 240 volt circuit, what gauge should you select?

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How Many Watts Can A 200 Amp Panel Handle? (Find Out Now!)

It isn’t typically something we give much thought to until we plug in that appliance or flip the light switch, only to have everything in the room go black. Then, the question of how many watts can our  amp panel handle becomes one of the first things we start thinking about. Funny, how being left in the dark can inspire us to seek answers. And in this case, those answers will be about the power that literally gives us the light we need to see.

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10 Amazing Ways To Conceal An Electrical Panel

Electrical panels stick out like a sore thumb, and while they are practical, they are also visually unappealing. These eyesores are a necessary evil, but you don’t have to necessarily see them for them to be useful. There are several amazing ways to conceal an electrical panel and still access it.

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Why Do I Have Two Black Wires On My Light Switch?

How many people does it take to change a light bulb? This old joke comes with a variety of tongue-in-cheek answers. However, when we start talking about changing a light switch, the jokes die down a bit. Changing out your old almond light switch for a more modern look is not as hard as it may seem. However, if you are new to the game, it is better to call an electrician or try it out under the eye of someone experienced in the field.

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What Size Wire Is Needed For 60-Amp Breaker? (Find Out Now!)

Your circuit breaker is a crucial part of your electrical panel that functions as a safety precaution should too much power pass through the wires. Rather than letting the power surge through the wire, it will temporarily shut off to protect the breaker and the electrical panel.

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How Much Does Electrical Panel Replacement Cost?

Upgrading your home can be done in a variety of ways. Some folks pursue those upgrades by redesigning their home, building new rooms, or perhaps purchasing more appliances. In the long run, one of the best upgrades you can secure for your home is a replacement electrical panel.

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How Far Can You Run A 10-Gauge Wire?

You have your new shop or utility shed built and ready to go. Part of the plan is to run electrical service to the new structure from your home. However, the question of what size wire is required to get electricity to your new utility shed. What kinds of distance can you get if you use 10-gauge wire?

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Is Romex Legal In Illinois?

So, you live in Illinois, and you are updating or remodeling your home. As you begin the demolition, you immediately find that all the electrical wiring inside the walls is metallic conduit.

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How To Find What A Light Switch Controls (Do This!)

Every house seems to have that one light switch that controls nothing. I have several in my house. It can be quite frustrating, but fear not! There are a few ways to hunt down what your mystery switch controls.

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Why Does My Light Switch Get Hot? (Find Out Now!)

If your light switch is hot to the touch, it could be related to a few different reasons. But the biggest thing to note is a hot light switch is a fire waiting to happen. As soon as you notice the temperature is warmer than warm, call a professional right away.

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Can Neutral And Ground Wires Be On The Same Bus Bar?

Many homeowners get confused about their electrical system when talking about neutrals and grounds. This confusion can lead to questions about how the circuit breaker box in your home is wired. Is it permissible to have the neutral wires and the ground wires in your home’s electrical system connected to the same bus bar in the electrical panel?

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How Many Amps Does A Water Heater Use? (Find Out Now!)

People often tend to forget about things they grow used to in a home. A water heater is one of those appliances that are well hidden we tend to forget. The only time we know, it is there is when the hot water is not working.

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Can Romex Be Exposed In The Garage?

Electrical wiring is not only for the main areas of the house anymore. Modern homes may see electrical wiring throughout the property, running into sheds, garages, and even patios or decks. It only makes sense with the prevalence of flat-screen televisions as they can be placed just about anywhere with a simple electrical connection.

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How Much Does It Cost To Rewire A House?

House rewiring is one of the heftiest projects a homeowner can expect. Nonetheless, it is a necessary one to keep your house safe and compliant.

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What Amp Light Switch Do I Need? (Find Out Now!)

The purpose of light switches and dimmers is to open and close electrical circuits, which control the light fixture. Before installing or replacing a light switch, it’s important to ensure that the switch you choose matches the amperage rating and voltage of where it’s going to be mounted. For this reason, you may find yourself asking: What amp light switch do I need?

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What Is A Tamper-Resistant Receptacle? (Find Out Now!)

When you first have kids or get a new pet, one of the things that you need to do is consider baby-proofing your home. There are a lot of hazards in and around your home that you may need to watch out for. For example, almost everything electronic can be hazardous to young kids. That’s why people are told to get tamper-resistant receptacles. But, what on earth is a tamper-resistant receptacle supposed to be?

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How Much Does It Cost To Hook Up Electricity To A Mobile Home?

Mobile homes offer the chance to reduce costs and move in quickly. Land preparation is much easier and cheaper than building a traditional brick-and-mortar home, and that makes mobile homes quite enticing. So, how much does it cost to hook up electricity to a mobile home?

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Power Goes Off, Then Comes Back On? (Here's Why)

It is understandable to be concerned when your power goes out and comes right back on. The power can go out without explanation and come right back on baffling any homeowner. So, what does it mean when the power goes out and comes back on, and should you be concerned?

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Why Are My Lights Flickering?

Flickering lights can be a scary sight to behold in both horror movies and real life. Your lights can flicker for a variety of reasons, but it’s hard to pinpoint the cause if you are inexperienced with electrical work. Many homeowners ask themselves: why are my lights flickering and how do I fix them?

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Can I Wire A Baseboard Heater To An Electrical Outlet?

Adding baseboard heating units to an existing home is one way to increase the heating capabilities quickly and efficiently. Electric baseboard heaters are relatively easy to install and comparatively cost-effective. Providing the electrical power to baseboard heating can be challenging. Many homeowners wonder if they can wire a baseboard heater to an existing electrical outlet.

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What Is The Difference Between A Single And Double Pole Switch?

Switches are used for operating lights, fans, garbage disposal, and even large electrical mechanisms. However, not all switches are the same. Planning out which switches and sockets to have in your home bears many questions.

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Do Smart Plugs Save Energy?

Countless homeowners have done everything that they can to transform their houses into smart homes. It’s easy to overlook certain simple devices that make it easier to go about your day as a homeowner, such as smart plugs. So, do smart plugs save energy?

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Can Two GFCI Outlets Be On The Same Circuit? (Find Out Now!)

Electrical work is one of the hardest things to wrap your head around as a homeowner, and that comes right down to outlets. The standard outlet for American homes is the ground fault circuit interrupter or GFCI outlet. They are effective and protect you from electrical shock, but can two GFCI outlets be used on the same circuit?

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Do Smart Bulbs Use Electricity When Off?

Deciding whether or not to upgrade your lighting to smart lighting is a big decision. There is, of course, the initial investment. At $30 or $40 a bulb, switching your entire home over to smart bulbs is no small price to pay. But the benefits are numerous.

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How Many Outlets Can Be On A 15 Amp Circuit? (Find Out Now!)

Outlets allow us to power the modern necessities in life, running electricity to our lighting, appliances, or phone chargers. Having outlets in convenient locations around the house is ideal and can help make life easier. In most modern homes, there is usually at least one outlet on every wall. To keep homes safe, code dictates how many outlets can go onto a 15 amp circuit, standard for most homes.

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What Size Generator Do You Need To Run A Water Heater?

During Superstorm Sandy, most of my neighborhood was out of power. Having a warm shower felt like a distant memory, unless you had that one “bougie” neighbor with a generator. I was lucky enough to be friends with a millionaire’s daughter at the time. So, I got a shower. Part of getting that warm water involved knowing what size generator they needed to run a water heater.

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Square D Homeline Vs. Qo: Which Circuit Breaker Is Better?

Choosing a new breaker is an important decision. Your home’s electrical system is comprised of several fail-safes meant to keep both you and the breaker safe. Homeline and QO breakers are among the most popular and effective on the market, so how are they different?

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How Many Receptacles Can Be On A 20 Amp Circuit?

Wiring branch circuits in your home can be complicated and a bit tricky. There are numerous codes and regulations to consider as you install the circuit breakers, wiring, receptacles and lighting fixtures. One issue requiring more than a little attention is the number of receptacles installed on a 20-amp branch circuit.

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How To Tell If An Outlet Is 110v Or 220v (Find Out Now!)

We tend to take our power outlets for granted. They are seemingly just there to accommodate our every need without batting an eyelash. But there are two main types of power outlets to be aware of: 110V and 220V.

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Why Electrical Outlets Don't Work: Tips to Troubleshot and Fix

Electrical wall outlets are some unobtrusive but important parts of our home. Think of how many items depend on your electrical outlets to provide power consistently. We hardly give them a thought as we pug and unplug various devices expecting them to work. However, it can be frustrating and confusing when one or more electrical outlets in your home quit working.

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EMT Vs. Rigid Conduit: What Are The Major Differences?

It is easy to understand why electrical wiring needs to be protected from damage or exposure to the elements. Your local electrical code will often require that electrical wiring be run through a conduit of some kind. There are a variety of different conduits available. EMT (Electrical Metallic Tubing) and rigid conduit are two of the most common. It is important to understand the difference between these two products.

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Can You Use A Junction Box To Extend Wiring? (Find Out Now!)

There are many reasons for homeowners to want more accessible wiring. To do this, electrical work is needed, which often brings up the question “can you use a junction box to extend the wiring?”

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How To Check Continuity In A Long Wire (Quickly & Easily!)

Doing your own electrician work means that you will have to make sure that the wires you’re installing have continuity. This isn’t always easy to do. A non-continuous wire is usually the cause of a non-functioning circuit, a sudden power outage, or other problems in your grid. With short lines, it’s a cinch. Long lines? Not so much…

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Neutral And Ground On Same Bar In The Subpanel? (Fix It Now!)

The electrical components of your home or business can require professional intervention much of the time for good reason. Not only is it a complicated setup, especially to DIYers, but it is dangerous as well. Plus there is the potential of installation going wrong on top of all that.

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How To Install A Sub-Panel In A Detached Garage

When building or refurbishing an area other than the home on your property, there will be a wide range of specific services that need to be attended to. One of those services is the electrical wiring and sub-panel.

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Why Do Dimmer Switches Get Hot? (Find Out Now!)

Dimmer switches can often take people by surprise with the heat they emit, particularly if they aren’t used to using them in the house. It can be shocking, true. However, there is a difference between a warm dimmer switch and one that it hot enough to make you go “OW!” Are you one of the many people curious about the reasons why dimmer switches seem to turn up the heat.

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Can You Put An Electrical Outlet Under A Sink?

You may find a situation where you need an electrical outlet under the sink cabinet in your kitchen. The most obvious reason would be the installation of garbage disposal in a sink that was not previously equipped. If a dishwasher is installed, you may also need an outlet under the sink to provide power to the dishwasher. From the standpoint of electrical codes, is it legal to put an electrical outlet under a sink?

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How Long Do Circuit Breakers Last? (And When to Replace Them)

Circuit breakers are one of, if not the most, essential parts of your home. Without an effective breaker, you would have no power for anything in the house. No appliances would work, you would be without heat or air, and you wouldn’t be able to have internet or entertainment.

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Can A Bad Breaker Cause Low Voltage? (Find Out Now!)

Once, not too long ago, I saw something a little strange happen to a friend’s house. The lights started to dim. Getting any type of electrical equipment seemed to be a big issue. The entire house seemed to be suffering from low voltage, despite the electrical wires outside being totally intact. One of my friends suggested that a bad breaker could be the cause, but is this really a possibility?

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Can You Put A Floodlight Bulb In A Regular Socket?

LED floodlights are some of the brightest lights on the market right now. A properly functioning LED floodlight will illuminate a significantly wide area, and this is why these lights have “flood” in their name. They essentially flood a space with light, as opposed to spotlights and downlights that usually only illuminate a small area.

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How Many Wires Can You Connect To An Outlet?

In new homes, if you open up your outlet, you will usually see two wires. One entering and providing power to the outlet, the other exiting and providing power to outlets downstream. There may sometimes be a third wire to ground the outlet, or to provide power to a downstream line in another direction.

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What Breakers Are Compatible With Challenger?

Challenger circuit breakers and service panels were popular during the 1980s and 1990s. Thousands of these Challenger electrical systems were installed in homes built during this period. Unfortunately, experience showed that certain Challenger circuit breakers overheated during normal use. If you have Challenger components in your home, it is critical to replace those breakers. Replacement breakers for Challenger products are available.

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Which Circuit Is The Doorbell Usually On?

Doorbells are a simple, albeit important fixture of modern homes that are typically reliable and low maintenance. Things can still go wrong with a doorbell despite the simplicity, so it’s important to know basic electrical information about your doorbell. So, which circuit is the doorbell usually on?

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Why Do GFCI Outlets Have A Blinking Red Light? (Find Out Now!)

Ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) have been around for decades, and these days it’s near impossible to find a modern home which doesn’t utilize these devices; they’re even used in a lot of older homes now because they’re useful here as well.

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