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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
Electricity is everywhere in our lives. It powers our lights, our workplaces, and our world. So that means that we should all be very familiar with all things electricity, right? Wrong. Unfortunately, as useful and as necessary as electricity in our lives, most of us only have a novice understanding of electricity at best. And that means if you are working with electrical wiring, it is good to know some ground rules (pun intended), like when to use conduit for electrical wiring.
Very few improvements can improve the look of both your home and your neighborhood than removing overhead wires. Whether you’re remodeling your home or working on a different project on your property, it may make the most sense to dig a trench and bury existing wires or upgrade your current services. However, underground lines can be costly and you’ll likely end up spending thousands more on this job than overhead lines, plus the few days of labor to dig and fill the trench.
Modern homes are filled with all sorts of electronic conveniences. Many homes come with switches that can turn on a light or device from multiple locations. These switches, called 3-way switches, are a very common convenience in many homes today. But What do you do when the switch is only working when both switches are turned on?
Many people refer to the voltage at the electrical outlets as 110 volts. Others routinely call these 120-volt outlets. If you plug almost any appliance into these plugs, the appliance works fine in either instance. Do some power companies deliver 110 volts and others 120 volts? What is the real story about 110V vs. 120V?
If you have recently relocated an outlet in your home, you may be left with an empty or dead outlet on the wall. While the dead outlet is certainly not harming anything, it can be unsightly if the outlet is no longer used. Hiding or covering the outlet can be tempting, especially to make your home look nicer without an ugly outlet on the wall.
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.
As outdoor electrical outlets are subjected to different weather patterns, installing them falls under strict building codes.
Recessed lights are a visually appealing and modern way to add depth to a room. You can change the aesthetic of a room completely when you install recessed lights, that is when they work. So, what does it mean when my recessed lights are not working?
When dealing with electricity, it is often a question of where you live as to whether you need a permit or not. Just as with this question about installing a subpanel, it will depend on your particular state and city. It can also be dependent on the building codes in your specific community or subdivision.
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.
Dealing with wiring can be very intimidating. We all know the risks that come with handling wires, but it is necessary from time to time. Still, minimizing risk is possible as long as you abide by established safety guidelines.
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?
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.
Your refrigerator can work with a standard electrical outlet as well as a GFCI. Many people believe that using a non-GFCI outlet is the best option for food storage. Thinking that this will prevent unnecessary tripping of the circuit breaker, causing food spoilage.
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?
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.
In this modern world with so many advances in home design, functionality, and technology, there seems to be an endless number of ways to improve your home. Whether it’s turning it into a smart home or making your house as energy efficient as possible, there are lots of ways to make your home better. Some of these improvements are personal preferences, while others can drastically increase the value of a home. Take installing an EV charger in your home for example. Is this simply a personal preference, or can installing an EV charging station increase the value of your home?
If you want to add more circuits to your home but don’t have room in your pane box, a subpanel makes expansion possible. It’s a common problem, especially in older houses, not to have enough spaces in your breaker box. If you choose to add a subpanel to your home, it’s important to know your limitations.
As the US moves away from incandescent light bulbs in favor of LED lighting, there are some issues to consider. Many people are unfamiliar with the operating characteristics of LED light bulbs and have questions about replacing their incandescent bulbs. One often asked question is about using dimmable LED light bulbs in sockets not equipped with a dimmer switch.
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.
In North America, 240 volts of electricity are supplied to a panel. The 240 volts are split between two 120-volt circuits.
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?
Making the switch to solar is one of the biggest decisions in a homeowner’s life. Whether you want to save money on your electricity or get completely off the grid, there are options for you.
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?”
We don’t realize how much we depend on our electricity until there is a power outage. While electricity at one time was merely a useful convenience, the way our homes currently run, it is more of a necessity. A power outage can cause your food to spoil, leave you without a way to cook food, and it can also affect your heat or air-conditioning system. So when your power goes out, you’ll probably want to know, “How long does it take for the power to come back on?”
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?
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?
Often times, when builder-owners plan to rewire a house, it is to protect the drywall from fire hazards. Things get slightly complicated, however, when builder-owners are faced with the thought that they may have to remove drywall. You don’t need to worry, because you can rewire a house without removing drywall, and it’s easier than it sounds.
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?
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.
It’s a no-brainer as a homeowner to know that things will need to be replaced and upgraded over time. While people know to get new appliances or furniture, they often forget about things like an electrical panel.
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?
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.
Electrical tape is a valuable tool for any home DIYer. This type of tape insulates anything that conducts electricity and is commonly used to wrap bare wires or insulate cables. Electrical tape has properties such as low conductivity and high heat resistance, making it an excellent choice for minor repairs.
New appliances or new tools in your garage workshop may have you wondering about getting enough electrical service to those outlets. You know you need more amps but aren’t sure how to accomplish the upgrade. This situation leads to the question, how to increase circuit breaker amps?
If it’s time to update the switches and sockets in your home, you may be considering a range of options. Additionally, you are probably considering what kind of finish you want; nowadays brushed chrome, nickel, and brass are popular options.
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?
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?
If you are running an underground 200 amp service, then you may be wondering what size wire to use in your installation. We’re going to answer that question for you, however, keep in mind that you may need a permit and that a professional should do the installation.
When planning out your expenses for the months ahead, it helps to know how much you regularly pay for certain bills. That knowledge can help you better distribute your finances. It can save you from potential budget shortages near the arrival of your next paycheck.
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.
If you have gas-fired appliances such as a water heater, space heater, or cookstove, these appliances may have one or more thermocouples. If you begin to experience problems with the pilot lights on these appliances staying lit, you probably have a bad thermocouple. But, how do you know if you have a bad thermocouple?
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.
That combination light, heater, and fan in your bathroom has finally gotten so noisy that you can’t stand it anymore. Working with electrical circuits in your home is usually a job for a trained and licensed electrician. However, if you are replacing an existing unit, this project is well within most homeowner’s abilities.
There are millions of homes in the United States that have a ticking time-bomb somewhere in the structure. Between 1950 and 1980, Federal Pacific Electric Company (FPE) sold most of the circuit breakers installed in homes in the US. There is still widespread confusion about the safety of FPE circuit breakers and panels.
Are ungrounded outlets safe? No, definitely not. Ungrounded outlets are NOT safe. They’re significantly more dangerous than grounded outlets, and that’s why the National Electrical Code, in 1947,* began requiring certain areas of new constructions to have three-pronged, “grounded” outlets. Ungrounded outlets don’t protect against surges and significantly increase the risk of electrical fires.
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.
An electrical outlet (also referred to as an electrical receptacle) is the place where you plug in all your appliances and electrical devices. When functioning correctly, these will stay at room temperature.
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?
Circuit breakers protect your electrical system and home. If a circuit is overloaded, the breaker is tripped to cut off the flow of electricity. Normally each breaker has only one wire, but double tapped breakers are common. The problem may be identified by an electrician or home inspector.
The grey pipe or the conduit PVC pipe is designed to handle the heat of the sun and the heat of the electrical wires. Two different kinds are used in electrical work, which are Schedule 40 and Schedule 80. Either or can connect to an electrical box.
We are fortunate in the US to have one of the most stable and dependable electrical systems in the world. Most of us don’t give a thought to coming into a dark room and flipping an almost silent switch to bring light to the darkness. However, it can become disconcerting when a simple light switch starts to buzz.
Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters, or GFCIs, are a necessary safety measure in modern times. They can prevent harmful ground faults that can cause dangerous and expensive electrical problems. So, why does my GFCI trip when I turn on the light switch?
Your new workshop is sitting happily behind your landscaped backyard. The only thing lacking is electricity in the shop. Unfortunately, the pedestal that holds your electric meter is on the other side of your beautifully landscaped backyard. Ditching to run the electrical lines underground would destroy much of your landscape. You wonder if you can run electrical conduit above ground?