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Ask the Electrician

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussion' started by Alexb03, Jan 6, 2012.

  1. Feb 5, 2012 at 11:27 AM
    #41
    StaticFilter

    StaticFilter Well-Known Member

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    As I'm a commercial electrician I work mostly with AC voltage systems with the exception of DC Voltage fire alarm and battery backups. I'll leave any automotive electrical questions for others :)
     
  2. Feb 5, 2012 at 11:39 AM
    #42
    G scott04

    G scott04 ...

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    Would the wall buzzing when i turn on the lights (only in one room)
    be a bad indicator? It is an dimmer switch connected to a ceiling fan
     
  3. Feb 5, 2012 at 11:44 AM
    #43
    Saskquatch11

    Saskquatch11 TRUCK YEAH

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    does the dimmer switch control the fan and the light or just the light?
     
  4. Feb 5, 2012 at 11:47 AM
    #44
    ImpulseRed008

    ImpulseRed008 Gone But Not Forgotten

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    How come my garage light won't come on when it's been raining / very humid out? Comes on just fine when the weather is nice.
     
  5. Feb 5, 2012 at 11:48 AM
    #45
    StaticFilter

    StaticFilter Well-Known Member

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    Buzzing COULD indicate arcing which can lead to a fire. I would turn the breaker off and take the switch apart to make sure the connections are tight. Make SURE to test the switch with a non-contact voltage tester to verify the circuit is off so you don't get shocked, otherwise have a qualified individual check it out. If connections appear tight, try replacing with a different switch, the internals on the dimmer could be wearing out and arcing
     
  6. Feb 5, 2012 at 11:48 AM
    #46
    Saskquatch11

    Saskquatch11 TRUCK YEAH

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    :notsure:
     
  7. Feb 5, 2012 at 11:50 AM
    #47
    G scott04

    G scott04 ...

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    Will do thanks!
     
  8. Feb 5, 2012 at 11:52 AM
    #48
    StaticFilter

    StaticFilter Well-Known Member

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    Do you know if the garage light is the only thing on that particular circuit breaker? If other devices are on the breaker and work fine, you may be getting water in your light fixture, you could try replacing the fixture or at least opening it and checking for signs of moisture Make sure to turn power OFF first by shutting off the breaker
     
  9. Feb 5, 2012 at 12:00 PM
    #49
    Saskquatch11

    Saskquatch11 TRUCK YEAH

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    G scott04 ^^^

    if the fan shuts off with the dimmer switch you should replace the dimmer with a regular single pole switch. a dimmer switch is not a fan speed control and should not be used as such, also not all fans are compatible with fan speed controls. if the fan does not turn off with the dimmer I'd just check to make sure you don't have a loose connection anywhere. incandescent lamps hum when dimmed, not much you can do about that.
     
  10. Feb 5, 2012 at 12:00 PM
    #50
    ImpulseRed008

    ImpulseRed008 Gone But Not Forgotten

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    As far as I know, it's the only thing, but I'll check it out thanks
     
  11. Feb 5, 2012 at 12:04 PM
    #51
    Saskquatch11

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    are we talking about an inside or outside light?
     
  12. Feb 5, 2012 at 12:06 PM
    #52
    ImpulseRed008

    ImpulseRed008 Gone But Not Forgotten

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    Inside the garage - a 4' fluorescent tube light... Sometimes I can get it to come on if I flip the switch a dozen or so times :eek: other's it won't come on.
     
  13. Feb 5, 2012 at 12:14 PM
    #53
    Saskquatch11

    Saskquatch11 TRUCK YEAH

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    is this an old fixture with tubes about 1 1/2" in diameter (T12) with a large (partially melted) magnetic ballast? if so the ballast is probably shot. T12 fixtures have slowly been getting phased out and you may have difficulty finding a replacement ballast. you'd be further ahead to get a T8 fixture as they have a more reliable electronic ballast and are more efficient than T12 fixtures.
     
  14. Feb 5, 2012 at 12:16 PM
    #54
    ImpulseRed008

    ImpulseRed008 Gone But Not Forgotten

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    This one is 9 1/2 yo. I've been thinking about replacing the thing anyway, so guess I'll do it sooner rather than later. Don't know what bulbs are in it
     
  15. Feb 5, 2012 at 12:20 PM
    #55
    Saskquatch11

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    T12 tubes are about 1 1/2" in diameter, T8 tubes are about 1" in diameter.
     
  16. Apr 10, 2012 at 10:28 AM
    #56
    xJuice

    xJuice My spoon is too Big!

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    So last weekend we had some storms roll through and I believe part of my house or something very near by was hit by lightning. I didn't experience anything inside as I was outside drinking a beer watching the storm at the time :laugh:. So various electrical components around my master bed and living room either no longer work at all, or are handicapped in some way after this event. On to the electrical. The master bed plugs breaker was the only one that got flipped. Turn it back on ... all outlets lights, etc. around the house work fine. My father-in-law recommended I get an electrician out to check out all the electrical system and make sure it's all good. I'm not too fond of this idea because: A) I think if all wires and such are connected and work and power everything then it's all good do go right? and B) who knows how much that will cost on top of the equipment I have to replace. (probably won't be enough to warrant a home owners claim)

    What is there that I should be looking at that could possibly be damaged? Only thing I could think of is something in the breaker panel.
     
  17. Apr 10, 2012 at 10:58 AM
    #57
    Yota Toy

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    Was the bear happy about this?
     
  18. Apr 10, 2012 at 11:02 AM
    #58
    xJuice

    xJuice My spoon is too Big!

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    quite

    [​IMG]
     
  19. Apr 10, 2012 at 3:36 PM
    #59
    StaticFilter

    StaticFilter Well-Known Member

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    Lifted, N-Fab steps, Roof rack light bar, Grill guard, Volant Snorkel (not installed ye)
    Here are some cheap but effective tools you can use to help diagnose an issue. You could have lost a neutral somewhere in the system...

    Simple meter to check voltage, stick one lead in the hot, one in the neutral of a plug, you should read 110-120volts or somewhere close to it., repeat by placing one l;ead in the hot and one in the ground hole.
    http://www.harborfreight.com/digital-clamp-on-multimeter-95652.html

    Plug Tester Plug this into an outlet and read the light codes to see if it's good to go.
    http://www.harborfreight.com/electrical-receptacle-tester-with-gfci-diagnosis-32907.html

    Voltage tester This will tell you if there is power in a wire, light, outlet, etc...
    http://www.harborfreight.com/non-contact-voltage-tester-97218.html

    Circuit Breaker Finder Use this tool to figure out what breaker controls what light or receptacle instead of randomly flipping them
    http://www.harborfreight.com/circuit-breaker-detective-96934.html

    These are simple easy to use tools, these are cheaper ones but still work fine, you can get higher end stuff
     
  20. Apr 15, 2012 at 7:58 PM
    #60
    I5runner

    I5runner Well-Known Member

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    My detached garage is about 5ft away from my home, I would like to run 4 12/3 wires inside a 3" pvc conduit under ground to avoid having to use a sub panel in the garage. Is a sub panel required or can I save a few bucks and just run the 4 wires directly into the outlets and lights. My main panel is about 6ft from the garage if this matters.
     
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