Are you a subscriber but don’t have an online account?

Register for full online access.

 
 
 
 

Other stories by Sean Kenney

  • Can Dimmer Switches Save Energy?

    Q: We know that compact fluorescents deliver energy savings, but how about dimmer switches? The assumption is that homeowners will use them to turn down lights to save money — but do they actually save energy?

  • JLC Extra Q&A: Tips for Snaking Wires

    Q. I have to rewire an old home that has well-maintained plaster walls throughout. I'd like to do this without gutting the interior. Any tips for wire-snaking?

  • Q&A: GFCI Protection for Shower Lighting

    Q: In a bathroom remodel, we plan to install a light fixture in a shower stall, with a switch near the shower door. Do the fixture and switch need to be GFCI-protected?

  • Q&A: Installing Wiring Between Ceiling Strapping

    Q: Here in New England, we usually attach 1x3 strapping to the ceiling joists before installing drywall. At most jobs, I see the electricians stapling the Romex cable to the bottom of the joists, parallel to the 1x3 strapping, so the wiring is about 1/2 i

  • Q&A: Advantages to 240-Volt Lighting

    Q: I am planning to install new lighting in a warehouse. Are there any advantages, either in installation costs or in operating costs, to installing 240-volt lighting fixtures instead of 120-volt?

  • Q&A: Circuit Breaker Problems

    Q: In a residential remodel, we replaced the electrical service panel. Within five days, two of the 15-amp breakers tripped and could not be reset. The breakers were determined to be "defective" and had to be replaced. What could be causing this problem?

  • Electrical Code Update

    A veteran electrician gives you a leg up on your inspector with this summary of the latest NEC changes.

  • Job-Site Power: Handle With Care

    An electrician discusses several options for safe, economical temporary job-site power, and tells how to size extension cords so you don’t burn up your power tools.

  • Common Electrical Inspection Failures

    The last thing a gerneral contractor needs is to have a job put on hold because of a failed electrical inspection. A master electrician shows how to identify the trouble spots before the inspector does.

  • Q&A: Push-In Connections on Receptacles

    Q: Many of the receptacles I use have push-in connectors on the back. Does a push-in connection perform as well as the side-mounted screw terminal connection?