Rex Cauldwell is a master electrician and owner of Little Mountain Plumbing and Electric in Copper Hill, Va.
Q. My client's metal fireplace is supplied by a makeup air system with a built-in circulation fan. This fan - which plugs into an accessible outlet - is triggered by a heat sensor in the fireplace. While effective, it's also very loud. To reduce the noise, I'd like to replace the fan's on/off switch with a variable-speed control. Is that possible? The manufacturer doesn't seem to offer anything.
Q: My clients want to add another light and a second switch to one of their existing lighting circuits, a wall sconce controlled by a single-pole switch. Power feeds the light before running to the switch; because of existing conditions, the easiest option would be to replace the single-pole switch with a three-way switch, add another three-way switch at the new location, and connect the two switches with three-conductor cable. Will this work, or will my electrician ask me to open up the walls so he can get access to the entire circuit?
As both a master plumber and master electrician, I drill more holes for pipe and wire in a day than most tradesmen might in a week. It seems like I've got a drill in my hands most of the day, and more often than not it's a cordless tool. Using cordless drills improves convenience, safety, and speed for most of my jobs, and unless I'm drilling large-diameter or very deep holes, my cords stay in the van.
What does the code say about how many receptacles can be put on 15-amp and 20-amp circuits?
Venting with air-admittance valves; undercounter appliances; showerheads