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Wall Socket Question

A socket is a device in the wall which helps electrically operated equipment be connected to the primary alternating current (AC) power supply in a building/infastructure. Sockets are manufactured in various shapes and sizes and have different types of connectors. Each country has set national standards for the use of electrical wall sockets. Listed below are some of the frequently asked questions answered by Experts on JustAnswer.

Can someone splice a new power source into a fluorescent light fixture if there needs to be a new wall socket?

You need to open up the light fixture, detach the power cord and then hardwire the fluorescent light. You can cut off the plug and do what you intend, but you will probably be violating a code and will be held liable if any issues crop up as a result.

The wall sockets of my bathroom and bedroom are wired together. When I use a hair dryer, it sometimes short circuits the clocks in the bedroom and on one occasion the power got turned off. On other occasions, the bedroom lights dim slightly when the hair dryer is being used. What should I do?

It is important that the bathroom wall socket be on a separate 20 amp circuit without it being connected with any other sockets. For this, a 12/2 wire (black, white, bare) needs to be wired from the panel to the outlet. Install a 20 amp breaker in the panel while capping off existing wires. In case there is more than one of each wire (black, white and bare), you would need to splice them and attach them to their corresponding matching colored wires and cap them off with a wire nut. After this is done, connect the wires to the outlet.

A building inspector told me that one of my wall sockets has reverse polarity. I would also like to convert my two-pronged to three-pronged and provide for grounding as well. What should I do?

The NEC makes it mandatory to upgrade ungrounded outlets to polarized ones, which mean three-pronged. Your options then are to either re-wire the entire house or you can replace them with GFCIs which will give you the protection that is required. In the event that you do not want to replace all your outlets with GFCIs, you could just install GFCI breakers which will also meet your safety requirements.

I replaced a wall socket but now the switch on the wall that controlled one plug on it is not working. What could be the problem?

The wall socket will have a red and black wire attached to it on one side and you will also see two gold terminals between which there will be a tab that connects the two together. Break the tab with the help of a pair of needle nose pliers which will keep one side hot all the time while the other will be switched. This should solve the problem.

I have a standard double wall socket next to my TV but need to connect 8 different pieces of electronic equipment, six of which have big transformer plugs, which make it impossible for them to be used next to each other. Are there multi-plugs available in the market where the sockets are further apart from each other?

Your best option would be to have a DC socket installed into the wall instead of a transformer for each piece of equipment. On the other hand, you can also make your own using a male and female power cord terminal where you can clip or screw on a power cord and adjust the length of wire so that the transformers do not hang in the air.

How can I convert a 110 volts AC to 110 volts DC (20 amps) wall socket?

In this case, it is best to consider an industrial power supply. Since most commercial supplies are 230v, you will a 110v to 110v isolation transformer, a bridged rectifier and a set of capacitors to filter the voltage. A crowbar circuit is recommended for voltage regulation and current protection. The filter section can become quite complicated. For further information the following links may help:
http://www.enatel.net/images/pdf/rectifiers/RM30110%20v5.0.pdf
http://www.eltekenergy.com/photoalbum/view2/P3NpemU9b3JnJmlkPTI1NTQwMg

You could face many types of problems with wall sockets such as a blown fuse, tripped circuit breaker, a ground fault, loose wires, broken sockets and safety issues. In such situations, asking an Expert for a solution is quicker, easier and affordable rather than trying to solve the problem yourself or hiring the services of an electrician.

Ask an Electrician

Mike
Mike, Master Electrician
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 1425
Experience:  Licensed Master Electrician - OnQ Certified Data Voice Audio Video Installer
11762411
Type Your Electrical Question Here...
characters left:
2 Electricians are Online Now

How JustAnswer Works:

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    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Electricians are online & ready to help you now

Mike
Master Electrician
Satisfied Customers: 1425
Licensed Master Electrician - OnQ Certified Data Voice Audio Video Installer
Jason
Service Technician
Satisfied Customers: 3278
Over 15 years of experience in all types of installations, troubleshooting, and repairs.
Mike G.
Master Electrician
Satisfied Customers: 5318
Proven Professional 45 years Experience

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    Good morning and Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays. I have a few questions regarding the sizing of an electrical sub-panel. I am building a small workshop in my basement and wish to provide lighting, a dust collector and receptacles to power various power tools (table saw, drill press, etc). I have a sub-panel (Square D brand) in my basement that is labeled 100 amps. It is fed from my main panel in my garage with two 100 amp breakers tied together. The subpanel currently powers an electric heat pump, water heater, and a few general lighting and power circuits. All existing slots in the panel are full leaving me no room to add more for my new needs. The sub panel currently has 12 slots fill with the following breakers:
    1. 15 amp - lighting
    2. 15 amp - lighting
    3 and 4. 2- 30 amp tied together - water heater
    5. 20 amp - power to outdoor living space (lights, two receptacles)
    6. 20 amp - power to outdoor living space (ceiling fan, lights)
    7 and 8. 2- 60 amp tied together - heat pump (air conditioning and heat)
    9. 15 amp - door bell
    10. 20 amp- power to outdoor grill station (lighting, bar fridge)
    11. 20 amp - power to outdoor water fountain and landscape lights
    12. double 20 amp (two separate breakers in one slot) - one breaker is feeding a few lights and the other is feeding a few receptacles
    So if I add up each individuall I get a total of 385 amps
    My questions are:
    1. Does the fact that this sub-panel is fed by two 100 amp breakers mean that in fact I have 200 amps of power capacity at this subpanel or does it just mean that I have 100amps max at 240 volts?
    2. How can a 100 amp panel have over 100 amps of breakers in it....is it because it is assume that not all will be operating at max capacity at the same time?
    3. Is the current set-up of the breakers in my 100amp sub-panel (385 amps) okay?
    4. Since I need to add more circuits for my new shop, is it okay for me to convert some of the single 20 amp breakers into double 20 amp breakers to provide the extra circuits?
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