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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:

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.
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