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Electrical Devices

Want to replace an outlet, switch or another device but you don't know much about them or how they work? These articles examine the devices and what they are used for.
  1. Receptacles and Outlets (28)
  2. Switches (28)

Power Strips and Saving Energy
Here are some great power strip and surge protection articles that just make good sense.

Electrical Devices That Require No Junction Boxes
These are some unique instances that you can connect electrical wiring to devices without having to have a junction box, and here's why.

Electrical Devices That Require No Junction Boxes
Is it possible or legal to install wiring without junction boxes? In these examples the answer is yes, but find out why it is possible.

Polarized Receptacles…What Are They?
If you have an older home, you may still have polarized receptacles in it. Find out what they are and why you may want to change them for safety reasons.

Line or Load…A GFCI Connection Choice
When it comes to ground fault circuit interrupter outlets, commonly known as GFCI outlets, there is always a question as to how to connect the wires to them. In this article, I'll give you the information you need to connect them properly.

Electronic Christmas Gifts They'll Love
Instead of money, rethink your gift to that special someone and consider one of these fine electronic gifts that will have them saying that all-to-technical phrase...wow I love it!

What Are Line Thermostats?
Line thermostats turn on and off electric baseboard heaters. Unlike most home installation thermostats that control turning the furnace or air conditioner on and off via low voltage, these actually either control a higher voltage, 120 or 240 volts.

Two Ways of Testing Single-pole Switches
Here's a simple couple of ways to test a single-pole switch in and out of the circuit.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Plastic Electrical Boxes
Plastic junction boxes have their advantages and disadvantages. Although they are easy to install, they are not always the best choice for every application.

What is an Arc-fault Circuit Interrupter?
Arc-fault circuit interrupters are the new standard for protecting the devices connected to branch circuit in a house. Find out what makes them so special.

How To Check Single-pole Switches
Learn how you can check single-pole switches to see if they are still functional and in good working order.

How To Test Ground Fault Interrupter Outlets
So you added a GFCI outlet to your home but you aren't sure that is works. This simple test will put your mind at ease.

What is a Motion-Sensing Light Fixture
A motion-sensing light incorporates a motion sensor (a switch) that turns on a light when something moves in front of the motion sensor attached to a light fixture.

Maxxeon WorkStar 220 LED Flashlights
Could this be the flashlight of the future? Find out why the Maxxeon WorkStar 200 claims to be just that.

Graduations Gifts That Will Leave Them Giddy
Instead of money, rethink your gift to a graduate and consider one of these fine electronic gifts that will have them saying that all-to-technical phrase...cool!

Kitchen Outlet Question
This is a frequently asked question about kitchen outlets.

What Causes Electric Dryer Outlet and Cord Failures?
If your electric dryer outlet and cord are getting hot but your dryer is not, it may be because of loose electrical connections.

LED Light Bulbs...What Are Light Emitting Diode Light Bulbs
Find out why the new light-emitting diode light bulbs are the way to light the future. These bulbs save even more power than that of their predecessor, the compact fluorescent light bulb (CFL).

How To Wire A Dryer Outlet
Follow these simple step-by-step instructions in order to wire a dryer outlet. They take you from stripping the wire to making the electrical connections.

Top Outlet and Receptacle Articles
Outlets, also known as receptacles, become weak and the tension of the inner contact points won't hold the cord plugs securely after years of use. Installing and replacing outlets can be easy with these top outlet and receptacle articles.

Why Not To Use Plug Adapters
Plug adapters make it possible to plug a grounded plug into two-pronged polarized outlets. Find out why they should not be used.

What Are Wall Sconces?
Most lighting in your home is mounted on the ceiling. Sconces on the other hand, are mounted on the wall.

What is a Box Extender?
If you have a box that is too far in the wall, a quick fix is a box extender.

What Do The Markings on a Switch Mean?
When you look on the metal portion of a switch, there are markings all over it. This article explains what they are.

Electrical Box Installations and Uses
There are many different types of electrical boxes. Some are designed to house switches and outlets, while others are used for hanging light fixtures. Still others are designed for outdoor and weatherproof installations, not to mention low-voltage installations. If you're installing electrical boxes in concrete or bricks, there are special boxes for this also. If you know what type of box to u…

Electrical Boxes For Weatherproof Installations
When you have an electrical box that will be exposed to water or any other weather conditions, you'll need to install a weatherproof box.

Can Light Rough-ins
Learn how to rough-in can lights for new installations.

Do Your Single-pole Switches Say No?
Find out how to tell if a single-pole switch is installed right side up or upside down.

Common Household Switches
These common household switches can turn your lights on and off, dim them, and even control them from more than one location in your home.

What is a Four-way Switch?
Four-way switches are used to control lighting from three or more locations. This article explains how they work.

Why Not to Use Push-in Terminals on Switches and Receptacles
Learn why the push-in connections are not the best choice for connecting switches and receptacles.

250-Volt Air Conditioner Outlets
Learn what 250-volt air conditioner outlets are and what makes them different from a standard 125-volt receptacle.

What are Can Lights?
Learn what recessed lighting is and why they are often called can lights.

How to Connect NM Cable in a Metal Box
Learn how to connect NM cable to a metal box.

Warning Signs of Defective Switches
Learn some of the warning signs of defective switches so that you can identify them before they cause problems.

Do Your Switches Make the Grade?
Learn what the difference is between standard and commercial grade switch.

Time Switches - How to Wire a Time Switch
Learn how to wire a time switch and connect the wires to the appropriate terminals.

What is a Time Switch?
Learn what a time switch is and what it does.

What is a Furnace Fused Disconnect?
Learn what a furnace fused disconnect switch is used for.

Three-way Switches
You've heard the term three-way switches, but what are they and what do they do? Find out in this article.

Anatomy of a Three-Way Switch
A three-way switch may put fear in the eyes of homeowners who attempt do-it-yourself projects. By knowing what each part of the switch is, what wire to use, and how to connect it, hooking up three-way switches should become second-nature.

T-type Fluorescent Light Bulbs
There are three distinctive types of fluorescent light bulbs. Depending on the type of fixture, the ballast type it has, and the age of your...

What Are Key-chain Remote Controls Used For?
This unique little device will not leave you in the dark when you get home.

Outdoor Motion-sensor Security Lighting
Outdoor motion-sensor lighting can be your security watchdog and provide much-needed lighting for nighttime entrance to doors into your home. Here's a closer look at why you should get one and how to effectively mount them.

Color Coding of Electric Wires and Terminal Screws and Their Function
Learn what color wire goes where on switch and outlets terminals and why.

Short Circuit vs. Ground Fault
When a fuse blows or a circuit breaker trips, was it a short circuit or a ground fault that caused it? Find out what the differenceis in this article.

Top Eight Ways to Improve Your Home's Value
Have you ever wondered if you can improve the value of your home? Why does one person get more money for their home when they sell it while another gets little or can't sell theirs at all? Why does one person seem to find wealth and prosperity with everything he touches, while another person never succeeds at anything? Could it be luck or is...

How is Your Electricity Distributed Through Your Home?
Did you ever wonder how the power is distributed throughout your home? Here's a look at how electrical power is transmitted to and through your home to usable points like switches and outlets.

Electrical Boxes and Their Uses
Electrical boxes are everywhere in our homes, but do you know all of the different types used and how they are installed? Here is a great list of articles addressing electrical boxes in homes.

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