45 votes

Check for electricity in a socket without tools?

Plug in a working electrical appliance (like a phone charger) and see if it works.
  • 4,110
39 votes
Accepted

How to jump start a car without another car

Depending on how low your battery is, there is a way to start a car if you have a manual transmission, and that is to push-start the car. Follow this procedure: Set the ignition(/key) to the drive-...
  • 6,954
39 votes
Accepted

How can I tell if there was a power cut while I was out?

Set the time on an electric clock that uses household current Most households today have a microwave. This has a clock you can set. On nearly all of these the clock rolls back to 12:00 and flashes ...
36 votes

How to jump start a car without another car

For around $100 (USD) you can buy a battery pack that is able to jump your car. A quick google search for "jump starter battery pack" will show many options and price ranges. They'll often be able to ...
  • 469
25 votes
Accepted

How can I charge my smartphone faster?

There are numerous things you need to know about charging your phone in order to charge it any faster. Ampere is unit of current intensity. So higher amperage means more energy in the same time. It ...
  • 3,949
17 votes
Accepted

How can I avoid getting static shocks in the winter?

Even when minding clothing and footwear, an insulated wooden floor can still give me static shocks. For me there are two definitive methods: Make sure the area you touch is as large as possible the ...
17 votes

How to jump start a car without another car

If your battery is getting old and nearing replacement time, you can use a simple trick (provided you have a wet battery that can be opened from the top) involving just two aspirin tablets which are ...
  • 6,454
17 votes
Accepted

Remove Broken Lightbulb from holder

Make sure there is no power going to the light, and use a potato. Cut it in half, jam it in and twist(unscrew) to remove.
  • 1,753
17 votes

How can I tell if there was a power cut while I was out?

Get a mechanical mains timer - they are very cheap and set it for your 8 hr cycle. It only progresses while there is power, so set it to the beginning of the cycle, plug it in and forget about it. ...
  • 271
16 votes

How can I tell if there was a power cut while I was out?

Visit antique shops and second hand stores to find an old style electromechanical clock -- the kind with a motor and gears. Put this near the battery charger, plugged into the same outlet. When you ...
  • 9,660
15 votes

How to fish electric wire from one end to other end of a long pipe

The best solution is to use the tool designed for the task: a 'fish tape' or wire puller. This is a flexible tape or wire designed to be pushed through electrical conduits. Push the tape through, hook ...
  • 6,234
15 votes

Remove Broken Lightbulb from holder

TURN OFF THE POWER FIRST!!! Put the jaws of pliers into the socket and force the handles apart to grip the inside of the socket. Turn the pliers to back out the bulb. If the friction is not strong ...
  • 1,884
14 votes
Accepted

How do I know how much charge a battery has left?

Measuring the voltage with a multimeter gives a perfectly fine indication of charge. You just need to know how to convert the voltage into a useful form. For most 1.5V alkaline batteries, (voltage-1)...
  • 296
14 votes

My monitor turns off when fridge starts. How can I stop this?

Figure out what outlets are on what circuits. Plug them into different circuits, using an extension cord if needed. You could also use a UPS (uninterruptible power supply) device to protect the ...
  • 11.4k
12 votes

How can I avoid getting static shocks in the winter?

I've been using a tip I found in a comment on Lifehacker.com. Before touching metal with my fingers, I now tap it with the back of my hand, so that the electricity discharges through the back of my ...
  • 2,085
12 votes
Accepted

How to generate electricity for free?

Apple For this trick, you need an apple! Just kidding, any acid-like vegetable/fruit is fine:) In order for a fruit or vegetable be a battery, it needs to be able to conduct electricity (acids make ...
  • 4,472
11 votes

How can I charge my smartphone faster?

The iPad charger will charge your iPhone faster than the iPhone charger that came with the phone. The iPad charger puts out 5.1v at 2.1 amps. The iPhone charger is 5v at 1 amp. The larger of the two ...
  • 2,471
11 votes

How can I tell if there was a power cut while I was out?

While the other answers here give some good suggestions for answering your literal question, I caution you that they likely won't solve your underlying problem. Knowing the power went out isn't ...
  • 281
10 votes

How to generate electricity for free?

No way to do this without an initial outlay. Either of the following could work: Solar panels Electricity-generating stationary bike A windmill on your roof.
  • 11.4k
10 votes

How to jump start a car without another car

Some additional methods: Push-start with nowhere to push Got a manual transmission you could push-start but nowhere to push it? This works if you're parallel parked or don't have suitable terrain to ...
9 votes

How to generate electricity for free?

If you're like me, then you probably have at least one or two spare electric motors lying around the house. If not, check again: fans, remote-controlled cars, vacuum cleaners, electric lawnmowers, ...
9 votes

How can I charge my smartphone faster?

Short-circuit the USB data pins on the phone side, that's what the most powerful chargers do to tell the phone that it can draw the max amount of current without needing any digital negotiation (...
8 votes

How can I charge my smartphone faster?

Lots of nice answers here, some uninformed answers as well, but I think that most of them miss the actual point. Background: First thing that needs to be understood is that device called "charger" ...
  • 181
8 votes

My monitor turns off when fridge starts. How can I stop this?

Put your computer/monitor onto a battery backup. That way, when there is a big (but short) drain on the power, the computer/monitor will be fine. I do this, and find that it is also very convenient ...
  • 4,110
8 votes

How can I tell if there was a power cut while I was out?

Lifehack: Avoid the power cut all together. Connect your battery charger (and other critical devices) to a UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply). It has a built in battery so it will continue to run your ...
  • 1,112
7 votes

How can I test for electrical current through bare wires without a meter?

Theoretically, you could take a lightbulb (or nightlight, phone charger, etc.) and touch the wires to the bulb base or plug. HOWEVER: DO NOT ATTEMPT This would be EXTREMELY dangerous: you could die ...
  • 11.4k
7 votes
Accepted

How do I prevent batteries from leaking?

Batteries have greater leak risk the more they are discharged. You might do the following: Keep the item in a cool place. If the item has been used much, replace the batteries before storing even if ...
  • 3,495
7 votes

Using electricity at night

All kinds of devices can be run overnight such as washing machines, dish washers, tumble dryers, etc... There are also available, if you have electric heating, devices called night storage heaters ...
7 votes
Accepted

How to prevent static electricity/static current

If you have any non-rubber soled shoes, that's going to be an easy place to start. You don't want to be insulating yourself from the ground if you can help it. As far as clothing, try not to wear ...
6 votes

How can I charge my smartphone faster?

There really is no "fast" way to charge your phone. Via a computer, USB3.0 charges faster. You could buy a power bank. You can just leave it charging at home, and then take it later and use that to ...
  • 798

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible