For questions generally relating to preventing or avoiding injury in the home or on the job site.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

1
vote
1answer
29 views

Air Quality Concern in Apartment

I just moved to a new, old apartment. At first I did not notice anything, however I am now smelling an old, greasy, cigarette sort of smell in the kitchen near the stove and stove vent. I understand ...
0
votes
1answer
52 views

Is it safe to put a window a/c unit over kitchen sink window?

Pretty self explanatory. I have a small window unit that would fit right over my kitchen sink window. About 2.25' of clearance above the counter top. Just thinking being near a water source may be ...
4
votes
4answers
718 views

How to (safely) retract and lower a 40' extension ladder?

Last time I was using a 40' extension ladder, it was a major challenge to retract it back from being extended and up against a wall. There were two of us and it was seriously scary. Could have gone ...
1
vote
2answers
131 views

Is it legit to use this disconnect this way

This is more an expert question for the senior users here, i.e., licensed or former electrician, and/or engineer. I want to replace a rusted out sub panel that feeds 3 circuits at a residential dock ...
1
vote
1answer
23 views

Where can I find Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS's)?

Are there government websites where I can view MSDS's? Or do I need to go to the manufacturer's website or make a request to the manufacturer for the MSDS's?
21
votes
3answers
2k views

When doing electrical work, what do I use to check wires are safe?

If I am thinking of replacing a light switch, a light-fitting, a socket/outlet or doing other work with household wiring where there may be 120 Volts or 240 volts present ... There is already a ...
1
vote
2answers
161 views

Is insulation around a dryer vent hose safe?

I live in an old apartment which does not have laundry, or even laundry hookups. Since I despise laundromats, I took it upon myself to get a portable washer which connects to a sink, and a portable ...
0
votes
2answers
38 views

Building home on slab foundation on lot above natural spring

We are towards the end of costruction on a new home in rural northeast georgia on a flat lot(slight slope towards the street) and as the electric company started digging to place the final wires they ...
0
votes
2answers
85 views

How should I end this wiring?

I am doing a minor reno in a new house. I took out a wall and in it was two strands of 12-2 that went to one outlet. That wiring will not be used anymore, I don't want to splice into them or run ...
3
votes
1answer
35 views

Is it safe to plant shrubs or flowers in the soil above my septic tank?

I have a septic system that has a tank underneath my front lawn. This is an eye-sore as the access points are clearly visible to anyone coming down our driveway. I would like to plant some shrubs/...
2
votes
3answers
145 views

Are these blue spots on stove coil cups poisonous Verdigris?

I live in the USA and have one of these stoves: For me who comes from Europe, the design of these stove tops always baffles me compared to flat (metal or glass) stove tops seen across Europe (it ...
0
votes
3answers
43 views

Who should I contact about having my water tested?

I would like to know who I should contact other than the EPA about having my water tested. I moved to this town 4 days ago and in those 4 days I now have boils over 25% of my body and a second degree ...
1
vote
0answers
31 views

Why are water heaters generally installed on a pedestal? [duplicate]

Why are tank-style water heaters generally installed on a 2-3 foot (~0.6-0.7 meter) tall pedestal?
2
votes
1answer
77 views

What is the purpose of a GFI outlet tripping on low voltage?

As I went looking for a replacement for a GFI wall outlet, I noticed that the advertised features of one outlet included "low voltage trip" – that is, the GFI will trip not only when a ground fault is ...
0
votes
1answer
25 views

Can I salvage aluminized roofing paint

Through impatience, I failed to adequately mix a 5-gallon bucket of aluminized roofing paint before I hauled it up the ladder and painted my roof. Now, I am left with a huge wad of putty like ...
1
vote
2answers
80 views

Does my furnace's air filter do anything at all?

Our house seems very dusty. The tops of bookshelves, computer screens, etc seem to accumulate a thin film of dust just a few days after cleaning. Certain other co-inhabitants of my house have ...
1
vote
1answer
46 views

Best room for egress window?

I have a basement with a partially finished bedroom (currently used as storage) on one side, a gas furnace and tankless water heater at the foot of the staircase in the middle, and a newly finished ...
8
votes
1answer
516 views

False positive from a non-contact voltage tester?

I'm replacing a 240-volt split-phase electric baseboard heater. I've shut the power off at both the thermostat and the breaker box. Testing the wires with a non-contact voltage tester shows an ...
2
votes
1answer
50 views

Likelyhood of lead paint in 1970s build UK

I'm currently stripping some horrible old anaglypta wallpaper and noticed that under the lining paper there is a bright yellow paint underneath. Some of it is coming away, most of it is not and I'm ...
1
vote
0answers
25 views

Tool for joining tightly-woven, 2mm-thick PP webbing [closed]

By tight I mean like in seat belts. I think it's called "high tenacity". Manual stitching takes 4 painful minutes per centimeter. This would be a step up from needle held in pliers, but is there ...
3
votes
2answers
105 views

Is this flue dangerous?

I had access to a ladder the other day, so naturally I was poking around in the attic of our house where we have lived for about a year. Above the closet where the furnace and water heater are located,...
0
votes
1answer
125 views

Safe location rules for bathroom sink recepticle and light switch

Bathroom sink with mirror & vanity light. Presently, the vanity light switch and single receptacle are separate from each other and in awkward locations. I intend to put them together in a single ...
3
votes
2answers
201 views

Should threaded pipe be torqued to spec?

Most, if not all threaded automotive fasteners have specified torque, which is ensured by using torque wrenches. But how about threaded pipe, galvanized steel for water or black pipe for gas, ...
3
votes
1answer
60 views

Correct way to attach outlet wall plate?

I have been replacing the outlets in my house with Tamper Resistant outlets. On some of the replaced receptacles, the plate does not tightly attach to the wall—it can be pried back by my fingers. (I ...
1
vote
1answer
86 views

Ladder is warped; how much is too much?

I recently bought a 28' fiberglass extension ladder (big-name brand from the blue box store), but I found that it's a bit warped. When I lean it against the house, with both feet firmly planted and ...
5
votes
2answers
110 views

What is the *interrupting rating* of a GFCI receptacle?

Say, we have a UL943 compliant 15A GFCI receptacle on a garden-variety 15A grounded branch circuit. Some nitwit comes along and wirenuts the receptacle's load-side hot to the branch circuit ground, ...
23
votes
4answers
2k views

How can it be dangerous to feed a water heater from two separate panels?

In a recent question, a user asked "Can a water heater be installed between two apartments and wired to both apartments' breaker boxes, effectively splitting the bill between the two?". One of the ...
6
votes
7answers
746 views

Why is a steel security door safe if they can break the glass, slide their hand in, and unlock the door?

OK I had a hard time thinking of a good title but here's the gist of the problem/concern I have which I can't find an answer to anywhere online. Please note that this is a very specific but common ...
0
votes
1answer
39 views

Is this bell circuit safe?

I have an old-fashioned doorbell (like this one: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c1/DoorBell_001.jpg) Is it safe to connect it directly to a power supply (I am using a ac/dc ...
4
votes
3answers
398 views

Changing fluorescent tube: how many degrees to turn?

I have a broken fluorescent tube (housing is intact, but it flickers instead of lighting up properly) that I have to change (bottommost type in the image). I can turn it about 20 degrees, but it ...
3
votes
3answers
359 views

How safe is it to plug in an extension cord that has a missing ground pin in to a GFCI outlet?

I know it will still provide power and such but what are the potential safety hazards?
3
votes
1answer
72 views

Splitting maul handle cracked… is it still usable?

I was splitting logs for firewood today, and must have swung wrong, because the outer shell of the fiberglass handle on my maul shattered. Although the core of the handle appears intact, and the ...
0
votes
0answers
59 views

Can a furnace safety limit switch with manual reset be changed out with an auto reset switch?

I have a Ruud natural gas furnace from 1987. Overall it works well. I've had my home warranty service send out an HVAC tech a couple times for the high limit switch needing to be reset. It's a manual ...
5
votes
4answers
617 views

How can I safely sand a small, thin item with a belt/disc sander?

I have small, thin items measuring roughly 4"x2" with a depth of only .33". I need to sand the back of them down evenly, and have been using a belt sander to do so. However, I'm a little nervous about ...
2
votes
1answer
51 views

In a solidly grounded wye service, is an open neutral an emergency?

Open neutrals in 120/240V North American split phase services are considered an emergency due to the fire and equipment damage hazard unbalanced legs pose. However, there are residential buildings (...
0
votes
1answer
121 views

Starting to build up my tools collection, is 110v preferable over 240v?

I am just starting out on my first major project this weekend and I am looking at getting some new tools. I've had experience using plenty of 240v power tools, but now that I am looking at getting my ...
15
votes
4answers
4k views

Safe/professional way to transport lumber with just a roof rack

I'm doing some home improvement, and have the necessary skills, tools, etc, for the job. There is one thing I'm lacking: a large pickup truck for transporting lumber. A buddy of mine used to have one, ...
4
votes
1answer
133 views

Is surface-mounted cabling on my basement ceiling a threat to my safety?

I am concerned about a wiring issue in a basement of a home I will be moving to. Someone put paneling on the ceiling and the wiring is stapled to the paneling and some of the wires are bundled ...
1
vote
1answer
85 views

Do I need to seal / moisture-proof an outdoor plug?

I have an outdoor plug socket (UK) in my garden that is ip66 sealed (basically the plug is inside a box that you can open and close). I intend to use this plug for a hot tub in our garden, but there ...
1
vote
2answers
109 views

Can I use a 2x6 beam stretched across a few of these roof rafters to support a hammock?

I want to hang a large hammock in my reading room. It used to be an open-air carport structure and so the construction is fairly lightweight. Here're some pictures of the ceiling/roof in question pre-...
4
votes
3answers
198 views

Is it acceptable to attach elevated deck joists to rafter tails?

I'm having an attached patio built by a contractor. I am concerned about the quality of the construction. In particular the attachment of the patio joists to the house rafters. Instead of using a ...
1
vote
3answers
116 views

Is it safe to mix LEDs and incandescents in a chandelier?

I've been having an issue for a while now where my chandelier light fixture installed with six Cree 60W LED replacement bulbs flickers when I raise my traditional dimmer to max brightness. As I ...
1
vote
1answer
62 views

How safe are flammables as indoor cleaners?

I just cleaned some range hood duct with Seafoam. I was wondering how long after initial application things like it or rubbing alcohol remain active on the surface to present a fire hazard. How do you ...
0
votes
4answers
125 views

How to strip sheath off outdoor cable?

I am looking for a way to remove the protective sheath from a length of multicore mains electrical cable. It's rated for outdoor use and is VERY strong. Without butchering my fingers; trying to fine ...
2
votes
1answer
64 views

What kind of eye protection would I need for this particular spot welding system?

First of all, if this is the wrong StackExchange site for this question, I'm sorry. (If someone could point me to the right one, please do so!) So in this DIY YouTube video, the person makes some ...
2
votes
2answers
75 views

Electric Guitar at an outdoor show - Grounding issues?

I play electric guitar and today I had an experience where the guitar would give very slight tingling sensations - I wouldn't quite call any of them a bad shock because none of them really hurt badly, ...
0
votes
3answers
213 views

Light bulb socket cover

Where can I get a light bulb socket cover for my never used outside flood light sockets? I don't use the light fixture, the flood lamps are too heavy to keep in the sockets as the fixture comes ...
1
vote
4answers
100 views

Is it safe to encapsulate lead shot with epoxy?

I hope this is the right SE for this question. If not please point me in a better direction. I'm working on a project that requires a counterweight in a tight/organic space. I'm trying to maximize ...
1
vote
1answer
453 views

How can I safely connect a subpanel in a detached garage to the main with a 3-wire connection?

This weekend I attempted to install a breaker box into a pre-wired garage. The previous owners took the breaker box with them when they moved, and since I have installed quite a few subpanels, it ...
1
vote
0answers
58 views

Is this main box outdated and needs upgrade?

This house is 1970's built (UK) but not sure when the electrical wiring were done. The main box looks like in the attached picture. It seems it has only fuse boxes in it... and does not have any MCB, ...