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

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3
votes
4answers
5k views

How can I make wooden stairs slip-proof?

My wife loves the idea of removing our stair carpet and putting bold/bright wallpaper on the vertical faces (risers)... ...but we're concerned that the horizontal parts (treads) would be much more ...
1
vote
1answer
98 views

UL Listing for Small Appliances - Commercial vs Home [closed]

Is a small appliance (microwave, coffee maker, etc.) that's UL & c-UL Listed for Commercial Use Only safe to use at home? What about the reverse: is a small appliance that's UL listed for ...
2
votes
2answers
260 views

Replacing hardwired fire alarms with 10 year sealed alarms

My house was built in 2004 and came with fire alarms pre-installed and hardwired. The alarms also use a 9V battery backup, so we have to replace the batteries regularly (not an easy task with 9 ft ...
1
vote
1answer
453 views

Safety of 3-Way Lightbulb That Exceeds Max Wattage Only On Highest Setting

Can you safely use a 3-way bulb (50-100-150W) for a lamp that accepts a 100W bulb maximum? Is there any fire hazard involved?
4
votes
1answer
2k views

What glass for an interior, mainly glass, wall?

We would like to install a small interior wall (say 3m long) with a wooden door. We want to make it out of large wooden beams with glass between them (there is already one such wall in the house, and ...
1
vote
3answers
2k views

Can I clean my under-the-floor dryer vent?

Our laundry nook is smack in the middle of our house. The dryer vent goes into an interior wall, turns 90° downward, soon turns 90° back the way it came, and goes straight for four or five meters ...
10
votes
5answers
3k views

How can I protect my hands when using power tools?

When doing many DIY projects there's a strong need to protect hands against cutting by sharp part edges. Gloves seem a natural solution. However recently I was mounting a countertop and wearing ...
1
vote
2answers
327 views

Can I use EPS concrete for a fire bowl?

I found this recipe for EPS concrete, and am thinking of using it to make a fire bowl (a decorative concrete bowl like the one described here, which holds a chafing dish gel fuel pack.) I would like ...
21
votes
10answers
14k views

What are the most important things to check/do after buying a home?

We are in the process of purchasing a home that is over 20 years old. What are some of the most important things we should check/patch/do right away to make sure the home is running correctly and ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

How can I safely work around power lines?

I have to do some painting and repair work on the outside of the house near the incoming power line. The repair is pulling off molding and replacing it as well as painting the surrounding area. I am ...
3
votes
1answer
93 views

At what Lead levels are respirators and hazmat suits required?

I am under going demolition work in pre-1978 building. I have paint chip samples sent away to determine ppm of lead. At what levels are contractors required to wear hazmat suits and respirators? ...
4
votes
3answers
542 views

How do safety labels on light fittings work with energy saving bulbs?

My lamp says "Max 40W or Energy Saving 8W". I have a halogen bulb which says "28W = 36W". Is it safe to use with the lamp? Why / why not? (Sorry if the answer is easily available on the web - I ...
0
votes
2answers
6k views

Why is there a copper wire attached to this water pipe?

The outdoor faucet was turned on today(45 degrees), shortly after we discovered a leak in the house. We're not sure if the faucet broke or the pipe fractured/burst. After pulling back the drywall we ...
0
votes
1answer
130 views

Legal requirements regarding 100% asbestos duct work [closed]

I am renting a condo. After starting the heater, dusty air came out of the registers, so I called out a company to clean the ducts. They verified the ducts are 100% asbestos and cannot be cleaned. ...
2
votes
1answer
296 views

Why is there an exposed wire coming out of my wall near my fluorescent light fixture?

We are in the process of replacing the ballast in our fluorescent light fixture (after replacing the bulbs, the lighting was still dim, so we figured it was a fault of the ballast). After we ...
3
votes
3answers
164 views

What kind of portable electric heater should I use in my kitchen?

My landlord doesn't see the need to install a heater in the kitchen, but I do as it's like 12°C (54°F) in it this morning. I'll buy an electric one then. But I realize there are many types: fan ...
6
votes
1answer
654 views

Why is my light switch leaking electricity?

I have a home built in 1950 and a laundry room added sometime in the unknown future. There is a light switch that seems to be emitting electricity according to my Fluke voltage tester. I noticed it ...
6
votes
1answer
240 views

Is it okay two breakers are controlling the same outlets and appliances?

To be specific, we recently had some electrical work done. The electrician added a second panel. He left without labeling anything. So today I've been testing outlets and switches trying to figure out ...
17
votes
4answers
39k views

What is the proper, safe, and effective way to apply diatomaceous earth?

We are looking at using diatomaceous earth against bed bugs. However, we're having trouble finding any reliable information on how to use it properly. Our questions are: how should it be applied? ...
0
votes
2answers
155 views

Are electrical subpanels safe in the bedroom?

If not, how do you correct it, or can it be moved without making too much work?
4
votes
3answers
3k views

Can I use a cord and plug to power a wall sconce?

I have a wall sconce that my wife really likes and wants installed on a brick wall. The sconce she purchased is designed to sit on top of a wall box that has been prewired. I don't want to install ...
3
votes
2answers
316 views

What kind of mask is required for grouting?

I finished putting up tiles for a backsplash last night and am getting ready to grout tonight. I looked at the package and saw Contains known or probable carcinogens. Yikes! What kind of mask ...
5
votes
3answers
7k views

Why did I feel an electric current when touching my light switch?

While reaching behind a desk in my office, I leaned against the wall and felt a pinch on my shoulder. I realized I was leaning on the lower screw of the light switch and thought it had a metal burr or ...
6
votes
7answers
222 views

How can I subtly mark a height difference to prevent tripping?

Between two of my rooms I have a height difference of about 4cm. What is an obvious but subtle way to mark the marble floor so the step is obvious, and help to prevent tripping? I'm thinking of ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

How to I safely anchor a safety line to a chimney?

I am going to be installing an antenna at the top of my brick chimney and I'd like to be able to use a safety line with a fall arrestor. The chimney visually looks OK. I'm trying to figure out the ...
1
vote
1answer
662 views

Can I connect the generator neutral to my mains neutral permanently?

I have a 3 phase 15KW generator with four wires. I want to use it as a standby generator for my house. My house uses 1 phase 220 volts on two wires (no ground as the house is quite old). I have a 3 ...
2
votes
1answer
7k views

How to cover an open/exposed wire fast and safe for a long period?

I have a 3 pin socket on the wall that is broken and I'm going to fix it. And while at that, I also want to fix the wall (re-cement it and paint it again). After I dismantle the socket, the 3 wires ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

What is an oven anti-tip device and how do you install one?

I'm trying to sell a home, and we're in the inspection / repair phase. The buyers asked for me to install an anti-tip device for the oven in the kitchen, and I'm not even sure what that is. Can ...
2
votes
3answers
4k views

Any recommendations for smoke detectors with wireless remote alarms?

I would like to put a smoke detector in my attached garage and barn, with a wireless/remote signal with a a receiver inside the house. So far I have found this one I am assuming that with that ...
-3
votes
1answer
149 views

What is the average life expectancy of heavy duty ratchet straps before they have to be replaced? [closed]

What is the average life expectancy of heavy duty ratchet strps before they have to be replaced.
1
vote
2answers
773 views

Is it safe to wire a plug-in sconce directly to the junction box?

There is a wall sconce that I would like to buy, but it is a plug-in variety and there is no power outlet nearby (only an existing light fixture). Is it safe to cut off the plug and wire it directly ...
1
vote
2answers
117 views

Is is safe to have rainwater recycling tank near the bedroom windows?

Is it safe to sleep near a rainwater recycling tank? Is bacteria can developed and flow into the bedroom when sleeping with the window open?
5
votes
1answer
2k views

Does washing reduce asbestos?

So I was doing some work in the garage a few months ago and dislodged about a lemon size chunk of what at the time I thought was just some old concrete which fell on me and left some dust on a ...
4
votes
2answers
3k views

Should I convert a single light switch to a receptacle/switch combo?

First I want to say I've done a little research on my question. I'm familiar (I think) with the wiring, but I'm uncertain if my solution is a good one because of what I plan on using the outlets for ...
3
votes
1answer
189 views

Is it safe to mount a medium-sized air compressor to the floor to stop or limit vibrations?

I have a 220V 6hp 33gal oil-less horizontal air compressor that aside from being noisy rattles all over the floor. Stock Image: I would like to either mount it to the floor or build a small ...
4
votes
4answers
1k views

Risk from installing a “Nest” thermometer without shutting off home power?

I'm trying to install a new Nest-brand thermometer in my parents' house (unscrewing a thermometer from the wall and screwing on the new one. The first instruction in the manual is to shut off power ...
7
votes
1answer
281 views

What type of clothing is required when working around asbestos?

I find myself exploring environments rich in Asbestos, the specific type of asbestos appears to be both pipes and potentially the cladding around them (steam pipes etc), occasionally broken sheets as ...
13
votes
2answers
2k views

How do I join two cables outside so that they're safe and kept dry?

I have a new pond with a pump but the cable on the pump is far too short. I have some similar cable which will do the job to extend the length. My only concern is the junction outside. I need to make ...
1
vote
1answer
4k views

Why did my surge suppressor make a “pop” sound when I plugged something in?

I bought a surge-protecting power bar yesterday. It's a seven-outlet model, made by American Power Conversion Corp.; I found it at the thrift store for $4 second-hand. It appeared to be in decent ...
6
votes
3answers
6k views

Can I safely power a three-prong electrical device from a light socket?

I have a covered lampholder (light socket) outside my house that I want to use to temporarily power a plug-in string of indoor/outdoor lights. Using CFLs, the total wattage of the string of lights ...
1
vote
0answers
798 views

What dangers are associated with changing the pilot light assembly on a gas water heater?

My A O Smith ProMax gas water heater started going out at various intervals. I would re-light it and it might stay lit for a few minutes, few hours, or even a day or so. I figured it was the ...
2
votes
1answer
368 views

Is this water heater drain configuration safe?

I've just replaced my water heater and for the first time my house has a water heater drain pan. The washing machine waste line is nearby and I'd like to connect the water heater drain pan to this ...
4
votes
2answers
656 views

What protection is needed to access the crawlspace under the house?

We have a crawlspace about 2 feet tall under the house. (Scary!) Looks like it has a black plastic barrier on the ground (which I believe is just dirt). How should one dress to crawl under there, and ...
8
votes
3answers
4k views

Is an LED light strip safe to use under a bed?

I see a lot of RGB LED light strips being sold on sites like Amazon etc. The lights appear to be of decent quality, run off of 12V but do need up to 5-6 Amps to power. This is a lot of current, so ...
5
votes
2answers
12k views

Must I remove asbestos from my heating vents?

I've got an old house with some asbestos tape on the heating vents, and some old floor tiles which are asbestos suspects as well; duct cleaning firms won't do cleaning on the vents with the tape ...
4
votes
4answers
2k views

How can I safely cut this pipe with an angle grinder?

I have a two inch cast iron pipe w/cup coming up from a concrete floor. There used to be a connection at the cup for a sink drain. That piece was broken by my handy man and subsequently removed by ...
2
votes
1answer
597 views

Can replacing a T&P valve be done as DIY by a home owner?

I want to replace the T&P valve on my gas water heater since it is dripping water all the time. I talked to a couple of people such as my friend and a salesperson at a Home Improvement Store. They ...
4
votes
1answer
106 views

Should I remove limbs before felling a tree?

I'm going to fell a 75' pine in my yard. Should I cut limbs before felling the tree even if they are balanced? I've seen mixed advice. On one hand removing limbs makes the fell more predictable and ...
4
votes
1answer
412 views

Will I cause problem/cracks with jumping exercise in upper floor?

Every day I am doing my martial art practice in upper floor. It contains jumping and power movements which cause sounds downstairs. Is there any problem for concrete by this continuous jerking ...
5
votes
1answer
829 views

Is it possible to earthquake-proof furniture when you have plaster walls?

Is it possible to earthquake-proof furniture (e.g. tall bookshelves) when you have plaster walls? I was dissuaded from attaching to studs by an employee at a local hardware shop, while at the same ...