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

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1
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1answer
505 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
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0answers
61 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Is this main box outdated and needs upgrade?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, ...
0
votes
4answers
817 views

Using indoor-only Xmas lights — in the outdoors, where they'll get wet

Imagine that you bought a few strings of incandescent Xmas lights. They are rated for indoor use only. The tag says not to use them outdoors. They aren't any cheaper than the outdoor-rated lights ...
0
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3answers
118 views

Will 2 multi-port USB chargers overload a 13A socket?

I am a bit confused about some supposedly basic electronics concepts :/ (I kind of have an answer but just want to confirm) So let's say I have got this setup: A 13A 220V mains socket A 13A ...
5
votes
2answers
224 views

Potential Home Grounding Issue - Illinois

I recently bought a new manufactured home. There are instances where people have touched the front door and received an electric shock. Using a non-contact voltage detector, I confirmed that there ...
2
votes
1answer
122 views

Is this consumer unit wired safely?

Each of the two devices with yellow test buttons are marked '63A'. My assumptions: The set of devices to the left of each of these are connected to them The markings on each device in the form BNN ...
1
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1answer
107 views

How should I dispose of Sulfuric Acid?

I have about 30 ml of leftover Sulfuric acid. There is a similar thread on this board suggesting ways to dispose of it. They involve adding baking soda after adding the sulfuric acid to water. However,...
0
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0answers
20 views

What load rating for securing bookcases/cabinets with anchors?

I have two full-height bookcases that I want to anchor to a concrete wall. Unfortunately I think I have only 3/4" max. embedment because of pipes, etc. I can only find two anchor options, a #6-3/4" ...
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2answers
489 views

Do paint fumes affect electronics?

I'm planning on painting a home office but I don't want to have to move all my equipment out of the room. If I keep my equipment inside and move it all to the center of the room will the fumes affect ...
1
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3answers
194 views

Protect from 3D Printer fumes [closed]

I'm planning to buy 3D Printer that can only print with ABS (Zortrax). I have a small child (3 months old) at my flat so I'm afraid that fumes can have negative impact on her health. What should I ...
0
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2answers
300 views

PVC piping for low-pressure air line?

I'm finding that I need more aeration for my aquaponics fish tanks than is practical to supply by buying small consumer-grade air pumps for each tank. Additionally, typical consumer pumps have issues ...
0
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1answer
43 views

Strength of steel tube

What is the minimum size rectangle steel tube needed to lift 500 lbs with the fulcrum in the middle of a seven foot tube? Assume a minimum of 1.5 inches outside dimensions, long side vertical. E.g:...
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2answers
353 views

Safety with Dremel 8050 Rotary tool [closed]

As of July 6, 2015: Dremel model 8050 cordless Lithium Ion 8 V Rotary Tool has been pulled and is no longer available for purchase at Lowes, Home Depot, or Amazon. Dremel Customer service advises "do ...
2
votes
1answer
162 views

Is it safe to use pressure-treated wood for a workbench in my shed?

I have some leftover PT wood from building a platform for my shed. I'd like to use it to build a frame for a worktable that I can place inside that shed. It will stay dry in the shed, but the shed ...
2
votes
2answers
380 views

Have an unused receptacle in the ceiling that used to have a fan. What is safe way to cap it?

I have an unused receptacle in the ceiling that used to have a fan attached. Now the wires are dangling out of the box (all are wire nutted to keep separate except the ground). If I go to and get a ...
2
votes
1answer
438 views

Can I terminate my dryer vent next to my gas meter?

Background I want to move my electric dryer. This involves moving the exhaust vent. This question is about where I can safely terminate the vent duct on the exterior of my home. I already understand ...
0
votes
1answer
1k views

Is it okay to throw paper towels & rags with mineral spirits in the trash bin?

Newbie painter here. Is it okay to throw rags and paper towels that soaked mineral spirits into a plastic bag and then into the trash can?
2
votes
4answers
263 views

Secret documents digital safes without an overriding key? [closed]

Are there any safes which can be opened with a programmable keypad combination or thumb fingerprint but do not come with a key? I am concerned about the fact that if somebody steals my key they will ...
2
votes
2answers
166 views

Are two prong cords safe? Audio Interface

I have an audio interface called an m-audio profire 2626 (made sometime in the late 2000's) that's just a solid metal box that takes inputs form mics and 1/4 jacks - it only has a two prong plug-in ...
0
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0answers
42 views

Advantages/Disadvantages of “pig snout” style or common two filter respirators

I'm looking at getting a respirator for mainly woodworking. I have seen the two filter type is very popular. I do not know though, with the two filter style respirator do you always need a filter on ...
3
votes
1answer
105 views

If a Drill's Clutch doesn't properly align the gears, can it cause the Chuck to loosen?

So I was using my hammer drill to drill into some masonry when I ended up hitting the clutch to a lower setting. When this happened, the trigger remained pulled for a moment, but the bit nor the chuck ...
0
votes
2answers
176 views

Is it safe to have a wall wart plugged in to a receptacle in an attic?

I'm trying to move my router to get better reception through my house. There is a perfect spot just below the ceiling in the middle of my house. I can run the CAT5 no problem, however, I'm worried ...
7
votes
2answers
5k views

At what height should CO detectors be installed?

I've got a Carbon Monoxide (CO) detector (BRK CO250B, instruction sheet PDF) that I am looking to install in our house. All of the bedrooms are on the top level of our quad-level house, and I'm ...
1
vote
1answer
623 views

Light socket adapters - are they safe?

I'm in the process of building a little grow cupboard for herbs and vegetables and want to make a row of 24-30W CFL's (compact flourecent lights) and have found these plug adapters: http://pages....
1
vote
2answers
154 views

Weight bearing glass furniture

I've seen some furniture (beds, tables, media units) that are made of wood but sit on glass legs. See this bed with glass legs. The glass legs are usually rectangular and appears to be double ...
7
votes
3answers
3k views

What can I do about electric code violations in a rental unit?

My fiance and I are currently renting an apartment in Baltimore, MD and recently we have become alarmed by much of the house's wiring. Things we have seen included: countless wires that are spliced ...
2
votes
1answer
299 views

How to safely install drywall anchors near wiring

I need to hang a rack on a pantry wall, the other side of which has a light-switch. The rack will be holding quite a bit of weight (well-distributed, and close to the wall, though), and I need to ...
1
vote
1answer
52 views

Correct gauge of wire to power 2 ceiling lightnings

I was attempting a simple home improvement project that has slowly become a bigger job than I expected. So my aunt had a light bulb hanging from the ceiling in the corridor and wanted it replaced ...
1
vote
1answer
70 views

Using a Light Bulb Socket Switch to Control a Buzzer

I am currently using a turn knob switch for light bulbs to enable and disable a buzzer. I think the buzzer runs at 12 volts and draws a few amps. Is this safe? Unless I'm told otherwise my basic ...
3
votes
2answers
3k views

How do I make my gas oven produce less carbon monoxide?

I had someone perform a combustion safety test on my oven today and he discovered that it's producing an elevated level of carbon monoxide compared to average: 80 PPM. He said the best ovens he's seen ...
0
votes
3answers
4k views

Using half of a 240v dual-phase circuit as a 120v single-phase circuit (US)

Usually when I see a 240v device, it is wired to its own double-pole circuit breaker, with each pole connected to a different 120v phase (to provide 240v total). If there is a 120v device in the same ...
3
votes
1answer
73 views

Is the light intensity from inverter type welders different from transformer type welders?

I have tried researching this, but cannot find any supporting information. I would like to know if the light intensity from inverter type welders is different to transformer type welders, and if so, ...
1
vote
2answers
388 views

Safely use a bare light socket

I've got a box of sockets like this: I was planning to mount a few of these on the ceiling, but am wondering about safety since the hot wire is essentially exposed, and would be very close to one's ...
3
votes
2answers
853 views

What are the code requirements for crossing a buried LPG line with an electric line?

Trenching for 1" Non-Metallic Liquidtight Conduit Type LFNC-B with 18" cover (10-3 W/G UF wire installed, 240V with 30A breaker) to serve a well. Just bumped into LPG line crossing conduit's path at ...
2
votes
2answers
194 views

When does one get a new extinguisher or recharge?

Do you have to recharge a fire extinguisher every year even if if still shows some charge? Is the year the standard or does it depend on whether the extinguisher is showing no charge? What if it ...
2
votes
1answer
575 views

How do I determine what max 3 way bulb will be safe in my lamp?

I bought a lamp that has a metal shade. The sticker says max 60 watt but it clicks 3 times like a 3-way with the light coming on on the second click. How do I determine what max 3 way bulb will be ...
6
votes
1answer
786 views

Why do fire extinguishers lose pressure over time?

We have a lot of fire extinguishers we're using in our company, and I'm wondering why fire extinguishers become depressurized even they're not being used, just on standby. I want to know why it's ...
0
votes
1answer
1k views

My roommate accidentally(?) left the stove on. Should I be concerned? [closed]

Not sure if this is the right place to ask, but it's somewhat of a safety question, so here goes... I came home from work the other day and saw there was a pot on the stove. Thinking one of my ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

Should I replace ALL the fuses in plugs?

In certain countries (for example the UK), plugs have fuses in them. In most cases, this is a stand 13 A fuse. My question: If I know that a device (to which the plug is attached) won't draw even a ...
1
vote
3answers
332 views

Is is safe to deal with wiring after only shutting off the room's fuse, but not the main switch?

I think the question title says it all: Given a distribution board in the house (220 VAC), is it enough to shut off only the room's fuses, or must one shut off the main switch for the board before ...
6
votes
2answers
11k views

Outdoor electrical outlet exposed to the rain

Besides tripping a circuit breaker, is there any risk created by a 120V electrical outlet getting wet from the rain? The outlet was installed on an outdoor patio by the builder, so it was intended to ...
0
votes
3answers
248 views

Are my outlets unsafe?

Some (but not all) of the electrical outlets in my kitchen look like this: (I don't know what this kind of outlet is called.) One of those outlets is where I plug in my toaster oven. In the last 6 ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

What kinds of gloves should be used for working with mortar?

I am currently working on my eagle scout project, and I will be using mortar to put together part of my project (I know this doesn't completely apply to home improvement so if this is the wrong place ...
2
votes
1answer
162 views

Is there a danger of back flow from water heater while replacing a saddle valve?

We have a leaky saddle valve feeding our humidifier. We eventually want to get a real valve installed, but for now are looking for a cheap near-term solution. Here is my concern: the original ...
1
vote
2answers
149 views

Removing a leftover oil-burner safety switch?

When I converted from oil to gas heat, the contractors left the remote "emergency off" switch in the circuit. I've since been told that these are explicitly Not Recommended for gas furnaces. Is that ...
0
votes
0answers
144 views

Asbestos in my furnace closet - should I get rid of it?

I have a home built in 1958 with a closet inside the house that contains the furnace. When the house was constructed this closet was lined with asbestos as a safety measure. How dangerous is it for my ...
3
votes
3answers
423 views

What is a quick and easy way to disable a door so you can no longer use it?

I have a two story home with a one story garage attached. The garage has a flat roof. I can access the roof through a door in my upstairs bedroom. At one time the garage roof had a fence around the ...
2
votes
4answers
4k views

What's the recommended distance of a fire pit from a building?

I'd like to know if there's an argumentation-/science-based recommendation regardless of the specific laws in different countries. Boundaries/parameters of my question: fire pit for making a(n open) ...
-2
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0answers
257 views

Why do outlet faceplates use flathead screws? [closed]

I had to take the faceplate off of an outlet to paint. I was surprised to see that is was attached by a flathead screw. Since then, I've been checking other outlets and just about every one uses a ...
17
votes
6answers
3k views

Electric shock - was I stupid, unlucky, or a combination of both?

One of the double sockets in our garage needed replacing (damaged after a washing pole hit it) - a pretty trivial job that I'd done before. So I flipped the MCB for the ring main, used a non-contact ...