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

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5
votes
1answer
548 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
469 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 ...
-3
votes
1answer
237 views

How can I install a new bathroom GFCI receptacle? [closed]

How can I install a bathroom GFCI, by connecting it to another outlet?
3
votes
4answers
9k views

How do I pressure test a natural gas line and what do the valve pressure ratings mean?

I'm planning to add an appliance to my house, and will want to do a pressure test of the newly installed gas lines. My main shutoff says 175 PSI, but most of the appliance valves say either 1/2 or 5 ...
3
votes
4answers
2k 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
0answers
29 views

How to verify if the protective earth/ground is separated from the neutral wire in an electrical AC installation? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How to verify if the protective earth/ground is separated from the neutral wire in an electrical AC installation? It's easy to verify which wire is the phase without ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Is it safe to shut off cold water entering water heater?

I have a pretty bad situation at my place. I have a leaky shower faucet which has gone from drips to a steady stream. I calculated the flow at .3 gallons per minute. My very old home has no private ...
4
votes
1answer
522 views

What should be on my pre-purchase house self-inspection checklist?

I’m looking at several homes and may purchase one, but realized that I’m probably missing important details when trying to identify potential money-pits. I have a simple checklist so I can save the ...
2
votes
2answers
679 views

Should a fire alarm be installed in the attic?

I installed hard-wired and interconnected smoke alarms through the house. I wondered, though, if a fire spread through my attic I might not know about it until the ceiling or roof collapsed. Should I ...
13
votes
4answers
3k views

How do I keep my Christmas tree from falling over?

It never fails: I bring home a 9-foot pine, cut the trunk flat, remove the lower branches, and place our Christmas tree in the stand only to have it fall over a little later in the evening. How can I ...
3
votes
3answers
406 views

Do I need to plug my snow thrower to GFCI outlet?

I bought a snow thrower with 13.5A power. One area of my house is close to a GFCI outlet but the other side of the house is not. It's just a regular outlet. So I am not sure it can be safe to use with ...
1
vote
1answer
351 views

Cool bulbs into a min 90C fixture with 60C wiring

I bought a light fixture that has a min 90°C warning. The wiring leading up to the fixture is NM (60°C wire). I was wondering if an easy workaround to this would be to install a newer, more ...
2
votes
1answer
334 views

How can I build a vertical hinging stair safety rail/siding?

I live in a New York apartment and want to use the loft bedroom for 4 year old daughter. The stairs are wooden slats built into the wall but completely open on one side...there is no safety ...
3
votes
1answer
629 views

Does my wood stove pipe have to be chrome to be safe to use?

I'm currently renting a house that has a wood stove, and figured that as it's used as a rental property, the stove would be safe to use. However a friend of mine today was telling me that if the ...
12
votes
1answer
285 views

How to make this electrical main safe

An older home has a strung electrical main. The main connects with exposed lugs on the roof above the deck. Not only is the height and location unsafe, while working on the roof today I noticed that ...
2
votes
2answers
622 views

Is it safe to cut a bit into a “Double Header(?)” over a closet door that supports ceiling beams?

So, I a closet with a lot of wood over the door area. I was hoping to make a small window over the door area for a projector. It currently looks like this from the outside. Here are the beams seen ...
2
votes
0answers
231 views

Can Rhino lining be used for a residential roof?

Is Rhino® lining a viable option for a residential roof? I know for many people it is cost prohibitive, are there any regulations concerning polyurethane coatings on a roof? Has this been done before? ...
3
votes
2answers
193 views

What can I do to prevent injuries from the corners of a wooden deck?

We recently had the floor of our wooden deck replaced and in the process, the contractor changed it from having cut-off corners to having real corners. I am concerned with how the new corner sticks ...
3
votes
2answers
504 views

How to safely install a window AC unit?

I have a standard air conditioner. I have just dropped it into the window and slammed the window closed. I am just a bit concerned that If there were high winds or an earthquake the unit could drop ...
8
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
6k views

What kind of gloves do I need for working around electrical wires?

What kind of gloves could I wear before manipulating electric wires if I really want to be safe even after having turned off house electricity? And where to buy them?
12
votes
2answers
681 views

We built a pergola, is it safe?

We found a pergola design that we loved and copied the design but now that it's (mostly) up we are questioning its stability and safety. The 2x6 beams are notched 3" to fit together, which I have ...
7
votes
2answers
456 views

Is a negative reading from a non-contact voltage detector sufficient?

I'm a beginner at doing electrical work, and I want to make sure I'm not taking unnecessary risks. Let's say that I'm preparing to work on some wiring. I have a non-contact voltage detector that ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Are there any good videos available that teach basic carpentry?

I apologies if this was already covered but I could only find a thread on books, and it was geared towards someone having some basic skills already. While I am far from useless, I never had a reason ...
1
vote
3answers
1k 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
736 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 ...
4
votes
5answers
3k views

Is it safe to run a USB cable inside a wall?

I need to extend a USB device from a corner of my room to the above the fireplace. Since I'm already going to be installing some HDMI and audio cables through the wall, I'd like to have my USB device ...
17
votes
4answers
25k 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? ...
1
vote
2answers
635 views

Recommended palm sander techniques?

I'm palm sanding (quarter sheet) flaking/chipped paint from exterior hardwood siding I want to preserve. I read some hints here, but I'm seeking any other labor-saving hints - this job is tedious. ...
10
votes
3answers
4k views

Best practice for oily rag safety?

Most everyone's heard about piles of oily/greasy rags igniting. Linseed oil seems to be a popular culprit for it, but I've also recently heard claims of common automotive oil being involved. I've ...
14
votes
3answers
3k views

Which tools should not be operated while wearing gloves?

Does anyone know of any safety organization like osha that gives a list of tools that should not be operated while wearing gloves? It has always been my understanting that a person should not wear ...
7
votes
3answers
383 views

Do Old Houses Have a Pre-determined Lifespan?

Taking into consideration the building supplies that were available in that time period for that particular geographic area (say, a major metropolitan city in the mid-western United States), do homes ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

If I do not have any fuel burning devices, do I need a carbon monoxide detector?

Is there any reason that a home without any fuel burning devices would need a carbon-monoxide detector?
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
1answer
295 views

Alternatives to extension cord over the grass to light a Christmas tree

I have a nice little pine tree that sits about 30 feet from the corner of my house. Ideally, I think it would look nice to throw some Christmas lights on it and spread some holiday cheer. I hesitate ...
3
votes
1answer
223 views

Can I use a rusty soldering iron?

I am thinking of getting back into stained glass. One of the projects I want to work on is to fix a stained glass window that has a section with a crack in it. I was given a couple soldering irons ...
20
votes
10answers
11k 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
321 views

Is it within code to complete 12g wiring circuit with 10g wire?

In installing a dishwasher on a dedicated 20amp circuit on 12g wiring, I've come short about 5 feet to run a line. I have some surplus, heavier, 10g wire. Would it be safe to install a junction box ...
5
votes
4answers
711 views

Can re-closing a circuit-breaker be dangerous?

I have a circuit breaker that keeps tripping. When i try to reset (close) it, it immediately jumps back to the open position with a noise that sounds a little scary. I have now stopped trying to do ...
15
votes
8answers
5k views

Would bullet proof glass help deter burglars? How does it compare to normal glass?

We consider buying an apartment, which has previously been used as a shop. Our only concern is that it has large windows (2,5 meters x 2,5 meters), which would function like an invitation to burglars. ...
13
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
232 views

Is operating a 66' boom lift something that a non-construction type homeowner could likely manage?

I'm wanting to mount a radio receiver (for internet access) to a really tall tree in my yard. I don't have a death wish so climbing it with tools is a non-starter. So I've been thinking about renting ...
1
vote
1answer
901 views

Is earthing required for a submersible water pump?

I have a submersible water pump with a power cable that ends with a three-pronged plug with a protective neutral contact. Having a matching outlet is problematic - there are only unearthed outlets at ...
11
votes
4answers
8k views

Extension cord and power strip safety

I've heard that there are some safety and building code issues involved with using extension cords or power strips (surge protectors) for anything other than temporary use. What are the issues, and ...
12
votes
3answers
42k views

How do you know when and where it is safe to drill into a wall?

Lots of home projects involve cutting or drilling through walls (everything from nails, screws, or hooks to mount things to cutting through drywall and drilling through studs to run wire). In ...
6
votes
6answers
750 views

What is the safest way to cut up an old kerosene storage tank?

Folks, I need to remove an old kerosene storage tank (for central heating) from my in-laws back garden. The tank is moulded plastic, and has a 1,000 litre capacity. The access point it was ...
7
votes
2answers
406 views

What is the best short-term solution for fused neutrals?

I have inherited a house that has been in my wife's family since 1860. I do not know when it was electrified, but it seems to have skipped knob and tube. There is a lot of fabric-covered wire, and ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Covered or Locking Light Switch?

I have an attic fan that is operated by a regular old light (toggle) switch. The problem is that the switch was installed by the previous owner in the master walk-in closet, right where one would ...
1
vote
2answers
414 views

How to install 230V Light with Light-activated-resistor?

I am trying to set up light-activated-resistors that activate a light during dark hours. I have bought a ready Chinese thing that apparently contain a driver to change from AC to proper DC output for ...
0
votes
2answers
143 views

Safety about windows

The house which I rent and am living in has a kitchen on the first floor, where there is a window facing the yard with its lower half covered by security bar and screen, like this one . Is it safe ...