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

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3
votes
3answers
185 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
98 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
13k views

Why does my laptop charger make a spark when plugged in?

From time to time (not always but often enough) when I plug my laptop's charger in the wall outlet it makes a spark (even if I use different outlets it's the same). Why does it do this? Is this a ...
6
votes
1answer
293 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
554 views

Any problem with installing two identical circuit breakers in series?

Suppose I want to reduce risk of a circuit breaker malfunctioning and failing to disconnect a shorted circuit. What if I install two identical breakers sequentially (one after another) so that if one ...
1
vote
2answers
387 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
211 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?
3
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
5k views

How safe is having my boiler in my daughter's bedroom?

I just moved into a new house where the 10 year old boiler is located in the bedroom where my 3 year old daughter sleeps. I'd like to get an idea of how safe/dangerous this situation is. Could the ...
4
votes
3answers
5k 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
2k views

Properly venting a gas water heater

Ahh, the joys of an old house. The former owners of my house did some funky stuff with venting the water heater. Let me explain: the water heater is in the basement there is a 3 in single walled ...
3
votes
2answers
411 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
15k 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
248 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
2k 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
855 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
11k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
-3
votes
1answer
170 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
1k 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
121 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Can I use two ladders to create a makeshift scaffold?

I have a really high stairwell to do walls around (cca 18 ft). Scaffolding is impractical. I had rigged a temporary platform that I used to hang drywall and it worked well but I had to remove it ...
4
votes
2answers
4k 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
316 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
226 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
5k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
877 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
437 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
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
767 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
108 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
494 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
995 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
979 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
337 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
5answers
33k 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
5answers
7k 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
30 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
2answers
7k 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
794 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
3answers
2k 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
5answers
14k 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
631 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
610 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
618 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
921 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
372 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
1k 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
335 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? ...