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

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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 ...
6
votes
3answers
8k 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
963 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
432 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
863 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
5k 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
14k 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
761 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
493 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
985 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
-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?
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 ...
4
votes
1answer
784 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
629 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
604 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
605 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
918 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
889 views

What de-icing products can be used on a patterned concrete walkway / driveway? (Salt causes problems.)

I came across the following question here: Is there a safe way to de-ice an unsealed driveway? The accepted answer mentions rock salt being fine for such a driveway (asphalt), and the other answer ...
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
330 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? ...
1
vote
2answers
958 views

Alarm turns on after power failure

I have an alarm mounted at home, which I don't use (it was installed by previous owners). The annoying feature is that it turns on after every power failure (i.e. when the power comes back - its ...
3
votes
2answers
258 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
4k 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?
3
votes
2answers
765 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
1k 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
864 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
155 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
740 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. ...
14
votes
3answers
5k 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
485 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
336 views

Where to find glass 'support' requirements?

Where could I go about finding the maximum safe span of a pane of glass for a specific width? I.e. say you had two rafters, X meters apart, with glazing bars, supporting a pane of toughened glass ...
2
votes
1answer
468 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 ...
16
votes
9answers
984 views

What basic safety equipment should everyone have?

When doing DIY what safety kit should everyone have (and use)?
3
votes
1answer
343 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
351 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
3answers
518 views

What is a UFCL brand circuit?

I'm shopping for a combination vent fan/light for a bathroom, and some of the ones I've found state this: UL Listed for use over bathtubs and showers when connected to a GFCI protected branch ...
4
votes
2answers
276 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
1k 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 ...
6
votes
6answers
959 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
3answers
3k views

Can a stove be beneath a window

I'm upgrading my kitchen and after endless deliberating, feel that the kitchen is best laid out having the stove directly beneath a window (the window is about 8" above the stove). I was wondering ...
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 ...
8
votes
2answers
221 views

What is an Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter?

What is an Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter (AFCI) and where should they be used?
1
vote
3answers
122 views

Safest weed killers?

Are there any weed killers that aren't endocrine disruptors or carcinogens? I'm at war with dandelions, but prefer a few dandelions to cancer or reproductive damage, most days.
17
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the safe/correct way to work on gutters? From a ladder or from the roof?

I am very comfortable working on the gutters (usually just cleaning them) from one story up by just sitting on the roof. I do this on my own home over the garage and at my parents one-story home. I ...
3
votes
1answer
172 views

What is a propane burner with multiple torches called?

If you watch Mythbusters, you'll notice they have a propane burner with a bunch of nozzles at different angles. What is this called? I would like to make or purchase one for melting metal (in a ...
2
votes
2answers
418 views

Roof Safety: Proper way to adjust position of carabiner/lanyard on rope attached at the top of the roof

Here's a diagram of a typical harness system: X | | | ?-C-L-H | | | X = attachment point | = rope C = carabiner L = shock-absorbing lanyard H = harness What's the device called that allows you to ...