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

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4
votes
1answer
3k 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
3k 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 ...
11
votes
5answers
4k 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
450 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 ...
24
votes
10answers
17k 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
3k 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
104 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
1k 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
14k 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
154 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
443 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
206 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
1k 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
355 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
55k 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
247 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
2answers
538 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 ...
6
votes
7answers
303 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
998 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 ...
-3
votes
1answer
198 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
124 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
3k 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
5k 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
253 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
2k 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
367 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
3k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
7k 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
11k 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
1k 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
497 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
1k 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
6k 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
4answers
3k 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
875 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
117 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
570 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
1k 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
2k 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
350 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
31 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
941 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
653 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
717 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
721 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
975 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
396 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
908 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 ...