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

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13
votes
10answers
6k views

How can I protect my fingers while using a band saw?

I intend on using a band saw to cut out large meeples (the wooden pieces from the board game Carcassonne) from a 2x4 board. I'm worried about cutting my fingers. What tool can I use to help keep ...
3
votes
2answers
716 views

Can a 1x4 jack stud be used instead of a 2x4?

I just noticed that my contractor,whom is building a shed, has cut the sole plate and replaced the jack stud with a 1 by 4 to accommodate a door he ordered. He had framed the opening too small and ...
4
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
20
votes
4answers
146k 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 general,...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Can I build 11' x 5.5' loft with 2x2x8 beam and 2x4 joist?

I have looked at a lot of span tables and calculators and am not sure if I can safely build this loft. It is in a garage and will need to bear the weight of two or three people and a build-in desk ...
1
vote
2answers
112 views

What could be causing my electric hob to leak voltage?

When cleaning my ceramic hob yesterday (wet, but not excessively), I noticed some voltage going through my wet finger when touching the shaft of one of the knobs (I had removed the knobs before). I ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Why was the ground for this fluorescent fixture not connected to the ballast?

I just purchased a set of fluorescent fixtures that are fitted with a plug to connect to a standard 3-prong receptacle. My intention is to replace the plug with Romex cable, and wire the fixture ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

How can I attach a safety gate at the bottom of the stairs?

I have a wall on one side with trim molding at baseboard and opposite end is the wooden banister. What type of gate can I attach. The drywall is not holding the screws in place and we we frequently ...
0
votes
2answers
2k views

What happens if you wire a four-prong dryer cord backwards?

What happens if you get the red and black wires of a four prong dryer cord backwards? This question assumes: we are talking about U.S. Residential wiring the person doing the wiring gets the green ...
1
vote
1answer
317 views

Is there an electrical problem if my voltage/metal detector alerts for the whole wall?

I'm about to drill some 5mm diameter x 35mm deep holes to support a new curtain rail and when I used a voltage/metal detector to check for cables etc. it gives an alert for the entire surface of the ...
1
vote
2answers
464 views

Power Strip/Extension Cord on TV stand

I have a question. I have a TV stand with a capacity of 80 lb., and on it a TV that weighs ~50lb. On the wall directly behind my TV, I have two electrical outlets. On the floor, I have a surge ...
0
votes
1answer
231 views

811 just marked my utilities, can I mow my lawn?

I had 811 mark my utility lines. They were here today.They marked with both spraypaint and flags. The markings are valid per their rules for 30 days. It will be about 2 weeks before I can get the ...
-1
votes
1answer
112 views

220v Grid Tie Inverter

I just bought a 3000w 220v grid tie inverter and I'm wondering if it is safe to simply plug it into the 220v port in my laundry room (the one my dryer runs on) and then run it, or is there more I need ...
6
votes
4answers
249 views

How do you maintain good posture when working on things on the floor?

Over the past few days I've been working on some aluminum frames which are fairly large and don't fit on any tables (without stuff piled on them) I have. Now, my back is starting to hurt from being ...
0
votes
2answers
313 views

How can I know the 'capacity' of an electric socket?

I bought an electric oven, and the safety instructions say that it should be plugged to an electric socket with "capacity at least 10 Ampere". How can I tell the capacity of my electric sockets? I ...
0
votes
1answer
101 views

How can I be sure I connected the electric power socket correctly?

I just installed a new power socket (instead of an old one) for the first time. I plugged in a light lamp and it seemed to work OK. But the socket should be used with much heavier instruments (kitchen ...
1
vote
1answer
370 views

UL Listing for Small Appliances - Commercial vs Home [closed]

Is a small appliance (microwave, coffee maker, etc.) that's UL & c-UL Listed for Commercial Use Only safe to use at home? What about the reverse: is a small appliance that's UL listed for ...
1
vote
3answers
5k 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
6k 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 ...
10
votes
8answers
374 views

What do-it-yourself cautionary tales do you have?

I'm curious what sort of cautionary tales everyone has come across (or experienced themselves). For instance, my dad used to work on live wires all the time — until he was putting a stove in (...
1
vote
2answers
540 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 ...
25
votes
10answers
19k 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
114 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
3k 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
26k 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
173 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
558 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
300 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 heater,...
6
votes
1answer
428 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 ...
19
votes
4answers
73k 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
412 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
836 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
403 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
1k 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
256 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
2k 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
142 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?
4
votes
1answer
337 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 frame/...
5
votes
4answers
3k 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
473 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
5k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
11k 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
19k 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
2k 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
625 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
5k 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
1k 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
144 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
850 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...