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

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4
votes
4answers
21k 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
115 views

How can NEMA electric plug be safe ?

I'm quite scared every time I have to use NEMA plugs (I live in Japan). Coming from europe, the bottom of the two connectors is insulated This ensure that even if you touch them while plugging/...
7
votes
2answers
5k views

At what height should CO detectors be installed?

I've got a Carbon Monoxide (CO) detector (BRK CO250B, instruction sheet PDF) that I am looking to install in our house. All of the bedrooms are on the top level of our quad-level house, and I'm ...
2
votes
1answer
162 views

Is it safe to use pressure-treated wood for a workbench in my shed?

I have some leftover PT wood from building a platform for my shed. I'd like to use it to build a frame for a worktable that I can place inside that shed. It will stay dry in the shed, but the shed ...
0
votes
0answers
14 views

Is an anti-slip additive recommended for exterior latex-painted steps?

Is an anti-slip additive recommended for exterior latex-painted steps? I will soon repaint 5 steps and a small landing that lead to the front door of my home. I plan to use exterior grade latex paint. ...
2
votes
3answers
968 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
23 views

What options are there for door stops away from a wall?

I have a number of doors in different situations where opening the door fully will hit various things, in all cases I don't have a wall behind the door to fix a normal stop to. The only solution I ...
1
vote
1answer
32 views

Air Quality Concern in Apartment

I just moved to a new, old apartment. At first I did not notice anything, however I am now smelling an old, greasy, cigarette sort of smell in the kitchen near the stove and stove vent. I understand ...
18
votes
9answers
12k 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. ...
2
votes
1answer
86 views

What is the purpose of a GFI outlet tripping on low voltage?

As I went looking for a replacement for a GFI wall outlet, I noticed that the advertised features of one outlet included "low voltage trip" – that is, the GFI will trip not only when a ground fault is ...
8
votes
5answers
11k 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 I'...
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 ...
0
votes
1answer
85 views

Is it safe to put a window a/c unit over kitchen sink window?

Pretty self explanatory. I have a small window unit that would fit right over my kitchen sink window. About 2.25' of clearance above the counter top. Just thinking being near a water source may be ...
4
votes
4answers
790 views

How to (safely) retract and lower a 40' extension ladder?

Last time I was using a 40' extension ladder, it was a major challenge to retract it back from being extended and up against a wall. There were two of us and it was seriously scary. Could have gone ...
2
votes
4answers
1k 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
134 views

Is it legit to use this disconnect this way

This is more an expert question for the senior users here, i.e., licensed or former electrician, and/or engineer. I want to replace a rusted out sub panel that feeds 3 circuits at a residential dock ...
21
votes
3answers
2k views

When doing electrical work, what do I use to check wires are safe?

If I am thinking of replacing a light switch, a light-fitting, a socket/outlet or doing other work with household wiring where there may be 120 Volts or 240 volts present ... There is already a ...
1
vote
1answer
24 views

Where can I find Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS's)?

Are there government websites where I can view MSDS's? Or do I need to go to the manufacturer's website or make a request to the manufacturer for the MSDS's?
4
votes
3answers
30k 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
40 views

Building home on slab foundation on lot above natural spring

We are towards the end of costruction on a new home in rural northeast georgia on a flat lot(slight slope towards the street) and as the electric company started digging to place the final wires they ...
1
vote
2answers
181 views

Is insulation around a dryer vent hose safe?

I live in an old apartment which does not have laundry, or even laundry hookups. Since I despise laundromats, I took it upon myself to get a portable washer which connects to a sink, and a portable ...
3
votes
4answers
8k 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
87 views

How should I end this wiring?

I am doing a minor reno in a new house. I took out a wall and in it was two strands of 12-2 that went to one outlet. That wiring will not be used anymore, I don't want to splice into them or run ...
3
votes
1answer
38 views

Is it safe to plant shrubs or flowers in the soil above my septic tank?

I have a septic system that has a tank underneath my front lawn. This is an eye-sore as the access points are clearly visible to anyone coming down our driveway. I would like to plant some shrubs/...
6
votes
7answers
1k views

Why is a steel security door safe if they can break the glass, slide their hand in, and unlock the door?

OK I had a hard time thinking of a good title but here's the gist of the problem/concern I have which I can't find an answer to anywhere online. Please note that this is a very specific but common ...
2
votes
3answers
154 views

Are these blue spots on stove coil cups poisonous Verdigris?

I live in the USA and have one of these stoves: For me who comes from Europe, the design of these stove tops always baffles me compared to flat (metal or glass) stove tops seen across Europe (it ...
5
votes
1answer
3k views

When is it generally safe/acceptable to use a wire nut?

Can someone please clarify for me when exactly it's safe/acceptable to use wire nuts? Regional building codes withstanding, I think the general rules of thumb are: Only use wire nuts in enclosed/...
0
votes
3answers
118 views

Will 2 multi-port USB chargers overload a 13A socket?

I am a bit confused about some supposedly basic electronics concepts :/ (I kind of have an answer but just want to confirm) So let's say I have got this setup: A 13A 220V mains socket A 13A ...
4
votes
2answers
8k 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 (...
1
vote
0answers
32 views

Why are water heaters generally installed on a pedestal? [duplicate]

Why are tank-style water heaters generally installed on a 2-3 foot (~0.6-0.7 meter) tall pedestal?
0
votes
1answer
25 views

Can I salvage aluminized roofing paint

Through impatience, I failed to adequately mix a 5-gallon bucket of aluminized roofing paint before I hauled it up the ladder and painted my roof. Now, I am left with a huge wad of putty like ...
1
vote
3answers
558 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
111 views

Is this flue dangerous?

I had access to a ladder the other day, so naturally I was poking around in the attic of our house where we have lived for about a year. Above the closet where the furnace and water heater are located,...
13
votes
5answers
3k views

What is the relative importance of cut-retardant safety gloves when using a chainsaw?

I am evaluating some cut-retardant gloves for use with a chainsaw. At first the idea of protecting my hands appealed to me, but later I couldn't really justify to myself why that purchase would make ...
3
votes
1answer
606 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
89 views

Does my furnace's air filter do anything at all?

Our house seems very dusty. The tops of bookshelves, computer screens, etc seem to accumulate a thin film of dust just a few days after cleaning. Certain other co-inhabitants of my house have ...
1
vote
1answer
49 views

Best room for egress window?

I have a basement with a partially finished bedroom (currently used as storage) on one side, a gas furnace and tankless water heater at the foot of the staircase in the middle, and a newly finished ...
4
votes
3answers
237 views

Is it acceptable to attach elevated deck joists to rafter tails?

I'm having an attached patio built by a contractor. I am concerned about the quality of the construction. In particular the attachment of the patio joists to the house rafters. Instead of using a ...
1
vote
2answers
154 views

Weight bearing glass furniture

I've seen some furniture (beds, tables, media units) that are made of wood but sit on glass legs. See this bed with glass legs. The glass legs are usually rectangular and appears to be double ...
2
votes
1answer
53 views

Likelyhood of lead paint in 1970s build UK

I'm currently stripping some horrible old anaglypta wallpaper and noticed that under the lining paper there is a bright yellow paint underneath. Some of it is coming away, most of it is not and I'm ...
8
votes
1answer
615 views

False positive from a non-contact voltage tester?

I'm replacing a 240-volt split-phase electric baseboard heater. I've shut the power off at both the thermostat and the breaker box. Testing the wires with a non-contact voltage tester shows an ...
3
votes
5answers
16k 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
5k views

Fire Extinguisher In Unheated Garage & Shed

We are talking about getting fire extinguishers for the various areas of our house. One place where it seems a fire extinguisher would be a good idea is the garage. I also plan on adding a shed to ...
1
vote
0answers
25 views

Tool for joining tightly-woven, 2mm-thick PP webbing [closed]

By tight I mean like in seat belts. I think it's called "high tenacity". Manual stitching takes 4 painful minutes per centimeter. This would be a step up from needle held in pliers, but is there ...
0
votes
1answer
188 views

Safe location rules for bathroom sink recepticle and light switch

Bathroom sink with mirror & vanity light. Presently, the vanity light switch and single receptacle are separate from each other and in awkward locations. I intend to put them together in a single ...
7
votes
3answers
3k views

What can I do about electric code violations in a rental unit?

My fiance and I are currently renting an apartment in Baltimore, MD and recently we have become alarmed by much of the house's wiring. Things we have seen included: countless wires that are spliced ...
6
votes
7answers
1k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
94 views

Ladder is warped; how much is too much?

I recently bought a 28' fiberglass extension ladder (big-name brand from the blue box store), but I found that it's a bit warped. When I lean it against the house, with both feet firmly planted and ...
3
votes
2answers
206 views

Should threaded pipe be torqued to spec?

Most, if not all threaded automotive fasteners have specified torque, which is ensured by using torque wrenches. But how about threaded pipe, galvanized steel for water or black pipe for gas, ...