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

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6
votes
7answers
418 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
122 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
52 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 ...
0
votes
3answers
109 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
31 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
553 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
95 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 ...
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
517 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? ...
4
votes
3answers
26k 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
67 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
38 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
135 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
147 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
46 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
414 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
14k 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 ...
6
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
24 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
57 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
2k 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
71 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
190 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, ...
3
votes
1answer
57 views

Correct way to attach outlet wall plate?

I have been replacing the outlets in my house with Tamper Resistant outlets. On some of the replaced receptacles, the plate does not tightly attach to the wall—it can be pried back by my fingers. (I ...
7
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
14
votes
6answers
9k 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 understanding that a person should not wear ...
5
votes
2answers
84 views

What is the *interrupting rating* of a GFCI receptacle?

Say, we have a UL943 compliant 15A GFCI receptacle on a garden-variety 15A grounded branch circuit. Some nitwit comes along and wirenuts the receptacle's load-side hot to the branch circuit ground, ...
23
votes
4answers
2k views

How can it be dangerous to feed a water heater from two separate panels?

In a recent question, a user asked "Can a water heater be installed between two apartments and wired to both apartments' breaker boxes, effectively splitting the bill between the two?". One of the ...
0
votes
1answer
36 views

Is this bell circuit safe?

I have an old-fashioned doorbell (like this one: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c1/DoorBell_001.jpg) Is it safe to connect it directly to a power supply (I am using a ac/dc ...
4
votes
3answers
299 views

Changing fluorescent tube: how many degrees to turn?

I have a broken fluorescent tube (housing is intact, but it flickers instead of lighting up properly) that I have to change (bottommost type in the image). I can turn it about 20 degrees, but it ...
5
votes
4answers
580 views

How can I safely sand a small, thin item with a belt/disc sander?

I have small, thin items measuring roughly 4"x2" with a depth of only .33". I need to sand the back of them down evenly, and have been using a belt sander to do so. However, I'm a little nervous about ...
3
votes
3answers
172 views
3
votes
1answer
67 views

Splitting maul handle cracked… is it still usable?

I was splitting logs for firewood today, and must have swung wrong, because the outer shell of the fiberglass handle on my maul shattered. Although the core of the handle appears intact, and the ...
0
votes
1answer
1k views

Is it okay to use brass inserts in a plastic reverse osmosis pipe?

I've learned that letting metal contact reverse osmosis filtered water is generally a bad idea as it corrodes the metals and leaches them into the clean water supply. However, I'm having a hard ...
0
votes
0answers
51 views

Can a furnace safety limit switch with manual reset be changed out with an auto reset switch?

I have a Ruud natural gas furnace from 1987. Overall it works well. I've had my home warranty service send out an HVAC tech a couple times for the high limit switch needing to be reset. It's a manual ...
2
votes
1answer
50 views

In a solidly grounded wye service, is an open neutral an emergency?

Open neutrals in 120/240V North American split phase services are considered an emergency due to the fire and equipment damage hazard unbalanced legs pose. However, there are residential buildings ...
9
votes
4answers
6k 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
130 views

Is surface-mounted cabling on my basement ceiling a threat to my safety?

I am concerned about a wiring issue in a basement of a home I will be moving to. Someone put paneling on the ceiling and the wiring is stapled to the paneling and some of the wires are bundled ...
0
votes
1answer
105 views

Starting to build up my tools collection, is 110v preferable over 240v?

I am just starting out on my first major project this weekend and I am looking at getting some new tools. I've had experience using plenty of 240v power tools, but now that I am looking at getting my ...
14
votes
4answers
3k views

Safe/professional way to transport lumber with just a roof rack

I'm doing some home improvement, and have the necessary skills, tools, etc, for the job. There is one thing I'm lacking: a large pickup truck for transporting lumber. A buddy of mine used to have one, ...
1
vote
2answers
90 views

Can I use a 2x6 beam stretched across a few of these roof rafters to support a hammock?

I want to hang a large hammock in my reading room. It used to be an open-air carport structure and so the construction is fairly lightweight. Here're some pictures of the ceiling/roof in question ...
1
vote
1answer
77 views

Do I need to seal / moisture-proof an outdoor plug?

I have an outdoor plug socket (UK) in my garden that is ip66 sealed (basically the plug is inside a box that you can open and close). I intend to use this plug for a hot tub in our garden, but there ...
5
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
99 views

Is it safe to mix LEDs and incandescents in a chandelier?

I've been having an issue for a while now where my chandelier light fixture installed with six Cree 60W LED replacement bulbs flickers when I raise my traditional dimmer to max brightness. As I ...
8
votes
4answers
10k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
60 views

How safe are flammables as indoor cleaners?

I just cleaned some range hood duct with Seafoam. I was wondering how long after initial application things like it or rubbing alcohol remain active on the surface to present a fire hazard. How do you ...