1
vote
0answers
19 views

How can I protect my hardwood floors without sanding and refinishing?

At some point, I do plan to sand down my hardwood floors and refinish them in my 100 year old home. However, It's a 100 year old home. There is no subfloor, the hardwood is installed right on the ...
0
votes
0answers
14 views

Changing sconce from flourescent to halogen

The new sconce has two black wires and ground. Can it be used in existing location which has one black and one white wire?
4
votes
2answers
345 views

how critical are distances between studs?

I'm in the process of finishing my basement (east-central Minnesota, US). So far, I've put up a couple of wood stud walls... non-load bearing, simple partition walls. One one of these walls, the ...
11
votes
5answers
11k views

What is simplest strategy to map circuits to breakers in the panel?

My breaker box is very poorly labeled and I want to figure out which circuits may have overloaded (or close to it) and which could reasonably handle a little more. In the past I have just tried ...
2
votes
2answers
16k views

What can cause an electric water heater to stop working?

Last night my electric water heater stopped working and I'd like to figure out whats wrong with it before going off and calling a repair service. What are some things I can do to troubleshoot this? ...
1
vote
2answers
30 views

after sealing the chimney, fireplace still not insulated

I found a way to use a large chimney balloon and pretty much block all downdraft. Sadly, the fireplace and hearth are still very cold, and it sucks heat out of the surrounding floor too. Perhaps the ...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

Can metal studs support a 64" plasma TV on a swiveling mount?

Alright, I need a sanity check here. I've been tasked with mounting a 64" plasma TV with an articulating mount onto a metal stud wall in the corporate boardroom. It's the quadruple-threat with no room ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

What could cause tap water to become smelly after a while?

I keep two glass bottles filled with tap water in a small fridge in my bedroom. The tap water smells fine out of the spout. A few days ago I noticed that the tap water begins to smell bad after ...
1
vote
1answer
105 views

Replaced outlet, no power to that circuit

I am not electrician. I am a DIYer and have some experience with replacing breakers, doing basic electrical work, but nothing really "advanced". An outlet was recently cracked, and my roommate went ...
4
votes
3answers
3k views

Should I use a 6 mil poly moisture barrier for engineered hardwood floor installed over concrete slab-on-grade?

I am planning to install an engineered hardwood floor over a slab-on-grade subfloor. The slab is bone dry but I understand it's wise to install a moisture barrier anyway. My plan right now is to ...
13
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
8k views

How much weight can an old work box hold?

I will be installing new light fixtures in two bathrooms that look like this: Each fixture will be replacing a light box. Meaning it is a simple chrome plated box about 30" wide with a plastic ...
0
votes
0answers
14 views

Can i replace the existing screed on concrete slab with floor insulation and electric underfloor heating?

Can i replace the existing screed on concrete slab with floor insulation and electric underfloor heating ? Standard screed thichness is something like 50 mm to 80 mm or so. My idea is to replace the ...
3
votes
2answers
46 views
+50

What should I do to increase the dimming range of LED bulbs?

We started doing most of our homes in LED last year. I am a big dimmer fan and would pretty much put a dimmer on any light switch. One thing that I haven't gotten down is the dimming range of the ...
2
votes
4answers
50 views

Should I proactively replace old GFCI outlets?

The way I understand this page about GFCI outlets: (a) GFCI outlets can fail after about 10 years, making them unable to detect faults, (b) when outlets made after 2006 fail, they shut off power ...
0
votes
0answers
18 views

How would I go about building a movable-arm keyboard & mouse tray?

Strain injuries are the blight of the programmer. I've just ordered an ergonomic desk chair. However, if I am sitting back with my keyboard/mouse on my desk, I think this is going to still cause ...
1
vote
3answers
2k views

Exhaust fixture for venting bathroom fan through roof

I'm planning to install a roof vent for a bathroom exhaust fan I'm putting in. I'm thinking about using one of these: but I was wondering if I need to worry about it getting blocked by ice or snow? ...
0
votes
1answer
321 views

Can I replace this Airwell thermostat?

I am in market to replace my simple A/C control unit with one that integrates with home my z-wave based home automation system. However, before I make the splash and buy a compatible thermostat, I ...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

How can I install a ceiling fan that needs a 4“ box where I only have a 3” box?

As part of a home renovation project I discarded my old ceiling fan and have bought a new one. When installing the new one the electrician tells me that I have a 3" junction box and that I'll need a ...
1
vote
1answer
126 views

How do I wire a light controlled by two switches?

The ballast in one of our oldest florescent lights finally died, so I thought it would be a good opportunity to replace it. The wiring was a bit of a jumble (I should have taken a photograph). We ...
0
votes
0answers
11 views

looking for a flat plastic shower caddy shelf** [on hold]

Never done this before but am looking for a plastic shower shelf but cannot seem to find one anywhere only glass or baskets the one I have is a flat shelf with a rim it is 20inches long and 4inches ...
0
votes
1answer
115 views

Can I replace a 48“ glass sliding closet door with two 24” doors?

Need to replace two broken 48 inch glass sliding doors with 48 inch panel sliding doors but unable to find 48 inch panel sliding closet doors. Possible to attach two 24 inch doors together?
1
vote
1answer
78 views

Circuit breaker keeps popping, how do I troubleshoot?

The 20 amp breaker to my garage keeps popping. On that circuit is one outdoor floodlight fixture, one outlet receptacle (with nothing plugged into it), and two light fixtures with 60 watt ...
0
votes
1answer
54 views

Cutting back a carpet edge.

I have a tile entrance at my walk in basement door that I want to make larger. If I cut back the carpet a couple feet will I have to restretch the carpet?
0
votes
1answer
53 views

Baseboard heater and thermostat trouble!

My baseboard heater in a bedroom quit working. I tried to replace it and the thermostat at the same time (both are 120v). Neither would work, so I tested my wires and this is what I got: ground to ...
1
vote
1answer
65 views

How do I stop the black sludge coming from our bathroom faucets?

I have a black looking sludge dripping from our bathroom faucets. What can be done to stop this?
1
vote
1answer
119 views

Why is hot water coming out of the faucet but the shower is ice cold? (Diverter not on spout)

My shower has 3 knobs & the spout. The diverter (that turns from spout to shower) is in center of shower wall between hot & cold knobs. I've checked to ensure the diverter knob is fully turned ...
4
votes
2answers
3k views

Why does voltage still exists when a circuit is broken by a 3-way switch?

My parents got a ceiling light for my parents for Christmas, which I was tasked with installing. I don't know why I bothered to check the voltage before putting the new fixture on (and after taking ...
1
vote
1answer
217 views

How do sound-dampening drywall clips affect the ability to hang objects on the wall?

I'm evaluating options for sound-proofing drywall, and am considering sound-dampening clips such as Genie Clips. In this approach the drywall isn't directly mounted to the wall studs. How would I ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

Why is an AFCI tripping when a particular light on a different circuit is turned on?

I have 4 GE AFCIs in a GE subpanel in my basement. Occasionally, when I turn on a bank of dimmable CFL lights via a CFL-rated dimmer switch, I get a trip in a particular AFCI breaker that's on the ...
2
votes
1answer
216 views

What kind of toilet tank is this?

This is the toilet tank in my apartment. A few days ago I started noticing brown residue in the water. Upon investigation, I encountered a toilet tank I'm not familiar with... there's an "outer" tank, ...
0
votes
1answer
38 views

Flood lights and Home Automation

I am trying to incorporate my outdoor flood lights with motions sensors into my home automation system. Specifically, I would like to sense when the lights come on to trigger other home automation ...
1
vote
1answer
37 views

Problems with GFI outlets recently installed

I had 3 GFI outlets installed recently in my home in by a contractor and now have some lights that do not work at all. The contractor put one in my kitchen, one in my 2nd floor bathroom and one in ...
0
votes
0answers
18 views

Does anyone have experience refacing/resurfacing a bathroom sink?

One of our rentals has a very surface-damaged bathroom sink (circa 1940) that is built in to a tiled countertop ~ removing the sink poses too many concerns, not the least of which is damage to the ...
1
vote
2answers
113 views

How can I fix a patio with drainage problems?

I would like to fix the problems that are show in the picture below. Basically when it rains the water pools near the corner of my house in the two areas circled in this picture. The result is that ...
0
votes
2answers
47 views

Do polyphosphates reduce scale in refrigerator ice makers?

I am considering switching to a polyphosphate-containing water filter for my refrigerator ice maker/water dispenser. Currently, I use softened water to prevent calcium build-up in the ice ...
0
votes
0answers
37 views

Coast 3-way — does this conform with Code?

For those who aren't familiar, the California or Coast 3-way switching arrangement is a method of wiring a three-way switch circuit that is used when both a switched and an unswitched hot are desired ...
7
votes
6answers
11k views

Can two circuits' neutrals be tied together (not a single neutral wire, but two that have been connected)?

Related to but different from this question, I have two three-way switches in my house, which are in multi-gang boxes at the top and bottom of the staircase and control lights at the top and bottom ...
1
vote
2answers
39 views

How can I identify these small screws for my range hood lights?

I have a "Inca HC Hilo 72" built-in range hood over my stove. There are two small light bulbs in the hood, each one sitting in a bracket which is held in place by two small screws. These screws are ...
1
vote
2answers
23 views

How do I reduce the noise from my forced air furnace?

We recently had a new forced air furnace and return installed. The unit works great, but the return (which is in an adjacent closet to the furnace closet) is quite loud. What are some solutions I can ...
0
votes
1answer
43 views

How do I get acceptable water pressure when using two faucets on my 1/2" water main?

I have a 1/2" water main entry, and if I open water in 2-3 places in the house, the water pressure is very low. How can I fix this?
2
votes
1answer
65 views

Receptacle connection with aluminum wiring?

I recently purchased a home that has some aluminum wiring. The previous owner decided to "upgrade" the receptacles to make it "safer" for me and my family; these changes were made after the general ...
0
votes
1answer
60 views

How can I attach to drywall with aluminum studs?

First, how can I find the studs? My normal and good stud finders are mostly baffled. Second, what should I use to anchor into them? I'm thinking some sort of self-expanding toggle bolt?
8
votes
2answers
2k views

How do I run a wire underground to an outdoor post lamp?

I live in Geauga county Ohio. My question is three part. First what type of wire do I need to run from the house underground to a post lamp 100 feet away? Second,does it need to be in conduit and ...
2
votes
2answers
104 views

What is the best position for a French drain between a wall and a patio?

Below is the layout of my patio and the context The patio settled and now moisture collects at the base of the wall causing efflorescence on it and small cracks in the cement coating at the base of ...
0
votes
1answer
63 views

How do you wire a 3 switch box in a bathroom?

I'm replacing an old outdated 3 switch unit with a newer one to match the rest of the bathroom. One switch controls a light, one controls the exhaust fan, and the third controls a heating element. ...
3
votes
1answer
620 views

What should I do about my rendering & damp-proof course?

I have a house that was built around 1890 and is of brick construction with a rendered band running around the base which also forms square edged columns around the front door. Until recently the ...
0
votes
1answer
49 views

switching half an outlet

gregmac's terrific, detailed replies here prompt a question for me. I have a switch mid-circuit that will control half of the next outlet downstream. There is one more outlet after that one, and it's ...
3
votes
4answers
184 views

Rim Joist Insulation without a Sill Plate

I've seen a few similar questions but the answers don't add up... I would like to use some rigid foam insulation to insulate my rim joists. Here is the problem: everything I have seen shows putting ...
0
votes
0answers
22 views

Decorating questions. What color for door hinges, knobs, faucets? Can I spray paint hinges? [on hold]

We're preparing to sell a 15-yr-old, middle-class home in a nice subdivision. I'm told the brass needs to go. First, what color is preferable - silver, chrome, brushed nickel, other? Most hinges are ...

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