9
votes
2answers
2k views

How do I tell if a light switch is live?

I have a light switch that I want to get rid of. I don't know if it is active or not. I want to wallpaper the wall. How do I tell if the circuit is "live" and if so how to turn it off so it is safe ...
2
votes
1answer
143 views

Can a sun tunnel be installed with a 15 to 20 degree angle in it?

Can a sun tunnel be installed with a 15 to 20 degree angle in it? If so, how would it affect the amount of light it transfers into the room?
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Is it a good idea to repair a squeaky floor from above?

I have a second floor that squeaks, a lot. Attempts at using scored screws haven't helped much, and the carpet is due for replacement, so there is little concern about pulling it up. A contractor ...
2
votes
3answers
8k views

Why do some free-standing ice makers need floor drains?

I am about to begin a bar installation project. I need an ice maker. There appear to be two kinds of free standing ice makers - those that do and do not require drains. Why does one type need a ...
1
vote
2answers
748 views

Is it possible to use this reclaimed hardwood flooring?

I am planning on reusing some old hard wood flooring reclaimed from another parts of the house. I should note I have an old house that the original portion was built in 1760 with an add on done ...
2
votes
2answers
709 views

What could be causing wall cracks through the middle of our house

We have been fixing cracks in our interior, and exterior walls since we moved into our house 3 years ago, and it just keeps getting worse. Our house sits between a field that goes uphill at a 45 ...
3
votes
4answers
16k views

How long does latex paint last?

I have several buckets of four-year old latex paint leftover from finishing our basement. Many are still in unopened original containers, in particular, our primary wall paint. I opened one to use ...
3
votes
2answers
931 views

How do I protect paint on a steel outer door from scratching?

I need to attach a plastic guard onto an outer steel door, to protect the paint from scratching by my dog (and visiting dogs...this is a rural setting). Is there a glue that is clear that I can use? ...
2
votes
1answer
3k views

How are homes typically wired for cable service distribution and what can I do so that each of my home's outlets works?

I've recently moved and the new home has cable outlets in several of the rooms. Cable service was recently installed and works for one line entering the home, but not for any of the home's existing ...
1
vote
2answers
4k views

What diameter pipe do I need to adjust this basin waste pipe?

I fitted a new tap and waste outlet to a small basin, because the new outlet is shorter than the old, the plastic pipework no longer reaches (see photo) I can force the parts to mate but I don't like ...
4
votes
4answers
363 views

In this scenario is my electrician giving good advice?

So I asked Why does my ceiling lights require some other outlet in the room to be turned on and off again before it works? a while ago, and the consensus was that my electrics were arcing and that I ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

How do I mount TV through 3 layers of drywall and into studs?

I have a 65lb 46" LCD television and a Sanus "flush" style wall mount. The mount instructions suggest that it shouldn't be mounted anywhere where there is more than the thickness of a single sheet of ...
0
votes
2answers
1k views

How can I replace a light switch with strange wiring?

Here's what we have in the box: (2) Black wires (1) Yellow wire (1) Capped cluster of white wires. Here's how it was wired: As stated above, the three white wires were capped. One black wire was ...
2
votes
1answer
385 views

What important factors should I consider when building a dog house?

I've never actually done this before, and I know that there's more to it than just slapping some pieces of wood together. I live in a place that gets pretty much all the extremes of weather, ...
4
votes
1answer
545 views

Why is this ceiling light fixture wired this way?

I'm trying to replace the hanging light below and I've gotten a little confused. Shouldn't the brown wire on the left be connected to the live (red) wires rather than the neutral? I understand that ...
6
votes
3answers
8k views

How can I figure out what mystery wall switches might do?

I have a two-story house with blown-in insulation in the attic. There are at least four wall switches in my house (some on the ground floor, some upstairs) that seem to serve no discernible function. ...
4
votes
1answer
3k views

What are the relative merits of stainless steel vs. granite composite sinks?

I am about to begin a project to install a bar sink. I am debating between granite composite, such as the Blanco, and a conventional stainless steel sink. In either case, the sink will be mounted ...
4
votes
2answers
5k views

How can I convert Cat5e wired sockets to Ethernet?

I recently moved to a new home and I noticed that the phone jacks (RJ-11) were connected using Cat5e cable. I'm thinking I can replace the RJ-11 plugs with RJ-45 and use Ethernet over the existing ...
8
votes
3answers
25k views

What's the best way to keep my garage from freezing?

I live in Colorado. My 1950s house has a one-car attached garage that was built in the 2000s. The walls that are not shared with the house are not insulated: the studs and sheathing are visible from ...
4
votes
1answer
425 views

Does the smell of paint linger or penetrate other materials?

My girlfriend is away for the weekend, I and I want to suprise her by doing some painting and some shelfmaking. The wall I want to paint is a in a rather small room, with a lot of old screw holes ...
5
votes
2answers
4k views

What type of subflooring should I use for a basement?

My basement has wall-to-wall carpet in the two bedrooms and living area. The carpet was probably from the 70's when the house was built and we decided to remove it. After removing the carpet from ...
5
votes
2answers
225 views

Can I have underfloor heating with solid oak floor?

I've seen that many underfloor heating mats (the electric ones) specify the need for tile or stone floor and I'm wondering if it will work as efficiently under a solid oak floor? (or any wood floor ...
4
votes
1answer
430 views

What to watch out for when using lithium grease?

I've only used machine oil compounds for lubrication previously, lithium grease is new to me. What do I watch out for? I mean when using machine oil and similar stuff it should not be applied to ...
4
votes
2answers
17k views

How do I replace this dimmer switch to a conventional switch?

I want to replace the dimmer switch in my kitchen with a conventional light switch. However I could use a little guidance. I understand the two black wires are the hot wires, and the green is ...
2
votes
1answer
3k views

What could cause excessive condensation drainage from my heat pump?

I have a one-year-old heat pump in my attic that is producing substantially more condensate this summer than it did last summer (and last summer was hotter!). There is a drain pan that is often full ...
2
votes
2answers
828 views

How can I take apart this kind of tap to replace the washer?

I need to replace the washer on this tap as it keeps leaking. The tap design seems quite similar to the one described here, but it seems the middle section cannot be turned (it's completely round, ...
1
vote
1answer
811 views

What power and type of in-line bathroom extractor fans should I be looking for?

We had some mould appear in our bathroom and I suspected that our inline extractor fan was underpowered. As it happens the extractor just stopped working, so I'm in the market for a replacement. I ...
3
votes
1answer
11k views

What are the primary differences between air paint sprayers and airless paint sprayers?

I have an upcoming project where I'm going to need to be painting 7 interior doors and a few hundred feet of trim. Next summer I'm likely going to also have to start restaining the exterior of the ...
3
votes
2answers
182 views

How do I trade the lights that these two light switches control with each other?

I have two light switches in my bathroom. I'd like to swap the lights that they operate with each other. I have no experience with this kind of thing, but I'm hoping the proximity of the two ...
8
votes
2answers
14k views

How should I configure my plumbing with PEX?

I have a house built in 1940, which has a mix of copper, PVC and galvanized pipe for its plumbing at present. I am going to be gutting the upstairs bathroom in the near future, and have access to ...
9
votes
5answers
5k views

Is this plastic pipe connecting city water to the main line dangerous?

I bought a whole house water filter to hook up to the main water line. The plumber who came in said that he won't be able to install it because the pipe that comes from the ground hooked up to the ...
4
votes
1answer
232 views

Can I wire a secondary 240V breaker box for lab equipment from Europe?

I have a dental lab in Europe and might want to move it to the USA. Some of the equipment rates as high as 4kW, and the the total maximum draw is 15kW for the whole lab. Can I wire a secondary breaker ...
4
votes
2answers
547 views

How do I prepare this porous interior wall for paint?

In one of the rooms in my house the walls are wallpapered. Underneath the wall is rough and porous (see picture). My plan is to strip the wall paper and eventually paint it, but research seems to ...
2
votes
4answers
1k views

Alternative equipment(s) to drill a few holes on a 0.5 cm plastic beside using a small drill

Are there other alternatives beside a small drill (shown below) to drill a few holes on a 0.5 cm plastic? (Looking for something that is inexpensive, save energy, portable and can drill a decent hole ...
4
votes
2answers
4k views

What kind of tool is used to stir paint in a can?

The paint(3+ months old) in my can has separated but I'm not sure what kind of tool to use to stir it. It is latex paint used for indoor purposes. Does anyone has any recommendation on what tool to ...
2
votes
1answer
411 views

Can I use a spray sealer and primer over a patched drywall followed by painting over it?

I have patched one of my wall from a few holes(5) where each is about a finger big. Since it is not a big surface area, can I use a spray stain sealer and primer, and then apply paint over the entire ...
2
votes
2answers
824 views

Using a solar system with a condensing boiler for the central heating instead of tap-water?

According to the manual of my AWB ThermoMaster 2HR 28.02WT Condensing boiler, it is compatible with a pre-heating solar system for tap-water only. It even has extra facilities to ensure that the ...
4
votes
2answers
3k views

Can I move the range hood but not the roof vent (angled “flue” pipe)?

I have a typical 30" stove installed in the center of a 20' wall with a standard overhead hood that looks a lot like this. I want to redesign my kitchen with new cabinets so the stove becomes ...
2
votes
1answer
161 views

How do I get the shine back on the bottom of my acrylic shower stall?

How do I get the shine back on the bottom of my acrylic shower stall?
6
votes
3answers
2k views

Can an external light fixture and an external receptacle share a circuit?

I have to get power to provide an outlet for an awning at high level. The nearest power source is an external light fixture. Can I wire into this? If so is there anything special I should know?
3
votes
1answer
21k views

Troubleshooting a leaking exterior door

I have an exterior door that leaks water into the house when rain is blown against it. The floor on the inside of the house is unfinished, meaning it is just the raw subfloor. I don't want to put the ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

How do you access the Rainsoft water softener “advanced” settings, such as hardness?

The user manual says that this setting is setup "by your Rainsoft dealer" when the softener is installed. Well, I bought mine off of Craigslist and I don't know how to verify if the settings are ...
10
votes
5answers
55k views

What's the standard height for an outlet?

I am installing outlets in my patio room. What is the standard height recommended above the ground for these to be installed?
4
votes
4answers
5k views

How should I insulate the walls and ceilings of this 1920's semi-detached brick house?

I'm renovating a 1920's semi-detached house. The plaster on the walls was slapped straight on the wall about an inch thick, and the ceilings were lath and plaster which had been overboarded. Most of ...
2
votes
2answers
758 views

Is it possible to detect from the power outlet if there would be current that needs grounding?

In my house we have 2 outlet power sockets (no earth) and whenever I charge my laptop I would get electric shock from the laptop when I am touching ground like if I hold laptop on my lap and touch the ...
1
vote
2answers
6k views

How can I tell if stains are caused by a ceiling that is drying out, or if there is still a leak?

Historically we've had a leak from our shower in our bathroom which has leaked into the neighbour below's bathroom and kitchen (this has gone though the bathroom wall to the kitchen which is ...
2
votes
1answer
412 views

What is involved in sizing and designing ducts and ductwork?

I have a one-story house, and it looks like it would be easy to run new ducts myself in the attic. What should I know before trying to design a duct system myself? I have seen ductwork that's metal ...
2
votes
2answers
841 views

How can I build an insert on a desk that adjusts the height of a sewing machine?

I'd like to take my executive desk ( now sewing table) and cut out a piece of it to use as a support for my sewing machine. I want the sewing machine support able to lower the machine to table height, ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

How can I prevent animals from eating my wooden swingset?

I have a Rainbow swingset made of a Chinese wood called Cunninghamia. The squirrels and deer in my backyard have begun to chew the wood relentlessly. Is there anything I can do to prevent them from ...
1
vote
1answer
287 views

Can I attach drop ceiling molding to a brick chimney?

I have a drop ceiling in most areas of my basement. The previous owners did not complete the job over top of where the wood stove is, and around the brick chimney behind the stove. I don't think this ...

15 30 50 per page