2
votes
1answer
3k views

How should I treat a rusty corner bead in the bathroom before covering it again?

The paint got scraped off the corner bead in my bathroom, and now it's rusty. How can I treat it before spackling and repainting?
3
votes
5answers
15k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
458 views

Can an alcove tub be installed with most of it behind a wall?

Please forgive the quick sketch for the concept, but I'm wondering if the following is prohibited by code, or failing at that, a bad idea in general. I have a small (6'8" x 9'3") bathroom that needs ...
2
votes
2answers
3k views

When extending a wrench using a breaker bar, should I connect the two with a spline bit?

Can I use my wrench/spanner which has a box end / 12-point spline, and connect a breaker bar using a 12-point spline bit to it to get extra leverage. Or is it more common to use extending bar/pipe ...
1
vote
0answers
78 views

How do I set the timer for a Baxi Luna boiler?

I cannot set the timer for a Baxi Luna boiler. I have tried everything. The heating will come on and off but not on the timer.
1
vote
2answers
8k views

Why does the air flow heavily from my downstairs vents, but very weak from my upstairs vents?

I live in a two-story townhouse where the first floor is ground-level on a slab. On the first floor, all air vents are either on the ceiling or at the very tops of the walls. Upstairs, the vents are ...
2
votes
1answer
472 views

How to remove radiator pipe and value?

We just had central air installed and the contractor removed the radiators. However, the pipe and valves are left over sticking out of the floor upstairs. I tried using a plumber's wrench to at ...
0
votes
2answers
25k views

What could be causing a leaky p trap under my bathroom sink?

Recently, the bottom of our bathroom sink has started to leak just slightly. Little drips come out of the nuts. The leaking part seems to be more toward the end where the pipe meets the wall and the ...
2
votes
2answers
412 views

How can I handle carpenter ants?

Last year, my wife and I purchased a house just south of Houston (Stafford, TX exactly). A couple of months into occupancy, we discovered that we had a problem with some Camponotus vicinus (Brown ...
3
votes
4answers
7k views

What should I do with a shallow closet?

My guest bedroom has an extra shallow closet (15 inches deep). This is too narrow for a hangar, so clothes hung on the rod end up being angled, rubbing against the back wall and the door, etc. What ...
10
votes
7answers
36k views

Are curtains effective for keeping the room warm?

I live in a rented apartment and I am trying to find solutions to keep the heat in. The apartment has several big windows (the 'living room' has one wall that is 80% windows) and I have to run the ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

How can I accurately measure the angle of my walls?

I have a lot of walls that slant inward. To measure the angles at which they slant inwards, I used an app that looks like: Was this the correct tool? Assuming it was, do I need to make sure I get ...
4
votes
7answers
72k views

What water:cement:sand ratio gives the strongest mortar?

A typical mortar mix ratio is 1 cement : 3 sand. But what is the water ratio? Is it 0.5:1:3? Would a 0.5:1:2 ratio be a stronger mortar? Our next door neighbor has a dog that digs like a pro. The ...
1
vote
0answers
245 views

What could cause neutral wires in my service panel to read 120V?

I have a 200 A service panel with 12 breakers. Seven of the breakers work fine. There are 5 other lines that come in. When I hook up the black wires to the breakers and turn them on I get a charged ...
1
vote
5answers
1k views

How to replace wire next to another wire?

Currently I have, courtesy of the last owner, 3 wires running to the "socket" behind my TV. It's a coax and 2 audio cables (image below), and they go to the fuse box/meter box in the hallway. . I'm ...
5
votes
1answer
531 views

Can I Use 4" CPVC Pipe for a Dryer vent?

Can I use 4" CPVC pipe to extend a dryer vent in my garage?
4
votes
1answer
2k views

What could be causing the grinding noise in my washing machine?

Recently my Kenmore Series 80 washing machine has developed a grinding noise, which occurs just as the washing machine starts doing a spin out to remove the water. It last maybe 3 seconds, and then ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

Which wall should I install a replacement thermostat on?

I'm replacing an old thermostat that is behind a door to our dining room, that is usually kept open, hiding the thermostat. Given that the wires come from above and I have some flexibility as to ...
0
votes
0answers
74 views

Rewiring House (Coax and Ethernet) [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How do I run ethernet, speaker wire, and coax through a wall into a crawlspace? When my family moved into our house, there were holes in the floors where the coax cables ...
1
vote
0answers
89 views

How/where should I put a water dispenser on this counter?

My friend's coffee shop has a hot water dispenser they use for drip coffee and tea. It's already filtered, and accessible to customers. It would be terribly convenient if we customers could get cold ...
1
vote
0answers
115 views

How do I seal a downspout leak in my shed?

I have a storage shed behind my carport. A downspout from the roof of the carport runs through the shed, as seen in the picture. The downspout drains ok (there was blockage in the past) but it leaks ...
1
vote
1answer
457 views

Should I install drywall or plywood above a drop ceiling to increase the insulation value?

I am currently insulating a new room in my house. I am planning to put up a drop ceiling. I have insulated between my roof trusses. Do I need anything else between my drop ceiling and attic space ...
1
vote
0answers
32 views

How to verify if the protective earth/ground is separated from the neutral wire in an electrical AC installation? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How to verify if the protective earth/ground is separated from the neutral wire in an electrical AC installation? It's easy to verify which wire is the phase without ...
1
vote
1answer
142 views

Why am I getting condensation on vapour barrier?

I installed some vapour barriers on the windows recently due to it getting a bit cold, but have been noticing that I've been getting a fair bit of condensation on the inside facing part of the ...
3
votes
4answers
7k views

How can I verify that the protective earth/ground is separate from the neutral wire in an electrical AC installation?

It's easy to verify which wire is the phase without relying on wire colors. But I'm not sure if I'm able to determine which wire is the ground and which is the neutral. I have heard that using a ...
3
votes
1answer
759 views

How do I run a dock circuit and what size breaker will be needed?

I am running 10 gauge wire to my dock which will be about 100 ft from the disconnect box on the house to the dock. I will be providing electricity to a 1/2 hp hoist, which runs on 110, that will only ...
6
votes
4answers
30k views

How can I protect my (engineered) hardwood floor from scratching?

I have engineered hardwood that scratches easily (be it from furniture being slid on it, a kid playing with hard toys on it, or simply from regular wear and tear). We currently mitigate the scratching ...
1
vote
1answer
815 views

How can I replace my old dimmer switch?

Replacing dimmer. Old dimmer has two black wires attached to two white wires in box. There are two black wires in box not attached to dimmer but wire-nutted together. Is it ok to wire the new dimmer ...
3
votes
1answer
3k views

Is it possible that no water running to one toilet could be from frozen pipes?

We've been in a cold snap for about a week with daily highs below -20C. The water is not running to one toilet that is near an exterior wall. To ensure it wasn't something in the tank, I detached ...
5
votes
6answers
11k views

Should I let pressure treated lumber dry before building with it?

I bought some treated 2x4's from Lowes, and it was fairly wet and heavy. I went ahead and built a firewood rack, but screwing into it releases a lot of water. It got me thinking, is it better to let ...
1
vote
2answers
3k views

What could be causing my solid stained doors to make cracking noises?

I have new solid interior stained doors and they all keep making cracking sounds when they are closed and left open, even though no one is touching them. Can you please tell me what it is? I am sound ...
3
votes
1answer
4k views

Is it normal for tap water to turn brown/blue when the pipes freeze?

In our old apartment, the pipes would freeze during the winter during the night, and in the morning sometimes the water that came out of the tap was blue at first. We spoke to a plumber, and he ...
4
votes
2answers
831 views

What can I do about this gap between the sill/exterior board and the subfloor?

I just discovered that my sill plate and joist setup is different than others I've seen (and I was a Realtor, so I've seen a lot of sills). As you can see from the picture, there's a gap between ...
3
votes
1answer
7k views

How can I transition from carpeted stairs to an engineered hardwood floor?

I want to replace the carpet in my bed rooms(actually the whole 2nd floor) with engineer hardwood floor. The stair is from 1st floor to 2nd floor which will keep carpet. But I can't imagine how/where ...
1
vote
1answer
287 views

How can I remove an inner wall of a gambrel house?

We own a Gambrel house built in 1978. I want to remove a six foot wall section that includes a doorway. This wall runs parallel to the floor joists in the basement. The main center beam is about three ...
1
vote
2answers
263 views

How to insulate my garage walls using sheathing

My garage is a pole building type with pressed wood walls and exterior siding. I want to put sheathing on the walls for some insulation. The girts that the exterior wall is attached to are 1.5" x 4" ...
0
votes
1answer
230 views

What are these electrical boxes in the closet that have no breakers in a house with buttons for the light switches?

My mother's home has these metal panels in the closet on the second floor, directly under them on the 1st floor is the breaker box. The house has push buttons for the lights instead of switches. There ...
6
votes
10answers
39k views

How can I prevent my HVAC condensate drain line from freezing?

Last night, my heat (forced air) suddenly stopped. Today, a plumber figured out that my heater is 90% efficient, produces lots of condensate, and the drain line had frozen. We went outside and saw ...
1
vote
0answers
344 views

How can I determine why there is no water coming from my hot taps?

I'm getting no water from any of the hot taps in my house. The cold water taps are working fine. The central heating is also working. I have a combi-boiler. It's been fairly cold today in London, so ...
21
votes
9answers
42k views

How should I go about installing a 12 volt DC residential circuit?

I have a couple deep cycle batteries that trickle charge from a solar panel, for emergency use. Right now the only way I get useful power from them is to use a 12VDC -> 120VAC inverter, e.g. the type ...
2
votes
5answers
11k views

How do I open a padlock after it has frozen?

I do some maintenance on the neighborhood ice-skating rink. To control the lights, there is an outside electrical panel that is locked with a padlock. This padlock always get frozen. Every time I ...
1
vote
1answer
911 views

How can I wire an HD antenna into my attic?

I have a 2 year old house 2 floors and then an attic that you have to use a pulldown to get into. The house has an ethernet cable (90% sure it is an ethernet cable) that is in the attic, I have a HD ...
1
vote
3answers
3k views

What could be causing this leaky evaporator problem?

My apologizes if I do not know the correct terminology for some of the parts. I will try my best though. We have a Trane A/C system that is causing us a headache. It is causing water damage in our ...
1
vote
2answers
5k views

Does a single-gang double timer switch exist?

I have a single gang outlet that current has a double/split switch installed controlling an inside light and an outside light. Ideally I'd like to have the outside light on a timer. Does a single ...
2
votes
1answer
664 views

What hinges should I use for my overlay cabinet doors?

I need help understanding how to choose the right hinges for my cabinet doors. I have new 3/4" thick cabinet doors, fully overlaying/sitting on the face frame of the cabinet box. I do not want ...
2
votes
2answers
904 views

Do 22.5 degree pipe fittings exist?

I'm trying to make a triple-monitor stand using steel plumbing pipe, as I've seen this done by others in the past. Most designs call for 45 degree pipe elbows for the side monitor arms, but this seems ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

What could cause my radiators to go cold when the hot water is turned on?

When only heating is selected on my program timer the radiators all work fine and are hot. But when both heating and hot water are on the water gets hot but all the radiators go cold. When the hot ...
3
votes
1answer
863 views

How much sag on a roof is acceptable?

I have minor sagging of my roof plywood, 3/8" thick, placed on trusses 24" apart. Is there an amount of sag that is technically okay? I could not find anything on the APA website. I am not worried ...
2
votes
1answer
3k views

How should I install hardwood flooring around spindles?

I have oak steps that we installed up to a living room that is carpeted. How do I install hardwood floors and deal with the spindles on the floor? My husband made adjustments when he did the stairs ...
1
vote
2answers
133 views

What kinds of dimmers do I need?

I'd like to make myself a lighting control that would schematically look like this: I don't know a lot about dimmers, but I heard they have some parameters which might prevent them from working. ...

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