3
votes
2answers
1k views

What kind of light can I install in a small, low-ceiling coat closet?

Our Northern California house has a small coat closet (really a hallway with 2 doors and hooks for coats) between our front entry-way and our basement. It's a tiny space: 3 feet wide, 5 feet deep, and ...
8
votes
4answers
10k views

Why would a CFL bulb dim by itself after 60 seconds?

I have some GE Energy Smart CFL bulbs which are advertised as "Bright from the Start". This is true, except within 60 seconds after I turn the bulbs on, they will dramatically and immeidately become ...
9
votes
3answers
3k views

Is an ungrounded GFCI outlet safer than a plumbing-grounded non-GFCI outlet?

I'm in the United States. I have a handful of three-prong outlets that have been grounded to the underground water main just as it enters the crawlspace. All of the ground wires are home runs to the ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

How can I prevent water pooling on a windowsill from getting behind wall tiles in a shower?

I have a windowsill in a shower which had regular 6" ceramic wall tiles over drywall. Some water had obviously pooled on this, got under the joint at the lip of the tiles and rotted the drywall. So I ...
3
votes
1answer
914 views

Is a bedframe necessary to keep a boxspring & mattress in good working order?

My wife and I managed to get a nice 'pit' in our mattress, after only 3 years of ownership. We've had it on a boxspring, directly on the carpeted floor. It's sagged enough that we can feel springs ...
5
votes
2answers
17k views

How do I repair drywall around a bathtub?

I have an area of drywall that is next to my bath tub that has gotten soft and crumbly. Mostly held together by paint & caulk now. I'm reasonably sure I understand why. We're getting some water ...
3
votes
4answers
5k views

GFCI not tripped, but no current downstream

I have an outside shed with a non-GFCI outlet and a light fixture. Only the light is controlled by a switch. The shed is wired off of an outside GCFI outlet. Everything, including the outlet, was ...
15
votes
3answers
10k views

Do USB sockets draw power when not in use?

I would like to replace a couple of electrical outlets in my house with ones that have USB sockets. My concern is that they will continually draw power, even when I don't have a phone plugged in to ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Are there high flow floor heat registers available?

The weather has been pretty warm lately so we've been running our A/C. I noticed that it didn't seem like much air was coming out of the registers, so I checked to make sure the blades/louvers were ...
6
votes
2answers
25k views

How can I remove old paint from plaster walls?

I first stripped the wallpaper from my bedroom walls using a steam stripper and scraper. This revealed a lurid pink paint on the walls and a peculiar purple ceiling paint which came off in sheets like ...
5
votes
2answers
9k views

How can I replace multiple 3 way switches with motion sensors?

My tenants never turn the lights off in the stairwells of my 3 family house, so I'd like to replace all of the light switches with motion sensors. Here is a crude diagram of how this is set up now. ...
1
vote
2answers
749 views

Are CFLs available with mini candelabra bases? [closed]

Trying to replace a light bulb that has a mini candelabra base and want to replace this bulb with a CFL bulb but can't find any. Are CFLs available with mini candelabra bases?
6
votes
7answers
14k views

Can I vent my dryer into the crawl space without creating mold and moisture problems?

We have a crawl space with a combination of sandy and clay soil in it. The crawl space is about 3' deep. To eliminate a long dryer vent run, I'd like to vent the dryer directly into the crawl space. ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

Is it safe to use a former furnace flue to vent my dryer through the roof?

Our dryer is located in the center of our house. The current vent situation has tubing that makes several bends between the dryer and the crawl space before hitting metal duct that takes it about 25' ...
2
votes
1answer
4k views

Can air in pipes cause a faucet to catastrophically fail?

For about two weeks, I have been hearing a vibration and loud noise very time I turn on the kitchen faucet, mostly on the hot water side. If I turn to cold water it stops but periodicly when running ...
3
votes
4answers
3k views

How do I widen a hole in wood for flex tube?

I bought some 1" smurf tube so that I could run coax, ethernet, and speaker cable to various low voltage outlets in my house. I used a 1-1/4" speedbor bit to make a hole in the floor from my crawl ...
6
votes
4answers
11k views

How can I stop high water pressure from causing leaks at the connection to my washer?

First of all, I've tried searching the questions for this but I haven't found anything that matches, but if this is a duplicate, my apologies in advance. I've just moved into an apartment, and in ...
5
votes
1answer
828 views

Do I need to attach a wire fished through a ceiling?

I have a finished basement and am mounting a flat-screen TV on the wall and I want to put an electrical box behind the TV. The two existing outlets are both two joists over and each separated with a ...
6
votes
4answers
3k views

How to choose the correct bit for a screwdriver

I'm constantly using a screw driver for small electronics and around the house, but I find that multiple bits seem to work. Of course, something bigger or something small requires diferrent amounts of ...
0
votes
1answer
877 views

Options for adding ā€œCā€ wire to thermostat [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Options for adding “C” wire to thermostat I am upgrading to a newer thermostat that requires a constant 24 volt feed, I have an extra (unsused) wire in the ...
16
votes
4answers
122k views

What is a GFI outlet used for, and where should I install them?

What purpose does a GFI serve? Where should they be used?
4
votes
4answers
12k views

How to diagnose an electrified refrigerator frame?

Recently (or, perhaps, I recently noticed) my garage fridge started shocking me if I touch it in the wrong place. (A sampling of "wrong" places: the door hinge, a spot on the other corner where the ...
0
votes
1answer
1k views

Can I stack new beam to the top of old beam to extend span?

I have appropriately sized an LVL to extend a span by 3ft as well as assured the column support to the foundation at the new column. EDIT: The existing 12 ft span is carried by a 4x10, the new span ...
0
votes
1answer
375 views

6x6 Cedar posts for yard barn, should I glue them?

I am building a yard barn/shed, that uses cedar posts as the outside framing of the gable ends. I was planning on just drilling and lag-bolting the posts together (plugging the holes) but do you ...
3
votes
2answers
671 views

Can I bury a 1 1/2" shower/tub drain pipe in an earthen floor?

We are building an earthship and our bathrooms will feed a greywater system. We've spec'd the usual 1 1/2 drain for the tub...but we plan to bury it in an earthen floor in the bathroom (our code ...
2
votes
1answer
126 views

What is the cost of one percent efficiency on an oil heater?

We've now had about 7 contractors come to our house and give us estimates for replacing a) our oil heater (system from the early 1980's, estimated at around 65% effeciency), and b) our central air ...
2
votes
1answer
576 views

What to best use to build an artificial wall in my house?

trying to build a wall in my new rented house to separate one big room into two smaller ones. Any recommendations on what to use and on how to build this?
3
votes
2answers
2k views

How should I mount a sliding closet door track?

I'm looking for input on my intended plan of action. I'm drywalling a room, closet included. The closet track is to be mounted on a crossbeam running the width of the closet. The crossbeam is ...
5
votes
3answers
4k views

Why do touch ups on flat paint show?

I just had my whole house gutted and renovated due to a fire. I am having a problem with the paint they used. The contractor insisted on using flat paint as it could be touched up and would not ...
5
votes
1answer
5k views

How can I soundproof an interior door?

I'm looking to soundproof some interior doors. My plan was to drill a 1/2" hole at the top and fill it up with foam, but I'm not sure what type of foam to get. I've used tiny foam cans before, but ...
2
votes
3answers
8k views

How should I insulate a bedroom in the attic?

After doing lots of research and reading lots of different opinions I would like to know what is the best way to insulate and vent a 1 1/2 story house that has a bedroom upstairs in the roof/attic ...
5
votes
3answers
3k views

Options for replacing an at-grade hose bibb

The problem My house is built on a crawlspace and the floor of the house is just a few inches above grade. The hose bibbs come straight out of the crawlspace and are thus very close to the ground. ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Should I install vapor barrier in a seasonal cottage?

I am installing drywall in the bedrooms of a seasonal cottage in northern Ontario. It is unheated in the winter. The cottage is insulated with R14 insulation. Will the installation of a vapour ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

What type of wood filler should I use?

I'm starting a project to build my own solid body guitar. I received the body and its made from ash. It needs to be filled (the grain is very porous). I hear that I need wood filler for this. The ...
5
votes
4answers
11k views

I might have accidentally vacuumed asbestos. Is the vacuum ruined now?

If an ordinary shop vacuum has sucked up asbestos, should it be considered unsafe after that and thrown away? I don't know if this is the right kind of question for this site but I thought I would ...
5
votes
3answers
3k views

Do I need an air space between insulation and flooring in the attic?

As part of a local council grant, I am getting my attic floor insulation (2 inch thick fibreglass) replaced with 4 inch thick insulation. It will lie between the joists, on top of the plasterboard ...
5
votes
3answers
6k views

Can I add four 20Amp circuits in a subpanel with a 10-3 feeder?

My garage has two 20 Amp circuits and an unused 10-3 w/ground connected to two 30 amp breakers. I want to use those unused wires for a subpanel but i'm not sure how big of a panel could I install? I ...
5
votes
3answers
3k views

Should we turn our oil hot water heater off every night?

My husband and I are considering shutting off our hot water heater from 8pm to 8am every night to save on energy. Is such a time frame long enough to create a noticeable difference in our oil bill? ...
3
votes
2answers
366 views

What can I do to prevent injuries from the corners of a wooden deck?

We recently had the floor of our wooden deck replaced and in the process, the contractor changed it from having cut-off corners to having real corners. I am concerned with how the new corner sticks ...
2
votes
1answer
734 views

What's the best way to lay out sheathing around a doorway?

Does it matter how you sheath around an exterior door? I think it would be stronger to break the sheathing over the door than at the corners, but I'm not sure. The wall is not load-bearing. Studs are ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

What size screws and spacer should I use for installing shelves on tiles?

I need help confirming what size of screws, spacer and drillbit to use for installation of a shelf in my kitchen. Some specifics: shelf is 200 x 30 x 1.8cm (spruce). shelf brackets ask for 4mm ...
2
votes
1answer
769 views

Where can I find unusual L-shaped brackets? [closed]

I had windows installed in my gazebo, but had them installed with the screens on the outside and windows on the inside (for easier cleaning access). My problem now is that strong winds blow the ...
4
votes
2answers
905 views

Can I add a second circut using an existing ground and neutral?

I would like to add a second circuit to my BBQ area. There is conduit running from the panel to the BBQ with three wires, hot, neutral and ground. Can I just add a second breaker and run a second hot ...
0
votes
2answers
6k views

How to cover a gap between doors and hardwood floor?

Removing old carpet resulted in about 1 inch gap between doors and the floor. What are common solutions to cover such gap? Any "easy to handle" materials (other than wood planks) to extend doors?
5
votes
1answer
856 views

Is there such a thing as a vacuum sump pump? No standing water above check valve?

Is there such a thing as a vacuum operated sump pump? Most sumps or ejector pumps leave a column of water above the check valve, and leave a few centimeters of water in the sump beside. I have a need ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Installing subfloor and hardwood on top of concrete (2nd story)

I bought a condo in a triplex where I have all of the 2nd floor. Most rooms are on hardwood, while the rest is on laminate with a serious height difference of an inch and a half (hardwood being ...
2
votes
2answers
12k views

Can I get away with 5/4“ cedar decking across a 24” span in a children's play structure?

I am currently in the process of designing/building a play structure for my son. The structure will include a 5' high elevated deck, that is 6'x4'. The supports for the decking will be 24" ...
2
votes
2answers
6k views

Where can I get NM cable clamps for a metal box?

Doing old work with 12 AWG cable makes finding large enough boxes tricky. I have seen some appealing metal boxes, but I am wiring using NM cable (Romex), which needs cable clamps where it enters a ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Portable home bar plans?

I'm moving into about a 1500 sq. ft. house soon and I would like to build my own portable bar that I can store beverages in. It should be long enough to put a couple stools in front of where people ...
6
votes
4answers
26k views

Can rock salt be used for sewer maintenance?

I have read that flushing a glass full of rock salt down your toilet every month is good practice if you have a cast iron sewer line. Reason being is that the salt will kill off any tree roots in the ...

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