7
votes
2answers
2k views

Are there energy saving lamps which work with touch/electronic dimmers, timers, etc.?

Dimmable energy saving bulbs are usually labeled as "Use only with standard dimmers. Not to be used with touch dimmers, electronic dimmers, timers, ..." After reading ...
3
votes
1answer
518 views

Can I use a rusty soldering iron?

I am thinking of getting back into stained glass. One of the projects I want to work on is to fix a stained glass window that has a section with a crack in it. I was given a couple soldering irons ...
1
vote
0answers
78 views

How to fix a toilet that flushes too hard? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How do I make our toilet flush less vigorously? When I flush my toilet, the pressure is such that it actually splashes up quite a bit. (It's kinda gross.) How do I fix ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

How do I stop my vacuum belt from making a noise and smelling when using it?

Last week I had my Hover WindTunnel Max Multi-Cyclonic (Model # UH70601) vacuuming carpet on the bar floor setting. It started making a thwapping noise and smells like burned rubber when vacuuming ...
2
votes
2answers
467 views

How do I draft proof a “drop down” loft hatch

I am trying to draft proof our drop down loft hatch, however I can't see how to get a good seal as its “push to release” click does not hold it tightly enough against the draft proofing strips. Are ...
3
votes
4answers
1k views

How can I light picture frames from the floor?

I would like to light up three picture frames with something from the floor. They will be behind a sofa so we wouldn't see them and the picture frames are about at 1.5 meter above the ground. I have ...
1
vote
2answers
3k views

Why won't my plugs stay put in concrete wall? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why would plastic anchors pull out of the wall? I have drilled holes in my concrete wall (good hard concrete) with a regular 8 mm concrete drill. They all seem like good ...
1
vote
0answers
49 views

Funny Plumbing sound [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How do I eliminate the “whooshing” sound of water running though pipes? Good morning, just a quick question for you, if you can help me? Just recently there ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

How do I stop a sliding door from squeaking?

I have a sliding door which makes quite a loud squeaking sound when it is opened or closed. As best I can tell the sound is coming from the door rubbing against a metallic guide at the bottom as shown ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Why won't my gas dryer stay lit?

My Amana gas clothes dryer is not heating properly. The gas ignites when the dryer is first started, but after the gas turns off the igniter glows and then turns off, without relighting the gas. Many ...
6
votes
1answer
10k views

How do airtight recessed lights compare to IC-rated ones?

I'm trying to figure out what recessed lights to purchase. The ceiling room has an attic directly above with insulation in between. It appears that IC-rated cans are necessary here, correct? How ...
3
votes
2answers
7k views

What would cause a furnace to shut off prematurely?

I've got a Carrier Weathermaker 8000 furnace that shuts off about 90 seconds or so after ignition, started doing this recently. I get flashing code "33" which indicates: The code indicates: 33 ...
5
votes
2answers
7k views

How much does the quality of laminated flooring depend on its thickness?

I'm shopping for laminate flooring and am looking at two different manufacturers, Pergo and Mowhawk. The Pergo we're interested in has pre-attached underlayment and is 10 mm thick with a lifetime ...
4
votes
4answers
676 views

How can I wire an array of ceiling lights for easy reconfigurability?

I want to put in 16 new recessed lights (roughly a 4x4 grid), and I want to control them with two panels (one on each entrance to the room) of switches. But since we are constantly rearranging the ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

What are the “rules” for connecting different kinds mains electrical wires?

Aluminum wires can't be connected directly to copper wires - otherwise the contact spot overheats badly, such connections should only go through steel connectors. I was rather surprised when I found ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

How can I provide power to a dehumidifier in the bathroom?

I have an interior bathroom which has always been damp. I want to try and do something about it and am thinking of getting a wall mounted continuous flow dehumidifier and attaching the drain pipe ...
2
votes
1answer
6k views

How do I refinish a bathroom ceiling after it got moldy and peeled?

I need to refinish the bathroom ceiling in my 35-year-old house. Before I bought the house a few years ago, the bathroom had just had some work done (new wallpaper, probably new lights, and I assume ...
4
votes
1answer
638 views

Is there aluminum wiring in my vent fan?

I just purchased and installed a new Panasonic FV-10NLF1 inline exhaust fan. My house has copper wiring, but the wires on the fan appear to be aluminum (they are silver in color). I didn't think ...
7
votes
2answers
480 views

Why aren't all houses equipped with fire sprinklers?

Fire sprinklers are common in office buildings but not so common in people's houses. How come? I'm thinking of adding such a system to my house but... I don't know... maybe there is a reason for why ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

How can I reduce whistling due to wind across a gas fireplace vent?

We have a gas fireplace venting through the roof of our attic bedroom; there's a cap on a chimney up there. Double-wall construction, such that it pulls combustion air in from outside. When the wind ...
2
votes
1answer
827 views

How can I remove old tea stain from carpet/rug?

I once accidentally spilled some tea on my carpet, and since I was in hurry I couldn't clean the carpet at all. The stain is now dried up, and my landlord is asking me to replace the whole carpet. How ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

What could cause the battery in a smoke detector to heat up?

One of my smoke detectors was chirping and when I removed the 9V battery, I found it was hot. In fact, it was making a 'cooking' sound. Was it the smoke detector causing the battery to cook itself ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

How can I remove a Mortise Lock and deadbolt from a door?

I got an old door from a junk yard that I'm trying to reuse. The door is going to end up being sliding barn door so I have no use for its existing door knob and lock mechanisms. From what I can tell ...
7
votes
5answers
10k views

How do you remove paint from hair?

We painted a closet recently with a latex/acrylic based paint and no plastic hair caps. This lead to the issue with some unsightly paint splotches on our hair. After several washes the paint still ...
2
votes
1answer
775 views

Does pickling wood with steel wool and vinegar harm the wood?

I love the look produced from pickling wood with steel wool and vinegar. I am hesitating to actually do this on a raw ready-to-finish table because I fear the steel wool/vinegar product actually ...
8
votes
3answers
40k views

Should we install carpet before the baseboard and door casings?

We just had a carpet layer come in for measurements and a quote. We've not put in the baseboard or door casings yet, but the carpet layer has suggested that this will make things easier. Is this true ...
2
votes
1answer
122 views

How should I refinish a pine shelf unit?

I'm refinishing a shelf unit made out of pine and painted. It has a lot of holes and cuts in it (I think it was used as a cutting table, or was near one). It's solid, so I want to refinish it and ...
7
votes
3answers
8k views

What should I do about ceiling tiles that potentially contain asbestos?

A family member is considering purchasing a house, built in the Midwestern United States in 1958. In the basement, there are nine inch ceiling tiles on the ceiling. The home inspection mentioned that ...
7
votes
8answers
25k views

My dryer heating element broke in two: Can I just wrap the ends together?

I have a Whirlpool Estate dryer that recently quit drying. I narrowed the problem down to the heating element, then removed the element assembly and found a clean break in the coil at one end. A ...
5
votes
2answers
5k views

How do I extend electrical boxes 3 inches or more?

I am hanging a new wall using Genie Clips. After the clips, hat track, and two layers of drywall, we're talking about an added distance from the electrical boxes of over 3 inches. Quick research has ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

Should a generator transfer switch have continuity between all contacts in the “Gen” position?

I am finishing up installing my generator transfer switch today and I think I have a wiring problem... I have a six circuit transfer switch wired in with a power inlet box outside. Everything is ...
4
votes
1answer
3k views

Can I install new flooring on top of the existing hardwood floors?

I have some 30 y.o. hardwood floor (parquet type) that is overall in decent shape (firm, no squeaking, even, etc.). I'd like to install new hardwood floors, and my contractor says that new floor can ...
5
votes
1answer
776 views

What's the right tool for painting joist bays in my basement?

I'd like to paint the joist bays in my basement to brighten the basement up. No, putting up acoustic tile is out of range for the budget, but paint is in. I've tried a small portion with a roller and ...
6
votes
1answer
6k views

Does PEX leach BPA when used for hot water plumbing?

Would using PEX for potable hot water result in having Bisphenol A (BPA) leached into the water? Does PEX have BPA content?
3
votes
1answer
3k views

What could cause low pressure in both hot and cold water lines after flushing hot water tank?

I just drained my water heater to flush out any sediment that may have accumulated at the bottom of the tank. When I filled it back up, I suddenly am lacking water pressure, both cold and hot, at all ...
1
vote
1answer
453 views

What type of material should be used for sole plates on screened in porch?

I'm following along in a guide to installing a screened in porch and the following photo is shown. The instructions are 'Secure sole plates to the patio or porch floor using construction adhesive ...
5
votes
1answer
323 views

Can I spray foam up to roof sheathing when air sealing skylight tunnel?

I've been doing some air sealing in the attic with canned spray foam and I'm about to tackle my skylight tunnels. They are framed and covered with drywall. I have easy access to them in the attic and ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Can I use a US-bought chandelier in India?

I am planning to buy a chandelier in the US for my home in India. I understand the voltage difference (110 V in the US as compared to 220 V in India). The chandelier uses 60 Watt candelabra bulbs. ...
2
votes
3answers
2k views

What are my non-gas alternatives to a wood burning fireplace?

Our house has a wood burning firplace that we want to convert to something else but we have no gas lines in the area. What are our options for heating benefits and esthetics?
9
votes
2answers
657 views

What type/thickness of drywall should be used in water heater closet?

I have a rental house built in the 70's that had severe water damage in the small room (4x5 feet) that houses the hot water heater. The room is off of the garage. I've had the water heater replaced ...
12
votes
1answer
2k views

Where should the floor transition from tile to carpet go?

I have 2 rooms planned, one will be tiled and the other will be carpeted with a door opening between them. Where should the tile stop and the carpet begin? In the figure below I have 3 different ...
0
votes
1answer
453 views

How do I clean an oxidized steel terminal before attaching a wire to it?

I have to replace wiring in a power meter box in an apartment building. There're four really beefy wires running vertically through the whole building and each wire has a short stripped segment inside ...
2
votes
2answers
15k views

Is my furnace operating normally?

I just moved into my house and I am wondering if this is normal for a furnace. So I have my furnace set to 68 degrees. The temperature on the thermostat says 66 degrees. The furnace is on, but does ...
1
vote
2answers
3k views

How do I disable a thermostat to prevent it from turning on the AC?

I need to disable my thermostat from turning on the AC. Yes, covertly. I think one of my housemates is missing his native Antarctica. So, the thermostat still must be active & setable, but I want ...
5
votes
1answer
3k views

Was there a NEC Code Change that disallows 14 gauge wire in a residential receptacle?

I am thinking of remodeling my home. I have a bunch of 14 gauge THHN wire. A friend told me I can't use 14 gauge wire in a residential receptacle application. Has there a code change that would not ...
9
votes
2answers
7k views

How do I fill holes around a light switch?

I have a light switch where the plaster board around the edges of the face plate have broken away. I was thinking of using some kind of filler like Polycell to fill the holes but I'm not really ...
4
votes
1answer
6k views

How can I fix a sink drain stop which won't hold water?

I have a bathroom sink & fixture which are about a year old. The drain has worked fine, until about a month ago. Recently, any water I try to hold in the sink slowly leaks out. This is mildly ...
5
votes
3answers
4k views

What's the procedure for stripping wires with pliers?

In this answer to this question on stripping wires pliers are mentioned as a tool suitable for that job. I guess it can be done, but I feel quite paranoid about damaging the conductor which is made of ...
3
votes
1answer
3k views

Where should I install a wall heater?

I have a house with no wall heater, and would like to install one. What criteria should I use to help me determine the best place for the heater? Is it better, for instance, to be on an inside wall? ...
21
votes
10answers
26k views

Why are “Wire Nuts” not used in the UK?

I have never seen a wire nut used in the UK, but they seem to be very common in the USA, why?

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