1
vote
2answers
4k views

How to measure voltage in a duplex (three-way) wired switch?

Consider a light with two duplex switches. The switches work as I can turn light on/off from either switch. However, I'm not getting any voltage reading on my meter. The meter does work as I can get a ...
5
votes
2answers
5k views

Do I need to “protect” low voltage cables that are run through an insulated wall?

I'm planning to run speaker cables from a new outlet at an uninsulated wall to a new outlet at an insulated wall. I've already run Cat5e and coaxial cable to the uninsulated wall, and am comfortable ...
7
votes
3answers
12k views

How do I install a single-pole switch w/ pilot light?

I am trying to replace a very old one-way switch with a pilot light (light comes on when the switch is on). The original switch was extremely old, and used quick-install terminals ONLY. Even worse, ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Does adding metal plate/foil behind radiators increases their heat distribution?

There is this theory that if you put a metallic foil behind radiators, will make them distribute heat better in the house rather than heating the wall next to them. Is this true, are there any ...
0
votes
3answers
521 views

What would be a good material for a portable video projection surface?

I'm considering picking up a picoprojector as an lcd replacement. I would like to have maybe some frosted plastic as a surface that I can deploy in the absence of a suitable whitewashed wall. It ...
1
vote
0answers
57 views

Toilet bowl rim: Unblock mineral deposits inside holes [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why do my toilets flush slowly and often incompletely? Yep - got an old toilet, and the mineral scale inside (INSIDE inside) the rim is slowing the flush speed. I ...
5
votes
1answer
371 views

Why does water from outside spigots seem to “stutter” (starts and stops)?

I live in a 1950s-built home in a warm climate. When I run water from an outside spigot, such as to water plants, it's not uncommon for the output to "stutter" near the start and then again ...
5
votes
1answer
592 views

How to remove a screw from electrical box?

I am replacing one of the light switches at home. The bottom screw that fastens the switch to the electrical box is half way out, but refuses to come out any more, no matter how hard I rotate the ...
6
votes
3answers
6k views

What could cause my sink to drain slowly?

Sometimes our bathroom sink will drain so slowly (with the water running) that the water will fill it faster than it can drain. However, after shutting the water off and letting it completely ...
6
votes
2answers
9k views

How do I best tear down a small building?

I've got a property where a house will built. Currently there's this little hut that needs to be completely removed to make room for building a real house. To keep costs down, I'll be doing most of ...
2
votes
1answer
224 views

How can I tell whether this roofing material is hazardous to tear down?

I've got this little building in my garden that needs to be completely removed to make room for building a real house. To keep costs down, I'll be doing most of the tear-down myself but I'm unsure ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

How should I seal a shower base that is leaking?

I have a shower stall with a cement-like slab base. The shower base is ancient and has developed some cracks. The top surface has some sort of sealant which has worn away, with the result that water ...
8
votes
4answers
259 views

What is this and can it be used to stop the flow of water?

I have a leaky spigot that I am trying to fix. I followed the water line back and found this. Does anyone know what it is? Can it be used to stop the flow of water?
11
votes
3answers
48k views

How much weight can I hang from a drywall ceiling?

I have a potted plant (approx 5kg/10lbs) that I wish to hang from a drywall ceiling of a window aisle. Unfortunately, I have no idea about what specific kind of drywall plate it is or how it was ...
8
votes
5answers
12k views

What is the easiest way to stop a door from catching on the floor?

When I open and close my bathroom door, it catches on the floor. This makes it hard to open and close it, and also makes a really annoying sound. What is the easiest way to stop the door from ...
2
votes
1answer
6k views

Can you replace valve stem packing without shutting off the faucet?

The main shutoff to my house is a 3/4" FIP, that's leaking out the valve stem... the last several times turned on and off, it has 're-sealed' itself with lime and calcium deposits, but not this time, ...
6
votes
1answer
12k views

Would there be a problem installing 20A switches on a 15A circuit?

I've installed 20A switches on 15A circuits before, namely on the circuit supplying my kitchen lights. It was primarily to take advantage of the side-clamp wiring available on these beefier switches ...
1
vote
3answers
15k views

Can a hand drill drill 1/4“-1/2” holes into 1" thick aluminum?

I'm making some baseplates in my home for a custom camera system and I'll need to be drilling many holes into plates of aluminum. I'm planning to use 6061 aluminum and need to drill holes anywhere ...
7
votes
6answers
45k views

Why energy saving bulb flashes when the switch is off?

I have a energy saving spiral light bulb in my kitchen. In exactly every 27 seconds, the first segment of the bulb faintly flashes when the switch is off. And not once, repeatedly every 27 seconds. ...
3
votes
2answers
15k views

What could cause a circuit breaker to trip when an exhaust fan is turned off?

In my bathroom, I have a switch for the light and a switch for the exhaust fan. It seems that on occasion, not all the time, the power will trip when I turn the fan off, not on. It also seems to be ...
1
vote
3answers
7k views

How can I install ceramic tile over vinyl tile?

I'm trying to install ceramic tile in a friend's bathroom, appox. 45 sq ft. The current floor in the bathroom is vinyl squares over the base cement. There is no subfloor or anything like that. The ...
3
votes
2answers
972 views

Is there software or a web site that lets me upload a photo and visualize changes to a room?

I'm thinking of changing my kitchen and bath floor, countertops and backsplash. I don't have all day to create a 3-D model from scratch. Can I start with a photo and visualize changes?
4
votes
6answers
14k views

How can I fix a bathtub that was not set properly?

I think the floor was not prepped correctly. The tub creaks a lot and there is a great deal of vertical play when standing and moving around. The tub does appear to be level, so I don't think that's ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

How can I fill old screw holes in wood on the exterior of a house?

The exterior of my house is stucco, but there are some spots that have vertical wood planks. I think this was considered "in style" when my house was built (1950s). Anyway, over the years previous ...
2
votes
2answers
39k views

How should I waterproof an upstairs bathroom floor?

I'm adding on a bathroom upstairs. My question is what precautions should I take to waterproof it. I'll have new copper, PVC drains and the floor itself I'm worried about. It's sitting half above a ...
2
votes
1answer
7k views

How can I install a water inlet for a dishwasher?

I am trying to figure out how to add a cold water inlet under the kitchen sink. The easiest thing seems to add a tee joint. Here is the picture of the cold water pipe going into the sink I seem to ...
3
votes
2answers
4k views

How can I make MDF more resistant panels?

I have fallen in love with textured MDF panels used to make walls. Oh boy that's beautiful. But raw, it's almost impossibly fragile. The question is : How can I make it harder, stonger to go ...
4
votes
4answers
12k views

How can I remove paint from a deck?

I bought my house 3 years ago. The deck surface and decorative fence around the edge are painted with a latex-based paint. After shoveling snow each winter, the deck surface is chipped with raw wood ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Why does my ceiling lights require some other outlet in the room to be turned on and off again before it works?

Picture the scene: I walk into a room and flick the light switch. Nothing happens. I grobble around in the dark to where a baby bottle warmer is plugged into a normal outlet and turn the warmer on. ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Are there different thickness heads/nuts for hex bolts?

The hex bolts in my local home depot (specifically the size 3/8-16) all have the same thickness of the hex head. It looks to me to be about 3/16 of an inch thick. I need to recess a hex screw inside ...
5
votes
2answers
12k views

Where can I purchase a block of aluminium?

I'm need a 5" x 5" x 1" block of aluminium. Is this something I can buy online and are there different types of aluminum to consider? Will I have to buy a bigger piece and cut the aluminum down to my ...
9
votes
10answers
33k views

How can I get a shock from a circuit when the breaker is off?

While I was replacing an old outlet, I received a shock from something in the box. I think it was the metal box itself. Before I started, I performed the following to ensure the power was out: ...
4
votes
2answers
449 views

Screwing into the underside of countertop - can it support a little weight?

We have a space with a wide countertop set up in a space that functions as a workbench. There are no cabinets underneath. Instead, you can pull up chairs to it. There are computers there and it ...
10
votes
4answers
5k views

Should I leave the drain open on my compressor for storage?

I just got a new air compressor for occasional finish nailing and tire inflation. I understand that I need to open the bottom drain to let out any condensation (i.e., this question) after each use. ...
4
votes
1answer
368 views

How robust is ceramic tile paint?

A friend wants to paint the ceramic tile around her fireplace including some of the tiles on the floor in front of it. If those floor tiles get just a little foot traffic, is ceramic tile paint strong ...
5
votes
1answer
132 views

What is the timeline for broken plumbing to cause damage to a house's foundation?

Assume a plumbing main breaks for whatever reason, and sewage begins to leak into the foundation of a house. What is the typical timeline for events to play out? For example, plumbing breaks on day ...
6
votes
3answers
3k views

How to avoid using door trim

I have installed a new pre-hung door that needs to blend in with the surrounding wall. The door is a flat slab and will be painted the same as the wall. I don't want to use door trim as I need a flat ...
3
votes
2answers
224 views

What size ratchets do I need to assemble some new equipment?

I recently purchased a power rack and various other bits and pieces for the home gym. In the instruction manual the nuts and bolts on the hardware list state the following sizes: 1/2" × 3 - 1/2" 1/2" ...
40
votes
8answers
40k views

When I turn down the dimmer switch on my lights, do I actually use less electricity?

My wife and I have several lights on dimmer switches throughout our home. We generally prefer the ambient lighting provided by dimmed lights. I am curious, though, if we are saving any electricity by ...
6
votes
3answers
28k views

What are the advantages of various bathtub materials?

We're going to be putting in a new tub, and I'm not sure what to get. Cast iron? Enameled steel? Acrylic? My concern with the cast iron (other than lugging it up the stairs) is the rust problem. How ...
4
votes
1answer
8k views

How can I insulate a shed floor?

I am currently planning on insulating my shed this summer to allow year round usage. My first step is to insulate the whole shed. - The walls and Ceiling are straight forward, I will be ...
3
votes
1answer
9k views

What could cause the freezer to work but not the fridge?

My fridge (10 year old Elextrolux model PLHT219TCK0) is not cooling (60 degrees) while the freezer works fine. I thawed the freezer for 12 hours and when I turned it back on everything worked fine ...
5
votes
1answer
706 views

Can I have two main panels from a single service drop?

Can I run 2 main panels both with separate circuits and main disconnects all off of 1 electrical service from the street? basically separate 1st floor 2nd floor with different boxes and only one ...
7
votes
3answers
560 views

Do Old Houses Have a Pre-determined Lifespan?

Taking into consideration the building supplies that were available in that time period for that particular geographic area (say, a major metropolitan city in the mid-western United States), do homes ...
3
votes
1answer
492 views

How do I mount a new TV antenna to an existing antenna mast?

I would like to mount my new antenna to the side of my existing antenna mast. Is there a device that I can buy that will clamp on to both poles? Update - With pictures Picture 1 is an old antenna ...
7
votes
1answer
417 views

My yard is eroding away and taking my house with it: what's the cheapest way to build a retaining wall to stop it?

We can't get grass to grow in spots in our backyard due to a combination of dogs, trees, and shade. Behind the house is a hill. A third of it has a retaining wall built with rail road ties. It has ...
2
votes
1answer
443 views

House Has Different Types of Siding - How to look seamless?

Alright, I am looking to purchase my first house. One of which looks somewhat like the one below. As you can see, it has a brick sided portion and a vinyl sided portion. Obviously this house has been ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

How to reduce heating of cold water pipes in the ceiling space?

On a hot day our kitchen cold tap, if it hasn't been run for a while, will produce water at a temperature up to around 50-55 degrees C shortly after it is turned on. We haven't measured the exact ...
4
votes
4answers
5k views

Is there a way to design/create a shower that is less prone to mold?

I think I've had it with traditional tiled showers...I can't stand the site of mold in between tiles, on the tiles! on shower curtains, on shower doors, etc. I think I'm pretty clean, but I always ...
3
votes
1answer
785 views

How can I fit patio French doors in a frame that is too small?

My question is very similar to "How can I fit a door in a frame that is too small?" except my house is made of concrete block. I bought a used patio French door to replace my sliding door. The ...

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