5
votes
1answer
133 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
561 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
439 views

How to make plastic shine after removing the stickers on it using cooking oil?

After removing the stickers on some of the plastic materials using cooking oil, the plastic lose its shininess. How to I get that shininess back?
15
votes
1answer
9k views

Is my rapidly failing foundation dangerous?

I'll be succinct. I'm afraid we're having a full structural failure. Over the past week, crack after crack has been appearing in our plaster and walls. I'm honestly concerned for our safety. Our ...
3
votes
2answers
5k views

How can I make trapezoid-shaped wood board (beveled edges)?

The reason why I want this is somewhat difficult to explain. I basically am looking for moulding-sized planks that have a trapezoid shape like this: That's the best trapezoid shape I could find, ...
3
votes
1answer
596 views

How to add a drain pipe to a concrete block wall covered in insulation?

I want to run a 1.5" drain pipe along the wall about 2 feet from the floor to a microbrewery setup in the corner of my basement. I have sheets of fiberglass insulation against the walls though, and I ...
2
votes
2answers
3k views

How to widen a chain link

I'm trying raise a swing. A chain is attached to both sides of the swing seat and the topmost links are wider than the others to allow a carabiner to be used to attach the swing to the pole overhead. ...
4
votes
2answers
12k views

Precautions necessary when removing toilet and sink for extended period of time?

I'm in the process of remodeling one of the bathrooms. The remodel includes removing tile from walls, installing a new shower, toilet and sink, refinishing the walls, new linoleum, etc. I would like ...
5
votes
1answer
324 views

Am I doing something wrong with this sanding job?

I'm trying to finish a finishing job on a dresser; I abandoned the project (long story) a while ago after getting a few drawers done, and I've since lost the exact instructions I was following. After ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

How do I cap the wires in this electric smoke alarm?

I want to cap these wires with a wire nut so that I can stuff them back up in the ceiling and install a regular, battery-powered smoke alarm. What wires get capped and do I need to do anything with ...
2
votes
1answer
616 views

Will I see any performance gains if I reconfigure my thermostat to control the second stage of my 2 stage furnace?

Our furnace is a two stage one that was installed last year (a Bryant 80t). When it was installed, it was installed with a thermostat for a one stage furnace. This appears to be because this model ...
8
votes
1answer
3k views

What is the best way to improve counter tops without completely replacing them?

I would like to re-do our counter tops in the kitchen. We currently have the laminate on particle board type. What is the best way to refinish this type of counter top to make it look higher ...
1
vote
0answers
490 views

Do heater vents that will self close exist?

Are there heater vents that can open and close as the air passes through them; this way being closed when off so the warm air won't escape back into the vent. My heater is located outside meaning the ...
10
votes
2answers
3k views

Do I need to insulate exposed foundation in my garage?

I have a 2 story split-foyer ranch. The bedrooms upstairs are above the garage and noticeably colder than the rest of the house (I live in Connecticut so winters get pretty cold). There's no climate ...
2
votes
2answers
27k views

What size breaker and wire do I need for a 220 volt circuit to an electric fireplace and an electric heater?

I want to run a 220 volt circuit from panel to an electric fireplace (12 amps) and an electric heater (15 amps). What size breaker should I use and what size wire?
4
votes
2answers
4k views

What are these two pipes coming out of the house?

I am trying to figure out the purpose of a couple of pipes that are currently coming out of the house. First, a couple of notes: One-story house. HVAC system is in the attic. It is winter here. ...
3
votes
2answers
5k views

Is this a valid way to add an electrical outlet?

I've got a feed from my electrical panel in the garage to a single outlet inside the house (for the entertainment center). This was installed by an electrician back in 2009. Through the garage, the ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

How efficient is a drop ceiling?

I have a small room (about 260 sq ft) with a tall ceiling (about 13 feet tall). It's very hard to heat that room up because the heat goes up and doesn't want to heat the lower part where the people ...
7
votes
1answer
616 views

How can I remove a clog in a central vacuum system?

We have a central vacuum system in our house: Somewhere along the line, something got stuck so various rooms do not have suction. How can I unblock it? Should I try fishing it out, or will that ...
1
vote
1answer
634 views

how to remove a stuck shower handle?

I have a shower faucet "mixet" temperature handle that I can't remove. I have have the screw out but the knob won't come off. How do I get it off with out breaking, or pulling apart the pipes? If it ...
6
votes
3answers
47k views

How to determine the screw size (No.)?

I have multiple "Damaged Screw Remover" bits. I have another instance of the screw in my hand. The bits are designed for specific screw sizes (No. 4 to 7/No. 8 to 10). How do I determine the "No." ...
25
votes
1answer
36k views

What does a “1 Gang” mean when talking about electrical boxes?

What does a "1 Gang" mean when talking about electrical boxes? Example: CARLON 1-Gang Metal Adjustable Electrical Box (Lowes.com)
5
votes
2answers
3k views

How do I create a “ground”

I live in a old house (built in 1918), and because their was no electricity back then, all electricity was added after, and weird enough, nothing has a ground. So, I'm having problem with my ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

What could be the cause of a washing machine hose coming loose?

Ok, I'm not a rocket scientist but this has me stumped. I have a new hot water hose for my washing machine. I replaced the O-ring on the faucet side of the the connection, tightened and went to use. ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

Do coal stoves lead to creosote buildup/chimney fire risk?

One of the reasons we put in a coal stove as an alternative heat source was because several sources said coal stoves don't have creosote buildup, reducing the risk of chimney fire. The instructions ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the proper way to clean a water heater?

I have heard many times that it is good to clean your water heater about once a year by flushing it. I went to look online to find the proper way to do so and found many people recommending different ...
3
votes
1answer
187 views

How do I finish my partially finished floor?

Ok here's the deal. I stained and poly'd the floor with 1 coat. I tried a floor buffer to sand after the first poly layer. Mistake.. the buffer was too strong. In a couple areas the buffer started ...
4
votes
1answer
773 views

What could cause a furnace to short cycle?

My Ducane MPGA100B4B furnace is shortcycling (2 minutes from fan on to fan off) The thermostat's Heat Anticipator setting doesn't seem to matter for the on-time, maybe the offtime changes The ...
12
votes
3answers
28k views

What's the minimum depth that an electrical box can recess into a finished wall? Does it have to be flush?

Do electrical boxes have to be flush to the finished surface? Can they recess any depth into the wall by as much as 1/8" or 1/4"? Edit: I appreciate everyone offering alternative solutions to ...
7
votes
3answers
7k views

I modified a nail-in electrical box to use screws instead of nails. Is there some code that prevents that?

Ever since I dove into the electrical side of things with my project, I've encountered a bunch of code restrictions. One thing that wouldn't surprise me if it was a violation of code is what I've ...
1
vote
1answer
7k views

What could cause dripping noises when I turn on my central heating?

When I put my central heating on and I sit in my living room there sounds to be something dripping coming from my ceiling. The drip sound can be slow then speed up a little, then it stops only to ...
2
votes
2answers
238 views

Do I Need New Kitchen Faucet Handles?

I just replaced faucet washers and after reassembly, the tap doesn't work. There is a crack in the handle. Is a replacement handle needed?
12
votes
4answers
35k views

Do I really have to fasten interior-wall electrical wire to a stud to keep it from moving?

I am fresh out of cable staples and would rather not go all the way to Lowe's just to get a box. What are the implications of not fastening loose electrical wires to a stud? It's not like there's ...
8
votes
1answer
6k views

Can I extend an electrical ground wire with a copper wire crimp?

I am working with an electrical socket and I need extra length on the ground wire. It doesn't seem unreasonable that I can attach an extra three inches to the existing one and attach it with a copper ...
2
votes
1answer
3k views

How can I prevent heat loss through heater/air conditioner wall units?

HVAC experts out there... I live in Wisconsin and it gets mighty cold here! I have a condo with 2 wall units that are used for both air conditioning and heat. My heat bill in the cold winter months ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Is it safe to install a sconce light box inside a return air space?

In my finished basement, the space between one section of studs is being used as a return air duct for my furnace and central air. Here is a picture, looking up from the vent at the floor level: ...
4
votes
2answers
27k views

How can I determine why my furnace is not blowing enough heat?

During a cold spell last week when temperatures got down to -23f (-31C) my furnace started showing issues with blowing enough air and the air was not very warm. Last winter it did not have any issues ...

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