4
votes
2answers
1k views

Where should I install a Pellet Stove to supplement my boiler?

We are purchasing a pellet stove insert for our single floor 1200 sq. ft. home. We are doing this to reduce our dependency on oil (hot water boiler), which we use to heat the house with baseboard hot ...
3
votes
2answers
5k views

How do I remove the back lip from paving stones?

I purchased a bunch of these paving stones in order to make a fire pit. I laid out the fire pit and it worked okay, except if you'll notice on the description of the stones it says "Back lip assists ...
2
votes
1answer
414 views

How do I insulate my Laddomat 21 boiler charger?

I have a mixing device Laddomat 21 installed for my boiler + accumulator tank. I have all pipes around the boiler insulated with pre-formed moulded mineral wool insulation, but there is no insulation ...
9
votes
6answers
21k views

Are CFL bulbs safe for enclosed fixtures?

I just got 3 dozen CFL bulbs for free, and was planning on replacing all the non-downward exposed fixture lights in my home with these bulbs. In the past I haven't even considered switching to CFL ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

Installing new toilet. Does the wax ring have to fit snug around the hole in the underside of the toilet?

I got a new toilet complete with installation kit. The illustrations on the directions appear to say to apply the wax ring around the drain opening beneath the toilet then set the toilet down on the ...
8
votes
2answers
383 views

Is it within code to complete 12g wiring circuit with 10g wire?

In installing a dishwasher on a dedicated 20amp circuit on 12g wiring, I've come short about 5 feet to run a line. I have some surplus, heavier, 10g wire. Would it be safe to install a junction box ...
6
votes
2answers
7k views

Do I need soffit vents when I have 2 gable vents and 5 normal peak vents?

We are in southeast Idaho, have a plain simple gable roof on a 1,050 square foot floor house; the roof's pitch is not great, probably 3 or 4/12 but normal for our area. We have 1 vent at each gable ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

How can I determine the cause of a noisy spin cycle in my INDESIT washing machine?

My washing machine has suddenly started being much noisier during the spin cycle. It doesn't seem to be vibrating or knocking/banging. It's just got a much louder whine when spinning fast than it ...
2
votes
1answer
810 views

Snake drain gun vs compressed gas drain gun vs liquid - which is better for what?

I borrowed a powered snake style drain gun for some toilets and shower stalls, from an HVAC guy who said that liquid drain cleaners were next to useless. The short version is that the drain cleaner ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

Is slate tile suitable for exterior flooring in a colder climate?

My brother-in-law lives in Northern Alberta, Canada, and is thinking about putting slate tiling down on the front deck. However, he's getting conflicting opinions, one place is saying that it will ...
4
votes
2answers
842 views

How do I take apart an older model bathroom faucet?

I'm trying to take apart a leaky bathroom faucet. I've isolated the leak to the cold valve, but I cannot figure out how to disassemble the faucet. I've watched several helpful videos and read ...
2
votes
2answers
5k views

Do pressure reducing valves also function as check/one-way valves?

If installing a pressure reducing valve, is there any sense in installing a one-way check valve in series, or would it be redundant? (i.e. does the PRV also act as a one-way valve?)
2
votes
1answer
915 views

How do I replace a Zanussi washing machine's front door seal?

I have a zanussi jet system 1200, model wjd1257w. It is a washing and drying machine. It leaks water, I guess at the spin cycle or perhaps before it. I searched and found out that it could be either ...
3
votes
1answer
708 views

How do I properly install underlayment and a modified bitumen roof on a flat garage roof with concrete walls?

My project is to replace 18'x10' flat roof on my concrete garage. So far I installed 16" oc framing and 3/4" plywood over it. Now I am planning to install some fiberglass based underlayment (#30, ...
4
votes
3answers
397 views

Recommended web sites that help pick out interior wall colors?

Is there any website where i can see what kind of color will look how on the wall? I am planning to get my living room re-painted and looking for some ideas. Any suggestions?
5
votes
1answer
5k views

Why is my kitchen faucet dripping even after water is shut-off?

Kitchen faucet (two separate handles, pull-out hose, Price-Pfister Catalina model) is dripping from the faucet itself. I shut the water from below the sink, determined it's a cold water, unscrewed the ...
2
votes
2answers
312 views

Can I use a GFCI on an ungrounded 2-wire circuit at the terminus?

I mistakenly ran 18ga twin lead through plastic conduit out to power 12 volt lights. Never hooked up. Now I want to power a .68 amp 120V pump on a water feature. Too many 90 degree elbows to be able ...
6
votes
1answer
5k views

How do I prepare an interior cement floor for painting?

I have an enclosed carport that serves as 4th bedroom/den in a 30 year old house. This room has long been used as storage, etc, and is in fairly bad shape. I'm rehabbing it to serve as a home office, ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

How can I recondition old rubber seals?

I have some rubber window seals that with age have become a bit hard and shiny, which is reducing their effectiveness. I can't replace these seals, so I would like to know - Is there anything I can ...
2
votes
1answer
132 views

Can I tear down a roof with a torch? [closed]

Can my friends and I use a torch gas cutter to cut into the roof, and dismantle everything by sections? I imagine there will be some concrete layering underneath and such.
1
vote
1answer
562 views

Why does my Whirlpool washing machine's lower agitator rotate, but the auger does not?

I've got a Whirlpool washing machine that has started giving me some problems. Recently when I run a load through the wash, I can see the agitator turning, but the upper auger doesn't turn... it's as ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

Does a device with a two prong plug need surge protection?

I have an iPhone and iPad whose power adapters are both two-prong. Since I cannot ground them in a surge protector, is it necessary that these devices even be used with a surge protector?
6
votes
1answer
632 views

Will I have problems from waiting to grout patio tiles?

I laid porcelain tiles on my patio a couple months ago. Life and weather has kept me from grouting the tile. Is a couple months between laying the tile and grouting too long? What problems are ...
2
votes
3answers
3k views

How can I figure out where squirrels are entering my attic?

Squirrels keep getting in my attic but I can't figure out where they're coming in. There may also be chipmunks, as I found a bunch of sunflower seed shells inside a lawn chair bag that was laying up ...
15
votes
4answers
7k views

How do I choose between ionization and photoelectric smoke alarms?

I need to change my smoke detectors but I don't know how to choose between ionization and photoelectric smoke alarms. I guess that there are pros and cons to choose one or the other. Should I buy a ...
4
votes
1answer
870 views

Can a load bearing beam be offset from lapping joists?

I'm replacing a section of 4'' load bearing wall by a large 8''x8'' steel beam, and due to the size of the beam it would stick out to one side too much if I were to install it exactly centered with ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

How do I unclog a clogged swimming pool vacuum?

I have a swimming pool which I was vacuuming the other day. Unfortunately, I accidentally vacuumed some larger items (leaves, paper, etc) which caused the whole mechanism to clog, i.e., I can no ...
4
votes
1answer
934 views

Do products like Ditra make tile removal more complicated?

Products like DITRA are great to use when installing tile, but I can't help wondering what it'll be like to remove the tile later. Is it more difficult to remove tile that's been laid on this type of ...
3
votes
1answer
140 views

It is reasonable to expect a contractor to replace the last foot of HVAC duct work, the connection between the insulated duct and the register?

The contract was to replace an antiquated HVAC and duct work. Since the registers are a standard size, would this connection also be a standard pre-fabricated part? What is that last connection ...
4
votes
3answers
3k views

How can I temporarily soundproof my bedroom window?

I live on the second floor of a noisy NYC apartment building, and my bedroom window is unfortunately right above a busy street. I've been sleeping with earplugs for a while, but I still get woken up. ...
7
votes
2answers
3k views

Does 100 yr old concrete floor need replacing?

Our house was built in 1905 and the concrete floor is uneven and gets a lot of moisture at times. We replaced the gutters which helped a little. We'd like to finish the basement, maybe use stained ...
14
votes
4answers
57k views

Which Kitchen outlets do NOT need GFCI?

I have the 2 circuits in the kitchen with GFCI outlets, but I'm not quite sure which other ones do NOT need GFCI. Other circuits in the kitchen include Microwave, Fridge, and Dishwasher. It makes ...
10
votes
3answers
24k views

Do all wires on basement walls have to be in conduit?

I need to know if, when a basement is unfinished and an outlet is on the wall, is it required to put all wires in conduit?
6
votes
2answers
217 views

Should we sand and prime holes in our walls or pay someone to do it?

We just had our 1,000-square-foot house insulated with blown-in insulation. Now we have 180 patched-up holes in our interior walls that need be sanded and primed before we repaint. The holes ...
5
votes
3answers
6k views

Should a circulator pump be installed on the supply or return of a forced hot water heating system?

I currently have a forced hot water heating system with 3 zones, all of which have the circulator pump on the supply side of the line. I need to install a 4th zone and am being told that putting the ...
6
votes
2answers
909 views

What recessed lighting technology is recommended for LED?

I'm remodeling my first floor and we will install recessed lighting in the existing ceiling. Right now is a tense time to make lighting choices as there are so many new technologies out there. My goal ...
6
votes
2answers
6k views

How is installing roof sheathing horizontally stronger than vertically?

Prompted by a comment in this answer: What is better for a roof, plywood or OSB? Why is it stronger to install roof sheathing horizontally? Yes, it ties in more rafters, but in what manner is that ...
6
votes
8answers
9k views

Why does my smoke detector chirp when my bathroom lights are turned on?

We have an wired smoke detector that is right outside a bathroom. Often, when we turn on the lights in the bathroom, the smoke alarm will chirp. The bathroom used to have a fixture with 4 40-watt ...
17
votes
10answers
28k views

What is better for a roof, plywood or OSB?

While watching the builders next door do their thing, I became curious with their technique to install plywood on edges neighboring the next townhouse, and OSB for the rest (which for these narrow ...
5
votes
3answers
132 views

What options are there for converting from a wood stove to another type of heating system?

My folks are into their 80's now and live in rural Maine. Their ONLY way of heating their home is with a wood stove - just a single wood stove. Up to this point, my folks have been able to tend the ...
2
votes
1answer
282 views

Why would the pressure in my kitchen faucet drop overnight?

The kitchen faucet has just noticeably decreased in pressure. No leaks anywhere. It did get a lot colder overnight, but that's the only thing that changed. Any ideas?
3
votes
2answers
4k views

How do you determine the slope of a floor?

What are some methods for figuring out the slope of a floor? I've always heard the slope referenced as, eg: "1/2inch over 6ft." - is this the normal way, and/or are there other common ways to say ...
16
votes
7answers
103k views

How do I install a GFCI receptacle with two hot wires and common neutral?

In my kitchen, I want to replace a regular 120V receptacle with a GFCI-protected receptacle. The instructions describe what to do with a regular 2-wire + ground feed, with and without daisy chaining ...
6
votes
3answers
9k views

How do I level a basement floor but not the slab underneath?

I'd like to install laminate floor on top of Delta FL in my basement. The basement slab is not level, it slopes (from all directions) towards a floor drain (that, via a pipe, leads to a sump pump) ...
4
votes
3answers
149 views

What's a good entry-level text/video on residential plumbing?

Anything for the near-absolute beginner? I've removed the 180-degree angle dirt trap under my sink and cleaned a pipe with a motorized snake, but that's about it. Any book recommendations would be ...
11
votes
6answers
11k views

What is involved in DIY swimming pool maintenance?

We moved into a new house last year and when cleaning out the pool shed last weekend I stumbled across a report that was done by a business that handles swimming pool maintenance. It checked ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

How can I build a support onto a stud in order to support a handrail?

I need to repair a stair handrail that has come out of my plaster wall. One end of the rail was not connected to a stud, so has come lose. It is a nice railing, so I would prefer not to buy a new ...
15
votes
4answers
28k views

Why don't programmable thermostats automatically switch between “Cool” and “Heat”?

While I can set my house to be a particular temperature, I still have to manually switch it between "Heat" and "Cool" mode, and this seems to be true of every thermostat (programmable or not) that ...
10
votes
2answers
4k views

What caused a burn mark near my hot water pipes?

I was doing some household cleanup in the storage room where my heat tank is located when I noticed a burn mark on the wall frame near the pipe that goes from the heat tank to the shower next room. ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

What can cause a wet patch to appear on an outside wall around an external tap?

I have just noticed that I have a wet patch around my external tap on the outside wall. The wall seems to dry throughout the day. I have turned off the water to the tap, but the following morning, the ...

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