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26

I've been making a rink in my yard for over 20 years. I don't use plastic or boards. To my mind that gives you the nasty task of getting up wet muddy stuff in the spring, putting it away somewhere etc. We use nothing but snow and water to build our rink, and we can have it whatever size and shape we want as a result. When the rink melts, it melts, and the ...


11

The usual recipe is... A border of wood, pvc pipe, or snow (not the best option). A large piece of plastic or tarp. Fill with water. let freeze. Skate. You'll want to make sure the area is fairly level, since if you have say a 3" slope across the area you'll need 8" of ice on one side and 5" on the other. To reduce damage to the lawn below, I ...


10

You have a fairly simple project. Assuming you intend to tap the interior outlet for power, here are the steps and materials: First, check that you have enough room in the interior outlet box to introduce one new piece of 14/2 or 12/2 NM, whichever is the same size as in the box now. I will assume you know how to make a parallel electrical junction in ...


9

Use a frost-proof sillcock. It will shut off the water 12 inches into the wall (which is probably on the inside of the wall for you), and the water on the outside of the shutoff will drain as long as there is no hose attached.


8

If the cost of raising the patio is too great you could get an angle grinder or perhaps a better choice would be renting a concrete wet saw and cut out a strip about 6 inches wide from the edge that meets the house wall. As @woodchips points out in his comment, make sure you wear gloves, safety goggle and a mask for this. It'll get hot, but it's very dusty ...


8

Sprinkle flour or talcum powder on the floor. Mice will leave tracks in the powder, eventually revealing entry points or nests. You don't have to blanket the entire floor, just near the walls/borders of the rooms, and "as needed" until you have the evidence you seek. Keep in mind that their typical range is 12-20 feet from their nest. Look for mouse ...


8

According to NEC table 300.5, for using a branch circuit of 120V and not more than 20A, with GFCI protection: If it's under 2" thick concrete or equivalent, then depth = 6" and you can use direct burial-rated cable, or run in a conduit Under a driveway (for 1-2 family homes), depth = 12" Under lawns (and anywhere except streets, buildings, parking lots), ...


8

Use a NCVT (non-contact voltage tester) and see which of the two wires alarms when the switch is on. That will be your black/hot wire. If both of them alarm, stop, do not pass go, something else is wrong. For the ground, you don't have one. The safest thing to do is run a whole new wire back to the panel. Anything else is "less than safest".


8

If this is somewhat new construction, these might be anti-pest defense tubes. The exterior box resembles "Tubes in the Wall" pest defense system. Liquid pesticide is shot via CO2 at the exterior junction box and the liquid will travel throughout the house by means of the tubes. http://www.pestdefense.com/taexx is an example of this sort of system. ...


7

My guess is that it is a security keypad. The DNS on the cover could be from D.N. Security Services, Inc. a company from Northern California that was acquired by Universal Services of America in 2009: http://www.universalpro.com/news2.html.


7

From the pictures it looks like the cracks may only be in the stucco, and the underlying structural wall may be unaffected. It's hard to tell without actually inspecting the wall, but my guess is that these cracks are only skin deep. However, you will want to treat them to prevent them from spreading. Here is a good article about Cracks in stucco. Here ...


7

I would use Duct Seal I'm surprised whoever installed the AC unit didn't use it, it's used all the time by Electricians and HVAC technicians. It does not harden; so unlike foam, it can be easily removed and replaced if you have to add/remove wiring/plumbing.


7

I don't see any reason why you couldn't use silicon caulking or why it would damage the surface. Just know that you will not be able to stain over it again. Some caulk is listed as paintable which might be a better bet as at least you can paint it down the road if you choose. If you are going to want to stain the door at a later date, a wood filler ...


7

Those are definitely termite tubes. Those are the exploratory tubes that termites make when they come out of the soil and are exposed to air and light. They build the tubes out of dirt and their feces to protect them when out of the ground. Definitely termite tunnels. These are common on the side of a house, or inside a crawl space going up foundation walls. ...


6

Consumer Reports recently did a review of various Gutter Guards. (You can buy the issue or join their web site to see the full results.) http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine-archive/2010/september/home-garden/gutter-guard/overview/index.htm GutterStuff scored near the bottom. CR also said that water surface tension systems (like the Gutter Cap ...


6

I've found that mice can get in almost anywhere. I don't know how your house is setup but I have a tree which is relatively near my roof. I've had mice get up on the tree, climb up and into the roof vent. If I were you I'd just drop some money on a good exterminator (check the Better Business Bureau to find a reputable one) and have them get the house a good ...


6

I also would like to see some pics. Small cracks in the mortar of Block walls is not uncommon, however the placement of the cracks is a very important clue as to whether or not it is a structural concern. In general, anytime I see a crack starting from the bottom corner of a window and preceding down diagonally, I am concerned. The other crack that may be ...


6

Chances are good that there is only one cable coming into that light, and it is switched by the interior switch. If this is the case, as I suspect, you cannot draw power for your cam without the light being on. you will need to find a continuously powered set of wires or run a new set to your cam.


6

As Shirlock mentioned, the switched lamp is a problem ... however, there's a possible solution: replace the light with a fixture that'll switch at dusk. leave the switched turned on. You could bypass the switch, but then it's more inconvenient if you need to do work on the circuit. You can get covers that'll screw on over the faceplate so someone won't ...


6

You'll want to use a dry silicone lubricant like this. Or a graphite lubricant like this. The liquid part of these lubricants evaporates quickly, leaving behind a protective coating that will keep the lock functioning properly for quite some time. You don't want to use a lubricant like WD-40, because it will not evaporate completely and will collect ...


6

Lightweight spackling compound is not suitable for exterior use. Even if painted, water will effect it greatly. In addition, it is prone to cracking as it is brittle and probably will not withstand opening and closing of the door (vibrations). Wood filler or wood glue may work to fill the crack and would be better for exterior use. The glue is probably ...


6

You'd need to get an engineer to look at it first. The biggest problems I can think of are structural -- even if the house is pier and beam, you'd need to move piers out. If it's not, you would need to dig out a new foundation. Then you have to figure out if the overhang is actually appropriate as a roof over indoor space, that moving the wall won't ...


6

Though the crack is diagonal it looks relatively straight. In this case I'd take a piece of wood the approximate thickness of the crack at it's widest, cut it to length and then taper it so that it fits quite snugly - you should have to use a mallet to tap it home. Don't worry about the thickness too much - but obviously it should be fairly close. Once this ...


6

NEC 2008 406.8 Receptacles in Damp or Wet Locations. (A) Damp Locations. ... A receptacle shall be considered to be in a location protected from the weather where located under roofed open porches, canopies, marquees, and the like, and will not be subjected to a beating rain or water runoff. All 15- and 20-ampere, 125- and 250-volt ...


5

Primer dries fast, so 50's will probally be OK, especially if it gets some direct sunshine. Give it some time however, before painting. I have used exterior paints as low as the 40's as long as night time temps are not going much lower, or paint/primer at least 4 hours before temps drop a bit. Some paints do give a temperature range. There are low ...


5

The IRC or the NEC doesn't apply here, common sense does. What you need to do is apply a paintable silicone acrylic or silicone caulk to the back of the box and around the entry hole before you screw the box to the wall. There should be holes inside the box or external ears for mounting. The idea is to stop water from going behind the box and around the ...


5

The correct answer is: Redo the wiring all the way back to the panel. The workable answer is: The wire with the black stripe on the insulation is BLACK. The other one is white. The junction box is probably not grounded, but I'd attach the ground wire of the light to the junction box anyways. Safety wise, the ground isn't entirely necessary on a ceiling ...


5

The first thing I'd do is one-by-one, remove the screws in the hinges and replace them with 3" #8 screws. This should definitely secure the frame to the stud, and the door to the frame. It might also fix your lock alignment problem, but if not, usually all that is needed is to move the strike up/down or in/out a bit. Take the strike off completely - does ...


5

While soffits usually have some venting in them, the interior of soffits are interior spaces not much different from unfinished attics to which they connect. Attics do not require different wiring from other interior spaces, so it doesn't seem that soffits should either. While attics (and basements) may often be more humid than some other spaces in a wiring ...



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