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Feb
10
comment Mystery Electrical Voltages in Duplex Junction Box
The picture of your main panel helps mainly to confirm that the wiring in your house is weird. But does this mean you've found the breaker to shut off the red wire? If so, then it seems likely that cable 3 is the supply wire, running power from your panel on two circuits, and cables 1 and 2 branch off to feed other fixtures.
Feb
10
comment Motion sensor activates for no apparent reason
I had an outdoor motion sensor that turned on constantly with fluorescent bulbs installed (but worked OK with incandescents). Not sure of the mechanism of triggering but possible you have the same issue? Also, you could just have a defective one.
Feb
8
comment What considerations for installing quartz around a fireplace?
Hard to answer without specific knowledge about the quartz material and the fireplace. The manufacturers should be able to tell you the heat emission and tolerance of their products, as well as appropriate adhesives/fasteners for attaching the quartz vertically.
Feb
8
comment How many outlets can 1/2" copper pipe support?
Well, you should also note that the interior volume per foot of 3/4" pipe is more than twice that of 1/2" pipe (see engineeringtoolbox.com/…). The more wider-diameter pipe you use, the longer it will take for hot water to reach the fixture in the first place. If you're optimizing for getting lots of hot water to frequently used fixtures, use more 3/4"; if you want hot water quicker and your fixtures aren't heavily used, go for more 1/2".
Feb
8
comment How many outlets can 1/2" copper pipe support?
Not sure about the general rule, but as an example I have a 1/2" line feeding washer, kitchen sink with DW, and bath sink (via tees for the first two). It is fine; you notice a pressure drop on the kitchen sink if the washer is filling but it's not so bad that you would stop washing dishes.
Feb
8
comment How to prevent two doors from opening into each other?
It's unclear what the problem is. Are you saying that what you've currently got is good except for the need to tape it to your door? What would happen if it were spinning free?
Jan
28
comment Freezer evaporator keep frosting
I imagine that depends on the severity of the leak. Perhaps it was just underfilled?
Jan
27
comment Why does my newly installed fill valve hiss after flushing?
Possibly. A small dribble (at a specific point when the valve is closing) isn't a big deal and it's not inconceivable that it could be designed to do that, but it might be a defect. If the leak continues after the valve should be closed, it's definitely a defect. Where is the water dribbling from?
Jan
27
comment Basement door threshold minimum elevation
I'm not aware of any code that might exist around this topic, but aside from those it's highly site-specific. Is your patio sloped away from the basement door? Do you get heavy rains that your storm drain can't keep up with? How much do you care if your basement floods? There are lots of ways to make a step work well if that's the best solution.
Jan
27
comment No water comes out of the toilet's refill tube
I'm not familiar with this particular fill valve, but it looks like you may have missed something when reassembling the valve. The pin may be a critical missing piece, or a red herring! One nice thing about some fluidmaster valves is that they're super easy to replace -- you can just move a ring and pop the valve parts off the base tube, and pop on a new one quickly without needing to unscrew the base.
Nov
23
comment How to install hydronic radiant heat over concrete slab
Your only thermal break between your hydronic heating and your existing concrete slab is 1/2" OSB, routed down to 1/4" under the lines? You're going to lose a lot of energy heating the slab/ground if there isn't some better insulating layer, like foam boards. From what I've read, the usual approach is: existing slab, foam for insulation/vapor barrier, subfloor with radiant tubing paths, finish floor.
Nov
23
comment Can I use 3/4" gravel to grade land away from my basement wall?
You could use the gravel to hold a sheet of plastic in place that would guide water away.
Aug
28
comment Do I need a breaker in main pannel for sub pannel?
(I ask because my house has basically that setup - but with a 100A main panel and a subpanel with 5 branch circuits. I think the only way to shut off power to the subpanel is to hit the main 100A breaker, so I assume it's connected this way.)
Aug
28
comment Do I need a breaker in main pannel for sub pannel?
Does the subpanel need a dedicated breaker just for supplying it, or can it simply connected to the output of the main breaker in the 200amp panel? Seems like as long as the feeder wire to the subpanel is sized for 200amp service this would be OK as long as there's an acceptable way to join that to the main breaker's output.
Aug
15
comment Foam insulation in interior walls
What are you trying to do? There's no reason you couldn't have some air space in your walls. You want to avoid creating a layer that has vapor barriers on both sides (thus no way to dry) but that applies whether the layer contains only air or contains air-permeable insulation such as fiberglass or rock wool.
Aug
13
comment How to fix this bathroom light?
My house has the retaining spring type, and it took me forever to figure out you just pull down the whole fixture. Once you try it it's pretty easy to handle though.
Aug
13
comment Outdoor lighting: use 12V transformer or 220 V mains? And use RCD or not?
A GFI/RCD is a good idea. I don't think it'll matter a whole lot because the situation it limits -- hot reaching ground through paths other than the circuit's neutral wire -- is unlikely to transpire in an environment like a field. (The field is a poor conductor of electricity.) But that could vary with weather conditions, and GFIs are a good safety precaution for outdoor uses of any kind.
Aug
13
comment Should I add a return or another supply to a large room with only one supply?
If it's really not insulated, air sealing and insulating the ceiling of the garage is probably the lowest-long-term-cost way to fix this problem. Heat from your un-conditioned garage is rising into that room. After insulation, it might still need more supply or other changes, but that's a great place to start.
Aug
13
comment Outdoor lighting: use 12V transformer or 220 V mains? And use RCD or not?
By the way, the reason we have a separate ground wire (usually green or bare), rather than simply wiring all our metal surfaces to the designated neutral wire, is because of human error. It would be easy to mix up hot & neutral in one e.g. light fixture and bond its exterior to hot, while bonding others to neutral, and have no visible sign of danger. By ensuring we bond everything to an obvious designated ground wire, a mixup of hot/neutral would short to the ground immediately.
Aug
13
comment Outdoor lighting: use 12V transformer or 220 V mains? And use RCD or not?
So when you say: "If moisture gets into the light fixture, and the circuit is grounded, won't that blow the fuse quicker than un-grounded?" In your case, I don't think so. The light fixture has a neutral and a hot wire in it. Adding a ground as you've laid it out simply offers you another way to connect to neutral.