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Sep
24
comment How can I install a cable jack without a box?
I've used the plastic ones many times (Monoprice sells them for much cheaper than the box stores, if you need a bunch) but something about the metal construction bugs me here. Usually anything metal that is involved with anything electrical would be grounded, but this would not be. Most likely this will never be a problem, but it's conceivable that while doing work, this could cut a high-voltage wire in the wall and become energized.
Sep
21
awarded  Custodian
Sep
21
comment How to unstick my light switch?
You're also saying things like "the circuit breaker .. tripped open" and then saying "the knobs in the fuse box". Do you have circuit breakers or fuses? If you have a fuse box, I'm guessing by "knobs" you actually mean "fuses" but as I said, it's very unclear. Take pictures if you need and point arrows to what tripped and what you did, otherwise it's very difficult to help you because we're not speaking the same language. :)
Sep
21
comment How to unstick my light switch?
Can you give us the step-by-step of what you did and what happened? Eg, 1. You turned off the power to this branch circuit, 2. Replaced the light fixture 3. Turned on circuit, 4.... It's very unclear if you were working on something while the power was live, and if the light switch broke at the same instance the breaker tripped, and I'm unclear if the main house breaker tripped (cutting power to the entire house) or just this circuit. Also not clear what "messing around" means - did you just replace the light fixture or did you change the way it's wired or change any wiring at the switch?
Sep
19
awarded  Notable Question
Sep
18
comment Why is my 3-prong dryer outlet showing 240V between hot and neutral/ground 'L' prong?
@EdwinBuck I had a house built in 1974 with aluminium wiring, but the gauge was fine - the branch circuits were all 12AWG where normally they'd be 14. That is a concern for sure, but the problems I am aware of are more like: poor connections combined with thermal expansion causing arcing (also happens with fuse boxes); worn out switches/plugs (not specific to AL but still a problem with old wiring); no anti-oxidizer used; people improperly retrofitting in non-CO/ALR fixtures; and not enough circuits leading to blown fuses leading to putting in fuses rated too high and overloading the wire.
Sep
14
comment Does the smell of paint linger or penetrate other materials?
If you get a low-VOC (or specifically-labelled "low odour") paint, that will greatly reduce the paint smell. There are other benefits (and challenges) to using low-VOC paints, and lots of differences between "truly zero-VOC" and "meets the labelling requirements to say low-VOC" so you should do some research if you're interested in this route.
Sep
14
comment What type of subflooring should I use for a basement?
I used DeltaFL in my last basement, although I didn't have any moisture issues like you're describing. DeltaFL is a vapour barrier between the cement and your actual floor, whereas dricore is vapour-permeable. I don't have time for a detailed answer, but BuildingScience has some great articles: eg, buildingscience.com/documents/reports/… and buildingscience.com/documents/reports/…
Sep
14
comment Can I run electrical cable and sound cable in the same conduit?
Keeping power and speaker ~6" apart is generally fine. If they have to cross, make them cross at right angles. If they do run along side each other for short distances you probably won't notice anything, but I would definitely not want to do it for the length of a room unless it was shielded cable. If you have a powered sub (eg you run line-level signal to it) then usually that is done with coaxial, and I am not sure if that would be affected in the same way by mains or not -- anyone know?
Sep
11
comment Can an external light fixture and an external receptacle share a circuit?
@JeremyW.Sherman ..and even then, you can still combine the bathroom lights with half the receptacles in the dining room and the light in the crawlspace, if you really wanted to. But if you do this, beware: someone might mistake you for a licensed electrician.
Sep
11
comment Troubleshooting a leaking exterior door
Holmes would definitely not advocate covering up a problem like a leaking exterior door by putting a storm door in front. He would do anything from replacing the door to rebuilding the entire front entrance and installing a new weeping system around the whole foundation.. and then he'd put a storm door on. :)
Sep
10
accepted Why does it seem all new faucets are using braided hose instead of stainless steel?
Sep
7
comment can you glue tile to plywood?
When you say "picked up" do you mean the entire tile came off in one piece? A properly installed tile will pretty much always crack and be a real pain in the ass to remove and take lots of back-breaking scraping to get rid of the thinset from the subfloor. If you can (if you wanted to) rip all the tiles out in less than 20 minutes, it wasn't done right.
Sep
6
comment How to make this electrical main safe
@MatthewPK The contractor should always be the one to pull the permit. If they won't it's a major warning sign that you should not be using them (eg, maybe they have no license/insurance so can't get a permit themselves). Ref articles.chicagotribune.com/2009-10-23/entertainment/…
Sep
4
comment What is the most efficient way to dig a hole in a slope?
Not digging by hand would avoid a lot of work...
Sep
4
revised What is the most efficient way to dig a hole in a slope?
assuming you mean "efficient", not "effective". If it results in a hole, the method can be considered effective
Sep
2
asked Why does it seem all new faucets are using braided hose instead of stainless steel?
Aug
31
awarded  Announcer
Aug
31
comment What could cause this ceiling fan and light issue?
Do you have brand/model numbers for the fan and/or switch? There are many different ways different fans are controlled so this will help so we know what we're dealing with.
Aug
30
answered Can I run electrical cable in old unused heating ducts?