16,601 reputation
13881
bio website gregmaclellan.com
location Canada
age 32
visits member for 3 years, 9 months
seen 3 hours ago

Professional software developer, with several years working on industrial control and monitoring systems. Slowly remodeling parts of my house.


5h
comment Light won't turn off
Can we assume that you didn't pay attention to what wires were connected to what prior to removing the old fixture?
Apr
14
comment How much energy will continuously running a furnace fan use?
@alx9r That is fair, but I will also say I can feel a difference in the force of air coming out of the registers in the two modes. It's particularly noticeable when just the fan is on and then the heat turns on (you can actually hear and feel the air velocity slow down). So in terms of this question, the measurements I made are not that useful, but the fan is definitely going faster in fan-only mode vs heat. I've been doing the same thing as TomG for last 1.5 years (have a schedule that runs the fan for 10-15 minutes every hour or two) so I notice the fan speed change at least once a day.
Apr
14
comment Wireless Thermostat C-Wire Substitute
Very nice idea to just use the 'fan-only' wire as common, since it's practical to live without fan-only (whereas clearly it is unthinkable to live without wifi connectivity). One note though: on my furnace, the fan-only (G) connection actually runs the fan at high speed (verified by measuring the current draw using an ammeter). Particularly interesting is when heat is called for while fan-only is on, the furnace slows down the fan and then fires up the burner.
Apr
10
comment Can armored bx cable come into contact with other metal objects?
"BX cable" is the product name of the original armoured cable, which has since been replaced by modern type AC. It's now used colloquially in the same way that "Romex®" (a brand name) is often used to refer to any Type NM cable.. in the same way people use "Kleenex®" to refer to any tissue paper. That said, when someone says "BX" it's not clear if it's AC or MC. In my region I typically only ever come across MC (I don't think the box stores even sell AC), and I used to always call that "BX" as everyone else I knew did.
Apr
9
comment Dead Bolt Removal
This is one of those questions where a picture can help immensely.
Apr
7
comment What would cause lack of Oxygen in cellar
@DogEars As already mentioned many times.. Seriously -- don't test for possible presence of flammable gasses by lighting a freaking flame!! You are on the path to a Darwin Award here...
Mar
24
comment How can I fix a leaking expansion tank?
@Bill It really depends on where you have valves. The end result is you want to make sure that the part you're disassembling is not pressurized. Failure to do so will generally result in anyone who happens to be watching to break into uncontrollable laughter, and you having to change into dry clothes (and learning a hard lesson about shut-off valves).
Mar
24
comment Why do I have 170hz rather than 50hz on my lighting circuit?
My first thought was this was after a fluorescent ballast as well.
Mar
24
comment What could be tripping multiple GFCI breakers?
Tugging on live wires is not at all a good idea. If they are in fact loose, doing this will likely cause some reasonably spectacular sparks that you'd probably not want to be within arm's reach of. While most of your suggestions are good, the power from the meter needs to be off to do most of this work.
Mar
6
comment What is this kind of security bolt head called, and how can I remove it?
If you run into these with any regularity, you can find "security bit sets" online for ten's of dollars, which typically contain several sizes of spanner bits in addition to many others. Handy to have for those off times you run into these.
Mar
4
comment How can I dim landscape lights permanently?
Sounds like the transformer you have can't be dimmed, which means either replacing the transformer, or dimming downstream of it (before the lights). This might actually be a better question for Electrical Engineering(electronics.stackexchange.com); essentially: How can I dim 22 (LED/incandescent/halogen) bulbs that draw (number of watts) watts each at 12V AC?
Feb
26
comment Want to purchase electric range unassembled
Can you take the closer and/or chains off the storm door, so it opens all the way? I've had to do this when moving before, and I've also had to take the main door off the hinges entirely; neither is very hard to do. If the opening of the doorway itself is large enough to get the appliance through, this is significantly easier than disassembly of an appliance (or rather, every major appliance in your house, since 30~32" widths are quite common).
Feb
25
comment Will cutting PVC pipe with a miter saw dull the blade?
Also watch out for flying pieces, especially when making small cuts (eg <2" off the end) as the blade can send the offcut a pretty good distance. I've also had central vac tube -- which is 2" thin-walled PVC -- actually shatter into several flying pieces from bringing the blade down too fast. Just a reminder to always wear eye protection!
Feb
22
comment Proper method to send wiring through the roof?
@Casey do you mean shingles? Post a picture showing where you want the camera and where you have access to from the inside, maybe I or someone else can suggest something.
Feb
14
comment Why does my furnace make sounds like a tuba when kicking on?
Your question seems offensive to tuba players.
Feb
14
comment Are solar panels cost-effective?
The plug-in energy usage monitoring devices (eg, Kill-a-watt) are also quite useful if you're looking at replacing appliances, because they can help you determine how much you're actually spending. While replacing an old appliance will almost unarguably save you money on your monthly energy bill, in my experience (measuring my own old appliances) the actual payback may actually be longer than the expected lifespan of the new appliance (not mention disposal costs -- both out-of-pocket and environmental). Now, if you're replacing it anyway, then by all means get the low-energy ones.
Feb
6
comment duplex outlet relay
You should consider a whole-house humidifier that mounts to and is hardwired to the furnace. These can turn on using the power from the furnace, signal from a thermostat with humidifier output (not all have this) or an air flow-activated switch.
Feb
5
comment Hot water running out, already replaced both heating elements and both thermostats
The tank being plumbed backwards (cold/hot reversed) will also cause this.
Jan
30
comment How much space do I need between rafter ties?
Consult an engineer! The potential cost of not doing so is your house (or a substantial part of it, anyway) collapsing. Pretty sure insurance won't cover any claim that begins with "Well, I removed some joists from my ceiling..."
Jan
27
comment Can I run the cord for plugged ceiling lights through the attic?
You absolutely can not do it the way you're describing. NEC 400.8 Uses Not Permitted (ref. Extension Cord) Flexible cords and cables shall not be used for the following: (1) As a substitute for the fixed wiring of a structure (2) Where run through holes in walls, structural ceilings, suspended ceilings, dropped ceilings, or floors (5) Where concealed by walls, floors, or ceilings or located above suspended or dropped ceilings