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Jul
3
comment Water Softener - Smells like Iron, tastes like salt
What model softener head? When you say the level is now 8, are you referring to a setting on the softener or did you measure it? If you haven't measured it, that is a good starting point, and you need to measure both before and after the softener. (You can buy hardness test kits online and in many stores -- the type with test strips are simple to use and reasonably accurate). Any other info you can provide about settings on the softener would also be useful.
Jul
3
comment Water pump keeps running, there is low pressure
If you have valves shut off to the house, does the pump eventually stop, and at what pressure? If you then open a tap, at what pressure does the pump turn on? If you turn off the pump and open a tap to let the tank drain, what is the pressure reading from the tank? I am assuming since this is a 3-year old tank, that you have a bladder-type pressure tank? Submersible or jet pump?
Jul
3
comment Does PEX require home runs?
FWIW, I've seen far more trunk-and-branch installs than home-run installs. My current house has a couple fixtures sharing a 1/2" line, and those do compete for pressure, but the ones on the 3/4" trunk don't cause noticeable problems. I do plan on fixing it at some point, but at least the builder saved $10 on that 10 feet of 3/4" PEX and fittings...
Jul
3
comment Does PEX require home runs?
I've seen PEX blow apart when you turn on the water and forgot to crimp something, but I've never seen PEX leak -- either with the rings or with the clamps. I've worked on hundreds of water treatment systems done with PEX, and I also personally know of many houses (including my current ~10 year old house) that have no issues.
Jun
24
comment Does one wall socket share power between both ac plugs?
You don't require nor should you have a "separate ground" for a split outlet. In fact I've never seen an outlet that has the ability to have separate grounds. There are other specific requirements around how to run actual wiring for this, which may mean you end up running two ground conductors because you have two separate wires or conduits, but they'd end up being connected (on both ends) anyway.
Jun
23
comment Why would a light switch be wired with the neutral wire?
Agree, don't make assumptions (especially if you've ever found anything else not to code in the house). However in this case, when there are only two conductors in the box, both going to the switch, and the switch is working to turn the light on and off, they must both be hot (or both neutral, if someone really got things messed up elsewhere). Either way, not possible to install a "smart" switch that requires hot+neutral.
Jun
13
comment What is this part of the well pump/tank called, and how can I fix it?
There are many variations of jet pump configurations (at least I assume this is a jet pump, since you had to prime it), and I am really unsure from your description what part you're talking about. Can you take a picture and point out exactly where the leak is coming from (at least as best as you can identify)?
Jun
5
comment Retrofitting a remote opener into a garage-gate motor
Have you looked for an off-the-shelf solution (eg, from the manufacturer)? What are "the three remote buttons in our cars" .. do you mean built-in, "Homelink" (or similar) buttons? Are the buttons high or low voltage? Does the gate stop on its own when full opened/closed? What happens if you push close while it's already closed (and open when already open)? DIY - You might be able to retrofit something with a couple 'add-on' remote adapters and some relays (using two buttons, one for open, one for close).. or you might need something more complex (with a microcontroller) to have one-button.
May
29
comment 20amp ac unit shut off all my power. is a 110 unit lower?
Amps (15, 20, 30, 40 or 50) is amperage or current; volts (110/115/120 or 220/230/240) is voltage. If everything is to code, you can identify the circuit type based on the outlet. Note also that the maximum current is for the entire circuit, so if there are other appliances using power from other outlets on the same circuit, you'll have to take that into account. You can either get a unit that works with the circuit and plug you have, or get an electrician to add a new circuit with the plug you need for the unit.
May
22
comment 3" conduit with many bends - is it worth to build it?
If you open things enough to run conduit, don't put the cables you're running NOW in it -- leave them strapped to the outside. Cat5e, RG6 and speaker cables have been and will continue to be useful for years. The conduit is for new cables you don't know you need (or don't exist) yet. You may also want mechanical protection, but that's probably better done with either a separate conduit (where needed) and/or strategically-placed nail plates.
May
13
comment Fixed time outlet countdown timer
Quick search finds coffee makers for tens of dollars that have an auto-shutoff feature. If you're really attached to the one you have, changing interaction as Ecnerwal suggests is the only option that remotely makes sense to me (and you'll likely still spend at least the cost of a cheap coffee maker on the timer). If you want to get something more complex/automated, you'll easily spend more than just buying a decent coffee maker with auto-shutoff functionality built-in, and spend way more time, and it still won't work as well.
May
8
comment Wiring- Simple for you
You can also replace it with a humidistat switch, which has a humidity sensor and automatically turns on the fan above a certain level.
May
4
comment Installing a sump pump to reduce relative air humidity
What's the air flow situation like in the basement? Musty especially makes me think the larger problem may actually be a lack of air movement. Is the basement conditioned space (heated/cooled like the rest of the house)? If you have forced air, are there vents and at least one return in the basement? Is there a door or is the basement open to the upstairs?
May
4
comment Installing a sump pump to reduce relative air humidity
Is there an existing sump pit, and water visible in the pit? You could also try a very simple moisture test: tape a ~2x2' square of clear plastic sheeting to the floor (6mm vapour barrier would be best), then wait a couple of days to see if there is any visible moisture coming through the slab (may also want to check after a heavy rainfall).
Apr
29
comment C terminal / Wifi thermostat
Do you have an air conditioner? The outside condenser usually gets connected to Y and C on the control board, and will usually be a control cable with red and white wires (though colors are non-standardized and irrelevant).
Apr
27
comment Looking to add a bath fan
Because you need a wire between the existing light box and new fan (to get a neutral), and another wire between the switch and fan (for control), it would be better to just have a second switch loop from the fan, rather than jumpering the two switches together. Note though that this setup doesn't get a neutral in the switch box, which is required in new construction (NEC 404.2(C)). How your local AHJ/inspector interprets this may mean a neutral should be added (easiest way would probably be to change to a 14/3 between fan and switch).
Apr
23
comment What is the best and least expensive way to update my walkout basement?
Do you have forced air HVAC, and are there vents and returns in the basement? Is the temperature significantly different in the basement than the rest of the house? Is there signs of mold in the basement?
Apr
21
comment How can I align 2 holes 1.5m apart?
Just because you own a level that is made of wood doesn't nullify the point I believe @Tester101 is trying to make: grabbing some random 2x4 that looks straight is not a substitute for a proper level. Granted, it might be "close enough" depending on exact needs, but you can't rely on it like you can with a real level/straightedge.
Apr
21
comment Is it safe to pull a continuous 18 amps from a 15 amp outlet?
What is the circuit breaker rated at? What is the in-wall wiring? If there's a 15A receptacle, I would expect wiring for 15A circuit, protected by a 15A circuit breaker. If the circuit breaker is not tripping, it's defective. If the circuit breaker/fuse was replaced with a 20A and your wiring is rated for 15A (eg, 14/2) then you've created a dangerous situation -- this is how electrical fires start, and is the type of situation where the insurance claim can get denied.
Apr
17
comment How can I stop a barbed coupler from leaking?
@PhilipNgai The OP stated the leak is in the connection to the regular poly. There's also no reason a soaker hose couldn't be connected the same way, and in fact a couple seconds of searching finds an example (added to my answer). The tiny little barb fitting pictured in the question is simply not going to work well.