17,036 reputation
14290
bio website gregmaclellan.com
location Canada
age 33
visits member for 4 years, 2 months
seen 9 hours ago

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


Sep
2
comment Properly insulating crawl space
Where are you located (or what is the climate)? Presumably the crawlspace is non-conditioned space, and you intend to keep it that way? You should probably also look through the crawlspace+insulation tags as some of the similar questions regarding insulation and venting may be helpful.
Aug
18
comment Is there a way to unscrew a light bulb that has broken?
You can check with a non-contact voltage detector. Better investment than a broken bulb remover, IMHO.
Aug
13
comment How can I protect a hardwood floor from a rolling office chair?
Wait, to protect floors from damage, hammer tacks into the floor?!?
Aug
13
comment Running Coax cable to the upper floor
Tip: If you add conduit, then run any cables OUTSIDE of the conduit, leaving the conduit empty. Rationale: If you are adding additional cables, it's easier to run through empty conduit. If you are replacing, then it means the current wires are obsolete anyway so there's no need to take them out.
Aug
13
comment Running Coax cable to the upper floor
Totally worthwhile to also run a couple Cat5e or Cat6 cables as well, particularly to your office. Whether you put modem/router up there or elsewhere, you can get wired connections to other areas of the house, plus those cables/jacks can be used as telephone lines as well.
Aug
13
comment How do I wire a gazebo
The GFI outlet box is part of the gazebo, but not pre-wired to the switch? And the switch IS pre-wired to a (ceiling?) fan? It would help very much if you took a picture of what you have in the gazebo (showing wires/boxes) and what, if anything, you have coming from the house.
Aug
11
comment Minimizing wall thickness for basement drywall?
The thickness is entirely an artifact of how the wall is built, which is largely based on the insulation amount and type used, which is based on the climate conditions. If you have an existing wall, and want to know how it was built, you'll have to look somehow (eg, cut a hole). If you are building new, you must start with the insulation required and type of insulation you'll be using and work backwards from there.
Aug
11
comment My kitchen lights won't turn on, what could be the problem?
I've found that often it's cheaper for an entire new fixture vs just the ballast (particularly if you find something on sale). YMMV, and of course, you may want to pay extra to keep the existing fixtures because you really like them, or because they're installed in a way that is difficult to change.
Jul
23
comment Can you put a small breaker panel after a 30 amp breaker from main panel in the house?
To summarize the last 8 comments: There is nothing wrong with having 4 15amp circuits in a sub-panel that has a 30 amp main breaker. You can use max 15 amp on any one circuit, and max 30 amp all combined. You can't draw 15amp on all circuits at the same time.
Jul
20
comment Garage door opens only partially in hot weather
Chain, belt, or screw drive? When was the last time you lubricated the opener, rails and wheels? Different types of openers have different lubrication procedures - check the manual, but generally it's recommended to do this once a year.
Jul
20
comment Can I use a pool pump to drain a shallow well?
I also can't answer your question of if a pool pump will work, but I'll give my two cents: You are not dealing with just the water in the well pit now, but also the water flowing into the pit. The flow rate is likely to increase as the volume goes down. A gas-powered trash pump is a much better choice for this type of thing, but you may be surprised at the volume you'll be dealing with. You'll also have to ensure you pump it a far enough distance away that it doesn't just re-enter the well, seeing as dug wells are largely collecting surface water.
Jul
20
comment Can I use a pool pump to drain a shallow well?
Submersible pumps have many advantages over jet pumps, so I would not replace it if I were you. Normally a submersible is installed with a "pitless adapter" that allows removal of the pump (by pulling up the pipe) -- this is how we service them in drilled wells. If yours is not installed in a removable way, I'd suggest you fix that rather than replace with a jet pump that has practically no advantages (IMHO).
Jul
16
comment Salt free and low maintenance water softener
+1 Make sure the hardness setting is calibrated correctly, and switch the head to one that does a flow-based recharge.
Jul
13
comment Is it a problem that I have two of each color wires on my Honeywell thermostat?
It's certainly not a normal thing to have this, so I'd want to make sure I know what's connected prior to touching it. You need to trace the wires. How is it connected in the furnace? Do you have another thermostat in the house?
Jul
10
comment How can I tap an unused well for outdoor watering?
In many areas, using concrete tiles to construct a well pit as you described is no longer allowed: they are a common source of ground water contamination from run-off, animals dying and decomposing in the pits, etc (which contaminates the aquifer and surrounding wells, not just your well).
Jul
8
comment Rule of thumb for prefilling drywall vs. recutting a piece of new drywall
Great answer. Another tip that works for both maintaining plane and re-enforcing the edge on any hole is to use a piece of backing -- like some scrap plywood or 1-by material -- and screw it to the back of the existing drywall, then screw the new drywall to it as well. It will keep them aligned and add strength, and makes it easier to install and tape.
Jun
25
comment How do I get rid of white lines in wall corners showing up after painting?
It's hard to tell but it kinda looks like you used a roller only, and didn't use a brush to do the corner first?
Jun
23
comment Cover old ugly floor in a rented apartment?
What is the existing floor (carpet, vinyl, tile, ...)? Is it a rectangular shape or something non-standard? How big? Are you trying to avoid seams? Is it a high-traffic area? Is carpet okay or is this eg, a kitchen where carpet would get dirty? Are there any doors that open over top of this floor that would limit the height of what you can put on top?
Jun
23
comment Plumbing cuts through five studs. Is ok?
A lot of this strikes me as odd: the wiring not being stapled, suddenly transitioning to armored, and general haphazard-looking install; several notches cut for the drain; the stud that is actually two 2x4's stacked (top picture, stud on the edge of drywall, ~3.5' up); the non-GFCI receptacle over the sink (or perhaps it's shared with the other what looks like a GFCI on the left, which is also wrong). This looks like the work of someone that didn't know what they were doing. Be careful working on this -- the only assumption you should make on anything is that it's wrong. :)
Jun
23
comment Is it a bad idea to cool a room on the second floor by pumping air from the basement?
Do you have a forced-air system now? Two comments on your idea: 1) a fan every meter is overkill; one is enough and it doesn't really matter where it is (should just be based on minimizing sound from the motor, ease of access if it breaks). 2) when you force air into a room, the existing air has to have somewhere to be displaced to. Modern HVAC systems have a supply and same-sized return in (nearly) every room; some smaller rooms (eg, bathrooms) may rely on a bit of airflow though the gap at the bottom of the door and the door being not fully closed most of the time.