16,861 reputation
14086
bio website gregmaclellan.com
location Canada
age 33
visits member for 4 years
seen 49 mins ago

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


Jun
18
comment Which cylinder door lock shield design is most secure?
Just a comment: If someone approaches a lock with a drill capable of drilling through it and has the intent of doing so, I highly doubt they'd be deterred by a hardened lock cover and simply give up. There is always a 'weakest point' in your security, and at best upgrading to a lock like this will simply shift your lock a tiny bit further away from being the weakest point. If it IS the weakest point, that probably means your house has no windows, re-enforced concrete walls and the door can withstand a battering ram. Sounds lovely.
Jun
18
comment How do I convert a 3-way circuit with two lights into two 3-way circuits that control each light separately?
As an alternative you could replace the existing switches with 'smart' switches or keypads (eg, Insteon, UBP or Z-wave) and install in-line modules in the fan to get independent control everywhere, without opening walls. The hardware is more expensive and it's a bit more technologically complicated, but it may work out depending on the difficulty fishing wires and the types of repairs you need to do after.
Jun
18
comment How do I convert a 3-way circuit with two lights into two 3-way circuits that control each light separately?
@Andrew That is also possible, but a bit different from what I showed and different from what you asked. There are many options, and it really depends what you're willing to go through -- eg are you okay with opening drywall? You can have 3 switches at two locations to control each light AND the fan independently (which means a few new wires and lots of holes in drywall), or depending on the current wiring you may be able to have one switch control both lights, and the other switch control the fan WITHOUT having to open walls up.
Jun
17
comment Digital TV pixelation of picture at Manchester using Winter Hill
The faceplate is loose, or the connection is loose? Have you taken the faceplate off to see if the connection on both sides is good? Tried another cable? Checked any other connections between there and the antenna? Checked the antenna itself for signs of damage? Has anything obvious changed since it last worked? Are there any trees in the way (leaves can block signals; may work in winter but not spring)? With a bit more information on the situation (pictures help a lot) we might be able to help. Complaining about previous people doesn't add anything useful to your question.
Jun
9
comment Do I need to install carbon monoxide detectors to be up to code?
@JMD Updated with a note on applicability. Sorry, I was approaching it thinking of the question as "can I get away without installing a CO detector?" and not "Am I doing everything required to comply with codes?" which I think is what your intention actually was.
Jun
9
comment Do I need to install carbon monoxide detectors to be up to code?
@ThePopMachine What, you don't have that date where you live? (thanks, fixed)
Jun
5
comment How do I wire LED lights directly from the panel?
This answer is good and I'd suggest two things additionally: Use a separate transformer for each room (you can use a smaller transformer for the shorter strip, obviously), and plug the transformers into 120V outlets switched by regular wall switches in each respective room. The 120V wiring for the switches and outlets is absolutely standard stuff. The benefit of this is that the transformers are only on when the lights are on, instead of 24/7 (they still draw power, even with no load).
Jun
4
comment Can I run 2 well tanks from 1 well
Do you mean putting a second pressure tank in the garage? A pressure tank's job is to provide a buffer so the pump doesn't rapid cycle every time you open a tap. If you have a tap open for a while (watering lawn, shower) it's normal that the pump would cycle on/off every few minutes. Can you better explain what you mean by "the tank in the house is not sufficient for watering the lawn"? eg: Are you actually running out of water, is the pump rapid-cycling, or something else?
Jun
2
comment Wiring LED undercabinet lights to switch (US based)
You're planning on mounting the transformer to the bottom of the cabinet, with the romex wire that comes out of the wall directly hardwired into the transformer? I'm not sure if you can hardwire it like that exactly, but you most definitely can't have the contacts on the transformer exposed like that- it would have to be in an enclosure. A picture of where the wire comes out now may help someone provide suggestions.
May
23
comment Can I run heat tape on my water pipe behind drywall without hardwiring?
Why do you even need the heat tape -- is the basement unconditioned? Seems very strange that you'd have drywall up if that's the case. Generally a basement would have the exterior walls insulated, either have HVAC vents (though perhaps not as open as the rest of the house) or have radiators/other heat source. Especially if the floor between basement and main floor is uninsulated, there will be a lot of heat loss and it will be noticeably cold on people's feet (even if the ambient air temperate is otherwise ok, generally this will cause people to still feel cold).
May
22
comment Should I expect a level ceiling when my kitchen was completely gutted?
"Change the ceiling joists"?? Yikes.. That is a pretty major structure modification, which could easily double the cost of a typical kitchen reno. The typical way to level a ceiling is with strapping and shims, which would easily take under a day for the average kitchen, and not involve any structural engineers..
May
21
comment What is the best way to run underground electrical and low voltage in the same trench?
You should also bury some underground marking tape a few inches below grade. This is so if someone digs they will find the warning tape before they find the conduit/wire.
May
20
comment How to remove wires from doorbell
I assume that you don't intend to replace the door bell? And that "look good" is a relative term, considering it was mounted on a piece of crappy-looking weathered plywood?
May
20
comment How to control a dimmable LED light?
It's not that it won't work, per se, but it's that the wires (traces) in the strip itself are only rated for a certain current.. get beyond that, and it will heat up too much. This can lead to something from nothing happening, to the LEDs lifetime being shortened, to the strip actually failing, to starting a fire. This is really no different from regular household wiring, and the reason we don't use 14/2 for dryers and stoves, for example.
May
20
comment How to control a dimmable LED light?
Most of the strips I've seen actually have a limit on the total current they can handle, and so only allow you to chain power for a few strips at a time. You'd need to run separate wires for each set of segments you need; whether you power them with one or multiple transformers is your call. There are different wiring requirements depending on the types of LEDs you're using (individually addressable or not; white vs RGB vs RGBW), so you'll need to figure some of that out before you start.
May
7
comment How should I run wiring for my above-fireplace mounted TV?
It's also worth pointing out that hanging a fireplace above a TV isn't a great idea: the TV can be harmed by the heat; it's hard on your neck; and the image quality can suffer because of off-axis viewing. The best height to put a TV at is eye level when sitting. But don't just take my word for it.
May
5
comment HoneyWell Wifi Thermostat and C wire
You'll likely find the answer if you look at other thermostat-c-wire questions. To get a specific answer, you'll have to take a picture of both ends of the wire, showing the labelled terminals on the furnace/air handler as well as the thermostat itself. Wire colors are not actually standardized and so you can't make assumptions, and usually HVAC installers don't connect the C-wire at the furnace unless it's actually needed.
May
1
comment Why would a light switch be wired with the neutral wire?
Are there other switches/wires in this box? A labelled picture may help here.
Apr
30
comment Hang 3 flat-screen monitors from a tilted wooden beam
Possible duplicate, believe it or not: diy.stackexchange.com/questions/22183/…
Apr
29
comment How to use fiber optics to illuminate glass tiles?
LED strips commonly have IP ratings: IP67 is rated for immersion in up to 1m of water for 30 minutes, IP68 is rated for >1m indefinitely. You'd have to separately deal with the electrical connections (ensuring they are IP67 rated or equivalent as well). Sounds like an interesting way to do it.