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Jan
3
comment Issue with using a smart 3 way switch, with a normal 3 way switch
3-way requires specific wiring, and it's different with a smart switch (which requires a neutral, and an always-on hot). There are several ways to wire a 3-way switch, so you'll have to explain or diagram out what you have (which wires are in which box and where they go), and then we can explain how to wire it correctly. Also, what is your intent with the old switch? It (almost certainly) can't still operate as a 3-way with the new smart switch (though if you tell us the model we can check). You either need two smart switches, or give up on the old switch entirely.
Dec
22
comment I installed led strip lighting in parallel and they burned out
Sounds to me like a problem with the power supply, likely undersized (and note: many very cheap supplies will be advertised at their peak load, but can actually only sustain half that load). How much power do your strips need (watts or amperes -- this is often listed as per foot) and how what type and size of power supply?
Dec
21
comment How to build temporary walls for a temporary room
A couple of tarps anchored with screws eyes would be cheap, fast, and easy (both to put up and take down). Could be anchored to (or near) the ground by a 2x4 from floor to ceiling (held to floor by friction), or a 2x6 or 2x8 (for some weight) laying across the ground.
Dec
11
comment What pump do I need
For a low-yield well shared between two houses, you really have two main options: (1) a cistern and pump in each house, each supplying the two separate pressure systems, plus a single pump from the well that fills both tanks (using solenoids and a somewhat complex control system), or (2) a single cistern and pressure system that supplies both houses, and a well pump that fills the cistern (simple float switch control). (2) is simpler and only has 2 pumps, but may mean you're treated like a municipal water supply (subject to regulations and monitoring); (1) is more complex and needs 3 pumps
Dec
11
comment What pump do I need
1.5GPM most certainly puts you in the "low yield well" category -- for comparison, even a fairly efficient low-flow shower head is 2.0GPM. Do you currently have some type of storage cistern or large pressure tank in your house? Do you have trouble with it running out of water? Storage is normal in this situation, often with two pumps: one to fill the tank (run via float switch), and one to take water from the tank and run the pressure system feeding the house. Please describe your current setup in a bit more detail.
Dec
5
comment Plastic electrical box tabs - ok if broken?
Do you mean is it okay to have a wire installed in a knock-out when the tab is broken, or just is it okay to have a knock-out missing a tab, but unused? (I think it would probably be good to answer this question in both cases anyway)
Dec
4
comment How do I fix a Bostitch nail gun that is jammed?
Just on the WD-40 bit, this is relevant: When should I not use WD-40?
Oct
30
comment How to mount an odd mirror from Crate and Barrel
The zinc anchors (pictured) are usually rated 50 lbs each, so that should be more than enough (and the shear strength of #8 screws is over 300 lbs). That said, to the OP, if you don't feel it's going to hold the weight or be safe enough, use a bigger screw. I'm just some guy on the internet; you're the one that has to walk past this thing every day.
Oct
28
comment Installing out side light
Was there a light there before? How was it connected?
Oct
28
comment Can water be pumped from an unused well to a home site?
You'd also have to assess if it's worthwhile in terms of water quality, quantity, and extra cost. The extra trench distance, cost for right-of-way, costs to re-mediate the stagnant well (likely requiring at least a clean-out), landscaping repair costs from construction, etc, may mean you'd be better off just drilling a new well. If the water quality is low, that could also increase treatment system costs: sometimes if you go too deep you get salt; if it's a dug well or a poorly-sealed drilled well, it can get contaminated surface water.
Oct
28
comment Can water be pumped from an unused well to a home site?
Presumably you'd need a right-of-way of some sort to the well. Making use of it would involve digging a trench to run a pipe and wiring (below frost line), and ensuring there is access to it for servicing or in case of problems. If the property owner chose to build a deck or stone patio over it, for example, it could be impossible or very expensive to service.
Oct
13
comment What are recommended clearances for a portable electrical generator?
I would imagine the manufacturer has specific recommendations in the manual for the generator, as it will also partially depend on where the exhaust and air intakes are located. Since you're saying "all sides" does this mean you're also intending to put it inside a structure of some sort? This may invoke fire and/or other building codes, depending on your jurisdiction.
Oct
9
comment Clogged toilet(s)
Do you have any other issues with sinks or showers/tubs draining slowly? (Try pouring down a bucket of water to see). If so, that could indicate an obstruction in a vent line. Is this a septic or municipal system?
Oct
9
comment Installing a Wifi Honeywell Thermostat with a C wire
Please look at some of the other [tagged:thermostat-c-wire] questions (this gets asked a lot). If you have spare wires then it means you can add a C wire, but whether you have a power source available for one entirely depends on the furnace/air handler/boiler this is connected to. Voting to put on-hold; if you can't find the answer in an existing question, come back and post pictures of the control board and/or model #s for the furnace this is connected to.
Oct
5
comment New thermostat wire: maximum number of wires?
18/something and Cat5e/6 is a great answer. You could also install a conduit (eg 1/2" ENT) to pull a future cable, if ever needed (and if you do so, run the other wires outside the conduit, and leave the conduit either empty or with just a pull-string. Adding wire to conduit with existing wire is nearly impossible, and if you aren't using the existing wire anymore, it's probably obsolete and useless to retrieve anyway).
Oct
5
comment Adding exhaust fan to existing single light switch
Does the existing switch just have one 14/2 wire in it? If so, it sounds like the power source goes to the light first, and the 14/2 just carries a switched hot loop (so there is no neutral in the box). Since you're running new wire anyway, I'd highly recommend wiring it so you get a neutral in the switch box, and you have the option of separately switching the light and fan (even if you don't do that today). It's basically no extra work (other than one more wire to splice in), and likely just means running a 14/3 wire instead of 14/2.
Sep
30
comment Wiring for Dimmable Security (motion detector) Floods
I should add: to work with a dimmer, the dimmer has to be between the motion detection and bulb (which requires very specific wiring in place): if the dimmer is prior to the motion detector itself (which is how you'd normally wire up a regular switch to motion detectors) it will not properly power the motion detector and nothing will work (which sounds maybe like what you're experiencing). Even doing things this way, especially with LED bulbs (and CL dimmers), if the motion detector uses a solid-state relay (SSR) you may have strange problems or it might not work at all.
Sep
30
comment Wiring for Dimmable Security (motion detector) Floods
Do you mean that you want a dimmer to control the max brightness of the bulbs when triggered by motion? There's a way to wire this up with one dimmer-per-light, and if wired so any motion detector turns on all lights, but having a single dimmer control brightness of independent motion-controlled lights really isn't possible (without quite a bit of complex and custom electronics, anyway). Can you describe exactly what you're trying to achieve, and since it's already wired, maybe draw a diagram (including telling us if it's 2- or 3- or 4-conductor wire, in each case)?
Sep
28
comment replacing a light switch i discover too many wires in the wall? 3 bundles of wires and a ground wire?
Is the dimmer you're trying to install a simple one, that only has two wires (not including ground)? If so, and this is not a multi-way circuit (the existing switch also only has two wires), then you can straight-up replace it (and ignore the other wires). If your dimmer needs a neutral (which it would if it's got something like remote control or home automation support, or indicator lights), we'd need to see a picture to help.
Sep
23
comment Where to split existing water pipes for new pipe run?
@HenryJackson Not only that, but water softeners, in particular can be harmful to plants: they exchange hardness (calcium and magnesium ions) with sodium ions (salt), which interferes with plant growth or can even kill them.