17,670 reputation
14396
bio website gregmaclellan.com
location Canada
age 33
visits member for 4 years, 5 months
seen yesterday

Professional software developer since 2000. Have worked on many open-source projects, and am currently employed as a senior web application developer.


Mar
8
comment How to secure a doggy door from intruders?
@Steven: No. Motion sensors have two sets of "beams" they send out that are alternating (like this), and basically the alarm goes off only if both beams are tripped: they're spaced so that a dog or cat will never cross both zones, while a human will. Pet immune detectors are rated by the size of animal, and this dictates the beam spacing (higher the weight rating, the farther apart the beams are, and the more movement it takes to set it off).
Mar
6
comment Is temporarily reducing the water supply line an option when installing a water softener?
The softener will work ok, but when it regenerates and backwashes, it likely won't have enough water to be (as) effective. Over time you'll reduce the effectiveness of the softener itself, and probably have to prematurely rebed the softener (change all the media inside -- normally this is done every 10 years). You can use the smaller hose, but definitely fix it properly ASAP.
Mar
6
comment Is temporarily reducing the water supply line an option when installing a water softener?
Did you not have it connected to the softener while gluing it together, so that it was not possible for it to not be perfect?
Mar
2
comment Should I insulate a finished basement if there is only 3 degrees difference?
I am assuming you are talking about insulating the exterior walls of the basement? Some of the answers seem to assume you're asking about insulating between the basement and upper floors, can you just clarify that?
Mar
2
comment Should I insulate a finished basement if there is only 3 degrees difference?
Your answer sounds like you are talking about insulation between the basement and floor above, while the OP seems to imply the basement is not insulated at all.
Mar
1
comment What can be done about this unattractive dryer vent?
Make sure all your connections are screwed together (or clamped if you're using flex pipe), and taped with foil tape. If something does come apart where you can't see it, you're not likely to find that it happened unless you went looking (like you did), or the symptoms are so bad that it's a major problem (like your subfloor or joists rotting and falling apart).
Feb
29
comment How to disable this timer?
It also looks like there's a manual override switch in the top-right. If you want, you can leave in one or more of either the "off" or "on" tabs depending on if you want this to always be on or off -- that way, if someone (accidentally) switches this on, it'll turn off within at most 24 hours (or vice-versa).
Feb
25
comment Running electrical cable within dry wall
You still want to run your ethernet where it won't be damaged, the only difference is it's not going to kill someone if they do screw/drill through it.
Feb
22
comment How do I corner bead around two layers of 5/8" drywall?
Argh.. Beat me to it. :)
Feb
17
comment How can I attach plywood to a wall without damaging the wall?
What are you using the plywood for? Is there going to be anything attached to it (how heavy?)?
Feb
15
comment Can I replace my ungrounded / two prong outlets, or should I have a professional do this type of a thing?
In Ontario at least, you are allowed to replace the panel in your own house yourself, however, you must get it inspected by the ESA before the power company will put the meter back in. I opted to have a licensed electrician do this for me because of the coordination involved. They also don't have all their installations inspected (only something like 1 in 10, randomly - though mine did get inspected). My electrician also had the lineman's cell number, so they were back to put the meter in almost right away when he was ready.
Feb
14
comment What can be done about this unattractive dryer vent?
@DA01 good point. I used straight (smooth) vent pipe, so I don't expect I'll have much issue except for the elbow at the top. However, I would probably use a dryer vent cleaning brush (which is basically a 4" wire brush on the end of a 10' or so fish line).
Feb
13
comment What is a heavy, dense wood for a soundproof door assembly I am putting together?
I suspect the egg cartons were an attempt to absorb sound in the room, the same as acoustic damping tiles do. The idea here is to improve the sound in the room by preventing echoes and other artifacts. Carpet, drapes, furniture, etc all help damp sound as well. This is in contrast to sound insulation where you are trying to prevent sound transmission to/from other rooms (generally you do a bit of both).
Feb
13
comment What dangers are there with disturbed asbestos drywall?
There is actually a lot of legislation around asbestos and its safe handling and removal. If anyone was aware of the asbestos but did not deal with it, they are likely in violation of the law and there are serious consequences. It's less clear (in my quick research) in a residential setting who is responsible for knowing there is asbestos (see claimscanada.ca/issues/article.aspx?aid=1000225355). Wikipedia has some background too: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…
Feb
13
comment What dangers are there with disturbed asbestos drywall?
This sounds actually quite serious. Airborne asbestos fibres (caused by drilling/cutting asbestos-containing material) are linked to serious lung injuries and high incidence of lung cancer. Were you living in the house at the time/after the construction? How do you know there is asbestos?
Feb
12
comment Is plumber's putty or tape ok?
Sorry, I meant I use teflon tape when dealing with PVC parts.
Feb
10
comment Is plumber's putty or tape ok?
I usually just use tape with PVC. I have never seen nor would recommend using plumber's putty (which, to be clear, looks kinda like play-dough) for any pressurized joint, that's what pipe joint cement (which looks more like white-out) is for.
Jan
30
comment Should I put caulk/silicone at base of toilet on hardwood floors?
That is why you do not totally seal it- you leave a 1-2" gap at the back.
Jan
28
comment Can you replace valve stem packing without shutting off the faucet?
Agree, and I'd echo the recommendation of using a ball valve -- they are so much more reliable than the old globe multi-turn values. I've seen ones that have been in terrible conditions for 10 years, where they're covered in grime and the handle has rusted off, and they still close (after putting on a new handle, or in a pinch, using a pair of pliers).
Jan
27
comment Should I release the pressure out of an air compressor when it is not in use?
SCUBA tanks are stored at between 25 and 300 psi (consider they normally hold 3000 psi), specifically to prevent moisture from entering the tank. Does the same theory not hold true for these tanks as well? There is a major difference in the air though: that air that goes into SCUBA tanks goes through a moisture separator and filters to make it moisture- (and oil-) free.