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Jan
8
comment Do home radiators waste water?
Simple step (but doesn't answer your question): look at your water meter. Is there water flowing? If so, likely something is leaking. Start turning off valves to appliances (shut-offs under sinks, toilets, outside taps, at your furnace, etc) until it stops. If not, you may just have to keep track of the readings throughout the day as much as possible, and see if you can isolate usage to something or some time in particular.
Jan
8
comment Is voltage too high in C wire going to thermostat?
Will it run correctly without the C wire connected (many will, at the expense of going through batteries quickly)? That would be a quick trouble-shooting step. What model is it? Maybe it has a rating somewhere that says eg "Acceptable input range: 22 to 26 VAC"
Jan
8
comment What options are available for insulating interior walls myself with minimal damage to the wall?
Are the walls insulated now, and with what? Without understanding your reasons, it's very hard to make recommendations, not to mention that this may not even be the solution to your problem. For example - if it feels cold due to drafts, that can better be solved by finding and stopping the drafts (a big draft can completely undermine any insulation -- even if you put in new insulation). Maybe the ceiling or floor is not insulated. Give us some background information at least..
Jan
8
comment How should I mount a TV to a wall that slants inwards 8 degrees?
Really?? 8° is significant: if you have an 8' ceiling (and my math is correct) that means the bottom is out 13.5" from the top..
Jan
7
comment Why is there no hot water in the kitchen?
It sounds like you have some reason to suspect they're frozen, and you should be very cautious of this: because water expands when frozen, it often bursts pipes, but that won't be evident until it thaws out. Unchecked, this means as soon as it thaws it will start flooding inside the wall or floor or whatever, which could in turn cause major damage beyond what's already been done. The best thing to do is turn off the water before the suspected freeze point, figure out where it's frozen, and then thaw, fix any damage, and do what's needed to prevent it from freezing again.
Jan
7
comment Why is there no hot water in the kitchen?
Have you previously had hot water on the kitchen sink? Have you had it in previous years during the winter, and if so, do you know of anything that's different now? What's underneath the kitchen -- finished/unfinished basement, crawlspace, and is it insulated under the floor (cold space) or around the walls (conditioned space)? Are the pipes copper or pex or something else?
Jan
4
comment Can I use old bowling alley lanes as counter tops?
The surface is most certainly NOT food-grade: Here's a link to some Material Safety Data Sheets for some lane conditioners (the oil they put on bowling lanes). On top of that, think of how dirty a bowling ball is (how many unwashed and food-covered hands touch it in its lifetime) and how many of those balls have gone down the lane - not to mention people walking on the lanes, etc. Just pointing out that you should definitely refinish the surface and then seal it with something food-grade.
Jan
4
comment Which way does air flow into a furnace?
Here's a good cut-away diagram of a typical gas furnace that shows the airflow (source)
Jan
3
comment wiring a single bathroom fan servicing 2 rooms in the master bathroom suite with 2 separate switches on the same circuit as well as lighting
Are you trying to get one switch in each room to turn on the local light AND fan (eg, diy.stackexchange.com/questions/21845) or do you just want a fan switch in each room (3-way, or timers so either turn on the fan), and a separate light switch in each room (which only turns on the local light)? Hint: two switches in each room is significantly simpler, and IMHO using count-down timers is one of the best ways to control an exhaust fan.
Jan
2
comment Can I repurpose existing cat5 telephone line for Ethernet networking?
FYI - T568A and T568B are identical in function, it's just the color scheme is different. In both cases, the blue (middle) pair is used for analog telephone, and orange+green is ethernet. However, gigabit ethernet uses all 4 pairs.
Jan
2
comment Are these toilet bolts installed properly?
+1 for describing the fix.
Dec
31
comment How can I wire an exhaust fan to turn on from multiple locations?
As Tester101 says, if you use a separate switch for the fan (one in each bathroom) this would be quite simple. With this option, you could also use a countdown timer, which is a great way to control bathroom fans. They come with different time ranges: max 15 minutes is great for powder rooms (smells..) while 30 or 60 is good for humidity from showers. This keeps the fan running for a bit after the light shuts off, though you do have to remember to actually turn it on.
Dec
31
comment How can I wire an exhaust fan to turn on from multiple locations?
Also, this calls for labels: putting something like "to fan and bathroom 2 switch" on the wire would be immensely helpful to any electrician in the future.
Dec
31
comment How can I wire an exhaust fan to turn on from multiple locations?
I don't see why a DPST switch would be against code. The concern I'd have would be the power source. If the bathrooms are on a different breaker, you cause a potentially dangerous situation: turning off the breaker for bathroom 1 would mean that if someone turned on the switch in bathroom 2, it would energizing one pole of the switch in bathroom 1. If they're on the same breaker, or OP could run a common source for the fan to both switches, this situation wouldn't be a problem. At the VERY least (and this may be a code issue) swap in a double-pole breaker to power both bathrooms.
Dec
31
comment Can I attach a kitchen vent and a dryer vent to the same exhaust?
I am almost certain that plastic tubing is not rated for use as a stove exhaust, but either way I would not use it there (or anywhere, to be honest). Like @BMitch says, use smooth, rigid tubing as much as possible (better airflow, and less chance for buildup to accumulate), and only use the (metallic) flex tube for the final hookups, if needed.
Dec
21
comment What should I use as a base for my wall mounted PC case?
Interesting look, if you're into that -- but this could really benefit from some split-loom tubing or hook-and-loop cable wrap (no affiliation or endorsement, just convenient links).
Dec
20
comment Is it expensive to switch from an 80% to a 90% efficient furnace, to comply with the new mandate?
I'm pretty sure there are also minimum clearance requirements between furnace exhaust and windows/doors, so that can obviously affect the route the pipes need to take.
Dec
18
comment How can I stop my fireplace from disabling my thermostat?
(Ask your landlord to) move the thermostat permanently. If it's a problem for you, it's a problem for anyone else in the future having a fire.
Dec
17
comment How do I deal with vapour barrier for central vac inlets in exterior walls?
@MatthewPK you're talking about a fire that ended up melting the box, as opposed to one caused by a vac because it had 120V like this one, correct (I hope)? That's actually something I never would have thought of. In theory this could also happen anywhere along the line: if the control wire melts and shorts, the vac would turn on. If there's a hole in the pipe or inlet, it would suck whatever is there up. Still, it should only be spreading embers back to the vacuum. This may be enough to start a second fire, but I'd question how significant a role the vac really played overall.
Dec
17
comment How do I deal with vapour barrier for central vac inlets in exterior walls?
I'm in southern Ontario (Canada), which means we get temperatures typically ranging from -20C to +30C. The house is 9 years old, and has a typical (for this area) 6-mil vapour barrier. The basement is unfinished, and the vapour barrier is up but not sealed (unfortunately, typical), but I intend to fix that when I finish the basement (or before). The garage is not conditioned, and the 2 exterior walls have no vapour barrier or insulation (also one has a giant openable hole to the outside in the form of a door 2 cars can fit through).