17,222 reputation
14293
bio website gregmaclellan.com
location Canada
age 33
visits member for 4 years, 3 months
seen yesterday

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


Dec
12
comment How to deal with abandoned wire?
If you are going to cut it off, it's a good idea to short out the wire -- connect white and black with a wire nut -- so that if someone ever does mistakenly hook it up, it blows the breaker. This is much better than having live power on a wire that goes nowhere.
Dec
9
comment How do I control a heat lamp with a thermostat?
You qualify a solution that uses a microcontroller and a half-dozen other parts and requires writing code as just a "bit more complex"?? :)
Dec
9
comment How do I control a heat lamp with a thermostat?
Even a link to the thermostat you're using would help.
Dec
8
comment How can I mount an LCD TV onto the *wall* of an RV?
Interior or exterior wall?
Dec
4
comment Line tester reads power to 220V outlet when the breaker is off
Voltage back-feed is still voltage. There are still 220V on that line, if that's what your meter is showing you. The difference is that it's a very small current, and not enough to turn on the Knopp tester you showed. This also MAY mean that it won't injure you (current is what kills you, not voltage), but unless you're willing to risk your life to do a little electrical work, I'd recommend finding out what you need to shut off to get your meter to read 0 before touching anything potentially live. Use a non-contact testor, and check every time before you touch anything that may be electrified.
Dec
2
comment Apartment building's thermostat located in unheated common area is cooking the tenants
Please let us/future readers of this question know what you end up doing and how it turns out, too
Dec
2
comment Basement Insulation
@shirlock Can you please verify your vapour barrier statement? Installing it on the cold side of insulation goes against everything I've read on the topic -- though it also may depend on climate.
Dec
1
comment How do I diagnose a thermostat and HVAC that intermittently doesn't respond?
Just to confirm, this is a forced-air gas furnace? How old is it? When you're saying "heating up" are you referring to the house (and temp shown on thermostat), or the furnace? Is it blowing hot air after you mess with it? Is it blowing any air at all? Is the furnace itself turning on or making any noise at any point during this? Modern single-stage furances usually work like this: Thermostat calls for hot air; Exhaust fan kicks on, and then gas starts and ignites; After a minute or two, the blower fan kicks on and now you feel hot air coming out of the vents. What is yours doing?
Dec
1
comment How do I diagnose a thermostat and HVAC that intermittently doesn't respond?
Does it eventually heat up on its own, or do you have to do something first? What is the overnight temperature (what is it set to, and what does it actually get to)?
Nov
29
comment Why won't my furnace turn off?
When you say it "runs for a very long time" how much time are you talking about exactly? Furnances normally run the blower for a while after the actual heating shuts off -- basically, until the core is actually cold (I think they are both timer-based and temperature-based controllers, depends on the furnace).
Nov
28
comment What are the “rules” for connecting different kinds mains electrical wires?
Note: cu/al is obsolete, your new stuff should all show the CO/ALR rating.
Nov
28
comment How can I wire an array of ceiling lights for easy reconfigurability?
This would work. I'd actually recommend using smart switches (or at least wiring so you can in the future) such as Insteon or UPB, as you can program scenes so rather than multiple dimmers, you can press one button and have all the lights go to preset levels.
Nov
24
comment How do I refinish a bathroom ceiling after it got moldy and peeled?
Every bathroom requires an openable window that provides at least 1.5 square ft of air flow area when open – 2006 IRC [303.3] OR mechanical type ventilation: 50 CFM intermittent or 20 CFM continuous operation – 2006 IRC [303.3X]
Nov
21
comment Can I install new flooring on top of the existing hardwood floors?
Why are you installing new floor? Have you considered refinishing what you have? What type of hardwood are you considering installing? Is this a house you're staying in long-term? If not, personally I'd try to maximize my investments on any retrofits to the house -- changing an existing hardwood floor to another hardwood floor (unless it's really upscale) is not likely to change the selling price of the house by much, if at all.
Nov
18
comment Are easy-rekey locks reliable?
I would definitely be sceptical about a locksmith's opinion on these keys, since they do take away a job that a locksmith has traditionally performed.
Nov
17
comment Where should I install a wall heater?
Why are you installing a new heater? Why a wall heater? What existing heat sources are there?
Nov
16
comment How reliable are connector strips with plug-in terminals and how do I select and use them properly?
You should be using anti-oxidant (eg, NOLOX) on ALL aluminium wire terminations (including wire nuts). There is really no reason not to.
Nov
15
comment How does a water-heater know when to turn on?
Insulating the pipes is going to be the biggest gain here. Even turning up the temperature won't help completely -- the water in the pipes is going to be the temperature of the basement, and you have to use all of that up before you can get any hot water at all. Even after that, the pipes will still be quite cold and because copper is an excellent heat conductor, they will absorb a lot of the heat from the water.
Nov
14
comment Drilling Holes in Cinderblock Garage?
Note on using a regular drill: It may take a up to a couple minutes (and lots of effort) to make a hole with a regular drill, while a decent hammer drill will do it with very little effort in under 10 seconds (times are examples only - they're of course vary with depth, hole diameter, and density of material). If you're making a lot of holes, this makes a huge difference. If you're using a cordless drill, you may not even be able to finish the job on a single charge. Just wanted to point out that in a pinch a regular drill CAN work, but using the right tool makes a big difference here.
Nov
11
comment How to build a quick-and-easy wood ladder?
I wonder if were one were to be injured using a home-made ladder like this, if there would be implications for getting health insurance? Most ladders have UL certification.