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Nov
6
comment Projects to Pursue while Studs are Bare?
@GdD I think it's usually overkill to protect them in conduit, other than if they're exposed and in danger of being damaged, or so close to the drywall surface that they could be punctured putting up pictures. If you're not also putting your high-voltage cable in conduit, the logic of putting low-voltage in conduit escapes me: if a low-voltage comms cable is damaged, it just doesn't work. If a 120V cable is damaged, it can electrocute someone or start a fire.
Nov
6
comment Projects to Pursue while Studs are Bare?
@Tester101 If you're going to run conduit, don't run the cables in it - leave the conduit empty and run the cables beside it. It's sometimes difficult to run new wires inside a conduit that's already used, and there's also almost no value in used wiring (except maybe as scrap copper) so you might as well leave it in place (and it looks like Cat5e will continue to be useful for the next decade or so, at least). Only exception is if the conduit has value (maybe just in certain spots) in protecting the cable, then use an additional conduit (at least for that spot).
Nov
6
comment Projects to Pursue while Studs are Bare?
Running some RG-6 (coax) to a few spots is also not a terrible idea, useful for satellite/cable tv. Keep in mind too that Cat5e/Cat6 (and RJ45 connectors) can be used for analog telephones as well. Running Cat5e to a location (or two) in rooms where you might possibly put a desk, TV, or phone is a good idea.
Nov
5
comment How to add another network cable?
I used to say the same thing about Cat5e vs Cat6, but I just wired my house with Cat6 because it was actually slightly cheaper for a box than 5e. The cable of course is slightly harder to work with (can't bend it as much) but that's not a big deal.
Nov
1
comment What are the implications of driving a drywall screw too far into the sheet?
Making mistakes is how you learn: the key is learning from them and not making the same mistakes again. And for the sake of those living underneath your drywall, fixing them.
Oct
30
comment Finishing drywall: How do I finish over screws that refuse to recess/dimple into the drywall?
To do it properly, it needs to be deep enough that you do NOT hear that "chink" as you go over with a putty knife, but not deep enough that it tears the paper. If the paper tears, it has no holding power. If it's at the surface, you WILL see the screw through the paint, or you'll have to spend a lot of extra time trying to feather it out with compound (and maybe will still see the screw anyway).
Oct
26
comment How do I test the functionality of a sump pump?
I think you could clarify your point a bit: It's not that there SHOULD always be water covering the intake (it's perfectly fine for the pit to be totally empty), but your "off" set point needs to be higher than the point at which the pumps sucks air, otherwise it will never turn off.
Oct
26
comment How do I wire a light fixture with two white wires to a ceiling box with three white wires?
How was the previous fixture connected? Can you take a picture showing all the wires you're talking about?
Oct
26
comment Vinyl tile installation over a concrete basement floor with moisture
You can buy (or get a sheet metal shop to build) a drip pan to catch condensation from filter equipment, with a drain on the side that goes to a sump pit or floor drain.
Oct
24
comment What could cause my sump pump to cycle on and off rapidly?
Good thought. Typically the "on" and "off" levels are far apart, and some pumps have a way to adjust this (a dial, or a couple stoppers on the rod the float is suspended from). Even if water is draining back in, the "on" level should be higher enough than the "off" so that this doesn't happen. You can check the distance manually by lifting and lowering the float. If this is the problem, you'll also hear/see the float clicking on and off.
Oct
22
comment How can I repair the carpet around a new shower?
A picture would help, as well as telling us exactly how far "not quite close enough" is.
Oct
16
comment Scratched the paint off the wall. How to proceed?
If you can't get an exact match (but you can get very close), the worse case is painting the entire wall. You only need to paint to the edges/corners, as the way the light affects the wall color when the wall changes directions will mask any minor differences in actual color.
Oct
11
comment Can a bathroom fan be vented just outside the bathroom?
Definitely good call on the timer/occupancy switch.
Oct
11
comment How did I mess up this wiring?
Perhaps you were following instructions from this guy? youtube.com/watch?v=RkTvDjhImwo
Oct
9
comment How to connect Nest in Europe
What wires wires do you have now (colors and/or labels)? What terminals do they go into on your existing thermostat? I just happened to read an article recently that covers how to get NEST set up in Europe and also how to hack NEST to show correct location. Note that this is NOT a supported config, and the guy is using network hacks to trick the NEST to act how he wants. Help with the network/software part is beyond scope of this site.
Oct
9
comment What is the best way to seal caulk tube?
I usually use black electrical tape (unlike elastic bands, I always have some in my main tool box), and I've had caulk that's lasted for a year that way. If you relieve the pressure and cover it, naturally there will be no air in it and so it stays ready to use.
Oct
5
comment What are the disadvantages of having electrical conduit penetrate my foundation below-grade?
Is it practical to run the conduit out of the ground and into the house in a different spot?
Oct
3
comment Why does my ceiling fan light turn off by itself?
It would be useful to test with the fan on as well, knowing if that turns off at the same time or not will help isolate the problem to the light part (or not).
Oct
3
comment What are the standard sizes/clearances for bathroom elements?
@Scivitri I think 5x5 with a shower is definitely pushing it; you're going to have a hard time getting a layout that works. Unless you either build a wet room, or you don't mind having to sit on the toilet to use the sink, anyway. :)
Oct
3
comment What are the standard sizes/clearances for bathroom elements?
Using a pedestal sink or a "eurostyle" vanity (~14" deep cabinet, with the sink basin extending off the top) makes the room more spacious. I had a 5x5 bathroom with just a sink and a toilet and it felt fairly spacious (sorry hard to get a good picture of a small room). Of course you lose some counter space, but you can compensate for that with shelves and/or wall/medicine cabinets.