16,601 reputation
13881
bio website gregmaclellan.com
location Canada
age 32
visits member for 3 years, 9 months
seen 17 hours ago

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


Sep
19
comment What is a minimally intrusive way to move a wire that is in a wall 3.5" to the left?
This won't work because of the speaker mount. I attached a picture to the original post since this wasn't clear. Great suggestion though for any floor-standing speakers, or speakers that are big enough to hide this connector.
Sep
13
comment How can I remove a fireplace insert without damaging the surrounding wall?
Anything is possible, it's just a matter of what you're willing to spend. Changing gas lines is not a DIY job. Not properly sealing the existing chimney can cause you many problems - leaks, mold, drafts. Not properly installing a (new) chimney can cause many problems - leaks, smoke backflow, buildup of material in the chimney over time which can cause fires. It is definitely a job you need permits for. Hard to give any better advice without pictures of existing fireplace/roof/chimney, and pictures/plans of where you want the new one to go (eg, how are you planning on routing new chimney?)
Sep
12
comment What is drawback of smaller diameter recessed lights?
I think this answer needs more detail. What "resale" reasons? How is the sale of the house affected by the size of pot lights? I do agree though that proving adequate lighting is important, but that has nothing to do with the size of lights and everything to do with using the appropriate number, bulb type (flood vs spot) and positioning.
Sep
11
comment Is running ethernet cable through an air return allowed under US code?
Plenum cable is actually fire-retardant: it is made with a low-smoke polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or a fluorinated ethylene polymer (FEP). It's stiffer and a bit more brittle than riser cable (which has lower fire ratings, but is rated to travel between floors), which is again is a bit more brittle than patch cable. Patch cable is not rated for use in walls, it's the one you see on patch panels or from the wall to your PC/whatever.
Sep
7
comment What should I consider when replacing an outlet serving two kitchen circuits?
Of course, looking at this again, there's no point in the second GFCI - if you wire it the way I described, the second outlet is already protected by the first GFCI, so it can just be a normal switched outlet.
Sep
7
comment What's the difference between a childproof outlet and a normal one?
Here's a great animation that shows how these work: leviton.com/OA_HTML/…
Sep
5
comment What is the usual maximum load for drywall?
It also depends on stud spacing: with 24" spacing, the drywall won't be able to support the same load as 16" spacing. To an extent, how it's joined could play a factor. For example, if it was put up using only nails, it's going to tear off the wall at much less load than if done using screws every 12".
Sep
5
comment What should I consider when replacing an outlet serving two kitchen circuits?
If you do put in two outlets, you should do it so the line comes into the first GFCI (dishwasher), then the load side of that goes to the switch and second GFCI outlet for the disposal. This way, the switch is protected as well. Of course doing this depends on where the existing wiring runs (eg, does it go from the panel to the switch, or the outlet first?)
Sep
2
comment How is it that two breaker switches control the same things?
A non-contact voltage sensor (like this: amazon.com/Gardner-GVD-3504A-Circuit-Non-Contact-Voltage/dp/…) is a great tool to have. I have one on me every time I work on/around anything electrical, and use it even when I "know" the circuit is off.
Sep
1
comment Is it normal for the concrete covering my interior perimeter drain to be damp?
If possible, you could try taping some 6mil vapor barrier down over top of it. You just need a small square (maybe 1'x1') that is air tight (and don't leave a pocket of air underneath, as much as possible). If you are getting moisture up through the concrete, it will be damp underneath the plastic. If it's condensation (the humid air in your house condensing on the cold concrete) there will be condensation on the top/outside of the plastic.
Aug
31
comment How can I repair screws in furniture with stripped holes?
A picture of the underside of the table would help. My thoughts are going to glue, drilling new holes through the mechanism, adding cross-bracing/a new supporting structure underneath... but it's hard to really suggest something without seeing it. It's one thing to just reattach, but I'd say the fact it's broken now means you need to attach it better than it was before.
Aug
31
comment Is there a safe way to splice multiple lamp fixtures on the same cord?
That terminal block is definitely not appropriate - it is not designed at all to take any weight load or tension. Though the lights themselves are not very heavy, if you have several of these strung out over say, a 12' span, the weight of the cord is actually considerable. In fact, this is downright dangerous. It's line-voltage, which means if the terminal breaks or the wires come loose for any reason, there's quite possibly 120V live, stripped wire ends falling on someone's head. I'm very surprised to see a product like this being sold in North America. Is it UL/CSA/anything-approved?
Aug
30
comment Can a wet vac be effectively used as a pump?
I haven't ever used a shopvac that actually had this "water pump" feature, so I can't comment.
Aug
29
comment Can a wet vac be effectively used as a pump?
In my experience, most shop vacs -- even the most expensive "contractor-grade" ones -- will not be able to maintain the pipe full of water: you have to suck a mix of air+water or else it will just stall. A trash pump will work the best with large amounts of water (can be rented at any rental place), and a regular sump pump will be the cheapest and most effective option.
Aug
29
comment What is the best kind of weatherstripping (door set) to use?
Note that these are "door sets" (I guess that is the name) as opposed to door sweeps: they are mounted to the sides and top of the door frame, and seal the top and side edges around the door. I think a lot of your answer is still valid, but the stuff about dragging across carpets, for example, is only for door sweeps.
Aug
28
comment Is blown-in insulation appropriate for on the foundation block in a crawlspace?
Is the crawlspace conditioned (heated/cooled by your house's HVAC system)? Is it accessible via an interior door/wall to the living space of the house? Are there vents to the outside in it? What is the floor made of?
Aug
28
comment Is blown-in insulation appropriate for on the foundation block in a crawlspace?
Vapor barrier goes on the warm side: if you put it on the cold side, the warm inside air will condense on it, and get the insulation wet, reducing its insulation value and potentially allowing mold to grow. On the warm side, the insulation prevents the warm and cold air from meeting directly, and no condensation forms.
Aug
27
comment Where can I find a 1/2" bit screwdriver?
Even with an extension bit (you can get them anywhere from 6" to a couple feet long)? I'd need to see a picture before I can provide any more suggestions
Aug
25
comment Do they make a tv wall mount that will come out and down?
I know this isn't a good answer, but if you need this, then doesn't it mean this is not the right spot to mount the TV? If you're a casual TV watcher that uses it very little, then it shouldn't be a big deal to have it above the mantel. If you watch it quite a bit, isn't it more likely that it's going to be left "down" position most/all the time anyway, blocking your fireplace? Why not just find somewhere else to mount it and/or rearrange your furniture layout so you can permanently mount it without issue?
Aug
25
comment Can activated carbon eliminate odors in a bedroom?
Activated carbon will absorb oxygen from the air when it is wet, so be careful using it in enclosed spaces with poor ventilation. I'm not sure how much of a concern (if any) that is when it has the modest humidity levels it would be exposed to in a normal indoor setting.