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Sep
28
comment How do I raise light switches so my kids can't keep toggling the light?
I think your answer is good, but you should include that comment you just made :) Effectively, the short answer, is this is WAY too much work to justify for preventing a kid from turning on/off lights for maybe a year of their life. By raising it a few inches but not teaching them it's bad, what are you going to do when they grow a few more inches and/or learn how to jump or use a stool? Raise the switch even more?
Sep
28
comment How do I raise light switches so my kids can't keep toggling the light?
You're also missing all the steps about how to deal with the wiring afterwards. Sometimes there is one wire coming to a switch, sometimes two (in from the panel, and then out to the light), sometimes more if other outlets/switches are branched off. Sometimes the wire comes from above, sometimes below, sometimes both. There's a good chance the wires won't reach the new box location. In all likely hood, you're going to have to add a junction, and leave the old box there and cover it with a blank faceplate -- hidden junctions are not just against code, they're a fire hazard.
Sep
24
comment Light flashes on then turns off. What do I look for?
+1 for taking the time to draw a diagram, not to mention actually pulling the switches out of the wall before taking the picture.
Sep
24
comment How do I obtain a smooth, white floor?
That floor looks nice...until the first time someone walks on it with bare feet or it's been >1 hour since you last swept... :)
Sep
24
comment How do I correctly measure this basement window for a replacement?
Sawzalls and chisels and prybars can do wonders. If you're willing to protect and live with the rough opening for a couple weeks, the best way will be to remove the window and get the rough opening ready, and then measure and order exactly what you need. Without that, you have to guess what's under the flange, and if you'll be able to cut through any metal/concrete/rebar that may be in your way.
Sep
24
comment How can I fix/polish a slate tile imperfection after it has been laid down and grouted?
@shirlockhomes I saw it done in a house a friend of mine used to live in -- just as HenryJackson said, the grout came off the top and you could clearly see several of the spacers. No idea if it was done by someone calling themselves a "pro" or DIYer though.
Sep
24
comment How can I fix/polish a slate tile imperfection after it has been laid down and grouted?
Red flag: that is not the correct way to use tile spacers. Did the contractor leave those in and grout over top of them?
Sep
24
comment How can I install a cable jack without a box?
@BMitch I prefer to as well, but sometimes it's not possible due to jack placement or where you're able to fish, and sometimes you don't find the high voltage wire till after you've cut the hole.
Sep
24
comment How can I install a cable jack without a box?
I've used the plastic ones many times (Monoprice sells them for much cheaper than the box stores, if you need a bunch) but something about the metal construction bugs me here. Usually anything metal that is involved with anything electrical would be grounded, but this would not be. Most likely this will never be a problem, but it's conceivable that while doing work, this could cut a high-voltage wire in the wall and become energized.
Sep
21
comment How to unstick my light switch?
You're also saying things like "the circuit breaker .. tripped open" and then saying "the knobs in the fuse box". Do you have circuit breakers or fuses? If you have a fuse box, I'm guessing by "knobs" you actually mean "fuses" but as I said, it's very unclear. Take pictures if you need and point arrows to what tripped and what you did, otherwise it's very difficult to help you because we're not speaking the same language. :)
Sep
21
comment How to unstick my light switch?
Can you give us the step-by-step of what you did and what happened? Eg, 1. You turned off the power to this branch circuit, 2. Replaced the light fixture 3. Turned on circuit, 4.... It's very unclear if you were working on something while the power was live, and if the light switch broke at the same instance the breaker tripped, and I'm unclear if the main house breaker tripped (cutting power to the entire house) or just this circuit. Also not clear what "messing around" means - did you just replace the light fixture or did you change the way it's wired or change any wiring at the switch?
Sep
18
comment Why is my 3-prong dryer outlet showing 240V between hot and neutral/ground 'L' prong?
@EdwinBuck I had a house built in 1974 with aluminium wiring, but the gauge was fine - the branch circuits were all 12AWG where normally they'd be 14. That is a concern for sure, but the problems I am aware of are more like: poor connections combined with thermal expansion causing arcing (also happens with fuse boxes); worn out switches/plugs (not specific to AL but still a problem with old wiring); no anti-oxidizer used; people improperly retrofitting in non-CO/ALR fixtures; and not enough circuits leading to blown fuses leading to putting in fuses rated too high and overloading the wire.
Sep
14
comment Does the smell of paint linger or penetrate other materials?
If you get a low-VOC (or specifically-labelled "low odour") paint, that will greatly reduce the paint smell. There are other benefits (and challenges) to using low-VOC paints, and lots of differences between "truly zero-VOC" and "meets the labelling requirements to say low-VOC" so you should do some research if you're interested in this route.
Sep
14
comment What type of subflooring should I use for a basement?
I used DeltaFL in my last basement, although I didn't have any moisture issues like you're describing. DeltaFL is a vapour barrier between the cement and your actual floor, whereas dricore is vapour-permeable. I don't have time for a detailed answer, but BuildingScience has some great articles: eg, buildingscience.com/documents/reports/… and buildingscience.com/documents/reports/…
Sep
14
comment Can I run electrical cable and sound cable in the same conduit?
Keeping power and speaker ~6" apart is generally fine. If they have to cross, make them cross at right angles. If they do run along side each other for short distances you probably won't notice anything, but I would definitely not want to do it for the length of a room unless it was shielded cable. If you have a powered sub (eg you run line-level signal to it) then usually that is done with coaxial, and I am not sure if that would be affected in the same way by mains or not -- anyone know?
Sep
11
comment Can an external light fixture and an external receptacle share a circuit?
@JeremyW.Sherman ..and even then, you can still combine the bathroom lights with half the receptacles in the dining room and the light in the crawlspace, if you really wanted to. But if you do this, beware: someone might mistake you for a licensed electrician.
Sep
11
comment Troubleshooting a leaking exterior door
Holmes would definitely not advocate covering up a problem like a leaking exterior door by putting a storm door in front. He would do anything from replacing the door to rebuilding the entire front entrance and installing a new weeping system around the whole foundation.. and then he'd put a storm door on. :)
Sep
7
comment can you glue tile to plywood?
When you say "picked up" do you mean the entire tile came off in one piece? A properly installed tile will pretty much always crack and be a real pain in the ass to remove and take lots of back-breaking scraping to get rid of the thinset from the subfloor. If you can (if you wanted to) rip all the tiles out in less than 20 minutes, it wasn't done right.
Sep
6
comment How to make this electrical main safe
@MatthewPK The contractor should always be the one to pull the permit. If they won't it's a major warning sign that you should not be using them (eg, maybe they have no license/insurance so can't get a permit themselves). Ref articles.chicagotribune.com/2009-10-23/entertainment/…
Sep
4
comment What is the most efficient way to dig a hole in a slope?
Not digging by hand would avoid a lot of work...