17,670 reputation
14396
bio website gregmaclellan.com
location Canada
age 33
visits member for 4 years, 5 months
seen 2 hours ago

Professional software developer since 2000. Have worked on many open-source projects, and am currently employed as a senior web application developer.


Jan
26
comment Screwing into the underside of countertop - can it support a little weight?
I agree. I would put plywood across the bottom, and glue and screw the plywood to the counter top particle board. It will make the work surface itself much stronger as well as giving you a better place to hang something from below. If the counter is on shelf brackets now, it should be re-attached so the shelf brackets are screwed into the plywood as well. You'll then be able to screw into it with bigger 3/4 or 1" screws instead of eg 1/2", and you'll get most of the screw into the strong plywood as opposed to particle board.
Jan
24
comment What is the best way to improve counter tops without completely replacing them?
Sorry to be negative, but my immediate reaction is that for the time/energy you'd put in (certainly for the amount you'd pay a pro), you'd be farther ahead and almost certainly end up with a better result if you just buy new counter tops. You're going to have to pull out the sink etc anyway. The particle board is not a suitable base for stone/tile.
Jan
24
comment How do I cap the wires in this electric smoke alarm?
Why not keep a mains-powered detector? The biggest benefit is the fact you have a 3-wire detector: that red wire is (well, should be) connected to all other detectors in your house: if one goes off, they'll all go off. Pretty much all mains-powered detectors have battery backups, and the battery will last much longer since it's not constantly being used. It's also a bit easier to find units that have both ionizing and photo detectors in the same unit, or also have carbon monoxide (CO) detection (important if you have a fireplace or any gas appliances/heaters).
Jan
24
comment What size breaker and wire do I need for a 220 volt circuit to an electric fireplace and an electric heater?
There's no startup spike with resistive loads like heaters.
Jan
23
comment What size breaker and wire do I need for a 220 volt circuit to an electric fireplace and an electric heater?
By the sounds of it, you want one breaker/wire for both. To provide the best answer: What is the distance between the panel and the fireplace? Panel and heater? What's the total distance if you did one run from the panel to fireplace to heater (or whatever way makes most sense)? It may or may not be cheaper to run two separate (smaller) wires (eg #12 or #14) rather than a single circuit on eg. #10, the distances will help us provide answers for both scenarios and you can decide depending on local pricing.
Jan
18
comment Can I run CAT5/6 cables parallel to electrical cables?
Also, this is not a very good answer to the actual question, and would have been better as a comment.
Jan
18
comment Can I run CAT5/6 cables parallel to electrical cables?
Plenum (CMP) is only required if the cable is installed in a plenum space. Riser (CMR) is required for between floors so long as the space is not used for environmental air. The only differences really are plenum is self-extinguishing and low-smoke.
Jan
16
comment Any methods to cover yourself when dealing with smell during repair
What type of smoke?
Jan
13
comment Is there a special name for a 3 foot long drill bit, and where can I buy them?
@Kellenjb as far as I can tell, it's just called a "wire mesh cable pull" or "cable grip". A search for that finds a bunch of places where you can buy different sizes with different types of attachments. The one I have came with the installer bit.
Jan
11
comment What's involved in upgrading a circuit?
Not sure how much stuff you have -- but do you actually need it all in that room? If you can relocate some things to a basement/crawlspace and just run the wires you need, you not only avoid the heat, but also lower the noise and free up space. Gigabit network is a start, but you can also get KVM extenders, long video/audio/usb/HDMI/etc cables (possible to do very long runs over Cat5), etc. Not much you can't do remotely these days.
Jan
11
comment How should I run wiring for my above-fireplace mounted TV?
Don't forget patching up the vapour barrier as well.
Jan
11
comment How can I mount speakers that don't have mount adapters?
How heavy are the speakers, and what dimensions? Do you want to mount them flat to the wall, or be able to aim them? Pictures of them or a similar model may help
Jan
10
comment Would you ever wire white and ground together?
Be sure to check that both ground and neutral are okay. I would really want to find the other end of this wire to see how it's connected, as this looks very strange. I can't think of a reason to do this (considering there are no downstream circuits) aside from maybe a broken wire? If this is done this way, there are likely other strange/wrong things and so you should not make any assumptions about anything you're working on.
Jan
9
comment How do I wire a switch/receptacle combination?
I'm not saying one or the other is better; was just suggesting an alternative. The "better" one for you is probably the one that causes the least damage (and of course meets code).
Jan
9
comment Can my apartment's electricity harm my computer? Is there an easy way to test the electricity?
Note, there are many types of UPSes, not all of which will solve problem. The cheapest "standby" type simply switch to battery after mains is lost, but otherwise pass it through. You can still have problems on this. The more expensive "online" UPSes always run from battery giving a very clean and steady output, and simultaneously charge the battery while mains is available. However, most UPSes have decent surge protectors built-in, which you should have on really all sensitive electronics (not just computers).
Jan
9
comment Can my apartment's electricity harm my computer? Is there an easy way to test the electricity?
Not related to fixing the root of your problem, but a couple comments: a UPS with AVR (auto voltage regulation) will help smooth the power. Not all computer/laptop power supplies are created equal. The cheap supplies are cheap for a reason, and don't handle poor line conditions well. The more expensive supplies have better circuitry that can handle varying input conditions a bit better and produce more reliable output.
Jan
9
comment Plywood floor gets inexplicably wet, what could possibly be the cause?
It's not necessarily directly above. Since you have no explanation either way, it'll at least point you in the right direction, or rule something out. You can do the same on the bottom. Is any insulation wet? Pictures may help. Does it happen every day? Can you figure out time of day?
Jan
9
comment What is the best way to incrementally finish an unfinished basement?
I disagree with the need to use PT wood. In my basement, I didn't use the styrofoam, but instead wrapped the bottom of sill plate in 12" wide 6mil vapour barrier. Even with just styrofoam it's probably enough. Also, there should be a gap between the studs and cement walls - this prevents moisture and water from getting on them, as well as gives you a thermal break. IMHO PT is just overkill in this situation, and doesn't really provide any real value if everything else is done properly.
Jan
9
comment How to patch this PVC elbow connection?
You're sure that's PVC and not polyethylene? Poly is flexible, and is typically used for all the source-side well pump stuff. It's hard to tell from your picture, but is there any more to the pipe coming out of the ground?
Jan
9
comment Plywood floor gets inexplicably wet, what could possibly be the cause?
You should try some plastic (eg 6 mil vapour barrier) over top of the plywood, taped down, which will at least confirm if it's coming from above or below. An intermittent problem that causes a visible pool of water from spraying underneath the plywood seems fishy to me; my gut says it really does sound like a leak from above.