17,036 reputation
14290
bio website gregmaclellan.com
location Canada
age 33
visits member for 4 years, 2 months
seen 4 hours ago

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


May
20
comment How to remove wires from doorbell
I assume that you don't intend to replace the door bell? And that "look good" is a relative term, considering it was mounted on a piece of crappy-looking weathered plywood?
May
20
comment How to control a dimmable LED light?
It's not that it won't work, per se, but it's that the wires (traces) in the strip itself are only rated for a certain current.. get beyond that, and it will heat up too much. This can lead to something from nothing happening, to the LEDs lifetime being shortened, to the strip actually failing, to starting a fire. This is really no different from regular household wiring, and the reason we don't use 14/2 for dryers and stoves, for example.
May
20
comment How to control a dimmable LED light?
Most of the strips I've seen actually have a limit on the total current they can handle, and so only allow you to chain power for a few strips at a time. You'd need to run separate wires for each set of segments you need; whether you power them with one or multiple transformers is your call. There are different wiring requirements depending on the types of LEDs you're using (individually addressable or not; white vs RGB vs RGBW), so you'll need to figure some of that out before you start.
May
7
comment How should I run wiring for my above-fireplace mounted TV?
It's also worth pointing out that hanging a fireplace above a TV isn't a great idea: the TV can be harmed by the heat; it's hard on your neck; and the image quality can suffer because of off-axis viewing. The best height to put a TV at is eye level when sitting. But don't just take my word for it.
May
5
comment HoneyWell Wifi Thermostat and C wire
You'll likely find the answer if you look at other thermostat-c-wire questions. To get a specific answer, you'll have to take a picture of both ends of the wire, showing the labelled terminals on the furnace/air handler as well as the thermostat itself. Wire colors are not actually standardized and so you can't make assumptions, and usually HVAC installers don't connect the C-wire at the furnace unless it's actually needed.
May
1
comment Why would a light switch be wired with the neutral wire?
Are there other switches/wires in this box? A labelled picture may help here.
Apr
30
comment Hang 3 flat-screen monitors from a tilted wooden beam
Possible duplicate, believe it or not: diy.stackexchange.com/questions/22183/…
Apr
29
comment How to use fiber optics to illuminate glass tiles?
LED strips commonly have IP ratings: IP67 is rated for immersion in up to 1m of water for 30 minutes, IP68 is rated for >1m indefinitely. You'd have to separately deal with the electrical connections (ensuring they are IP67 rated or equivalent as well). Sounds like an interesting way to do it.
Apr
25
comment What factors are important when selecting a rotary tool?
Yes, "right tool for the job" is a key phrase here. For example, I would never try cutting PVC pipe with a rotary power tool. It would take longer than other options, and be nearly impossible to get a flat, straight cut. I would use a pipe cutting tool, hacksaw or straight saw in a mitre box, or a (power) mitre or chop saw, depending on what's handy, the size and thickness of pipe, and how many cuts I have to make.
Apr
25
comment Does my crawl space need venting
@JustinK that isn't strictly true, depending on the type of crawlspace. A crawlspace, like any other space in the house, is either conditioned space or it's not. If it's conditioned space, it's part of the building envelope and should be insulated accordingly (including vapour barrier). If it's not conditioned space, then it should separated accordingly and as far as the rest of the house is concerned treated as if it's "outside" (meaning: there is insulation and vapour barrier between it and the rest of the house).
Apr
24
comment Installing water softener outside or inside? Already have“Easy Water” device. Does that change water hardness grains entered into new water softener?
You can get hardness test strips online for $10-20. You need them to properly calibrate your softener anyway, and it helps to test how effective it is after. Depending on the water source (even the city uses well(s) and/or lake/river intake(s)), you may also have some seasonal variation, so it doesn't hurt to check it a couple times a year or if you notice build up or that the water is too soft. You'll also be able to use one to see that the electronic softener is in fact a scammy, useless waste of money.
Apr
23
comment Light won't turn off
Can we assume that you didn't pay attention to what wires were connected to what prior to removing the old fixture?
Apr
14
comment How much energy will continuously running a furnace fan use?
@alx9r That is fair, but I will also say I can feel a difference in the force of air coming out of the registers in the two modes. It's particularly noticeable when just the fan is on and then the heat turns on (you can actually hear and feel the air velocity slow down). So in terms of this question, the measurements I made are not that useful, but the fan is definitely going faster in fan-only mode vs heat. I've been doing the same thing as TomG for last 1.5 years (have a schedule that runs the fan for 10-15 minutes every hour or two) so I notice the fan speed change at least once a day.
Apr
14
comment Wireless Thermostat C-Wire Substitute
Very nice idea to just use the 'fan-only' wire as common, since it's practical to live without fan-only (whereas clearly it is unthinkable to live without wifi connectivity). One note though: on my furnace, the fan-only (G) connection actually runs the fan at high speed (verified by measuring the current draw using an ammeter). Particularly interesting is when heat is called for while fan-only is on, the furnace slows down the fan and then fires up the burner.
Apr
10
comment Can armored bx cable come into contact with other metal objects?
"BX cable" is the product name of the original armoured cable, which has since been replaced by modern type AC. It's now used colloquially in the same way that "Romex®" (a brand name) is often used to refer to any Type NM cable.. in the same way people use "Kleenex®" to refer to any tissue paper. That said, when someone says "BX" it's not clear if it's AC or MC. In my region I typically only ever come across MC (I don't think the box stores even sell AC), and I used to always call that "BX" as everyone else I knew did.
Apr
9
comment How can I remove a dead bolt?
This is one of those questions where a picture can help immensely.
Apr
7
comment What would cause lack of Oxygen in cellar
@DogEars As already mentioned many times.. Seriously -- don't test for possible presence of flammable gasses by lighting a freaking flame!! You are on the path to a Darwin Award here...
Mar
24
comment How can I fix a leaking expansion tank?
@Bill It really depends on where you have valves. The end result is you want to make sure that the part you're disassembling is not pressurized. Failure to do so will generally result in anyone who happens to be watching to break into uncontrollable laughter, and you having to change into dry clothes (and learning a hard lesson about shut-off valves).
Mar
24
comment What could be tripping multiple GFCI breakers?
Tugging on live wires is not at all a good idea. If they are in fact loose, doing this will likely cause some reasonably spectacular sparks that you'd probably not want to be within arm's reach of. While most of your suggestions are good, the power from the meter needs to be off to do most of this work.
Mar
6
comment What is this kind of security bolt head called, and how can I remove it?
If you run into these with any regularity, you can find "security bit sets" online for ten's of dollars, which typically contain several sizes of spanner bits in addition to many others. Handy to have for those off times you run into these.