Reputation
20,380
Top tag
Next privilege 25,000 Rep.
Access to site analytics
Badges
4 54 108
Impact
~2.9m people reached

Sep
30
comment Wiring for Dimmable Security (motion detector) Floods
Do you mean that you want a dimmer to control the max brightness of the bulbs when triggered by motion? There's a way to wire this up with one dimmer-per-light, and if wired so any motion detector turns on all lights, but having a single dimmer control brightness of independent motion-controlled lights really isn't possible (without quite a bit of complex and custom electronics, anyway). Can you describe exactly what you're trying to achieve, and since it's already wired, maybe draw a diagram (including telling us if it's 2- or 3- or 4-conductor wire, in each case)?
Sep
28
comment replacing a light switch i discover too many wires in the wall? 3 bundles of wires and a ground wire?
Is the dimmer you're trying to install a simple one, that only has two wires (not including ground)? If so, and this is not a multi-way circuit (the existing switch also only has two wires), then you can straight-up replace it (and ignore the other wires). If your dimmer needs a neutral (which it would if it's got something like remote control or home automation support, or indicator lights), we'd need to see a picture to help.
Sep
23
comment Where to split existing water pipes for new pipe run?
@HenryJackson Not only that, but water softeners, in particular can be harmful to plants: they exchange hardness (calcium and magnesium ions) with sodium ions (salt), which interferes with plant growth or can even kill them.
Sep
23
comment Is this wall load bearing? See photos
See load-bearing for similar questions. This answer in particular has some good tips.
Sep
22
comment How do I manually program the TWM4 (IMX10)
The first search result for "TWM4" has the manual available to download (source: intellihome.be/en/x10-twm4-imx10-micromodule.html)
Sep
21
comment Water softener brine tank into floor/ground?
I've seen softeners where the mineral tank is actually inside the brine tank, with the filter head sticking up above, and the brine tank's cover hides the whole thing. They're pretty compact (the size of a large brine tank), so that may be an option for you -- if you can find one. Unfortunately, I can't find any reliable links. There may be a name for them that I'm unaware of. I've personally only ever seen maybe 2 or 3 out of hundreds of softeners I've serviced or installed, so it's also possible they're simply obsolete or extinct.
Sep
20
comment Water softener brine tank into floor/ground?
I've never seen such a thing. I can think of a few problems though. I'd be worried about dirt, insects and rodents being able to get into it. It would also be very difficult to clean, if that ever did happen. It would make it difficult to tell if it was working correctly, not to mention how much salt was in it. There'd be no real place for the overflow valve to go when the float valve eventually fails, and again, you'd maybe not even notice. Given you need fairly regular access to it (eg: you can't really put anything on top of it anyway), what's the motivation for putting it under the slab?
Sep
20
comment Is this wiring suitable suitable for 3-way Z-Wave switches?
I guess you actually have either option; it depends on your purpose for adding controls in the first place, and if you'd like dimming capability or to be able to control other z-wave devices.
Sep
16
comment Can a 15 amp electrical switch be used to replace a push button switch for garage door opener?
Some newer openers don't use simple push-buttons, they actually send a signal on the line. If your switch now looks like it has a circuit board inside (or motion detector/lcd/etc) it is likely that it'll only work with the manufacturer's specialized switches.
Sep
11
comment Correct wiring of float switch into two pole contactor for well pump
Per Tester101's comment, why are you using a contactor at all? What type and size of well pump (submersible, jet pump) and is it currently hard-wired or plugged-in? Also, what is the model of the float switch you have? Hopefully it's a "PMU" model (pump-up), but they also have versions with and without plugs (which is why I ask). All of these will potentially dictate the best way to wire this up.
Sep
8
comment Electrical panel main breaker
Originally most of the power generated in Canada was actually hydroelectric (Niagara Falls being a huge source), although now hydroelectric accounts for ~19% of Ontario's power, and most (58%) comes from nuclear. Here in Ontario the company that delivered power was for many years Ontario Hydro, and is now Hydro One or one of the local "<City> Hydro's" -- hence still being shortened to "hydro".
Aug
31
comment Does the head of a pump depend on pipe diameter?
Diameter affects friction loss, which affects Total Dynamic Head, which is why I explained both. Does pipe diameter affect static lift head? No.
Aug
26
comment How can I power multiple raspberry pi around the house?
One of the benefits of actual PoE (802.3af/at) is that it doesn't send power to a non-PoE device. If someone plugs a non-PoE device into your DIY injector, it may do nothing, or it may fry it. Also, tip on pricing: you don't have to go 100% PoE. In my house, for example, I have a main gigabit switch, then a separate 8-port 10Mbps PoE switch for phones/cameras. The phones, cameras and raspberry PI's don't have or need gigabit, so why pay the premium?
Aug
26
comment How should I hang racks from the garage ceiling with trusses?
How long is the total span of the joists, and how far away from the nearest support are you planning to hang the racks? I would be less worried about the lag bolts than about the joist itself; a 2x4 on its flat side has considerably less load capacity than on its edge. The danger here is not just the rack falling down, but part of the structure of the garage itself.
Aug
19
comment How can I add a C wire for a new WiFi thermostat?
"two of the wires go to a humidifier thermostat (blue and red in c slot)" -- Are these the same or different than the blue and red wires on the thermostat from your first picture? It does look like the yellow is currently connected on the control board -- what terminal is it connected to? Are you absolutely certain of what goes to the thermostat vs anything else (humidifier, A/C, etc)? Agree with Tester101 -- it would be helpful if you could upload a bigger photo, with terminal labels visible (or labelled) and wires labelled.
Aug
18
comment Should I lock the door between my garage and my house?
Samy Kamkar (same guy that did the fixed-code opener) also developed a device called the RollJam that can intercept rolling codes, which was presented at DefCon 2015. It's a bit more involved to actually exploit, but it's doable.
Aug
14
comment Can I tap into the kitchen / dishwasher drain pipe with my washing machine?
You should add reference to vent requirements, which is generally the biggest issue with "tapping into" another drain line. The diagram shows "no other drains" on what is actually the vent pipe, but doesn't label it as such nor show the minimum distance requirements to the p-trap. Without proper venting, aside from not draining correctly, water in the trap can get siphoned out, which then allows sewer gas into the house.
Aug
14
comment What size of screw do I need to fix a 26" TV to a brick wall?
Why is it you would want to use a smaller size?
Aug
13
comment How can I stop the hose from the pump to the filter from leaking?
If the hose is clamping onto a barbed fitting, make sure there are no cuts or nicks in the barbs. It should also be pretty tough to push on (eg, you often need to use a torch to heat the hose slightly). What type of hose? What type of clamps? Pictures can help a lot.
Aug
9
comment Fixtures will not run hot water unless another fixture is on
Do you have your own water heater, and if so, what type? If not, where does the hot come into the apartment? There should be a shut off valve.. Can you try turning off cold and see if hot works then? Also check if there is anything coming out off cold taps (indicating cross-connection), as well as same thing with main hot turned off.