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Aug
7
comment Moving kitchen into dining room
What is below this -- do you have access to pipes underneath? Have you considered removing the wall between kitchen and dining room? If it's load-bearing you'll have to get an engineer to design a beam and a professional to install it (replacing load-bearing walls is not a DIY job); if not, it's relatively simple to remove (though you may have to relocate some electrical, plumbing and/or HVAC runs). This will give you the 'open concept' and allow you to keep most of the kitchen more or less where it is. Worth costing both options out, anyway.
Aug
7
comment Cloudy water with a whole house filter that was installed in 2002?
Has the softener been backwashing? Do things clear up if you manually run a backwash cycle? (Without knowing anything about it, I can't tell you exactly how to do this -- but on a mechanical unit you can turn the dial to the first step, and on a digital unit there is usually a button to start the cycle).
Aug
6
comment Sealing Off Room Vent Question
How are the first vents sealed? Are the other vents actually aluminum foil, or HVAC foil tape?
Aug
5
comment How can I quiet a bathroom exhaust fan that became loud only after the duct was added?
Thanks, I updated my answer to mention the slopes and removed the misleading picture
Aug
2
comment Why would bulbs in this DIY lamp keep burning out?
Aside, how did you make the connections inside the pipes? Is there a ground connection (I don't see one)? If one of the internal wires ever shorts to the metal inside and the metal isn't grounded, someone who touches this will get electrocuted. Because there's also a switch that people will touch, this is a very real hazard you should be concerned about. (Also, I'm not really sure about the usefulness of a switch like that on a ceiling fixture, but the switch mechanism itself is certainly a neat idea, if you're into the steampunk thing).
Aug
2
comment Why would bulbs in this DIY lamp keep burning out?
Is it always the same spot that burns out? My guess would be they are not wired correctly -- they should all be in parallel. Can you draw a diagram of how you wired them, and also double-check that they're wired that way?
Jul
29
comment Where should my furnace filter go in a Lennox G40UHX series furnace?
@Tester101 Thanks. Updated with what I think was the original one, it's the only furnace filter type thing in my old picasaweb albums.
Jul
13
comment Need help designing a circuit layout and wiring diagram for a garage
You should also take into consideration that NEC 225.31 requires a disconnecting means for power in separate buildings, either on or inside the actual structure. This commonly is a sub-panel but there are other ways to satisfy the requirement. This means you can't just branch from the line you ran -- it must go to a disconnect first, and then you can branch to the outlets/lights.
Jul
9
comment In electrical terms, what is the definition of a “disconnect”?
Individual breakers don't necessarily satisfy requirements: apparently some inspectors will allow it, others won't -- so check with them. Having a main breaker in your subpanel does definitely satisfy the requirement though. And the good news is that your local big box store, you're likely to find a small main panel including main breaker and a couple branch circuit breakers for cheaper than just a plain subpanel.
Jul
9
comment What's Behind my Drywall
Is this an interior or exterior wall? Could be also be cloth-covered electrical wire (used in the mid-1900's). Normally, wire shouldn't be close enough to drywall to hit when hanging pictures, but you never know. A stud finder with electrical detection or a non-contact voltage detector will probably help you out here (also, obviously, please stop poking/digging at it until you know what it is).
Jul
8
comment How do I put a proper foundation under a sunroom that is already built?
Is it actually a "3 season room"? Normally those would not be suitable for winter: Normally there is an exterior-rated door separating from the rest of the house, and no connection to the home's HVAC system. They may have no or very little insulation. Is there a door? HVAC vents or other heating? Can you see insulation (or lack of insulation) in the floor, roof or walls? What type of windows and doors are on the room? Pictures may help a lot..
Jul
7
comment How would I connect power from an emergency security flood light fixture?
What exactly are you trying to do, and hook up? Also please note that security lighting is considered a life safety device, and is covered by some fire and building codes -- notably NFPA 101 and the IBC (international building code) -- and tampering with this equipment may result in prosecution depending on where you live. "Any person(s) found tampering with, willfully undermining, or who negligently fails to maintain fire or life safety equipment may be subject to disciplinary and/or criminal proceedings as outlined in sections 430 and 433 to 436 of the Criminal Code of Canada."
Jul
7
comment What's the best way of replacing a plug or switch in a house with aluminum wiring?
@kevinmicke I find it hard to take the CPSC document too seriously when it doesn't even mention anti-oxidant paste at all. Contrast that to what the ESA says, which I added to my answer.
Jul
3
comment Why does my water softener make the water smell like Iron and taste like salt?
What model softener head? When you say the level is now 8, are you referring to a setting on the softener or did you measure it? If you haven't measured it, that is a good starting point, and you need to measure both before and after the softener. (You can buy hardness test kits online and in many stores -- the type with test strips are simple to use and reasonably accurate). Any other info you can provide about settings on the softener would also be useful.
Jul
3
comment Water pump keeps running, there is low pressure
If you have valves shut off to the house, does the pump eventually stop, and at what pressure? If you then open a tap, at what pressure does the pump turn on? If you turn off the pump and open a tap to let the tank drain, what is the pressure reading from the tank? I am assuming since this is a 3-year old tank, that you have a bladder-type pressure tank? Submersible or jet pump?
Jul
3
comment Does PEX require home runs?
FWIW, I've seen far more trunk-and-branch installs than home-run installs. My current house has a couple fixtures sharing a 1/2" line, and those do compete for pressure, but the ones on the 3/4" trunk don't cause noticeable problems. I do plan on fixing it at some point, but at least the builder saved $10 on that 10 feet of 3/4" PEX and fittings...
Jul
3
comment Does PEX require home runs?
I've seen PEX blow apart when you turn on the water and forgot to crimp something, but I've never seen PEX leak -- either with the rings or with the clamps. I've worked on hundreds of water treatment systems done with PEX, and I also personally know of many houses (including my current ~10 year old house) that have no issues.
Jun
24
comment Does one wall socket share power between both ac plugs?
You don't require nor should you have a "separate ground" for a split outlet. In fact I've never seen an outlet that has the ability to have separate grounds. There are other specific requirements around how to run actual wiring for this, which may mean you end up running two ground conductors because you have two separate wires or conduits, but they'd end up being connected (on both ends) anyway.
Jun
23
comment Why would a light switch be wired with the neutral wire?
Agree, don't make assumptions (especially if you've ever found anything else not to code in the house). However in this case, when there are only two conductors in the box, both going to the switch, and the switch is working to turn the light on and off, they must both be hot (or both neutral, if someone really got things messed up elsewhere). Either way, not possible to install a "smart" switch that requires hot+neutral.
Jun
13
comment What is this part of the well pump/tank called, and how can I fix it?
There are many variations of jet pump configurations (at least I assume this is a jet pump, since you had to prime it), and I am really unsure from your description what part you're talking about. Can you take a picture and point out exactly where the leak is coming from (at least as best as you can identify)?