16,526 reputation
13881
bio website gregmaclellan.com
location Canada
age 32
visits member for 3 years, 9 months
seen yesterday

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


Sep
22
comment Is there a way I can make an indoor door a better sound insulator?
With most doors I don't think drilling it will work. The inside of most of these doors is a honeycomb of cardboard baffles, glued to the panels: there are several dozen isolated spaces, not one solid space inside.
Sep
22
comment How can I finish the edge of a mirrored wall?
Probably using a piece or two of trim. Is it ending with an outside corner? How much room between the corner and the end of the mirror? How far off the wall does the front of the mirror stick out?
Sep
16
comment Should I replace old blow in attic insulation with new roll out insulation?
The attic air space should NOT be connected to your house -- if it is, you're going to have heating/cooling issues along with air quality problems, to start with. The attic space should, however, be vented from the soffits and out through roof vents to prevent moisture/mold problems and prevent ice dams from forming in the winter.
Sep
13
comment What should I do with a double gang box if I no longer need two separate switches?
@Kaz What I'd call "regular dual receptacles" (the ones you can get in any hardware store for typically <= $1) have tabs you can tear off to make the two plugs independently powered. Revisiting this question 3 years later, I'd add that it's likely the electrician was lazy and/or cheap and ran a 2-conductor instead of 3-conductor wire from the switch to the outlet, so there isn't a source of constant power there. In either case, my answer is still an appropriate fix to completely remove the ability to switch the outlet.
Sep
9
comment What is best practice for tying in grounds on a metal box?
I'd like to see further reference on using a switch as "equipment listed for grounding". I've never seen a box grounded only via the switch/outlet in it. This seems exceedingly dumb to me -- you're relying on flimsy little screws with a poor connection to ground, not to mention when you remove the switch the box is ungrounded. In fact, that is probably the reason that they have added ground screws to the switches in the first place. Either way, it's not a big deal to always ground the box itself, so why not?
Sep
4
comment How do I fix a “water hammer” problem?
The major problem with DIY arrestors is over time, the air will leak out and be replaced by water, and once they are filled with water you have two issues: the arrestor will effectively be useless, and it'll also be a dead-leg that can harbour bacteria which will then contaminate everything downstream (and possibly upstream, if the water sits unused for long enough). Actual arrestors have a piston inside that keeps the air contained.
Sep
1
comment how to install a portable air conditioner on a second floor
Can you give some more info on the window, height, what's outside it, etc? Sometimes you can drain out through the exhaust vent, but it depends on where the water will end up.
Sep
1
comment how to install a portable air conditioner on a second floor
@bib I think you're thinking of a window-mount unit, which is not the same as a portable
Aug
29
comment How do I fix a shower mixer so I get hot water without turning the knob all the way?
From my reading, the OP doesn't have an issue with hot water in the pipes; it is that the valve switches from fully cold to fully hot in a 10° (angle) turn of the valve, whereas the OP wants to know how to adjust things to allow something closer to the full 120° range of the valve. So this has nothing to do with cooling of the pipes, it is about the ability to adjust to a desired temperature.
Aug
27
comment Anti-Vibration mats for top loading washer?
I have a <1yr old mid-range pair (which I think cost a tad over $2000), which were marketed as having some kind of anti-vibration feature (inner housing detached from the shell, or something like that). They are installed on the first floor, and there is practically no vibration, to the point that you can hear the washer from the adjacent rooms (but nowhere else) when it's in the fastest part of the spin cycle. 9 year old house; 2x8 joists; the wall the pair are against is sitting over a steel I-beam, and another wall in the laundry room is sitting on the foundation. No mats/feet/etc. YMMV.
Aug
26
comment Can I attach a metal box for a vanity light to a wood cross?
It's unclear if you're trying to connect a metal box or a vanity light (or both), what this "wooden cross" is, or why using a "metal rod" would be the normal way to connect ... whatever it is you're trying to connect. If you can link to examples of the products you're talking about and/or take pictures of what you have we can provide much better help.
Aug
26
comment What drill bit do I need to screw a hex cap screw into a wall stud? The magnetic DeWalt nut driver bits aren't an exact match
@Tester101 Agreed on socket wrench, though if you want to go the power tool way, an impact driver is the correct tool. While I guess it might be possible with a hammer drill, it's probably due to brute force as hammer drills drive the bit forwards, and I'd be worried that it makes the screw loose around the threads more than anything. Impact drivers apply additional torque, which is what's needed here.
Aug
19
comment How should I label and organize my home electrical circuits?
Above all else, clear labels on the panel are very important, with complete info on what is controlled (eg, if it controls plugs in 3 different rooms, mark that down) -- and keep it updated! If it's not clear, marking the breaker # on the back of the fixture cover can be helpful. Having everything labelled is nice to turn of the correct circuit on the first try, but no matter what, if I do electrical work on something, I'm still going to verify with my voltage tester. Most residential wiring is not so complex that it can't be easily figured out, so consider the benefits vs work involved.
Aug
19
comment What is causing a cat urine smell in my bathroom?
Is the shower used regularly? If not, could be that the trap has dried out and you're smelling gasses from the waste lines of your house. Try turning it on for a few minutes or dumping some water down the drain, and if that clears up the smell.
Aug
19
comment Redoing a hole on a entry way saddle
I was thinking hydraulic cement might work, but it sounds like you might be left with a very think piece of cement, which I'd be afraid would crumble easily. I'll let someone else add that answer that knows more about cement, minimum thickness and what pressure/strength to use. The metal plate would be more reliable and probably last as long as the door, and you could easily have it fabricated at a metal working shop.
Aug
19
comment Redoing a hole on a entry way saddle
How big is the hole and how big is the latch?
Aug
19
comment Redoing a hole on a entry way saddle
@macutan Even so, can you not get a metal plate underneath for it to go into?
Aug
19
comment Why won't my pool pump breaker reset?
By "won't reset" do you mean it trips again immediately after you turn it on, or you can no longer get it on at all? Do you see any exposed wiring or obvious shorts (remember, water is conductive)? If the pump has an outlet it's plugged into, you should try disconnecting it (to isolate if the problem is in the pump or outlet/wiring), and likewise with anything else plugged in on that circuit.
Aug
19
comment Is there anything wrong with leaving toilet tank below waterline?
Someone used some drink bottles filled with water in mine, and attached them with rubber bands. Worked well enough until the one of the rubber bands broke while I was away and the bottle hung up the float preventing it from filling, and I got a frantic/confused text from my wife to the effect of "Eww! Someone left a strawberry milkshake in the back of our toilet and now the toilet is broken! Help!"
Aug
19
comment Which material to use for filling those gaps?
Are you willing to put crown moulding up, or are you specifically looking for a way to finish it without just hiding it?