16,841 reputation
13986
bio website gregmaclellan.com
location Canada
age 33
visits member for 4 years
seen 11 hours ago

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


Dec
9
comment Water pressure low after hose was left on overnight
Does this mean the pump isn't shutting off? An easy way to help isolate is to close the valve to the rest of your house. If it comes up to pressure and shuts off right away, you have something else using water (could be a leak). If not, I'd suspect as @Bob suggests the well is low. You might just want to try shutting off the pump power for a while to give your pump a break (and let the well catch up).
Dec
6
comment Can someone unlock a locked door and lock it back again without the key?
There's also a difference between deterring, preventing and detecting entry or theft. It all depends on what you're trying to do accomplish, how much risk you're willing to take and how much money it's worth to you. In terms of theft, insurance is one way to shift the risk (at a cost, of course) to another entity, so long as you and the insurer can agree on a monetary value of what you're protecting (which maybe difficult for priceless family heirlooms, etc). Even the "best" lock only deters slightly, does a mediocore and easily-bypassed job at protection, and nothing for detection.
Dec
4
comment In what order should I complete these projects?
Planning the deck location is important when adding electrical/faucets since you don't want them right where your ledger board will go, or to have an outlet that's at a convenient height now but ends up being 2" off the top of the deck boards. Outside electrical and faucets may be easier to do before (or at the same time as) siding, but not really a huge deal either way.
Nov
29
comment How do I wire a single pole and a 3-way switch in the same box?
First glance, it sounds like you have common and a traveler reversed on the 3-way switch. Are you absolutely certain of which line the incoming power is? Otherwise agreed with BMitch: a diagram and/or annotated picture would help.
Nov
24
comment How can I vent my roof without removing drywall?
What do you mean when you say it doesn't have proper venting- Does the insulation fill the entire cavity (allowing for no air movement)? Do you have issues with ice dams in the winter?
Nov
22
comment 3-Way Light Switch, two blacks and a red?
As far as safety goes, that's tough. It should be obvious, but turn off the breaker when you are touching or changing any wiring. Use your non-contact voltage sensor (don't have one? go buy one now. seriously) to verify the power is off. If all this wiring is on a single breaker (99.9% of the time it will be) then there's not a huge risk of anything really bad happening, if you wire it wrong, the breaker will blow immediately. More likely, if you swap the common/travellers wrong again you'll just continue to have the same non-working setup. If you're at all unsure, call an electrician in.
Nov
22
comment 3-Way Light Switch, two blacks and a red?
@ChrisW. if the light is on, you can flip either switch and it turns off, correct? If so, that is for sure a traveller and common are swapped. It could be on either switch, so don't assume it's this one (as I said, the wiring on this one actually looks right based on the picture you took, though it's hard to be certain).
Nov
20
comment Is it okay to connect a round supply duct directly to an air handler?
@JasonRikard that seems like exactly what you should be using. You can also get a local sheet metal shop to build something, so long as you provide the dimensions and what types of connections you're making. This is especially useful if you have space restrictions, or want it to include a turn etc.
Nov
18
comment Where should I connect a second slave phone box?
Most new construction here (Canada), thankfully, runs a separate line from each jack to a common point (usually beside electrical panel), and same for cable and ethernet jacks. If you're running cable back to a central point, you should consider using ethernet (Cat5e or Cat6) as then it can be used for computer networks (LAN) but is still compatible with regular phones.
Nov
18
comment Can I install whole house humidifier in AC ducting?
While it's possible to do, I don't think it's going to be very effective. Humidifiers work by evaporating water into the air to increase the moisture level. Your setup would be using room temperature air, and the evaporation effect is going to be greatly diminished compared to using heated air. You may have better luck with a whole-house steam humidifier, but they're also much more expensive. I think that coupled with the additional expense of running the blower motor all the time (when you otherwise wouldn't) might make using 1+ stand-alone model(s) a better (and cheaper) solution.
Nov
13
comment How to install this ceiling lamp
I'd also be wary of that metal hole for the wire. It's hard to tell from the picture, but if the edges of it are not made to be smooth, you should not run wires directly through that. It's very unusual for a fixture to require a box connector (which clamps the wires down) but definitely you do not want the possibility of the wire rubbing against a sharp edge.
Nov
11
comment How do I hook up a new “pull-type” light switch in my basement utility room?
FYI Many transformers come with a ground wire attached (possibly all that are designed to screw onto a junction box, like this one); it's not a site-installed modification.
Nov
11
comment Repairing a boom lamp that keeps falling
It looks like there are teeth that should prevent it from moving -- does the knob loosen and allow it to fall? How easy is it to move the arm by pulling on it (while it's tightened)? I notice you've tagged with "epoxy" -- is that an acceptable fix, that will not allow this to move anymore?
Nov
8
comment How do I wire a two-way switch?
Is this a NA 2-way (single pole single throw, one switch per light) or an EU 2-way (single pole double throw, two switches, either turns on light, called 3-way in NA)?
Nov
7
comment Does a broken TPR valve disable the water heater?
Mythbusters demonstrated this extreme situation (along with the tank being partially empty so steam could build up) with their typical spectacularly horrifying results.
Nov
7
comment Do I need to add roof vents if I close off a small attic space in the garage?
I've had one winter in this house (though the house is 10 years old), and didn't have any issues with ice dams. Keep in mind the garage is unheated. The shingles are in reasonably good shape and there are no signs of leaks, so I don't believe there have been ice dam problems in the past.
Nov
5
comment Should the hammer function “feel” different from normal drilling function on a hammer drill?
On all the hammer drills I've ever used, the hammer clutch is only engaged while pushing the bit into material. You can definitely feel and hear the hammer action and it is quite different from being set to "drill only".
Nov
5
comment How to create a conditioned attic?
Which climate zone are you in?
Nov
5
comment How do I open this light fitting?
Important question that affects answer: do you want to be able to put this fixture back together afterwards?
Nov
4
comment How do I add two more lights to one cirucuit. The power is supplied to the first light?
@bcworkz Yeah but this is one of those difficult things to say without actually being there. The easiest approach really depends on accessibility from unfinished space (vs amount of damage you're willing to and capable of fixing), types of construction (drywall vs plaster vs brick), ability to route wires (eg, engineered beams or ductwork in the way, exterior insulated walls), proximity to another power source, etc.