5,033 reputation
21223
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location Lebanon, NH
age 27
visits member for 2 years, 10 months
seen 42 mins ago

17h
comment Can I use Eneloop batteries in my thermostat?
Comparing voltages of different battery chemistries is a little more complicated than just 1.2 vs 1.5 V. The voltage is largely dependent on the current, which is why NiMH batteries can maintain voltage better than alkalines in high-drain applications.
Nov
20
comment How can I seal air leaks and otherwise winterize, as a renter?
I seriously doubt your landlord would object if you did a little caulking / spackling, especially if you were tidy about it.
Nov
20
comment Very old furnace- I need a technician to inspect it-What would be a good check up list?
The only exception would be if the inspection/servicing is part of a service maintenance plan, in which case the company should specify the types of repairs that are covered and the types that are not.
Nov
19
comment Asbestos in my furnace closet - should I get rid of it?
The combination of fluffy insulation and forced hot air would make me really nervous — in theory the air should just be recirculating, but unless the ductwork is perfectly sealed I bet it's pulling in a small amount of air from the closet and blowing it around the house. However I don't really know anything about asbestos, so I don't know if this is actually a problem.
Nov
19
comment How many posts for a shed?
Lawn tractors are actually not that heavy, on a weight-per-square-foot basis: probably 300 lbs over 20+ sf. Stacking wood is probably much heavier (a cord of wood can be 5,000 lbs).
Nov
18
comment Is this patch panel used for phone, security, or data?
@Wes: glad you're going to get some use out of the cabling. Just so you know, data cables (especially gigabit) are much less tolerant of sloppy cable terminations. The photo you show is fine for voice but may cause a poor connection for data. It's possible the other end of the cables (in the rooms) is also a little sloppy by gigabit standards. You might want to pull off the wall plates to check on them, and/or watch a YouTube video to see how they're supposed to be done for data. But the short version is you don't want to untwist the pairs or the individual wires any more than you have to.
Nov
18
comment Is this patch panel used for phone, security, or data?
OK good point about the wiring specs. In my mind CAT5e = gigabit ethernet, but of course you can use the cable for anything. However, unless the OP actually needs phone jacks at all of those locations, I would personally recommend doing everything gigabit. Most ISPs now offer connections over 100Mbps, and if you do any sharing or streaming inside the house the extra speed will also benefit.
Nov
18
comment Is this patch panel used for phone, security, or data?
CAT5e wiring won't support telephone and data, it sounds like you're proposing to remove 1 pair of wiring from the CAT5e cable for voice and using the remaining for data. Data requires all 4 pairs of wires.
Nov
18
comment Asbestos in my furnace closet - should I get rid of it?
What condition is the insulation in? Is the furnace forced hot air or a water boiler?
Nov
17
comment Where do I connect the C wire in my furnace?
For most installations the Nest doesn't require a C wire. Do you know that you need one?
Nov
17
comment How to remove lead-based paint?
I'm a little confused about the condition you're concerned about: the bare wood? The old paint that's covered? How much "transition" is there actually? From a containment perspective probably the worst thing you can do is disturb the lead paint by scraping or sanding it... if it's covered by "new" paint in good condition there's not really any risk. In the future it may be easier to just pry off the trip and replace it with new instead of trying to sand & contain the dust.
Nov
17
answered Is this patch panel used for phone, security, or data?
Nov
17
comment Is it possible for the black wire to be hot but to create reverse polarity in GFCI?
@confusedGFCI: If you ignore the no-contact tester and just used your wired tester, do you still show voltage on the neutral side of the outlet? Have you tried this with more than one GFCI outlet?
Nov
17
revised Is it possible for the black wire to be hot but to create reverse polarity in GFCI?
added 238 characters in body
Nov
17
answered Is it possible for the black wire to be hot but to create reverse polarity in GFCI?
Nov
15
comment How do I manage possibly lead containing paint flakes?
Lead need only be a concern if you have small children nearby — for adults it's basically a non-issue, especially if you take basic precautions like wearing a dust mask.
Nov
13
comment How can I identify a neutral wire?
It's hard to gauge competence based on a brief post, but I agree it sounds like the OP doesn't understand what how a basic switch is wired, much less one that requires a neutral.
Nov
13
comment How can I fix a floor joist that has separated from the cross beam?
I agree with @keshlam, it's not obvious to me what to do about this. It's possible the building has settled in such a way that by jacking the beam back up you'll put pressure on other parts of the structure. Sistering the beam may be the way to go. I would get a professional to look at it, preferably someone with experience in old houses (which may be common or rare, depending on your area).
Nov
11
comment What gauge wire do I need to supply 15A to small building 440 ft from the main house?
Even though you only need a single circuit right now, you might price out how much more it would cost to run cable for a small subpanel: say 40 or 60 amps, 240V (you don't actually have to install the panel now). That way in the future if you want to run power tools, a small heater, etc., you can just add the panel without redoing all the wiring.
Nov
11
comment How do I identify the hot, neutral wires in a light fixture?
Non-contact voltage detectors are nice for a quick check but in my experience they are somewhat unreliable—mine will sometimes give me false positives and false negatives. In this case I think a regular multimeter is a more reliable way to determine which is which.