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Jun
29
comment How do I stop the black sludge coming from our bathroom faucets?
Reminds my of a trip my sister took to Wisconsin. Everything in contact with water usage had yellow crust on it from the water sulfur content. The underside of the washing machine door had splash crust that would fall off when you banged on it. Eggy odor water, mmm!!!
Jun
28
comment Plastic cage around LED GU10 socket
Garbage proprietary GU-10 socket that forces you to buy the manufacturer's replacement bulbs. And if the manufacturer goes out of business...
Jun
28
comment What is the advantage of PEX pinch clamp vs. crimp rings?
Auto manufacturers have been using the clamps for decades on auto CV boots to keep the boot in place. As long as you're applying them correctly and crimping with a proper tool there should be no issue with failure. The auto application has a lot of dynamics that a crimp clamp won't be seeing in static use for water line so I'd see no issue with using them there as well.
Jun
27
comment Why is the upstairs a lot hotter in a 2 story duplex?
Going from R-18 to R-39 on insulation, replacing the eave vents, adding vent baffles to keep the insulation from blocking airflow through them and the addition of solar power vents at the roof peak dropped my maximum summer attic temperatures from 175F to 130F and vastly reduced the radiant heat I could feel coming through the ceiling. Basically, single, 2 or 3 floor, the floor under the roof will always be hottest due to the solar gain.
Jun
27
comment Why did a gate post rot after just 6 years?
Ah, that was the secret, I used the brown plastic bonded surface (both sides) flashing to match the pressure treat color. Weed-eater whacks scarred the outside but the inside is protected. Sometimes luck is with you and you don't know why.
Jun
27
comment Base of light bulb turning brown
Mmm, the beautiful smell of CFL electronic death in the morning. It's a smell I equate to a GE radio my mom had that left a burnt streak on her desk, back when I was a kid. The power supplies were defective, would short out and burn the electronics inside. Thankfully, no paper was nearby. Every time a CFL burns out, I have a near panic attack over something electronic having caught fire. Convert to LEDs, Phillips are producing them as cheaply as CFLs now. Nobody should have to get used to that smell being the normal failure of a lighting device.
Jun
27
comment Base of light bulb turning brown
Also, it's a sign of improper phosphor coating at the base of the bulb. CFLs produce light by converting Ultra-Violet to visible light by irradiating a layer of rare earth oxides (phospors) which then emit light in the visible spectrum. If the phosphor coating is not dense enough, the lamp will emit ultraviolet. I've seen these cheap lamps where the tube ends are transparent, if you see this in a brand, quit buying them. UV will react with any material near it causing the yellowing you see. You don't want eye-damage in your future.
Jun
27
comment Why did a gate post rot after just 6 years?
Saves from weedeater burn... I've seen a quarter inch of end-grain exposed in a ring around the bottom of fence posts from this. Of course, end grain exists to transport water through the tree when it's alive. Now you have that sitting near ground level with all the moisture running down the post in winter time to be absorbed and sent below decks for ideal fungal action. I've done similar with a DIY version using aluminum roll flashing, roofing nails and siliconized latex caulk. Mark the post's ground level, apply flashing, hold plumb in hole and then cement in.
Jun
25
comment Wood paint still not hardened after three weeks
If this is an oil base paint, it hardens by oxidation of the long hydrocarbon chains causing cross-link polymerization. Too many layers at once.
Jun
22
comment What leaked out of small copper line when I blew a hole in on my air handler
Don't expose freon to open flame, it produces phosgene gas, one of the wonderful experimental weapons of WWI that damaged whichever side the wind blew towards.
Jun
22
comment Will my french drain clog/erode my soil if the pipe has holes on top?
I've had to install multiple french drains and even dig some of them back up for mole damage. Rock on top of the pipe has never been an issue. The weight of wet soil will crush a pipe if it's installed wrong and will eventually infiltrate into the rock and plug the pipe if you backfill with it.
Jun
22
comment Will my french drain clog/erode my soil if the pipe has holes on top?
You should be backfilling with crushed rock, soil in direct contact with the pipe will clog the openings of either type.
Jun
22
comment How can I stop water from seeping into my garage?
More concrete = larger mass to absorb water. Wall support is done by having a proper footer in the first place. Is the wall so deficient that it's out of plumb and buckling so that dumping a load of cement in there seems a good idea? Sounds like you've got other problems in that case.
Jun
22
comment Is it okay to throw paper towels & rags with mineral spirits in the trash bin?
It's best to make it a habit that anything containing oil, resin or solvent is a fire hazard either through fume ignition or spontaneous combustion. Shove it in a tin can away from combustion sources and combustible materials till it dries or polymerizes, if it's that windy weigh the thing down with a rock. I've seen epoxy heat to the point it smoked, the term is exothermic. As my grandfather's Ready Kilowatt sticker said, "Think safety, work safely".
Jun
19
comment Why won't my new powerstroke 5kW generator start?
Crank over by hand, electric start with too much oil in the cylinder can hydraulic lock the piston, bend ring lands and fracture aluminum connecting rods.
Jun
19
reviewed Approve What can I do about a Rough opening that is REALLY out of square?
Jun
19
comment Hot water tank leaking at bottom could it go from a trickle to a gush?
Yep, personally having been there on the cleanup when a rust blister burst, I'd recommend she have him move everything off the floor and place it elsewhere if it can't be raised off the floor level. An amazing amount of stuff gets damaged, just by sitting in water and having capillary attraction pull it up inside. The leaking spot is small on the outside, but a large crater on the inside just waiting for that little extra overpressure to pop a flake loose.
Jun
18
comment Is it common to have a pressure shut off for Jet Water Pumps?
The boxy thing probably has a start capacitor and possibly jumpers for switching between running 120 and 240V inside it. It is an electrical enclosure and therefore will not have a pressure switch inside it as a leaking diaphragm would seep water directly into the motor housing.
Jun
16
comment What questions should I ask of a structural engineer about these cracks in my brick walls?
Any slight earth tremor and this is likely to pancake. There's no structural integrity and the lack of foundation is breaking the structure apart.
Jun
16
revised Is it common to have a pressure shut off for Jet Water Pumps?
pump description