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Been on the Internet since before there was an Internet. Remember UUCP, news feeds, and Gopher?


Jun
15
comment What could be causing my electric hob to leak voltage?
Good time to have a look at the wiring insulation when you open it up. If any of the insulation looks suspect, go for replacing the whole unit. And yes, if the element control has a plastic case, the switch shaft is supposed to be completely insulated. Any voltage appearing on it means it's permanently past its service life. It would have to be filled with water to leak voltage to the shaft.
Jun
14
comment Can I upgrade existing T12 fluorescent fixtures to T8 just by replacing the ballast and bulbs?
Heh, the two tube fixtures are easy, follow the wiring diagram on the ballast. I had some two-tube hanging shop lights with a good fixture but a really cheap ballast (why they were so inexpensive). They used the standard ballast mounting, so it was easy to convert them from $25 to $50 fixtures by spending $14.50 plus tubes. No more flickering, weird starts, dead ballasts and old, inefficient tubes.
Jun
14
comment Can I upgrade existing T12 fluorescent fixtures to T8 just by replacing the ballast and bulbs?
At $16 ballast cost per fixture, ballast costs weren't enough of a concern if we're talking about quality, built-in fixtures. If you're talking about those ultra-cheap hang from the ceiling things, maybe.
Jun
14
answered Can I upgrade existing T12 fluorescent fixtures to T8 just by replacing the ballast and bulbs?
Jun
14
awarded  Civic Duty
Jun
12
comment Central air compressor fan reflects sunlight into house. What can I do about it?
Removing the grill and painting matte black is about as professional as you can get unless you move the unit. We had to do similar on a fan in a non-negotiable location. For some of us, the strobing is worse than annoying, visual epilepsy events aren't fun.
Jun
12
comment Where is my power going?
Where's the meter? I only ask because a friend had a trailer with the drop to a pole and meter and buried cable to the service panel. The buried cable was nicked and the insulation finally broke down.
Jun
10
comment What can I do if drain alignment doesn't allow enough space for p-trap?
Not allowed by code for new construction, the water seal can be siphoned out by too high a water flow in an s-trap arrangement. For old construction, be aware of the water siphon effect and if you empty a sink full of water, run a pint of water through after the bowl empties. And since it didn't have a trap before, it's better than no trap at all.
Jun
10
comment Stabilizing a gravel driveway with massive holes and steep inclination
6 inches of gravel after grading. You want something that will impede fast water flow while providing drainage.
Jun
9
comment Fix lead joint between cast iron and galvanized steel plumbing pipes?
Bands are stainless, but you need to make sure the worm screw is as well. I've seen many with cad plated steel worm screws.
Jun
9
comment Can i fix or run my 110V pedestal fan on 220V?
220 will push twice the current through the windings and burn up the motor. Yes, they truly are different, the wire in the windings is sized differently, unless you have one that's dual voltage and requires setting jumpers to change it. Most table fans are not set up this way...
Jun
9
comment how can I reduce manganese, hardness, radon, and prescence of coliforms in well water?
Coliforms = Ground Water or Sewage Contamination. Bad casing or upstream aquifer contamination. Chlorination system may be the only cure. Otherwise walk away, especially if you have or will have children. It's low priced for a reason. Radon in the water = radon in the ground so basement mitigation will need to be addressed as well.
Jun
9
comment What to do to prevent/get-rid of snakes?
Non-venomous snakes are not pests, they eat pests. The Modern Kill-It-All movement causes more problems than it prevents. Unreasonable fears of snakes has its own reward. Like killing cats in the Medieval ages allowed for Plague carrying rodents to multiply because you thought cats were familiars of the devil.
Jun
8
comment How can I modify floors, walls, ceilings and furniture in a reversible way?
Well, best ask the landlord. You are renting. As long as it's not glued down, to you it shouldn't matter, but you and I don't enter into the equation as you don't own and I'm a disinterested third party. Discuss it with the landlord and let him know it will be removed when you leave, and if he agrees, all is copacetic. It really is just that simple, talk to your landlord, it's part of being an adult and taking on those responsibilities. You will over the years, find each is different and has different expectations of their renters.
Jun
8
comment How can I modify floors, walls, ceilings and furniture in a reversible way?
Usually, modifications of floors, walls and ceilings, even temporarily is prohibited in the rental agreement. You'd better first ask your landlord if you can do anything, even painting walls or changing floor covering can be verboten and don't touch any wiring, ever! Given the pictures, it's a fairly nice place, don't mess it up. Since the question didn't say you had permission, there effectively is no answer.
Jun
8
comment Can I reduce capacity of a cold water heater?
Actually, the amortized cost of a new unit after a 13 year old water heater springs a leak that damages the house is pretty neat to see in action. You have the repair costs and cost of a new heater to pay for. Pretty easy to justify the new heater by the damage you averted, just ask my neighbor who had his bedroom, garage below and living room destroyed. Lots of theoretical on the answers to this question that just doesn't add up, including false economies.
Jun
8
comment How much water is too much water underneath the basement concrete?
One of the tests is to tape down a square of clear plastic film and see if you have condensed water under it after several set time periods. Tells you if it's minute, reasonable or needs additional drainage to drop the water table below the slab.
Jun
7
comment What is/was tunneling into this 2x4?
Crushed grain in the trails, physical damage, not bug damage.
Jun
6
comment Can I run 2 well tanks from 1 well
Two tanks, two separate pumps and water systems, in the end will be the answer.
Jun
5
comment Can I run 2 well tanks from 1 well
How many GPM does the well produce and is your irrigation GPM so high it's running the well dry? At irrigation pressures, the size of the pressure tank matters little, it's whether the sustained flow rate can be delivered by the well. Many people out west will soon be finding that out this year, a 1500 gallon holding tank is more necessary than a wimpy 50 or 100 gallon pressure tank. And the answer is yes, it's just another accumulator in the hydraulic system, but probably not of enough capacity to fix the problem.