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  • 7 votes cast
Jan
15
comment How to connect a 3 wire cable to a 2 wire outlet?
Thanks @JPhi1618. I mistakenly assumed non-US posts would go to a non-US site, like diy.stackexchange.co.uk or something. So "J Coe" - what country are you in? That may help us out a bit.
Jan
15
awarded  Critic
Jan
15
comment How to connect a 3 wire cable to a 2 wire outlet?
You may be right, but I think it's premature to give this advice without clarification. Blue & yellow wires? Security system? Too many weird things to me. Electricity is involved, so a little caution is wise I think.
Jan
15
comment How to connect a 3 wire cable to a 2 wire outlet?
Those aren't colors I would expect in electrical wiring (blue and yellow). That sounds like maybe you're using a wire meant for a thermostat or security data connections (not power!). Can you please include a pic or two? Is the light fixture for standard 120v power?
Jan
15
comment How to remove ice buildup from window air conditioner
@BMitch is absolutely right... if you're freezing over your unit then something is very wrong... most likely one of his options. Also, window units tend to get beat up outside and the fins bent over, which stop air flow and lead to ice (and a damaged compressor). Here's a pic of bent fins being corrected with a fin comb: american-appliance.com/old_Site/images/image_data/…
Jan
15
comment Are grout lines or gaps required for expansion with ceramic tile?
Personally I feel like you can only discount expansion and movement of the subfloor if you're tiling on concrete. Then you can get away with no grout lines. Otherwise... that seems unwise. The thickness of your decoupling will make a difference too. If you use Ditra XL, for instance, I bet you could get away with smaller grout lines than if you use old-fashioned concrete backer board "glued" in place with thinset (as the former is plastic and has a lot more give then the latter, which is 3 layers of concrete).
Jan
15
comment Are grout lines or gaps required for expansion with ceramic tile?
FWIW, "expansion" is always shorthand for "differences in expansion"... i.e. tile expands by 1% per degree and the wood floor underneath, and the walls around, expand by 2% per degree. (Those are fake numbers). So expansion is always a consideration, but you have to think about the what the materials in question are. Also, how sturdy is the sub-floor? If it's concrete, movement of the subfloor is probably irrelevant, but if it's plywood over wooden joists in an older house... the floor is absolutely going to move.
Jan
15
comment Why is my sink's drain pipe connection angled?
I doubt the angled pipe was intentional, and if it was, it was almost certainly someone's hair-brained idea that angling the pipe would reduce siphoning (like angling a bottle to dump it rather than turning it upside down... it empties faster and with less "glugging" [siphoning]). This will not prevent siphoning and there's no value I can see in keeping the pipe like this. Use two 22.5 degree fittings to straighten everything out, then proceed from there. My two cents anyways.
Jan
15
comment Why is my sink's drain pipe connection angled?
Yeah, that's a vent for sure. I've never seen that weird v-bend with it though... I wonder why it's made like that? Anywho, are you sure this isn't dripping where the white fitting meets the grey pipe? That looks like a DWV compression fitting, and those really, IMHO, aren't designed to have water constantly against them without somewhere to escape to. Regardless, I'd replace that with a glued fitting if it were my home.
Jan
6
awarded  Commentator
Jan
6
comment What is the correct way to seal/flash coolant lines through T1-11 siding?
Oh sorry, I missed the comment about the caulk. Yeah caulk or paint... something to protect the wood. Good call.
Jan
6
comment How to build a wall under duct work
I had a bear of a time understanding Iggy's #3, but that pretty much sums up your options. I'd favor #2 and use the space for closets, built-in bookcases, and other useful storage. I did some built-in bookcases using just cheap Ikea Billy bookcases recently, and I'm thrilled with how upscale it looks yet how fast it was to do. But I totally agree that #3, done with 2-3 screws per joint (NOT nails), will absolutely be strong enough.
Jan
6
comment How to build a wall under duct work
I didn't see a mention of the gas line or wire next to it. Definitely have the gas line moved back so it's touching the duct. Otherwise you're going to waste a lot of space going around it. Also, do the world a favor and take that contractor out back behind the woodshed, please... :)
Jan
6
comment What is the correct way to seal/flash coolant lines through T1-11 siding?
It's not pretty but there's no question this is the "right" answer. However, after years the slightly-exposed edges of the wood can rot slowly. If possible, liberally prime & paint the wood after trimming back the foam. That way moisture will stay out of the wood.
Jan
6
comment Cost of XPS panels vs. sprayed closed cell foam
Somewhat off-topic, but make sure to caulk or mastic all of your exposed double-stud gaps and headers. Those tiny 1/4-1/32" gaps lead to a lot of air infiltration and should be quickly handled with caulk before installing drywall. If you don't do those but have closed-cell foam sprayed, this will inevitably be your biggest source of heat loss. If the contractor who quoted the foam didn't mention this, find another contractor. My contractor included this in the quote but was happy to take it out of their work and let me do it.
Jan
6
answered Cost of XPS panels vs. sprayed closed cell foam
Jan
6
comment Is it about time to replace the water heater?
This is a great question; I'm in a very similar situation. I'm guessing from the answers a lot of people assume your water heater is in an unfinished space where a flood would be more of a nuisance than cause serious damage (as now shown by your pictures). I wonder what the responses would be if the unit is in a fully finished 1200sf basement? The location is not near a drain or sump pump either, which is frustrating.
Jan
6
comment Is it about time to replace the water heater?
@MichaelT you caught me red-handed! :) I actually know for certain that you're absolutely right. Though I have no idea how inefficient moving gas from a well to a home is, generating and 'moving' power is much less efficient than most people realize.
Jan
5
comment Is it about time to replace the water heater?
@ojait I think you mean that gas is more cost-effective, not efficient. Electric heat is basically 100% effecient since all of the energy is expended in the element and directly heats the water; gas is always less efficient since there's hot air getting blown out a vent. The same is true for heaters and stoves. That said, to the best of my knowledge there's nowhere in the US where gas is so expensive or electricity so cheap that gas isn't more cost effective for all heating needs.
Sep
24
awarded  Autobiographer