Questions tagged [safety]

For questions generally relating to preventing or avoiding injury in the home or on the job site.

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Is my garage subpanel safe for 100 amps?

Not an electrician. Just wondering how much my subpanel can safely power. I have a 125-amp subpanel in my attached garage powered by two separate 6/2 NM-B cables with ground, run in the attic. ...
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0 votes
1 answer
70 views

Is it safe to use extension cords whose wires are not double-insulated?

Most of the two-prong extension cords I have encountered have two conductors which do not seem double-insulated. This is in contrast with three-prong power strips which usually have three, already ...
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1 answer
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Storing Paint in a Hot Garage

Safety in storing Paint. I just purchased a new Gemini Twin Home or Duplex? Is it safe to store Paint in a Garage where the heat could rise to 110 Degrees? What can I do to get the paint out of my ...
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0 votes
3 answers
142 views

How to prevent live/neutral/ground cables being swapped? [closed]

A few years ago, I made the mistake of swapping the live and neutral wires on an appliance. The switch was only connected to the live wire, but since the wires were swapped, the whole circuit bypassed ...
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1 answer
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Extending 20AWG of Ikea VAXMYRA, What to look out for

I am looking to extend the current wire of Ikea VAXMYRA led light. From the wire there's printing of AWM 2468 20AWG 80oC 300V. Can I literally just purchase another 20 AWG cable and splice it? Please ...
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1 vote
1 answer
97 views

What could be causing the voltage drop in light sockets of my bedroom

I have a single circuit breaker for all lighting circuits in my apartment unit. However I'm having severe voltage drop in my bedroom's light sockets. I started suspecting about it ever since the ...
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1 answer
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Can I add an extension to an air intake for apartment central A/C? Is this a health or code violation?

The apartment I am living in has a nasty odor coming from underneath the furnace/ac and water heater. The air for the furnace is sucked up from this underneath section making all of the air that is ...
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5 votes
2 answers
614 views

How reliable are receptacles' clamp connectors for stranded wires?

A lot of people seem to discourage "backstabbing" wires (whether those be stranded or solid) to receptacles wherein an inserted wire could later be released by pushing a flat-head screw to ...
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  • 113
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3 answers
145 views

How to cover an unused outlet box with worn out screw holes?

I have an outlet box made of cheap PVC with worn out screw holes. It is located in a bedroom so dampness isn't really a big issue. The problem is: it's embedded in concrete so replacing the whole box ...
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  • 113
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1 answer
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Fire extinguisher gauge showing high pressure

There's a fire extinguisher in my apartment that has been neglected to be inspected in years. I was planning to finally drive to get it checked, but noticed the gauge is in the red area showing high ...
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1 vote
1 answer
76 views

Could anyone vouch for these Taiwanese wire connectors? [closed]

I'm looking for an alternative to WAGO wire connectors and stumbled upon this one (https://www.heavypower.com.tw/english/product/102). Does it look legit specifically its UL certification?
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  • 113
3 votes
2 answers
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Why do we still need protective earth with an RCCB/RCBO?

If most of your devices at home are already double-insulated, does the protective earth still serve a purpose when you have an RCCB/RCBO installed in your panel board? I'm asking this since I live in ...
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  • 113
8 votes
3 answers
2k views

Paint inside refrigerator water shutoff valve—clean or replace?

The refrigerator water shutoff valve in my house has not been used in years. At some point, it seems to have been partially painted over, and there is paint inside the opening on the valve (photos ...
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0 votes
2 answers
118 views

Is it safe to extend an outlet off of a series of light fixtures?

So the tldr here is I need an outlet in my basement but I don't want to burn my house down in the process. I believe I did the math correct here but I'd just like to know if there's anything I'm not ...
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4 votes
1 answer
270 views

Adding switches from different phased circuits to a ganged box

Is there a safety concern or code requirement around mixing circuits from different phases (on different buses) in a single box? I want to pair 2 switches into a 2-gang box where the switches are on ...
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13 votes
9 answers
4k views

Is it possible to dangerously short a U.S. power outlet with multimeter probe?

I was recently told that the common 120V electric receptacles (non-GFCI) found in North American homes can be extremely dangerous to measure using a multimeter. FYI, this came up while I was checking ...
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1 answer
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Should I use a 10A e-stop on a 15A breaker?

I want to add an e-stop to my lathe. I'm not sure how much current it draws but I have it on a home 15A breaker. I was surprised that so many e-stop switches are listed as 10A rating - why so and ...
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0 votes
2 answers
54 views

Reducer Bushings for flexible liquid-tight non-metallic conduit

I am building an off-grid solar system that includes components such as a PV Combiner box, all-in-one inverter, split phase transformer, main lug service panel, etc. They will all be within a few feet ...
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0 answers
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Extending a basic rectangle deck out 4’

We have a basic porch deck that is a rectangle with stairs at the front of it. We want to extend the deck out 4’. We’re only adding on to the area to the right of the steps, so we’d be building an ...
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0 answers
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Floating tiny droplets in the water

Lately there seem to be floating tiny droplets (oil?) on the surface of tap water. This is limited to hot water, and does not affect other tenants in the building. The water heater has just been ...
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5 votes
3 answers
443 views

What's the protocol to safely measure voltages in an open residential junction box?

If I have a box at home with some wires that need tracing or identifying or debugging, and I want to measure voltages between them, I do it when nobody is home so I don't have bare energized wires ...
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2 votes
2 answers
102 views

What steps should be taken when starting to use a hot water system that hasn't been used for years?

Our house has a gas boiler that's connected to both a closed-loop central heating system, and to a system involving a hot water tank and a cistern (through a valve that determines whether it ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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health effects from mold in HVAC [duplicate]

We noted a musty smell coming from our heating ducts in the last few heating seasons. We first tried the usual things like changing filters, cleaning dust, etc., but finally called an HVAC tech to ...
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0 votes
4 answers
206 views

Is touching a ground wire nailed to the brick wall safe?

So I am living in an apartment. This apartment is kinda old so it does not have the ground contact (Every electric outlet in this building comes out in 2 sockets only - no ground). I have a running ...
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1 vote
1 answer
270 views

Why does my circuit breaker trip after using an oven for 15 minutes?

I recently moved into a new apartment, and found that when I leave the oven running for about 15 minutes, the circuit breaker trips. The oven is a Zanussi ZOB31471XK. The label on the appliance gives ...
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0 votes
1 answer
143 views

How do I fix this crossed wiring situation?

I believe there is a wire set going from a single switch to an outlet. Then from the outlet to the ceiling fixture. How I think its hooked up: The outlet has the two black wires wire nutted together (...
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0 votes
0 answers
17 views

Hydronic boiler flue ventilation

My gas hydronic boiler is designed (or just specified) to require a draft hood and a damper on its 6" flue. My question is, on a level lower that going by the dictates of the spec, how much less ...
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0 votes
0 answers
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Ventilating utility room with gas appliances

I have a 20 sq ft utility room hosting a water heater and hydronic boiler, both gas. The door to the room is louvered, to allow for air passage. In addition to that, I was wondering if installing air ...
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0 votes
5 answers
601 views

How to safely place ladder over porch overhang to get to Gable Peak?

I am looking to do some work at the peak of the gable shown in the picture. It's about 25ft to the peak from the walk way. I don't have an assistant, so I am looking for advice on how to safely place ...
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19 votes
9 answers
5k views

What is the reason for electric heaters saying to never use an extension cord?

Virtually all electric heaters that I've seen say to never use them with an extension cord and this advice seems to be echoed by fire safety organizations and such. However, I'm curious about exactly ...
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3 votes
1 answer
201 views

Is this panel up to code? Even with the gaps and visible wiring?

This panel cover is not flushed to the circuit breakers and has gaps with visible wiring. Is this unsafe and a code violation?
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24 votes
16 answers
5k views

How do I get over my fear of using power tools?

Circular saw, jointer and table saw scare the living $#1+ out of me. How do I get rid of the fear? I've watched tons of safety videos and read all manuals cover to cover and still feel wary of using ...
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4 votes
1 answer
227 views

Have I ruined the wood burning capacity of my metal fireplace by running a gas line into it?

We have just moved into a house built in 1977 with a metal lined wood burning fireplace. We thought we wanted to install a gas insert and so had a gas line run into the firebox. We realized we had ...
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3 votes
2 answers
1k views

Help me identify: Mold or fungus or Moss?

I live in a rental house and I see this growing on roof. What is it: is it moss mold or some fungus/algae? Should i be worried for my health? The clear line where it grows is likely because it has ...
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  • 133
3 votes
1 answer
61 views

What does this APWA marking mean?

A company needs to dig in my back yard, so they arranged the various utilities to mark the area. One utility left this in yellow spray paint on the yard: / \ / | \ | | NO NM60. I am located in ...
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0 votes
0 answers
75 views

Non contact voltage sensor shows voltage a foot away from live wire

I'm evaluating a situation in a home I recently moved into. A previous owner did some DIY and installed a switch in the wall of our kitchen pantry. The pantry is made of wood and the switch is housed ...
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9 votes
6 answers
5k views

Can I safely plug a 15A 100V appliance into a 20A 250V wall outlet?

I have a convection microwave oven that has a normal 15A 100V plug. I can only conveniently access a 20A 250V outlet, which looks like this: (I am located in Taiwan). Are there any safety issues ...
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7 votes
6 answers
4k views

Is concrete dust from remodel dangerous?

Work done during a recent remodel generated lots of concrete dust in my mother's home. The house has a concrete slab foundation. New vinyl wood flooring was installed, and the installers had to grind ...
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1 vote
0 answers
45 views

File cabinet drawer falls out

enter image description hereOne drawer falls out when roller slides are extended. I cannot see what is supposed to stop it. The hems on the sides of the drawer near the bottom (Left side of pic 1) ...
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0 votes
2 answers
41 views

What can I do to change a glass panelled wall? [closed]

I've just moved into a house with a really ugly dated wall with 3 glass frosted panels and a door. It's not safety glass and with 2 small children I want to get this changed ASAP, but unsure what ...
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1 vote
2 answers
131 views

How do I create a 3-way switch UX for people in my house?

I know this borders on a shopping question. But I don't care about the brand. I am wondering about solutions and abilities. I have (at least) 7 different 3 way switches in my house. The upstairs ...
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1 vote
2 answers
178 views

How to prevent a drain cover from being a trip hazard

There is a raised drain cover in a communal garden which has been highlighted as a trip hazard. I can't lower it as the surrounding earth will eventually cover it and we need access to it in an ...
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  • 11
0 votes
4 answers
451 views

Is it safe to cover a floor lamp with an Aluminium metal pie plate?

Please see the image below. I'm trying to convert my IKEA NYFORS floor lamp into a reading light, by covering the top with an Aluminium pie plate. Will this be a fire or electrical hazard? Does anyone ...
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11 votes
3 answers
3k views

How can I know if one extension cable and outlet can handle so much electricity use?

I intend to run an extension cable from an outdoor outlet to power four pond pumps. Currently I have a mess of different wires running across the yard from three places. The cable runs from the outlet,...
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  • 647
2 votes
1 answer
56 views

Potting compound in a light fitting? Does it need restoring?

I acquired some used workshop LED light fixtures from the local recyclers. They've taken to cutting line cables off to avoid having to get electricians to test electrical items before sale, for ...
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0 votes
2 answers
302 views

Fix a shattered miter saw blade guard

While working with my Porter Cable 3802 12" Compound Miter Saw, the blade bound up a 2x4 and threw it into the blade guard, shattering it. I cannot find an exact replacement guard available. The ...
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4 votes
2 answers
529 views

Can a gas dryer leak CO thru a second dryer via a y vent connection?

We have a second stackable electric dyer on the first floor that is vented via a Y vent connection from our primary gas dryer in the basement. The electric dryer actually gets warm when the gas dryer ...
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1 vote
2 answers
152 views

Is the exhaust from an electric dryer harmful?

We seem to have an exhaust leak from the dryer, as I can smell it when it's run. Is this an urgent issue? Since it's not gas, the exhaust should just be warm air, right? (though in that case, why can ...
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0 votes
0 answers
37 views

Kitchen shelf placement

I've bought a large, wooden kitchen shelf that I wanted to build up onto a wall above the stove, but my roommate said the heat from the stove will destroy the wood, and will become a health and safety ...
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0 votes
0 answers
72 views

What causes a rainbow sheen on wire jacket?

I've got this wire running through my wall that has a bit of a rainbow sheen to it. I feel like that's probably an indication the wire has gotten a bit toasty in the past and should be replaced. Is ...
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