Questions tagged [safety]

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

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5
votes
3answers
122 views

How can I safely replace a light fixture above a stairwell?

In my 1911 home, there is a stairwell that has a 180 degree turn with a landing, and there is a light fixture directly overhead (centered over the railing) that I would like to replace with a pendant ...
5
votes
2answers
203 views

What are the drawbacks of using a GFCI instead of a proper ground wire?

I notice that it is considered up to code to install a GFCI in the absence of a proper ground, but that it must be labeled (link). Why is this? Does the GFCI have some drawbacks compared to a proper ...
0
votes
2answers
2k views

Is 12 gauge electrical wire ever wrapped in a white housing?

I am trying to add a new outlet by branching off an existing one (for my mounted tv). The cable that goes into the box contains one white cable and one black cable that has an extra red wire (as part ...
1
vote
1answer
59 views

What is a good material to block all light from a window with?

Blackout curtains have always disappointed me because they let in far too much light. Both through the fabric itself, and around the edges. I would like to create a window covering for my bedroom ...
0
votes
1answer
4k views

Does the height of a water heater safety valve matter?

I just replaced the safety valve on my water heater. The only immediately available replacement was an inch taller than the original. It is still in contact with the water. Is it safe? This is the ...
1
vote
2answers
5k views

How do I identify drywall that does not have fiberglass to add strength?

I know from long experience that drywall often (always?) has glass fibers (fiberglass) mixed in with the Gypsum to add strength. Because of the number of drywall related products that have fiberglass ...
1
vote
1answer
26 views

Respirator or mask for brick (crystalline silica) and mold?

I'm looking for a simple safety solution for multiple small projects that keep coming up. But it's not clear what safety mask and filters to buy. For example, I read an article that states that I ...
0
votes
2answers
33 views

Process of removing mold from behind shower tile

Background Thanks to a shifting foundation, the tile in one of our showers cracked along a corner and water got in behind it. We know that at the least the wall behind the tile has fails as it caved ...
5
votes
5answers
427 views

Can I use a 2-wire NM cable staple on 3-wire cable?

I have a package of Gardner 1/2 inch staples and the package shows that they are good for 2-wire, see below: I am running some 14/3 wire (flat) wire for AC hardwired smoke detectors but these staples ...
7
votes
3answers
530 views

Why aren't AFCI breakers required for bathrooms/lavatories?

Why doesn't NEC require AFCI breakers for bathrooms/lavatories? Is there a good reason NOT to install AFCI protection on a 15A/20A 120V bathroom outlet? (I.e., use GFCI only.)
7
votes
8answers
26k views

Should a smoke alarm be installed in the attic?

I installed hard-wired and interconnected smoke alarms through the house. I wondered, though, if a fire spread through my attic I might not know about it until the ceiling or roof collapsed. Should I ...
-5
votes
2answers
119 views

Does having metal safe increase chances of burglary at home

One of my friends brought a metal safe recently. However he is also worried that burglars somehow know about existence of such safe on house ( either through metal detectors or some other means ). ...
7
votes
4answers
50k views

Can I safely power a three-prong electrical device from a light socket?

I have a covered lampholder (light socket) outside my house that I want to use to temporarily power a plug-in string of indoor/outdoor lights. Using CFLs, the total wattage of the string of lights ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

GFCI vs. 40v 5ah battery for water safety

My wife has recently taken to running a cord out near our pool to watch TV. She's very careful, but I was thinking of doing what I can to make it safer, since the outlet in question is NOT a GFCI ...
3
votes
3answers
11k views

Replacing hardwired fire alarms with 10 year sealed alarms

My house was built in 2004 and came with fire alarms pre-installed and hardwired. The alarms also use a 9V battery backup, so we have to replace the batteries regularly (not an easy task with 9 ft ...
2
votes
2answers
72 views

I broke a CFL lightbulb while unscrewing it, do I need to throw away the clothes I was wearing? [closed]

I was unscrewing a compact fluorescent lightbulb this morning and it broke while it was unscrewing it. A few chunks of glass showered down, but the entire bulb didn't shatter; ultimately a few chunks ...
1
vote
1answer
110 views

Plumbing venting into apartment

I am a renter and my house often smells overbearing of sewers gas. I guess this is a two part question. The smell cures up from all the drains and I’ve made the landlord aware of this, she has not ...
1
vote
0answers
66 views

Attaching a ground wire to a prong that plugs into an outlet adapter

The outlet shown in the image below doesn't have a ground wire connecting to its receptacle. A friend of mine is helping me setup a ups that requires ground wire, however what he did was run a ground ...
16
votes
8answers
27k views

Which tools should not be operated while wearing gloves?

Does anyone know of any safety organization like OSHA that gives a list of tools that should not be operated while wearing gloves? It has always been my understanding that a person should not wear ...
1
vote
3answers
409 views

Safe, sensible to turn off BRANCH circuit breaker for range, every day when house is empty?

After one oven turned itself on middle night, everyone in my family is now scared stiff silly of ranges!!! We always turn off all Branch Circuit Breakers ("BCB") except for fridge, before we leave ...
14
votes
1answer
2k views

Is this box bonded properly to the ground?

The receptacle is from the mid-1950's and my multimeter shows that it is grounded. There are a solid 120 volts when testing between live and ground. I noticed a bare copper wire coming from the cloth ...
-2
votes
1answer
103 views

Is this wiring safe [duplicate]

The wall box is from the mid-1950's and my multimeter shows that it is grounded. There are a solid 120 volts when testing between live and ground. I noticed a bare copper wire coming from the cloth ...
1
vote
1answer
282 views

Fridge has a weird smell coming from where the compressor is

I have a fridge that has some kind of weird smell coming from where the compressor is. Ive checked the wires and any connections to see if theres any burnt wires, theres nothing. Its not really a ...
1
vote
4answers
7k views

I have a flooded basement and have an electric cord plugged into an outlet. How can I unplug the cord without getting shocked?

We recently got a lot of rain and my basement has standing water. The water is about a quarter inch deep. I have a freezer that is plugged in with an electric cord that is submerged in the water. I ...
10
votes
5answers
15k views

Is it safe to run a USB cable inside a wall?

I need to extend a USB device from a corner of my room to the above the fireplace. Since I'm already going to be installing some HDMI and audio cables through the wall, I'd like to have my USB device ...
1
vote
2answers
58 views

Wiring problem on 4 gang metal light switch

I'm concerned with the current wiring of a bedroom light switch box (4 gang, metal box with 4 on/off toggle switches). Based on the Wiring Diagram included in the post: I believe the ground wires ...
1
vote
3answers
119 views

Ground fault interruption in a dryer with ground bonded to neutral?

I've posted this issue elsewhere and maybe because it's so boring nobody wants to expend the energy on it (which is fine!) but for me the motivation is 50/50 safety and learning more about electronics ...
2
votes
2answers
152 views

Does it violate US wiring code to have non-standard outlets?

Note: this is entirely theoretical. I have no (current) plans to actually do this. Would I violate any state/national building/electrical codes if I installed BS 1363 (UK plug/socket) sockets on a ...
6
votes
3answers
707 views

Replacing a power outlet safely

I want to replace some power outlets in my condo with ones that have built-in USB ports. The condo was built in 2008. My thinking is I can simply turn off the breaker for those outlets and get to ...
0
votes
1answer
97 views

How much lead abatement is necessary to reach safe levels?

I'd like to buy an older home (I live in CT), but with 2 little kids, I'm worried about lead. The confounding issue is that our real estate agent strongly discourages us from doing lead testing for ...
0
votes
1answer
218 views

line locator indicates voltage over the whole wall, I need to drill some holes

I am living in a 1950s apartment house in Germany, with a TN-C installation (that is, a combined earth / neutral in every socket). Now I need to drill some holes. Usually it's quite obvious where the ...
2
votes
7answers
5k views

Any problem with installing two identical circuit breakers in series?

Suppose I want to reduce risk of a circuit breaker malfunctioning and failing to disconnect a shorted circuit. What if I install two identical breakers sequentially (one after another) so that if one ...
1
vote
1answer
589 views

attaching eye-bolt to roof ridgeline

I would like to attach an eyebolt to the ridgeline of my metal roof. I can then attach a rope to that when I need to work on the roof. I am a climber and have the knowledge and gear to secure ...
2
votes
2answers
120 views

Why does NEC require circuit breaker locks only on hard-wired appliance circuits?

The National Electric Code (NEC) Section 422.30 requires "permanently connected appliances" to have "lockable" disconnects, so that power can be reliably cut to the appliance when it is serviced. ...
9
votes
4answers
37k views

At what height should CO detectors be installed?

I've got a Carbon Monoxide (CO) detector (BRK CO250B, instruction sheet PDF) that I am looking to install in our house. All of the bedrooms are on the top level of our quad-level house, and I'm ...
2
votes
4answers
30k views
1
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2answers
100 views

What can be done to mitigate risk to property from large trees other than removal?

There are 3 oak trees that need to be removed as they pose risks to personal safety and property during windstorm. The last windstorm (dec. 2019, AK) produced 120 m/h gusts. The quote is $6k due to ...
0
votes
1answer
115 views

DIY Desk - Trestle stability

I am trying to build my desk. I can see a lot of positive comments about the Karlby worktops from IKEA and I think the 2.46m x 0.63m walnut worktop is exactly what I need. My problem is that I ...
3
votes
2answers
181 views

Can I safely use a straight (Type 1) metal cutoff wheel in angle grinder?

I have a Ridgid angle grinder and a metal cutoff wheel. On page 7 of the manual it states: Use ONLY Type 27 depressed center grinding wheels (such as the one provided with this product). NEVER ...
0
votes
1answer
24 views

Halogen Light Fixture with Broken prong

Halogen light bulb prong broke off in fixture and can not be removed. I inserted another bulb with prong in the socket and left other prong out. The light is now working; however, I need to know if ...
5
votes
5answers
2k views

Why would a metal file have a cancer warning?

Every metal file at the hardware store bears a California Prop. 65 warning on the label. What could possibly be the cancer-causing agent in a solid metal file?
0
votes
1answer
73 views

Can I run a propane generator under my house?

I recently bought a propane generator to use during the periodic blackouts we get in California now. I have a large crawlspace underneath my home and it would be fairly easy for me to place it down ...
0
votes
1answer
28 views

My gas water heater's T&P relief valve is leaking. Can I safely close the heater's supply valve & leave the gas on?

My gas water heater's pressure relief valve isn't sealing and releases ~3 gallons of water per hour outside the house. I'd like to shut the heater's water feed line OFF until I can buy and install a ...
34
votes
4answers
18k views

Is there a way to safely have exposed electrical wires?

We have a dumpster on our property for another home project and are hoping to take advantage of this by disposing of some bathroom lights and a ceiling fan. However, we do not currently have a ...
0
votes
1answer
48 views

Lampshade With Dimmer Causing Electric Shock?

I bought a lampshade from a market. I live in a country with 220V supply. It gave me an electric shock when I touched the dimmer control while plugged in, but I'm not sure if it was a static shock. ...
7
votes
4answers
3k views

Circuit breaker door shocked me. Static?

I was switching through breakers to isolate outlets. I had the panel door open, stepped away, and when I walked back to touch the panel's DOOR, I got a static-like shock on my finger. I was wearing ...
2
votes
2answers
191 views

Are chainsaw helmets meant to protect you from the saw, or just falling debris?

I'm trying to get the correct protective equipment for a chainsaw. I see helmets that look like this being sold for chainsaw use, but it's not clear if they are meant to protect your face from the ...
0
votes
1answer
56 views

Reusing ADT motion sensors

I bought a 4 level house that had an ADT security system with a motion sensor in every room. I never used it since moving in. But I have a fun project in mind: I'd like to drive my kids nuts when ...
0
votes
2answers
3k views

Goodman Furnace igniter glows but doesn't ignite

Specs: Goodman Model GDS80703, over 10 years old, Control board replaced 2 years ago 2 months ago, it just started glowing and not igniting, and after doing some basic troubleshooting (Reboot, clean ...
6
votes
14answers
7k views

What's the safest type of power saw? [closed]

I would like to purchase a power saw for general use (i.e., for various DIY and home improvement projects). I currently exclusively use a handsaw to cut wood. Even though it is a pull saw (which ...

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