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
2answers
2k views

Is LP gas trapped between the shutoff valve and the pipe end cap potentially dangerous?

I am renovating my fireplace that was original to the home built in 2007. It was not to our liking, so I am doing a resizing to make it fit better in the room. In doing this I needed to change the ...
5
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4answers
7k views

Nuisance Trip GFCI by Electric Motor

I have an old 1950s bandsaw (Beaver 2300) that has been refitted, by the previous owner, with a new motor. It runs fine. But now that I am using a power bar with a built in GFCI, the GFCI trips after ...
4
votes
4answers
2k views

How can I safely sand a small, thin item with a belt/disc sander?

I have small, thin items measuring roughly 4"x2" with a depth of only .33". I need to sand the back of them down evenly, and have been using a belt sander to do so. However, I'm a little nervous about ...
4
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3answers
9k views

How do I keep my pool water clean without nasty chemicals?

Is there a chemical-free way to keep pool water safe and healthy, that is without chlorine or bromine? How about using UV radiation to sterilize the water?
4
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5answers
3k views

Can I mount 3 blades on a 5 blade ceiling fan?

In my son's bedroom I currently have a standard five-blade ceiling fan. We are currently changing the decorating motif in his room to "airplanes". I thought it would be really cool to change the ...
4
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6answers
17k views

Should we vent our attic for new polyurethane closed-cell spray foam insulation?

We already installed Quadfoam 2.0, a "two-component, 2 lb., closed cell, spray applied, rigid polyurethane foam system" under the roof of our house, between the rafters. We read the manufacturers ...
4
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3answers
2k views

Should I replace ALL the fuses in plugs?

In certain countries (for example the UK), plugs have fuses in them. In most cases, this is a stand 13 A fuse. My question: If I know that a device (to which the plug is attached) won't draw even a ...
4
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3answers
334 views

How do I get utility lines marked on my property?

In Michigan, there is a service called Miss Dig for identifying buried utility lines. We've just moved from Michigan to New Hampshire, and we would like to know where our utility lines are buried. ...
4
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7answers
52k views

How can I safely work around power lines?

I have to do some painting and repair work on the outside of the house near the incoming power line. The repair is pulling off molding and replacing it as well as painting the surrounding area. I am ...
4
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2answers
18k views

What is an oven anti-tip device and how do you install one?

I'm trying to sell a home, and we're in the inspection / repair phase. The buyers asked for me to install an anti-tip device for the oven in the kitchen, and I'm not even sure what that is. Can ...
4
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2answers
549 views

How to lock this kind of window?

I have this window at home. I feel unsafe as I do not know the latch mechanism. Can someone explain how to shut this window?
4
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2answers
7k views

Why was the ground for this fluorescent fixture not connected to the ballast?

I just purchased a set of fluorescent fixtures that are fitted with a plug to connect to a standard 3-prong receptacle. My intention is to replace the plug with Romex cable, and wire the fixture ...
4
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5answers
3k views

Are there any good videos available that teach basic carpentry?

I apologies if this was already covered but I could only find a thread on books, and it was geared towards someone having some basic skills already. While I am far from useless, I never had a reason ...
4
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4answers
7k views

Can re-closing a circuit-breaker be dangerous?

I have a circuit breaker that keeps tripping. When i try to reset (close) it, it immediately jumps back to the open position with a noise that sounds a little scary. I have now stopped trying to do ...
4
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2answers
462 views

Using a non 3-way bulb in a 3-way lamp

I bought a lamp that I see needs a 3-way bulb. I don't really know what that means, but I see that the switch turns three times. Is using a regular bulb in it dangerous?
4
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2answers
11k views

Ground wire giving shock

All metal appliances in my house give shock. Following is experiment I conducted: I stuck my electrical tester in each hole of my mains wall socket (one by one) and it does not glow on neutral, glows ...
4
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2answers
353 views

What is the difference between a GFCI ungrounded circuit and a grounded circuit?

From reading this article it seems like an ungrounded 3-pronged outlet can be made safe by installing a gfci downstream in the circuit. Although the technique of installing GFCI devices in an ...
4
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2answers
465 views

Can a wood fireplace be completely open without any boundaries and just a chimney?

I usually see fireplaces that are open only on one side. This would be a standard example: https://hips.hearstapps.com/hmg-prod.s3.amazonaws.com/images/fireplace-with-fire-burning-royalty-free-image-...
4
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4answers
13k views

How to (safely) retract and lower a 40' extension ladder?

Last time I was using a 40' extension ladder, it was a major challenge to retract it back from being extended and up against a wall. There were two of us and it was seriously scary. Could have gone ...
4
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1answer
4k views

At what height should a stair handrail be?

I am almost dne replacing the steps to my front porch. It is 5 steps so I definitly need a handrail, but I don't know exactly how high to make it. I have some posts that should be plenty tall but I ...
4
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3answers
1k views

Is there harm in using a GFCI outlet as a switch?

I have a GFCI outlet in my garage which is about 4 feet off the ground. I have a couple work lights plugged into it which can only be turned on and off by plugging/unplugging them. I have recently ...
4
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2answers
136 views

What are the relationships between ground and arc protection in breakers and in outlets?

I'm wondering how combos of AFCI & GFCI protection on breakers and outlets affect overall circuit safety & performance. What I mean is, how do different combinations of GFCI and/or AFCI ...
4
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2answers
541 views

Should threaded pipe be torqued to spec?

Most, if not all threaded automotive fasteners have specified torque, which is ensured by using torque wrenches. But how about threaded pipe, galvanized steel for water or black pipe for gas, ...
4
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2answers
6k views

What kinds of gloves should be used for working with mortar?

I am currently working on my eagle scout project, and I will be using mortar to put together part of my project (I know this doesn't completely apply to home improvement so if this is the wrong place ...
4
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1answer
2k views

Covered or Locking Light Switch?

I have an attic fan that is operated by a regular old light (toggle) switch. The problem is that the switch was installed by the previous owner in the master walk-in closet, right where one would ...
4
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3answers
20k views

Changing fluorescent tube: how many degrees to turn?

I have a broken fluorescent tube (housing is intact, but it flickers instead of lighting up properly) that I have to change (bottommost type in the image). I can turn it about 20 degrees, but it ...
4
votes
3answers
16k views

Can I use a cord and plug to power a wall sconce?

I have a wall sconce that my wife really likes and wants installed on an interior brick wall. The sconce she purchased is designed to sit on top of a wall box that has been prewired. I don't want to ...
4
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1answer
5k views

Will I cause problem/cracks with jumping exercise in upper floor?

Every day I am doing my martial art practice in upper floor. It contains jumping and power movements which cause sounds downstairs. Is there any problem for concrete by this continuous jerking ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

Does my wood stove pipe have to be chrome to be safe to use?

I'm currently renting a house that has a wood stove, and figured that as it's used as a rental property, the stove would be safe to use. However a friend of mine today was telling me that if the ...
4
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2answers
2k views

What is the *interrupting rating* of a GFCI receptacle?

Say, we have a UL943 compliant 15A GFCI receptacle on a garden-variety 15A grounded branch circuit. Some nitwit comes along and wirenuts the receptacle's load-side hot to the branch circuit ground, ...
4
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1answer
7k views

Non-dimmable LED on dimmer. Fire hazard?

I just moved into a new home where some of the electrical appears to have been recently re-done. Nearly every light in the house has a dimmer on it, which is fine with me because I prefer to keep ...
4
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3answers
7k views

How do safety labels on light fittings work with energy saving bulbs?

My lamp says "Max 40W or Energy Saving 8W". I have a halogen bulb which says "28W = 36W". Is it safe to use with the lamp? Why / why not? (Sorry if the answer is easily available on the web - I ...
4
votes
1answer
3k views

What's my health situation like living in an exposed fiberglass insulation for 2 weeks

My attic floor is covered with fiberglass insulation. I go to the attic very often. Sorting out winter/summer clothes. Or I go up to search for stuff as my attic is a short term storage. 2 weeks ago,...
4
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3answers
2k views

Is it acceptable to attach elevated deck joists to rafter tails?

I'm having an attached patio built by a contractor. I am concerned about the quality of the construction. In particular the attachment of the patio joists to the house rafters. Instead of using a ...
4
votes
1answer
184 views

At what Lead levels are respirators and hazmat suits required?

I am under going demolition work in pre-1978 building. I have paint chip samples sent away to determine ppm of lead. At what levels are contractors required to wear hazmat suits and respirators? ...
4
votes
1answer
712 views

Is it safe to mount a medium-sized air compressor to the floor to stop or limit vibrations?

I have a 220V 6hp 33gal oil-less horizontal air compressor that aside from being noisy rattles all over the floor. Stock Image: I would like to either mount it to the floor or build a small frame/...
4
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1answer
2k views

What should be on my pre-purchase house self-inspection checklist?

I’m looking at several homes and may purchase one, but realized that I’m probably missing important details when trying to identify potential money-pits. I have a simple checklist so I can save the ...
4
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2answers
2k views

What are effective ways to frame a return air duct?

Consider an in-floor return air duct that is 32" x 22". A standard air filter that closest fits the register is 30" x 20". What materials should I use to frame the duct so it will snugly hold the ...
4
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2answers
259 views

Router safety - what did I do wrong?

Long story short I was running my DeWalt fixed base router (8000-24000 RPM) on a piece of work when it started making a funny noise. I lifted the router up to see why it was making the noise, and ...
4
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1answer
2k views

How to safely install drywall anchors near wiring

I need to hang a rack on a pantry wall, the other side of which has a light-switch. The rack will be holding quite a bit of weight (well-distributed, and close to the wall, though), and I need to ...
4
votes
1answer
5k views

How much clearance do I need above a floor vent?

I am building a custom shelving unit that will sit over an inconveniently located floor vent/diffuser. My thought is to raise the bottom shelf up on stubby legs so that it does not block the vent. The ...
4
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4answers
9k views

How can I safely cut this pipe with an angle grinder?

I have a two inch cast iron pipe w/cup coming up from a concrete floor. There used to be a connection at the cup for a sink drain. That piece was broken by my handy man and subsequently removed by ...
4
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2answers
6k views

Can Rhino lining be used for a residential roof?

Is Rhino® lining a viable option for a residential roof? I know for many people it is cost prohibitive, are there any regulations concerning polyurethane coatings on a roof? Has this been done before?
4
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1answer
764 views

Rewiring part of a circuit, how to properly terminate old branches?

Context There's an overloaded partially-K&T circuit in a small 100+ yr/old home that needs to be rewired. This circuit currently goes from basement panel to attic where it serves ceiling lights ...
4
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1answer
538 views

How to separate the outlets in garage from other outlets in the house

The wiring for one of the 15A circuits for my house includes 7 outlets in the family room, several recessed lights, a 3-speed hanging fan, a chandelier in dining room and 3 outlets in the garage. ...
3
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8answers
6k views

What substances should you avoid contact with your bare hands?

I started thinking about this yesterday because I currently have a weird feeling second skin from the polyurethane adhesive I used to attach my kitchen backsplash on Sunday. I foolishly assumed since ...
3
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2answers
1k views

Is it safe to be in insulated attic

Is it safe for me to be in an attic with this type of insulation without a mask? I have found myself coughing whilst laying floor boards and I’m not sure whether that is general dust or something to ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

Do I need to plug my snow thrower to GFCI outlet?

I bought a snow thrower with 13.5A power. One area of my house is close to a GFCI outlet but the other side of the house is not. It's just a regular outlet. So I am not sure it can be safe to use with ...

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