All Questions

5
votes
4answers
9k views

How do I fix a garage door opener light that loosens in its socket?

The light on my garage door opener keeps getting loose in the light socket, causing it to not work. Giving it a slight turn to tighten it fixes it temporarily, but it comes loose again within a week ...
6
votes
5answers
18k views

How can I prevent an outside lock from freezing?

I store a bunch of the "outside stuff" in the shed for the winter. Mainly things that I only use when the weather is warmer. It pretty much remains locked up for the winter. Occasionally though, I ...
2
votes
1answer
246 views

Extending a pebble path for an old home

My house has an old pebble path that runs around about half of it. I am looking for the best way to extend the path in the same style. The existing pebble path is made from packed dirt (which has a ...
4
votes
4answers
7k views

Can a completely flat roof be waterproof?

I would like to build a 6 x 8 ft playhouse with a deck covering the top. Is there a kind of roofing material that can (1) withstand a floating deck, (2) is DIY friendly (no blowtorches, hot asphalt, ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

Should I use 1/2“ or 3/4” fixtures for a new shower?

I am having a new shower built along with a new bathroom altogether... I selected Grohe hardware and wanted to know if I should go with the 1/2" or 3/4" since I will have a rain shower, hand held ...
4
votes
2answers
21k views

Should I use a float “piggy-back” sump pump switch?

I have a Zoeller M-53 sump pump and I'm considering using a float switch to stop the pump from cycling too frequently. Here's the situation... The water level is pretty high where I live. The sump ...
4
votes
3answers
24k views

Draughty PVC window

Some of the PVC windows in my house lets wind and cold in, so I need to adjust them to cut off the draught. I have no experience in adjusting them, so I need to find out how I can achieve this. Any ...
9
votes
2answers
90k views

How do I replace oven insulation that has been soiled by mice and smells bad?

We've had mice work their way into the oven insulation of our standalone range and now it stinks when we turn the oven on. Looking around on the web suggests that replacing the oven is the most ...
4
votes
6answers
19k views

Why would a furnace overheat with a standard density filter?

Some time ago I found my furnace (gas, forced air, downdraft) was getting stuck on, blowing cold air. I could reset it, but it would happen again after a while. After calling out a service man, I ...
3
votes
7answers
16k views

What adhesive or glue should I use to attach velcro to PVC pipe?

I have some vertical standing pvc pipes that I want to attach velcro to. I wish to hang some fabric from the velcro, and thus there will be some forces pulling the velcro from the pvc. I've already ...
7
votes
3answers
3k views

Is there any legitimate reason to have a direct vent between utility room and attic?

I've been doing some sealing and insulating in my attic, and discovered a purpose built vent directly from the utility room into the attic space. See most of these photos The house is in a townhome/...
3
votes
2answers
8k views

How do I fit a drain gully when the drain pipe is very close to the surface?

I wish to lower some paving round my house, as it is too close to the DPC (damp-proof course). However the drain pipe will not be very far under the new level of the new paving. Therefore how can ...
7
votes
7answers
21k views

How to clean rust in hard to reach points on a tool?

I have a cheap tool with some rust on it. It's probably cheaper to buy a new one than to clean it. But I wonder if is there any solution where I can drop it and retrieve it clean. Is there anything ...
1
vote
2answers
419 views

Oil-fired furnace sight window repair

I have an 20+ year old oil burner and a tankless boiler/furnace. There is a small round (2-3" diameter) window above the burner that lets you see the flame, I assume as an aid to tuning the burner. ...
2
votes
3answers
10k views

Can I vent a microwave vent / range hood through wall?

I've got a Whirlpool over-the-range microwave that is currently venting back into the kitchen. I'd like to poke a hole through the wall and vent it directly outside. I've read the instructions and ...
5
votes
2answers
23k views

What's the best method and product to use for patching cracks in plaster walls?

I have a 100+ year old house and while it's quite structurally sound there's been some settling over the years, leading to small cracks in the old plaster around the house. I hired a professional to ...
8
votes
9answers
11k views

Should I switch from propane to electric heat?

After a downright frightening heating bill, I am thinking of switching to electric heat. I want this to be as little impact to the house as possible. I currently live in a 1100 sq ft manufactured home ...
6
votes
1answer
3k views

Should I have replaced my water heater's shut-off gate valve with a ball valve?

I replaced my water heater's cold water shut-off gate valve with a ball valve...because the gate valve didn't close all the way and was dripping water while I was working (installing a sediment filter....
1
vote
2answers
620 views

Bathroom faucet drip

I had a faucet drip in my bathroom sink. I determined it was the hot water (confirmed by the warm drip and it stopped when I shut off the hot under the sink). I assumed that the stem went (which ...
3
votes
4answers
6k views

Should I rebuild or just replace worn out cordless tool batteries?

I have a couple of older Porter Cable 19.2v Ni-Cd batteries which have worn out. In shopping around for replacements, I've noticed there are a number of businesses which offer to rebuild your ...
2
votes
3answers
351 views

Automated/Controlled Lighting - Options?

What are some good options to look at for controlled and automated lighting? I've seen some DMX (stage-lighting standard) implementations for homes, but I'm not sure if that is the only/best option. ...
3
votes
4answers
428 views

Plastic Wall Anchors Without a Collar

I have installed some new toilet paper holders in my house. They came with cheap plastic wall anchors without a collar on them. I threw them away and used different anchors, because every time I try ...
15
votes
1answer
2k views

How does Schlage SecureKey Re-keying mechanism work?

Here is their consumer info. And here is an amateur teardown, although I can't tell from the pictures how the thing actually works. Does any one have any better powers explanation? But beyond just ...
7
votes
2answers
21k views

What methods can I use to remove exterior paint from brick?

I just purchased a historical house that was painted an ugly peach color. I bought some marine grade paint stripper that I was going to use little by little to strip the whole exterior by hand. This ...
4
votes
2answers
557 views

How do I remove this shower fixture?

I'm a little desperate here. When we moved into this home, we inherited this shower fixture. Now it's leaking. But, I can't figure out how to remove it!? I've tried to back it all the way off ...
6
votes
2answers
10k views

How can I strengthen attic rafters for storage?

I have standard 2x4 rafters and want to use it just for storage and I am worried they are not strong enough. I was thinking I could buddy ( or sister) up the 2x4's with another 2x4 or 2x6. or stack ...
8
votes
4answers
15k views

How can I verify where the pipes in my basement go?

In the photos below, I have 3 pipes coming up out of the ground in my basement. One is about 4" (sewer?), the other 2 are 2" (gray water?). Then there are a few coming out of the ceiling (vents?), all ...
5
votes
5answers
7k views

How to fix a leaky flapper valve?

I bought a house that had been sitting for some time. One of the the issues that I've discovered is that the flapper valve leaks. I've come to this conclusion by turning off the water to the tank ...
4
votes
10answers
9k views

Why isn't my dishwasher cleaning as well as it used to?

My dishwasher no longer cleans dishes as well as it did 5 years ago. Some info: It is 10 years old, a low-end Frigidaire we have hard water here (and no water softener) I have cleaned the food trap ...
4
votes
2answers
515 views

Window Replacement (Inserts or Gut Out)

When replacing wood windows of a brick house do you just insert them into the old frame or do you gut the frame out and replace the whole thing? What are the pros and cons of each method? Edit: I ...
10
votes
3answers
8k views

How do I handle significant snow and ice dams on a 4/12 gable roof with ridge vents?

It is our first winter in a new-to-us house, that has a pretty flat roof (3/12-to-4/12 pitch), and a ridge vent along the entire top of the roof. We just had the snowiest December on record (...
16
votes
2answers
120k views

What are the pros and cons of installing a roof heating cable?

Had some roof work done last year after mother nature abused my house by way of an errant tree branch. I had always suspected my roof had poor ventilation, most notably when I wound up with a 200 lb ...
2
votes
2answers
607 views

Building Regs for 1st Floor Bathrooms

We are installing a Bathroom in an existing bedroom on the first floor of a 3 bed victorian terrace. We've heard building control have regulations regarding the double joisting or sistering of joists ...
1
vote
2answers
300 views

Is “bronze and silumin” mix actually possible in a ball cock?

In my apartment bathroom there's a thick steel pipe with hot water going from the floor beneath through my bathroom and to the store above. There're two pipes welded into that vertical pipe and a ...
9
votes
8answers
16k views

Home light switch circuit with 5 switches

I am new to the amazing world of electronics and am starting out small. I think... Early 2010, the wife and I bought a house that was built in 1979. Now I started replacing light switches and ...
7
votes
2answers
10k views

Determining if there is insulation behind a wall

Learning today that some of our walls are a whole 20 degrees colder than others (all facing east) I'm convinced we may not have proper insulation (it's a new house, but we've head numerous problems ...
4
votes
3answers
10k views

How do I remove a frameless glued mirror?

I have an ugly giant frameless mirror glued to a tiled wall in my bathroom I want to remove. It's probably been there > 20 years. How do I get rid of it? I'm thinking of just covering it in tape ...
7
votes
3answers
9k views

What are the pros and cons of a vented vs unvented crawl space?

I find it very confusing to read and hear conflicting advice on crawl space: vent vs air seal, different ways to do insulation, vapor barriers vs not, etc. Mine currently has some moisture and has ...
4
votes
2answers
9k views

What is required to move a washer/dryer from one room to another?

How hard is it to move washer/dryer from an upstairs room to the basement? What hookups would we need, etc?
8
votes
4answers
6k views

How should I insulate my basement?

My basement is CMU blocks and concrete floor. I had water issues, so I waterproofed it with an interior french drain, drainboard at the edge and a sump pump. This wouldn't take care of dampness so I ...
3
votes
3answers
24k views

Why is my furnace blowing cold air?

My HEIL 7000 natural gas furnace has stopped working what are the most likely causes, and how to verify faulty parts? Normal operation routine Thermostat sends "need heat" signal. Exhaust blower ...
4
votes
4answers
3k views

How to spread light more

Which one is better for light bulbs in home to get more from light. White board behind bulb? White plastic covering the bulb? Mirror behind the bulb? Any other way? How to get more from a ...
4
votes
3answers
6k views

Should I use foam spray insulation in my crawl space?

My crawl space has no insulation. The dirt is wet near one of the walls. There have been termites in the past. I'm thinking of insulating the ceiling (between the joists) and the walls with foam ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

How do I refinish a tabletop?

I have an old Ethan Allen dining room table with a couple leaves. It has a pretty dark finish with a thick coat of varnish on top. It's also got various scratches, water stains, etc. What is the ...
3
votes
1answer
527 views

Bathroom Vent is tied to ceiling vent in adjacent room

I live in a bungalow with a bathroom on both levels. The bathrooms both have exhaust vents. Outside of each bathroom is a ceiling vent. The previous owner stuck towels in these to block them off. ...
4
votes
3answers
5k views

Do I need to ground my pool?

I am have a concrete pool installed and the builder attached a ground cable to the rebar before spraying the concrete. He told me it is up to us whether we want to ground it or not. Given the lights ...
3
votes
2answers
3k views

Do I need to waterproof the external walls of my house?

I have just completed a renovation of my house. Where possible, I am putting decking around it to keep the brickwork dry and ventilated. One wall, however, will have sand and dirt added to build up ...
1
vote
1answer
251 views

Pressure level in central heating system

Recently (since last week), the pressure in our heating system (as indicated by the pressure gauge on the boiler) is dropping rapidly. We're having to top this up around once every two days. As I ...
0
votes
1answer
4k views

How do I fix up an unfinished, oil-stained pine table?

I have an unfinished, salvaged natural hardwood, pine table, similar to the Restoration Hardware salvaged wood trestle table. I spilled some olive oil on it and then did something worse -- tried to ...
4
votes
2answers
379 views

Alternatives to signal on power for home automation systems (such as UBP) - low-voltage circuits, wireless…?

I am kind of averse to using signal on power for home automation systems such as UBP as this seems to be shared with the outside world (I read somewhere that the signal can travel as far as the ...

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