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2
votes
2answers
216 views

First time changing switches and outlets (receptacles). Anything special I should know?

I am replacing a bunch of switches and receptacles in my house. While I understand the basics, this is pretty much my first electrical project, and I figure there must be some hidden "gotchas" or ...
2
votes
2answers
25k views

How many receptacles can I place on a 20 ampere 120 volt breaker?

How many receptacles can I place on a 20 amp breaker if it's a 120 volt circuit? How many on a 15 amp circuit? I'm trying some DIY on my bathroom and bedroom. Help would be appreciated.
1
vote
2answers
572 views

Testing and proper breakers for a multi wire branch circuit?

How do you determine if an outlet is part of a unidentified multi-wire branch circuit? Also, does code say MWBCs need to be on double throw circuit breakers and is it permissible to link CBs with that ...
1
vote
1answer
7k views

Why are the white and orange wires both connected to my thermostat's W terminal?

I wanted to get a programmable thermostat, but when I look at the wiring of the existing thermostat I’m not sure why the white and orange wires are both going to the W terminal. Other thermostat ...
0
votes
1answer
193 views

How to get heating system working again?

We have an oil-fired boiler that does both the hot water and the forced hot water baseboard heating system. It was unusually cold and windy last night here in north-central Massachusetts. I turned ...
0
votes
1answer
161 views

electric oven bake element gets warm but does not get hot

The bake element on my Hotpoint RK38T electric oven gets warm but does not get hot. The broil element does get hot. In bake mode, the element shows 59 volts across the element, 111 volts from one ...
0
votes
3answers
7k views

Can I install two independent gfci outlets in one double-gang box?

Cam I have two GFCIs connected to one double gang box in my laundry room and if so can I do a single line connection so that they both can work independently? I have a 12/2 going from the panel ...
84
votes
18answers
66k views

How do I make a height adjustable desk?

Has anyone made their own height adjustable desk? I'm interested in making a computer desk that can easily be adjusted for either standing or sitting. The lift mechanism could be electric or ...
65
votes
15answers
33k views

What should I consider regarding LAN wiring before building a house?

I am planning a small house (4 rooms, 2 floors, no basement, no attic, 120 sq.meters) and I want to run a lot of LAN cables throughout because of poor WiFi experiences in my apartment. Because the ...
67
votes
10answers
102k views

How can I improve the water pressure in my shower?

I recently purchased my first home. It has two bathrooms and the water pressure in both is less than ideal. What are some steps I can take to increase the pressure?
20
votes
1answer
87k views

What do I need to install LED strip lighting?

I've been looking to install LED strips, either RGB or white for lighting and ambiance. It wouldn't be the main lighting of the room, so no necessity for high power LEDs. The perimeter of the room is ...
43
votes
7answers
22k views

How can I speed up my slow hot water?

Our water heater (gas) is located in the garage. It is 25 to 30 feet away from the closest faucet, which I'm guessing is the main reason it takes so long -- a minute or longer -- to get hot water ...
33
votes
4answers
47k views

How do I fix a “water hammer” problem?

When I shut off a water faucet or right after the toilet tank refills after flushing, I hear a vibrating sound in my pipes. It last between one and two seconds. On the interwebs, I found out that it'...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

What are some of the best books/resources on home inspection for first time home buyers?

I'm looking at buying my first home. Considering the amount of money involved, it seems logical to make sense the inspection is solid. (I've seen a few "Holmes Inspection"s to have the reinforced.) ...
24
votes
4answers
216k views

Does a bathroom exhaust fan have to vent to the outside?

Is it normal and/or code compliant to have a bathroom exhaust fan venting to the attic? I've seen this a couple times now, and the first time I saw this I thought it was very odd. But I mentioned ...
19
votes
5answers
264k views

What is a GFI outlet used for, and where should I install them?

What purpose does a GFI serve? Where should they be used?
16
votes
5answers
72k views

What types of electrical outlets are found in a typical home in the USA?

I do not live in the USA. If I were to buy a home in the USA, what are the key facts I should know about USA household electrical supply at outlets in homes? E.g. when buying a clothes dryer or other ...
15
votes
8answers
91k views

How can I hang a shelf with no visible fasteners?

I just built a shelf for a bedroom based on instructions found at Happy at Home. Problem is: the blog doesn't explain how to hang it! Can someone help me figure out a clean way to hang this shelf ...
27
votes
9answers
200k views

I have a basement floor with lots of moisture, can I paint or seal it to make it waterproof?

My basement has a slight dampness issue, where if I leave things on the floor they will get wet. There are no leaks and no standing water, the moisture seems to be wicking up through the concrete. I ...
21
votes
4answers
25k views

What should I use to secure/organize data cable runs?

I am running Cat-6 and Coax in new construction. I am looking for advice/best practices on how to organize and secure the cables during the runs. I will be running 2 Cat-6 and 1 Coax to a single-...
16
votes
2answers
121k 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 ...
16
votes
4answers
227k views

How do I properly wire GFCI outlets in parallel?

I have two countertop outlets in my kitchen that I am in the process of replacing with new, GFCI-protected outlets. These two outlets are on a circuit together, and they are the only loads on that ...
11
votes
11answers
27k views

Which material should I use for a whiteboard that would erase easily?

I saw some DIY tutorials recommending to use tileboard to make a cheap whiteboard. I had a piece lying around, and tried some dry-erase markers on it. Turns out they don't erase well at all when ...
8
votes
11answers
473k views

Why does my toilet randomly start running?

Sometimes my toilet starts running for a few seconds at a time, like it's just finishing filling up the tank. Usually this happens when the bathtub is being drained, or when I turn on the facets in ...
6
votes
4answers
137k views

How can I install a light fixture in the ceiling of a finished room?

In my dining room, I would like to install a ceiling light in the center of the room. This room is on the ground floor of a colonial two-story, so there is no attic access into the ceiling; my work ...
30
votes
5answers
116k views

Why does my dishwasher back up into the sink, but running the disposal allows it to drain?

When my dishwasher runs the kitchen sink backs up. I have a two tub sink and only the side nearest the dishwasher with the garbage disposer backs up. Running the disposal for a few seconds causes the ...
20
votes
20answers
174k views

What is the advantage of PEX pinch clamp vs. crimp rings?

I just saw these for the first time today at Lowe's: The advantages I can see over the crimp style are: A single tool can work with multiple PEX sizes That single tool is cheaper than a single-size ...
16
votes
5answers
76k views

How do I adjust a door so it doesn't swing on its own?

I have a normal door, and left to its own devices it will simply rest about 20-30 degrees. It won't swing shut on its own, nor stay open on its own. It hangs a bit in the middle. Convenient enough to ...
12
votes
9answers
11k views

What are some at-home options for pest control?

I am thinking about ditching my pest guy and going straight DIY. Raid has released a new product called Raid Max Bug Barrier. Lowe's also carries a number of DIY insect treatments. I figure the ...
12
votes
6answers
42k views

Should my first power saw be a circular or jig saw?

I'm just beginning DIY projects, and do not own a power saw. The projects I plan to begin with will be simple, and I mostly plan to cut wood < 2" thick, PVC, and maybe some thin metal. I've read ...
7
votes
2answers
14k views

What is a multiwire branch circuit?

What is a multiwire branch circuit? (also known as "multiwire circuit", "multiwire branch circuit", "split phase shared neutral", "two circuits fed from one 12-3 or 14-3 NM-B cable", "shared neutral ...
25
votes
8answers
427k views

How do you determine if a door is Right Handed (RH) or Left Handed (LH)?

I am replacing a few interior doors and I need to know if the existing door is Right Handed or Left Handed so I have them drilled correctly. Sounds like the acronyms for this are RH and LH. This ...
20
votes
7answers
274k views

Can I backfeed a portable generator into my house's electrical system?

Is there a safe way to power my house using a portable generator? The power rating for the generator is 6kW, and I want to run my electric water heater (4.5kW) and my refrigerator (0.5kW) and possibly ...
15
votes
8answers
9k views

Is there a wall outlet power meter that I can interface with from a computer?

I'm wondering if there is a wall outlet power meter that I can somehow interface with from a computer. I'm aware of all the google power meter products, but those are for an entire house. I'm trying ...
14
votes
5answers
53k views

What is the recommended way to destroy mold?

Back in the day I've heard that bleach is a good way to kill mold. The other day a home inspector suggested that Dawn dish soap actually works much better than bleach. I've heard from another home ...
14
votes
15answers
3k views

What is your top tip for painting?

Simple really - add your best tips for painting (a room, that is). Ideally one tip per answer for ease of voting.
13
votes
6answers
44k views

How high to raise water heater above floor?

I saw a water heater stand at Home Depot but it's about 15" high. That's a bit too high for my basement. Can I just make one with 2x4 and plywood that's only 4" tall, basically just enough to be able ...
12
votes
8answers
30k views

What is the best way to clean your clothes dryer exhaust?

My dryer exhaust goes out of my laundry room, into my attic, and runs for about 15 feet before it gets outside. Over time the lent has built up quite a bit. What is the best way to clean this? The ...
11
votes
6answers
132k views

Can I connect copper wire to aluminum wire?

I'm installing additional light bulbs in my basement. I have an older house with aluminum wiring. Can I do this: [new light bulbs]<--copper-->[old light bulb junction box]<--aluminum-->[main ...
10
votes
1answer
67k views

How many cables are you allowed to run through a single hole in a wooden floor joist?

How many cables are you allowed to run through a single hole in a wooden floor joist? For example, could I run five 12-2 cables through a 1-1/8" hole? I know they physically fit, but is there a code ...
9
votes
2answers
21k views

What are the pros and cons of soffit vents vs. roof vents?

During my latest foray into the attic, I discovered that my bathroom exhaust fans vent directly into the attic. I'm worried about moisture buildup and I'm considering routing the exhaust to an ...
8
votes
9answers
134k views

How tight should threaded brass pipe fittings be?

I'm working with 3/4" brass fittings, which seem pretty robust. Some plumbing fittings should be only finger-tight. My friend said I should use 2 wrenches to make these as tight as I can, and then ...
7
votes
2answers
10k views

How can I determine if my outlets can easily be grounded?

I'm not sure what to do here. I just moved into a building and my outlets are all 2 prong outlets. Here is what I know of for sure: All the outlets are 2 prong outlets The bathroom outlet has the red/...
5
votes
4answers
64k views

Why does it take my dryer 3 hours to dry a load of clothes?

I have a Maytag model LD69806AAE clothes dryer. Since our tenants in our town home have moved in July 2012. They have pointed out that the dryer takes about 3 hours to dry a load of clothes. The dryer ...
4
votes
1answer
257 views

Curtain drain in the crawl space - Part 2

Part 1 is done. We've dug a trench at the interior perimeter of the crawl space. It took 8 hours 3-4 people (I was working myself but not all the time) and one dump truck. Total budget was around $...
2
votes
6answers
178k views

How should I wire a ceiling fan remote where two switches are used to control the fixture?

I have 2 wall switches. 4 wires coming out of ceiling (black-hot, red-hot, white-common, bare- ground), a ceiling fan and a remote. How do I wire them and still be able to use wall switches? I can ...
20
votes
5answers
85k views

Why does the shower get cold when I flush, and how can I prevent it?

When the shower is running and someone flushes a toilet, why does the shower get cold (or sometimes hot) in some houses, but not others? More importantly, would fixing that require replacing the ...
14
votes
4answers
109k views

How do I find where mice are entering my house?

So the house I just finished remodeling, and am now living in, has a small mouse problem. We have caught a couple of mice, and suspect there may be more. Catching the mice does little good, if more ...
14
votes
8answers
106k views

Should I put a dimmer switch on a ceiling fan?

I have a ceiling fan on our bedroom's vaulted ceiling. Since we don't want 7' pull-cords, the speed is stuck at full-tilt, which is no good. The fan has separate switches on the wall for lights and ...
13
votes
8answers
39k views

How can I prevent mice from entering my house?

Every fall when the weather gets cooler it is a given that a mouse will end up in my house. I understand that this happens probably to most home owners (especially considering the number of trees I ...

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