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8
votes
2answers
35k views

Would there be a problem installing 20A switches on a 15A circuit?

I've installed 20A switches on 15A circuits before, namely on the circuit supplying my kitchen lights. It was primarily to take advantage of the side-clamp wiring available on these beefier switches ...
1
vote
3answers
28k views

Can a hand drill drill 1/4“-1/2” holes into 1" thick aluminum?

I'm making some baseplates in my home for a custom camera system and I'll need to be drilling many holes into plates of aluminum. I'm planning to use 6061 aluminum and need to drill holes anywhere ...
14
votes
6answers
147k views

Why energy saving bulb flashes when the switch is off?

I have a energy saving spiral light bulb in my kitchen. In exactly every 27 seconds, the first segment of the bulb faintly flashes when the switch is off. And not once, repeatedly every 27 seconds. ...
5
votes
3answers
30k views

What could cause a circuit breaker to trip when an exhaust fan is turned off?

In my bathroom, I have a switch for the light and a switch for the exhaust fan. It seems that on occasion, not all the time, the power will trip when I turn the fan off, not on. It also seems to be ...
1
vote
3answers
8k views

How can I install ceramic tile over vinyl tile?

I'm trying to install ceramic tile in a friend's bathroom, appox. 45 sq ft. The current floor in the bathroom is vinyl squares over the base cement. There is no subfloor or anything like that. The ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Is there software or a web site that lets me upload a photo and visualize changes to a room?

I'm thinking of changing my kitchen and bath floor, countertops and backsplash. I don't have all day to create a 3-D model from scratch. Can I start with a photo and visualize changes?
4
votes
7answers
38k views

How can I fix a bathtub that was not set properly?

I think the floor was not prepped correctly. The tub creaks a lot and there is a great deal of vertical play when standing and moving around. The tub does appear to be level, so I don't think that's ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

How can I fill old screw holes in wood on the exterior of a house?

The exterior of my house is stucco, but there are some spots that have vertical wood planks. I think this was considered "in style" when my house was built (1950s). Anyway, over the years previous ...
3
votes
2answers
66k views

How should I waterproof an upstairs bathroom floor?

I'm adding on a bathroom upstairs. My question is what precautions should I take to waterproof it. I'll have new copper, PVC drains and the floor itself I'm worried about. It's sitting half above a ...
2
votes
1answer
12k views

How can I install a water inlet for a dishwasher?

I am trying to figure out how to add a cold water inlet under the kitchen sink. The easiest thing seems to add a tee joint. Here is the picture of the cold water pipe going into the sink I seem to ...
3
votes
2answers
5k views

How can I make MDF more resistant panels?

I have fallen in love with textured MDF panels used to make walls. Oh boy that's beautiful. But raw, it's almost impossibly fragile. The question is : How can I make it harder, stonger to go through ...
4
votes
4answers
30k views

How can I remove paint from a deck?

I bought my house 3 years ago. The deck surface and decorative fence around the edge are painted with a latex-based paint. After shoveling snow each winter, the deck surface is chipped with raw wood ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Why does my ceiling lights require some other outlet in the room to be turned on and off again before it works?

Picture the scene: I walk into a room and flick the light switch. Nothing happens. I grobble around in the dark to where a baby bottle warmer is plugged into a normal outlet and turn the warmer on. ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Are there different thickness heads/nuts for hex bolts?

The hex bolts in my local home depot (specifically the size 3/8-16) all have the same thickness of the hex head. It looks to me to be about 3/16 of an inch thick. I need to recess a hex screw inside ...
6
votes
2answers
17k views

Where can I purchase a block of aluminium? [closed]

I'm need a 5" x 5" x 1" block of aluminium. Is this something I can buy online and are there different types of aluminum to consider? Will I have to buy a bigger piece and cut the aluminum down to my ...
13
votes
11answers
77k views

How can I get a shock from a circuit when the breaker is off?

While I was replacing an old outlet, I received a shock from something in the box. I think it was the metal box itself. Before I started, I performed the following to ensure the power was out: ...
4
votes
2answers
915 views

Screwing into the underside of countertop - can it support a little weight?

We have a space with a wide countertop set up in a space that functions as a workbench. There are no cabinets underneath. Instead, you can pull up chairs to it. There are computers there and it ...
11
votes
5answers
14k views

Should I leave the drain open on my compressor for storage?

I just got a new air compressor for occasional finish nailing and tire inflation. I understand that I need to open the bottom drain to let out any condensation (i.e., this question) after each use. ...
4
votes
1answer
425 views

How robust is ceramic tile paint?

A friend wants to paint the ceramic tile around her fireplace including some of the tiles on the floor in front of it. If those floor tiles get just a little foot traffic, is ceramic tile paint strong ...
5
votes
1answer
155 views

What is the timeline for broken plumbing to cause damage to a house's foundation?

Assume a plumbing main breaks for whatever reason, and sewage begins to leak into the foundation of a house. What is the typical timeline for events to play out? For example, plumbing breaks on day x,...
6
votes
3answers
5k views

How to avoid using door trim

I have installed a new pre-hung door that needs to blend in with the surrounding wall. The door is a flat slab and will be painted the same as the wall. I don't want to use door trim as I need a flat ...
3
votes
2answers
243 views

What size ratchets do I need to assemble some new equipment?

I recently purchased a power rack and various other bits and pieces for the home gym. In the instruction manual the nuts and bolts on the hardware list state the following sizes: 1/2" × 3 - 1/2" 1/2" ...
54
votes
11answers
64k views

When I turn down the dimmer switch on my lights, do I actually use less electricity?

My wife and I have several lights on dimmer switches throughout our home. We generally prefer the ambient lighting provided by dimmed lights. I am curious, though, if we are saving any electricity by ...
7
votes
3answers
40k views

What are the advantages of various bathtub materials?

We're going to be putting in a new tub, and I'm not sure what to get. Cast iron? Enameled steel? Acrylic? My concern with the cast iron (other than lugging it up the stairs) is the rust problem. How ...
4
votes
1answer
11k views

How can I insulate a shed floor?

I am currently planning on insulating my shed this summer to allow year round usage. My first step is to insulate the whole shed. - The walls and Ceiling are straight forward, I will be ...
3
votes
1answer
10k views

What could cause the freezer to work but not the fridge?

My fridge (10 year old Elextrolux model PLHT219TCK0) is not cooling (60 degrees) while the freezer works fine. I thawed the freezer for 12 hours and when I turned it back on everything worked fine ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Can I have two main panels from a single service drop?

Can I run 2 main panels both with separate circuits and main disconnects all off of 1 electrical service from the street? basically separate 1st floor 2nd floor with different boxes and only one ...
7
votes
3answers
629 views

Do Old Houses Have a Pre-determined Lifespan?

Taking into consideration the building supplies that were available in that time period for that particular geographic area (say, a major metropolitan city in the mid-western United States), do homes ...
3
votes
1answer
663 views

How do I mount a new TV antenna to an existing antenna mast?

I would like to mount my new antenna to the side of my existing antenna mast. Is there a device that I can buy that will clamp on to both poles? Update - With pictures Picture 1 is an old antenna ...
7
votes
1answer
538 views

My yard is eroding away and taking my house with it: what's the cheapest way to build a retaining wall to stop it?

We can't get grass to grow in spots in our backyard due to a combination of dogs, trees, and shade. Behind the house is a hill. A third of it has a retaining wall built with rail road ties. It has ...
2
votes
1answer
528 views

House Has Different Types of Siding - How to look seamless?

Alright, I am looking to purchase my first house. One of which looks somewhat like the one below. As you can see, it has a brick sided portion and a vinyl sided portion. Obviously this house has been ...
4
votes
1answer
7k views

How to reduce heating of cold water pipes in the ceiling space?

On a hot day our kitchen cold tap, if it hasn't been run for a while, will produce water at a temperature up to around 50-55 degrees C shortly after it is turned on. We haven't measured the exact ...
8
votes
5answers
21k views

Is there a way to design/create a shower that is less prone to mold?

I think I've had it with traditional tiled showers...I can't stand the site of mold in between tiles, on the tiles! on shower curtains, on shower doors, etc. I think I'm pretty clean, but I always ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

How can I fit patio French doors in a frame that is too small?

My question is very similar to "How can I fit a door in a frame that is too small?" except my house is made of concrete block. I bought a used patio French door to replace my sliding door. The ...
1
vote
1answer
591 views

How to make plastic shine after removing the stickers on it using cooking oil?

After removing the stickers on some of the plastic materials using cooking oil, the plastic lose its shininess. How to I get that shininess back?
18
votes
1answer
19k views

Is my rapidly failing foundation dangerous?

I'll be succinct. I'm afraid we're having a full structural failure. Over the past week, crack after crack has been appearing in our plaster and walls. I'm honestly concerned for our safety. Our ...
3
votes
2answers
8k views

How can I make trapezoid-shaped wood board (beveled edges)?

The reason why I want this is somewhat difficult to explain. I basically am looking for moulding-sized planks that have a trapezoid shape like this: That's the best trapezoid shape I could find, but ...
3
votes
1answer
938 views

How to add a drain pipe to a concrete block wall covered in insulation?

I want to run a 1.5" drain pipe along the wall about 2 feet from the floor to a microbrewery setup in the corner of my basement. I have sheets of fiberglass insulation against the walls though, and I ...
2
votes
3answers
6k views

How to widen a chain link

I'm trying raise a swing. A chain is attached to both sides of the swing seat and the topmost links are wider than the others to allow a carabiner to be used to attach the swing to the pole overhead. ...
5
votes
2answers
31k views

Precautions necessary when removing toilet and sink for extended period of time?

I'm in the process of remodeling one of the bathrooms. The remodel includes removing tile from walls, installing a new shower, toilet and sink, refinishing the walls, new linoleum, etc. I would like ...
6
votes
1answer
402 views

Am I doing something wrong with this sanding job?

I'm trying to finish a finishing job on a dresser; I abandoned the project (long story) a while ago after getting a few drawers done, and I've since lost the exact instructions I was following. After ...
4
votes
1answer
6k views

How do I cap the wires in this electric smoke alarm?

I want to cap these wires with a wire nut so that I can stuff them back up in the ceiling and install a regular, battery-powered smoke alarm. What wires get capped and do I need to do anything with ...
2
votes
1answer
850 views

Will I see any performance gains if I reconfigure my thermostat to control the second stage of my 2 stage furnace?

Our furnace is a two stage one that was installed last year (a Bryant 80t). When it was installed, it was installed with a thermostat for a one stage furnace. This appears to be because this model ...
8
votes
1answer
3k views

What is the best way to improve counter tops without completely replacing them?

I would like to re-do our counter tops in the kitchen. We currently have the laminate on particle board type. What is the best way to refinish this type of counter top to make it look higher quality,...
1
vote
0answers
663 views

Do heater vents that will self close exist?

Are there heater vents that can open and close as the air passes through them; this way being closed when off so the warm air won't escape back into the vent. My heater is located outside meaning the ...
10
votes
2answers
4k views

Do I need to insulate exposed foundation in my garage?

I have a 2 story split-foyer ranch. The bedrooms upstairs are above the garage and noticeably colder than the rest of the house (I live in Connecticut so winters get pretty cold). There's no climate ...
2
votes
3answers
65k views

What size breaker and wire do I need for a 220 volt circuit to an electric fireplace and an electric heater?

I want to run a 220 volt circuit from panel to an electric fireplace (12 amps) and an electric heater (15 amps). What size breaker should I use and what size wire?
4
votes
2answers
13k views

What are these two pipes coming out of the house?

I am trying to figure out the purpose of a couple of pipes that are currently coming out of the house. First, a couple of notes: One-story house. HVAC system is in the attic. It is winter here. ...
3
votes
2answers
9k views

Is this a valid way to add an electrical outlet?

I've got a feed from my electrical panel in the garage to a single outlet inside the house (for the entertainment center). This was installed by an electrician back in 2009. Through the garage, the ...
2
votes
1answer
5k views

How efficient is a drop ceiling?

I have a small room (about 260 sq ft) with a tall ceiling (about 13 feet tall). It's very hard to heat that room up because the heat goes up and doesn't want to heat the lower part where the people ...

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