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24
votes
4answers
4k views

How do I fix a hole in drywall?

There is a hole in my drywall from a doorknob repeatedly hitting it, is there a straightforward way to fix it?
24
votes
7answers
3k views

How can I add an ammeter and/or voltmeter to my home breaker panel?

In my professional life, I work in datacenters and all of our PDUs have ammeter displays on them. Of course they do: we always want to know how many amps a PDU is using. But in my house, nobody has ...
24
votes
7answers
11k views

How can I repair rusty tools?

Should I use sandpaper to clean the rust from the tools (e.g. Needle-nose pliers), or can I soak them in vinegar or lemon juice? Would I be better off just buying new tools (which can be an ...
24
votes
3answers
104k views

How to determine the type of wall on which I'm putting up a shelf?

I'd like to put up a small shelf. I have never tackled any kind of DIY project before so this is a first (I don't even have the necessary tools yet!) and I have a rather newbie question: Having read a ...
24
votes
1answer
34k views

Humidity Levels

What is a healthy and safe humidity level that I should try to keep my house at?
23
votes
7answers
19k views

Why does my house heat up, even when it's cool outside?

Summary The question pretty much says it all. It's probably a ridiculously easy one to answer. It's cool outside but I know that my house is heating up because my AC kicks on periodically. I've had ...
23
votes
7answers
4k views

Why are there ovens with control panel toward the back?

I often see ovens with their control panel behind the elements, mostly in US American settings, like in the picture below. Where I live, the controls are always in front of the appliance. It seems ...
23
votes
8answers
9k views

Why aren’t there water shutoff valves for each room?

Had an issue today with a nail going through a water supply line in a bathroom. It got me wondering if there is a practical or technical reason there aren’t typically room-specific shut offs between ...
23
votes
8answers
12k views

Drilled into studs, light flickered momentarily but everything else seems fine now - should I be worried?

I was installing shelving in my closets, when drilled a hole into studs, the lights flickered momentarily for 2 seconds. I stopped drilling, and everything else seems fine now. The circuit didn't ...
23
votes
3answers
5k views

Why do single electrical receptacles exist?

Given that the following are true. They are the same size. They take the same amount of work to install. Doubles are twice as useful. Double adapters are a thing. Why do single electrical ...
23
votes
5answers
38k views

How do I find studs when stud finders won't work?

I was trying to hang my TV at my new place, on an interior wall (between living room and a bathroom). Using the stud finder on other walls worked fine, but on this wall I got some very strange ...
23
votes
2answers
8k views

What's the 1 inch square knob sticking out of the wall?

I noticed there is a square knob sticking out of my basement wall. Does anyone know what this is?
23
votes
4answers
8k views

Why would two circuit breakers be connected inside the service panel?

I was trying to locate the circuit breaker for an outlet in my garage and found a truly baffling setup. Two breakers control the same outlet (both plugs). After some head scratching, I opened the ...
23
votes
4answers
87k views

I added insulation to my attic rafters, but should I have left room for airflow?

I added insulation to my attic rafters and plugged the space between the outdoors and my attic with insulation. It lowered my heating bill by $150/month, but I've seen some information that I may ...
23
votes
27answers
159k views

How do I remove polyurethane spray foam from my hands?

I should have worn gloves but sadly I didn't. Now I have yellow stuff all over my hands. I got most of the stickiness to go away by using WD-40. Is there anything that will get this off without giving ...
23
votes
3answers
4k views

Now I realize I used too many GFCI outlets. How can I reclaim them?

Yeah, so the building inspector redflagged a bunch of outlets for not being GFCI. Before I understood how the LOAD terminals work, I just replaced every single one with a GFCI outlet. Most had a ...
23
votes
2answers
6k views

How can I get rid of ants in an environmently friendly way?

Is it enough to pour boiling water in their mount?
23
votes
6answers
252k views

Why do my toilets flush slowly and often incompletely?

I have three toilets that all flush slowly and incompletely. I've adjusted the chain to ensure the flap raises completely. I've raised the float to ensure the tank fills nice and high. Yet I have this ...
23
votes
2answers
124k views

How do you plan capacity for electrical circuits?

I'm finishing a section of my basement, which currently only has one bulb for bare light. In planning the electrical arrangement of things, how do I estimate the load of light fixtures or electrical ...
23
votes
3answers
742k views

What wire gauge do I need for a 100 Amp subpanel at the end of a 60' wire run?

I am adding an attached garage to my house. I'm going to be putting in a 100 Amp subpanel which is about 60 feet away and run through the basement joists. What gauge wire do you recommend for ...
22
votes
5answers
8k views

Architect drawing home addition by hand

I am planning to expand master bedroom and hired an architect to draw the plan. What I learnt is that he drew diagram by hand and not using CAD. He is an old guy. But I am wondering if I should be ...
22
votes
8answers
5k views

Do I have to secure an IKEA TV stand to the wall?

I'm a young adult preparing to move out into an apartment the first time, and I'm trying to fill out some gaps in terms of furniture before I get going. I found this IKEA tv stand that's perfectly ...
22
votes
3answers
4k views

How can I remove material from this wood beam?

I am trying to mount a roller shade in between two wood beams on my porch. The problem is that the beams are a hair too close together to accommodate mounting the shade. I am trying to remove a small ...
22
votes
7answers
7k views

Is it safe to flush newspaper down the toilet?

Recently an Australian newspaper printed several blank pages to help readers who may have run out of toilet paper. Would it be safe to flush pieces of newspaper down the toilet?
22
votes
6answers
8k views

Is my plan to safely remove asbestos siding sound?

After reading a some other questions I haven't found an answer similar enough for what I'm thinking about doing. So here goes. Full disclosure up front. Before I even touch a single siding shingle, ...
22
votes
11answers
19k views

Would bullet proof glass help deter burglars? How does it compare to normal glass?

We consider buying an apartment, which has previously been used as a shop. Our only concern is that it has large windows (2,5 meters x 2,5 meters), which would function like an invitation to burglars. ...
22
votes
5answers
10k views

How do I reattach a shelf to the wall when it ripped out of the wall?

I had attached a shelf to my wall using the hardware that came with the shelf, but then it came crashing down in the middle of the night and all of my stuff came down with it. The hardware came from ...
22
votes
11answers
16k views

What should we look for when buying a fixer-upper house?

My fiance and I are considering buying a fixer-upper house rather than an apartment when we get married. Obviously things like location, neighbors etc. are important, but; what should we be looking ...
22
votes
13answers
19k views

What items in a house can potentially be damaged by shutting them off at the circuit breaker?

Are there certain items in a house (anything from a computer to a furnace) that can be damaged by shutting off its circuit at the electrical panel? If so, must one avoid turning off that circuit at ...
22
votes
8answers
6k views

How can I fill a wheelbarrow tire when the bead is gapped away from the rim?

I have this wheelbarrow with tubeless tire, I had to replace it with the new one, however I don't see how to pump it! The tire is quite stiff, and it was tricky to put it on the rim, but now it looks ...
22
votes
6answers
19k views

What benefit do plasterboard/drywall screws have?

I have some plasterboard screws like this: However, without a drill I have a job getting them into the wall. Am I safe to use normal screws on hangings that aren't going to be taking a great deal of ...
22
votes
12answers
199k views

What grit sandpaper should I use between coats of polyurethane?

I'm planning on applying polyurethane to a pine bench I've finished staining. I decided on foam brushes for application, but I wasn't sure what grit sandpaper I should use between coats. Is 400 good ...
22
votes
11answers
70k views

How can I fix a garbage disposal with crushed glass in it?

I have a garbage disposal that had a shot glass fall in. It got ground up. The disposal got jammed; I unjammed it and now it makes a glass grinding noise because of the shards inside. How do I clear ...
22
votes
5answers
70k views

How would I go about turning a tree in to a tabletop?

My father-in-law is about to cut down a large Ash tree (on the insistence of a neighbour). At the same time, we need a dining table, and quite like the idea of a simple wooden slab on legs. ...
22
votes
7answers
28k views

Ethernet cable instead of Thermostat wire?

I need to pull new wire from my furnace to my thermostat and was wondering if there would be any problems in using an Ethernet cable instead of standard thermostat wiring. The reason being is I have ...
22
votes
5answers
12k views

Is it OK that the frame of my house doesn't line up with the slab?

My new house is being framed. I saw that the frame extends 1-2" from the foundation: Click photograph for full size The builder told me it happens often and the city inspector will catch it if this ...
22
votes
3answers
14k views

Why are 2“x4”'s really 1.5“x3.5”?

Just curious as to the reasoning, is it a spec, or is it simply 'backwards compatibility'?
22
votes
3answers
6k views

Mounted tv too high, OK to use same studs to remount?

I mounted a tv (60") on my living room wall too high. The heavy-duty mounting bracket uses large screws that required that I drill a 7/32" hole into the studs and used a socket wrench to tighten them ...
22
votes
5answers
51k views

What is the proper way to run Category 6 underground?

I'd like to run some Category 6 cabling underground, for a distance of about 120 ft, between a main home and a 2nd unit, for ethernet connectivity between the two homes. I've run Category 5 indoors ...
22
votes
1answer
4k views

240v Outlet with 120v and 215v - How?

Ok this is a weird one and maybe I just don't understand how mains work (though I feel I have a good enough knowledge to stay safe and do basic breaker work & wiring). Buddy moved into a new shop ...
22
votes
4answers
28k 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-...
22
votes
2answers
5k views

Why exactly is WD-40 not a true lubricant?

According to this answer WD-40 is not a true lubricant. I don't get it - even Wikipedia says The long-term active ingredient is a non-volatile, viscous oil which remains on the surface, providing ...
22
votes
3answers
2k views

Replacing 2-prong outlets in basement - existing wiring has two hot wires, one neutral?

I'm replacing the two-pronged outlets in my basement with 3-pronged grounded outlets in the United States (Illinois). All the wiring is in metal conduit with metal conduit boxes, which are grounded ...
22
votes
3answers
8k views

Is my repair to this plug safe?

The red copper wire was burned so I took out the burnt part of the wire and reinserted all the wires by myself.
21
votes
6answers
14k views

Is it important not to scratch copper wire when removing insulation?

I use a small cutter made for max 14 gauge wires, but I'm bad at removing insulation, it takes me a bit of time to get it right, so I end up cutting and repeating, because I see scratches on copper ...
21
votes
20answers
11k views

What projects should never be DIY?

What are the most common DIY projects that you should not do yourself? What must be hired out? Edit: Just to be clear, what we're looking for here are the things that a regular homeowner might think ...
21
votes
6answers
8k views

How can I fix this gap between bookcases I made?

I just built two bookcases to line the wall of a room in my house and apparently didn't build them square enough so, when I put them next to each other, I get this giant gap. (I think the one on the ...
21
votes
11answers
16k views

How can I close a gap between my fence and my neighbor's that's on his side of the property line?

My heighbor erected a fence about 4" into his property. I recently erected my fence and put the post about 2" from the property line. I then extended the fence (boards only) to come as close to his ...
21
votes
7answers
4k views

Panel breakers are alternately 90 V and 140 V

Everything in the house is acting up. The fridge has melted ice, the radio is acting strange, etc. I multimetered the panel box and each breaker is either 90 V or 140 V alternately. I have a plan to ...
21
votes
10answers
16k views

My inflatable hot tub says “don't use with an extension cord”… but can I?

Sadly they don't explain WHY not to use it with an extension cord. I wonder if it's to do with the risk of having such connections outside in the elements? The cord it comes with is 7m long, and ...

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