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19
votes
6answers
23k views

Can I safely use a 9w LED bulb in place of a 40w incandescent?

I bought a reading lamp that on the box says: Max 1x40W The shop also sold me an LED light bulb that says: 9W=75W So my question is, can I use light bulb or not? I am confused between the 75W and the ...
19
votes
6answers
9k views

How do I mount this towel rack that was ripped off the wall?

Hi one of my tenants sent me a pictures of my broken towel rack. What would be the most cost effective fix?
19
votes
4answers
37k views

Safe/professional way to transport lumber with just a roof rack

I'm doing some home improvement, and have the necessary skills, tools, etc, for the job. There is one thing I'm lacking: a large pickup truck for transporting lumber. A buddy of mine used to have one, ...
19
votes
8answers
73k views

What's the best/easiest way to paint edges?

Been doing a lot of interior painting lately and I always find the edges — by the ceiling, windows, baseboards, etc. — the most tedious. What's the best way to paint the edges — old ...
19
votes
8answers
52k views

Does a homeowner need a permit for electrical work in Massachusetts?

Does a homeowner need to obtain a permit from the town in order to do electrical work on his own house in Massachusetts? The unofficial answers I can find online (e.g., this forum and the websites of ...
19
votes
6answers
6k views

How do I remove these Ikea screws? (studs inside holes)

I bought and assembled an Ikea sofa bed (asssembly instructions here). I'm moving soon and want to take apart the couch to make it easier to lift. Some of the screws needed for the assembly come in 2 ...
19
votes
6answers
59k views

How do I stop the dripping noise from my gutters?

It has just recently started raining where I live, and I am new to this house. When the rain ceases and the water is dripping from the gutters through the drain, I can hear the dripping from inside ...
19
votes
4answers
2k views

Nicely mounting 2x4s to wall

I would like to make some bookshelves similar to what is seen here: My question is how to nicely mount these to the wall. Obviously I could simply angle some screws into the wall studs, however I ...
19
votes
3answers
4k views

New home with gaps in stairs

The stairs in our home being built (production builder) is concerning. The gaps in risers and treads doesn't seem right. When seeing all other homes in same neighborhood under construction they do not ...
19
votes
3answers
4k views

What is this bug and should I be concerned?

I see these guys crawling around. What are they and are they here to destroy my house and cost me money and waste my time?
19
votes
2answers
3k views

Can you identify this receptacle?

I was walking through a house during the middle of construction and came across what appears to be a recpticle attached to a pvc pipe that seems to pass a low voltage wire. Also connected to the ...
19
votes
8answers
88k views

What happens if I use vegetable oil instead of machine oil or grease?

It's kind of tempting to use vegetable oil for lubricating door hinges and other similar basic mechanisms around the house - vegetable oil is readily available in almost any household. However I ...
19
votes
3answers
16k views

What is the right way to connect 7 conductors in an electrical box?

What is the "right" way to join 7 different wires in a single electrical box? Here's the situation. I opened up a four-gang light switch. There were four switches controlling five lights. As ...
19
votes
3answers
239k views

How do I refill a fire extinguisher or should I just buy a new one?

My fire extinguisher is out of charge and I want to either refill it or buy a new one. Is it better/cheaper to refill it or just buy a new one? (Can I even refill this fire extinguisher?) EDIT:
19
votes
5answers
11k views

What is the best order for interior painting (walls, trim, windows, etc.)?

I'm repainting a room. I'm removing wallpaper from the walls, and stripping paint from trim around doors, windows and baseboards. There's no crown moulding. I might repaint the ceiling, not sure yet. ...
19
votes
7answers
27k views

What are some cost-effective tips for reducing external sound from entering a room?

I have a small office room that shares a wall with our living room. When we have guests over, their voices travel fairly well; they sound somewhat muffled but are still audible. As I work from home ...
19
votes
4answers
35k views

Do USB sockets draw power when not in use?

I would like to replace a couple of electrical outlets in my house with ones that have USB sockets. My concern is that they will continually draw power, even when I don't have a phone plugged in to ...
19
votes
3answers
23k views

Is running ethernet cable through an air return allowed under US code?

I'm looking to wire up the second floor of my house and the cold air return provides a convenient, straight run from the office to the utility room. Is it safe and within code to run ethernet cable in ...
19
votes
6answers
3k views

Is all copper pipe pretty much the same?

Is there different levels of quality in copper plumbing pipe? I see copper pipe at Home Depot and I assume plumbing supply stores sell it too. Does pretty much everybody sell the same quality of ...
19
votes
7answers
14k views

Is there a lifetime failure count for a breaker?

I have an external cutoff for my air conditioner that has two physical fuses (TR-50's, time delay 50 amps) outside. This is between the condenser unit and the main power panel, where it is protected ...
19
votes
1answer
3k views

How do I remove this fastener under my bathroom faucet

What the heck is this brass fastener and how do I remove it? It seems to be holding down my bathroom faucet which I'm trying to replace. All I can think is that center "hinge" maybe unscrews somehow?...
19
votes
3answers
188k views

Do I really need a special bulb in the oven?

My oven light burnt out recently. After dismantling it I found a 40W 130V "appliance" bulb with a standard Edison connector. The bulb is slightly smaller than a normal incandescent bulb. Looking for ...
19
votes
4answers
5k views

How can I get a wire that is outside a wall to be inside a wall

I recently removed an abominable drop ceiling from my dining room and found this close to the ceiling on the one side of the room. There is definitely a stud between these two holes. On the other ...
19
votes
1answer
3k views

What is this balloon with “eyes” printed on it, hanging from the eave on this house?

I have seen this, or something very similar on various houses in the city I live in. It is rare enough to be remarkable, but common enough to make me think it is a "thing". Any ideas?
19
votes
1answer
4k views

Is it OK to create a third prong ground from a cold water pipe, for a 2-wire circuit?

When or is it NEC code compliant to upgrade a 2-wire circuit, by adding a third prong equipment ground from a nearby cold water pipe? A different case of borrowing a ground from a nearby circuit is ...
19
votes
7answers
17k views

How do I remove wallpaper from drywall?

I know there are a lot of different ways to remove wallpaper, ranging from elbow grease to chemicals and steam machines. What way(s) work(s) best?
19
votes
4answers
18k views

Are there any cordless power tool systems that offer a corded option?

Are there any cordless powertool systems (e.g., drills, drivers) that have a corded battery option (i.e., an adapter that fits where the battery would normally go that can be plugged in)? I've used ...
19
votes
3answers
1k views

Is it permissible to have exposed mains conductors in holiday lights?

I've just had a holiday lights company install some outside tree lights, and I found they had done it so that at several places the prongs of mains cable plugs had been left exposed, and carrying ...
19
votes
1answer
152k views

How do you trigger the HVAC with wiring only?

I have a HVAC that has the usually wiring C R G W Y Pinouts What wires do I need to connect to turn on Heating? What wires do I need to connect to turn on the A/C? Is there a risk of damaging any ...
19
votes
5answers
263k 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?
19
votes
7answers
54k views

What can I do to keep my shed (or house) free of spiders?

I've got an old shed at the end of my garden, this summer I gave it a complete cleanout, but within a few weeks it was back to its cobweb infested state. Being quite an arachnaphobe, it makes getting ...
19
votes
5answers
66k views

Should I cover my air conditioner for winter?

Should I cover my air conditioner for winter? It's difficult to find an appropriate cover, but finding a cover for an evaporation cooler is easy (and because they allow for air flow from the outdoors, ...
19
votes
4answers
98k views

What is the proper, safe, and effective way to apply diatomaceous earth?

We are looking at using diatomaceous earth against bed bugs. However, we're having trouble finding any reliable information on how to use it properly. Our questions are: how should it be applied? ...
19
votes
4answers
1k views

What are some scalable, affordable home automation options?

I've been looking to set up a home automation system in my house for a while now, but I'm having trouble committing to any one starting point. I'd like to set up an initial system that controls maybe ...
19
votes
1answer
6k views

How to add on to a concrete patio?

I would like to add on to my existing concrete patio with more concrete. I will about double the size of the patio. My question is, should I have the new patio free floating from the existing or ...
19
votes
2answers
1k views

1lb of cure is worth 10 tons of mold: DIY repair of a poorly sealed window? lots of photos herein

Preface I live in China. Construction is largely handled by unskilled migrants, and one cannot just call up a specialist contractor to fix a major issue. Problem I've got a window that was not ...
18
votes
7answers
7k views

Alarms on Doors that have Access to a Pool

I am finishing up renovating my pool and I changed the configuration of the barrier fence I previously had. I now use my house itself as the 4th side to keep the pool deck open (since our kids are ...
18
votes
2answers
6k views

Half my house losing power, HVAC the key factor

For the past couple of weeks I have been losing power occasionally to half my house. My central AC goes out, half my kitchen, living room and my kids' rooms. There are no tripped breakers though. I ...
18
votes
9answers
1k views

What basic safety equipment should everyone have?

When doing DIY what safety kit should everyone have (and use)?
18
votes
4answers
10k views

Why is my table saw blade burning oak boards as I make rip cuts?

Bought a new saw blade, most expensive one I've seen and it still burns the wood and takes some pushing to get through. I am ripping 1 3/4 thick oak with the grain. Blade is Orange Chrome Heavy Duty ...
18
votes
16answers
44k views

Is fiberglass mesh tape a good choice for drywall?

I'm going to be doing some drywalling shortly and was wondering what experiences other have had with the self adhesive fiberglass mesh tape. Is it a good choice or am I going to regret using it?
18
votes
7answers
21k views

What is the right way to strip power wires?

I've been working with electrical circuits as a DIYer for years, including electronics and powerline work. But one thing I always feel like I do a terrible job at is stripping wires: both the outside ...
18
votes
7answers
5k views

How do I safely replace a worn out electrical outlet?

I have a number of outlets that are old and worn out (plugs fall out of them mainly.) Obviously I need to turn off the breaker to replace them safely. Any guidance on how to rewire them, how to ...
18
votes
2answers
7k views

What danger/code violation is oversized breakers?

I just got the results of a home inspection where they claim there is mismatched breakers and wires in my electrical panel. Specifically, the range (40A breaker) and heat pump (50A). He claims the ...
18
votes
7answers
4k views

How to cut a rectangle out of a STEEL ruler?

Does anyone know how to cut a hollow rectangle out of a steel ruler? By that I mean cutting a small part out of the standard steel ruler while having the outside part still in tact. So a band saw is ...
18
votes
3answers
21k views

How do I feed an ethernet cable through a doorway without damaging the door or wall?

My wife and I recently moved into a new apartment. We've had it for just a few days. When our internet company came to hook up our landline, I had them hook it into one of our bedrooms and set up ...
18
votes
9answers
8k views

Can I cause damage to electrical appliances by unplugging them when they are turned on?

I don't mean damage caused to the socket and prongs, but only to the appliance itself.
18
votes
4answers
5k views

Is this saw blade faulty?

This may be the stupidest DIY question ever, but I want to make sure before I return it: is this non-ferrous metals saw blade faulty? In the picture, see where one of the titanium carbide teeth seems ...
18
votes
13answers
295k views

What direction should laminate flooring be placed in?

I'm thinking of installing laminate flooring and have a question: If I'm installing laminate throughout the house, should ALL of it be going in the same direction? Say for example, let's say I have ...
18
votes
2answers
9k views

What is this welding tool I found in my attic?

I believe this is used with welders because i found it inside a welding helmet.... Could somebody tell me what this is exactly?

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