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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
249k 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
122k 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
673k 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
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
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
6k 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
6answers
7k 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
12k 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
16k 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
5k 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
4answers
87k views

Do I really have to fasten interior-wall electrical wire to a stud to keep it from moving?

I am fresh out of cable staples and would rather not go all the way to Lowe's just to get a box. What are the implications of not fastening loose electrical wires to a stud? It's not like there's ...
22
votes
12answers
187k 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
5answers
69k 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
26k 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
12k 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
47k 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
26k 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 ...
21
votes
6answers
13k 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
12k 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
5answers
9k views

Make a hole deeper than the drill bit is long

The longest drill bit I have is 23.62 inches and apparently the thickness of the concrete I need to penetrate is 27.5 inches. I don't wish to buy another drill bit, is there a smart solution? The ...
21
votes
10answers
6k views

Turning a hard to access nut?

Working on the propane conversion of my gas stove. One of the orifices to be changed is in a very hard to access location - shown in the photo. The orifice is the "nut" I'm referring to, which you can ...
21
votes
8answers
16k views

Are standard light bulb bases being phased out?

Recently we've been shopping for light fixtures, and have noticed a dramatic increase in non-standard bulbs. CFLs in particular seem to be drifting away from the common threaded base, in favor of 2-...
21
votes
5answers
34k 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 ...
21
votes
20answers
186k 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 ...
21
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 ...
21
votes
4answers
6k views

How to get rid of CO₂ in a house with A/C in hot summer?

Recently, I've been measuring the CO₂ concentration during multiple nights and the levels in the bedroom where I sleep are very high and unhealthy (over 1600 ppm). I use an AirVisual monitor, which ...
21
votes
5answers
4k views

Central Vacuuming: Is it worth it, and how does it compare to normal vacuuming?

I am in the process of buying a brand new home in the US through a builder. The home will be approximately 3,000 sq ft and I was given the option of buying a central vacuuming system for the house. ...
21
votes
2answers
6k views

What is a tandem breaker (aka duplex, cheater, twin, double-stuff, etc.)?

I keep hearing about tandem breakers, and how they won't work with 240V loads and how they should never be used for a multi-wire branch circuit. Aside from those issues... What is a tandem breaker? ...
21
votes
3answers
7k views

Why don't I have ground wiring on any of my outlets?

My house in California was built in 1989 (I believe) And in the last 5 years I've replaced at least 20 outlets myself (successfully), and noticed there were never any ground wires to connect to the ...
21
votes
11answers
83k views

What is the proper way to install/paint baseboard?

I've installed some new baseboards, though I'm not really sure I have the right method down. Here's what I do: Paint baseboard Paint walls Cut and install baseboard (using brad nailer and/or liquid ...
21
votes
4answers
7k views

What is the use for this different threading near the head of a large screw?

I'm inquiring about the strange threading at the base of this screw: These were used in somewhat heavy-duty outdoor construction. What is the purpose of that corkscrew, and is it safe to replace it ...
21
votes
3answers
5k views

Repurpose telephone line to ethernet

I have a (UK) telephone socket in the same corner of each of the three floors in my house. My broadband router is connected to the socket on the bottom floor. The wiring looks like the following: ...
21
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
21
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the name of this part of drawers?

I was trying to describe a specific part of a set of drawers in another question, and cannot find the right name for it. A photo showing the same part. Notice not all drawers have these, or they may ...
21
votes
1answer
30k views

Are cracks in a newly poured concrete basement floor a problem?

I'm having a new home built and found a large crack in the newly poured concrete basement floor and wanted to see if it's something I should be concerned about. The floor was poured sometime in the ...
21
votes
5answers
61k views

Should I release the pressure out of an air compressor when it is not in use?

Just got a new compressor and I wondering if I should be releasing all of the pressure out of the unit when it is not in use? Or is it better to leave the pressure in so that the unit does not have ...
20
votes
7answers
3k 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 ...
20
votes
7answers
50k views

What's the best way to account for saw blade width (kerf) when cutting boards?

In theory, to cut a 350mm piece out of a longer board, I would have to mark the line at 350mm + half of blade width. So if I have a 2mm hand saw, the line would be drawn at 351mm. How does that work ...
20
votes
17answers
12k views

What is an affordable 2D drafting software for amateurs?

Background: We have about 1500 feet of unfinished basement that I am contemplating finishing off into a "grandma suite". Before getting serious about the project, however, I would like to play around ...
20
votes
5answers
4k views

Can a 40amp breaker be used safely and without issue with a 40amp device on 6AWG wire?

We are installing a Cooktop that calls for a 40amp circuit. I was given 6AWG wire (instead of the 8AWG wire I asked for) by mistake. The electrician saw the 6AWG wire (that I had already run) and used ...
20
votes
6answers
5k views

Does A/C encourage mold growth

I think i'm being sold bunk by a mold company, but not sure. We live in the tropics, we recently had our bathroom ceiling flood due to a burst pipe, and went away immediately after. (the landlord had ...

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