18 votes

What is this metal plug thing on my outside wall?

All-but-certainly connected to the usual over-pressure/over-temperature relief/safety valve common to boilers and water heaters. It appears to be configured to turn the boiling-hot water and/or steam ...
Ecnerwal's user avatar
  • 214k
11 votes

What is this exterior electrical box and how do I cover it properly?

Looks like a 4" square box with a mud-ring for a lighting fixture (thus the 2-3/4" spacing.) So if you chisel away the stucco at the corners there will be two more screws, and a normal 4&...
Ecnerwal's user avatar
  • 214k
9 votes

What is this exterior electrical box and how do I cover it properly?

If you're not interested in fiddling with stucco, you can buy 3" weatherproof covers (example) that should do the trick. Just be sure the cover says "weatherproof" on it. There are some ...
Machavity's user avatar
  • 24.7k
7 votes

Looking for advice repairing granite stair tiles

Jack gave a great answer and I've upvoted it, but I'd rather see you use a polyurethane construction adhesive, which is made for a job like this, instead of a silicone caulk. I've seen silicone caulk ...
MTA's user avatar
  • 11.3k
7 votes

Exterior outlet from interior main breaker

There are 4 options: GFCI with each receptacle - not recommended due to cost and especially not for outside receptacles. (But this is sometimes done in kitchens for ease of GFCI reset.) GFCI/breaker -...
manassehkatz-Moving 2 Codidact's user avatar
7 votes

What's this thing by my front door?

Mechanical doorbell/chime, at a guess. Operation might rotate, might be push-pull, probably missing parts in the house by now.
Ecnerwal's user avatar
  • 214k
6 votes

What's this thing by my front door?

Mechanical door bell. Clean it up and polish the brass, It looks decorative even if it does not work.
Traveler's user avatar
  • 17.3k
6 votes

What sort of work needs to be done on a house with rotting wood on the outside?

None of the above. You need to hire a company that specializes in siding. If you are going to replace with wood panels everything you have needs to be taken down. If you chose some sort of ...
DMoore's user avatar
  • 48.3k
6 votes

How can I change the placement of an exterior light?

Yes, you can do that. Two things to consider: Protection up to 8' Wires up to 8' must have physical protection. As I understand it, only certain types of conduit - e.g., PVC 80 (but not 40) and ...
manassehkatz-Moving 2 Codidact's user avatar
5 votes

Should I insulate water pipes in exterior walls?

Texas plumbing. It freezes, but y'all pretend it never does, making it an apocalypse when it does. I would suggest removing the fiberglass (in this stud space, anyway) entirely and installing either ...
Ecnerwal's user avatar
  • 214k
5 votes

Should I cover this exterior 120V wire?

Barring some sort of "ignorant idiot behavior" (we've seen it) that's very likely to be a low voltage junction (common method for landscape lighting without the hassles of 120V wiring ...
Ecnerwal's user avatar
  • 214k
5 votes

How do I repair this exterior window trim?

Scape the loose paint, coat with a product like XIM Peel Bond, which will lock down the surrounding area. It basically acts like a glue, for flaky paint. I have used this product extensively for this ...
matt.'s user avatar
  • 3,051
4 votes

What type of mortar should be used for small mortar repair on a 100 year old house?

Yes, historic buildings need mortar that matches the older brick strength; N (psi 750) and S (psi 1800) could eventually cause the bricks to crack. Type K (psi 75) is a bit too weak though. If you can ...
Liz's user avatar
  • 41
4 votes

What's the best way to protect rough exterior wooden structures?

The most durable coating for the frame you depicted is exterior latex paint (I prefer modern latex formulations to oil). If applied properly, it will outlast other exterior sealers by a good bit and ...
UnhandledExcepSean's user avatar
4 votes

Looking for advice repairing granite stair tiles

That would be one of the places I would use silicone caulk, a full bed of it after the excess roughness from the old bond is cleaned up. This should or could be done with a right angle grinder with a ...
Jack's user avatar
  • 35.1k
4 votes

Removing cable from home exterior

99.99% odds one of the cables you want to remove is feeding "internet to your router in the basement." You don't specify what feeds the router. If the coax is feeding your internet, you're ...
Ecnerwal's user avatar
  • 214k
4 votes

MC cable through exterior brick wall: how to attach to weatherproof box from rear?

When surface mounting a weatherproof box, I've always run rigid or EMT through the wall and terminated the armored cable on the inside wall in a junction box and then run individual cables from box to ...
JACK's user avatar
  • 80.5k
4 votes
Accepted

Exterior wall issue

A good handyman might be able & willing to take care of this. A general contractor would probably be overkill, but he might refer you to the carpentry crew he hires and they may be willing to take ...
FreeMan's user avatar
  • 47.3k
4 votes

Adding outlets in my shop

Assuming you have space in your panel for another breaker, sure. You'll either need a GFCI breaker, or GFCI protection some other way. I'd suggest either an internal outlet on the same circuit before ...
Ecnerwal's user avatar
  • 214k
4 votes

What is this exterior electrical box and how do I cover it properly?

That is the original junction box for the exterior light at that door. You can see that someone along the line has used an S.O. type cord to move the light to it's current location above the door. ...
Keith's user avatar
  • 1,065
4 votes
Accepted

What's the best way to run wire from my electrical panel to my stove in my kitchen?

Do NOT talk about "6/3" and "wire" in the same sentence. They are two very different things. Even limiting just to copper (aluminum is available but can complicate things): 6/3 ...
manassehkatz-Moving 2 Codidact's user avatar
4 votes
Accepted

How should I restore the finish on a fiberglass column?

Yes to primer, but probably not sanding unless it's an odd glossy finish that primer would have trouble adhering to. I really like acrylic paints for exterior use, and have had great use with them ...
Tiger Guy's user avatar
  • 1,902
3 votes

How can I seal fastener penetrations through fiber cement siding?

I don't love the idea of risking your siding and the structure beneath (due to water damage) for this. I'd build a freestanding structure instead. However, here's what Hardie has to say about the ...
isherwood's user avatar
  • 137k
3 votes
Accepted

Is it valid to use drill hole, threaded rod, and silicone for mounting?

The headless screws form "pins" that go into the caulked holes you drilled. This is a valid method. Just make sure you drill the holes square so the number sits straight. Edit, based on ...
Solar Mike's user avatar
  • 27.4k
3 votes

Why not spray bug repellent (DEET) on siding next to exterior lights?

Certified pesticide applicator here. Not legally. All herbicides and insecticides have a warning label that says "It is a violation of Federal law to use this product inconsistent with its ...
Harper - Reinstate Monica's user avatar
3 votes

Paint for a Doorway Threshold?

If you're OK with the smell and clean-up of alkyds (“oil”), stick with them for the topcoat. No latex will perform as well. In California-like states, they have an intentional loophole allowing alkyd ...
Harper - Reinstate Monica's user avatar
3 votes

Connecting 2 side by side downspouts at base

Have one down pipe longer than the other. The elbow on the short pipe will ride on top of the elbow of the long pipe. The pipes will be over/under instead of side by side.
crip659's user avatar
  • 24.3k
3 votes
Accepted

How can I cover this large square hole from a bad gas stove vent installation?

Technically a square hole was appropriate here, but then a steel wall thimble should've been used to keep adequate clearance to combustibles. Even insulated double-wall pipe shouldn't be in direct ...
isherwood's user avatar
  • 137k
3 votes

How to Prevent Lizards from Entering Screened-In Patio with Thin-Bolted Aluminum Door?

I've lived in Fla for almost 40 years. No matter what you do, no matter how you seal a door, they will run in when the door is opened. It's part of Florida, like sunshine and Disneyland. It won't go ...
RMDman's user avatar
  • 29.1k
3 votes

How to work with old 3.5" pancake box in stucco for exterior wall light?

I would use a mounting block (like they do for installing fixtures on siding and other uneven surfaces) The block will make the electrical box recessed so you can then mount the light fixture flush. ...
DJ.'s user avatar
  • 776

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