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31 votes

Is it safe to have a drain in the floor out to the septic tank with no trap?

There may be a trap but if no water was put in it won't stop the smells. Contractors sometimes forget to add water to floor drains. The water will also eventually evaporate from the trap if there is ...
George's user avatar
  • 411
27 votes
Accepted

What is the reason for electric heaters saying to never use an extension cord?

Well, you really nailed it. It's the fact that normal everyday garden variety extension cords are usually 16 AWG, or maybe 14 AWG if you're lucky. The reality is, an extension cord, properly sized for ...
DrSparks's user avatar
  • 1,813
27 votes

How can I restore power to a gas-fired water heater protected by a tripped GFCI outlet?

Disconnect the load wires from the GFCI. Turn the breaker back on and try to reset the GFCI. If it cannot be reset, the problem is in the GFCI. This is common for GFCIs mounted outdoors. You will need ...
pericynthion's user avatar
25 votes
Accepted

Is it safe to have a drain in the floor out to the septic tank with no trap?

NO NO NO. It's not safe. Your plumber was completely incompetent or negligent to do that. It definitely needs a trap. I would make him fix it.
George Anderson's user avatar
25 votes
Accepted

Does an electric heater lose efficiency if the elements are rusty/corroded?

A resistive electric heater is very good at doing one thing: turning electricity in to heat. In fact, that's basically all it can do. Corrosion in the heater might: Reduce the total heat output. If ...
KMJ's user avatar
  • 10.9k
23 votes

Is it safe to have a drain in the floor out to the septic tank with no trap?

A water heater drain should never drain to a septic tank. One purpose of the drain is to reduce or eliminate water damage to your home in case the tank leaks. However, if the tank develops a fast ...
Jeff Wheeler's user avatar
  • 3,382
21 votes
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Water heater exhausting inside house

What you've described is a very serious carbon monoxide hazard called chimney backdraft. You likely need to explicitly provide a fresh air intake so that chimney stack can work properly. That water ...
MonkeyZeus's user avatar
  • 16.5k
17 votes

What is the reason for electric heaters saying to never use an extension cord?

In addition to the already stated "shouldn't use a flimsy little 18 gauge extension cord", which would have a definite overheating problem, two specifics come to mind: Tripping Tripping ...
manassehkatz-Moving 2 Codidact's user avatar
17 votes

Baseboard heater not working despite measuring voltage

A basic electric baseboard heater is a giant toaster. You should be able to measure the resistance of the heater to determine if it is OK. Ohm's Law is your friend. Disconnect the heater from the ...
manassehkatz-Moving 2 Codidact's user avatar
13 votes

Does an electric heater lose efficiency if the elements are rusty/corroded?

While an electric heater is unable to turn electricity into anything else than heat at 100% rate, it is pretty much able to alter its efficiency in terms of heat distribution and thus to heat more ...
fraxinus's user avatar
  • 3,139
12 votes

Water heater exhausting inside house

Proper venting of a gas appliance should have nothing to do with the temperature indoors or out: the exhaust gas is hotter than either of those. It should naturally rise (draft) up the chimney (or &...
Greg Hill's user avatar
  • 30.1k
10 votes

How would I add indicator lights to a hot water heater to let me know when an element is out?

You're making this way harder than it is. AC electrical wires throw a considerable magnetic field in proportion to the current on the wire. And there's no particular need to detect the amount of ...
Harper - Reinstate Monica's user avatar
9 votes

What is the reason for electric heaters saying to never use an extension cord?

Lawyers, pure and simple. When you start a fire with an electric heater plugged into an exension cord, even if the extension cord is massively over-adequate and properly protected from damage, you ...
Ecnerwal's user avatar
  • 210k
8 votes

Is it dangerous to put expanding foam in home heater ducts?

Use a 10" duct cap to seal the disused duct opening correctly. Since you mention diameter, I've shown a round one. image source https://images.homedepot-static.com/productImages/0dd0da23-e656-...
Ecnerwal's user avatar
  • 210k
8 votes
Accepted

Will this thermostat work for my wiring?

That thermostat will not work. The terminal labels and type indicate small gauge low voltage wiring. You have line-level (high voltage) wiring. Look for a "line voltage" thermostat.
isherwood's user avatar
  • 135k
7 votes

Is 10/2 cable appropriate for a 240V, 30A garage heater outlet?

These heaters need what the UL-approved instructions say they need. However this heater is rated for a 20.8A draw. For heaters, we must provision 125% of that, or 26 amps. That is too much for a ...
Harper - Reinstate Monica's user avatar
7 votes
Accepted

Can I have an electric dryer, a washer, furnace, and gas water heater all in one laundry room?

Only issue I can see is where the makeup air comes from. The washer doesn't matter, but if the dryer, furnace, and water heater all turn on at the same time, they each need air input. Putting ...
user3757614's user avatar
  • 2,512
7 votes

What is the reason for electric heaters saying to never use an extension cord?

Quite simply, it's the law in most states as around 40 states have adopted the international fire code. The International Code Council (ICC) covers space heaters under the International Fire Code, ...
eps's user avatar
  • 161
7 votes

Can I use 16 amp rated smart thermostat on 30 amp circuit?

Is it ok and safe to wire in the Mysa thermostat? Or is this an absolute no no? It is an absolute no-no. Doing a bit more research it sounds like it’s ok to put a 16 amp device (any amperage really) ...
nobody's user avatar
  • 6,640
6 votes

No hot water at faucets after replacing water heater

Check all the supply valves to ensure they are open. It is not uncommon for old valves (particularly gate valves) to break whilst operating, leaving you with a low or no-flow situation (sometimes ...
Jimmy Fix-it's user avatar
  • 35.3k
6 votes

Is it safe to unplug my electric water heater daily to save energy?

I would suggest a timer like this. Additional start/stop pins can be added if you decide on adding a second on off time (or more) and you can always flip the over ride to the On position. This way ...
Ed Beal's user avatar
  • 103k
6 votes
Accepted

Multiple in-wall bathroom heaters on same circuit

No, every hardwired appliance does not need to be on its own circuit. But... Provision power for heaters with a 125% derate You need to study the unit's specs carefully, and note the amps or VA ...
Harper - Reinstate Monica's user avatar
6 votes
Accepted

Is this MWBC setup allowed?

I don't see any way to fix this without a new cable. 14 AWG is max. 15A total, 12A continuous. A 13A heater requires a 20A circuit, and you can't run that on 14 AWG. Need 12 AWG or larger. A proper ...
manassehkatz-Moving 2 Codidact's user avatar
6 votes

Is this MWBC setup allowed?

everything is AWG 14 15A is your absolute maximum on #14 for those loads. There is no way to use that with a 20A breaker. Does Canada require bathroom receptacle circuits to be 20A? The rest of ...
Harper - Reinstate Monica's user avatar
6 votes

How can I restore power to a gas-fired water heater protected by a tripped GFCI outlet?

Since you suspect moisture as the cause of the GFCI trip, use a hair dryer to evaporate the moisture in the GFCI box. After your hot shower, relocate the GFCI indoors.
Phil Freedenberg's user avatar
5 votes

Keeping washing machine lines warm in a cold garage

Heat tape will keep the hose from freezing (where it's attached) but there are other freezing risks... e.g. where are the pipes coming from? Do they go into the uninsulated wall? Also there is still ...
Hank's user avatar
  • 14k
5 votes

Keeping washing machine lines warm in a cold garage

Instead of a space heater, try some pipe heating cable. This is a simple electric resistance heater that is designed to be wrapped around pipes in order to prevent freezing. The good ones have a ...
Shimon Rura's user avatar
  • 8,212
5 votes

Water heater not staying hot more than 10mins

TL; DR: When the temperature is colder outside, your cold water is colder so you have to use more hot water for the same shower temperature. Facts: A shower head puts out 2.5 gallons per minute (GPM)...
JPhi1618's user avatar
  • 27.8k
5 votes
Accepted

Why would a patio heater slowly die out over time?

It sounds to me like a restriction at the regulator, not the control valve. You mentioned that the previous owner had done some work on it, make sure that he/she did not replace the regulator with one ...
Jimmy Fix-it's user avatar
  • 35.3k
5 votes

What is the third pipe leading to my water heater?

Here's my guess. The left pipe goes to the hot water faucet of a fixture with a common hot+cold spout. Since there is no hot water pressure at that faucet, when you open both faucets some of the cold ...
A. I. Breveleri's user avatar

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