Hot answers tagged

59

It's a grounding rod, probably 8 or 10 feet long, such as is required for any residential installation. They're usually proximal to the breaker panel or fuse box in the home or outbuilding. You may have encountered an obsolete one that's been disconnected. You'll need to trace the bare copper wire to be sure. You can drive it down below the surface if you ...


28

A diagram put out by the US Product Safety Comission shows that the left leg and left arm/hand are the most commonly parts of the body injured by chainsaws: (Source: OSHA Web site) If the dots on the diagram represent frequency of injury, protecting the left hand would help prevent a common source of injury. The State Compensation Insurance Fund website ...


20

So you want to spread a viable, sprouting, organic product several inches deep in a container exposed to the environment? Hope you like birds, 'cause every flying creature for kilometers will be coming by for lunch. Also hope you like small rodents, at least the seed-eating types. The local squirrels will love your place. Also hope you are in a rather ...


19

Mount a board on the wall and then mount the screen on the board. Get an 8 foot cedar or pressure treated 2x6, you can then use timber screws to mount it to the wall insuring you hit the studs. You will need to pre-drill both the 2x6 and the cement siding, the hole in the siding should be as big as the screw and the hole in the board should be just smaller ...


17

Looks like Landscape wire. It's low voltage cable (150 volts), so there's likely a transformer and/or control box at the other end. Though the previous owners may have taken all the landscape lighting (leaving the rolled up cable), and possibly the control module as well. So you might just find where the control module used to be.


13

I can think of one (perhaps minor) reason. Most hoses aren't designed to be pressurized all the time. And when they do fail, they split and flow at full rate. I flooded my neighbor's yard and gave myself a steep water bill for the month in this way a few years ago.


12

It looks like you've ruined it. The stranded wires (such as the black one visible in the picture) are usually permanently attached to the lamp (Inside those cloth tubes). The solid wires are your household wiring. Normally you'd attach the stranded black to the solid black with a wire nut, and the same with the whites. Then attach the bare copper ground (...


12

This looks suspiciously like the documented cycling behavior of a HPS lamp that is near its end of life. The HPS lamp is similar to a fluorescent, but instead of using a surface-coated phosphor to convert the UV to visible light, it uses sodium mixed in with the mercury. As a result, the lamp has an internal discharge that is struck upon starting and gives ...


12

You would do well to pull some slack to that extension cord and arrange the plugs so that they at least face down. It is not just the GND terminal of the extension cord that is of concern. You also have the open prong holes on the stackable Christmas tree light string that is facing up. Water that gets into the electrical plug contacts raises the most ...


10

Apply heat. A heat gun simultaneously softens paint and temporarily causes the metal in the screw to expand slightly. Once the paint starts to bubble and drip, your screwdriver should have no problem getting properly slotted. Start with a minute or two of heating on the low setting and test with a screwdriver. If that doesn't work, try again with higher ...


10

It's quite hard to tell how big this wall is but you stated it's 3-4' tall. It looks like it was built simply as a vertical wall. There's nothing you can do about it. It was inevitably going to tip over. So yes, you do have to dig it out. If you want to replace it with timber, you need to add something called deadmen to it. A deadman is a timber that runs ...


9

You can probably get away with a weather proof box on top of the siding, but here's the full procedure to make it look nice. Vinyl siding can be pulled off and later reattached. To remove it, you need a siding removal tool that has a flat blade with a small hook on the end. You shove it up the gap between two pieces of siding and then pull to separate them. ...


9

If National Electrical Code applies, here's what it has to say... National Electrical Code 2011 Article 404 Switches 404.4 Damp or Wet Locations. A surface-mounted switch or circuit breaker in a damp or wet location shall be enclosed in a weatherproof enclosure or cabinet that shall comply with 312.2. A flush-mounted switch or circuit breaker in ...


9

There is a widespread belief that the NEC does not allow NM-cable in conduit, but does allow THHN (the individual wires). This belief is incorrect. However, it is for some reason lesser-known that NM-cable cannot be used in outdoor conduit at all, stripped or otherwise. So, the answer to your question is: stripping is a common but misguided (unnecessary) ...


9

You can run type NM cable in conduit, as long as the conduit is sized appropriately, and is not in a wet or damp location. If you remove the sheath from the conductors inside NM cable, you cannot use the conductors for anything (anything electrical anyway). Type NM cable is rated, listed, and labeled as a cable assembly. The conductors inside are not ...


9

If you don't use conduit outside, make sure you leave drip loops - where the wire runs down lower than the hole and is screwed in there, then back up to the hole. You should see this on cable tv and telephone cables as well. It prevents water from running along the surface of the cables right into the hole. Make sure you use outdoor rated cables. Make ...


9

I would suggest the use of a weatherproof (WR) box extender. One of which could be installed over the existing box giving you sides on to which to connect the PVC conduit. The following is an example. No endorsement of specific products is implied.


9

Voltage drop is additive or you might say cumulative. If you use a heavy wire for the long portion, and small wire for the short sections, you'd prevent most of the voltage drop. Your concern about your electronics may be unfounded; most of your electronics will run off a power supply that handles a wide range of voltages, and voltage drop will be no ...


8

Brass Hose Cap (~$1.50 @ Home Depot and Lowes). You may also be able to find some with tethers (for those of us that constantly lose things like this) .


8

yes it stops the water from pooling at the base of the wall and seeping into the foundation if you can ensure all water goes into the drain there will be no danger though


8

Unless you have a kiln to dry wood in, drying wood in a standard environment takes a really long time (if you buy firewood, usually you want ~2yr old wood!). I don't know that leaving it out for a couple weeks would dry it if it were so saturated that there is visible water coming out of it. It is recommended to let wood used for hardwoods sit a couple ...


8

The style of finish with several narrow vertical boards placed on broader surfaces is called board and batten. The battens are used to hides seams of the broader sections, and in more primitive construction, to fill cracks, block air, and improve insulation. The battens are not meant to be structural, but when nailed, screwed, or glued into place, add some ...


8

Is the controller in jeapordy of having any dangerous meltdowns or will the lights just run a little dimmer? Yes. By yes I mean without knowing exactly how the controller is built it is hard to say. It is likely a mechanical relay or a solid state relay switching the lights on and off. In that case, there is no limiting the power drawn, and the higher ...


8

With rigid or intermediate metal conduit ($$) you can follow code without going very deep - 6" under dirt, 4" under a concrete cover of at least 4" thickness extending at least 6" to either side. Unless you want a concrete path through your garden along the route of the conduit, that's not likely what you want. Rigid and intermediate metal are tough enough ...


7

The vinyl-siding manufacturers make special attachments for mounting receptacle boxes, with trim rings to seal against the siding. The attachments are the same or similar to what is used for railings and faucets: For small fixtures, it is also possible to just cut a hole for it in the regular siding (and presumably seal with silicone), as shown in the ...


7

Get some lock deicer/lubricant. It's sold specifically for this and contains graphite and methanol. Shake well before applying. The methanol removes water and oil from the lock mechanism and leaves behind graphite well flooded through every nook and cranny in the device. You use graphite because it's a dry lubricant and unlike oil, it doesn't attract dirt or ...


7

No. Chainsaw chaps and a hardhat (and ear and eye protection) make sense when using a chainsaw. Your hands are generally on the saw, even when things go wrong. The hardhat and chaps (leg protection) protect the areas that are most often involved in the saw cutting the operator. Given what I know about how chainsaw chaps work, I doubt any gloves you could ...


7

I've dealt with this issue by using chains (although, not outdoors, and it was a more permanent installation, so I didn't have to keep hanging & removing it). Basically, you attach brackets at the studs as high as you can, and attach chains to them. You then attach the screen to the end of the chains. You want the brackets to be as high up as possible,...


6

The purpose of the extension on a frost free faucet is to get the valve itself in a heated space inside of your home so that it could never freeze (see the below diagram). If you only have an inch or so of insulation that's being penetrated by these plumbing pipes, it's likely that the valve would still reach the freezing point inside of your wall. So any ...


6

Your UF cable can be easily spliced to either add in a new piece of cable or to rejoin a break in an existing cable. The splice kits are typically specified for copper wire only and consist of some set screw cylinders that join the wire ends and then some heat shrink tubing that has a very sticky adhesive inside. The splices can be buried and it may be ...


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