Hot answers tagged

60 votes
Accepted

Metal spike with heavy metal cord found in front lawn

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 ...
  • 109k
52 votes
Accepted

Why does my shed door expand/shrink?

Welcome to the joys of working with a natural product! Before I address your construction techniques, I've got to say that is a quite handsome looking door you've made. Well done! Wood moves. It ...
  • 32.6k
26 votes
Accepted

What is this stake in my yard and can I remove it?

Looks like a run-of-the-mill landscape stake to me. They're used for securing plastic edging, fabric, etc. Could also be a tent peg. It's a horse apiece. I'd give it a few taps with a hammer to ...
  • 109k
21 votes
Accepted

Why not use a plastic receptacle box for an outdoor outlet?

The problems are not specific to an outdoor location. They are for any use. Top 10 reasons metal boxes are better than plastic boxes: Metal completes a circuit. So if a hot wire comes loose, it will ...
20 votes

Feasibility of using corn seed as a sandbox

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 ...
  • 201
19 votes

Hang 20lb projector screen on Hardieplank

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 ...
  • 13.3k
17 votes
Accepted

What is this cable hanging against the outer wall?

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 ...
  • 129k
17 votes

Why does my shed door expand/shrink?

In addition to the accepted answer, it would help to add some weather protection. A small rain shield or canopy will help divert weather from the upper part of the door. Essentially a small verandah ...
  • 7,668
17 votes
Accepted

Is this hinged collapsible clothesline design stable enough?

Suggested construction: This spreads the torsional load over the entire banister railing instead of stressing only the cap or top rail. If there's any bending at the hinge, or other distortion, it ...
16 votes
Accepted

How to cover old Red Dot outdoor outlet for constant use?

I think mark f has already answered your question well. I just wanted to add some photos from a similar project I did last year in case these are helpful to you. I installed a weatherproof cover and ...
  • 3,363
15 votes

What is this stake in my yard and can I remove it?

Most municipalities and counties maintain a central resource of buried utility line locations. Here in New England it's telephone 888-DIG-SAFE. In most of the U.S. you can start with telephone 811. ...
14 votes

What do you mount an outdoor electric box to when it's not near your house?

My 240v stuff is all nailed to a flammable box, which I live in. - A 4"x4" should be fine. Use any visually acceptable piece of painted wood, vinyl, or painted metal; you don't need a ...
14 votes

Clothesline sagging even though it was properly tightened

They always sag , even steel . The only difference is the amount . For steel cables you would need instruments to measure the few thousandths of an inch of sag. The shape of the sag is called a "...
  • 7,801
13 votes
Accepted

Is there a reason NOT to use a garden hose to hook up two faucets?

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 ...
  • 2,310
13 votes

What do you mount an outdoor electric box to when it's not near your house?

They make a special box for RV stands. It has that NEMA 14-50, an optional TT30 for travel trailers/small RVs, and most importantly a normal GFCI outlet. That way if someone shows up with a camper or ...
13 votes

Rusted screws in outdoor outlet box

Hacksaw? If you saw thru the rusty plate (twice, one for left slot and one for right) and remove it by pulling it out from under the screw, the remaining screw will be sticking up enough for you to ...
  • 6,103
12 votes
Accepted

HPS lamp goes on and off all night long

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 ...
12 votes
Accepted

Do I need to worry about rain water getting into the open ground socket?

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 ...
  • 62k
11 votes

Why is it good practice to remove sheathing from NM wire when going through conduit?

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 ...
  • 129k
11 votes
Accepted

My timber retaining wall is tipping over

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 ...
  • 23.9k
11 votes

How to cover old Red Dot outdoor outlet for constant use?

I would suggest an update to a extra duty double gang cover. Extra duty or “in use” covers are made to be used while something is plugged in. Taymac mx6200 is a cover that has 55 configurations made ...
  • 100k
10 votes

Why does my shed door expand/shrink?

Both answers are great, but I wanted to note that you really should be adding a water-proofing solution to the door on a regular basis. As Criggie noted, covering the door would naturally limit how ...
  • 21k
10 votes
Accepted

Does the quality of fill dirt matter?

If you were pouring a slab over this -- and required decades of stability -- you might need to worry about your fill. Organic matter and other debris that will break down over time is appropriate for ...
  • 3,363
10 votes

Clothesline sagging even though it was properly tightened

As has been pointed out by blacksmith37 every rope stretches and snags a bit. That said, there is some possible solutions to your problem Take a low stretch material. There is cordelettes with a ...
  • 201
10 votes

What is this cable popping out of my lawn?

It appears to be COAX cable and it's almost certainly your (or your neighbors) CATV (i.e. Cable TV) line. These are often placed near trees and they get pushed up as the tree grows. That one is very ...
  • 21k
9 votes
Accepted

What are best practices to run wires from outside in?

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 ...
  • 5,539
9 votes
Accepted

Run new electrical wiring in backyard from existing wall outlet

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....
  • 1,350
9 votes
Accepted

Low AWG in long outdoor run, but with GFCI protection

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 ...
9 votes

Mounting an outdoor electrical box to a lamp post

Misconception: You need a GFCI out in the weather to run your Christmas lights (or whatever.) More nuanced view from experience: You need GFCI protection for that outlet. You may already have GFCI ...
  • 146k
9 votes

Outdoor wiring - multiple GFCI and trips

Is it fine, better or worse to have all of these outlets protected by a single upstream GFCI? Definitely better inside. A GFCI contains sensitive electronics that will normally last much longer ...

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