Hot answers tagged

60

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 ...


47

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 expands and contracts as temperature and humidity change. It's a "feature" of wood that you cannot and will not be able to change. It's so critical, common and ...


29

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 ...


26

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 loosen it, then try prying it out with a spade or the hammer with a block under it.


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.


17

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 will be confined to the added pieces and will leave your existing railing unaffected.


16

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 to divert both rain and sun from the door without impeding access, and gives you shelter when opening the door in the weather. Awning, canopy, door shelter, ...


16

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 box to replace the old ones that supplied my above-ground pool. Fair warning: don't do this at your own pool because my installation was deficient in several ...


14

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 "catenary" . You can find math equations to calculate the sag depending on the material and tension.


14

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. They probably do not know exactly where the lines run onto your property, but they will tell you what to look for, and if that stake is one of theirs.


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.


13

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 get hold of the whole head with a pliers and unscrew it. It is hard to argue w Alaska Man (or you) re merits of replacing the whole box. But it seems like you ...


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 ...


12

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 bespoke "240v box post". Use a large radius bend between the horizontal underground run and the vertical, attach the vertical conduit to the post, and pour ...


12

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 really anything, you’re all set. Better yet, it's available in a standalone, sits-on-the-ground form factor (google "RV pedestal"). Also, be wary of ...


11

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) ...


11

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 by Hubbell this will replace your existing cover and it has switch plates and receptacle plates that snap in so your configuration is what you need. This is a ...


10

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 ...


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 ...


10

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 much water and it's exposed to, but the door will still get some water on it. Water is your enemy in wood because wood absorbs it like a sponge (go to a lumber ...


10

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 topsoil but not for fill. Your project is going to be less sensitive to settling. You should compact your fill well as you place it. It looks like you have ...


10

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 dyneema core which barely stretch. On the other hand this seems a bit excessive for hanging your clothes Pre-stretch your cord. Fit it somewhere and hang something ...


10

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 exposed. I'd put in a service call to my provider and request it be buried properly.


9

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 ...


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 a damp or ...


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.


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