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8 votes
Accepted

Bathroom ceiling light LED retrofit

The issue is thermal... and we're fighting two completely separate types of thermal wars. The war on fire: Incandescent bulbs don't care about heat, they love it, they love being oven lights. They ...
Harper - Reinstate Monica's user avatar
6 votes

Can I use an unused red conductor as ground for a switch?

Not unless you wrap the entire length in green electrical tape, or you wired the circuit with 4 AWG or larger conductors. National Electrical Code says that equipment grounding conductors can be bare, ...
Tester101's user avatar
  • 132k
6 votes

Best saw to notch a tricky floor joist

Before you get wrapped up in "notch", have you considered drilling a hole? A long(ish) bit, either auger or spade, will go a good long ways, which makes it easy to deal with tight spaces. ...
aghast's user avatar
  • 1,804
5 votes

What is the correct plywood/OSB orientation for building a seismic shear wall?

the wall is 13x8 and the boards are 4x8, the simplest way is to put the 8 dimesnion of the boards on the 8 dimension of the wall. As the boards need to be nailed all round the perimeter, if you lay ...
Jasen's user avatar
  • 21.5k
4 votes

Can I use an existing/abandoned "pipe" to run 12/2 & 14/2 to a garage

Run the individual conductors instead of the cable. The cable would have to be rated for wet location and would be very hard to pull because of the insulation and being solid wire. You can get the #12 ...
JACK's user avatar
  • 81.7k
4 votes

Can I ground a detached garage to adjacent soil instead of connecting back to the panel?

Not safe... might be grandfathered. NM type cable (Romex) isn't allowed outdoors, so if that's what it is, that's the end of the conversation. An old ungrounded subpanel feeder is "grandfathered ...
Harper - Reinstate Monica's user avatar
3 votes
Accepted

Do panel sheathing clips make a shear wall stronger?

Plywood shear clips are outdated and seldom used anymore. (Most designers can reduce the thickness of the sheathing and use T&G edges.) Plywood is structurally rated for roof and floor insulation. ...
Lee Sam's user avatar
  • 3,808
3 votes
Accepted

Two wall switches appear orphaned... What to do?

I would caution to not remove anything you do not know what it controls. House fans are common, an exhaust fan in the attic? I caution that trying to make resistance measurements is normally a waste ...
Ed Beal's user avatar
  • 103k
3 votes

Bathroom ceiling light LED retrofit

Yes - I would try the LED Flood light first which generate less heat than incandescent. This is less work than trying to convert the current can mounts to 4" round to mount the flat panels that are ...
Programmer66's user avatar
  • 2,742
3 votes
Accepted

Why do LED retrofit instructions say to leave the ballast in the fixture?

First, that fixture looks permanently hardwired. If so, you'll want to add a ballast disconnect. Code requires it, unless you argue that the fixture is now ballastless. But it's so darn convenient ...
Harper - Reinstate Monica's user avatar
3 votes
Accepted

What is the best way to drill anchor holes in a chimney?

You need to drill this from the inside, because that’s the critical location for the tie-back to be connected. Level and inline with the joist will be close enough by virtue of following the bottom of ...
Aloysius Defenestrate's user avatar
3 votes

Can I use an existing/abandoned "pipe" to run 12/2 & 14/2 to a garage

Depends what kind of pipe it is, and if it's entirely indoors. If it is bona-fide electrical conduit, then you can put junction boxes at each end and use individual wires in the pipe. Much easier ...
Harper - Reinstate Monica's user avatar
3 votes

Recessed retrofit light unable to fit into can with shallow depth

That product's documentation says 5 inch depth is required. Buy something else. Whether it uses the same style spring or some other trick doesn't matter, just read the specs carefully. Are these ...
jay613's user avatar
  • 38.9k
2 votes
Accepted

How can I add "smart" functionality to an old thermostat?

Devices exist which are basically heaters with timers, which can be mounted under a traditional thermostat to bias it toward turning the heat off sooner. By juggling the two settings, this can be made ...
keshlam's user avatar
  • 29.4k
2 votes
Accepted

Retrofit a ceiling light with RGB LED tape/lights?

The Tospo is a cheap Chinese ballast. To find ballasts, start with what bulbs will fit in the fixture (all the better if you have a bulb already). Then search for ballasts meant to drive that bulb (...
Harper - Reinstate Monica's user avatar
2 votes

Rafter above location for light, exterior light box choice

I'd use a saddle box instead Instead of trying to cobble together something out of two different boxes, raising issues of access to the upper box, I would use a saddle box that fits around the rafter ...
ThreePhaseEel's user avatar
2 votes

newly installed picture window bends under pressure

Each window manufacturer has an engineering department that can help you calculate the maximum size for your particular location. Each region in the U.S. has a wind load requirement. Based on that ...
Lee Sam's user avatar
  • 23.3k
2 votes

How to retrofit an impermeabilizant asphalt layer in a roof

I haven’t done hot tar since my dad passed so this is from 40 years back I might be forgetting. Today I would wear a tyvek suit as every job ruined a pair of pants. We used to use a weed burner and ...
Ed Beal's user avatar
  • 103k
2 votes
Accepted

SunTouch underfloor heater without floor sensor?

Because the radiant floor could get too hot while the external temperature sensor still indicates below required T. This could damage the element or part of the floor. The underfloor heating (water) I ...
Solar Mike's user avatar
  • 27.6k
2 votes
Accepted

What is the correct plywood/OSB orientation for building a seismic shear wall?

Are you trying to solve a specific problem with the structure? If so, you might indeed want to engage an engineer. If you are simply trying to add a little rigidity to your building, plywood is a ...
oldVermonter's user avatar
2 votes

Seismic Retrofit - How to decide between more L70 or less L90?

L70 and L90 are both L-shaped reinforcement plates. The number simply indicates their length in tenths of inches. An L70 is 7" long An L90 is 9" long That's it. They match up to common ...
Harper - Reinstate Monica's user avatar
2 votes

Prevent LED Recessed Lighting Trim from getting stuck - Springs vs. Friction

I've always used a scrap piece of solid copper wire with a hook bent on one end. Move the retrofit to one side of the can, insert the wire and hook on to the spring, pull the wire hook and lower the ...
JACK's user avatar
  • 81.7k
1 vote

Recessed 6 inch can lighting retrofit sag

When I've had that problem it was usually something in the ceiling obstructing things. Either the junction box or tension on one of the cables, extra insulation etc. They are tricky to remove but I ...
Bcemail's user avatar
  • 11
1 vote

Upgrade wall heater inside Cadet FWC can

Search "Cadet FW conversion kit". You should find options for you to install a modern Cadet core into your heater frame.
Harper - Reinstate Monica's user avatar
1 vote

SunTouch underfloor heater without floor sensor?

I run all of my radiant floor heating systems using ambient temperature. I own a radiant heating system - WarmlyYours - and in the last 20 years, I've done both floor and ambient. For me the benefit ...
Julia Billen's user avatar
1 vote

Can I use a *ground wire only* conduit for copper data cables?

Here is some info for you to digest… NEC (2017) 840.49 addresses metallic entrance conduit grounding for premises-powered broadband communication systems, including twisted pair: Metallic conduit ...
Bryan's user avatar
  • 51
1 vote

Retrofitting Rusted Deck Standoff

There are several versions of that type of bracket available. It is called a post base bracket. My local home improvement centers carry them. Here is one It is fastened to the concrete with nut and ...
Alaska Man's user avatar
  • 13.6k
1 vote
Accepted

Adding ventilation to an older outbuilding

You only need retrofit soffit vents if you want passive airflow. They will be a very good idea when you sheetrock the lid, but you don't need it yet. Is this for cooling or moisture control? ...
Valkor's user avatar
  • 698
1 vote

seismic upgrade - verifying foundation integrity

The issue with old building foundations is usually settling, which shows up as wall cracks. The underlying culprit is generally inadequate footings, if there are any. A solid foundation still cracks ...
Charles's user avatar
  • 480
1 vote

Reducing threaded rod to mount fixture cross bar

The thread sizes for these mounting fittings are specified in IPS, "Iron Pipe Straight." It's a hold over from when lights were mounted on repurposed gas lighting, which used the IPS sizing. Later ...
batsplatsterson's user avatar

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