2d
comment Can i use step-up transformer to transform 110v to 220v for my window AC?
@wallyk - that's a distinction without a difference, since people in the USA colloquially refer to their home mains voltage as 110 or 120, and it's not really relevant to his question where the current draw is going to be the bigger factor.
Jun
28
comment Light works half the time
@robert moody - based on the photo, I think he meant the light socket, not just a loose wire
Jun
20
comment Flooring durable for German shepherd
It's not refinishable, but it's trivially replaced when it needs it - the cost to install the entire floor cost about what it cost to refinish a similarly sized hardwood floor in my old house. 5 years in on my laminate floors and they are as good as new, though I had some movers drop a bookshelf and ding one of them, took a floor guy about 20 minutes to replace the bad board with one of the spares I had in the garage.
Jun
14
comment What should I be aware of in buying second-hand sinks and toilets?
@davidbak - you can find a good low-flow toilet, but you need to pay a little more... I have a nice Toto (Drake?) 1.6gpf toilet that flushes better than the 30 year old toilet it replaced.
Jun
13
comment Would a bit of grease on overhead door cables or bearings cause the springs to break?
I seriously doubt that a little grease was a factor, but what difference does it make who or what is at fault It doesn't matter this time since the spring has already failed, but if the grease on the rollers did somehow contribute to the failure, that's good to know after the springs are replaced. And if a garage door repair company is giving incorrect information about why it failed, that's probably a good reason to find a different repair company. Even the rollers were completely jammed with grease, I don't see how they could have made the spring fail.
Jun
13
comment What should I be aware of in buying second-hand sinks and toilets?
@isherwood - putting 3 gallon jugs into an old 5 gpf flush toilet doesn't turn it into a 2 gpf toilet. It may only use 2 gallons, but it's not going to flush well.
Jun
6
comment Getting UPS Power from One Room to Another
@staticGenerator - Have you tested the UPS on the generator? UPS's and small generators often don't work well together. If you've got a 20KVA whole house generator that'll probably work fine, but a small 5KVA "contractor special" generator may not provide a stable enough source for the UPS and it'll keep tripping over to battery. Even small inverter generators tend not to work well (I haven't had much luck with anything smaller than a 6500W inverter generator). Ironically, the auto-ranging power supplies found on most computers is more tolerant and can work even when the UPS doesn't.
Jun
5
comment Are there timers to limit the hours a shower can be used?
I'd be worried about any solution that turned off hot and cold water separately -- if the cold water solenoid failed for any reason, then the shower would only be producing hot water, which could be a safety hazard.
Jun
5
answered Flooring durable for German shepherd
Apr
18
awarded  Yearling
Mar
30
comment Can I run my washing machine drain line into a condensate pump so it drains better?
Have you considered just replacing the pump motor when it burns out? The motor for this washer costs $65 (half that for an aftermarket brand). I don't know how hard it is to replace (it was only an hour's work when I replaced my Kenmore's motor) but it may be the easiest/cheapest option.
Mar
17
comment Clarifying separation of ethernet cables from cables running power (underground)
You can get 2-wire copper extenders, but if you have to use media converters anyway, but they tend to be slower and more expensive than fiber converters, and with fiber you eliminate the chance of electrical interference.
Mar
17
comment Clarifying separation of ethernet cables from cables running power (underground)
The distance limitation for ethernet over CAT-5/6 is 100m (328 ft - you may be able to stretch it a bit longer, but not not 500 ft) so I think this is going to be a bigger limitation than running near power. Fiber to ethernet media converters aren't that expensive and you can easily find pre-terminated fiber in up to 1000 ft lengths, so I'd just run fiber for the network and then you don't need to worry about distance or interference. Especially since you're running power so you can power the media converter on the remote end,.
Mar
12
comment Circuit board fuse for the air handler
If it's a blade fuse like the ones below, there's a color code for each fuse rating just in case the rating is not visible.
Mar
11
comment Unwire a light switch
This doesn't answer your question, but if you just want to keep the switch from being inadvertently turned off, you could keep the switch as-is,but add a light switch guard to keep it from being switched accidentally (it's open on the side so you can switch it if you really want to)
Feb
13
comment Why won't my furnace complete the startup sequence when powered by a portable generator?
My guess would be "dirty power", in a former job I had to run some computers (and some office lighting) off a generator. A cheap "contractor special" 8000W generator didn't work, the computers would barely start booting before they'd trip off and start over again. Two generators that did work were a Honda 6500W inverter generator, and a 20KVA trailer mounted diesel generator.
Feb
13
comment Control individual bulbs in a 6-can dimmer series
A couple years ago, I would have agreed that an Insteon in line dimmer was the easiest solution, but today, I'd stick with the smart bulbs he has (or maybe replacing them with a name-brand like Philips Hue if he has off-brand bulbs). All he has to do is replace his dimmer switch with a regular on-off switch if the bulbs don't like the power quality from his dimmer.
Feb
13
comment LED bulbs in my old house are dying prematurely
What kind of fixture are they in? Enclosed fixtures (especially where the lamp base is facing up) can shorten the life of LED's - LED's don't tolerate heat well. Sometimes even a base-up LED in a non-enclosed fixture can be affected.
Feb
12
comment Portable indoor heater for emergency
That manufacturer sells both "direct vent" and "unvented" appliances -- look at the instruction manual for the "direct vent" appliances and you'll see the venting requirements. Unvented appliances can be safe as long as they are working properly - the byproduct of a perfectly adjusted natural gas burner is CO2 and water but if it's not perfectly adjusted, the byproducts include CO- carbon monoxide. Since they vent combustion products directly into your home,you're relying on it to always be adjusted perfectly, if a gas log shifts and disrupts the flame, you may be filling your home with CO.
Feb
12
comment Portable indoor heater for emergency
@Tyson - direct vent fireplaces are fine, they bring in outside air for combustion and vent combustion products outside -- my problem is with unvented products where combustion gases are released into the home -- you have to have a lot of faith that the system is adjusted perfectly if you're going to use it to heat your home.