longneck
  • Member for 11 years, 4 months
  • Last seen this week
  • Tampa, FL
8 answers
23 votes
11k views
Why aren’t there water shutoff valves for each room?
32 votes

This is a result of building as efficiently (cheaply) as possible, and there is almost no need for room valves. First, efficiency: Valves are more expensive than pipe. Extra valves means more labor ...

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5 answers
16 votes
69k views
Does voltage play any role in choosing the appropriate wire gauge?
30 votes

The simple answer is you use the wire that your local code and the device manufacturer specifies for the situation. But I think you are asking about how wire sizes are chosen for a particular ...

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8 answers
26 votes
10k views
Is twisted and taped splice on cable, objectively any less stable than wire-nuts or terminal blocks?
29 votes

Splice connectors such as US-style wirenuts and UK style terminal blocks are demonstrably better in nearly every way to the twist-and-tape method you describe. Wirenuts and terminal blocks are more ...

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7 answers
18 votes
5k views
How to cut a rectangle out of a STEEL ruler?
Accepted answer
27 votes

Drill a round hole, and then square the sides with a file. You might also get lucky by calling metal working shops in the area. If they have a punch of the right size, it would take only seconds for ...

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2 answers
8 votes
65k views
Outdoor electrical outlet exposed to the rain
Accepted answer
24 votes

Yes, there is a risk. Even a properly installed and protected electrical system can fail to protect you, either because of unforeseen situations or component failure. There are two types of flaps. ...

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3 answers
11 votes
4k views
Safe way to remove paint from ground wire?
Accepted answer
20 votes

Just some sand paper will be fine. You don't want to use a chemical stripper as it may interact poorly with the copper.

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5 answers
17 votes
3k views
What does "can't mix neutrals" mean, and how would neutrals get mixed?
18 votes

Mixed neutrals are when the neutral wires on two different circuits are tied together somewhere. For example, a bedroom can have outlets on one circuit, and ceiling lights on a different circuit. The ...

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2 answers
8 votes
2k views
How to unjam garbage disposal
Accepted answer
16 votes

disposals usually come with a small hex wrench that fits in to the bottom of disposal. This lets you move the shaft of the motor back and forth to loosen up whatever it stopping it. If you can't find ...

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9 answers
12 votes
402k views
Why doesn't my garage door close unless I am holding down the button?
15 votes

The garage door will automatically reverse if it encounters too much resistance or if the sensor beam is interrupted. To check for resistance, start with the door closed and pull the red handle. Then ...

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1 answers
7 votes
21k views
What is a split bus panel, and how do I recognize it in the field?
14 votes

Imagine a 2-phase sub-panel: 2 bus bars down the middle, 2 lugs at the top to connecting the incoming power from the main panel. (No main breaker here because this is a sub-panel; the disconnect ...

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1 answers
4 votes
4k views
Electric Meter Runs Backwards
12 votes

Put the meter in upside down. If that works, then you can reverse the wiring or live with an upside down meter. Also, since the meter is just for your own use, running backwards is fine. The math is ...

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2 answers
5 votes
33k views
Replacing 240V outlet with 120V
Accepted answer
12 votes

First you need to figure out the parts you need. Turn the power to the circuit off and remove the outlet. You need to figure out the gauge of the existing wiring. Since it is a 30 amp circuit, the ...

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4 answers
4 votes
63k views
One GFCI outlet to protect them all
Accepted answer
12 votes

If you can locate the outlet at the head of the chain, then you only need to replace that outlet. Just make sure the the incoming power is connected the the LINE terminals and the downstream outlets ...

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1 answers
6 votes
5k views
What is the primary function of the main breaker in a breaker box? How does it differ from other breakers?
Accepted answer
12 votes

The main breaker is sized to trip before the total current draw of the panel exceeds either a) the current carrying capacity of the feed from the electric company, or b) the current carrying capacity ...

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2 answers
8 votes
69k views
Insufficient voltage to dryer receptacle; what next?
Accepted answer
12 votes

a broken wire or loose connection can pass voltage but as the current draw goes up, the voltage goes down. depending on the quality of the break, the voltage at no current draw (such as with a ...

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3 answers
5 votes
7k views
How can I properly remove (not cover) an unused receptacle?
Accepted answer
11 votes

To properly remove a receptacle that you don't want a box cover on, you would need to remove the wire. Since you're renovating that area in to a shower, you are probably removing the drywall, so ...

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2 answers
2 votes
2k views
Ist it possible to fix aluminum tubing in a freezer?
Accepted answer
11 votes

You've already let out the magic smoke (refrigerant). It's not enough to just fix the tubing, you have to replace the refrigerant. This isn't something you can do yourself. You'll have to call a ...

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3 answers
14 votes
37k views
What are the differences between these two receptacles?
11 votes

There are two main differences between the outlets shown. First is the left one is a 20 amp outlet and accepts both 15 and 20 amp plugs. You can tell because the left prong is T shaped. The right ...

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2 answers
4 votes
39k views
Persistent sewage smell coming from basement drain
Accepted answer
11 votes

You are correct that floor drains do need to be monitored and occasionally the trap refilled with water. So the first thing to check is that your floor drain actually has a trap. The way to do that ...

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1 answers
6 votes
525 views
Is it okay two breakers are controlling the same outlets and appliances?
11 votes

Probably. Here's a diagram of how a main panel and a subpanel are usually wired together: In this diagram: The main panel (on the left) has one breaker at the bottom that controls two outlets. The ...

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2 answers
6 votes
46k views
TV mounting bracket does not fit the stud locations - how can I overcome that?
Accepted answer
10 votes

A swiveling or articulating TV mount will tend to want to pull itself out of the wall when swiveled or extended, more than a flush-mount bracket would. Therefore, this situation calls for a bit of ...

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2 answers
3 votes
5k views
Where should I connect my modem in this ethernet junction box?
10 votes

You can't use those black boxes. They are for distributing telephone lines, not Ethernet. You have two options. The first is to put RJ45 connectors on the ends of the blue cables. You'll need to buy ...

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2 answers
3 votes
3k views
How should this sink drain be connected?
10 votes

Your sink doesn't drain properly because the water has to go up hill to drain. The right way to fix this is to remove this elbow: And then re-plumb it like this (but flipped horizontally): You will ...

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9 answers
8 votes
12k views
Prewarming for tankless waterheater
Accepted answer
10 votes

The typical way to pre-warm water is to install a standard tank water heater before the tankless, but leave it turned off. Using an automotive radiator is a terrible idea. You don't want to connect ...

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7 answers
9 votes
79k views
Did I break my Kwikset SmartKey lock by trying to rekey with a key that doesn't fit all the way?
Accepted answer
10 votes

take the lock to your local home store that carries this line of locks. they will remove the core and put it in a SmartKey Reset Cradle. this returns the lock to an unprogrammed state. there is no ...

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1 answers
4 votes
5k views
How can I add 100 amp electrical service to a shop?
10 votes

reasons going to the service entrance will be difficult: you'll have to open the meter box, and most meter boxes are tamper sealed by the electric company so you will have to involve them. the meter ...

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5 answers
7 votes
2k views
Can I combine two 12-2 cables to serve a NEMA 10-30 socket for dryer?
9 votes

What you are asking about is called "paralleling". It is not allowed on circuits of this size.

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8 answers
8 votes
5k views
Would covering walls with a sound absorbing foam reduce the transmission of medium-high frequency fan noise?
9 votes

Easier than sound-proofing a room would be to build a sound-proof box for the server using the triangular foam. Since it's a rack-mount server, just building some ducts for the front and the back and ...

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1 answers
4 votes
26k views
Can rotary tool bits be used with a drill?
Accepted answer
9 votes

Impact driver? I wouldn't. Those bits are so small you'll just shatter them. Regular drill? Maybe. Most drills max out around 1000-1500 RPM, although some specialty drill models max out around 4000 ...

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1 answers
0 votes
64 views
Is there a way to remotely control gas valve?
8 votes

Yes, there are electronically controlled gas valves. A better idea might be to install a "grill timer". It's like a kitchen timer that you twist to set the time, but instead of ringing a ...

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