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Old 11-08-16, 07:42 AM   #126
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Re: The Home Owner Thread

Was doing some weed wacking and trimming around the fence line, and attempted to yank out larger plants/budding trees I guess? What's the best practice for the ones you can't physically pull out? Trim as close to the root as possible? Is there any kind of stump killer out there available?
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Old 11-08-16, 11:44 AM   #127
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Re: The Home Owner Thread

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A flat roof is going to develop leaks no matter how many times you fix it. You're just going to be playing whack-a-mole as long as you're living there.
Can a regular pitched roof be built on top of a flat roof? Like you give the house a second line of defense from the elements. the flat roof would just be the back up roof.
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Old 11-08-16, 12:33 PM   #128
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Re: The Home Owner Thread

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Originally Posted by Quack View Post
Trim as close to the root as possible? Is there any kind of stump killer out there available?
Yes to both. You can also dig around the main stem/root, and cut it out. Kind of like coring a head of iceberg lettuce.
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Old 11-08-16, 01:28 PM   #129
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Re: The Home Owner Thread

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Can a regular pitched roof be built on top of a flat roof? Like you give the house a second line of defense from the elements. the flat roof would just be the back up roof.
Sometimes they do that. The extra weight is often a problem.
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Old 11-09-16, 10:29 AM   #130
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Re: The Home Owner Thread

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Originally Posted by Kevin Phillips View Post
We're having new windows installed. I looked at the one of rooms they finished. The available frame depth went from 2-3" to 1". Now there's no room to reinstall the blinds that were mounted inside the window frame. We're going to have to put in those cheap paper fold-up blinds until I can figure out a more permanent solution.
Since the windows were installed, two cars have had flat tires from screws. I'm assuming the installers were less than careful about cleaning up after themselves. I don't think I've pissed off anyone enough to intentionally put screws into the tires.
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Old 11-09-16, 01:40 PM   #131
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Re: The Home Owner Thread

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Since the windows were installed, two cars have had flat tires from screws. I'm assuming the installers were less than careful about cleaning up after themselves. I don't think I've pissed off anyone enough to intentionally put screws into the tires.
That sucks.

At least, with roofing, they usually run around the edge of the house with a magnetic roller to pickup any dropped screws/nails.
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Old 11-10-16, 12:58 AM   #132
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Re: The Home Owner Thread

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If you die, come back and make one last post so we have closure.
I installed the switch tonight. I didn't die.
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Old 11-10-16, 07:56 AM   #133
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Re: The Home Owner Thread

Congratulations.










But now Trump is President, so living is not that great
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Old 11-10-16, 07:57 AM   #134
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Re: The Home Owner Thread

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Originally Posted by Living Dead View Post
I installed the switch tonight. I didn't die.
Maybe you just don't know it ...

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Old 11-10-16, 12:26 PM   #135
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Re: The Home Owner Thread

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Originally Posted by Michael Corvin View Post
Make sure to kill the power/fuse before messing with it.
My brother-in-law, who considers himself a handyman, did some replacement outlets for us several years ago.

He said, "If you know what you're doing, you don't need to cut the power".

Five minutes later, we hear a yell, followed by some creative profanity. The outlet he was working on had a two-foot carbon streak on the wall above that we didn't recall being there prior to this demonstration of his "expertise".

Now he builds pools for a living.
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Old 11-10-16, 02:29 PM   #136
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Re: The Home Owner Thread

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Originally Posted by Kmical View Post
My brother-in-law, who considers himself a handyman, did some replacement outlets for us several years ago.

He said, "If you know what you're doing, you don't need to cut the power".

Five minutes later, we hear a yell, followed by some creative profanity. The outlet he was working on had a two-foot carbon streak on the wall above that we didn't recall being there prior to this demonstration of his "expertise".

Now he builds pools for a living.
So now he works with electricity and water. Wonderful.

Many years ago I talked to an electrician about working in a live box. I asked him if he always turned off the power, since he knew what he was doing because worked with electricity for a living. He turned off the power whenever possible. His view was that you can maintain your concentration for about 5 minutes. After that, you're increasingly likely to touch something you shouldn't.
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Old 11-10-16, 06:29 PM   #137
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Re: The Home Owner Thread

The problem is that even if you do everything right, there can still be a problem because the previous installer mis-wired, so a line that was supposed to be neutral is actually hot. Not only do I switch off at the breaker, but I also check with a meter each wire that I work on.
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Old 11-10-16, 09:18 PM   #138
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Re: The Home Owner Thread

Nick and Psi.

Electricity doesn't care about what you think you know or what your past experiences are.

It's not like screwing up on plumbing, painting, or building a deck. A fraction of a second, a fraction of an inch, a fraction of ignorance and you are dead.
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Old 11-13-16, 12:08 AM   #139
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Re: The Home Owner Thread

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Originally Posted by Psi View Post
The problem is that even if you do everything right, there can still be a problem because the previous installer mis-wired, so a line that was supposed to be neutral is actually hot. Not only do I switch off at the breaker, but I also check with a meter each wire that I work on.
That's what I did, too. As far as I'm concerned, you can never be too careful with shit that can kill you.
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Old 11-13-16, 12:16 AM   #140
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Re: The Home Owner Thread

My next project is another electrical one...

I'm planning to put a light into the ceiling of a room with no light at all and connect it to two 3-way switches. I know how to do that. But I've seen two different ways to power it: 1.) Run a new wire from the switch straight to the electrical box, or 2.) Wire the switch into an existing outlet in the wall.

I just have to figure out which way is better/easier/safer.
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Old 11-13-16, 08:10 AM   #141
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Re: The Home Owner Thread

I'm not an electrician, but I have some questions that might help.
Option 1) Do you have a lot of empty spaces available on the electrical panel? You don't want to use the last space for a single light.
Option 2) How much load is already on that circuit compared to the rating of the breaker?

I think I would get a good LED light fixture that provided a lot of lumens for just a couple dozen watts of power. Then I'd wire it to the outlet.
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Old 11-13-16, 11:10 AM   #142
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Re: The Home Owner Thread

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Originally Posted by Nick Danger View Post
I'm not an electrician, but I have some questions that might help.
Option 1) Do you have a lot of empty spaces available on the electrical panel? You don't want to use the last space for a single light.
Option 2) How much load is already on that circuit compared to the rating of the breaker?

I think I would get a good LED light fixture that provided a lot of lumens for just a couple dozen watts of power. Then I'd wire it to the outlet.
I'm thinking the same thing. There's 8 empty slots in the panel. I had a new one installed when I moved in to replace one that was 50 years old. But even so, why use the space for a single light?

As far as load, it's a 15amp breaker with 4 120v outlets wired to it, all in the same room. So, 1800 watts to play with, nothing currently plugged in. I intend to eventually turn the room into a display room for collectibles, so I probably won't even use most of the outlets. If anything, they would be used to power small lights in curio cabinets. Even with a new overhead light, I shouldn't come anywhere close to 15 amps.
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Old 11-13-16, 11:45 AM   #143
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Re: The Home Owner Thread

Yes 15 amp/1800 watt is pretty standard. Don't skimp because one day you might decide to re-purpose the room and need more load, or the next homeowner might need it.

I hate it when homeowners cut corners and leave "traps" for the next people to deal with. People should have a reasonable expectation that if there is an outlet, they can plug things into it.

What you do sounds OK.
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Old 11-13-16, 08:12 PM   #144
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Re: The Home Owner Thread

Anyone here have a septic system? We found a property we really like, but have no experience with it. Pros...cons...
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Old 11-14-16, 12:22 PM   #145
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Re: The Home Owner Thread

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Anyone here have a septic system? We found a property we really like, but have no experience with it. Pros...cons...
I hear they're full of poo
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Old 11-14-16, 06:23 PM   #146
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Re: The Home Owner Thread

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Yes 15 amp/1800 watt is pretty standard. Don't skimp because one day you might decide to re-purpose the room and need more load, or the next homeowner might need it.

I hate it when homeowners cut corners and leave "traps" for the next people to deal with. People should have a reasonable expectation that if there is an outlet, they can plug things into it.
As the owner of just such a house with "traps", I'll second that. I have a number of ceiling lights on the same circuits as outlets. This is a code no-no.

So to Living Dead, I'll say run that line from a new breaker. You (or a future owner) might want to run wiring to a ceiling light in another room or two someday.

If your house is up to code, outlets and ceiling lights (or other built-in lights) should be on separate circuits. This is helpful if working on outlets in rooms without good natural light, or after dark. Or, if working on ceiling lights, you can plug a lamp into an outlet.

Also, if you have wall switches that control outlets, typically it only controls one outlet of a pair. So, even if you "know what you're doing" it's best to turn off the circuit. If you just flip off the wall switch, one outlet will still be hot.

Safety tip: (based on personal experience) always be sure you know ALL the circuits that service a room and have them turned turn off.

My house has had multiple remodeling over the years. Our kitchen is wired with four circuits, at least. Found this out the hard way when I turned off the three kitchen circuits so I could replace the range fan hood with a microwave hood. I disconnected the wiring and removed the hood without incident. However, when I went to trim the wiring there was a crack and flash of light. Luckily, no damage other than temporary flash blindness and ringing in my ears. My insulated needle-nose pliers now have a 1/8th inch pit on the cutting side. I use those pliers every time I do electrical work so they are a constant safety reminder.

Turns out the range hood was on the same circuit as one of our back door lights... but not the back door off the kitchen. It's the back door that went into what was originally the garage. The garage is now additional family space and the area that door enters into is now a utility room that also opens into our kitchen. That back door light and the range hood were/are the only two things on that circuit. For various reasons, I know the house was originally built that way ... so even if your house hasn't had remodeling done, it could still have issues.
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Old 11-14-16, 10:10 PM   #147
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Re: The Home Owner Thread

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Originally Posted by Jon2 View Post
If your house is up to code, outlets and ceiling lights (or other built-in lights) should be on separate circuits.
Is that a new requirement? I thought it was OK as long as it's in the same room, but I am not certain.
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Old 11-15-16, 10:09 AM   #148
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Re: The Home Owner Thread

There are definitely 2 rooms in my house where the lights and outlets are on the same circuit. Others are separate. A handful are mixed around, where it seems the previous homeowner ran a new wire to a couple different outlets in different rooms but put them on the same circuit. When I moved in I mapped out every outlet and light in the whole place, and I'd say 90% is as you'd expect it to be. None of the circuits come close to their load limit either.

The only problem I had was that the kitchen was mostly on the same circuit. If I ran the microwave and the toaster oven at the same time, the breaker would trip. But one wall of outlets in the kitchen are on a different circuit, so I moved the toaster oven to that wall and then everything was fine.

Thanks to everyone for the advice and safety tips. I'll probably tackle this project sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas. The real work will be next year when I re-landscape the front yard (filled with unhealthy looking holly bushes and thorny barberry bushes), tear down a rusty shed in the backyard, and build several raised beds for a garden. That shed... holy shit. Some of the biggest spiders I've ever seen in my life are in there. I might just set it on fire and run away.
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Old 11-15-16, 10:22 AM   #149
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Re: The Home Owner Thread

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Anyone here have a septic system? We found a property we really like, but have no experience with it. Pros...cons...
@dex14 I've been on a septic system most of my life. Pros are that you are not paying some monthly amount for sewer charges. Cons are that one day the drain field my fail and it could cost some money to fix.

Everyone will try to sell you bullshit to flush for the "health of your system." College studies show they are all bullshit. If you really want to, flush some yeast once a month. But even if all the bacteria was dead, the moment you drop a heater, it will come back to life.

Family of 5 and I went 10 years without having it pumped. But you ought to do it every 5 years or so. Have the seller pump it and the pumping people will generally inspect it as well.
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Old 11-15-16, 10:30 AM   #150
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Re: The Home Owner Thread

I was just looking at the electrical code. My house is long out of date. The 2005 code required two 20-amp circuits in the kitchen for appliances and nothing else, as well as a dedicated circuit for the laundry. In my house, the microwave, stove, refrigerator, washing machine, dryer, overhead lights, dining room light and dining room outlets are all on one circuit.
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