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Mr K Dilkington

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  • How large a generator should I get?

    My house is wired for emergency generator, with a receptacle outside for the generator to feed into the panel (and all the safety switches/plates on the panel to ensure the main breaker is open). I've decided to get a generator for emergency use, but am unsure how to size it.

    On the line in from the generator power, I have 2 ganged 30A breakers. I think this means I can bring in 30 amps of 220v... but does that mean I can do 60A of 110v? Or am I limited at 30A no matter the voltage?

    5 AnswersDo It Yourself (DIY)3 years ago
  • How can you tell which smoke detector in a connected system is triggering the alarm?

    I have 4 hard-wired, interconnected smoke detectors in my house. For the past few days, the system has been going off repeatedly for a few seconds, always in the early afternoon, usually 6 or 7 times in a 2-hour period.

    Is there any way to see which smoke detector is being triggered? Obviously, if starts alerting, they all do.

    3 AnswersMaintenance & Repairs4 years ago
  • Electric oven only heating to about 300 F.?

    My electric oven will heat up to about 300 F but that s as high as it will go. The heating element looks OK (not broken, anyway) and I replaced it about 3 years ago, but it just doesn t seem to be able to heat up like it should. Any ideas?

    1 AnswerMaintenance & Repairs4 years ago
  • Best snowblower brand?

    My 20YO Craftsman with a B&S engine has been a workhorse for me in New England, but has been losing power and last winter could barely throw the snow over the banks (yes, changed belts, cleaned card, etc.).

    I'm looking to buy a new model (24", 2-stage) for the coming winter. I've heard nightmare storied from friends who have bought newer Craftsman, so that's out. What's the best residential brand? Right now I'm thinking Ariens or Husqvarna.

    4 AnswersOther - Home & Garden4 years ago
  • Best way to shore fish for trout in the Northeastern US?

    I live in New England and do a lot of freshwater bass fishing, mostly from the shore. What's the approach for shore fishing for trout? What do I use for bait (powerbait, etc.), what size hook, what sort of rig (was thinking a dropshot might work)?

    1 AnswerFishing4 years ago
  • Can I bury cinder blocks and fill with concrete to create a ground anchor for a portable basketball hoop?

    I bought one of the basketball hoops that's attached to a wheeled base. I hate how these wobble though, and I don't like the look of the rocks and blocks people put on them to weigh them down.

    I'm going to put the base on the lawn just off the driveway. Could I dig a trench on either side, lay in cinder blocks just below ground level, fill them with concrete, and set big screw-eye bolts (with nuts and washers near the bottom to hold them in the concrete), then use straps to hold down the base? Anything wrong with this idea?

    3 AnswersDo It Yourself (DIY)4 years ago
  • Can I lightly sand eggshell paint for a smoother finish?

    I'm refinishing an old desk for my daughter and for the top portion (the writing surface) I want to re-use the same purple paint I used on her walls. It has an eggshell finish which might not be great for a desk top. Could I lightly sand this to smoothen it without ruining the color?

    2 AnswersDecorating & Remodeling6 years ago
  • Why doesn't the dual-male extension cord trick for generators trip the breaker?

    First off, I don't do this. I have a proper generator hookup for my panel with an interlock switch. But I do have friends who do the old trick of making an extension cord with two male ends, plugging one into the generator and one into an outlet, opening the main, and powering the house.

    What I don't understand is why this doesn't trip the breaker for the circuit you plug it into. Say it is a 20A circuit you've plugged into... as soon as you try to pull more than that in via other circuits, it should trip, right?

    1 AnswerDo It Yourself (DIY)6 years ago
  • How much snow can a roof hold?

    We have about 3'-4' of snow on the ground and I'm seeing a lot of people hiring roofers to clear the snow off their roofs. Is this necessary to prevent collapse? I'm in New England and it's a fairly new house (1980's). The trusses are 2x8 and 16" to center.

    Right now there's about 1.5' of snow on the roof as best I can tell. We have another 1-2' coming tonight and tomorrow.


    7 AnswersMaintenance & Repairs6 years ago
  • How hot should my hydronic (hot water) heating baseboards get?

    I can reach my hand into my baseboard heaters (hot water) and rest my fingers on the fins without any discomfort -- is this normal? They are warm, but not piping hot.

    Last night it took 4 hours to raise the temperature 10' (F) in my house -- although it was about 5' outside.

    At the boiler, both the feed pipe and the return pipe feel very hot -- I can't hold them for more than a second. It just doesn't feel like I am getting that much heat upstairs in the actual baseboards.

    3 AnswersDo It Yourself (DIY)6 years ago
  • What should happen to someone without insurance who needs emergency healthcare?

    If you are against universal healthcare (mandated, or government supplied, or whatever), what do you believe should happen to someone who chooses not to have health insurance and needs emergency medical attention they cannot pay for?

    Say, for example, they are in a car wreck with no one else at fault and they need emergency surgeries or they will die. They will also need lots of post-op therapy. Say it will be $100K all told by the end of it. Should they receive the treatment and go into collections from the hospital? Should they be able to declare bankruptcy later on? Should they just be left to die?

    7 AnswersLaw & Ethics6 years ago
  • Can you bend a tie plate for a deck?

    I am rebuilding a poorly constructed deck. The deck has an odd shape and two of the header joists meet at a post notch at an odd angle (maybe 33 degrees). I'd like to tie them together with a tie plate and am wondering if I could bend one to fit this shape. I don't necessarily need to include the post on this tie, so a flat plate would be OK.


    2 AnswersDo It Yourself (DIY)6 years ago
  • New rumbling sound from truck, does not seem to be engine or exhaust?

    My 2006 Toyota Tacoma has started making a light rumbling sound when rolling. It starts at about 20 MPH and stays with me at any speed from there on in. If I slide into Neutral, the sound continues unchanged, and if I rev the engine in neutral, the sounds from the engine is completely separate (and quieter) that this sound. The best I can compare it to is going over a rumble strip, but only about 10% the volume. I can feel a slight vibration in the floor as well.

    The tire tread is good. I haven't checked pressure yet but the tire pressure idiot light on my dash hasn't come on.

    Last weekend I made a long trip (about 400 miles) on Saturday and picked up a yard of moist mulch (which is right at the payload capacity) on Sunday. Not sure if either could have caused this.

    Could it be poor alignment or balance, or something worse?

    3 AnswersMaintenance & Repairs6 years ago
  • Replacing front beam/header on small deck?

    I have a small (8' x 10") deck and the front header joist (actually 2 2x6s joined together) is rotten through. I've inspected the rest of the deck (joists, posts, ledger, etc.) and all the rest seems fine. The joists run front to back (connecting to my rotten header with joist connectors) and the decking runs side to side. There is no beam under this section of the deck (it's off the side of a 3-season porch which does have beam support).

    When I remove the rotten header, What is the best way to support the joists? Since there is solid support on the other 3 sides, I am thinking that the decking itself will be able to hold up some of the weight. Could I run a couple of 2x4s across the decking and screw them through to the joists (to the supported perimeter on each side)? Or should I just support from underneath with vertical 2x4s on cinder blocks?

    I'm handy but still green and this is my first deck repair. thanks.

    3 AnswersDo It Yourself (DIY)6 years ago
  • Is there power to a DirecTV dish?

    We had 2 DirecTV dishes on the side of our house from the previous owner. I've removed them from the house and sealed up the holes, but I still need to disconnect them.

    Is there power/electricity going to these things or can I safely cut the coaxial cable running from them?

    3 AnswersDo It Yourself (DIY)6 years ago
  • Replace bent nail holding lally in place?

    I've noticed that the lally columns in my basement are attached to the beam above by nails driven halfway in and then bent flush to the beam. I want to box in the lally with 1x and it would be easier if the bent nail was out of the way. Any reason I can't pull it out and replace with a coarse-thread screw?

    3 AnswersDo It Yourself (DIY)7 years ago