Q&A: Can electrical boxes be buried in insulation?

- . A quick check there led me to section 314. My first go-to book is typically Code Check Electrical, which is extremely well laid out and easy to use. I don’t use that book enough to know exactly where to find what I’m looking for, so I rely on other books to tell me where to look. As I’ve mentioned in past blog posts, I hate having to look up anything in the National Electrical Code (NEC). I prefer the pdf version of this book because I can use word searches. 29 of the 2014 NEC, which states the following: ..More

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Buying a home that has had work performed without a permit?

- For starters, I’ve found that most homeowners don’t know what type of work requires a permit. Were you aware that you’re supposed to pull an electric permit if you’re replacing a light fixture, and a plumbing permit if you’re replacing a bathroom faucet?. I don’t know of any great way to determine if unpermitted work was performed at a property in Minnesota. . The seller’s disclosure form has a question that asks “Are you aware of any work performed on the property for which appropriate permits were not obtained”? This box is almost always checked “no”, as you might imagine. This doesn’t mean much ..More

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Reduce the risk of Legionnaires’ disease in your home

- While these devices won’t guarantee safe water temperatures at every fixture, they’ll get you a lot closer. This valve would be installed right at the hot water outlet of the water heater. . It would allow the water heater to be cranked up to a scalding 140° F, which would be sufficient to kill bacteria and would extend the capacity of the hot water tank, while at the same time reducing the temperature of all of the hot water throughout the house. Click the following link for more information about these devices ..More

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Lead water lines: a home inspector’s perspective

- Whether or not this means that home inspectors are responsible for inspecting the small stub of water piping that comes into the home isn’t clear, but I don’t think it really matters. . Both ASHI and InterNACHI standards of practice* require home inspectors to inspect the interior water supply systems. The reason it doesn’t matter is because both the ASHI and InterNACHI standards of practice specifically exclude the identification of environmental hazards, such as the presence of lead water lines ..More

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Air conditioner maintenance for homeowners

- Just be sure to contact someone you know and trust. . Also, beware of cheap AC tune-ups. If you notice ice on your unit either inside the house or outside and you’ve already checked everything listed in the post linked to above, it’s time to call in a professional. If you don’t have that, check reviews online before hiring. If you don’t have someone, get a referral from a friend or neighbor ..More

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