Q&A: When do smoke alarms need to be hardwired?

- Even if you rent, go buy some battery operated photoelectric smoke alarms and install them. Ohio recently became the fifth state to require photoelectric smoke alarms; see the news story here. While photoelectric smoke alarms aren’t required in Minnesota (yet…), I urge everyone to put them in their home. . It’s not a big investment, they’re easy to install, and they could save your life. If you’re not sure what type you have in your own home, you probably don’t have photoelectric. Oh, and one more thing ..More

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Sediment traps: what and why

- ”. While the old code language only required sediment traps where the gas piping dropped down to appliances, there is no longer such language in the code. Sediment traps are required at all automatically controlled gas appliances. . The code defines an automatically controlled appliance as “Appliances equipped with an automatic burner ignition and safety shutoff device and other automatic devices which accomplish complete turn-on and shutoff of the gas to the main burner or burners, and graduate the gas supply to the burner or burners, but do not affect complete shutoff of the gas ..More

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Video post: a comparison of three gas sniffers

- Just watch the video, and I think you’ll understand why I prefer the TIF 8900. I’ve done a video comparison of three different gas sniffers. My favorite gas sniffer, aka “combustible gas detector”, is currently the TIF 8900. . For this video post, I compared a TIF 8800x, a TIF8900, and a RIDGID CD-100 ..More

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Attic access hatches must now be weatherstripped, not sealed

- There are products made just for this. Buy them or invent your own, but don’t say it can’t be done. If you’re buying a new construction home and the construction permit was pulled on or after 2/14/15, the attic access panel is supposed to be weatherstripped. If it isn’t, I recommend asking your builder and the building official why it isn’t. . For anyone who says that there is not a great way to weatherstrip an attic access panel, I say try harder ..More

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Door repair: how to fix a door that doesn’t latch

- Next, fill the old screw holes by breaking the toothpicks in half, dabbing some wood glue on them, and tapping them into the holes.  Three will fit in a hole. . Once they’re jambed jammed in there, cut the ends off with a knife ..More

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