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Motronic
Nov 6, 2009





Grimey Drawer

iv46vi posted:

I've read somewhere about using a length of plastic pipe with water running thru it to "drill" a hole for ground electrode. You probably have access to heavy pounding equipment instead, but it's a neat homemade trick.

Yeah, that's a bad idea. It will take weeks or months to get proper soil contact again, depending on your soil composition.

It also takes longer than borrowing the correct tool if you don't already have it: you simply put the rod in the chuck of a rotary hammer and 8 feet of it disappears inside of 30 seconds, even through shale. No "heavy pounding equipment" required.

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Motronic
Nov 6, 2009





Grimey Drawer

kastein posted:

I'd have to agree, also where do I rent such a tool? I have a Home Depot within range...

Pictures at lunch or after work. I actually remembered to take some *and* remembered to bring the camera *and* the data cable today.


The deop should have one in the tool rental. They'll know what you're talking about.

It's gonna be heavy as hell, just under the size of a 5 gallon jerry can, and look pretty much like this:



Make sure you get one with a chuck big enough to fit whatever sized ground rod you're using in it. You don't even need to tighten the chuck, just get it hand tight so the rod doesn't bang around in there side to side.

And while you have it and since ground rods are cheap drive in two of them about 3 feet apart and bond them together. Then tie everything to the closest one. Is it necessary? No. But for an extra $8 or whatever a copper clad rod costs + almost no time to install it's worth it.

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009





Grimey Drawer

kastein posted:

I got direct burial certified clamps, so the two new rods are getting driven into the ground till they're 6-8" below surface, directly under where the front porch downspout will be, then burying the cable and running it through the foundation with a conduit. Well, I will be doing that unless code says not to, I need to read up on grounding.

Nice. If your code allows it that's a great way to keep them out of the way.

Just mark your foundation where they are in case you ever need to dig them up again to add something else to the house ground (you know, like a generator or whatever). I also like to measure off a corner and mark directions inside the panel.

Edit: while you're doing this, it may be a good idea to put in a 240v outdoor reverse outlet for a generator feed (like for a portable genset) hooked up to an appropriately sized breaker across from your main so you can use a lock out on them (a break before make type between the mains feed and the generator) if your code allows for that. Some require a full on transfer switch, so that may not work for you.

Motronic fucked around with this message at 16:44 on Aug 26, 2013

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009





Grimey Drawer

poo poo, that looks awesome. You're all set.

And, yeah....all CAFCI breakers seem to be fiercely expensive, but some more than others. I'm not convinced that there is any difference in quality, as passing UL is plenty "good enough" for something like that.

Panels are like free razor give-aways. The important part is figuring out who's breakers are gonna be the least expensive, or sticking with your current manufacturer/style if you have enough serviceable old breakers to re-use.

I've managed to screw that one up and am paying for it at the moment on my garage addition.

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009





Grimey Drawer

kastein posted:

I am incredibly OCD about wiring being perfect, and it shows :toot: even the fact that some of the bend radii of those cables isn't the same and some of them aren't perfectly straight and laid on 45/90 degree increments bothers me a bit, I may reroute the neutral in the ATS end of the ATS-main panel feed to look prettier and should probably wrap the SEC neutral from the service entrance with white e-tape.

Just don't get too OCD. I've had to fail inspections of beautiful-looking panel wiring because they got so OCD that they bundled everything together with ties. You need to remember that the rating of the wire in there is primarily based on heat, so if things are literally bundled up you've downrated the cable an unknown amount.

By all means, zip tie the crap out of that stuff to get it in place and nice, but then cut the ties and "fluff" it back out again.

kastein posted:

I hear CAFCI breakers freak out with ATSes and generators, but I also hear they freak out in general (and have had zero problems so far with the ones I already installed upstairs), so I think it's a combination of :bahgawd: and people remembering the early-adopter pain, and possibly some ground loop/incorrect neutral/ground bonding procedure issues.

I think you're right about early adopter pain. I also think a lot of that come from remodels/panel replacements in places with poo poo wiring where the old breakers would't trip even though you could easily find any number of outlets and switches that were several degrees above ambient temperature due to failing connections. Of course an arc fault is going to very correctly trip on that poo poo, and very often it happens when something is plugged into an outlet as it moves just enough to arc because of the screw that backed off or whatever else is wrong.

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009





Grimey Drawer

Ferremit posted:

I'm utterly staggered that conductive metal conduits are still encouraged and used in the US- those things became non compliant years ago in Australia. It's PVC or nothing over here now, and if you need to armor up a cable you 1) buy armored cable and 2) pass it through a flexible PVC conduit then feed it into your steel pipe. The only time you see metal and power mixing together now is when cables are laid down in cable trays.

The main reason metal conduits got outlawed over here was we had a period where rubber insulated wire was used and its all got to that stage where any movement causes meters of insulation to crumble off the cable, and it killed a few electricians who were unfortunate enough to touch a metal conduit that was live cos of an exposed wire inside.

Sounds like you had some seriously incorrectly installed conduit if that was a problem. In any reasonable scenario the path to ground should have been back to the load center and resulted in an immediate breaker trip of the affected circuit(s).

Were people installing non-ground EMT at the ends of a PVC run? Or after a ceiling/wall penetration to a box that wasn't properly grounded or a plastic box? If so, that's stupid. And not to code here for that very reason.

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009





Grimey Drawer


If even half of that is accurate I don't even know what to say other than that banning conductive conduit isn't a solution, it's just eliminating a symptom.

Ferremit posted:

Modern wiring is more like this:

I would fail the poo poo out of basically everything in that picture. I'm actually looking around my garage for a stop work order card right now.

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009





Grimey Drawer

iv46vi posted:

I'm actually kinda curious as to what goes inside house inspector's mind. Would you highlight some things in the picture?

Let's take a look at the windows. There's no king stud and an inadequate header that's fastened wrong.

Then we have the gigantic WTF of all of the plumbing and electrical being on the OUTSIDE of the wall. Exactly how and with what is that going to be covered? Where is it going to be attached?

There's also inadequately fastened electrical running across the middle of the photo. And no conduit that I can see, so I'm not even sure what Ferremt it trying to illustrate in regards to that with this photo. If he thinks those grey things are conduit, they certainly look a whole lot like PEX pipe to me. Plus he said that most of the load centers are plastic, which would never fly according to code here, apparently along with many other electrical practices he is saying are typical.

The sill plate doesn't appear to be treated lumber. Maybe it's a ventilated sill and that's OK in their code. I have no idea, but it looks wonky to me.

Maybe all of this is A-OK in Australia. I wouldn't know. But if I rolled up and saw that kind of mickey mouse poo poo in the US I'd be combing through the entire place and looking at absolutely everything.

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009





Grimey Drawer

iv46vi posted:

Do you mean jack stud on the window? And what exactly is wrong with the header, looks fine to me.

The spacing is all weird, perhaps it's a double frame outside wall?

I mean what I said: a king stud. They should be doubled on the outside of the window.

And the header looks far from OK to me. It's toenailed in, rather than sitting on jack studs. The point of that header is to spread the structural load that the additional stud(s) removed for the wall penetration used to hold. This is supposed to transfer to the jack and king studs. If it's not sitting on a jack stud the entire weight it is supposed to be supporting is being handled by the toe-nailing. That's just not a smart way to do it, and demonstrates a lack of understanding of both physics and why things are built the way they are built. When you are relying on shear strength of fasteners for things like that they are supposed to be structurally rated, like when you are putting up a ledger one would use Ledger-Locks, which are rated for the purpose.....you don't just keep popping ring shank nails in with the air nailer. In this situation there is no need to rely on the shear strength of a fastener when it could have just been built correctly to begin with.

Motronic fucked around with this message at 19:23 on Aug 30, 2013

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009





Grimey Drawer

iv46vi posted:

So you're suppose to have two full length studs and a trimmer on each side of the window?



iv46vi posted:

And it doesn't look toe nailed to me, those are just nails used to hold assembled header together, unless they also toenailed it into something in the middle of the header.

Maybe it's not, but it looks that way to me. It's something I'd definitely be walking over to for verification.

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009





Grimey Drawer

Ferremit posted:

The reason the wire and plumbing is on the outside of the wall is theres a brick wall that goes up around the whole thing thats self supporting- The timbers there purely to hold up the roof and support the interior surfaces.

.....

As for the insufficiently fastened wiring- I know the electrician who did this, and thats a "Im halfway thru this" photo- The top lines of wire are up to code, the bottom wiring hasnt been finished yet- hence the enormous roll of wiring to the left of shot

Neither of these things excuse the excessive bend radius (90 degree corners), and that building method sounds like a maintenance nightmare.

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009





Grimey Drawer

kastein posted:

Another 8 foot pressure treated 6x6 for the next sill plate replacement project...

What the hell kind of sill plates are you replacing that you need 6x6 for?

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009





Grimey Drawer

kastein posted:

Old beam construction. It's an 1890 house, fieldstone foundation 18-24" thick, all the support posts and first floor support beams plus sill plates in the basement/first floor are 6x6... or larger.

Oh boy......that's a fun job. I hate working with that stuff. It's just so freaking heavy it makes everything more difficult. Especially PT.

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009





Grimey Drawer

kastein posted:

Cast iron radiators are really loving heavy. Not sure how I am going to get one of them down the stairs...

Rent an appliance dolly. It's really the only reasonable way I've found to move those things. They certainly aren't likely to come back apart again (which is how they were brought up the steps to begin with).

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009





Grimey Drawer

Wow......just wow.

What's that under there? Can you just throw a piece of steel up under them to properly support that end?

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009





Grimey Drawer

kastein posted:

It is a 1x6 board, nailed vertically into notches in the studs.

I meant under there in general....like if there's enough space/access to get steel in place and supported. Beams are relatively cheap, and if you put it up right you know it's not going anywhere for a real long time. That would also be the side of the room you put you 110 gallon reef tank on. Or indoor inflatable swimming pool.

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009





Grimey Drawer

kastein posted:

basically this is how the second floor joists of my balloon framed house are attached to the studs, not sure that is 100% clear.

THAT'S what I didn't get. I though this was the living room FLOOR. Obviously that makes thing a lot more complicated.

Don't do #7. I get it, but don't do that. There has to be a better way, even if that involves a load of LedgerLOKs and a couple of 2x6es or 2x8s. Treat it like a ledger, use appropriate brackets to support the currently unsupported stuff. Worst case you bump out the wall downstairs 3 inches (assuming that room hasn't been finished already) or box it out, which no one will notice other than you.

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009





Grimey Drawer

kastein posted:

e: also, the last post is a perfect example of why I always go to local lumberyards when I can. 14 of those 2x12s at $388 is $27.7 each. Home Depot sells the same size for $28.46 before taxes - and the quality is significantly worse. I can go to my local yard and grab the first 14 off the stack and the absolute worst one I'll get is better than the best one I'll find after an hour of digging through the stack at Home Depot. Every 2x12 I came home with today was perfectly straight, no structurally concerning knotholes, most of them are drat near straight grain for the whole length, and the surface finish is better too.

I good local yard is always worth it. HD lumber is such garbage.

Also, you know you need to replace that poo poo now. It's not like it's a 2 week project. Get it done and it's done. You're doing all of the other stuff the right way.

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009





Grimey Drawer

Sir Cornelius posted:

Just get the drain hose below the reservoir and water will piss out. If you've got a floor drain use that.

Oh, he's got a floor drain alright.

Sucks about the washer. I went through that last weekend. Got the whole thing apart and the problem was pretty obvious:



Only comes as part of the inner drum assembly, and it trashed the front half of the outer tub as well. I ended up CLing the exact same washer (and dryer, they wouldn't split them up) for less than the cost of the repair parts. Unless the same part fails I ought to be able to keep this thing running for quite some time now considering all the spares I've got.

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009





Grimey Drawer

Vindolanda posted:

Those drums make really good firepits.

Holy poo poo that's a great idea.

Do you think that would be classier than my 1/3 of a barrel I welded legs to and drilled some holes in?

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009





Grimey Drawer

Coasterphreak posted:

Chuck the wet clothes in a five gallon bucket or something, drain the washer with a pond pump and some plastic tubing?

How is that the least bit satisfying?

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009





Grimey Drawer

Seat Safety Switch posted:

Wonder if they'd make okay parts washers.

That's the inner tub (full of holes). It trashed parts of the outer tub when it let loose so it's not really water tight anymore.

I'm gonna stuff something in it and light it on fire, because that's obviously the best possible suggestion I can get.

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009





Grimey Drawer

kastein posted:

(the next 4 foot section is easy, it isn't weight bearing at all anymore,

Let's be serious.....how many sections were actually weight bearing before you started?

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009





Grimey Drawer

kastein posted:

E: I am curious. For the actual contractors in the house, how much would you charge for a project like this beam replacement or the foundation repairs I've been doing? I am in no way charging my parents for this, but I am debating getting my contractors license and starting a side business doing repairs like this as it is something I am decent at and figure I could make some good money doing occasionally. It sucks while I'm getting started and not emotionally invested in a project yet, but fistfuls of money tend to reduce that somewhat.

Figure $50-65/hr. I don't even need to ask any of my carpenter friends if they'd take a job on like that based on a flat job rate. Too much you can't see until you get it apart.

The problem with being a carpenter is that anyone with a pickup and a hammer thinks they're a carpenter and it makes the good guys look like poo poo. This has increased with the unemployment rate. In addition, every customer thinks they know what materials cost because Home Depot/Lowes so people bitch when your materials prices are higher than that because of using a real lumber yard with good materials plus markup.

A couple of my friends who have been doing this for a long time are going specialized in what they offer, mostly as some way to distinguish themselves. One of them is working with a friend-of-a-friend who repairs fire pumps. Nobody knows what the parts cost (or can even track them down), they are legally required to have them back in operation ASAFP so they can't shop around for quotes, plus sweet, sweet emergency/off hours call out cash.

TL;DR: don't become a carpenter. If you insist I'll put you on the phone with some of them so you can hear what a poo poo show it has become.

Motronic fucked around with this message at 15:38 on Oct 26, 2014

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009





Grimey Drawer

angryrobots posted:

In fact up until a few years ago, they commonly ran 3 conductor cable from the meter can to the main panel.

That seems to be highly dependent on area. drat near every service in my former jurisdiction, old or new, was bounded to neutral at the panel. In fact, when we first started talking about bonding in the meter can I thought it was pretty odd and mentioned it to an electrician I know who confirmed "odd for around here but when I was working in x, y and z places that's how the inspectors wanted it."

After a conversation with him and what has been posted here I'm seeing the logic in bonding at the can being a better way. Especially if you're putting a main breaker in the can, which is a great idea.

Bonding at the weatherhead is just weird.

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009





Grimey Drawer

kastein posted:

Went to check on it tonight, cautiously optimistic. It shrank away from the form slightly and the surface was kinda lovely but I am pretty sure that was the section I mixed a bit wetter than I should have and also overworked because I am a concrete newbie.

Heater was still on, foam shelter still there, temps inside even after opening it felt like around 50 degrees. Turned it up a bit and closed everything back up.

I am hoping it will go above freezing Sunday or something so I can pull the forms and check on it for real.

If it hasn't BLEVE'd after tonight I'm sure your home free on this pour.

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009





Grimey Drawer

Some of the Sheep posted:

Boiling liquid expanding vapor explosion?

That's the one.

Also what SSS said.

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009





Grimey Drawer

Those are the chains we have on our rescue saws and I can confirm they don't give a gently caress about nails or light sheet metal. Or fire for that matter too.

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009





Grimey Drawer

kastein posted:

That wall ended up being pretty much exactly 48 inches wide so I was able to use the sheet whole with absolutely no trimming or additional strips of any kind. How often does that happen?

On a place like yours? Never.

On anything I build (now): almost always. The most useful/time saving tip I've ever been given by a carpenter is to plan your poo poo for the size of the sheet stock if at all possible.

kastein posted:

Picking the drat thing up was the only painful part,

Another useful thing I tried out of frustration one day when sheathing a wall on my own was to use scraps of 2x4 screwed to it as "handles". When you're wrestling it up on your own and tired of getting your fingers pinches between the sheets, etc and just can't get a drat grip on it AND get a screw or nail started just some extra hand holds can be useful.

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009





Grimey Drawer

I believe these:

http://solutions.3m.com/wps/portal/...94069381&rt=rud

are more Kastein level overkill.

They're just horrendously expensive.

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009





Grimey Drawer


Only Ken would decide the most logical way to put his house back together would be to weld it.

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009





Grimey Drawer

dreesemonkey posted:

adiant in-floor heating the guy heated it the first winter just using a water heater

That sounds familiar.....



That's been running the radiant in my barn/office for a couple years now.

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009





Grimey Drawer

kastein posted:

dreesemonkey, I have, but I'm not sure I like how it ends up looking if you put the foam over the window mounting flanges, and I don't like how insecure the window ends up if you put it under them.

That's how my office is built (well, pole construction as you know but with rigid foam outside). Don't worry about it. Just throw the windows in with the flanges outside of the foam. Once you spray foam them in they're going nowhere. I also threw a few nails in each of the window tracks.

Obviously you'll need to box inside if you do this because the window won't be deep enough to make it to your finished wall, but it's way better looking than having weird "innie" windows when looking at them from the outside.

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009





Grimey Drawer

kastein posted:

Yeah, that was my concern, mostly, the wonky look. Interesting point about the expanding foam to hold the windows still.

I've heard that several country's codes in Euryup allow foam as the only structural attachment for windows. Sounded weird to me. After using it I can now understand why.

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009





Grimey Drawer

Oh, nice you're using Zip. That stuff is awesome.

If you use the actual Zip tape you'll not only make it through the winter just fine without siding, but it will still be under warranty (you have like 6 months to cover it and still have the full warranty).

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009





Grimey Drawer

kastein posted:

Probably putting tyvek up anyways but have not decided yet.

Yo dawg, I heard you like vapor barriers.

(seriously, there is no need - the whole point of Zip is not having to do that poo poo)

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009





Grimey Drawer

Splizwarf posted:

Is there any potential problem with two vapor barriers stacked? Like mold from them forming an envelope?

Yes. And it totally depends on the permeability of the vapor barriers. (hope you got the right engineer that knows their poo poo to figure that out.....oh....wait.....it's Kastein....never mind, we have the right engineer),

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009





Grimey Drawer

I'm gonna guess somewhere in the neighborhood of 2 Jeeps and a clapped out bridgeport to get a proper consultation.

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009





Grimey Drawer

Splizwarf posted:

Downside is literally knocking yourself out by standing up too quick from dropping a deuce, we had a bathroom like that too.

That's why you put insulation under the stairs.

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Motronic
Nov 6, 2009





Grimey Drawer

kastein posted:

Ow my rear end. These floors better be warm.

They will be. You're doing this so much better than can possibly be done (without breaking the laws of physics) by forced air or radiant.

You already know you won't be able to change temps quickly. This is a consistent temp permanent home kinda setup, which is the best you can build right now for what you are going for.

It would be a poor choice for a hunting cabin (as a sole heat source) or something like that, but if you want to keep your house at temp continuously, and use a lower temp/less fuel and still be comfortable.....this is the poo poo.

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