Shut-off valve basics

- The photos below show a ball valve in the open position, halfway open position, and fully closed position. ..More

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Deck Ledger Attachment Methods

- . This is probably the least common method of deck attachment because it takes more time, and requires more running in and out of the building ..More

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Hot Water Faster

-   So what’s the downside to this, and why don’t more plumbers do this?  It’s a code violation. .  Because of this, I left the old 1/2″ water line in place.  The hot and cold water flow both seem to be identical.  The Minnesota State Plumbing Code requires a minimum of 1/2″ pipe to the kitchen sink.  When it comes time for me to sell my house, I’ll probably just re-connect the old 1/2″ water line to the faucet. You might think that this reduction in size would equate to lower water flow at the kitchen faucet, but it actually made no noticeable difference.  It should take about 30 seconds ..More

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Kitchen Remodeling: Do It Right The First Time

-  If the home doesn’t have these already, this is a nice upgrade. .  Go ahead and bring this stuff up to current standards – this will reduce the potential for nuisance tripping at the circuit breaker panel.  The current requirement for kitchens is that there needs to be at least two 20-amp small appliance circuits for the kitchen countertop outlets.  Current standards also require a dedicated circuit for the dishwasher and a dedicated circuit for the garbage disposer. Add more circuits ..More

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Buried Fuel Oil Tanks

-  I stuck my tape measure down the pipe, and it came out soaked in fuel oil. .  Fuel oil has a strong odor, and takes a long time to go away.  In this particular case, the fill pipe had a cap that could be opened.  It smelled like fuel oil for the next two weeks, despite my half-hearted efforts to clean it off.  It’s easy to understand how a leaking tank can create such a nasty problem. Here’s another example of pipes sticking out of the ground leading to a buried oil tank in the yard ..More

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