Are ‘Hot Roofs’ allowed in Minnesota?

-   Foam insulation makes for a perfect seal – no gaps, no air leakage, no attic bypasses.  Also, on old one-and-one-half story homes with no soffits or very short soffits, adding proper soffit ventilation can be difficult or impossible. . What are the benefits? Closed-cell spray foam has a higher insulating value (R-Value) than anything else.   If ductwork is located in the attic space it won’t need to be insulated, eliminating a lot of energy loss.   Sprayed Polyurethane foam insulation has an R-Value of 6. 8 per inch, while fiberglass batt insulation is about half that, and it’s nearly impossible to install properly ..More

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Floodsafe® Washing Machine Connectors

- . In last week’s blog post about washing machine connectors, I mentioned that I’m not a big fan of the FloodSafe® washing machine connectors.  These are special flexible water supply connectors, aka ‘hoses’, with a mechanism that will completely shut off the flow of water if the hose bursts.  These connectors are made for faucets, toilets, ice makers, dishwashers, and washing machines, and can be identified by an extra length of metal at the hose inlet ..More

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Hot Dimmer Switches

-   In the photo below, the tabs are removed on one side of each of the dimmers, derating the maximum allowable wattage on each to 500 watts. . In the photo above, you’ll see the 600 watt rating, as well as 500 and 400 watt ratings.  When two of these dimmer switches are installed right next to each other, the little metal tabs will need to be broken off on one side of each dimmer, and the total allowable wattage gets reduced, or ‘derated’ ..More

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Deck Guardrail Inspections

- . In the photo below, the ovals show where extra blocking was added.  This blocking tremendously stiffens the joist that the guardrail is attached to, making it so the guardrail won’t budge even when a full 200 lbs of pressure is applied ..More

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Superior Kitchen Faucets at Plumbing Supply Stores?

- I’ve heard this repeated so many times, from so many sources, that I decided to do a little calling around.  They all flat out denied this claim. .  They say there is no difference in faucets that go to different retailers.  They’re all the same.  I called and spoke with reps from Kohler, Delta, Moen, American Standard, and Price Pfister ..More

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