Chandeliers Above Bath Tubs

-  The image below shows a chandelier rated for a damp location – you’ll notice that the bulbs are completely enclosed. . This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t install a chandelier above your bath tub… but you’re supposed to have a very tall ceiling to do it, and even then, the light should be rated for a wet or damp location ..More

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Rubber Washing Machine Hoses

-  When I find rubber hoses used to connect the washing machine, I often mention to my clients that it’s a good idea to replace them. . Burst washing machine hoses have to be one of the most common causes of catastrophic water damage in homes.  It’s downright disturbing how often my client then goes on to share a story with me about how they already had a flooded house or knew someone whose house flooded because of a failed washing machine hose ..More

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Ionization vs. Photoelectric Smoke Alarms

-  Over the past few weeks, I’ve taken a close look at every smoke alarm in every house I’ve inspected to get an idea of what’s the most common type used in Minnesota.  The rest of the smoke alarms were the ionization type only.  Out of the dozens of smoke alarms I’ve looked at, I found one dual-sensor smoke alarm, which employed both ionization and photoelectric technologies. I’ve been hearing more and more about this push, but after recently listening to an impassioned speech on the benefits of photoelectric smoke alarms over ionization alarms, I started taking an informal inventory of the smoke alarms that are installed in Minnesota homes.  I didn’t come across a single photoelectric unit. ..More

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Illegal Plumbing Products in Minnesota

- POST UPDATE: As of 1/24/16, the new Minnesota Plumbing Code now allows these flex connectors at water heaters. ..More

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Deck Ledger Attachment Methods

-  One such fastener is the FastenMaster LedgerLok®, which is pictured above.  These fasteners are designed to be installed without any pilot holes, and they already come with a washer attached to each head.  Simpson Strong-Tie makes a similar fastener, called the Strong-Drive® SDS Screw. Because of the tedious process involved in drilling several pilot holes in the wood to use lag screws, there are a few products available that are designed for the specific purpose of attaching a deck ledger to a building. ..More

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