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  1. rdtompki

    Loose Sweat Fittings

    I'm plumbing a bypass into a new auxiliary hot water heater installation and bought some 3/4" quarter turn sweat ball valves at the local big box store. I've done my share of copper plumbing and haven't encountered sweat fittings as loose as these BV - the pipe actually wobbles a bit in the...
  2. rdtompki

    repairing rusted gas line

    I've uncovered a length of gas line the serves my pool heater. It's of the variety that is "protected" by a yellow cover. The cover is damaged in places and the pipe underneath is rusted. In addition the coating on the riser at my propane tank is split and the pipe underneath rusted. I...
  3. rdtompki

    Tempory fix for outdoor panel

    I've got an aging Crouse-hines (sp?) that I need to replace soon. This is on an outdoor pole and services a barn. The colder temperature are causing some intermittent breaker contact (bus bar corrosion and the like) and I'm wondering if the use of a bit of silicone dielectric grease to improve...
  4. rdtompki

    Where in the NEC does it say "This is really dumb"?

    Spoke with a friend at work today and he talked about his yard and garage getting flooded over the weekend: not surprising considering all the rain except for his having paid big bucks to have an elaborate french drain and sump installed. The sump is deep, at least 6 feet, and it seems the...
  5. rdtompki

    Size of service entrance cable?

    Is there a standard gauge for residential (overhead) service entrance cable? Seems like the gauge would have to be the same as the utilities overhead wire. I'm going to call my utility tomorrow to verify. I don't know that it matters, but my breaker panel which is integral with the meter is...
  6. rdtompki

    meter Breaker Panel Configuration

    I'm replacing an old combination meter and breaker panel that feeds my barn and hayshed. I really don't want to replace (or have an electrician replace) the entrance cable, but the Homeline unit I've bought is very long and the cable would have to be long enough run through the panel, down...
  7. rdtompki

    tip(s) for replacing a meter panel

    I've got to replace the ancient meter panel (combination of meter and 12 circuit panelboard that services my barn and hayshed. I'm going to get a permit and have PG&E do a disconnect. I'm competent to do the changeover with one minor question: the replacement panel is longer than the...
  8. rdtompki

    weather tight 3/4" plug for a plastic timer box

    Installed a new electronic pool timer and inadvertently knocked out the wrong side of the weather tight timer box. Are their plugs specifically designed for this application? Rick
  9. rdtompki

    HVLP Paint Sprayers - outdoors

    I've done a lot of exterior painting with airless paint sprays, but I've got to paint 350 fence posts (installed) and I really want to use a sprayer. My trusty airless would waste 2/3 of the paint. How well would a good HVLP sprayer work outdoors if I only use it under calm conditions? I know...
  10. rdtompki

    Sink Stains

    Not a mainstream plumbing problem, but I've got Porcher sinks in my newly remodeled master bath and my "side" has a blue tint due to either my shaving cream (Edge gel) or my toothpaste (Colgate). I rinse the sink out after each use. Anyone seen this before? Any recommendations on removing the...
  11. rdtompki

    Workaround for slight damaged closet flange

    I'm remodeling a small bathroom on a slab and the flange appears slightly damaged - the slot in the flange looks slightly enlarged and I'm concerned that the normal bolts might pull through. I definitely don't want to replace the flange. I could use a piece of stainless threaded rod and a...
  12. rdtompki

    "Best" Smoke Alarm Brand

    I want to run an AC interconnected smoke alarm system while I have the wall above my panelboard opened up. What's a reasonable/affordable brand? I will probably have a heat sensor in the Kitchen and smoke sensors in the hall way and each of the bedrooms. I've got two old units which I will...
  13. rdtompki

    Problems with faux (HD) Moen fixture?

    My DW pick out "Moen" fixtures at HD's Expo center and I was somewhat concerned that these fixtures weren't your catalog Moen items. This is a Benton tub/shower fixture, 82450. Well, I don't have any Moen experience, but I did successfully do a complete install of Hans Grohe in our master...
  14. rdtompki

    Basic bathtub plumbing question

    I've gutted our guest bathroom and the first order of business is the plumbing. The new rough in won't be a problem, but as I'm on a slab redoing the ABS drain has me a bit concerned (I installed a whirlpool tub in our master bath, but I had a decent size hole to work in). My plan is to make...
  15. rdtompki

    Moen from Home Expo?

    My wife picked up a Moen "Benton" faucet from Home Expo as part of our guest bath remodel. In looking on the internet for a matching tub/shower single handle setup I've found that the Benton series is only sold in places like HD, Home Expo and Ace Hardware. What's the difference in internal...
  16. rdtompki

    Color matching from different manufacturers

    I'm doing a remodel of a small guest bathroom. Tub will be a Kohler acrylic, sink a porcher and toilet either a Toto Drake or and Eljer Titan. What are the chances that the biscuit colors will be a "close enough" match? I realize that this is very subjective and white might be a safer choice...
  17. rdtompki

    Repairing gas pipe covering

    I've got an underground gas line that is the variety with a yellow coating. Trenching by hand for another line the coating got a bit nicked up in places. What's the proper procedure for repairing the coating? Rick
  18. rdtompki

    Help! Need odd size brass nipples.

    I've got to cut down three brass nipples to odd lengths to finish off my shower (3-1/4" and two @ 2-5/8"). These are 1/2" pipe. Is there an inexpensive threading die tool that I can buy for this application? I called a plumber, but their threading tool won't handle short stock (no surprise)...
  19. rdtompki

    Caulking a drop-in tub

    Nine months after my original post I finally have the tub installed. I'm pleased with the installation although I have some variation in the gap I need to caulk caused by the mud bed/tile not being perfectly in plane and some out-of-plane of the tub lip. Biggest gap is perhaps 3/16". Here's...
  20. rdtompki

    Whirlpool tub installation

    With great trepidation I'm going to be installing my drop-in whirlpool tub next weekend. I've got a messy rough-in to complete since I had to remote the valves, but I've got a good handle on this part of the problem. My concern is the mortar bed. I'm on a slab which is appropriately cut for...
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