Q: Why is the cold water inlet pipe on my water heater hot up to five feet away? Thanks in advance! -- Jan O. A: It is normal for the incoming cold water pipe to get a little warm due to convection – that is, hot water rising in the tank. Also copper piping is a good conductor of heat. Many modern water heaters have built-in heat traps to limit the migration of hot … [Read more...] about Why Is Water Heater Supply Line Hot?
Q: We are building a new home – a contemporary Cape – and are trying to decide between casement and double-hung windows. We like the look of casements, but have heard that they can be trouble. We are also trying to decide between vinyl-clad and solid-vinyl windows. Any suggestions would be appreciated. – Tom C. A: There are definitely pros and cons to each type of … [Read more...] about Casement Vs. Double-Hung Windows
Q: What is the best option for replacing a low-slope roof over an addition? We have a low-slope shed roof that was repaired with roll roofing as an emergency patch in 2014. We had ice damage which forced the roof repair, but because it was in the winter, only the lower half of the 23×12' area was repaired. The top half of the addition roof has asphalt shingles where it … [Read more...] about Best Option for Low-Slope Roofing
Q: We live in Kingston, NY and cathedral ceilinged the main living space of our 1925 raised ranch. The rafters are 2×6's. we used R-21 fiberglass batts (5 1/2 " thick) and 1" pine tongue and groove boards. The roof is an unvented shingle roof. Is there an affordable solution to prevent humidity build up? – Kate A: In cold climates, unvented roof cavities can lead to moisture … [Read more...] about Air-Sealing An Unvented Cathedral Ceiling
Q: We recently remodeled a kitchen and were required to upgrade the kitchen plumbing and electrical to current code. However, the inspector went further and required other upgrades to the plumbing drainage and venting, wanted a new electrical subpanel, and required smoke detectors in every bedroom (in addition to the one on each floor). The town also required a full septic … [Read more...] about In Remodel, What Must Come Up To Code?
Q: What is the best way to connect a deck railing to the posts? There are detailed instructions for how to connect railing posts to the rim joist to meet code. However, the attachment of the railing to the post can be the weakest link in the system. How should the railing be connected to the rail post to meet the code when force is applied to the railing? The post connection to … [Read more...] about Attaching Deck Railings to Posts
Q: I'm looking to buy a property that has an existing structure that hasn't been used in 12-plus years. It has well and septic but the status and placement of the septic system is unknown. My question is this: Should I ask for a percentage test or deep-hole test prior to closing? It's February here in the North East (upstate NY), so I'm not sure when this test could be … [Read more...] about How To Inspect A Septic System
Donna writes: My home and the house next door where built in 1963. In 1981 we added a 1,000 gallon tank and two more leach lines because the contractor did not make it big enough for our family when the house was built. The county came thru later and said after everything was done that it was not legal because we did not add a sand filter. We did not change anything, just … [Read more...] about Add Sand Filter To Existing Septic System?