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Jim Katen

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Jim Katen last won the day on May 14

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About Jim Katen

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  1. I call it the bus bar and the things that stick out of it are the stabs. (At least that's what I call them.) If the breakers are sitting 1/2" proud of where they should be, I'd call that a real problem. The're not engaging with the stabs properly. If you're in a hurry and/or if you're not interested in screwing around, just note that the breakers are the wrong type for the panel, recommend that they be replaced, and move on. However, if you're interested in mucking around, I suspect that whoever installed the breakers just didn't push them all the way into place. Sometimes you've got to push pretty hard, even with Square D breakers in a Square D panel. Personally, I wouldn't hesitate to carefully push on one of the breakers - it would probably slip right into place. If so, I'd do all the others and move on.
  2. From your description, it sounds like the ground water is completely surrounding the basement, like a boat. This seems unlikely because if it were, water would surely be leaking into the basement. Thinking out loud: what if the water is accumulating on a hard lens of soil, with dryer soil below? It might be interesting to drill a 6' or 8' deep hole in the bottom of one well to see what happens.
  3. Personally, I don't say anything about it unless the off-brand breakers interfere with the fit of the deadfront. I don't understand what you mean by "stick out 1/2 inch at the middle contacts."
  4. Just a guess, but I suspect that the worst of it occurs where the most water emerges. You can't see it because it's fallen off along with the face of the stone.
  5. The less, the better. Just use the flex to get to the rigid. Don't forget fireblocking at that soffit. (It would have been easier to pre-rock that area.)
  6. If the bathroom were on an upper level and had a long skylight well, that might be a problem, but a 9-inch difference in ceiling height isn't going to make a scrap of difference here. In a bathroom that size you could put it anywhere on the ceiling or high on the wall and it would work fine. If you put it over the shower, I believe that Panasonic requires it's circuit to be GFCI protected. Be sure to buy and install Panasonic's Condensation Sensor Plus controller (humidistat) or install a good timer, like Tom suggested. Running the fan for a good 20 minutes after a shower will make much more of a difference than a small difference in placement.
  7. Jim Katen

    QO panel

    That's a main-lug panel. In the trade it would be called an MLO (main lug only) panel. If you were to open it up and look inside, you'd probably see a schematic that said something like "listed for use as service equipment when using not more than 6 main breakers." *If* it's the service panel for a building and *if* it had 6 or fewer breakers, then it wouldn't need a main breaker. The tandems count as two breakers unless they have a handle-tie installed. My guess is that the panel was originally installed with 6 breakers and someone installed the tandems later - they don't match anyway. The upside down breakers (the ones that are "off" in the "up" position, mean that the panel must predate 1984. The fact that the breakers are oddly arranged and that there's a strange outline of a cutout to the left of the upper breaker makes me wonder if this cover actually goes with the panel behind it. We could tell a lot more if you had a picture of the panel with its cover removed.
  8. Out here, they've got to be above the snow. Wouldn't that be the case in the friggin midwest?
  9. Off topic: I find it interesting that none of the spellcheck programs seems to be up to date with this stuff. Per the AP Stylebook the term "coronavirus" is not capitalized, but COVID-19 is all caps. Because I knew you'd want to know.
  10. Not per the IRC. The City of Portland used to have a citywide exception that allowed a supply duct to serve as a combustion air opening if it was big enough to do so when the HVAC blower was not running. The upshot is that the duct is never big enough. (It makes no sense to have a huge supply duct going to a small utility room - and a large utility room wouldn't need the added combustion air in the first place.)
  11. Without defining "showing" it's meaningless. As I understand the common meaning of "showing," it has nothing to do with an inspection. Also, it's impossible for anyone to attest to items 5 & 6 with honesty. Which means that pretty much everyone who signs it is a liar. I find such agreements despicable, but if I were to have one, I'd have my lawyer write something that basically says, "the undersigned parties agree to hold each other harmless with regard to COVID-19." (I'm sure that the lawyer would drag it out into several paragraphs, but I would insist that it not contain any impossible clauses.)
  12. They frequently don't work. It's a bit of an epidemic around here.
  13. Use your laser thermometer to take the temperature of the floor. Turn up the thermostat and confirm that the display shows that it's trying to heat. Come back an hour later and scan the floor with your thermometer again. Or if you have an IR camera, just take a picture of the floor - it'll light up like a christmas tree. You could also do it with an ammeter in the panel if you can find the circuit that's feeding the heater. On the thermostats that I see, the "test" button tests the GFCI feature.
  14. Occasionally. I've even see EPS foam panels used for that purpose. Though most of the GWB is paperless nowadays - like Densglass. I don't like it because I'm in earthquake country and our buildings need all the shear they can get.
  15. Potatoes, tomatoes, squash, beans, etc all love the Ruth Stout method. I'll never go back to the black plastic with those things. Yeah, but my garden is about 60x60. When the beds are due for amendments, we're talking literally tons of stuff. I'd order two or three dump truck's worth of whatever looked good that year. Plus, just laying out the plastic got to be kind of old. Walking out there and shaking hay over everything is pretty close to no work. Heck, if Ruth could do it in her '90s I can do it indefinitely. I don't even own a tiller anymore and I haven't *turned* anything into the soil in years. I just keep dumping hay on top. Yeah. I might try going back to the plastic for one bed for the warm weather stuff. I'm also considering building a little cold frame over a bed and lining all round it with rocks as heat sinks. I saw one odd-looking garden where the owner "Mulched" with small flat jet-black rocks that he got from who-knows-where. He layered them on the ground like fish scales. I have not the time, patience, or back muscles for that one.
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