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Jim Katen

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Jim Katen last won the day on December 3

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About Jim Katen

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  1. Jim Katen

    Roof Part Name?

  2. Jim Katen

    Copper and aluminum SEC

    pranus, can you cite a source for your opinion?
  3. Jim Katen

    Chicago inspection question

    I can appreciate Chicago's unique take on this. But it's just that, a unique take. As well as it might work, it's at odds with the UPC. In aggregate, I find the arguments in favor of the ejectors weak and not particularly compelling. Like many other things in Chicago (Romex, anyone?), I suspect that the prevalence of ejectors is more about job security for plumbers than it is about how well the system works to stop backflows. Just for the record, the UPC requires the backwater valve to only serve those fixtures in a house that are below the elevation of the nearest sewer manhole cover. Fixtures higher than the manhole cover are prohibited from having backwater protection and don't need it anyway. Both backwater valves and ejectors systems can fail, although I concede that the ejector system has an advantage because of the high loop. On the other hand, there have to be lots of failing pumps out there at any given time.
  4. Jim Katen

    Chicago inspection question

    If the idea is to protect against sewer back up, a backwater valve makes more sense than a sewage ejector. The only reason that a sewage ejector prevents backups is because of the backwater valve that's part of the discharge pipe.
  5. Jim Katen

    Chicago inspection question

    If the new drain piping can drain by gravity, it should. The only time you'd use a sewage ejector is when you have to pump the product uphill. "Who is right" will depend on the elevation of your sewer pipe. It's not a matter of "playing it safe." Either your new plumbing is above your existing sewer pipe or it's not. You *must* use gravity if it's above. You *must* use a sewage ejector if it's not. Opinions don't matter here. Only reality.
  6. Jim Katen

    3 inspection photos you should take to manage your risk

    This is why I take inspection advice from lawyers and insurers judiciously. The advice usually begins with a germ of a useful idea, but is then extrapolated to the absurd.
  7. Jim Katen

    Stand By Generators not to Code!

    Well then, let's revisit it. (And welcome back, by the way. I occasionally visit your place, but not as regularly as I should.) A house has a 200-amp service with a 200-amp service panel and a smaller subpanel that covers critical loads. An automatic transfer switch connects the subpanel to a generator that is sized to cover the entire load of the sub panel. Is this prohibited? Why or why not?
  8. Jim Katen

    Foundation settlement gauge

    That's a standard Humbolt crack gauge. I used to get them in bulk when I first started. They also had a different kind that wrapped around a corner. Haven't used them in years. I used a crayon to mark the date next to them. That way you could chart movement over time. If that one was installed correctly, it's showing 2mm of rotation. Without a date, that information isn't particularly helpful, though. Try to find out when it was installed, and how often it's been checked since then. Sometimes they show cyclical movement with changes in the seasons.
  9. With stuff like this, context is everything. They're certainly goofy looking and if they're actually holding up anything important I'd probably want to replace them with something that inspires more confidence. Can't tell without a wider picture though.
  10. Are the shims actually holding up anything, or are they just providing supplemental support? Do you have a wider picture of the floor framing?
  11. I think it's Les' alternative to using the toilet. . .
  12. Jim Katen

    Rest of Co-Hosting

    But did you warn them about boob lights?
  13. I've long believed that it's best to aim for the edge of the water. It seems like that causes the least splashing and collateral damage, but I haven't conducted any controlled studies.
  14. Ours were field mice. Tiny little things that must have a pair of springs for hind legs. They can jump straight up like superman. It's actually quite alarming. Don't get me started. I got one stuck to the back of my head in a crawlspace this summer. . . and it already had a dead mouse on it. . .
  15. Jim Katen

    AFCI Protection (Refrigerators)

    *They* are wrong with regard to GFCIs. Plain & simple. The UL standard for refrigerators requires them to have current leakage at or below .05mA. Modern GFCIs will not trip below 4mA. If a fridge is tripping a GFCI, it’s leaking *at least* 8 times as much current as it should. Your appliance people simply have no room for argument here. I’m a little less sanguine about AFCIs. They’re often squirrely devices and I don’t have a lot of confidence in their ability to weed out “normal” arcing. My suggestion is a bit irregular, but might be helpful. Try swapping out the Siemens AFCI/GFCI for a Square D (Homeline) or an Eaton one and see what happens. Each of these three brands is a little bit different from the others and you might find a sweet spot with one of them. If so, you might have to live with a non-brand-matching breaker in your panel, which is technically incorrect, but probably better than living without the GFCI/AFCI protection, which seems like your only other choice, short of a new fridge.