Furnace disconnect requirements

-  I turned to the “Appliances” section, and found this:. . So the question here is whether or not it’s allowable to use a lock at the circuit breaker for a furnace, in lieu of a separate service switch by the furnace.  To get answers to electrical code questions, I usually start by looking in my CodeCheck Electrical book, which I have in pdf format and can pull up on my phone ..More

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Life expectancy of cedar roofs in Minnesota

- Cedar shingles have an average thickness of 5/16”. Tapersawn shakes, which range in thickness from between 1/2”-3/4”, are becoming more and more common but still represent a very small segment of the market. . Approximately 90% of the cedar roofs in the Twin Cities are hand-split cedar shakes and 10% are cedar shingles. For the sake of simplicity, I’ve included taper sawn shakes under the shingle category because they are essentially just a cedar shingle on steroids (longer and thicker). For more details on this topic, click the following link for a comparison of cedar roofs in Minneapolis. The difference between medium and heavy hand-split shakes is the thickness on the butt edge, with mediums averaging 1/2”-3/4” and heavies averaging 3/4”-1” ..More

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Do you have photoelectric smoke alarms in your home?

- . I’ve blogged about photoelectric smoke alarms many times in the past, and I’ll give links to those blog posts at the end of this one.  Rather than discuss the differences between photoelectric and ionization smoke alarms, I’ve got a great anecdote today ..More

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Q&A: What’s the difference between home inspection organizations?

- . Post update: The National Association of Home Inspectors is no more. More information on that topic can be found here ..More

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My favorite tool: the Milwaukee M12 FUEL™ 1/4″ Hex Impact Driver

-  The obvious downside to any electric screwdriver is that it’s just a screwdriver, and it’s slow. . At some point, I started using a 4-volt Ryobi screwdriver, which is a great little tool.  The battery lasts a long time, and the drill is small enough to slip into a tool pouch ..More

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