Hear why older wiring can be bad for LED lighting, what’s causing a banging noise in an HVAC unit, what to consider before installing a walk-in bathtub and more.
LED Lighting and Older Electrical Wiring
Terry in Iowa wants to replace the incandescent light bulbs in and around his garage with new LED outdoor security lights. He says the directions for the new LED lights recommend they not be connected to existing residential wiring if your home was built before 1985 because the temperature rating of the wire is 140 Fahrenheit.
“Why is this a fire hazard and heat hazard if LED lights produce less heat than an incandescent bulb?” he asks.
LED lights emit less heat compared to incandescent bulbs because of the light-emitting diode within them. This component generates less heat compared to an incandescent bulb.
Although they produce less heat than incandescent bulbs, the recommendation to not connect them to existing residential wiring if your home was built before 1985 is due to the temperature rating of the wiring.
In homes built before 1985, the wiring often has a temperature rating of 140 Fahrenheit, which is lower than what is required for LED lights.
Also, the power supply in some older homes can fluctuate outside the acceptable range for LED lights. This fluctuation can cause the LED lights to burn out sooner than expected.
Consult with an electrician if you have any doubts or concerns about installing these LED lights in your home. They may tell you that you need to replace the existing wiring with new wiring that has a higher temperature rating, or recommended a different LED light brand altogether that will work with your home’s current wiring.
Read: Light Bulb Buying Guide: Understanding Incandescent, Fluorescent, CFL, LED & Halogen Lighting
Reasons Behind a Banging HVAC Blower
A homeowner says, “When my HVAC blower starts there is a “bang.” When the blower stops there is another “bang.” If I remove the door to the filter and remove the filter there is no “bang.” Any suggestions?”
The “bang” you’re hearing when your HVAC blower starts and stops is likely due to a problem with the blower assembly. Here are some possible causes:
- Loose components: Loose or worn components in the blower assembly can cause it to vibrate and make a banging noise. Check the blower wheel, fan blades, and other components to make sure they’re securely fastened and in good condition.
- Out of balance: If the blower wheel is out of balance, it can cause the entire blower assembly to vibrate and make a banging noise. A professional HVAC technician can diagnose this issue and make any necessary repairs.
- Worn bearings: If the bearings in the blower motor are worn, they can cause the blower assembly to vibrate and make a banging noise. A professional HVAC technician can diagnose this issue and replace the bearings if necessary.
The absence of the “bang” when the filter door is removed and the filter is taken out suggests that the filter may be blocking or restricting the airflow through the HVAC system, causing increased pressure in the blower assembly and resulting in the banging noise.
Call a professional HVAC technician for assistance. They’ll be able to diagnose the problem and make any necessary repairs to keep your HVAC system running smoothly.
What to Consider Before Installing a Walk-In Bathtub
A homeowner wants to install a walk-in bathroom tub, and wants to know: “What are the things I should look for?”
When installing a walk-in bathtub, there are several factors you should consider to ensure a successful installation:
- Size: Make sure the bathtub you choose fits in the designated space in your bathroom. Take accurate measurements of the area where you plan to install the tub, including doorways and any obstacles.
- Drain location: Make sure the drain location is compatible with your plumbing system.
- Water supply lines: Make sure you have the necessary water supply lines and valves for the tub.
- Electrical requirements: Some walk-in bathtubs require a dedicated electrical circuit. Check the electrical requirements of the tub you plan to install and ensure you have the necessary electrical capacity.
- Accessibility: Walk-in bathtubs are designed for accessibility, but it’s still important to make sure you have enough space to get in and out of the tub safely. Consider the height of the tub, the width of the door, and the height of the step-in.
- Style: There are many different styles of walk-in bathtubs available, so choose one that complements your bathroom decor.
- Warranty: Look for a walk-in bathtub with a good warranty, as this will protect you in the event of any defects or malfunctions.
It’s always a good idea to consult with a professional plumber or contractor when installing a walk-in bathtub to ensure a safe and successful installation.
Hear how to a repair crack in a ceiling, why a self-lighting pilot on a furnace won’t work, and more.
Cracks in Ceiling
A homeowner says his bedroom ceiling is cracking near the exterior wall.
“Why is this happening and what do I need to do to repair it?” he asks.
Because of the location of this crack, it’s most likely caused by movement. Install drywall screws on either side of the crack to stabilize it and reduce any movement so you can repair it.
Here’s how to tackle the repair. First, apply joint compound and cover the crack with paper drywall tape pressed into the wet compound. Then cover the tape with more joint compound, and allow it to dry before sanding.
Watch “How to Repair Cracks and Dents in Drywall” for more information.
Other reasons for the cracking in your bedroom ceiling near the exterior wall could be due to:
- Moisture: If there’s moisture getting into the space between the ceiling and the roof, it can cause the ceiling to expand and contract, leading to cracking.
- Structural issue: The cracking could be due to a structural issue, such as a problem with the roof or the wall. This could cause the ceiling to sag or crack.
- Settlement: If the house has settled over time, it could cause cracking in the ceiling.
- Poor installation: If the ceiling was not properly installed, it could lead to cracking over time.
If you’re unsure about the cause of the cracking or how to make the repairs, it’s best to consult a professional contractor or home inspector.
Problems with a Self-Lighting Pilot Light
A homeowner says his furnace’s self-lighting pilot isn’t lighting, but the furnace is still running normally.
“What could be the problem there?” he asks.
It sounds like there may be a problem with the self-lighting pilot on your furnace. If the pilot is not lighting, then it may not be able to ignite the burners and produce heat. There are a few possible reasons why the pilot is not lighting, including:
- Dirty or clogged pilot orifice: If the pilot orifice is dirty or clogged, the pilot flame can’t ignite.
- Weak or faulty thermocouple: The thermocouple is a safety device that detects the pilot flame and signals the gas valve to open. If it’s weak or faulty, it may not be able to sense the pilot flame, causing the gas valve to remain closed.
- Broken or clogged gas valve: If this is broken or clogged, it can prevent gas from reaching the pilot, causing the flame to go out.
- Air in the gas line: Air in the gas line can prevent the pilot flame from igniting.
In order to diagnose and repair the issue, it’s best to contact a licensed HVAC technician. Trying to fix the problem yourself without proper training and experience can be dangerous and may cause further damage.
Best New Products
|Get the benefits of Home Decorators Collection Waterproof Laminate Flooring. Discover its durability, versatility, and moisture resistance.|
Refinish, Refurbish Old Hinges — Rather than buying all new door hinges when switching from brass to brushed nickel, try this money-saving trick:
- Use a wire wheel on a bench grinder to buff off the brass finish from the hinges, revealing bare steel.
- Spray on a coat of clear acrylic to prevent rusting and you’ve got “new” hinges that very closely resemble brushed nickel.
Carpet Cleaning Tip — Here’s a safe, inexpensive way to clean stains and odors from any type of carpeting:
- Sprinkle baking soda onto the carpet and then mist the area with hot water.
- Immediately scrub with a stiff-bristle scrub brush, and wait for the baking soda to dry.
- Then vacuum the carpet clean.
Radio Show & Podcast: Send us your question!
If you have a comment, general question about home improvement, or something we’ve featured on Today’s Homeowner, call us at 1-800-946-4420 or fill out this form and we will get back to you:
"*" indicates required fields