June 30, 2019 AsktheBuilder Newsletter
You could be a brand new subscriber. (light celebratory fireworks fuse!) Welcome! (bright lights in sky and BOOM BOOM BOOM noises)
You might be a subscriber that's been here long enough to have thought once or twice that it might be a good idea for me to tone it down. (Boo and Hiss sounds from my strongest supporters - splat sounds of rotten fruit hitting things and ground) 😉
I'm Like You
You may think everything at my home is unicorns, rainbows, and unending servings of mocha chip ice cream. Everything is perfect, nothing breaks and all is good.
A month ago, out of nowhere, the electric line feeding my outdoor post lamp at the street, a security spotlight, and a branch to my outdoor shed started to throw a DEAD SHORT.
This means that as soon as you try to turn on a circuit breaker, it POPS with a nasty spark. Dead shorts are DANGEROUS.
The IDIOT builder who built my house - I didn't build it - allowed the electrician to put in buried electric lines outdoors that are NOT in CONDUIT.
This is but another example, in my opinion, of how many codes, including the National Electric Code (NEC) are a set of MINIMUM standards.
Building or installing something to code doesn't prohibit you from investing a small amount of time and money to do a BETTER JOB. Often installing something to code is like getting a 70 percent on a test. You just pass by the skin of your teeth.
Using my self-taught electrical skills, I was able to trace down the part of the line where the short is in just minutes. The short is located in the line that runs from the house up to a junction box attached to an oak tree on the other side of the driveway. The line branches here to go to the shed, post light, and to the security light.
I'm sharing this story to BEG YOU to ALWAYS INSIST that all buried electric lines around your home be placed in slightly oversized approved conduit. The conduit protects the line from frost heaves, heavy delivery trucks that drive on soggy soil, errant gardening shovels and spades, etc.
When the conduit is installed at your home, make a simple drawing of your house footprint, driveway, sidewalks, etc. and show the conduit(s) in a different COLOR in relationship to things you can see after the house is built.
Put this drawing in a zip-lock bag clearly marked that it's a plan of buried conduit. Staple it next to the electrical panel. A future homeowner/electrician will thank you.
P.S. I'm also dealing with a cranky sliding screen door that's jumping off the track every third day. She Who Must Be Obeyed is none too happy as she uses the door multiple times a day to feed the birds and water plants.
Last Call - $300 Gift Card
Tomorrow morning you may be the owner of a $300 Amazon gift card.
To qualify you must:
- own and use a portable dehumidifier
- fill out this survey by MIDNIGHT tonight June 30, 2019 ET
Remove Oil from Concrete
I recorded a new Stain Solver video this week. I tackled one of the TOUGHEST jobs you might ever take on:
Removing oil or grease from concrete
CLICK or TAP HERE to watch TWO videos.
The top video is the new one. It shows what you need to do to remove older oil stains in concrete. These are the TOUGHEST stains you can tackle, believe me.
The second video, farther down the page, shows how to EASILY remove FRESH oil spots.
A delivery truck, friend's car, or alien spacecraft might drop oil on your drive. It could even be fresh grease from a grill.
FRESH stains are EASY to remove if you ACT FAST.
CLICK or TAP HERE to watch that fresh oil-stain removal video.
Evelyn's VIP Fast Answer
Do you know what this is and WHY it's important?
CLICK or TAP HERE to see if your answer is correct.
Yesterday, Evelyn needed a fast answer about a few of these in her garage she was about to REMOVE. Fortunately, she had the smarts to reach out to me before she got out the reciprocating saw.
Evelyn got me to answer her desperate question in a hurry.
I created a new product about three months ago that's gaining in popularity.
It's called my VIP Fast Answer. As you might imagine, I get lots of email.
I can only answer so many each day then I must switch gears.
If I spend too much time dealing with all the incoming requests, I'd never be able to invest time in pursuits that pay bills and paychecks for the Ask the Builder team.
I decided to create a simple product where I answer ONE question for you and do it fast - usually within hours.
Keep this in mind if you're ever in a bind and want to know if a certain product is great, if a contractor is about to do something wrong, etc.
It's important to realize that I answer your question and we part ways. There are no follow-up questions. That's why the VIP Fast Answer is so affordable.
If you want to have a discussion about something so you don't lose hundreds or thousands of dollars, I have a separate service for that situation.
That's enough for a Sunday morning.
I've got my red, white, and blue shirt on for church and am wearing a bow tie that resembles the American Flag in that it's got stars and stripes on it.
Don't forget, the USA celebrates its birthday this week!
Do It Right, Not Over!