Why the Doormat is An Important Home Decor Element

Have you ever come to a house and noticed that it has a really homey feel, but can’t quite put your finger on the reason? Chances are, the answer was right under your feet. That’s right — the doormat is what gave you this impression.

The impressions people get of places are often formed by the things that are not consciously noticed. Walkways, doormats, and lighting are all things which people don’t pay much attention to unless something is obviously wrong with them. But they all make a big difference in how a location is perceived. A nice doormat with a homey picture on it gives the psychological impression that this is a place you can relax and be yourself in. Since it’s right in front of the door, the feelings given by the doormat is mentally transferred to the entire house.

Fortunately, doormats are inexpensive and come in a wide variety of designs. You do not have to settle for the old-fashioned rubber tire ones anymore (though, if you are trying to present an eco-friendly image, you may want to prominently display recycled rubber). There are several made of tightly woven materials of various types which show different images. Countryside images are common, but there are also ones with joke images, cartoons, flowers, and pretty much any pitcher you can imagine. If you’re a traditionalist, of course, you can get the old standby: the “Welcome” mat.

Of course, doormats have a function to go with their form. The “practical” purpose is to prevent dirt from being tracked into the house. Therefore, they are made out of very tough materials, and or are woven in a way which provides special durability. A doormat will often outlast the carpet is protecting, and this is pretty much the point — the tough doormat protects your delicate flooring.

Due to this practical use, many doormat buyers do not pay enough attention to the aesthetic properties of the small square of material they will be looking at for the next several years. This is why doormats have a reputation as being pretty boring. But with hundreds or even thousands of designs available, there is no need to get a mere “workable” doormat.

The next time you need to update the look of your home or apartment but don’t want to spend a lot of money, take a real look at what doormats are available! You may be surprised to find that for a mere $15-$30, you can change the whole atmosphere of the outside of your house/apartment, while making your flooring last longer.

February 13, 2012
Posted in Home — Knowledge Buff @ 5:51 PM

How to Replace a CPU Fan

On a heavily used computer, the fact that there are mechanical parts involved will eventually become apparent — by their failure. A hard-core gamer or someone involved in a computer related home business will eventually start to hear strange sounds coming from their computer’s tower.

One of these sounds could be described as a rasping or grinding noise which has a rhythm. This is a sound of a failing computer fan. Inside the case, there are several fans, but in my experience the problem fan will usually be the one which cools the CPU. At first, you may be tempted to ignore this noise, but eventually the fan will either get too slow to be effective, or it will fail outright and stop completely. It will also get louder and louder as time progresses. Since the CPU will overheat without a fan, this will usually result in the computer shutting down due to “heat fault.” If you are unlucky, the CPU may just burn up without the computer giving you a protective shutdown instead.

Because of the importance of the CPU fan, a failing one will need to be replaced, and the sooner the better. While it is possible to have the fan replaced at a computer shop, it is much smarter to just do it yourself. A computer fan is cheap — you can get them for less than $5 — and replacing one is a simple job. Here are step-by-step instructions for a common computer configuration (note that some computers have odd or proprietary setups — for those, different steps may be required.):

1. First, open your computer’s case.

2. Ground yourself to prevent static buildup. This can be done with a special antistatic device you can wear, if you want to be fancy. The free way is to ground yourself against the computer’s housing. Also, make sure to not rub up against any carpet or other static-causing items, either before you start or while you are working.

3. Find your CPU fan. It will be attached to the motherboard somehow, most likely on top of a heatsink. Usually the heatsink is a boxy thing, but sometimes it will be fancier and have a different shape. The heatsink itself has fins, but these will be likely hidden from view by the CPU fan on top of them.

4. Once you locate the fan, the next step is fairly obvious. You need to remove it. Even though fans and heat sinks are often sold as a unit, you do not need to take the heatsink off. You can usually simply unscrew the fan from the heatsink. This saves you from having to reinstall a heatsink, and also makes it so you will not have to reapply thermal paste to the CPU.

5. Measure the fan. Measure straight across, rather than on the diagonal. This measurement needs to include the fan’s housing. You will need to measure in millimeters, since computer fans use the metric system.

6. Buy another fan. The best places to buy fans and other computer components are online. Newegg and TigerDirect have great deals on all of these types of things. But you may not want to wait for delivery, since this is a critical computer part and you’ll need it to be able to use your computer again. In that case, take your measurement to your local computer store and buy one there. Buying one locally, however, may mean you have to settle for buying the entire fan-heatsink unit, or getting a brand or type you may not prefer. Therefore, it is best to buy a computer fan as soon as you hear the telltale noise which warns of impending fan doom.

7. Once you have your fan, ground yourself, and then screw it onto the old heatsink. If the replacement fan comes with a new heatsink, just detach that one and put the fan onto the one that’s already on the motherboard. Plug in all the connections. There should be at least one connection, through which it will get its power. There may also be a connection which leads to some type of speed controller. If you bought a fancy fan which lights up or has other types of power consuming bells and whistles, it may need to be attached to the power supply (regular fans often only attach to a socket on the motherboard).

That is all it takes to replace the CPU fan in a machine with a typical configuration. It is a simple 5 to 10 minute job. The part which takes the longest isn’t the actual installation; it’s getting the new fan. Whether you have to go to a store near you, or buy one online, it’s a part most people don’t have on hand. If you want to avoid this delay, simply measure your current fan, and buy a spare while it is still working. That way, you not only will not have much downtime if your fan fails, but you can get the perfect one online for the cheap price without having to buy any unnecessary components like new heatsinks.

Posted in DIY — Knowledge Buff @ 5:08 PM

Choosing Kitchen Cabinets

Kitchen and bath cabinetry has improved a lot in the last 25 years. There had been a point when you discussed factory built cabinets you would hear, “do you mean like what they put in trailers?” Or “I bought some of that stuff from K-Mart and it came apart on me.” Those living on the gulf coast have seen their share of tempests that has ruined many kitchens—one cabinet store hasn’t sold a particleboard cabinet in five years. But the one issue they are getting all of the time arises because there is just too much to make a choice from.

I think the higher availability gives you the capability to get precisely what you need.

If you are someone that is totally lost, maybe I can shed some light and make this a delightful journey for you, as it is meant to be fun. There are many ways to go about this. One is to hire a designer. If that’s your position, I would like to recommend it; somebody with experience truly will help you coordinate your project, and help you select colors and style.

2. If a designer is out of the question, then buy a handful of mags and perhaps 2 books, pick colors and styles that appeal to you and mesh them together. Some kitchen designers will help you with this. One of the things I tell people is settle on a theme for your house. What sort of a person are you–modern, normal, country, Tuscan etc.? Another thing you have to remember is this might not be your last home–so be creative, just don’t make it unsellable. You can always accessorize with color. Here is the order of decisions I often go with:

Select your style, then kitchen cabinets and counter tops. They have a wide range of styles and designs, so they need to be first as you can work the rest in. Remodelers deal often with kitchen and bath cabinets. There are 2 main types out there: face frame cabinets and full access cabinetry or European. Standard overlay implies the doors are 1″ bigger than the opening top and bottom–you’ll see more of the frame, and these are typically the least costly. Full overlay is where the cabinet doors overlay the face frame one 0.25″ all of the way around–you’ll see less face frame and inset is where the door basically fits within the face frame making it have a flush appearance, these are often the most expensive.

Full access, or “European,” cabinetry don’t have a face frame, are assembled often of particleboard, and the doors are either wood or a thermofoil. The EU introduced them thanks to a wood shortage.

The European or Buck cabinets have 1/8″ openings between the doors. Face frame and European cabinets all have the same colors, glazes etc.; they just look a little different. There are many types of drawers and drawer glides. The most typical are merely a plain MDF vinyl wrapped drawer with quarter-inch bottom and side mount epoxy coated slides. Some places will upgrade to a birch dovetail with ¾” extension under-mount epoxy coated slides. And the best will be either a birch or maple dovetail drawer with full extension soft close drawer glides under-mounted.

Now you could be asking “how do I select a cabinet for me?” Almost all of the time, cabinets are selected based on budget. When you have established your financial position you can select a cabinet that you like that fits that budget. You may not get to do all of the upgrades to get the better drawers. Some have found the RTA cabinets will give you the most bang for your buck. All of the upgrades without the additional cost. Today, most ready-to-assemble cabinets are plywood and hardwoods with stains, paints and glazes that cost 50% less than the offerings from the massive box stores. They do need a bit more work than pre-assembled kitchen cabinets, but are worth it if you have somewhat decent assembling skills.

February 11, 2012
Posted in Home — Knowledge Buff @ 12:06 AM

Why You Should Use Old Mushroom Compost in Your Garden

There are many kinds of compost. But the easiest to use has got to be kinds which are already composted! There is no need to wait, churn the pile, or any of that if the soil amendment is already ready for use.

Spent mushroom substrate, aka mushroom soil or mushroom substrate, is a great organic soil additive. This is special soil in which edible mushrooms have been grown. Fortunately, after the mushrooms are done growing, there is still a lot of good in this compost, so it’s great to just turn it into the soil in the main garden. Mushroom-growing soil is generally made of things like ground coconut hulls, hay, ground-up corn cobs, poultry manure, straw, and cottonseed meal. By the time it’s sold as mushroom compost, it’s already been composted and is dark and scent-free.

Benefits of using old mushroom-growing soil include:

Recycling. Since mushrooms can only be grown in it once, it’s usually just thrown out by mushroom growers once their crops are done with it. But a vegetable garden will still get plenty of good from it. Since it’s renewable, it’s a good alternative to peat moss, which doesn’t always come from “farmed” bogs.

It adds organic material to the soil. Like all good compost, it becomes humus as it decomposes. It helps with drainage and with breaking up clay soil. If you put a lot into your garden, you can get nice loamy soil. A 3 to 6-inch thick application should last between 2 and 5 years in a vegetable garden. But for container plants, you may need to add a top layer in just a few months, due to the fact that organic matter breaks down, and the layer added to containers probably won’t be as thick as it would be if you applied it outdoors.

Mushroom compost adds drought resistance. The soil’s capacity to hold water is increased by compost. Yet at the same time, it allows proper aeration and drainage. Mushroom compost is especially good for this, because the fungal activity left over from growing the mushrooms creates an extra barrier against drought and heat. This saves water costs, especially in arid regions.

Mushroom compost helps control garden pests. It has a lot of microbial activity, which helps encourage beneficial insects and earthworms. It also helps discourage disease. This will help you reduce your use of potentially dangerous chemicals.

Some fungi can make your plants grow faster. Beneficial fungus, specifically mycorrhizae, live synergistically with plants and can result in rapid growth. Since “spent” mushroom compost was used to grow fungi (the mushrooms), it is full of good fungi. It’s only considered “spent” because the edible parts of the mushrooms have been harvested. There are a lot of microscopic fungi left behind. Mushroom compost is naturally low in nitrogen, so it doesn’t encourage overly leafy growth. This makes it ideal for non-leaf vegetables and for flowers, as well.

There are no weeds in it. Mushrooms need to be grown in sterile compost. So, the leftover compost is free of both weeds and pathogens. This makes it perfect mulch for pretty much everything, as well as a good soil amendment. You can be sure you aren’t unwittingly importing weeds when you use this.

It smells good. If made right, it doesn’t stink. It actually smells a bit sweet. And once it’s put into the ground, all odor soon disappears. This can be quite refreshing to those who are used to smelling the stink of horse, cow, or chicken manure!

February 5, 2012
Posted in Landscaping — Knowledge Buff @ 7:46 PM

How to Grow Grapes for Wine

The taste of wine is directly dependent on the quality of the grapes. Therefore, the planting and growing of the grapes is the primary factor in producing good wine.

The biggest factor for the planting part is the location. Grapes need the right kind of soil and a spot which gets plenty of light. The sunlight must also be even, rather than there being a shady side. This is what allows the grapes to fill with the sugar which will later be fermented into alcohol.

Grape vines don’t like to be too wet. Therefore, avoid planting them near drainage systems, areas where puddles form, or other sources of too much water. You won’t need to worry much about nutrition, because smaller grapes are better for making wine. If the soil is very poor, supplement it with compost rather than other fertilizer. Dig a large hole for the vines, so they have a good amount of loosened soil around them for proper drainage. Plant them next to a trellis, because they will need one to climb on as they grow.

For a large crop, vines should be in rows about 8 feet apart. For smaller vines, you can go with 6 feet. Birds and insects like grapes and have a good chance of causing you to have a smaller-than-expected crop. Even though one vine is ideally good for a gallon of wine, it is wise to plant a few spare vines just in case something else decides to eat the grapes before you get to them.

For the first year, vines should be tied to the trellis with string rather than wire. Wire can damage your vines. Clip off extra shoots which may sprout up from the roots of the grape vines. It is important to prune the grapes again once they go dormant. In the spring, choose the most rigid shoots and tie them up. Only tie these shoots loosely to the trellis as they grow. These shoots will become the “arms” of the vines. The fruits will grow from these shoots in the coming years.

For harvesting, you will need a hydrometer. This instrument tells you the gravity of the liquids in the grapes. This, in turn, will let you know their sugar content. The best gravity reading is between 1.095 and 1.105, with the higher figure being preferred. When you have an acceptable gravity, it’s time to harvest. You can get a hydrometer from a winemaking shop either online or locally.

Growing grapes and processing them into wine takes a lot of time, as well as effort. Planting the grapes is just the start. But with a good attitude and dedicated attention, it can be quite rewarding.

Posted in Landscaping — Knowledge Buff @ 7:43 PM

An Organic Garden Starts with Organic Seeds

You’ve had your soil tested, and know it’s “clean”—uncontaminated in any way. But the picture isn’t complete unless you plant organic seeds which haven’t been treated with pesticides or other unnatural chemicals. You also probably want to be sure the seeds haven’t been genetically modified.

You may be wondering how you can be sure your seeds have been organically grown. It’s highly unlikely that you would find any specially-(un)treated seeds at your local discount store or even the average garden center. Instead, you’ll probably have to order them via specialty seed catalogs. These catalogs may be dedicated to organic seeds, or have a section of certified-organic offerings. Look for a company which labels the seeds they grow or that can legitimately say they are certified-organic growers. Some even have certified non-GMO seeds.

There are specific labels which seed suppliers, especially those who cater to serious gardeners or commercial farmers, will use to designate the types of seeds they have. There are U (untreated), OP (open-pollinated), O (organic) and H (heritage) designations, among others.

Untreated seeds are simply regular seeds which have not been treated with harmful chemicals. Whatever immunities normally come with the plant are all that the seeds have. This can be fine in the case of hardy, robust varieties. With other varieties, it may be better to start them off inside, in sterile soil.

These seeds may or may not be organic. They make no warranties as to what kind of soil the parent plants were grown in, or anything of that nature. It just means that the seeds themselves weren’t treated.

Organic seeds, on the other hand, are from plants which were grown using organic techniques.

Open-pollinated seeds have good and bad aspects. Non-hybrid, open-pollinated types are good because you can save the seeds from the plants they become, and you will get plants of the same quality the next year. On the other hand, hybrid seeds are usually more vigorous and disease-resistant. But hybrids often do not stay true to type from one generation to the next. Sometimes they will be substantially the same for a few generations, so it is not like they are worthless for saving by any means. But eventually, the descendents of hybrid seeds will usually return to field quality.

Heritage seeds are harder to find, and usually are not available in the big seed catalogs. The varieties denoted as “heritage” are very old types of plants. Often, the seeds have been passed down through generations, and are made available by those who don’t want their favorite varieties to go extinct. Some heritage-seed lovers are also interested in preserving the genetic diversity of plants.

Many times, people who like heritage plants and seeds will be willing to exchange seeds so they can enlarge their collection.

If you want to help conserve and enhance the diversity of open-pollinated plants by exchanging seeds, there are a couple of organizations you may want to contact. In the United States, try the Seed Savers’ Exchange, at 3026 N. Winn Rd., Decorah, Iowa, 52101.

In Canada, go to Seeds of Diversity Canada, Box 36, Stn. Q, Toronto, Ontario, M4T 2L7.

There are many options for organic gardening, and these ideas can help you with a quest to be “totally organic” right down to the tiniest little seed.

Posted in Landscaping — Knowledge Buff @ 7:41 PM

Making the Bathroom Safe for the Elderly

It may be surprising to you to learn that the bathroom is the most dangerous room in the house! But of all accidents that happen in homes, 70% happen in the bathroom. Falling while in the bathroom is the second-leading cause of accidental death or disability in the US, beaten only by car accidents. In North America alone, slip-and-fall accidents cause more than 20,000 fatalities per year. Most of the yearly deaths and injuries from bathroom falls happen to the elderly — people who are 65 years old or older.

Therefore, keeping the bathroom as safe as possible is one of the keys to maintaining independence for the elderly, and for mobility-impaired or frail people.

Fortunately, there are many easy-to-use, easy-to-install accessories which can help keep you and your loved ones safe.

1. A grab bar. This simple bar, usually stainless steel or colored to look like it, attaches to the wall with screws and provides a secure grip for anyone who needs a bit of extra support. These are not only good for the elderly, but for ill or even sedentary people who have gotten stiff. Hauling yourself up off the toilet is not nearly as hard when there is something to pull up on.

2. A transfer bench. This bench is to transfer yourself from outside the tub to the inside. If adding a walk-in tub is out of the budget, this is the thing to get. You (or your loved one) sit on the bench and slide yourself into the tub/shower. It’s a wide bench which straddles the side of the tub, with two legs outside and two legs in. Transfer benches usually have suction-cup feet to increase stability.
Transfer benches come in a variety of styles. They can be padded or not, and most have a seat which can swivel and lock into position—a great help for those too frail to slide themselves over.

3. A shower chair. This is a waterproof seat which sits inside the tub or shower. They are great if you’re a caregiver, because they make it a lot easier to bathe a person. There are only two main variations on this simple device: With a back, or without one. Aluminum frames are preferred because they resist corrosion, and are light weight.

4. A toilet safety frame. This is a hand rail which bolts onto the toilet. It has two legs which rest on the floor. They are inexpensive, and give people something to grab onto when they are sitting down or getting up. They also provide an extra grab point when walking past the toilet.

5. A raised toilet seat. A raised seat helps by lessening the distance between a standing and a sitting position. Kids will find it hard to use a bathroom equipped with one of these, but in an all-adult household, or in a bathroom only used by adults, they are a great help. They do take a bit of getting used to since people are not used to doing their business on a perch, but anyone with arthritis or other mobility problems will appreciate not having to bend so much.

With simple additions like these, the bathroom can be made much safer than the norm, and help you or your elderly relative maintain their independence.

Posted in Home — Knowledge Buff @ 6:27 PM

Kitchen Remodeling Tips

The kitchen is often the focal point of activity in the house. It’s also a very important area in terms of design. In many homes, you can even see the kitchen from the front door! This makes kitchen remodeling one of the best ways to revitalize a tired house. When the view includes gleaming new appliances and nice new cupboards, the overall impression of the house is greatly improved.

New appliances often spring to mind when people think of kitchen remodeling. This is for good reasons: Appliances are easy to see and they are essential parts of the kitchen. Choices in appliance design should be made according to how long you intend to keep the machines. If kitchen remodeling is something you intend to do only when the old equipment is functionally obsolete, it’s best to go for timeless designs that will look as good in 20 years as they do now. On the other hand, if you like to remodel your kitchen every few years, go ahead choose appliances that reflect today’s trends.

The cabinets and cupboards are a part of the kitchen that is often taken for granted – until they start to look worn. Since they take up such a large area, it’s important to choose the ones that provide the atmosphere you’re looking for. Dark cabinets usually look more expensive, but they can also make the kitchen seem like it needs more lighting. Lighter cabinets provide an airy feel, but are more prone to showing dirt and wear.

Countertops are another important aspect of the kitchen. The countertop can be made of pretty much anything, but popular materials range from Formica to various types of stone. Granite is often considered to be the pinnacle for kitchen countertops. It’s hard to damage, looks expensive, and can last forever. Other popular high-end materials include marble and quartz. Quartz countertops are popular because they can be made in any color, and marble is a favorite for pastry chefs thanks to its ability to allow easy rolling of thin dough.

The floor is the last major element that must be considered when doing kitchen remodeling. Though matte-finish kitchen flooring can look great, it is easy to stain. Therefore, it’s good to get nonporous tile or linoleum instead. Patterns are another thing to think about. Speckled patterns are great for hiding crumbs and the other specks of dirt that can accumulate during the day. This can lower or eliminate the need for touch-up sweeping during the day. Solid colors have their benefits as well. They can make the room seem bigger, and some colors impart richness to the expanse.

By pulling all of the elements together, it’s easy to obtain a beautiful and unified design. If you’re unsure of what goes well together, there’s no need to fret. Professionally-designed kitchen remodeling will ensure that your new kitchen looks great!

December 31, 2011
Posted in Home — Knowledge Buff @ 8:40 PM

What Is a Heat Recovery Ventilator?

Heat-recovery ventilators, or HRVs, are made to address the problems of tightly-built houses—stale air, lingering odors, and high humidity—without ruining the energy efficiency of the structures. Opening a window can “work,” but that allows a home’s heat to go outside unabated. It can also let humidity in. Heat-recovery ventilators, on the other hand, are made especially to let the stale air out while keeping the heat in. While they don’t bring the incoming air all the way up to the ambient temperature, they can save about 70% of the heat which would otherwise go straight to the outdoors.

Despite their name, heat-recovery ventilators can also be used to help keep air cool in the summer as they provide ventilation. During hot weather, the incoming hot air is cooled by the outgoing indoor air.

Unlike an open window, heat-recovery ventilators give continuously-controlled ventilation with a motorized system. They use the heat from the outgoing, stale air to warm up cooler (or cold) incoming fresh air. The two streams of air are never mixed. Instead, they go through a closely intertwined chamber setup. This allows the two air streams to get close enough to exchange heat from one to the other, without allowing the actual air to commingle.

Most heat-recovery ventilators are designed as whole-house solutions. They usually have between 4 and 8 supply-and-return ducts. In this way they are similar to typical built-in heating or air conditioning systems.

The ideal configuration of a heat-recovery ventilator will take air out from the most moisture-laden rooms like the bathroom, kitchen, and laundry room. Incoming fresh air, which is still slightly cooler than the old air, will go into lesser-used areas like hallways, closets, and other less-trafficked areas where air movement will not be uncomfortable.

Due to the size of a full installation job, whole-house heat recovery ventilators are usually installed by professional services.

Single-room heat-recovery ventilators also exist. These are good if there are one or two “problem” rooms which you need to address, without the expense or work required for a whole-house solution. Like room air conditioners, these ventilators install in a window or through a wall. Some models include filters, which is another thing they have in common with air conditioners.

For the most effective placement of a single-room heat-recovery ventilator, choose a location which will be high on an outside wall yet isn’t right up to the inside ceiling. Keep it away from thermostats to avoid skewing the temperature readings. Also keep it away from seating areas if the air movement would be a bother. Remember that there is fan noise associated with a one-room heat-recovery ventilator, and plan accordingly when it comes to placement. A noise which is quiet enough in a living room may sound like a plane taking off when it’s in an otherwise-silent bedroom.

All in all, heat-recovery ventilators seem to be a great way to get rid of stale air, odors, and overly-high humidity. They allow the fresh air in without bringing the cold, rain, or humidity in with it. To get an estimate on a whole-house heat-recovery ventilator, check with your local heating and air conditioning contractors. Or, if you are a handy type who doesn’t mind the bigger-than-average product, you can buy a whole-house heat recovery unit online, and install it yourself!

November 15, 2010
Posted in Home — Knowledge Buff @ 3:56 PM

How To Install an Electrical Outlet in the Floor

If you have a large space to furnish, you may find yourself with the problem of bringing electricity to a lamp or other item far from the wall. Installing a floor outlet is the professional way to avoid having to string an electrical cord across the room. This is the way it’s done in large, higher-class hotel lobbies, and there’s no reason not to do it in a large room in a home.

Installing a floor outlet means keeping some special considerations in mind. In the United States, most local electrical codes require a special box and receptacle, a gasket seal, and a strong, moisture-proof cover plate. This is because floors are subject to both foot traffic and at least occasional wet cleaning, and the floor outlet has to be able to handle this.

You will need: A drill, keyhole saw or hacksaw, a stiff wire, floor outlet hardware, wire connectors, and a power cable, cable clamp, and cable staple. If you’re installing the floor outlet into a carpeted floor, a carpet knife will be needed as well.

To avoid hassle, it’s best to install the floor outlet in a location that’s close to a nearby circuit. This will make it easier to do the wiring.

General steps for installing the floor outlet include:
• Positioning the floor outlet: Position the outlet between the joists. Once you’ve decided on the position, drill through the floor with a long bit. Drop a long coathanger wire though the hole, so you can see it from the level below. Bend the top of the wire and tape it so it doesn’t fall through the hole. Go downstairs and make sure that the area you intend to place the floor outlet will indeed be suitable—no pipes, existing wiring, or joists in the way.

• Using the outlet box as a template, draw an outline on the floor. Cut a hole for the floor outlet, using a keyhole saw or a jigsaw. If the floor is carpeted, cut a hole through the carpet and pad, drill marker holes at the corners, and then cut a hole through the substrate from underneath.

• From below, attach a cable clamp to your power cable (which is still not attached to the power at this point), and then snap the clamp into the floor outlet box. This will keep the weight of the power line from pulling downward from the box. Secure the cable to a joist within a foot of the box. Use a cable staple for this.

• Assemble the floor outlet: Go back upstairs and fasten the box into the floor. Attach the wires to the receptacle(s). First, connect the ground wire to the ground screw and then to the receptacles. Position the receptacle(s) into the box and secure them.

• Turn off the power to an existing circuit in a box which has a constant hot feed (this is one which is not operated by a switch). Then find the incoming hot wire. Using wire connectors, connect the new wires to the hot feed. The floor outlet is now able to get power.

• Turn on the power. You should now have a working floor outlet. Test it by plugging in a lamp.

That’s it! Now your floor outlet is installed, and you can have lamps which “mysteriously” get power even though they’re way in the middle of the floor, just like in fancy hotels! With creative placement of the lamp’s cord and other furniture, visitors won’t even be able to see where the floor outlet is unless they blatantly look for it. The overall effect is very professional.

Posted in Home — Knowledge Buff @ 3:44 PM
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