Forgot to Winterize Your Outside Faucet(s)? Here’s what to do.

-  It’ll blister paint, melt vinyl siding, and start paper on fire. .  If you choose to use a heat gun, be very careful.  The two infrared images below show a heat gun on the left and a hair dryer on the right; note the temperatures shown at the top left corners of images.  That’s not a high-powered hair dryer, it’s a heat gun.   This will take a long time with a hair dryer, but it’ll happen eventually. Use a hair dryer or a heat gun to thaw your faucet ..More

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Seek Thermal Infrared Camera: A $199 IR Camera for Androids and iPhones

- .  While the camera on my mobile phone takes 13 megapixel photos, the photos aren’t nearly as nice as the photos I take with my point and shoot camera set to a lower resolution.  I suppose it’s like comparing pixels on a regular camera. The images don’t look nearly as good as the images on my lower-resolution, higher priced Flir E6, even with the MSX turned off ..More

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Upcoming Changes to the Minnesota State Building Code

- .  Most building officials have already been telling folks they need CO alarms, but they haven’t had any legal right to enforce the installation of CO alarms.  Now they do.  This means that CO alarms are going to be required by the building code, which means building officials will be enforcing this rule. Carbon monoxide alarms have been required by statute in Minnesota for many years now, but it’s finally going to become a rule ..More

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Water Heater Backdrafting: What if you can’t reproduce the problem?

- .  The second post on this topic was titled Water Heater Backdrafting: Why it’s happening and how to fix it; pretty self explanatory.  I wrote two on this topic a little over a year ago; the first post, titled Water Heater Backdrafting: Why it matters and what to look for, explained what this is all about and how to find signs of a problem. I’m assuming he was reading my blog posts on backdrafting water heaters ..More

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Four Important Smoke Alarm Safety Tips

-  The best place for a smoke alarm is typically on the ceiling, in the middle of the room. . The manufacturers installation instructions should be followed when installing smoke alarms.  If the smoke alarm is going to be installed on a wall or on the ceiling near a wall, don’t place it too close to the corner.  Most manufacturers recommend locating smoke alarms at least 4″ away from corners ..More

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