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17 Answers

It seems the trap was left out on the shower drain on a slab house. Any way to fix that short of a jack hammer?

My son just moved into a slab house on a septic system. After using the washing machine, they noticed a sewer smell coming from the shower drain. They had showered the day before. If there is indeed no trap between the shower and the septic tank, is there a solution short of a jack hammer? Perhaps a valve? The drain is a trough style with a 1.5 inch opening.

I told him that maybe the washing machine had emptied the trap. There is a vent for the washing machine and behind the shower.

Is there a simple way to tell if there is a trap? Thanks

In GBA Pro help | Asked By Tooger Smith | Nov 10 15
10 Answers

Adding insulation to a 1930s home with a slate roof

Location (New Jersey)

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By David Adler | Nov 23 15
10 Answers

Closed-cell spray foam between studs with various exterior continuous insulations

I want to make a few questions very explicit to get some good solid answers.

In GBA Pro help | Asked By Patrick | Nov 19 15
5 Answers

Leftover mineral wool shavings

I have about 150 1.5" thick pieces of 16" x 47" mineral wool insulation. From a prior post I mentioned I was going to try adding it to my attic as I began insulating it (new construction). However, I just got my 12" thick fiberglass batts and began installing them between the trusses. The insulation is very airy..or fluffy. If I put these mineral wool scraps on top of the fiberglass running perpendicular.. I actually see the fiberglass shrink some from the weight! It compresses a good inch or two. I wonder if I am doing more harm than good. I know fiberglass needs to be loose.

In Green products and materials | Asked By Nicholas C | Nov 24 15
6 Answers

How should I insulate my exterior walls?

I live in zone 4a, northern Virginia. My house is a single story, 2x4 exterior walls, no plastic wrap on the interior, no sheathing on the exterior, no house wrap on the exterior, and the exterior siding is RB&B board. The house is 40 years old and has just 40 year old batting insulation with siding. I want to spray foam, from the exterior, but one person says do not use closed cell because it is too hard to cut smoothly and water could settle in any uneven places, the next person says to only use closed cell.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Michael | Nov 23 15
9 Answers

Why will our heat pump not warm the whole building?

Our office has complaints about the building we work in -- it will not get warm. We have an old boiler, but when we renovated in the 90's the company installed heat pumps and connected the two systems together.

Once it hits 32 degrees, the boiler was supposed to come on. Instead, half the building is cold and the other is hot.

Can anyone please explain what is going on here, and can it be fixed?

In General questions | Asked By Desirae | Nov 23 15
7 Answers

Window advice - Zone 3

Well we are looking at Marvin all Ultrex, Andersen 200, Softlight Elements and Sunrise Vanguard.

We are in Zone 3 on a heavily wooded lot, 4 small window on the west, 2 covered by porch, 15 on the north northwest, 4 on the south and 2 sliding doors, one 6 footer on the south with a 8 ft covered porch and a 12 ft sliding door on the east covered by a 12ft deep screened porch.

What should we look for in U-factor and SHGC?

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Quinton Bryant | Nov 10 15
1 Answer

Can you install a metal panel roof on plastic furring strips?

I am getting ready to install a metal roof (36" wide panels) onto my SIP roof. I've read that a 'cold roof system' is the way to go with SIPS - to allow any moisture that comes through the sips to evacuate. Is the extra layer of sheathing over the furring necessary, wouldn't you get more ventilation if the roof was installed just on furring strips? And could these stand alone furring strips be the plastic Cor-a-vent Sturdi-strip product to allow for better drainage and ventilation? Does this product make for a weaker connection of the metal panel to the sheathing?

In General questions | Asked By Rene Cappuccino | Nov 24 15
3 Answers

Installing rigid foam insulating board on the interior of an exterior wall

1890 house we've pulled the plaster and lathes off. Have access to exposed exterior wall between studs from the inside. Can we cut and tightly fit 2" board between the studs, Should it be snug to the exterior wall? Or will there be a moisture issue...how do we prevent moisture issues? If we double layer the board does it increase effintiency? do we need to tape the seams against the studs? We live in Maine.

In GBA Pro help | Asked By Andrea | Nov 23 15
14 Answers

HVAC Retrofit for 1918 Colonial Revival in CT

My husband and I own a 1918 Colonial Revival in CT... where summers are hot and humid and winters are cold. We bought the house 4 years ago. But we're not spring chickens... we're in our 50s so we won't see as much return on investments as say... a younger couple might. (We have no children but my husband's elderly uncle might stay with us in Feb. 2016 so we need efficient heat for him.) We also don't have a big budget - plus our house is in a neighborhood where the houses are losing value, so we don't want to spend a tremendous amount on renovations.

In Green products and materials | Asked By Margaret Tehan | Nov 22 15
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