Author Topic: Home Improvement Thread  (Read 22906 times)

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Offline NatNasty

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Re: Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #425: August 25, 2020, 05:50:05 PM »
Everyone down here is screaming bloody murder (on Nextdoor) about their electric bills from Duke Energy. But then I'm seeing on the net of a device called PowerVolt which purports to reduce your electric bill by up to 90%.  Has anyone bought such a device and if so does it work like advertised and is it worth the not very high cost?

https://orderpowervolt.com/

Does placing a magnet next to your meter to slow it down still work?  Magnets are pretty cheap.  You can even make one yourself. 

Online dracnal

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Re: Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #426: August 25, 2020, 05:54:22 PM »
So out of curiosity, I decided to look into this to see how well they did presenting the device, reviews, etc. So, the website was registered in early July of this year for one year, updated on August 10th (registration info, not content), and is registered to Charlestown, Nevis in the West Indies.

The support email domain was also registered early July. While registering recently isn't automatically a problem, it's typical for sites that need to rebrand routinely. Next I went to Amazon to search and see what I could find. While Powervolt isn't selling devices on Amazon, a search for it comes up with what's clearly an earlier version, rebranded. The casing is the same, but the brand mark and wording on the sticker are different. Again, not exactly a positive sign.

Final step was to search the phonnne number provided, 8552270908. That led to a number of 3rd party reseller sites I've never heard of, and one place that seemed  to have a pretty objective analysis, sabireviews.com. The review also included a link to a BBC article (https://www.bbc.com/news/business-15984990), warning folks about how the company is scamming the elderly.

Final nail in the coffin? They mention a lifetime guarantee on their site, yet have no details on said warranty and expressly disavow liability for any damage to property or people caused by the devices.

So, what I guess I'm saying is, DCFan, buy like 30 of em.

Offline DCFan

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Re: Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #427: August 25, 2020, 05:54:36 PM »
Does placing a magnet next to your meter to slow it down still work?  Magnets are pretty cheap.  You can even make one yourself. 

:crackup:

Offline Ali the Baseball Cat

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Re: Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #428: August 25, 2020, 06:16:17 PM »
Steve Bannon's side gig?
So out of curiosity, I decided to look into this to see how well they did presenting the device, reviews, etc. So, the website was registered in early July of this year for one year, updated on August 10th (registration info, not content), and is registered to Charlestown, Nevis in the West Indies.

The support email domain was also registered early July. While registering recently isn't automatically a problem, it's typical for sites that need to rebrand routinely. Next I went to Amazon to search and see what I could find. While Powervolt isn't selling devices on Amazon, a search for it comes up with what's clearly an earlier version, rebranded. The casing is the same, but the brand mark and wording on the sticker are different. Again, not exactly a positive sign.

Final step was to search the phonnne number provided, 8552270908. That led to a number of 3rd party reseller sites I've never heard of, and one place that seemed  to have a pretty objective analysis, sabireviews.com. The review also included a link to a BBC article (https://www.bbc.com/news/business-15984990), warning folks about how the company is scamming the elderly.

Final nail in the coffin? They mention a lifetime guarantee on their site, yet have no details on said warranty and expressly disavow liability for any damage to property or people caused by the devices.

So, what I guess I'm saying is, DCFan, buy like 30 of em.

Offline DCFan

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Re: Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #429: August 25, 2020, 06:25:34 PM »
So, what I guess I'm saying is, DCFan, buy like 30 of em.

No problemo, as a senior member here I’ll put that on my WNFF charge card and let the Chief handle it. :mg:

Offline DCFan

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Re: Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #430: October 02, 2020, 01:17:25 PM »
We just had some extra insulation blown into the attic so now I'm on the hunt. I'm going for big game.  Mice. :mg:  To make it interesting I got an indoor wifi camera from Amazon to record the action in living color 1080P. It's cheap and it works in the dark. I put out a couple of old fashioned mouse traps and put a dab of peanut butter on em as bait (the good stuff - Jiff Natural crunchy). If they're there, they're gonners.  :whip:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B076H3SRXG/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Offline imref

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Re: Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #431: October 02, 2020, 02:09:49 PM »
We just had some extra insulation blown into the attic so now I'm on the hunt. I'm going for big game.  Mice. :mg:  To make it interesting I got an indoor wifi camera from Amazon to record the action in living color 1080P. It's cheap and it works in the dark. I put out a couple of old fashioned mouse traps and put a dab of peanut butter on em as bait (the good stuff - Jiff Natural crunchy). If they're there, they're gonners.  :whip:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B076H3SRXG/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Hopefully it was blown cellulose and not fiberglass.  That's some nasty stuff if your ducts/vents aren't sealed properly.

Online dracnal

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Re: Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #432: October 02, 2020, 05:59:26 PM »
Hopefully it was blown cellulose and not fiberglass.  That's some nasty stuff if your ducts/vents aren't sealed properly.

Wow. I get itchy and tense just thinking about fiberglass in the ducts, blowing around. That would be terrible.

Offline imref

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Re: Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #433: October 02, 2020, 06:35:05 PM »
Wow. I get itchy and tense just thinking about fiberglass in the ducts, blowing around. That would be terrible.

I had a family member who got blown fiberglass in his lungs because of improperly sealed vents.

Offline DCFan

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Re: Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #434: October 02, 2020, 09:02:00 PM »
Sounds horrible. :panic:

Offline imref

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Re: Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #435: October 02, 2020, 09:26:48 PM »
Sounds horrible. :panic:

It was. Lifelong issues.

Offline imref

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Re: Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #436: October 20, 2020, 10:12:52 AM »
not sure if this is the right place or not but I figured I'd ask - has anyone had FiOS or an equivalent service installed recently that required the running of an ethernet cable across their house?

My situation is that the outside FiOS box (called an ONT) is on the left side of my house at the front left corner, on the other side of the wall from our living room.  When the house was built, the builder ran a coax cable from that location, under the sub-floor, to our study, on the opposite side of the house (it's a typical center-hall colonial design, the hall sits between the living room and study).  Since then, the basement has been finished.

The new FiOS setup requires running an ethernet cable from the ONT to the study.  Verizon will do this for us, but the chatter on the various on-line forums is that the installer will make it as easy for himself as possible, without regard to aesthetics.  My primary issue is that there's a door/hall between the ONT and the study.  Running it around the back of the house isn't an option due to distance and garage, so it would have to run across the front.

So, I'm considering running the cable myself.

I figure I have a few options:
1. Run the cable outside, and either trench it under our front stoop (preferred but difficult) or run it over the the top of the front door frame (easier, but uglier) (Yes, I know I have to use exterior-grade Ethernet cable)

2. Run the cable inside by removing the baseboard molding and the molding around the door (cleaner, but a ton of work).

3. Just run a loose cable across the floor (just kidding).

4. Move the wireless router to the living room so it's close to the ONT (wife dislikes this idea)

Has anyone done anything similar?  If so, any advice?  My current thought process is to go with option 4, and then either install the interior run myself or hire an electrician to do it.

Offline DCFan

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Re: Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #437: October 20, 2020, 10:21:11 AM »
A good Fios forum to verify that;

https://www.dslreports.com/forum/vzfiostv

Online dracnal

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Re: Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #438: October 20, 2020, 10:38:37 AM »
4. Move the wireless router to the living room so it's close to the ONT (wife dislikes this idea)

Has anyone done anything similar?  If so, any advice?  My current thought process is to go with option 4, and then either install the interior run myself or hire an electrician to do it.

So I prefer to avoid fights with the wife over petty things, but still like to actually get problems solved. With that in mind, instead of moving the wifi or running a cable (first one pisses off the wife, second one can have so. many. headaches. depending on layout/construction of the subfloor.

The solution I would use is to keep the WiFi where it is, but get network to it without running the cable:  https://www.amazon.com/Powerline-Ethernet-Adapter-Extender-TP-Link/dp/B084CZMYNM?dchild=1 - Plug the main unit in where the ONT comes into the house and plug that patch cable into it. Plug the other unit in at the other side of the house and run a patch cable from the WiFi to it. Done.

Those boxes are generally ready to go right out of the box and have massively improved in quality in the last five years or so.

Online Natsinpwc

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Re: Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #439: October 20, 2020, 11:13:14 AM »
not sure if this is the right place or not but I figured I'd ask - has anyone had FiOS or an equivalent service installed recently that required the running of an ethernet cable across their house?

My situation is that the outside FiOS box (called an ONT) is on the left side of my house at the front left corner, on the other side of the wall from our living room.  When the house was built, the builder ran a coax cable from that location, under the sub-floor, to our study, on the opposite side of the house (it's a typical center-hall colonial design, the hall sits between the living room and study).  Since then, the basement has been finished.

The new FiOS setup requires running an ethernet cable from the ONT to the study.  Verizon will do this for us, but the chatter on the various on-line forums is that the installer will make it as easy for himself as possible, without regard to aesthetics.  My primary issue is that there's a door/hall between the ONT and the study.  Running it around the back of the house isn't an option due to distance and garage, so it would have to run across the front.

So, I'm considering running the cable myself.

I figure I have a few options:
1. Run the cable outside, and either trench it under our front stoop (preferred but difficult) or run it over the the top of the front door frame (easier, but uglier) (Yes, I know I have to use exterior-grade Ethernet cable)

2. Run the cable inside by removing the baseboard molding and the molding around the door (cleaner, but a ton of work).

3. Just run a loose cable across the floor (just kidding).

4. Move the wireless router to the living room so it's close to the ONT (wife dislikes this idea)

Has anyone done anything similar?  If so, any advice?  My current thought process is to go with option 4, and then either install the interior run myself or hire an electrician to do it.
Option 4. Just put something on the router to decorate it.

Online HalfSmokes

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Re: Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #440: October 20, 2020, 11:21:56 AM »
If coax already makes the run, you should be able to fish though Ethernet- If the Verizon tech can’t, an electrician would be able to easily do it

Offline imref

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Re: Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #441: October 20, 2020, 11:24:44 AM »
If coax already makes the run, you should be able to fish though Ethernet- If the Verizon tech can’t, an electrician would be able to easily do it

the coax is completely hidden behind a ceiling now.  I am going to call an electrician and get an estimate.

Offline imref

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Re: Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #442: October 20, 2020, 11:28:03 AM »
So I prefer to avoid fights with the wife over petty things, but still like to actually get problems solved. With that in mind, instead of moving the wifi or running a cable (first one pisses off the wife, second one can have so. many. headaches. depending on layout/construction of the subfloor.

The solution I would use is to keep the WiFi where it is, but get network to it without running the cable:  https://www.amazon.com/Powerline-Ethernet-Adapter-Extender-TP-Link/dp/B084CZMYNM?dchild=1 - Plug the main unit in where the ONT comes into the house and plug that patch cable into it. Plug the other unit in at the other side of the house and run a patch cable from the WiFi to it. Done.

Those boxes are generally ready to go right out of the box and have massively improved in quality in the last five years or so.

thanks, I looked into that already and the issue is that powerline ethernet speeds are pretty slow (best case for a GigE connection is about 100 Mbps)

Online HalfSmokes

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Re: Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #443: October 20, 2020, 11:31:34 AM »
the coax is completely hidden behind a ceiling now.  I am going to call an electrician and get an estimate.

We replaced coax with Ethernet - all behind walls and ceiling. Verizon tech said no, electrician took about 5 minutes per run to do it

Offline UMDNats

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Re: Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #444: October 20, 2020, 11:57:22 AM »
In my new house the entire first floor is ungrounded 3-prong outlets. Electrician who did the renovation didn't bother to ground them and just threw in new outlets. Seller had no idea and was appalled he was using them normally the last year (no issues, thankfully). Got a credit on the closing costs to repair it, can range from $1000 to GFCI the entire floor outlet-by-outlet but one contractor thinks a re-wire (all accessible through basement we think) is the best course of action (and I agree). 3k-4500k. FML.

Online dracnal

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Re: Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #445: October 20, 2020, 12:31:16 PM »
thanks, I looked into that already and the issue is that powerline ethernet speeds are pretty slow (best case for a GigE connection is about 100 Mbps)

Any chance you were looking at older devices? The one I linked should definitely be able to handle more than 100Mb assuming it isn't on the same wiring circuit as your AC/furnace/dishwasher/clothes washer, etc. They were absolutely trash in 2013 or so, with poor connections, line quality issues, and just overall bad speeds. Last year I deployed a couple of the newer model TPLinks at two different clients and they both did a solid job.

That said, if you do go the wiring contractor route, I would expect them to use a cable roughly the color of your walls and make the run along the baseboard, nailing it in place every 5-10 feet, then hugging door frames, and so forth to get it to the destination. It shouldn't be terribly complex and it's something any wiring contractor should be able to easily handle for you.

Just make sure the quote is for CAT5e+ or higher. I can't imagine they'd run straight CAT 5 for a single run residential job, but some people want to dump old wiring on people who don't know better. If you ever see a major price difference in quotes for a commercial office build out, it's a safe bet the low bid is not using gigabit rated cabling.

Offline imref

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Re: Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #446: October 20, 2020, 01:14:37 PM »
Any chance you were looking at older devices? The one I linked should definitely be able to handle more than 100Mb assuming it isn't on the same wiring circuit as your AC/furnace/dishwasher/clothes washer, etc. They were absolutely trash in 2013 or so, with poor connections, line quality issues, and just overall bad speeds. Last year I deployed a couple of the newer model TPLinks at two different clients and they both did a solid job.

That said, if you do go the wiring contractor route, I would expect them to use a cable roughly the color of your walls and make the run along the baseboard, nailing it in place every 5-10 feet, then hugging door frames, and so forth to get it to the destination. It shouldn't be terribly complex and it's something any wiring contractor should be able to easily handle for you.

Just make sure the quote is for CAT5e+ or higher. I can't imagine they'd run straight CAT 5 for a single run residential job, but some people want to dump old wiring on people who don't know better. If you ever see a major price difference in quotes for a commercial office build out, it's a safe bet the low bid is not using gigabit rated cabling.

Thanks. I've read a few recent reviews of Powerline wi-fi, even the 1 Gb devices don't come anywhere near that.

Offline imref

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Re: Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #447: October 20, 2020, 01:15:12 PM »
We replaced coax with Ethernet - all behind walls and ceiling. Verizon tech said no, electrician took about 5 minutes per run to do it

:shock:  thanks for that

Online dracnal

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Re: Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #448: October 20, 2020, 02:01:23 PM »
:shock:  thanks for that

That time will depend a bit on the construction of the site, but a good cabler / electrician is definitely way, way better than your standard Verizon contractors. You might want to ask what it would take to run some lines to other areas/rooms. You may not need them now, but A: plans change, B: if you ever sell the house a prospective buyer may be quite happy to see high quality internet runs to several rooms, and C: because the cables themselves are dirt cheap, the major price factor is the labor. They'll almost certainly have a minimum labor charge, then go hourly or 1/2 hourly past that but as HS noted - it's pretty quick to do multiple runs, so it shouldn't increase what you pay too terrible much.

Offline imref

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Re: Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #449: October 20, 2020, 03:05:50 PM »
That time will depend a bit on the construction of the site, but a good cabler / electrician is definitely way, way better than your standard Verizon contractors. You might want to ask what it would take to run some lines to other areas/rooms. You may not need them now, but A: plans change, B: if you ever sell the house a prospective buyer may be quite happy to see high quality internet runs to several rooms, and C: because the cables themselves are dirt cheap, the major price factor is the labor. They'll almost certainly have a minimum labor charge, then go hourly or 1/2 hourly past that but as HS noted - it's pretty quick to do multiple runs, so it shouldn't increase what you pay too terrible much.

Thanks again. I put a call into a local electrician who has been highly recommended on our community Facebook page.