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  1. Alec_t

    EM interference from Hive or smart meters?

    I'm getting occasional ghost rings on my wireless doorbell, day or night, but I'm not sure what is triggering them. I have two different brands of bell, but both suffer from these ghost rings. The bell/bell-push use the 433MHz band (as do various garage door openers and other remotes, so one of...
  2. Alec_t

    How many electricians does it take to change a light bulb?

    Or more accurately, how many does it take to repair a failed street lamp? A month ago I reported to the local Council a failed street lamp close to my house. Yesterday a van pulled up with four occupants; three men and a woman. One man wielded tools and tinkered with something at the base of the...
  3. Alec_t

    Lubricating stiff water-mains stop-cock

    My in-house mains stop-cock (1980s vintage) is very stiff to operate. What is a safe lubricant to use on the shaft? I don't know if the packing gland has a grease/hemp packing or a rubber seal and I don't want to risk rotting any rubber seal. I have some graphited penetrating oil, car engine oil...
  4. Alec_t

    Staple size (crown width) for DeWalt stapler?

    Screwfix advert for this particular stapler doesn't specify staple width and doesn't come with any staples. Anyone here know if Arrow or Stanley T50 staples will fit?
  5. Alec_t

    Solved....freezer noise nuisance

    I recently moved house and inherited a kitchen with an integrated freezer. The freezer compressor noise was hardly noticeable during the day, but at night could be heard as an annoying hum in the bedroom above the kitchen. The noise was being conducted via the freezer cabinet, its attachments to...
  6. Alec_t

    Expansion coefficients, pine/larch versus mdf?

    I'm planning on making a cupboard door by routing a groove in some pine or larch for the frame around an mdf panel made up of left-over laminate flooring planks. Are differences in expansion coefficient (either thermal or moisture-dependent) between the different materials likely to be a...
  7. Alec_t

    Dual flush button removal

    I need to remove the flush buttons (unknown flush brand) from the lid of my toilet cistern but I'm not sure how to detach the blue section from the threaded shank B. It doesn't simply unscrew or pull off with moderate force. There is no release catch at either end C or D, but it looks as...
  8. Alec_t

    Adjusting the clock on a Hive thermostat

    I've inherited a CH system with a Hive thermostat (Version 1) but no working Hive hub. The stat operates in stand-alone mode and I'm happy with this. On Sunday the stat clock correctly updated itself to BST, but I can't find any instructions in the manual for adjusting the clock time if I ever...
  9. Alec_t

    Why is a sealed HW/CH system pressurised?

    In a typical open-vented system, with the boiler downstairs and the F&E tank in the loft, the boiler pressure will naturally be about 0.5bar. Why, in a sealed system, is it deemed necessary to set the cold pressure higher, typically at about 1.5bar?
  10. Alec_t

    MoT test instruments: how accurate are they?

    My car recently passed all emissions tests apart from the lambda reading. λ upper limit for a pass was 1.030 and the reading for my car was apparently 1.031. Only 1 part in over 1000 over the limit !!! Can the test centre's instruments really be that accurate (0.1%)?
  11. Alec_t

    Mystery tripping of RCD [solved]

    In a house I've just moved to I have an under-counter 13A socket on a spur fed via an above-counter isolator switch from, I believe, an upstairs ring. The previous occupier of the house had a washing-machine plugged into this socket. If I power my portable drill from this socket the solitary RCD...
  12. Alec_t

    Fridgemaster freezer thermostat problem

    I have a Fridgemaster built-in under-counter freezer Model MTBZ102NG. Even when the thermostat knob is set to '0', the freezer does not switch off and there is no 'click' from the stat switch at/near that '0' point (as there presumably should be). I have tried twiddling the adjustment screw a...
  13. Alec_t

    Reading a smart meter

    I am in the process of moving into a house where both gas and electric supplies have smart meters. The previous occupier had broadband and both meters could be read remotely. However, there is currently no broadband at the house and I wish to supply initial meter readings taken manually, to set...
  14. Alec_t

    Best exterior paint to protect polythene panel?

    Which paint type would best protect polythene from UV damage, attach well to the surface and stand up to the UK weather?
  15. Alec_t

    Something for the 19th Edition?

  16. Alec_t

    Cable colours

    Shouldn't your cable image show the up-to-date insulation colours, and the article text mention that cable colours have changed?
  17. Alec_t

    Olive removal tool/method

    I recently needed to remove three olives from in-situ 22mm pipework. Not wishing to place undue stress on other joints I decided against the 'use a wrench to bash the backing nut' method and being too mean to buy a pukka removal tool I Macgyvered a loosely-fitting pipe 'clamp' from two bits of...
  18. Alec_t

    Plumb stupid!

    After 35 years of faithful service, the Switchmaster 3-port motorised valve in our CH/DHW system gave up the ghost. The rotor shaft seal had clearly been weeping for some time, judging by rusting of the galvanised plate that the motor/gearbox is mounted on. The final drive shaft of the gearbox...
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