3 Way Smart Switch Help by myStupidVoice in DIY

[–]LeKy411 0 points1 point  (0 children)

If you are only replacing one of your 3-ways with the amazon basics smart switch then it matters which one you replace. Look at the product images and it tells you it has to be the one that the light runs to.

Here is my disclaimer: In order to make this switch work you have to have conventional 3 way setup. In order to make this switch work you have to know which switch is getting line and which is getting load. In order to make this work you need to change wiring on both your old existing 3-way that is staying and the new one. The instructions glaze over the fact that you have to turn one of the travels into line power. If you can't identify all the wires properly I wouldn't attempt this install. There are better 3-way smart switches out there that wire in like a traditional 3 way. Kasa is one of them.

Wire color is irrelevant because it is subjective. A traditional 3 way has 2 traveler wires that run between the 2 switches, 1 ground, and 1 line/load. The line comes from the electrical feed and the load goes to the light fixture. Normal light switches don't use a neutral wire. Smart switches do because they also need power.

The amazon basic 3 way doesn't get wired like a traditional 3 way. It uses a current sensing module to determine if the 3 switch on the load side is flipped. For this reason one of the travelers that is on old school 3 way needs to be tied into the line side and fed to the smart 3 way. They don't mention this in any of the instructions but show it in the wiring diagram.

Look at the pictured in the listing and it shows how it needs to be setup. https://www.amazon.com/Amazon-Basics-Dimmer-Neutral-Required/dp/B095X8YD3Q?th=1

Also one of the reviews gives details about this:

"Works as advertised but installation is tricky and the written instructions skip some key steps (probably bc they don't want to assume how your wiring is set up). While I am DIYer, I have ALOT of experience with electrical wiring, definitely more than most. 2 key things you need to know - 1) The switch must be the switch that is wired to the light (the instructions DO actually say this); 2) You will need to re-purpose one of your travelers on the wire between the switches and use it as the "Line" for the smart switch. You will only have one traveler from the first switch to the smart switch. This is not clear in the written instructions/steps but you will see it when you closely study the wiring diagram (at the bottom of the page) which is (as always) showing you end state of how the wiring should look when you are done. As a baseline, there are 3 different ways to wire a 3 way, mine looked like this (I believe this is pretty standard when power starts at the 1st switch) when I started: First switch (3 way) - 14/2 power (Line) attached to common terminal, 2 travelers from a 14/3 wire going to 2nd switch (red & black) attached to traveler switch terminals (neutrals (white) from "Line" and 14/3 capped together in box), at 2nd switch (3 way) - the 14/3 travelers were attached to traveler terminals on 3 way, 14/2 wire going to light with black connected to common terminal on switch, and white capped with white from 14/3 wire from 1st switch. to make this work, I took the black traveler wire and capped it to the "Line" wire in the first box. So the Line is attached to common terminal on 1st 3 way switch and the black traveler going to the smart switch. The first box now only has one traveler (red), the other traveler in 1st box has no wire (this is in the diagram). In the 2nd box (the Smart Switch), the red is connected to the brown wire, and the black traveler is connected to the "Line" wire on the smart switch. My configuration only used one smart switch, there is a configuration using 2 smart switches and I believe the set up is the same as what I described. If you are unable to baseline your existing 3 way light configuration or don't understand what I described, you should call an electrician. Alexa set up was a snap - opened Alexa app on my phone and it automatically discovered smart switch, I just had to rename it. Works great! Would have been 5 Stars if install instructions were a little better. Tried to call Amazon support for help - it was 15 minutes of my life I will not get back. Found more help in reviews/comments but decided to post my own review with my specific configuration."

Can I remove these 2 studs? by nogberter in DIY

[–]Schnort 111 points112 points  (0 children)

Looking at picture 6 (from inside, looking up), this appears to have already been done and the two 2x4s he's talking about appear to be just there for the drywall.

There's also 2x6s "joists" no more than a foot away providing rigidity of the stair landing.

I have a feather edge continuous-run fence with 3ft planks. Is it ok to nail 4ft over the top or do the existing ones HAVE to be removed first? by LettuceWithBeetroot in DIY

[–]ekinnee 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Are you talking about double layering the fence slats? I'd think it will "work" but your fence is going to be heavier (more to support on the not A1 frame) and I'd think that'd make it more susceptible to winds knocking it over. Plus the other side where the old slats show will still look like ass.

Debris falling down into the basement from the holes of the plumbing. Is this an infestation issue? by Shogunned in DIY

[–]JMJimmy 428 points429 points  (0 children)

I'd be more concerned that the floor joist has been cut 90% of the way through and is resting on a water pipe.

You need to box that off

Toilet clogged, plunger isn't working by RandomGuy2323232 in DIY

[–]caffreb 30 points31 points 2 (0 children)

Use a plastic bag. Bad for the environment, good for unblocking clogs. Stick a toilet brush inside the bag, a bit of air is good. Secure the top with an elastic band or whatever, you can even use the bag handles tied. Shove it in the toilet and use it just like a plunger, the bag should form a full seal at some point, might take a bit of trying/wiggling but the bag will eventually get a seal because it is variable size/volume. Hope it helps.

Adding cabinet where hvac vent is by Renrut23 in DIY

[–]SubtleScuttler 1 point2 points  (0 children)

You’d likely be looking at asking for a company to come out and either properly balance your system and/or clean some things out like the coil inside to improve air flow. There’s A LOT of different factors that cause bad air flow from a system fed from the attic: Certain areas are further from the unit and don’t get enough air if all the supply dampers are not in the properly designed positions. Some runs could be too close to each other on the trunk line or too close to a radius in the trunk line and the air doesn’t distribute properly into the branches. With it being older duct and likely an older attic system, you could be experiencing a lot of loss somewhere in your branch to the low flow areas. So many things could be your culprit and without getting expert hands on the system, you likely won’t figure it out. Also, there is an r/HVAC sub but that’s less for consumer questions and more for those in the trade. Try r/hvacadvice for questions from out of the field though!

Outdoor faucet leaking by CornerMushroom in DIY

[–]nautme 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Go to that manufacturers web site and you can buy a rebuild kit for the inside section. The actual valve is like 6-27" behind the spigot (depending on model sub-spec). Behind the blue knob you'll find a plastic like piece (I think that's the part with reverse threads), take that off and the rest pulls out. I think it's the C-134 https://www.prier.com/products/c-134/

Edit: A decent video that looks like I think yours does inside, other videos have better part descriptions (search: Prier repair). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uKJ6ZixARpA

Source: I have one of these and have rebuilt it before. Note that when you pull out the inside, the rubber at the far end will usually turn itself inside out.

Is this outdoor fire pit safe to use as-is? by theonewhoexists in DIY

[–]phixitup 72 points73 points  (0 children)

I scanned the comments and hope I’m not repeating anyone but to me it looks like a place to put a big plant in a square pot so the plastic container is hidden.

General Feedback/Getting Started Questions and Answers [Weekly Thread] by AutoModerator in DIY

[–]--Ty--Pro Commenter 1 point2 points  (0 children)

That waiting period is utter nonsense, and actively counter-productive. Like the mere suggestion is idiotic, I have no idea where you would EVER read that.

Source: Am accredited geological / geotechnical engineer, geologist, and contractor.

You put down three inches of material at a time. That's the most that a rental plate compactor can reasonably compact. (This isn't a matter of precision, anything around 3-4 inches is fine).

You then spray some water on it briefly to moisten it (not flood or soak the whole area and turn it into a puddle), and then you compact it. If you start getting puddling as you compact, it's a sign you've added too much water. Come back in ten minutes when the puddle has dissipated, and compact a bit more, then continue.

Each three-inch layer and compaction cycle is called a "lift". Since you're aiming for 7 inches of fill, you'll be needing to do two lifts, or two cycles of laying, wetting, and compacting.

Need help with creating a LED base by TheNewRow in DIY

[–]magaoitin 1 point2 points  (0 children)

So how much information do you want on DIY-ing LED lights????? Do some searches on youtube, or check out some of the Electrical subreddits for more info, but here is a little (too much) info and some links.

Whatever you decide, please post pictures of your final product, that rock is beautiful.

There are a few different ways to go. I have used a number of products from Superbright LEDs website and they have quality parts and pieces. You can also take apart a headlamp like yours and just extend the wires to the diode (if you are comfortable with soldering), then mount all of that in a wood base.For a DIY base you are probably going to need to build a base that will hide the battery pack and LED diodes, and that crystal can sit on like your headlamp.

For parts and pieces there are thousands of options unfortunately.

There are kits like this wine-bottle fairy light system for $3 that are inexpensive and you wont feel bad if you damage the light or wires so they don't work anymore doing trial and error DIY-ing (vs taking a $50-$80 headlamp and modifying it for your first project). I have not used this specific product, but you can cut the doides off you don't want to use and solder the ends or tape it off, or just bury the unused diodes in the base. They shouldn't generate enough heat to cause a fire if they were stuffed in a wood base.


For a plug and play, no wiring or soldering exp needed option, I have used this single diode LED and it is awesome. Complete kit from Amazon for $18


It's possible you can get a battery pack from the link below and hook to this light and controller and have a remote for it (that might be cool). The battery pack generates 12V with 8 AA batteries, and this light and controller work off from a 12v system.

You can also buy the parts and pieces it will probably take 3-4 pieces to put together

  1. Like an 8 cell AA battery packs, or a 4 cell D pack that is already wired with a plug in connection for $2-$4. These generate 12V. So look for a 12V LED light. Do not bother with 24V systems if you use these


  1. Then you need the LED. There are tons to choose from. First look for LED's that work with the battery pack so you are limited to 12V systems. and LED that is between 9V-14V will workTo get the output that your headlamp has you need to choose the color (tempurature) and lumen output. Your headlamp is probably a 300 lumen Diode and it looks like it is in the Cool range of 5500-6500k range for color/temperature. 4000k is more like natural light and 2500-3000k is a warm brownish light (probably not what you want to highlight that rock, but maybe it is. 5500 can be a harsh color for a desk light.)


this is another very bright LED that would workhttps://www.superbrightleds.com/more-led-lights-and-fixtures/component-leds/led-wired-bolts/bolt-beam-10mm-led-light-10b-x

  1. Last you need to connect the light to the battery pack and have an on off switch.This is a fun remote on off switch from amazon that is plug and play to the battery packhttps://www.amazon.com/Control-Wireless-Controller-Brightness-Flashing/dp/B0BTXCY5Q4/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?crid=9OP6DQQZGRLO&keywords=12v+LED+switch&qid=1678990689&s=hi&sprefix=12v+led+switch%2Ctools%2C148&sr=1-1-spons&psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUEyT0YxSDRPVktOWjNZJmVuY3J5cHRlZElkPUEwNTgzOTA2Mk02UFZTQTVaNURJMiZlbmNyeXB0ZWRBZElkPUEwMzAxMzY2MzkyS1FFWEc5M0kyVyZ3aWRnZXROYW1lPXNwX2F0ZiZhY3Rpb249Y2xpY2tSZWRpcmVjdCZkb05vdExvZ0NsaWNrPXRydWU=

  2. Last you need to wire an end on the LED to plug in. there are barrel connectors that you don't even need to know how to solder, just a screwdriver.https://www.superbrightleds.com/cps-f2st-female-standard-barrel-connector-to-screw-terminal-adapter-cps-x2st

My dad passed away and left me his tools — how can I determine what to keep? by AcademicSurroundings in DIY

[–]AgnosticDragon 3 points4 points  (0 children)

  1. Sort through them. Each type of tool to a area. Wrenches with wrenches, drill bits with drill bits.

  2. Anything you come across that you don't know about, set aside to look up later. Looking it up as you go takes time and makes you feel like you haven't made any progress.

  3. Some fabrication tools are valuable, and need to be stored a certain way. Simple examples: Micrometers and die punches. If it's in a box, case or sleeve, there is a reason.

  4. Once things are sorted by general tool type, then look for sets. Same brand(maybe print a cheat sheet of brands and their logo, some tools will only have a logo, not the brand name) and specific tool type. Such as: Mac vs Matco vs Snap-on, 6-point vs. 12-point sockets, Pliers vs Vise-grips, etc.

  5. Don't think that one offs(random unnamed socket, or odd chipped screwdriver) are useless or trash. They could be replacements for lost peices of a set, a specialty item, or even something you father made for a specific purpose. Example: A random Stanley flat head with half the head ground off? There maybe a screw on the lathe belt cover that is partially blocked.

  6. Multiple of a tool, don't mean that he forgot he had it, and bought it again. Multiple Vise-grips? They are good clamps for sheet metal. 8 slightly different length socket sets? Those slight differences can make the difference in tight places.


Decide what you want to do.

Example: You only want to work on house are car projects? You probably can sell the lathe, mill and accessories.

You want to be a basic mechanic? You probably aren't going to need sheet steel rollers, pipe benders, welders, etc. But if you want to do automotive body work you will want them.

Remember, you can always sell any tool later, but you can't get them back nearly as easy or cheap. My prized tools (amongst Blackhawk, Snap-on, Matco and more) is a socket set of Craftsman 1/4" drive, they were my grandfather's.

Edit: Reddit didn't like my format.

Sanding floors by frenaud in DIY

[–]signal15 5 points6 points  (0 children)

First off, do NOT use a drum sander. These things will leave the floor uneven and you'll be able to see it in the reflected light off the floor. If you've never sanded a floor before, get one of the random orbital floor sanders that have 3 or 4 discs on the bottom. You can rent them at Home Depot. It's virtually impossible to mess up your floor with these, and they leave a nice even finish.

However, you've got some prep work to do before you start sanding. You need to face nail any loose or creaky boards with barbed nails. Those gaps need to be filled, and they need to be cleaned out before you fill them. My recommendation would be a small fine bristled brass wire brush. Put the vacuum next to it as you brush so the crap doesn't fall back down the gaps.

Now you need to fill the gaps. The only thing you should consider using to fill these is a product called Woodwise. It's specifically meant for hardwood floors and it expands and contracts at the same rate as the wood, so it's unlikely to crack or work its way out. It can be thinned with water and troweled over the floor so it flows into the gaps better. You can be messy here, as the sander will knock down any mess, just make sure it gets pushed deeply into the gaps. It's a GREAT product. Do not skip this part, it's almost as important as your sanding.

Now, you get to sanding. Use the random orbital I mentioned above. I would never use a drum sander on a floor unless it was going to be gone back over with one of those big disc sanders. Looking at your pics, I would start with 40 grit to get all the boards an even height. You MUST vacuum when changing grits, because there will be 40 grit sand particles on the floor from the previous sanding and it will cause scratching. Make sure you get the edges and corners with a small handheld random orbital. For grits, I'd go: 40, 80, 120, 150, 180, then hit with a pad (looks like Brillo material)

If it's anything other than oak, I'd continue up the line and get as fine as you can. In maple and birch, you can bring out the "fire" by going to 1500 or so (do a search for photos of the back of a violin). No hardwood floor installer is going to do this for you, so you've got a chance to do something really cool and relatively unique with the floor if you want to spend a lot of time sanding.

Now, you need to finish the floor. Are you going to stain it? If so, you've got 3 options:

  • Water based stain (must use if using a water based poly)

  • Oil based stain (must use if using an oil based poly)

  • Dye - Comes in 1-2 oz bottles, and you mix with water or SLX alcohol

I prefer dye. It brings out the grain like nothing else, and I mix it with alcohol so it doesn't raise the grain. You can buy this at high end woodworking stores. If you go with stain, try to buy the same brand as the finish you are putting down to make sure they are compatible.

For the finish, I prefer Bona (specifically Traffic). It's a water based poly, and is probably the best non-factory applied coating you can put on the floor. It doesn't stink the place up like oil based, and it won't yellow over time like a lot of other coatings will. Don't buy anything from big box stores, they all sell crap for finishing floors. Here's the problem, you probably cannot buy Bona Traffic because most places won't sell it to you unless you're a licensed floor contractor. But, Bona does make a non-catalyzed finish that is probably second best that you can buy. Find a hardwood flooring supply store and buy your stuff there. So, for finishing, you'll need:

  • dye or stain if using

  • Bona water sealer to prevent grain raise during the poly coat (1 coat of this)

  • Bona Traffic or their non-catalyzed finish (2 coats)

The process of applying the finish is pretty straightforward. You POUR it on thick along the far edge of the room, and use a wide foam squeegee to pull and even coat across the floor towards you. You need to have it thick enough to self level, and if you're using Traffic, you have to work fast because you don't have long before it hardens. When your puddle that you're pulling starts to run thin, pour another line where you left off and continue.

Source: After being disappointed in the work that I hired out on 1700 sq ft of custom milled white birch, I learned everything there is to know about doing hardwood floors and started doing them myself. Most of what I've learned is from people who work in the industry and do it for a living. I've done my own, and a few for friends. I just moved and now have about 2200 sq ft of maple that needs refinishing, so I'll be doing it again sometime in the near future.

The biggest problem I see with DIY hardwood floor finishing, is that people read an article online that says rent a drum sander and buy some poly from Home Depot. There's more to it than that, and if you follow those simplistic instructions, you're gonna end up with a refinished floor, but it's not going to be very nice, and it probably won't last long.