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8 Warning Signs of Dangerously Outdated Electrical Wiring
Most people don’t give too much thought to what’s behind their walls. Yet every time you flip a light switch or use your toaster, you are drawing on your home’s i...
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Bob Vila Radio: Emergency Generators
We used to think of late summer and early fall as the storm season, but with all the unpredictable weather lately, it...
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Bob Vila Radio: Fend Off the Power Surge Scourge
These days, we're increasingly sharing our homes with electronic devices. Many of them are pretty pricey, and that in...
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Buyer's Guide: Portable Generators
The storm hits. Power lines topple. And your home loses electricity for an hour, a day, or even a week. These inconve...
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A "Charged" Debate: Portable vs. Standby Generators
Major storms in recent years have spurred many homeowners to consider whether it might be wise to purchase a generato...
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Bob Vila Radio: CFL Bulbs
With incandescent light bulbs on their way out, shoppers who had been reluctant to buy alternative bulbs are realizin...
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Back to Basics: Passing an Electrical Inspection
Just this morning, my local township electrical inspector stopped by and reviewed the electrical work I had performed fo...
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More Than Meets the iPhone: 9 Add-Ons to Transform Your Mobile Device
Thanks to a legion of software apps, smartphones have evolved into "Star Trek"-like communicator devices. Of course, loading up on software isn't the only way to ...
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Bob Vila Radio: Resetting a Circuit Breaker
The source of your home’s power is the breaker box, also known as the electrical panel or circuit breaker box. Whatev...
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Bob Vila Radio: Smart Power Strips
You’ve probably heard about vampire electricity, the electrical power that can suck the life out of your home power u...
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Electricians: 5 Reasons Why Home Depot Deserves Another Look
Ever since the first two stores opened in Atlanta, Georgia in 1979, The Home Depot has been a storehouse for the supp...
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Electrical Panels 101
In your home—in everyone's homes, in fact—the seat of electrical power takes an unassuming form. Concealed by a nonde...
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Bob Vila Radio: Lights on Timers
You may think that putting a timer on your lights is a waste of time—what burglar worth his salt would be fooled by a...
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DIY Tales: Rewiring a Lamp
The switch on our living room lamp broke, leaving my favorite quiet spot too dark. Being the handy guy about town that I...
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DIY Tales: Installing an Electrical Outlet on a Masonry Wall
I live in an old house and the largest portion of our house sits on a stone foundation. A few weeks back I told you...
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Building the Ultimate Workshop Power Strip: More Power!
Do you have one of those multi-plug power strips over your work bench that allows you to simultaneously plug in an as...
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How To: Snake Wire
Anyone can snake wire in a wall between floors. Here's how.  From a hole in the floor below, push a wire snake with a...
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How To: Wire a Light Switch
Although it's easy to wire a light switch, you need a basic understanding of home electricity in order to do the job ...
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Quick Tip: Ground Fault Interrupters
Here's a home improvement tip everyone should know. Ground fault interrupters, or GFIs, are electrical outlets design...
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How To: Replace an Electrical Outlet
If you have an old house with dated electrical outlets, you know they weren't designed to meet the demands of today's...
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DIY Tales: Repairing Swimming Pool Equipment
So the pool's a swamp again, despite battling with all the modern chemical weaponry at my disposal. It's time to throw i...
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Installing a Water Heater Shut-Off Switch
Last time, I mentioned I couldn't quite get to a water heater maintenance program without doing some repairs first. I fi...
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9 Cutting-Edge Energy-Efficient Appliances
Energy-smart appliances are not only better for the environment, they're better for you—and your monthly utility bills.
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The Power Outage Survival Guide
When you're struck by a blackout, brownout, or sudden power surge, follow these tips to safeguard your home's electronics and appliances—and your family—until the...
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How To: Wire a Split, Switched Outlet
As I redo a room, I like to replace the yellowed, paint-clogged outlets with fresh, crisp new ones. Personally, I like th...
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Electrical Tools
For many people, electrical work is daunting, to be feared and avoided. If you feel that way, then you should remain ...
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The Electrical Rough-In
The plans, as usual, guide the work. For the electrician, there'll be a separate drawing that will map out the locati...
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Some Notes on the Mechanical Systems
Electrical, plumbing, and HVAC rough-ins should take roughly two to three weeks. The insulation will happen in a day ...
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Electricity in the Modern Home
A home's electrical system is prone to wear and tear. Regular testing and evaluation of receptacles, switches, and br...
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Home Office Wiring Connections
The days of basic phone and electric service are quickly disappearing. Working at home increasingly requires high-spe...
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Home Office Power and Equipment Protection
Lightning HazardsSeveral things affect the power that supplies our home offices. First, there’s the obvious: lightnin...
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Childproofing the Home Office
Statistics show that almost 75 percent of Americans have some sort of home office. And as these dedicated work areas ...
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The Electrical Rough-In
The PlansThe plans, as usual, guide the work. For the electrician, there’ll be a separate drawing that will map out t...
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Creative Outlets: 5 "Energy Smart" Options
There are 10 billion electrical outlets in North America, and over the last few years, inventors have been hard at wo...
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Bob Vila Radio: Extra Outlets
These days it seems like there’s more to plug in than ever—televisions, computers, and the rechargers for cell phones...
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Bob Vila Radio: Portable Generators
With all the crazy weather events we’ve been having, portable generators are more popular every day, but you need to ...
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Top Tools 2012: Ryobi Tek4 Digital Multimeter
Why You'll Love It: The Ryobi Tek4 Mulitmeter is a versatile diagnostic tool that can measure voltage, curr...
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Preparing Your House for a Generator
When we moved to the beach in Southern Delaware, we had lots of "future improvements" in our new-construction buildin...
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Bob Vila Radio: Electrical Ground Rules
Make sure you’re familiar with the ground rules of home electrical work if you’re considering doing some yourself. Li...
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RoboReel: Next Generation Cord Winder
Coming from a Navy family as I do, I take pride in my ability to neatly loop and stow anything rope-like, including e...
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Rejuvenation's Can Light Conversion Kit
Also known as "can" lights thanks to their cylindrical shape, recessed lights are inexpensive, work well with low cei...
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Bob Vila Radio: Electrical Outlet Inspection
Now’s a great time to do a whole-house electrical inspection, and you can do this kind yourself. CM_BVILANOTES-7 Elec...
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Bob Vila Radio: Extension Cords
I always say you’ve gotta use the right tool for the job, but did you know there’s a right cord for every tool?LISTEN...
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How To: Replace an Outdoor Wall Sconce
Updating the entrance to your home is a relatively easy thing to do. Add a pop of color by painting the front door in...
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How To: Install a Ceiling Fan
Installing a ceiling fan is a fantastic way to cut energy costs all year round. It helps circulate cool air in the wa...
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Everything You Need to Know About Generators
A power outage that lasts a few hours is often nothing more than an inconvenience, requiring some flashlights and a l...
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Home Generators: To Have or Have Not?
As Penelope Green reported in The New York Times on Wednesday, more and more homebuilders are outfitting new construc...
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How To: Install a Dimmer Switch
I like mood lighting as much as anyone, particularly first thing in the morning when the full blast of light from a 1...
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How To: Install a Light Fixture
Since my current residence is only half finished, there are a lot of fixture-less light boxes in the ceilings—which m...
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Installing Galvalume Metal Roof and Solar Panels
Work is being done on the roof—laying Deck-Armor and installing metal roofing and photovoltaic panels. Bob talks with Jeff Wolf from GroSolar about the photovolta...
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Retrofitting a Gas Light
Bob meets electrician Barry Driscoll, who is retrofitting an old gas light fixture to make a modern electrical one. Then Bob meets with lighting consultant Penny ...
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Installing an Impact-Resistant Front Door, Electric Wiring with Metal Studs, Plumbing with Metal Studs and a Concrete Slab
Bob meets with Jesse Gonzales to install an impact-resistant front door, electrician Jose Rodriguez to install wiring and plumber Dan Gerry to learn how to work w...
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Wiring an Electrical Box to Support a Backup Generator
Bob meets with Electrician Harry Cunningham to install a backup generator.
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Residential Electrical Wiring
Bob meets Eddie Fisher, the master electrician on the Brooklyn project's infrastructure team. A team of five electricians from AC/DC Electric is rewiring the buil...
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Brooklyn Navy Yard Tour
Eric Deutsch, former president of the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation, gives Bob a tour of the nation's first federal boat-building facility.
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Preparing the Site for Modular Home Delivery
Bob reviews the site preparation process with the on-site contractor, Michael Sheils.
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Structured Wiring Explained
Bob watches the installation of a Leviton structured wire system. The system is designed to seamlessly allow the transmission of data, phone, and cable signals wi...
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Installing a Home Back-Up Generator
Ron Ford from Kohler Power Systems joins Bob to talk about the 22-kilowatt backup generator that has been installed.
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Installing Hardwood Flooring with Screws and Plugs
Wood floor expert Howard Brickman is on the job site installing White Oak hardwood floors from Carlisle Restoration Lumber.
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Structured Wiring Options
Bob and Tim Woods (of Internet Home Alliance) discuss the basics of structured wiring and connectivity in the basement of the Vermont farmhouse.
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Convection Oven Installation
Bob joins electrician Larry Dana in the Vermont farmhouse kitchen, as he installs the Kenmore Elite 30 self-cleaning convection oven.
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Feng Shui for the Home
Bob visits Emma and Jacob Josselyn in their Cape Cod-style home to see the new Vermont Castings Addison cast-iron electric stove that will warm the corner of thei...
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Structured Wiring Installation
Bob joins Tim Woods (from Internet Home Alliance) in the basement to look over the network connection center, the area responsible for the homeowners' internet, t...
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Reviewing the Home's High-Velocity Mini-Duct HVAC System
Electrician Barry Driscoll installs a state-of-the-art surge protector, as well as an arc fault detector. In addition, the new John Wood water heater and RBI gas-...
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Photovoltaic Roofing Shingles Installed
Bob talks with Deane Evans (from the Partnership for Advancing Technology in Housing) and Ren Anderson (from the National Renewable Engergy Laboratory) about phot...
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Networking, Entertainment, and Security Wiring for the Home
Bob Ryley meets with Ken Frankel (from Lucent Technologies) to discuss the new HomeStar wiring system.
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Discussing the Home Automation System
Bob meets with Tom Morgan (from Home Automation) to view and discuss the "brain" of the home automation system. Next, Bob checks in with the wiring contractor to ...
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Technology Systems in the Governor's Mansion
Bob inspects the remote device, controlling the PA system, HVAC, lighting, and entertainment systems. In the basement, Bob Ryley is exploring the wires and cables...
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Discussing Different Types of Light
Bob meets with lighting designer Markus Earley, who explains the differences between various types of lights. Then, Bob also meets with Tony Zwain, who explains h...
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Reviewing the Lighting Plan
Bob goes over the lighting plan with designer Markus Earley, then meets with electrician Tony Zwain to learn how electricity is distributed throughout the building.
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Electrical Wiring in the Accessible Home
Bob joins a three-man team from Cliff Electric, the firm performing all the 'rough-in' wiring.
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Installing Recessed Lighting
Ed House (from Cliff Electrical Contractors) is installing recessed lighting.
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Home Elevator Installation
Bob meets Mike Vogt (from Access Industries) and carpenters (from the Whitaker Company), who are installing a residential elevator.
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Block Wall Demolition
Bob and contractor Ed Weller meet to demolish a block wall in order to open up the room for remodeling.
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Plumbing in the Bathroom and Wiring in the Kitchen
Plumber Kevin Hanley reviews the installation process for a pedestal sink and antique toilet in the new half-bath. And electrical wiring is pulled through the wal...
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Plumbing and Electrical Work in the Home Addition
Bob joins Jack O'Leary to review the rough-in plumbing and electrical work, and, together, they install a roof vent.
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Installing an Oil-Fired Boiler for the New Home Addition
Bob meets Jack O'Leary, the plumbing and heating contractor for the Newton, MA project. Since the house has doubled in size with the neaddition, the old heating u...
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Wiring the Cabin
Bob and the electrician look over the plastic-sheathed electrical wiring and discuss how to protect the installation, while still making it look good.
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Smart-House Wiring and Waterproofing the Stairway Planter
Bob talks about the "Smart House" system that will be installed in the house with the electrician, Pete Tim. Meanwhile, hot-mopped tar is used to waterproof the s...
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Installing a Lightning Rod
J & G Lightning Protection, Inc. installs a lightning rod system that will draw lightning toward the two copper rods, which perch on the garage roof. The copper p...
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Wiring the Victorian Home
Bob joins electrician Greg Roulette as he works on the rough wiring. The circuit breaker panel, Greg explains, is a receptacle for ground, neutral, and hot wires...
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Wiring the Home Addition
Electrician Steve Bradley is on hand to install the electrical wires and boxes for the addition. Bob discusses the codes regarding receptacle placement and Steve ...
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Recessed Lighting Installation
Bob lays out the lighting design for the kitchen. Electrician Steven Bradley shows Bob how to install a high-hat light fixture, from the mounting to the wiring to...
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Wiring a Thermostat
Bob observes as electrician Steve Bradley snakes a thermostat wire along a wall in service of the new air conditioning system.
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Wiring the Colonial Lantern Fixture
After taking stock of progress that's been made, Bob begins wiring a hanging light fixture for a special colonial lantern in the front hall.
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Hooking Up the Refrigerator Ice Maker
Bob has finished wiring the Colonial-style light fixture in the entryway and, back in the kitchen, the refrigerator ice maker is hooked up.
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Electric Layout
Bob discusses the electrical layout of the first floor with electrician Slav Witowski.
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Reviewing the Electrical Wiring
Bob goes over the electrical wiring with John Hickey. Also, cedar clapboards are put up on the exterior.
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