How big does an electrical junction box have to be (under cabinet lighting)?

Posted: March 13th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Under Cabinet Tips | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments »

I have direct-wire under cabinet lights (120 volt) that are spliced to 14 gauge Romex coming out of the wall. An electrician ran the Romex down to each light and the lights themselves were designed to be plugged directly into a standard outlet.

I’m wondering how big the junction box that holds the splices has to be. Each box is only used by one light. The box I’m using now ( ) has plenty of room for the Romex, wire fron the light, and the two nuts. In addition, each wire is secured to the box itself.

Does this box pass muster? Anything else fishy in my setup?

Ok, so it sounds like the box I’ve chosen is a bad idea – what then can I use that won’t be this unnecessarily huge box screwed under my cabinet? It seems really silly that I have to use a box that’s bigger than the light itself.

How To Fix A Pvc Pipe With Water Gushing Out

Posted: March 12th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Under Cabinet Tips | Tags: , , | No Comments »

How to Fix a PVC Pipe With Water Gushing Out

Down here in Florida, and I guess this would be true for other places in the south, Visit here

where it never gets cold enough, long enough to freeze water pipes, a very unusual practice takes place. At least it’s unusual to me, because I grew up in Michigan, where all pipes that have any kind of water in them must be buried under the frost line, and that is 4’6″ where I’m from, deeper if you go further north.

The unusual practice that I speak of is, having the feed for lawn sprinkler systems exposed above the ground. Let me explain, the feed for this is usually a 1″ PVC pipe that rises about 2′ above the ground with a 90 degree elbow, then a short piece of PVC with a threaded coupling, this threaded coupling goes into a 1″ brass ball valve, next there are back to back 1″ cast iron backflow preventer’s with strainers, then back into a 1″ brass ball valve another short piece of PVC a 90 degree elbow and finally back in to the ground where it will usually go to the garage to a water management timer and from there it feeds the sprinkler system.

Now think about this for a moment. We have these two 1″ PVC pipes sticking up from the ground holding up about 30 pounds of cast iron and brass components. I don’t know who the genius is that thought of this, but it seems to be the standard for these systems here. The first house I lived in when I moved down here, this set up was right in the middle of the backyard. Pretty easy to spot when mowing the lawn, but it looked pretty ugly as well. The next house I moved to, it was tucked away in the back corner of the yard, out of the way behind the shed.

In the spring time down here we get a lot of rain and vegetation grows very fast, my weed wacker was broke and it had been a week or so since I had trimmed the yard. So I’m out there cutting the lawn on my riding lawn mower, which I had just bought a couple of months ago, because it is too damn hot and humid to be trying to push mow anything down here, and I was making my first pass around the backyard. as I passed behind the shed I knew that the sprinkler pipe was in this area but couldn’t see it because the vegetation had grown up and hid it from my sight. I thought that I had given plenty of room and went right by. I don’t think I moved ten feet when I could feel water landing on my back. I knew immediately what I had done. I pulled the tractor up another twenty feet, so it wouldn’t get soaked and shut it off.

When I turned around I almost couldn’t believe my eyes, water was shooting up into the air 15-20 feet. The first thing I thought of was to shut one of the ball valves, which was a great idea except for the fact that the pipe was broke before the valves and they were lying on the ground. At first the water felt kinda cold but after a couple minutes I was getting pretty used to it. I was really amazed at the water pressure coming out of that pipe. Being a pipe fitter I looked in my stuff to see if I had anything to cap this geyser off with, but I work on steel pipe and couldn’t find anything. so I ran up to the hardware store and purchased a 1′ PVC cap and some PVC primer and glue.

So the first thing that I wanted to do was to square off the end of the pipe that had been broken. I got out my 1/2″ x 1-1/2″ pipe cutter and cut it off about a foot above the ground. I then filed the end of the pipe so the cap would slip on to it nice and easy. Now keep in mind that the whole time that I’m doing this I am getting a steady stream of water dumped on my head, because it’s shooting straight up in the air and coming right down on me. Not only that, there is now about 4 inches of water built up on the ground.

Alright, my pipe is cut an cleaned, so I put the primer on the pipe and then in the cap an then the glue on both. I then force the cap down onto the pipe and hold it with my hand in my crotch and applying all my weight on it. The water stops squirting out and I hold this position for about a minute, till my hand just couldn’t take it anymore. I slowly start to take my weight off of the cap and then move away, thinking whew, glad thats over. I took maybe two steps backward and poof, the cap pops off and flies about 30 feet into the air and water is gushing everywhere again. Just about this time my wife comes out and says “maybe we should call a plumber”. HAHA very funny.

After I found the cap, I saw that it had only gone onto the pipe about a quarter inch. Maybe the water was messing with the glue. so I cleaned everything back up and had her hold the other pipe, the one that had broken with the 90 on it, so it would shoot the water away from me and the pipe so the glue wouldn’t get wet. At least I’m not the only one getting wet now. I reprimered and glued the pipe and cap. Once again I tried to force that cap back onto the pipe, but the pressure was just too strong and I just couldn’t get it to stay. I again heard that little voice “maybe you should call a plumber”. I am not paying someone $90 an hour to fix this when I know I can do it myself. Just then, it hits me, and I think to myself you idiot, you sure wouldn’t fix this, like this at work.

So I head back up to the hardware store make my purchase and hurry home. By this time there is probably 6 inches of water on the ground and my wife says do you need my help? Nope I got it. I clean the pipe off one last time and apply the primer and glue to the pipe and the PVC ball valve I had just purchased from the hardware store. with the valve in the open position I slip it onto the pipe and make a quarter turn and hold it in place for about a minute. When I’m sure the glue has set I simply closed the valve and my nightmare was over. I purchased a ten foot piece of PVC pipe, three 90s, one straight slip coupling and a couple threaded couplings. It only took about a half an hour to completely rebuild the whole thing, and needless to say I don’t let the weeds grow up that high back there anymore.

I hope that this story has helped you. I know that I could have just told you from the beginning what to do, but I think you’ll remember it better this way.isit here

Non-plug in (Hard Wire) Under Cabinet Puck Lights – Low and Normal Voltage. Do they exist?

Posted: March 12th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Under Cabinet Tips | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

I am doing a home renovation. I am desperately seeking under-cabinet puck lights.
I need a set of 3 that operate on normal voltage that will hard wire into a wall light switch.
I need 1 low voltage recessed puck and transformer that will hard wire into a wall light switch.
Why do Home Depot, Lowe’s, Amazon, etc. only sell the kind that plug into the wall?
I found the low voltage kind here:
Still seeking the 120V type.

I’d rather buy on the internet than search for a specialty store. I am doing a entire house, and it too time consuming to have to find and drive to specialty stores.

Is President Elect Obama under any pressure to appoint a racially diverse cabinet?

Posted: March 12th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Under Cabinet Tips | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

It seems that every U.S. President since Johnson has been under pressure to increase racial diversity in the White House. Should Obama be given a pass on this pressure or should he be judged the same, or different or what? What do you think?
No I said race as in hispanic, oriental, African American, and so on. As the first African American President is affirmative action an issue with Barrack Obama?

Choose The Right Washing Machine For Your Family

Posted: March 12th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Under Cabinet Tips | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

Washing machines have come a long way, and are an essential part of a smooth-running household. When there’s a problem with the washing machine, laundry chaos ensues. Choose the right washing machine by knowing the pros and cons of each type, and what features are a must-have for your family.

Top-Loading Washers

Top-loaders were the standard home washing machine for a long time, and many people still use them. They have a door that opens on the top for loading, and an agitator sits in the middle of the wash tub. This agitator moves the clothes through the water to get them clean.

One advantage of top-loaders is price. They are the most economical choice among washing machines by far. Also, the door does not lock on these models so users can throw in forgotten garments after the cycle has started.

Unfortunately top-loading washers typically don’t get the best ratings for effectiveness, when compared to front loaders, or the newer high-efficiency top loaders. If getting clothes as clean as possible is important, you may need to consider other options. Also, top-loaders use the most amount of water, and the agitator can be tough on clothes, sometimes causing stretching and pulling. Washing heavy or bulky items can cause balance problems in the machine as well.

Front-Loading Washers

Aside from the obvious difference in the door location, front-loaders differ from top-loaders in that there is no agitator. Rather than pulling clothes through the water, the clothes are pulled up and dropped down into the water repeatedly. Because the tub does not have to fill up with enough water to cover the clothes for washing and rinsing, front-loaders use about forty percent less water. Because less water is used, less detergent is needed as well (using high-efficiency detergent is recommended).

With no agitator, front-loaders have room to handle a larger laundry load. Many are designed to stack a dryer on top to save on space, and because they spin so much of the water out of the clothes, drying time decreases as well.

A disadvantage of a front-loader is the price, which can be more than twice as much as a traditional top-loading washing machine. It’s high velocity spinning can also cause vibrations that may be disturbing if the washer is near a living area or bedroom.

High-Efficiency Top-Loading Washing Machines

The HE top loaders are the newest creature in the appliance aisle, and thus, has had less time to develop a reputation. These look similar to traditional top-loaders, but work like a front loader in that they have no agitator; they turn and spin to move the laundry through the water. They spin at high speeds to reduce drying time, and use less water and detergent like the front-loader. One advantage over the front-loader is the user won’t have to bend down to get that last sock out of the back.

A typical complaint about these washers is the high spin speed causes clothes to become overly-wrinkled, but the spinning seems to vibrate less than the front-loaders.

Washing Machine Features

Walk though an aisle of new washing machines and you’ll see all sorts of buttons and lights that do different things. Consider some of these features before shopping so you’ll know which ones are important to you in a new washing machine:
Automatic dispensers for detergent, fabric softener, and bleach
Extra rinse cycle (helpful for removing excess detergent for those with sensitive skin)
Automatic temperature control
Manual/dial controls vs. electronic controls
Porcelain lid to resist scratching
Stainless steel or plastic tub to discourage rusting
Steam feature which claims to sanitize
Delay start
Pre-wash or soaking feature

There are an abundance of choices in washing machines today, and each household has different needs. By considering price, advantages, disadvantages, and desired features, families can easily find a washing machine that will work for them.

Need help with hard-wiring under cabinet lighting…?

Posted: March 12th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Under Cabinet Tips | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

I have a switch that operates my garbage disposal (with a plug under the sink.) There is also a wall outlet about 14 inches from that said switch.

I want to add two more switches to that switch box, (making a total of 3 switches). One will be used for the under cabinet lighting. The other will be used for the over the sink lighting.

Now, my question is…. HOW do I do that? I know how to install a switch.. but how do I get POWER to the switches. Can I tap into the outlet that is 14 inches away?

Any help would be more than appreciated.
I understand I would have to redo the sheet rock, boxes and fish the wires.

My question is HOW do I get power from the outlet/socket box to the switch. Do I just tap into the hot wire and run the new one over? Do I tap into the hot and ground and run them both over?

Help with installing under cabinet stereo please?

Posted: March 12th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Under Cabinet Tips | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments »

I’m trying to install an under cabinet stereo in my kitchen. The screws that attach the stereo are flat machine style screws and all I have is a regular screwdriver, no screw gun or drill. I’m trying to make the pilot holes using a regular pointed wood screw, but it is extremely difficult to screw into the wood because it is a bad angle and because I’m not very strong. Also, I don’t have any screws quite large enough, so I still need to find a way to make the hole slightly larger to fit the machine screws into it.

Any ideas? I just moved in and most of my tools are hidden in boxes somewhere, so I only have some basic tools and no power tools.

I could technically do this using the wood screw but it’s taking me forever and I’m only on the first of four screws! Is there a quicker or easier way? Hope my question was clear, it’s a little hard to describe.

Note: “KevLec” mentioned using the right screws for the job; wood screws. The machine screws I have came with the stereo and screw directly into it. They have very long smooth shanks and then a small amount of fine threading, made to slip through the cylindrical spacers under the cabinet and then hold the stereo in place. I don’t believe a regular wood screw would work. I am trying to use wood screws to create the holes in the cabinet bottom, but the diameter isn’t wide enough. I’m disabled and home-bound, so I’m trying to work with what I have in the house in case anyone is wondering why I don’t just run out to home depot. Thx again!

Are You Planning A Kitchen Cabinet And Counter Design?

Posted: March 11th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Under Cabinet Tips | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

You Surely Will Need To Plan For A Backsplash As Well Choose The Right Ceramic For Your Backsplash
Kitchen Tile


Are you planning a kitchen cabinet and counter redesign in your home? If so, creating the proper backsplash will be a significant part of your final design. After all, backsplash kitchen tile doesn’t just serve as an important design element, it also provides an extra layer of protection for the wall behind your sink, your cook-top and other busy kitchen areas

In order to achieve the greatest amount of protection while also creating the perfect look, it is always a good idea to include ceramic tile in your kitchen cabinet and counter design. In fact, there are many benefits to using ceramic tile. These include…


  • Durability


  • Availability of a wide variety of colors, designs and textures


  • Ease of cleaning


When it comes down to it, you should have no problem finding the perfect ceramic tile to fit within your overall kitchen cabinet and counter design. Whether you want your backsplash kitchen tile to blend in with the rest of the wall, to serve as an accent piece, or even to be the focal point of your kitchen, the wide variety of sizes and designs will make it a cinch for you to achieve your ultimate goal.

In order to enjoy all of the benefits of using ceramic as your backsplash kitchen tile, however, you need to keep a few things in mind.

For example, while you may really enjoy the look and feel of a porous or unglazed tile design, this really isn’t the best option for a backsplash. Remember, you will likely need to clean the tile on a regular basis. Therefore, you don’t want to select a tile that will be difficult to clean. This is particularly true when it comes to the tile that you will put behind your cook-top, as food and grease will regularly splash against the tile. If you use porous backsplash kitchen tile, it won’t be long before it becomes permanently stained or discolored.

To avoid experiencing problems with your backsplash kitchen tile, you should include glazed easy-to-clean ceramic tile in your kitchen cabinet and counter design. Be sure to visit many different stores in order to get a good idea of the various designs, colors and styles of tile that is available. This way, you will be certain to choose the tile that is most suitable for the color, design and pattern of cabinet and counter you are planning to install in your kitchen.

Under kitchen cabinet – fluorescent light is white but I want yellow & can’t find it!?

Posted: March 11th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Under Cabinet Tips | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

First off, this is the same type of under cabinet light I have:

It comes with a white fluorescent bulb and I absolutely hate the way it looks. All lights in my house have a soothing, yellow-ish glow, but these. I want to change the bulbs to something more soothing, such as a yellow hue like that of the light that goes above a stove, but I’m not having any luck finding them. Anyone know where I can pick some up?

Green Your Shower Curtain

Posted: March 11th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Under Cabinet Tips | Tags: , , | No Comments »

Green Your Shower Curtain

I have to admit, I certainly wasn’t thinking green when I bought my shower curtain a couple years ago.Visit here

I was thinking blue, as in my blue bathroom color scheme. Fortunately, my chic blue-and-white embroidered curtain of choice was made of cotton. But the shower liner reeked of PVC.

Yes, reeked. My bathroom is teeny-tiny, so the liner’s icky, plastic-y odor infiltrated the space within minutes-and lingered. And that’s when I wised up to the dangers of PVC. Here’s why you should too:

The Problem Plastic Revealed
As I mentioned above, that unmistakable stench coming from your shower curtain is polyvinyl chloride (PVC), a (sadly) popular plastic also known as vinyl. PVC is produced with toxic additives that can evaporate or leach out of the product. And it enters your body when you least expect it, whether through inhalation or direct skin or eye contact. This not-so-pleasant plastic has been linked to a slew of nasty health and environmental problems, including cancer, liver damage, and reproductive and immune system problems.

Delightful, eh?

It gets even worse. A recent study by the Center for Health, Environment & Justice, a grassroots environmental organization based in Falls Church, Virginia, revealed disturbing facts about PVC shower curtains-that’s why it’s called Volatile Vinyl. According to the report, PVC shower curtains can release as many as 108 volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) into the air you regularly breathe. What’s more, some of these chemicals were found in the air 28 days after a PVC shower curtain was opened and hung. No wonder I got a headache while putting on makeup in the bathroom each morning. That’s a long time, folks!

End the Toxic Relationship-For Good
So, aside from that unmistakable stench, how can you tell if your shower curtain is made from PVC? Look for a “3” within the plastic recycling symbol or check to see if there’s a “V” stamped in the plastic.

If you recently purchased a PVC shower curtain, let it air out for a month before hanging it. Or, if you’re in the market for a new shower curtain but haven’t purchased one yet, shop for an eco-friendly cloth version-try organic cotton or linen (just make sure you have good ventilation to ward off mildew). Another option? Hemp is durable and naturally mildew-resistant. Or try recycled polyester plastic. When shopping for liners, opt for one made of nylon.

It’s becoming easier than ever to find non-PVC shower curtains and liners, because many major retailers and manufacturers are pulling the plug on the pesky plastic. IKEA, for example, phased out PVC shower curtains 11 years ago, according to U.S. News & World Report.

Of course, once you set your sights on a newer, healthier shower curtain, another issue arises: getting rid of the old one. PVC shower curtains clog already-full landfills because they don’t break down. And they don’t play well with other plastics, making them a challenge to recycle. Green Daily offers some ideas for putting that old vinyl curtain to good use.Visit here