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At its simplest, a thermostat is easy to understand: it’s a switch that opens when it is warm enough, and closes when it is too cool. The switch controls the heater. When it gets cold, it turns on the heat.

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Posted in Cutting edge

Listen to your house.

Gas-fired hot water heat is an interesting overlapping set of semi-independent systems that work together to keep your house warm. First is the burner. There is a thermostat (called the aquastat to distinguish it from the other kind of thermostat)

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Posted in Appliances, Plumbing, Wires

Hot! Hot! Hot!

My heating system is divided into two zones. There are very clever motorized valves that open and close based on the heat demands of the thermostat in each zone. Near the end of last winter, I noticed that one of

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Posted in Plumbing, Wires

Wireless Babylon

There’s a lot of signals potentially going through my head. The Internet Of Thingsā„¢: WiFi, Zigbee, Z-Wave, to say nothing of more traditional radio-controlled junk…there’s potentially a lot going on in the airwaves of my house. And that doesn’t even

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Posted in Cutting edge, Wires

Don’t replace your dryer. Ever.

There are very very few actual parts inside a gas dryer. I know, because I’ve repaired or replaced most all of them. Several years ago, a room mate did a bad thing. The lint screen in my dryer pulls out

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Posted in Appliances

Oh what a tangled web we weave….

I’ve learned a lot of things since I moved into this house 20 years ago. One of the things I’ve learned is that the person I learned to do low-voltage wiring from (network wiring, phone wiring, etc.) is crazy. Let

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Posted in Wires