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Homeowner wants a telephone line in the bathroom

Your Home Improvement

Posted: July 5, 2008 12:57 a.m.
Updated: September 5, 2008 5:03 a.m.
 
Robert,
I want to install a telephone in the bathroom. I know, it may sound a little crazy, but this is the first place I've had that doesn't have one and I miss it. I'm thinking it can't be that difficult. Is it an easy thing to do? Thank you.
Jen C.

Jen,
A little time-consuming, maybe, but not difficult at all to install.

First find the nearest jack to the bathroom. You'll see that this jack will probably only have two wires connected to it. Let's say the orange and white stripe and the blue with white stripe. Now, as inconspicuously as possible, you're going to run new phone cable over to the new jack. I've seen this done many, many ways. To do it right, I'd drill a hole in the double top plate that you can access through the attic. From here you fish tape the line up and through the wall and into the attic and drop down into the new jack location in the bathroom.

You could use a tiger box and put your phone jack inside for the bathroom jack. These are available at any home improvement store and make for a very clean install. Drop the phone line down through the top plate. You could tie some nuts onto it with some string to give it a little weight. Then drop it down to the box.

After you run the wires over to the new jack, hook up the same colored wires onto the new phone jack. This is all low voltage so you have nothing to worry about. If you have a cut on your finger, you might feel a little twang, but nothing to write home about. That's all there is to it. Plug in a phone and your good to go. By the way Jen, we all know when we're talking to someone in the bathroom.

Hello Robert,
I would like your advice on something. I am a finish carpenter that has specialized in kitchen cabinetry for the last 10 years. Due to work slowing down, I took another job recently. It was basically a hot house with extensive trellis work. He said he wanted to use 2 x 2 for the trellis. After I finished the job, he measured and said, "I asked for 2 x 2's, but you gave me 1 and 1/2s x 1 and 1/2s." Now he wants a discount. What should I do? Thank you.
Jim S.

Jim,
Well, the technical jargon is the word "true." Unless he specifically requested true 2 x 2s, then he owes you the agreed-upon price for the work you performed. I would explain to him that's the way lumber is milled. It's done this way to save on materials and lumber costs. A 2 x 4, by the same token, is actually a 1 and 1/2 x 3 and 1/2, and so on.

I think he's probably aware of this and is trying to pull a fast one. Depending on how much you have at stake and if he is only complaining about the lumber dimensions, and not the quality of the work, then you have every right to fight it. I would try to resolve it peaceably, but if he refuses to pay because of the size, let him know that you would be considered an expert in the field and will take him to court.

Hello Robert,
I have an antique car collection. I have repaired, restored and painted all of the cars myself and am very much a do-it-yourselfer. I would like to install a sprinkler system in the out building and would like to get some ideas as far as the pipe dimensions to be used. Thank you.
B.T.

B.T.,
If I were you I would not risk installing this yourself. Call the pros and let someone that designs and installs those pressurized systems day after day put it up for you. They can quickly and accurately figure for the dimensions, the coverage and how many sprinkler heads necessary for the optimal configuration, and put it up in the proper way.

With a collection of cars, I wouldn't take the chance if I were you. If you are still set on doing this project by yourself, send a drawing with dimensions of the building and I will draw up some plans.

Hello Mr. Robert,
I enjoy your column and have read different swimming pool answers you've given, but I've haven't seen this one asked yet. I have a pool and about this time every year, I have to go out and run the water for about eight minutes a day to fill it back up again. Some days I'll forget and the water level drops too low, which causes air to go in, so I have to re-prime my pump. It is a nuisance! Is there an easy and inexpensive way to automate this procedure? Thank you very much.
Marjorie T.

Marjorie,
There are a couple of ways that I am familiar with. You can put in an anti-siphon valve and then run a sprinkler timer with an actuator; or, you can go to a pool supply house and buy a battery operated unit that runs on two, nine-volt batteries. These cost about $130 per unit - for the actuator and battery operated control module. There are four settings to accommodate different size pools, so set it to your needs and walk away.

Robert Lamoureux has 25 years' experience as a general contractor, with separate licenses in electrical and plumbing contacting. He owns IMS Construction Inc. in Valencia. His opinions are his own, and not necessarily those of The Signal. Opinions expressed in this column are not meant to replace the recommendations of a qualified contractor, after that contractor has made a thorough visual inspection. Send your questions to Robert@IMSConstruction.com.

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