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How Your House Works: A Visual Guide to Understanding and Maintaining Your Home, Updated and Expanded, 2nd Edition

ISBN: 978-1-118-09940-7
208 pages
February 2012
How Your House Works: A Visual Guide to Understanding and Maintaining Your Home, Updated and Expanded, 2nd Edition (1118099400) cover image
Understand how to maintain everything in your home—including the kitchen sink

How Your House Works, Second Edition reinforces the fact that it pays to be an informed consumer. Knowledge of your home's systems helps you control repair and construction costs and makes sure the correct elements are being installed or replaced. How Your House Works uncovers the mysteries behind just about every major appliance and building element in your house. Clear, full-color drawings show you exactly how these things should be put together and how they function, including what to check if they don't work.

Covering topics such as electrical systems, heating and air conditioning, plumbing, major household appliances, foundation, framing, doors, and windows, this updated Second Edition has considerable additional information, with new chapters related to sustainability in and outside the house, as well as new topics, including clock thermostats, ventless gas heaters, moisture and mold, and passive solar heating.

  • Illustrated guidance on electrical systems, heating and air conditioning, plumbing, major household appliances, foundation, framing, doors, and windows
  • Includes a wealth of additional information, with new chapters related to sustainability and outside the house
  • Features new topics that include clock thermostats, ventless gas heaters, moisture and mold, LED lamps, motion-activated light switches, and passive solar heating
  • Presented in a richly illustrated with full-color drawings

With see-through, cross-section drawings that show you how things are put together and how they function, How Your House Works supplies you with the knowledge that just might save you having to call in a professional.

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Introduction xi

About the Author xiii

A Note From the Author xv

Chapter 1. Plumbing 1

The Supply System 2

The Waste System 4

The Vent System 6

Lavatory Pop-up Drain 8

Sink Drain 9

Plunger-Type Tub Drain 10

Pop-up Tub Drain 11

Gravity Flow Toilet 12

Traps & Vents 14

Ball-Type Faucet 16

Cartridge-Type Faucet 17

Disk-Type Faucet 18

Compression-Type Faucet 19

Tempering Valve 20

Tub/Shower Control 21

Hose Bibbs 22

Pitcher (Hand) Pump 23

Jet Pump 24

Submersible Pump 26

Sump Pump 28

Pressure Tank 29

Electric Water Heater 30

Gas Water Heater 31

Electric Tankless Heater 32

Gas Tankless Heater 33

BoilerMate™ Water Heater 34

Solar Water Heater 35

Charcoal Cartridge Filter 36

Tank Filter 37

Water Softener 38

Reverse Osmosis Filter 40

UV Purifier 41

Fire Sprinklers 42

Chapter 2. Wiring 43

Electrical Circuit 44

Ohm’s Law 45

120 & 240 VAC 46

Circuit Breakers & Fuses 47

Service Drop 48

Electromechanical Meter 49

Smart Meter 50

Circuit Grounding 51

Electrical Panels 52

Receptacle 54

GFCI 56

AFCI 57

Single-Pole Switch 58

3- & 4-Way Switches 60

Ceiling Fan/Light Switch 62

Dimmer Switch 64

Flush-Mount Light Fixture 66

Hanging Ceiling Fixture 67

Floor & Table Lamps 68

Fluorescent Lamps 69

CO Detector 70

Battery Smoke Detector 71

Wired Smoke Detectors 72

Chapter 3. Heating 75

Gas Warm Air Furnace 76

Gas Hot Water Boiler 77

Oil Warm Air Furnace 78

Oil Hot Water Boiler 79

Air-Source Heat Pump 80

Ventless Gas Heater 82

Direct-Vent Gas Heater 84

Direct-Vent Gas Fireplace 85

Electric Baseboard Heat 86

Warm Air Distribution 87

Hydronic Distribution 88

Hot Water Radiant Heat 89

Bimetallic Thermostat 90

Chapter 4. Cooling 91

Natural Ventilation 92

Ceiling Fan 93

Whole-House Fan 94

Window Air Conditioner 95

Central Air Conditioner 96

Evaporative Cooler 97

Chapter 5. Air Quality 99

Moisture & Mold 100

Humidifier 102

Dehumidifier 103

Furnace Filter 104

Electronic Air Cleaner 105

Chapter 6. Appliances 107

Dishwasher 108

Top-Loading Clothes Washer 110

Electric Clothes Dryer 112

Gas Clothes Dryer 113

Electric Range/Oven 114

Gas Range/Oven 115

Microwave Oven 116

Garbage Disposer 117

Refrigerator/Freezer 118

Icemaker 120

Trash Compactor 121

Vacuum Cleaners 122

Chapter 7. Windows & Doors 125

Double-Hung Window 126

Casement Window 128

Cylinder Lock 129

Deadbolt & Keyed Knob 130

Garage Door Opener 131

Chapter 8. Foundation & Frame 133

Footings 134

Drainage 135

Radon Abatement 136

Pier Foundation 137

Slab Foundation 138

Full Foundation 139

Crawl Space 140

Grade Beam 141

Forces on the Frame 142

Beams in Bending 144

Framing Members 146

Post & Beam Frame 148

Plank & Beam Frame 149

Balloon Frame 150

Platform Frame 151

Advanced (OVE) Frame 152

Chapter 9. Outdoors 153

4-Cycle Gasoline Engine 154

2-Cycle Gasoline Engine 156

Chain Saw 158

Lawn Mower 160

Gas String Trimmer 162

Pool Pump & Filter 163

Lawn Sprinkler System 164

Septic System 166

Chapter 10. Toward Sustainability 169

Clock Thermostat 170

Air-Tight Wood Stove 171

Pellet Stove 172

Ground-Source Heat Pump 174

Passive Solar Heating 176

Natural Ventilation 178

Air-to-Air Heat Exchanger 179

Low-E Windows 180

Window Insulating Panel 182

Motion-Activated Switch 184

Compact Fluorescent Lamp 186

LED Lamp 187

Solar Pool Heater 188

Pool Cover 189

Front-Loading Washer 190

Index 191

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The author of more than twenty books on home repair and improvement, Charlie Wing is perhaps the most credible house-building teacher in the world. His writing and illustrations make complex home issues understandable. An MIT graduate, he developed and hosted a national PBS energy conservation series, Housewarming with Charlie Wing, and served as primary editorial developer for Home Depot's branded 1-2-3 books.
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March 19, 2012
HOW YOUR HOUSE WORKS: A VISUAL GUIDE TO UNDERSTANDING AND MAINTAINING YOUR HOME, 2E

This updated and expanded edition of the best-selling residential guide from RSMeans and Wiley, HOW YOUR HOUSE WORKS: A VISUAL GUIDE TO UNDERSTANDING AND MAINTAINING YOUR HOME, provides consumers with essentially every piece of information they need to understand the dynamics of a home. From plumbing, electrical, wiring, heating and appliances to windows and doors, this guidebook has it all. Written in an easy-to-understand format, this richly illustrated manual is just as visually enticing as its predecessor and contains no shortage of answers for homeowners’ trials and tribulations. In HOW YOUR HOUSE WORKS, this revised edition includes considerable additional information such as:

  • new chapters related to sustainability and systems outside the house;
  • new topics in the areas of clock thermostats, ventless gas heaters, moisture and mold;
  • and passive solar heating coverage

HOW YOUR HOUSE WORKS is essential reading for homeowners, contractors, builders, electricians and real estate professionals.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

The author of more than 20 books on home repair and improvement, Charlie Wing is perhaps the most credible house-building teacher in the world. His writing and illustrations make complex home issues understandable. He developed and hosted a national PBS energy conservation series, Housewarming with Charlie Wing. An MIT graduate, he was an editor for Smart Homeowner magazine and served as primary editorial developer for Home Depot's branded book line, 1-2-3 books published by Meredith, including Home Depot's Decorative Painting 1-2-3, Home Depot's Tiling 1-2-3, and Home Depot's Plumbing 1-2-3.

ABOUT JOHN WILEY & SONS, INC.

Founded in 1807, John Wiley & Sons, Inc. has been a valued source of information and understanding for more than 200 years, helping people around the world meet their needs and fulfill their aspirations. Wiley and its acquired companies have published the works of more than 400 Nobel laureates in all categories: Literature, Economics, Physiology or Medicine, Physics, Chemistry, and Peace.

Wiley’s core businesses publish scientific, technical, medical, and scholarly journals, encyclopedias, books, and online products and services; professional/trade books, subscription products, training materials, and online applications and Web sites; and educational materials for undergraduate and graduate students and lifelong learners. Wiley's global headquarters are located in Hoboken, New Jersey, with operations in the U.S., Europe, Asia, Canada, and Australia. The Company's Web site can be accessed at http://www.wiley.com.

ABOUT RSMeans
RSMeans, a division of Reed Construction Data and trusted name in construction costs for over 70 years, is North America’s foremost source of construction cost information. RSMeans offers industry-acknowledged cost data books, CDs and online publications, a construction reference library of 60-plus titles, national seminars and consulting services—tools to help owners, developers, architects, engineers, and contractors accurately estimate and control construction costs. Visit www.rsmeans.com.

 

HOW YOUR HOUSE WORKS:

A Visual Guide to Understanding and Maintaining Your Home, Second Edition;

Published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Publication date: March 12, 2012;

$22.95; Paperback; 208 pages; ISBN: 978-1-118-09940-7

For a complete list of RSMeans reference books published by Wiley, visit: www.wiley.com/go/rsmeans

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