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

ISBN: 978-1-118-28580-0
208 pages
April 2012
How Your House Works: A Visual Guide to Understanding and Maintaining Your Home, Updated and Expanded, 2nd Edition (1118285808) 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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