How Your House Works
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How Your House Works : A Visual Guide to Understanding and Maintaining Your Home

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The updated and highly illustrated guide to understanding how just about everything in your house works!

The revised and updated third edition of How Your House Works is a hands-on guide that gives you the low-down on why your faucet is leaking, your dishwasher is overflowing, or your furnace is on the fritz. This comprehensive book is your reference to virtually everything in your house with richly illustrated explanations of electrical systems, heating and air conditioning, plumbing, major household appliances, foundation, framing, doors, and windows. This must-have book answers most questions homeowners face when repairs are needed or when a new house or addition is in your future.

How Your House Works is filled with easy-to-understand illustrations that show how things should be put together and how they function. The book also highlights issues outside the house as well as clock thermostats, ventless gas heaters, moisture and mold, and passive solar heating. Using the illustrations and the author's clear explanations might save you the expense of calling a professional. This invaluable guide:



Offers a colorful resource to home electrical systems, HVAC, plumbing, major household appliances, foundation, framing, doors and windows, sustainability, and much more
Includes easy-to-follow information for troubleshooting problems
Contains dozens of new full-color illustrations
Presents new chapters on solar power and smart home technologies
Helps homeowners save money on many common household repairs

Written for homeowners with little or no knowledge of home maintenance or repair, How Your House Works is your illustrated and updated guide to understanding how appliances, electrical, plumbing, heating, air conditioning, and more work!
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Product details

  • Paperback | 240 pages
  • 217 x 277 x 12mm | 678g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 3rd Edition
  • 1119467616
  • 9781119467618
  • 71,102

Back cover copy

THE UPDATED AND HIGHLY ILLUSTRATED GUIDE TO UNDERSTANDING HOW JUST ABOUT EVERYTHING IN YOUR HOUSE WORKS!

The revised and updated third edition of How Your House Works is a hands-on guide that gives you the low-down on why your faucet is leaking, your dishwasher is overflowing, or your furnace is on the fritz. This comprehensive book is your reference to virtually everything in your house with richly illustrated explanations of smart home technologies, electrical systems, heating and air conditioning, plumbing, major household appliances, foundation, framing, doors, and windows. This must-have book answers most questions homeowners face when repairs are needed or when a new house or addition is in your future.

How Your House Works is filled with easy-to-understand illustrations that show how things should be put together and how they function. The book also highlights issues outside the house as well as clock thermostats, ventless gas heaters, moisture and mold, and passive solar heating. Using the illustrations and the author's clear explanations might save you the expense of calling a professional. This invaluable guide: Offers a colorful resource to home electrical systems, HVAC, plumbing, major household appliances, foundation, framing, doors and windows, sustainability, and much more Includes easy-to-follow information for troubleshooting problems Contains dozens of new full-color illustrations Presents new material on solar power and smart home technologies Helps homeowners save money on many common household repairs

Written for homeowners with little or no knowledge of home maintenance or repair, How Your House Works is your illustrated and updated guide to understanding how appliances, electrical, plumbing, heating, air conditioning, and more work!
show more

Table of contents

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


Private Septic System 8


Lavatory Pop-up Drain 10


Sink Drain 11


Plunger-Type Tub Drain 12


Pop-up Tub Drain 13


Older Gravity Flow Toilet 14


Water-Saving Toilet 16


Traps & Vents 18


Ball-Type Faucet 20


Cartridge-Type Faucet 21


Disk-Type Faucet 22


Compression-Type Faucet 23


Tempering Valve 24


Tub/Shower Control 25


Hose Bibbs 26


Pitcher (Hand) Pump 27


Jet Pump 28


Submersible Pump 30


Sump Pump 32


Pressure Tank 33


Electric Water Heater 34


Gas Water Heater 35


Electric Tankless Heater 36


Gas Tankless Heater 37


BoilerMate (TM) Water Heater 38


Charcoal Cartridge Filter 39


Tank Filter 40


Reverse Osmosis Filter 41


Water Softener 42


UV Purifier 44


Fire Sprinkler 45


Chapter 2. Wiring 47


Electrical Circuit 48


Ohm's Law 49


Using a Test Meter 50


120 & 240 VAC 52


Circuit Breakers & Fuses 53


Service Drop 54


Electromechanical Meter 55


Smart Meter 56


Circuit Grounding 57


Electrical Panels 58


Receptacle 60


GFCI 62


AFCI 63


Single-Pole Switch 64


3- & 4-Way Switches 66


Ceiling Fan/Light Switch 68


Dimmer Switch 70


Motion-Activated Switch 72


Flush-Mount Light Fixture 74


Hanging Ceiling Fixture 75


Floor & Table Lamps 76


Fluorescent Lamps 77


Compact Fluorescent Lamp 78


LED Lamp 79


CO Detector 80


Battery Smoke Detector 81


Wired Smoke Detectors 82


The Smart Home 84


Chapter 3. Heating 87


Gas Warm Air Furnace 88


Gas Hot Water Boiler 89


Oil Warm Air Furnace 90


Oil Hot Water Boiler 91


Oil Burner 92


Fuel Oil Filter 93


Air-Source Heat Pump 94


Ground-Source Heat Pump 96


Ventless Gas Heater 98


Direct-Vent Gas Heater 100


Direct-Vent Gas Fireplace 101


Pellet Stove 102


Air-Tight Wood Stove 104


Electric Baseboard 105


Hydronic Distribution 106


Warm Air Distribution 107


Hot Water Radiant Heat 108


Bimetallic Thermostat 109


Digital Clock Thermostat 110


Chapter 4. Cooling 111


Natural Ventilation 112


Ceiling Fan 113


Whole-House Fan 114


Window Air Conditioner 115


Central Air Conditioner 116


Ductless Air Conditioner 117


Evaporative Cooler 118


Chapter 5. Air Quality 119


Moisture & Mold 120


Humidifier 122


Dehumidifier 123


Furnace Filter 124


Electronic Air Cleaner 125


Air-to-Air Heat Exchanger 126


Chapter 6. Appliances 127


Dishwasher 128


Front-Loading Washer 130


Top-Loading Washer 132


Electric Dryer 134


Gas Dryer 135


Electric Range/Oven 136


Gas Range/Oven 138


Coffee Makers 140


Microwave Oven 142


Garbage Disposer 143


Refrigerator/Freezer 144


Icemaker 146


Trash Compactor 147


Vacuum Cleaners 148


Chapter 7. Windows & Doors 151


Double-Hung Window 152


Low-E Windows 154


Window Insulating Panel 156


Cylinder Lock 158


Deadbolt & Keyed Knob 159


Garage Door Opener 160


Chapter 8. Foundation & Frame 161


Footing 162


Drainage 163


Radon Abatement 164


Slab Foundation 165


Crawl Space Foundation 166


Grade Beam Foundation 167


Full Foundation 168


Pier Foundation 169


Forces on the Frame 170


Beams in Bending 172


Framing Members 174


Post & Beam Frame 176


Plank & Beam Frame 177


Balloon Frame 178


Platform Frame 179


Advanced (OVE) Frame 180


Chapter 9. Outdoor Equipment 181


4-Cycle Gasoline Engine 182


2-Cycle Gasoline Engine 184


Gasoline Chain Saw 186


Gasoline Lawn Mower 188


Gasoline String Trimmer 190


Gasoline Leaf Blower 191


Cordless Equipment 192


Lithium-ion Batteries 194


Pool Pump & Filter 195


Lawn Sprinkler System 196


Chapter 10. The Solar Home 199


Passive Solar Heating 200


Solar Pool Heater 202


Solar Water Heater 203


Photovoltaic (PV) Power 204


A Homeowner's Tool Bag 209


Index 215
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About Charlie Wing

CHARLIE WING, PHD, is a nationally recognized authority on home building and remodeling, home repair, energy conservation and boating. He specializes in translating and illustrating technical information into easily understood layman's terms. He cofounded the nation's first two owner-builder schools, developed the first DOE-approved computerized home energy audit, and wrote and hosted the national PBS TV series, Housewarming with Charlie Wing.
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Rating details

436 ratings
4 out of 5 stars
5 33% (143)
4 41% (178)
3 21% (91)
2 5% (21)
1 1% (3)
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