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Old 08-19-2012, 03:08 PM   #10921
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I spent today recovering from a huge purchase yesterday.

My faithful 1995 STX46 John Deere lawn tractor finally gave it up. I have rebuilt the carburetor twice (or was it 3x ?), put new blades and belts on, used a bungee cord to secure the plastic engine hood after the hinge mounts broke, and did everything I could to keep it running. The last time I ran it, it sounded pretty rough but I attributed that to the chronically sticking throttle/choke control. It cut the grass pretty well so I was not too concerned.

After a few weeks of very little rain and therefore no grass growth, I started it 3 days ago to give the now recovered lawn a trim. I had to charge the battery. While I was waiting, I noticed a fair amount of oil on the floor underneath it. I checked the oil level, and got it started.
It had very little power when I engaged the mower deck. Uh oh....

So I did half the lawn with my self propel push mower and contemplated what to do.

2 days ago, I wiped off all of the oil seepage, re-checked the oil level, and restarted it. Same thing, engine running rough and no power. I concluded that it either blew a valve or the engine crankcase seals gave way.
Did I want to try ordering/installing a new engine or do a short block gasket/valve job on a 17 year old machine? Would I even remember how to do that after so many years?

So I stimulated the economy and bought a brand new D110 John Deere lawn tractor.
John*Deere D110 Lawn Tractors JohnDeere.Com



The funny thing is the new machine cost almost $1K less (MSRP) in 2012 than the one bought in 1995. Go figure...
Mr B's VA card got us 10% off at Lowe's, which covered the sales tax and part of the delivery charge. And..it has a cup holder.

I plan to put the old one out on the street and let whoever wants to tinker with it or do metal recycling, take it away.
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Old 08-19-2012, 03:29 PM   #10922
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Very beautiful purchase, freebird! I hope you have many seasons of trouble free grass cutting.

And the cup holder is a wonderful touch.

Congratulations!
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Old 08-19-2012, 05:25 PM   #10923
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Very beautiful purchase, freebird! I hope you have many seasons of trouble free grass cutting.

And the cup holder is a wonderful touch.

Congratulations!
Thanks!

I almost forgot the funny part...when Mr B and I were at Lowe's, the salesman was talking directly to him about the features, how many hours of break-in before changing the oil, yadda yadda yadda. I just stood there and grinned.
When the young man was done with his spiel, Mr B told him that I was the small engine mechanic and lawn tractor operator* in the family. He told the kid that he should be talking to me about the machine.
The "oops" look on the young man's face was PRICELESS.

* Mr B grew up in a city near Boston, with a very small yard. He has never used a lawn tractor except 1 time when I tried to show him how to operate my older one. He was not comfortable with doing that at all.
Or was he just playing possum ?
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Old 08-19-2012, 05:38 PM   #10924
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When renting your monkey, be sure to pay extra and get a high-quality top-notch monkey and not the bargain 3rd-class one that can inflict the following to you. Skip forward to 2:30 to save time.
Never fear NW....my monkey is high quality top-notch.
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Old 08-19-2012, 05:56 PM   #10925
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Great! As frugal as I am, when it comes to this, I would not hesitate to pay more and tip generously to ensure exceptional services.

I would even spend time before-hand to do research that I would not normally do, such as checking Consumer Reports, and search the Web for rental agency review and rating, etc... You can't be too careful with monkey business, I have been told.

And then, if renting a kangaroo, I would seek legal advice before signing any contract. You would not want to be taken to a kangaroo court.
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Old 08-19-2012, 06:48 PM   #10926
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Spent a very quiet day after a hectic week with DH watching old movies.
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Old 08-19-2012, 11:18 PM   #10927
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I spent the day troubleshooting our icemaker. It came down to either the $150 icemaker or the $30 solenoid on the water valve. The water line to the icemaker looked clear and we had plenty of flow through the in-door water dispenser, so it didn't seem to be a water problem.

Then I read a post by a guy who managed to jumper the power connection for the in-door water valve to the icemaker's water valve solenoid. By pushing the right levers, he could see water squirting out the icemaker water fill line. I tried that trick and obtained the same result. So tomorrow I need to buy a new icemaker.


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Spent a very quiet day after a hectic week with DH watching old movies.
I'm curious-- what was so hectic about the old movies? Or did DH make your week hectic? And why would you spend an entire week watching movies?
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Old 08-19-2012, 11:21 PM   #10928
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I'm curious-- what was so hectic about the old movies, and why would you spend an entire week watching them?
Or was it a quiet day watching old movies after a hectic week with DH?
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Old 08-19-2012, 11:44 PM   #10929
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Or was it a quiet day watching old movies after a hectic week with DH?
Well, geez, yeah, I guess there's all sorts of interpretations.
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Old 08-20-2012, 06:00 AM   #10930
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Well, geez, yeah, I guess there's all sorts of interpretations.
OR...had a very hectic week, so we rested yesterday by quietly watching old movies (North by Northwest is the best!)

:-)
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Old 08-20-2012, 09:52 AM   #10931
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Originally Posted by Nords View Post
I spent the day troubleshooting our icemaker. It came down to either the $150 icemaker or the $30 solenoid on the water valve. The water line to the icemaker looked clear and we had plenty of flow through the in-door water dispenser, so it didn't seem to be a water problem.

Then I read a post by a guy who managed to jumper the power connection for the in-door water valve to the icemaker's water valve solenoid. By pushing the right levers, he could see water squirting out the icemaker water fill line. I tried that trick and obtained the same result. So tomorrow I need to buy a new icemaker. ....
My icemaker has been working sporadically. Sometimes it will work for a day and produce ice and then it won't produce ice for days on end. The in-door chilled water works fine so there seems to be water getting to the unit. Any ideas from your recent troubleshooting experience on what it might be?
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Old 08-20-2012, 12:49 PM   #10932
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My icemaker has been working sporadically. Sometimes it will work for a day and produce ice and then it won't produce ice for days on end. The in-door chilled water works fine so there seems to be water getting to the unit. Any ideas from your recent troubleshooting experience on what it might be?
My number-one source of appliance troubleshooting & repair wisdom is the Appliance Samurai at FixItNow.com.

I think you can lurk on this thread without having to register:
GE Profile Arctica freezer with bad WR30X10044 icemaker? - The Kitchen Appliance Repair Forum - Appliantology Academy

The chilled water dispenser is a separate valve, although it's in the same assembly as the icemaker's water valve. So one can be OK and the other can be bad.

The top five appear to be:
1. Dying solenoid on the valve that admits water into the icemaker. Sometimes it's corroding internally, other times the valve shaft is gummed up.
2. Leaking seats on the valve that admits water into the icemaker. A very slow trickle of water oozes into the tube that directs water into the icemaker. The freezer gradually freezes the trickle in the tube until it builds up into an ice plug, which ironically keeps the icemaker from making more ice. But then the freezer initiates a defrost cycle, which might defrost the plug enough to let the water start flowing again.
3. Ice (or other gunk) sticking in the sensor which detects when the ice bucket is full, keeping it from telling the icemaker that it needs to make more.
4. A dying/dead thermistor. That little sucker controls the logic that lets water into the icemaker, and it controls the action that lets the icemaker clear the cubes out of the mold after they're frozen. It's a cheap component, but most appliance companies don't make it easy to replace. This is probably what's wrong with our icemaker.
5. A dying motor in the icemaker. Unfortunately my GE icemaker is mostly electronic (not mechanical) and it's all sealed up to prevent handy techs from jury-rigging their own repairs.
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Old 08-20-2012, 03:08 PM   #10933
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Thanks, I didn't realize that the chilled water dispenser and icemaker water were separate valves. I'll have to chase that angle down.

FWIW, I have a LBYM friend whose icemaker went kaput and they make ice in freezer trays and then empty the ice into the bin that the in-door unit feeds as a workaround.
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Old 08-20-2012, 09:26 PM   #10934
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Originally Posted by pb4uski View Post
My icemaker has been working sporadically. Sometimes it will work for a day and produce ice and then it won't produce ice for days on end. The in-door chilled water works fine so there seems to be water getting to the unit. Any ideas from your recent troubleshooting experience on what it might be?
You may want to check your freezer's temperature. Sometimes the first indication of a freezer that is not cold enough is that the icemaker is erratic or very slow. Without a freezer thermometer it's hard to tell the difference between a freezer that is at the proper 0 degees F and the too warm 25 degrees F.
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Old 08-20-2012, 09:32 PM   #10935
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Six hours after we bought the new icemaker, and I've wasted $150. I guess it's a good thing to periodically be humbled by an inanimate appliance.

Our GE icemaker doesn't lend itself to troubleshooting. I've pulled it in & out of the freezer a few times, but it seemed to be intact. After I eliminated the other possible causes of its failure, I figured something electronic had burned out.

The new icemaker required a lot of plastic parts to be stripped off the old icemaker and installed on the new. While I was sitting there with two icemakers in front of me, I realized that the "bin full" paddle sensor on the old icemaker had a loose spring. It was easy to see because the new icemaker's paddle & spring were correctly assembled and operating a lot differently than the old one.

So I re-installed the spring on the paddle of the old icemaker, threw it back into the freezer, and turned it on. Sonofagun, it immediately booted itself up and three minutes later (right on schedule) it squirted water into its ice mold for five seconds. Right on spec. An hour later we heard ice cubes going down its chute into the bin, and it's been churning away ever since at about one batch every ~75 minutes. Not that I've been taking logs or anything.

The paddle sensor spring either worked loose on its own, or it got smacked by one of us removing/inserting the ice bin. If the old icemaker survives the next couple days then I'll return the new one. I'll only get back $120 after the 20% restocking fee, but it's cheap tuition.

I guess the $30 is also worth the way I would have felt if the GE appliance guy had driven out to the house, reached into the freezer, tweaked a spring, and charge me $100...
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Old 08-22-2012, 04:26 PM   #10936
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I just got back from another mini-vacation to my friend's beach camp on Lake Ontario. On Monday night we were treated to a really cool sight...the sun was setting and turning the western view into a layer cake of flaming red-orange clouds and fading blue sky.
Standard fare...but here's the best part...
A crescent moon was visible to the SW, just above the horizon, before and during dusk. As the sun fully set, the crescent moon glowed red-orange. Just as it got dark, the moon looked just like the spinnaker of a ghost ship, sailing off as the moon dipped below the horizon. I've never seen anything like this before, and I've been on the water a lot at sunset.

I tried to take a pic with my cell camera, but it was too dark.

Today was spent watering my plants, unpacking from the trip, and spending time with Mr B. He's been sick for a week with a cold bug that he picked up somewhere in his travels. And in spite of avoiding any kissing, dammit, today my throat felt a little sore. Argh, not again!
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Old 08-22-2012, 05:33 PM   #10937
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Spent the day on Harrison Lake in our new boat. Found a deserted beach and lunched there, did a little fly fishing from shore. Then down the Harrison River, more fishing, lost my hat when DH tested the top speed and an anchor that refused to let go of some rocks but it was still a fabulous day with salmon leaping in the river and an eagle fishing along side us.
The stuff dreams are made of.
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Old 08-22-2012, 05:35 PM   #10938
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Took a five hour round trip drive to Ruckersville, VA. We bought a small stock trailer from a dealer there to have in case we need to move our alpacas- trips to the vet, once a year to be sheared, etc. Have been watching for a used one to come on the market but the few I've seen have been in very bad shape. This is a very low end trailer but has enough room to carry 6 or more alpacas when needed. Trailer tows easily behind the pickup and will also use it to store hay between uses.

The fun part of the trip was visiting an alpaca farm near Ruckersville. It's owned by a couple who have 32 alpacas and the women is very involved in various fiber arts, weaving, spinning, etc. They sell a peg loom (American Peg Loom) that can be used to make rugs and other items. We have about 400 yards of rug yarn that was made from some of our alpacas and I'm going to try to make some area rugs for the kitchen from the fiber. The loom looks really easy to use. Really nice visit and was able to get some instruction in using the loom. I also enjoyed looking at the large, floor looms that she had in her studio and some beautiful fabric that she had made.

Fun day but enough driving for a while.
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Old 08-22-2012, 05:35 PM   #10939
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That can happen! Photography is one of those hobbies that has no upper limit on what one can spend. The camera is a Nikon D7000 and the lens is a Nikon 85mm DX (APC format, not full-frame) macro. So a bit over $1,500 right there, and that's not even high-end stuff.

In one of the classes I took I asked a pro who ran a studio if the high-end gear makes a significant difference. He said that one does get to a point of diminishing returns - yes, it does make a difference and gives you more options, but the closer one gets to the top the fewer the returns. So I'm happy with this and it's better than anything I've ever used before.

I shoot raw and processing is done in Lightroom 4.1 and if needed Photoshop CS6 (bought on sale).

Saw this clinging to the screen on the back porch all day yesterday. I guess it was drying out since luna moths only live a week as adults.
Nice Luna Moth. I haven't seen one in a while. Your excellent pic will due nicely. Wasn't that Mothman thing down your way? Thanks.
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Old 08-23-2012, 07:29 AM   #10940
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No, Mothman was in Mason county on the other side of the state. I had to look that one up (Mothman) since I'd never heard of it.
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