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My Undersink Trifecta
Old 06-20-2014, 03:43 PM   #281
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My Undersink Trifecta

A week ago the dishwasher started making a lot more noise when running. I'd hoped it was something caught in the grinder, but after a bit of poking around it turns out I needed a new motor. This involves unhooking the machine from power, water, and drain, removing the machine from under the counter, flipping it over, and removing/replacing the motor/impeller assembly. It sounds like a PITA, but this was one of the rare cases when doing the job was a lot easier than it sounded. The part was $130, but the online source had a great video on how to do the job and I received the part the day after I ordered it. Amazing.

Well, since I had all the stuff out from under the sink, I decided to replace the kitchen faucet. The Delta pull-out unit we installed 6 years ago was kaput due to bad design (it wouldn't swivel from side-to-side any more as the o-ring that was apparently supposed to serve as a bearing had gotten destroyed by scale). The Moen I installed is a lot better built.
And, rather than just load all the cleaners, kitchen trash bags, etc back into the black hole that is the sink cabinet, I installed two "roll-outs" to make almost all of the space easily accessible. I've also ordered another unit to go on the left wall of the cabinet, it will contain two hanging baskets that go all the way to the back of the space. Woo-hoo!

Observations:
1) We had a LOT of hidden stuff under that sink. When we couldn't find something, we bought more. Now I've got enough scrubbies, sponges, and kitchen trash bags to last two years, and I can actually find them.
2) The roll-outs are great, but there's something crazy about investing $200 in hardware to store about $50 worth of stuff. Still, if it makes the space accessible, it's worth it (to us).
3) Kitchen faucets--why so expensive? The cheapest unit that seemed well made was $200. It's got one valve, no electronics, nothing high-tech, and it weighs about 5 pounds. It sells for 50% of the price of a no-frills dishwasher or clothes washer, something with motors, pumps, valves, and a lot more material.

Anyway, no surprises and things are definitely better now than when I started the projects. I can't ask for more than that.
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Old 06-20-2014, 05:53 PM   #282
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....
2) The roll-outs are great, but there's something crazy about investing $200 in hardware to store about $50 worth of stuff. Still, if it makes the space accessible, it's worth it (to us). ...
Congrats on the repair. Yes, some of the things I do also seem totally crazy in terms input effort/cost, versus benefit - but there is something about having things the way you want that just trumps all that from time to time.

About a year ago, I re-located a heat vent from the floor in our kitchen to the toe-kick in the cabinets. The floor vent got dirty, rusty, things fell in (it was right by the sink), and the placement was just awkward looking (didn't align with anything visually). And when we re-did the kitchen 20 years ago, the cabinets actually stick over the edge of the vent by 3/16", so the kick had to be cut out a little, and removed to get the vent out for cleaning and digging out something that fell in it. I couldn't take it!

But this seemingly simple project entailed removing the vent (EZ), chiseling out three partial tiles (not EZ, esp afraid of chipping an adjacent tile), replacing those with the spares that this pack-rat keeps (not too bad), re-grouting (not EZ, had to clean all the old grout in the entire kitchen to get the new to match), and then blocking off the old vent (it fell out, and it was hard to reach back to put anything in to block it), cutting two holes for two new vents and routing that all through a space that initially looked like plenty of room to me, to needing to be a three-handed contortionist with a colorful vocabulary and DW standing by to pass me tools, screws, etc (a job she just loves ).

It is much nicer this way, but I'm still not sure it was worth the effort. At least it didn't cost much.

Quote:
3) Kitchen faucets--why so expensive? The cheapest unit that seemed well made was $200. It's got one valve, no electronics, nothing high-tech, and it weighs about 5 pounds. It sells for 50% of the price of a no-frills dishwasher or clothes washer, something with motors, pumps, valves, and a lot more material.
I don't get this either. Friends were remodeling, and they were shocked when the 'designer' casually suggested a $600 faucet! I figured that is what you get when you hire a fancy-pants 'designer'. Crazy!

But then when we had our counters replaced with granite, the sink and faucet that they carried at the granite place that were the style we wanted, were in that price range. But I figured they are cutting a hole in granite for this, I'd rather have one person to point the finger at if anything was not right. And that faucet isn't so great, they did replace the head that leaked after a year, and I think they sent out a new hose at the time, saying this was an 'improved design' - but then I had to go through extra effort to install that part of it (under a tight space in the sink). OK, but at these prices, shouldn't everything have been a proven design?

But it is solid stainless steel, and I know anything less will likely not last as long. But I'm not sure that justifies the price, but SS is expensive.

-ERD50
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Old 06-20-2014, 06:06 PM   #283
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But it is solid stainless steel, and I know anything less will likely not last as long. But I'm not sure that justifies the price, but SS is expensive.

-ERD50
All SS is not the same. There are various alloys and for kitchen sinks, go with T-304 16 gauge if you can. It's the best from resistance to corrosion and scratching basis. It' expensive though.
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Old 06-20-2014, 07:45 PM   #284
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All SS is not the same. There are various alloys and for kitchen sinks, go with T-304 16 gauge if you can. It's the best from resistance to corrosion and scratching basis. It' expensive though.
Right, in this case, I'm not talking about the sink (that was a quartz composite - so far so good), I'm talking about the faucet. I don't think they provided a grade for the SS, but it looks as good as the day it was installed (~ 5 years?). It's a pull-down with the big goose-neck, integrated handle all SS, so a fair amount of forming, or casting, not sure how that is done.

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Old 06-20-2014, 07:59 PM   #285
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Right, in this case, I'm not talking about the sink (that was a quartz composite - so far so good), I'm talking about the faucet. I don't think they provided a grade for the SS, but it looks as good as the day it was installed (~ 5 years?). It's a pull-down with the big goose-neck, integrated handle all SS, so a fair amount of forming, or casting, not sure how that is done.

-ERD50
Sorry, thought you were referring to the sink. We just put in granite counters and I installed the new faucet/pluming and went with a Kraus SS model made like you described (glad this is the last one we will buy!). Nice stuff!
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Old 06-20-2014, 08:20 PM   #286
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Sorry, thought you were referring to the sink. We just put in granite counters and I installed the new faucet/pluming and went with a Kraus SS model made like you described (glad this is the last one we will buy!). Nice stuff!
I looked at the Kraus site, and though ours was sold under the 'Eclipse' brand, it looks identical to this:

Single Lever Stainless Steel Pull Out Kitchen Faucet and Soap Dispenser - Stainless Steel Kitchen Faucets - Kitchen Faucets - Kitchen | KrausUSA.com

But our # is KPS3030S. The body seems perfect, but the hose developed a leak, and the head developed a leak, and the switch from stream to shower isn't as easy as it should be, IMO.

But the body looks like new, and I do think it will last our lifetime. Not sure about the components though.

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Old 06-20-2014, 08:50 PM   #287
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I have a dishwasher in all my apartments. I have never found it cost effective to repair them. A new one is ~$300, and tax deductible...
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Old 06-20-2014, 08:54 PM   #288
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I looked at the Kraus site, and though ours was sold under the 'Eclipse' brand, it looks identical to this:

Single Lever Stainless Steel Pull Out Kitchen Faucet and Soap Dispenser - Stainless Steel Kitchen Faucets - Kitchen Faucets - Kitchen | KrausUSA.com

But our # is KPS3030S. The body seems perfect, but the hose developed a leak, and the head developed a leak, and the switch from stream to shower isn't as easy as it should be, IMO.

But the body looks like new, and I do think it will last our lifetime. Not sure about the components though.

-ERD50
Ours is pretty much the same design except with a taller rise. Since it's only a few weeks old, it has no leaks yet. But I appreciate the information as to what will most likely fail over time. Pretty easy to replace parts I would bet. It's a shame you pay a lot for this stuff and it is not the greatest quality.

I installed the unit and ours was Kraus (Amazon purchase). The install manual was all sketches and the parts diagram was wrong. Good thing for Utube. Good thing I am an engineer, too.
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Old 06-20-2014, 09:16 PM   #289
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I have a dishwasher in all my apartments. I have never found it cost effective to repair them. A new one is ~$300, and tax deductible...
If I had to pay somebody to do the work, it would have been cheaper to replace the unit. The local appliance repair guys said they'd charge $150, plus I'm sure they would have charged me at least $150 for the part. But I diagnosed the problem myself (about an hour, and I would have done that regardless, since the fix might have required nothing more than unjamming the grinder), and the installation of the motor took less than an hour.
Tax deduction: I didn't get one of those. But, now I do have a noisy but functioning 1/5th HP AC motor to play with, and a good impeller in case that breaks next (this is why my house is full of junk).
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Old 07-15-2014, 09:32 PM   #290
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Removed bottom bracket from my bike cleaned and greased it up and reinstalled it. It was making some awful clunking sounds. Works great now. Now since I can go fast once again it was time to change the brake pads so I can stop so did that also.


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Old 07-16-2014, 01:25 AM   #291
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Not recent but during my 11 month stay in the US helping with Dad, summer rolls around and the Air Conditioner in Dad's truck isn't working. After some trouble shooting I noticed that the AC compressor was not engaging, then identified the problem as a poor ground (return) issue. I jerry rigged a paper clip to complete the circuit and the AC worked great for the duration of my visit.

Close enough for government work
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Old 07-16-2014, 07:03 AM   #292
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I noticed water dripping from a duct in the basement. Bathroom is directly upstairs. I opened an access panel in a bedroom closet behind the bath and saw the shower/tub faucet leaking in the wall. After a few trips to Menards and some repiping, I got the new faucet in place. Probably saved $800, given the plumber rates around here.
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Old 07-16-2014, 08:02 AM   #293
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.... I opened an access panel in a bedroom closet behind the bath and saw the shower/tub faucet leaking in the wall. . ...
I think it's a shame that an access panel isn't a building code requirement. It would reduce homeowner and insurance costs and frustration. Many little leaks would be caught and repaired before they got too bad.

-ERD50
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Old 07-16-2014, 08:05 AM   #294
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Removed bottom bracket from my bike cleaned and greased it up and reinstalled it. It was making some awful clunking sounds. Works great now.
Had the exact same problem a few weeks ago. Got a good deal on a used road bike but it did make a clicking sound when pedaling. Thought I might have to replace the bottom bracket but after removing, cleaning and greasing the bracket it has been running great.
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Old 07-16-2014, 08:50 AM   #295
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I think it's a shame that an access panel isn't a building code requirement. It would reduce homeowner and insurance costs and frustration. Many little leaks would be caught and repaired before they got too bad.
Good point. I encountered this recently, and had an access panel to get behind shower. Eventually had to replace the entire valve (about $175 for the plumber and $50 for the valve). Also decided to do the floor, cabinets and counter-top. The project turned out to be more than anticipated, and we just got the counter-top and it needs heavy lifting this weekend.

This is just before the plumbing repair. Decided to rip out the original countertop and most everything else.
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Old 07-16-2014, 11:28 AM   #296
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I think it's a shame that an access panel isn't a building code requirement. It would reduce homeowner and insurance costs and frustration. Many little leaks would be caught and repaired before they got too bad.

-ERD50
I'm finishing our basement over time, and I'm using ceiling tiles instead of drywall for the ceiling. The drywall would be faster and cheaper, but I'd lose access to all the HVAC, electrical, and plumbing runs. It's just not worth it.
I try to build in access panels and other "future serviceability" features when I do my projects. On the occasions when they've come in handy, I've felt brilliant.
If not a building code item, then capture a lot of these things under a voluntary "Smart Maintenance (with logo)" set of standards that could be used as a marketing tool when it is time to sell.
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Old 07-16-2014, 12:08 PM   #297
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My son pulled off the exterior handle that unlatches the liftgate on my Ford Freestar van two weeks ago. Took the interior panel off and was able to re-attach it, but not sure if a certain rod is supposed to slide side-to-side or if there is some retaining clip missing/broken. Haven't put the panel back on yet. It may have been engineered that if too much pull force on handle that the rod would move thus releasing the handle before breaking something. Takes some force to slide the rod. Haven't put the interior panel back on yet, waiting to see if this problem will occur frequently but so far under normal use, the release handle is funcioning just as before. Maybe my 17 year old just pulled too hard (and a tarp was caught in the latch mechanism at the time).
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Old 07-16-2014, 12:48 PM   #298
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Not so recent, I wanted to give it a little time to make sure the repair was really the fix on my 2000 Volvo S40.

Just after I got the notice that my car was due for the IL emissions test (which is just a check that the ODB-II didn't have any error codes), my Check Engine Light came on. My car occasionally throws out a code that the internet says is due to a marginal sensor condition on the camshaft timing. So when I see those codes, I just wait, and they clear themselves after a while. But this was a code that the engine didn't come up to temperature fast enough.

I cleared it, thinking it might be really intermittent (my temperature gauge appeared to act normally, and the car ran fine) but it came back after a while. I even tried to get to the test station between the time the sensors reported 'ready' and it came back on, but it came on two blocks from the test station.

The internet said it was almost always the thermostat and/or the sensor. Both are very easy to replace, but I could get the thermostat locally as cheap as on-line (~ $13), and the sensor was another $35. So I tried just the thermostat, and that has done the job. No codes for two months, made it past the inspection.

The hardest part was pulling the plastic panel under the engine to get to the drain plug to get the level down below the thermostat housing. About 8 bolts and another 8 of those little plastic push-in thingies. I should have followed the lead of the guy on youtube who just let a little coolant spill out.

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Old 07-16-2014, 02:24 PM   #299
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Two recent projects this past weekend:
1) Replaced the condenser fan on my kegerator frig. It was near crisis as the frig was only cool and not cold, my beer was attempting to become British! Basic problem was with no airflow over the condenser, it could not remove the heat. Since it is an older frig, and only used to hold the beer kegs, I bought a cheap used fan motor off ebay and the fix was 10 minute job and only $13 total cost.
2) This second one was more involved, my motorhome A/C compressor had catastrophic failure with something broken internal and a big crack in the case. Got a new compressor ($180) and after blowing out the lines to ensure no contaminants, bolt new compressor into place and then pull vacuum and recharged (~$20 for refrigerant). Cold air blowing again
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Old 07-16-2014, 04:07 PM   #300
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I think it's a shame that an access panel isn't a building code requirement. It would reduce homeowner and insurance costs and frustration. Many little leaks would be caught and repaired before they got too bad.

-ERD50
Exactly!
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