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Old 07-16-2014, 04:21 PM   #301
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In my home, an access panel for the shower valve would put it right by my bed!

How would I camouflage it? A painting or even a nicely framed photo by Walt would look really weird at that location.

No, no access panel.
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Old 07-16-2014, 05:11 PM   #302
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In my home, an access panel for the shower valve would put it right by my bed!

How would I camouflage it? A painting or even a nicely framed photo by Walt would look really weird at that location.

No, no access panel.
The access panel would probably look better than my inevitable drywall repair job. Some of the new shower valves can be accessed entirely from the shower side, behind the escutcheon plate. And, there are always the "boo-boo" plates that can be bought to cover an enlarged hole on the shower side.
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Old 07-16-2014, 05:27 PM   #303
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Some of the new shower valves can be accessed entirely from the shower side, behind the escutcheon plate...
True. I recently had to replace the cartridge inside the valve and it was completely accessible from the front. To replace the entire valve body would require sweating the pipes, and that has to be done from the back side.

I went to the manufacturer Web site to look, and even after mere 8 years after the home was built, that valve was discontinued already. I was sweating bullets until I was able to find a distributor still having that cartridge. Bought myself two to have a spare, just in case.
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Old 07-16-2014, 07:20 PM   #304
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Our 1993 year old Infinity G20 stick shift failed our DEQ. DH took it to the shop he has always used where most of the mechanics have older Infinity's.. they replaced the catalytic converter and did a major tune up (spark plugs, oil change, distributor cap, air filter). It still it failed and the shop couldn't figure it out. Next to the dealer who replaced the oxygen & knox(?) sensors, clean the throttle body and replaced the air flow sensor, reset the timing. Passed DEQ. All in all cost us about $3,000 but DH said that it is cheaper than replacing it. Shall I say that this gets fantastic mileage, much better than our 2 yo vehicle.
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Old 07-16-2014, 08:31 PM   #305
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I was sweating bullets until I was able to find a distributor still having that cartridge. Bought myself two to have a spare, just in case.
Good move. Now, the trick will be finding the parts when you need them. If it were me, I'd re-open the trim plate and put a note to myself right there ("replacement cartridge is in the plumbing parts box behind the water heater")--or just zip-tie the replacement cartridge to a pipe where I could reach it.

My motto: If it is stupid but it works, it's not stupid.

When I'm long dead, whoever buys my house is gonna find a lot of my notes.
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Old 07-17-2014, 08:20 AM   #306
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I have a 1952 ford 8N tractor that i use to bush hog down the blackberry bushes and deer brush on my lower property. The hydraulics were getting slow to lift the large mow deck. I opened the side panel and worked the hydraulics. I could see some pretty significant leakage from the hydraulic pump assembly. I took off the large top plate beneath and including the seat area ( weighs like 60 lbs! Friend helped lift off). Fortunately the pump cylinder walls were not scored - I replaced the pump cylinder with one that has o rings, reassembled.....and that 400lb bush hog raises immediately! Having it raise fast is important to go over rocks, stumps etc.
This was a fun repair - that old tractor is made so well and so easy to tear down - nothing like the new vehicles where you need a Doctorate to change the plugs

Saved a bundle doing this repair myself!
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Old 07-17-2014, 11:35 AM   #307
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In my home, an access panel for the shower valve would put it right by my bed!

How would I camouflage it? A painting or even a nicely framed photo by Walt would look really weird at that location.

No, no access panel.
It doesn't need to be an ugly industrial looking access panel. Just a flat panel with some molding around it would do.

Now that might still look funny in the middle of a large wall. But if it was code, I'd bet that the room would be arranged so there was a closet or something else there, or some way to make some molding there a 'feature' of the room.

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Old 07-17-2014, 12:32 PM   #308
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Hmm... "What's that randomly placed panel that's partly obscured by your bed headboard ?!?"

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Old 07-17-2014, 01:40 PM   #309
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Hmm... "What's that randomly placed panel that's partly obscured by your bed headboard ?!?"

Ah, the utility of interior design (decorating) versus the utility of, um... utility!

I remember seeing old houses from the 1920s-30s that had access panels everywhere one was possible (interior access only, no panels through the wall of the house from outside ).

The house I built I put a tub and shower access panel in an adjoining room.

In this house I had to cut and put one in due to a leak. A stub wall in a bathroom, tub and shower one side, the access panel side is into a toilet area. Tempered 1/4" hardboard makes for a thin panel, surface-mounts over the access cutout with a few SS pan head screws. Primed and painted the panel first, including all edges, and well-dried before installation.

Had to do another one down inside a closet/cabinet in a different bathroom, through the stub wall on one side to the plumbing end of another tub so termite guy could get at the little munchers.

Eventually, when I do a big bath renovation, I will have to put an access panel behind a shower stall. That one goes into a closet with a big custom-built built-in storage in it. Won't be fun to do that, but probably a nit in the whole project effort by comparison.

Once I took down a big bathroom wall mirror over a dual vanity in someone else's house to get to a PVC vent stack for dual sinks. Cut in there and put a cleanout and snaked and flushed a blockage that was between floors and horizontally about 20' away. Luckily the mirror wasn't glued to the wall, just clips. I cut the drywall centered on two studs, and then slipped in two pieces of 1x4 for drywall attachment with screws for top and bottom of new drywall piece. Then the mirror went back up. The blame goes to the plumber who did DWV when it was built. He used a simple 4-way cross to collect the two in-wall pipes from each sink into the down-sewer pipe and the up-vent pipe. Disconnect either trap from wall, and try to snake, the snake just went across the cross to the other sink! DUH! Un-snakeable as built!
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Old 07-17-2014, 01:47 PM   #310
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Perhaps homes built east and west of the Mississippi conform to different standards, but I have not seen a home with access panels here in the west, and some of these homes date back to the 40s and 50s. The only access panels I have seen are in my RV, and I was glad to be able to change the shower valve through that back panel.
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Old 07-17-2014, 02:26 PM   #311
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Once I took down a big bathroom wall mirror over a dual vanity in someone else's house to get to a PVC vent stack for dual sinks.
See, that would be a great place for a note--near the traps of every drain served by that vent stack. "Access panel to vent stack for use in snaking this drain is behind mirror in main bathroom". Somebody, someday, would probably send you (or your heirs) a beer.
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Old 07-18-2014, 01:08 AM   #312
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I just opened up my laptop to replace the CPU fan. Twice!

What happened was that I forgot to plug the little connector of the fan to the CPU board. Zipped everything up, all screws installed, turned on laptop, just to see message "Fan not working!" ARGHHHH!!!!

Second time was the charm. I am posting this with the laptop, so it must be OK. The laptop fan started to act up a month ago, and I immediately bought the fan off eBay for $15. Then, I sat on it until the fan really seized up, leaving me with no choice.

This is the 2nd laptop I have replaced the fan on. It's not hard, but I do not enjoy opening things up anymore. Another sign of getting old.
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Old 07-18-2014, 08:55 AM   #313
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Had to redo my recent bath/shower faucet repair. DW ordered a new cover plate and it is 1/2" thicker than the old one. So I had to get back into the access panel and move the valve assembly 1/2" closer to the shower wall.
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Old 07-18-2014, 09:35 AM   #314
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Hmm... "What's that randomly placed panel that's partly obscured by your bed headboard ?!?"

Well, it's not going to be appropriate for every case as a retro-fit. But in most cases, I think it could be designed in with aesthetics in mind.

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I just opened up my laptop to replace the CPU fan. Twice! ...

This is the 2nd laptop I have replaced the fan on. It's not hard, but I do not enjoy opening things up anymore. Another sign of getting old.
I do try to find out how easy it is to open a laptop before I buy it. I want pretty easy access to memory and the hard drive, and you're right, fans seem to go out (or get noisy) from time to time.

The Lenovo G710 I just bought is a dream to open/close. Two screws, and then the bottom slides a bit and lifts off.

Which reminds me, I should open DW's MacBook Pro and clean out the lint. When I upgraded the memory there was some build up.

-ERD50
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Old 07-18-2014, 11:33 AM   #315
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This HP and the earlier Toshiba I worked on required total disassembly of the laptop and removal of the motherboard in order to replace the fan. It is not hard but requires a bit of care and dexterity to avoid damaging the delicate flex connectors. It is a lot easier for the Oriental women who build these things.
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VW Door lock switch replacement
Old 07-18-2014, 09:36 PM   #316
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VW Door lock switch replacement

Say these cars are over engineered? Well, my driver's door lock got flaky and only locked when it wanted to, creating havoc with interior lights and the alarm system. Now these Germans can't make something fairly simple to fix and also make a simple part. So, off with the inner door panel, off with the electrics, off with the outer door skin (yes, to get at the switch), and off with the lock, handle and misc. parts. A pictorial (third picture down is the old door lock assembly):
DSCN0590.jpg

DSCN0591.jpg

DSCN0593.jpg





All done...works fine!
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Old 07-19-2014, 09:21 AM   #317
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Well done! I always have trouble with cars in trying to figure out how to get into things. Always seems like a puzzle with hidden latches and what not.

Just replaced my defective kitchen disposal. Plumbing and I don't get along too well so I was worried about this project but all turned out well in the end. The old unit was a 1/3 HP GE model and the new one is a 1/2 HP Insinkerator. I got lucky in that I did not have to make any modifications to the existing PVC pipes. Saved about $60 labor and got a better disposal than the one the property manager offered.
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Old 07-19-2014, 11:07 AM   #318
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Might be fixing up my garage door. The alternative is to spend about $1,000 on a new door. Must be inflation, but $1,000 sounds like a lot.

The veneer layer is peeling away from the edges, and warping, and tearing in some places. Trying to come up with a simple way to fix it that doesn't look like too much of an atrocity when done and painted. Probably lots of ways to do it.

I'm more comfortable working on cars. Don't do much carpentry.
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Old 07-19-2014, 06:05 PM   #319
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The veneer layer is peeling away from the edges, and warping, and tearing in some places. Trying to come up with a simple way to fix it that doesn't look like too much of an atrocity when done and painted.
While the weather is warm I'd be thinking about using an epoxy, perhaps thinned with alcohol to get it further in there, and maybe some fiberglass cloth wrapped around the edge to discourage it from separating again.

Sanded epoxy takes paint well. But you have to clean and sand it first.
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Old 07-19-2014, 08:35 PM   #320
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While the weather is warm I'd be thinking about using an epoxy, perhaps thinned with alcohol to get it further in there, and maybe some fiberglass cloth wrapped around the edge to discourage it from separating again.

Sanded epoxy takes paint well. But you have to clean and sand it first.
That could be a very good approach, it's hard to say w/o seeing it. Another option that works well in many cases is good old 'bondo', or generic 2-part auto body filler.

I patched our front entry door with that a few years back (we get the West sun, so wood takes a beating), and it has worked well. You can rough sand it as it sets to kind of match the grain of the wood. Then paint.

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