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Old 10-16-2014, 11:45 AM   #461
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OMG... Plumbing... The memories still send shivers down my spine.

As a totally uninformed neophyte, back in 1962, we bought an older home, and I proceeded to install a complete hot water heating system in a two story house.
How naive... but incredibly, actually did the full installation in 7 small rooms. All alone. It worked...
But...
A week after completion, the long copper pipe run in the basement began to leak at one of my solder joints. That triggered a mind shattering nightmare of trying to fix the leak. From joint to joint, floor to floor, room to room... broken joints, leaks, and eventually a complete rebuild from the furnace throughout the house.
Currently, I do this type of repair with electrical tape.

Vee grow too soon old, und too late shmart.
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Old 10-16-2014, 12:08 PM   #462
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Here is a plumbing job that all of us can handle! I noticed the toilet running almost silently and very slowly, but not shutting off all the way. When I opened the lid, I saw what you see in the picture. Who can guess what I did to solve the problem?

Hint: look at the water level...a bit hard to see in the picture.
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Old 10-16-2014, 12:11 PM   #463
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As a totally uninformed neophyte, back in 1962, we bought an older home, and I proceeded to install a complete hot water heating system in a two story house.
You'd be a big fan of the new PEX pipe and connections. I finally bought the special tool needed to "cinch" the PEX connectors (I'd been using the "Sharkbite" connectors successfully, but these are cheaper and, I think, might last longer). So much faster, easier, and more forgiving than copper!
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Old 10-16-2014, 12:13 PM   #464
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Hint: look at the water level...a bit hard to see in the picture.
Bent the float rod down?
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Old 10-16-2014, 12:18 PM   #465
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Bent the float rod down?
That was my first inclination. But there is an adjustment screw in the upper left of that photograph. I simply turned that screw a little bit to adjust the float down. Didn't even need to use a tool!
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Old 10-16-2014, 12:53 PM   #466
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One thing that has changed for me, or maybe world has changed, is that special tools are easier to rent/borrow. Most auto parts stores have free loaner tools (and many of those are useful for things other than cars). Rental places will now deliver a backhoe to your property and show you the basics. It can be a blast to run one of these. You can also do a tremendous amount of damage much faster with a backhoe than a pick and shovel!

I used a backhoe to clear out half a lot of trees. Got stuck and had to call a wrecker to pull me out. Even so, a lot cheaper than paying someone, I got some other things done with it, and I really enjoyed it even with getting stuck. Later rented one to do some prep work for a couple driveways (mine and a rental house). Learn a skill and it keeps on paying.

Latest plumbing escapades I'm paying someone to do because the cost of damaging a city main with a backhoe is more than I want to pay.
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Old 10-16-2014, 03:01 PM   #467
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I have replaced the toilet float valves in my home over the years, and all of them are now of the following type, which is superior.





About the RO filter leak that I just fixed, it turned out that it was due to a broken plastic clamp.

This was the chintzy clamp that pressed the filter discharge tube against a hole drilled into the sink tailpipe, where the waste water from the RO filter drained into. I bought a metal clamp meant for 1-1/2" electrical conduits, and concocted a replacement. No leak so far.
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Old 10-16-2014, 03:42 PM   #468
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We received a much higher than normal water bill so I went after the usual suspect, a toilet running, so did the usual food-coloring-in-the-tank diagnostic. Yup, the master bath toilet was running, completely silent.

A flapper valve is one plumbing job I think I can handle without hurting myself or anything else.
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Old 10-16-2014, 03:45 PM   #469
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I have replaced the toilet float valves in my home over the years, and all of them are now of the following type, which is superior.





About the RO filter leak that I just fixed, it turned out that it was due to a broken plastic clamp.

This was the chintzy clamp that pressed the filter discharge tube against a hole drilled into the sink tailpipe, where the waste water from the RO filter drained into. I bought a metal clamp meant for 1-1/2" electrical conduits, and concocted a replacement. No leak so far.
Except they don't work at all for gravity water feed toilet. They never turn off the water flow. Need old kind with a few modifications.
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Old 10-16-2014, 10:59 PM   #470
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My latest repair....

The heater to our jacuzzi.....


Somehow the wire was melted!!! Yep, the wire to the heater was arched into two pieces... got new romex (made for outside... the old was indoor)... took the face off the timer and saw that the ground was not connected... hmmm, OK... let's just hook it up like it was.... take off the short melted piece at the bottom and see... black to black... red to white and white to ground... another hmmmm..... but what the heck... results... nothing....


DW said 'you got your one chance, now we call a professional'..... she has learned over the years not to let me keep working on some things if she wants them right away....


The 'professional' comes out and takes apart the various components and determines that the power supply was blown... did a complete rewire and added some weather proofing on the connections... cost a bit over $200....
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Old 10-17-2014, 12:13 AM   #471
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Our GE dryer stopped heating in February. GE repaired for $285. Now 8 months later, not heating up again. The heater package is under warranty--$45... But the labor is not! I am foing to,ask them to send me the new parts and see if I can do it myself...though I have ZERO experience...on Youtube it looks pretty easy...but what a joke of a warranty.


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Old 10-17-2014, 12:07 PM   #472
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My dryer is 30 years old, and I have yet to replace the heater. It is not at all difficult to replace, but if yours burnt out so soon there might be a root cause such as restricted airflow.

There are usually thermal cutout switches on the heater for fire protection, but if the heating element runs at a higher-than-normal operating temperature, that will shorten its life.
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Old 10-17-2014, 02:44 PM   #473
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I bought a solar light that never worked. My husband asked if we could just throw it out. I took one last look and it has a plastic tab on the battery I forgot to remove after I bought it. The light works great - easiest "repair" ever.
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Old 10-18-2014, 09:06 PM   #474
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Couple of days ago DW said the freezer has a lot of ice in it. No not in the ice bin.

Removed bottom access grille, looked and groaned. Could not see the coils from all the crud. Got vacuum cleaner, long hose attached to it, got most of it out. Not having a the fridge repairman's special cleaning nozzle with offset end intake. I ran 40 feet of air hose from the compressor in the garage and said to DW, kitchen will need cleaning after this.

Doing a push-pull with air hose and vacuum got the rest of the crud out. What a mess.

Then initiated manual defrost several times and a heat gun assist, got the ice out.

It is now working fine.
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Old 10-19-2014, 07:37 AM   #475
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I wonder if your air hose & vacuum routine dislodged a grown crud plug in the evaporator drain line down to the pan by the condensor.
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Old 10-19-2014, 08:01 AM   #476
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I have replaced the toilet float valves in my home over the years, and all of them are now of the following type, which is superior.
I too have the Fluid Master 400A fill valve on all toilets now. Long enough to see what kind of problems THEY can develop over time.

On one, the bowl didn't fill completely, though tank water level was fine. The metal clip that you use to attach and position the refill hose over the tank's overflow drain pipe had broken out the side of the overflow pipe, in the shape of the clip, and the refill hose was just aiming into the tank. I see they have changed the hardware for that now, probably for that reason. A new-design clip positioned further around the tube solved that.

The second problem was hard to find. A tank would not reliably fill completely, the water would suddenly turn off with the sliding float too low. But everything, including the rubber valve diaphragm, looked fine. Finally found it, the diaphragm had an extremely tiny tear in it that would show up in a fold only if you flexed it jusssst right. A new diaphragm of course fixed it. It took a lot of postulating and figuring to see how that fill valve actually works. The hydraulic concepts are much more involved that the simple plunger-pushes-down-on-seal,-stopping-water-flow of the old lever-arm type of fill valves. The 400A fluidics are ingenious, using spool valving of dissimilar cross-section dynamic cylinders. Water goes on BOTH sides of the diaphragm for it to work, but only at the proper time/position or else it doesn't. And even an extremely tiny tear means it doesn't.

But they are still more trouble-free over time than the old lever-arm type, at least in our use. We have a higher Chlorine content in our water, that used to soften/compress the simple seal in the old lever-arm type, requiring re-adjusting the lever bias screw on ones that had it, or bending the rod on ones that didn't in order to at least get some reasonable life out of the seal before having to replace it again. And even then, I was replacing seals or replacing the top of the assembly too often.
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Old 10-19-2014, 09:15 AM   #477
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I wonder if your air hose & vacuum routine dislodged a grown crud plug in the evaporator drain line down to the pan by the condensor.
3 cups of boiling water flushed it just fine.
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Old 10-19-2014, 12:47 PM   #478
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I too have the Fluid Master 400A fill valve on all toilets now. Long enough to see what kind of problems THEY can develop over time...
Only an engineer would disassemble things to see how they fail, particularly a retired engineer who has more time on hand.
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Old 10-19-2014, 11:21 PM   #479
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DW gave her IPhone a bath recently (the old phone in the back pocket of your jeans and bathroom visit trick).

Dried it out (fully assembled) and it's funky. Some locations on the screen are not touch sensitive. So I ordered a tool kit and new screen. I will be ripping the entire phone down to the Motherboard and giving it a clean up and new screen. I'll post the results in a week or so.
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Old 10-20-2014, 09:41 AM   #480
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Only an engineer would disassemble things to see how they fail, particularly a retired engineer who has more time on hand.
Or a kid, who might one day grow up to be an engineer!

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DW gave her IPhone a bath recently (the old phone in the back pocket of your jeans and bathroom visit trick).

Dried it out (fully assembled) and it's funky. Some locations on the screen are not touch sensitive. So I ordered a tool kit and new screen. I will be ripping the entire phone down to the Motherboard and giving it a clean up and new screen. I'll post the results in a week or so.
Hope this will work for you. One of the problems with these new products with their built in batteries is that you can't (easily) remove the battery when it gets soaked. Often, the real damage isn't from the water - it's from the electrolytic action of the battery voltage and the water. That action eats away at the copper traces on the PCB and other metals, creating permanent damage.

For products with a removable battery, the first step after a soak is always remove the battery, and then try to get it dried out.

-ERD50
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