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Old 08-16-2015, 06:56 PM   #961
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Here's a photo of the damage caused by pipe bursting in a garage, linked from the Web.
Holy crap. Is that your house?

I had a friend that went to India for a month in the winter here. He shut off his furnace as he did not need heat as he was not going to be there.

$200K worth of damages, and the insurance company did not want to pay anything. They said it was 'on purpose'. No different than setting your house on fire. He settled eventually for 50% of the damages.
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Old 08-16-2015, 07:15 PM   #962
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No, it was found and linked from the Web as stated.

A neighbor of my high-country home suffered damages similar to your friend's home, but I do not know whether his insurance covered it or not. This area at 7000 ft is prone to freeze, yet many home owners are weekenders from lower elevation and they are not aware of the peril. There, you can get a freeze as late as Memorial Day. Many weekenders do not know they should always leave their furnace on, and also shut off the water when they leave.

PS. I once saw temperature as low as -15F when I was there. The record low is even lower at -25F (as cold as Chicago or Buffalo). I leave the thermostat at 45F year round, and always shut off the water at the meter when I leave. Even the water meter deep in the ground froze and broke one year. So, I had to run an electric line to it and installed a heat tape.
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Old 08-16-2015, 07:49 PM   #963
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I wonder if wives' mothers teach them early on to blame their husband ANYTIME something goes wrong at the homestead?
I think that is the case. At least it is in our house. If is even so minor as a fly coming in, it is automatically my fault. But if a spider needs killin', it is my responsibility too.
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Old 08-16-2015, 07:58 PM   #964
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It's not pressure you should be concerned with, it's flow rates.

Check your flow rate (gallons per minute) available to the house for use. You can do this with a 5 gallon bucket and outdoor hose (see how long it takes to fill it). Then, by sprinkler zone, record the flow rates of each head in the zone. You might be surprised to see what your are putting out per minute, collectively by zone. If the zone(s) are more than 50% of available flow, you can put in lower flow heads and just run the zone a bit longer.

At our old house, our flow rate incoming was about 7 gallons per minute, max. I sized sprinkler zones down to about 1/2 of that rate and we could still take a shower when the sprinklers were on.


True... we do have good pressure and actually good flow rate...

Just checked a head that I need to put in and it is 1.5 gmp at 25 psi... it is a 180 head... I know zone one has 11 or 12 heads, which is the most... most of them are 1/4, so I would think half of the 180.... so I could be putting down 100 gallons in the 10 minutes I run that zone... but, I am not willing to take all the heads off just to check... but I do thank you for the info...
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Old 08-19-2015, 08:34 PM   #965
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Toilet tanks: Hopefully everyone has gotten the word to stay away from "bowl fresheners" and other products with bleach that dissolve in the toilet tank. They are very hard on flapper valves, riser tubes, and the tank gaskets.

This got me thinking. I'd like to have something to help keep the bowl clean, but I did hear that this stuff in the tank is a problem.

I thought about one of those blocks that clip on the rim, and then I found this:

http://www.amazon.com/Kaboom-OxiClea...cd_al_qh_dp_i?

You can fill it with bromine tablets instead of chlorine, and even though it goes in the tank, it flows into the refill tube, so goes straight to the bowl, so no added chemicals in the tank. Got good reviews, so I bought one.

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Here's a photo of the damage caused by pipe bursting in a garage, linked from the Web.

Typical winter here in the Mid-West. Our garage looks like that for about three months every year. That what they make defrosters for!

-ERD50
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Old 08-20-2015, 10:18 AM   #966
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Just replaced the start capacitor on the A/C condenser unit.

Came home to a hot house. Went outside and could hear the compressor trying to start, then shutting down. Unit was hot, no fan running.

My first inkling was "fan problem", but the blades spun easily. Read here and elsewhere about the common capacitor issue. Took a look and sure enough the capacitor was "puffed out".

$20 later and 10 minutes of labor, it is working like a champ. Easy repair, you just have to take precautions for shock, discharge, etc.

Now I think I'm going to prophylactically replace the cap on the other unit.
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Old 08-20-2015, 12:33 PM   #967
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Just replaced the start capacitor on the A/C condenser unit.

Came home to a hot house. Went outside and could hear the compressor trying to start, then shutting down. Unit was hot, no fan running.

My first inkling was "fan problem", but the blades spun easily. Read here and elsewhere about the common capacitor issue. Took a look and sure enough the capacitor was "puffed out".

$20 later and 10 minutes of labor, it is working like a champ. Easy repair, you just have to take precautions for shock, discharge, etc.

Now I think I'm going to prophylactically replace the cap on the other unit.
Good idea. Though I think I will just buy the capacitor for mine, and have it on hand in case a replacement is needed. I might never need it, but not having to wait for shipping will be worth the $20 or whatever. Could save me time and several hundred $ service call.

Related to this, I did just have my 24 YO A/C serviced (first call ever). Though this wasn't a DIY repair, I had recently researched this as my DD had her A/C freeze up, and I was checking things with her before we decided to have her call a service guy.

What I learned was that as the refrigerant gets low in an A/C system, there is a point where the low level results in more expansion than it is designed for, and the inside coils get very, very cold. This leads to the humidity freezing on the coils, rather than just condensing and dripping off and down the drain as designed. The frost layer insulates the coils, so they get even colder, and pretty soon you have so much ice it is blocking the air flow, and the cold travels up the pipes back to the compressor with frost all the way back. DD said the service guy just added refrigerant, though I know they are supposed to check for leaks, so we will see if it lasts.

So last Saturday, I wake up, and the A/C cycles on a little later. But something must not have sounded right, because I checked the vent for air flow, and it was near zero. Since I just went through this with DD, I realized we were frozen up. I had commitments that day, so called the service guy, we told DW to turn the A/C to "OFF" ad the fan to ON so that it would melt the ice build up. Guy was out by noon, 2# of R-22 - he said there were no caps on the valves... hmmmm. But only $174, and on a Saturday, and quick response, and it worked over the next few days heat wave, so I was happy - at least short term.

It's my understanding those are dust caps, and not meant to seal. They should be there to protect the schrader valves (like tire valves). I checked today, and while that's true, there are caps with o-rings, and I guess that should be a back up. I took one cap off today, it did hiss a bit, so I suppose that schrader valve is leaking a bit. The cap does have an o-ring, so I replaced it and checked for leaks with soapy water, and I think it's good. I guess I'll just keep my fingers crossed that this keeps it running for a few more years (due for a replacement, furnace is just a few years newer).

-ERD50
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Old 08-20-2015, 03:00 PM   #968
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The cruise control switch on the steering wheel of my Honda CRV has been broken for several years. A broken off toothpick forcing the cruise button to stay on all the time has been my fix of choice during that time but since I may be selling the CRV I figured it was time for a more permanent solution. The dealer wanted $210 to replace the switch. Found a new switch online for $45 so decided to replace it myself. Had to disconnect the battery and remove the airbag to get the switch out. Fairly easy replacement, took about 20 minutes.
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Old 08-20-2015, 03:39 PM   #969
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Replaced the flex pipe between the catalytic converter and the muffler on my Escape. It should have been a 15 minute job but (and there is always a "but" when wrenching) I broke off two bolts on the catalytic converter flange. In retrospect, I should have just split the nuts with a grinder, but I foolishly tried penetrating oil followed by generous applications of torque. I then foolishly thought that I could drill out said bolts, but numerous heating and cooling cycles had them to hardened like glass - a drill wouldn't touch them.

In the end, I cut a slot from the edge of the flange to the broken stud and punched out the broken studs. Four hours later - done.
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Old 08-20-2015, 04:43 PM   #970
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Replaced the flex pipe between the catalytic converter and the muffler on my Escape. It should have been a 15 minute job but (and there is always a "but" when wrenching) I broke off two bolts on the catalytic converter flange. In retrospect, I should have just split the nuts with a grinder, but I foolishly tried penetrating oil followed by generous applications of torque. I then foolishly thought that I could drill out said bolts, but numerous heating and cooling cycles had them to hardened like glass - a drill wouldn't touch them.

In the end, I cut a slot form the edge of the flange to the broken stud and punched out the broken studs. Four hours later - done.
DD's 2010 Fusion has a bad catalytic converter. I am considering changing it myself, but after reading this, may opt to go to an independent shop with a lift.
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Old 08-20-2015, 04:51 PM   #971
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travelover, It may have taken longer but at least you know how to fix it. We have a friend that every repair he attempts turns into a "but" or "one more thing". He tries to do projects that are beyond his capabilities and without calling his buddies until the "problem" occurs. This is usually when we get the "help" call and it's always late at night. He's really a nice guy but can't seem to get it in his head that he requires supervision. One project, that we just happened to stop by, he was putting in a cinder block foundation for a shed. My husband noticed that he forgot to put mortar on one of the rows.
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Old 08-20-2015, 04:59 PM   #972
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.......One project, that we just happened to stop by, he was putting in a cinder block foundation for a shed. My husband noticed that he forgot to put mortar on one of the rows.
Well, aren't you the perfectionist?
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Old 08-20-2015, 05:42 PM   #973
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Speaking of mufflers and exhaust pipes, more than one person has died from carbon monoxide poisoning due to gas leaks. A simple stupid failure can have a catastrophic consequence.

In my RV travel last year, the last segment of the exhaust pipe came loose, and the two separated pieces were just dangling on their respective hangers. The improperly exhausted gas circulated underneath the rear end of the motorhome, and I thought something was odd when the rear end of the MH felt hot, and the faucet water also came out warm. It was only when I happened to notice the last section of the pipe hanging askew (the tail piece that juts out to the side behind the right rear wheel well) that everything became clear.

There was no danger of carbon monoxide here as we were sitting way up front, but I read the woe of another RV'er with a similar problem. By the time she figured it out, the hot exhaust gas already melted her waste tanks!
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Old 08-20-2015, 05:56 PM   #974
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Replaced the valve coils on our gas dryer the other day. Surprisingly easy fix as the coils are right up front but close to the floor. Heating had been intermittent and there was a buzzing noise as the coils couldn't properly activate the valve. Working like a charm now.

Next job is to replace the ice maker in the refrigerator. Only $100 for the part online and should be simple to replace.
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Old 08-20-2015, 06:06 PM   #975
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Next job is to replace the ice maker in the refrigerator. Only $100 for the part online and should be simple to replace.
They usually are. Do make sure you unplug the refrigerator first or you may get an electric shock. Don't ask how I know that....
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Old 08-20-2015, 06:16 PM   #976
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They usually are. Do make sure you unplug the refrigerator first or you may get an electric shock. Don't ask how I know that....
LOL, thanks for the tip!
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Old 08-20-2015, 07:17 PM   #977
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One project, that we just happened to stop by, he was putting in a cinder block foundation for a shed. My husband noticed that he forgot to put mortar on one of the rows.
Hey, isn't that the water drainage row?
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Old 08-20-2015, 08:04 PM   #978
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DD's 2010 Fusion has a bad catalytic converter. I am considering changing it myself, but after reading this, may opt to go to an independent shop with a lift.
Has it got 80K miles on it? Since approx 1996, all cars have had 8 year, 80K (whichever comes first) mfgr warranty on catalytic converters. Let the dealer do it?
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Old 08-20-2015, 08:13 PM   #979
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Has it got 80K miles on it? Since approx 1996, all cars have had 8 year, 80K (whichever comes first) mfgr warranty on catalytic converters. Let the dealer do it?
Unfortunately, it's got 96K on it and out of the federal mandated emissions warranty.
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Old 08-20-2015, 08:17 PM   #980
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I just finished replacing all the stair treads in one of my rentals. The building was built in 1927, so the treads were quite worn. It was starting to get me worried about some one falling. The leading ~1.5" was rounded, not squared off.

They were not hard to install, but a rascal to pull the nails. 9+ nails in every tread. Mostly the nails in the corners were hard. I installed them with 3" deck screws. It was about a 3.5 hour job.

I also installed a new handrail on the right hand side.

This is how bad the edges were. In total, 11 treads.


Finished
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