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Old 01-11-2016, 03:16 PM   #1241
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I rebuilt an outside wall that had been covered with vinyl siding and had rotted. Worst part was wrestling plywood sheets but it worked out quite well.
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Old 01-11-2016, 03:37 PM   #1242
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Refrigerator started making loud noise that got progressively worse. Turned out to be a bad condenser fan. Found the part and a video on the internet, took about an hour once I got the part. Also cleaned off the coils underneath with a vacuum after propping it up, now DW wonders why things are so quite.
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Old 01-11-2016, 03:53 PM   #1243
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I suspect that 20 year old dryers will outlast new ones. We have a 32 year old Kenmore dryer. Only have to replace the rollers and lint filters once in a while.
Still using the Kenmore dryer we bought when we just got married. It's gonna be 36-year-old soon. I recall that I replace the belt once, perhaps 15 years ago.

The companion Kenmore washer did not last as long. It failed maybe 5 years ago, so last a mere 30 years, after who knows how many thousands of wash for a family of 4.
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Old 01-11-2016, 03:57 PM   #1244
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Bought a circular saw blade sharpener yesterday at Harbor Freight. The price with a 20%-off coupon was $40, and it even came with a diamond disk.

I just spent a bit more than 1 hour to sharpen about 10 dull circular blades that I saved over the years. The carbide tips were ground by that diamond disk with ease. Son of a gun. I guess I never have to buy saw blades again.
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Old 01-11-2016, 04:49 PM   #1245
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Bought a circular saw blade sharpener yesterday at Harbor Freight. The price with a 20%-off coupon was $40, and it even came with a diamond disk.

I just spent a bit more than 1 hour to sharpen about 10 dull circular blades that I saved over the years. The carbide tips were ground by that diamond disk with ease. Son of a gun. I guess I never have to buy saw blades again.
Sounds interesting, I'll have to look into that. I use the Drill Doctor for sharpening drill bits and it does an excellent job.
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Old 01-19-2016, 02:44 PM   #1246
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Replaced my car battery, as it was 5 years old and I'm a little cautious. I've found some good discounts online for Advance Auto, for example a $40 off $100 purchase coupon which I used for this battery. The guy even installed it for me right in the parking lot, saving me a trip back with the "core" battery.
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Old 01-19-2016, 02:55 PM   #1247
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Replaced my car battery, as it was 5 years old and I'm a little cautious. I've found some good discounts online for Advance Auto, for example a $40 off $100 purchase coupon which I used for this battery. The guy even installed it for me right in the parking lot, saving me a trip back with the "core" battery.
that's a good deal especially with a free install. a shop/dealer would charge you 1/2 hour labor at least
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Your recent repair?
Old 01-19-2016, 04:28 PM   #1248
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Your recent repair?

One of the stations on the HOA gym weight machine was out of order. I rerouted some misplaced cables to the proper pulleys and everything worked. Not a big repair, but one beyond the abilities of the other gym users I guess.


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Old 01-19-2016, 06:12 PM   #1249
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The 18 year old sink in my smaller bathroom had a small chip so repaired it using a porcelain repair kit. It worked well but the enamel in the sink started peeling in a different area so decided it was time for a new sink. Picked up a new sink and faucet and went to work. Everything was going good until it was time to connect the water supply lines to the new faucet. Sure enough the new faucet connections were about 2" shorter than the old one and the water lines wouldn't reach. The water lines installed were the cheap one piece valve non-braided water lines so instead of trying to extend the faucet connection I decided it was best to replace the valve and use a good braided water line. Took a little longer than I expected to complete the install but it looks good.
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Old 01-21-2016, 07:09 PM   #1250
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Not a repair. Preventive maintenance. Started up the big 40 year old fridge in the basement, just to move the refrigerant/oil around and do whatever is supposedly good for it. Listened to it whine and chirp for about 5 minutes, which is what it does each time I start it up after it has been sitting unplugged for more than a year. Then the strange noises stopped, replaced by the white noise of the fan and the low hum of the compressor. Ahhhh. Put some ice cube trays in the freezer and they froze. Check. Felt the fins on the bottom and they were warm. Check. Let it run for 12 hours, then took ice cube trays out, said *see you next year* to the big fridge, and unplugged her. (Yes, I do use it once in a while for lagering home brew.)
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Old 01-21-2016, 07:36 PM   #1251
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Sounds interesting, I'll have to look into that. I use the Drill Doctor for sharpening drill bits and it does an excellent job.
Yes, I have thought about getting a Drill Doctor. But with its price at $50, I do not have that many dull drill bits to justify getting it yet. The payoff is not as good as the saw blade sharpener, so I am still holding out.
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Old 01-21-2016, 07:56 PM   #1252
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2008 BMW wagon decided not to have an operable heater fan on any speed. Which means no AC fan either. Some internet hunting revealed that if it wasn't the fuse (too easy) it was most likely either the fan motor or fan speed regulator. Testing the motor meant pulling it, and if I'm tearing a car apart and laying under the dash it is going to get done in one go - no waiting for parts from the warehouse. Ordered both German fan and regulator from a warehouse, got it in two days for about $75 cheaper than Amazon and an unknown $$$ from BMW.

Youtube to the rescue for R&R video (of course our car was a tad different, so watched yet another video to get enough clues to do the job. Probably saved $2-300 on the labor, best of all learned more about how the car goes together.
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Old 01-21-2016, 08:04 PM   #1253
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Originally Posted by John Galt III View Post
Not a repair. Preventive maintenance. Started up the big 40 year old fridge in the basement, just to move the refrigerant/oil around and do whatever is supposedly good for it. Listened to it whine and chirp for about 5 minutes, which is what it does each time I start it up after it has been sitting unplugged for more than a year. Then the strange noises stopped, replaced by the white noise of the fan and the low hum of the compressor. Ahhhh. Put some ice cube trays in the freezer and they froze. Check. Felt the fins on the bottom and they were warm. Check. Let it run for 12 hours, then took ice cube trays out, said *see you next year* to the big fridge, and unplugged her. (Yes, I do use it once in a while for lagering home brew.)
The 40 year old Amana in our basement runs year round and stays empty mostly. I keep wondering how much $ we are wasting on it but currently it is in emergency mode as the main fridge, a fancy 16 yr old Kenmore is getting repaired. The defrost heater shorted out (2nd time in 18 months).
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Old 01-21-2016, 08:40 PM   #1254
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... it was most likely either the fan motor or fan speed regulator. Testing the motor meant pulling it, and if I'm tearing a car apart and laying under the dash it is going to get done in one go - no waiting for parts from the warehouse. Ordered both ....
That's another advantage of DIY versus someone doing it under time/profit pressure. In this case, it made sense to buy both parts, they might be pretty cheap online, so spend a few extra $ to minimize your effort.

In other cases, the labor is easy, so buy one part at a time, and see how it goes. A pro would not want to deal with a callback.

That was my case with my 2000 Volvo last year. The ODBII error code searching led me to either thermostat or sensor. Both were easy to replace, but the thermostat was available local as cheap(er?) than online, ~ $10 versus $35 for sensor. I got lucky, thermostat fixed it.

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The 40 year old Amana in our basement runs year round and stays empty mostly. I keep wondering how much $ we are wasting on it but currently it is in emergency mode as the main fridge, a fancy 16 yr old Kenmore is getting repaired. The defrost heater shorted out (2nd time in 18 months).
I've got a 30+ YO freezer, and a 20+ YO fridge. It's amazing to me that these lower-end units, run a ~ 50% duty cycle for decades with no maintenance (at least not to the running components).

BTW, a fridge/freezer should have some 'stuff' in it - the thermal mass helps to keep it running in the intended zone. An empty one will run a short ON/OFF cycle, which is hard on the unit. You want it to run a while to cool the thermal mass, and then that same thermal mass will keep it cold/OFF for a longer time. Some water jugs in the freezer and fridge will do, as will beer (in the fridge).

-ERD50
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Old 01-21-2016, 09:16 PM   #1255
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BTW, a fridge/freezer should have some 'stuff' in it - the thermal mass helps to keep it running in the intended zone. An empty one will run a short ON/OFF cycle, which is hard on the unit. You want it to run a while to cool the thermal mass, and then that same thermal mass will keep it cold/OFF for a longer time. Some water jugs in the freezer and fridge will do, as will beer (in the fridge).

-ERD50
We bought an ancient Kenmore upright freezer from a neighbor that was moving but we could not afford to keep it full. It actually had a vacuum system that activated when the door closed. DW was very skeptical when I explained the thermal mass concept and why I kept it full of bread or jugs of ice (to keep all the cold from falling out whenever the door was opened because cold air is heavier than warm air). It was placed in storage for one year when we moved and it died immediately when we plugged it in which is another reason I keep the spare fridge plugged in.
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Old 01-21-2016, 10:10 PM   #1256
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Originally Posted by jazz4cash View Post
The 40 year old Amana in our basement runs year round and stays empty mostly. I keep wondering how much $ we are wasting on it but currently it is in emergency mode as the main fridge, a fancy 16 yr old Kenmore is getting repaired. The defrost heater shorted out (2nd time in 18 months).
I had to look it up, its costing you:
A 1986-era 18 c.f. fridge uses 1400 kWh a year, at 11 cents Kw is $154/yr.
Yours is older so its worse: older than 1976 use about 2200 kWh is $242/yr.

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Old 01-21-2016, 10:12 PM   #1257
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We bought an ancient Kenmore upright freezer from a neighbor that was moving but we could not afford to keep it full. It actually had a vacuum system that activated when the door closed. DW was very skeptical when I explained the thermal mass concept and why I kept it full of bread or jugs of ice (to keep all the cold from falling out whenever the door was opened because cold air is heavier than warm air). It was placed in storage for one year when we moved and it died immediately when we plugged it in which is another reason I keep the spare fridge plugged in.
It might have died if you had not moved it, or maybe it was the moving to storage or the un-moving it and not letting it rest for 24hours after moving that caused it to die.
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Old 01-21-2016, 10:22 PM   #1258
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It might have died if you had not moved it, or maybe it was the moving to storage or the un-moving it and not letting it rest for 24hours after moving that caused it to die.
Yup, I'm a big believer in giving a fridge or freezer at least as much upright time before plugging in as it had time on it's side - compressors don't like trying to compress straight slugs of refrigerant oil. I've also seen a number of old frigs that died after being left to sit for extended times like a year - stratification takes place and you get a nice horizontal string of holes in the evaporator coils on the back of the unit - I was told it was acids that are created. That is old freon units.
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Old 01-21-2016, 10:25 PM   #1259
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I had to look it up, its costing you:
A 1986-era 18 c.f. fridge uses 1400 kWh a year, at 11 cents Kw is $154/yr.
Yours is older so its worse: older than 1976 use about 2200 kWh is $242/yr.

I put the Kill-a-Watt meter on mine for a few weeks to get an average. A spare fridge isn't opened so often, and no ice-maker, so I'm getting ~ $120/year @ ~ $0.10 kWh. And ~ $77/year for the even older freezer (no defrost cycle).

A new one might save $40/year, that's a pretty long payback, and I'd rather trust one that has lasted this long over a new one that might have a short life. I plan to keep it until it dies.

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Your recent repair?
Old 01-22-2016, 06:52 AM   #1260
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Your recent repair?

This is only barely relevant, but since Kill-A-Watt was mentioned: great little devices but I wish I'd bought the model one step up from mine. Mine's a P4400, which doesn't retain its readings when disconnected from power. That can make it awkward to work in tight places. I get creative by using extension cords.
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