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Old 01-27-2020, 05:28 PM   #2821
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While we were away, I checked on 2 camera's I had installed to see how they worked.
They were impressive, and would send me alerts via email if they heard something (like the phone ringing) or saw motion (like the snow plow going by at 5am with flashing lights, or another light on timer turning on/off).

They only cost me $20 each (on sale), so I'm thinking I need another just to point at the thermostat to see the house temp.
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Old 01-27-2020, 05:29 PM   #2822
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That shouldn't have been problem. The batteries are only for backup during power outages. If you had power the thermostat should have continued working, even if the batteries were dead. At least, that's been my experience.
I guess the issue is that the furnace doesn't receive a signal to turn on (or off) if the thermostat display isn't working.
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Old 01-27-2020, 06:04 PM   #2823
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I guess the issue is that the furnace doesn't receive a signal to turn on (or off) if the thermostat display isn't working.
Mine are newer so maybe there's a difference. But if they lose internet connectivity they keep doing whatever the schedule programmed into the thermostat says. And yes, if the thermostat isn't working, the system probably won't work. But having that all tied to a battery is crazy design, and not anything I've ever heard of. The thermostat gets power from the wires, and the battery is there to maintain the programming/time in case of a power outage. If that's really the way that particular thermostat works, I'd replace it toot sweet.

I guess there might be wiring situations where there's no power coming in, similar to my recent "no neutral wire" electrical issue. If that's the case I'd put that battery on my yearly schedule to replace, just like my smoke detector batteries. That's the yearly schedule that I do every couple or so years.
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Old 01-27-2020, 06:47 PM   #2824
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I replaced my 7 day programmable heat/cool battery backed up thermostat with a good old fashioned Honeywell round dial manual one because I got tired of reprogramming it.

I turn it down before bed and I turn it up when I wake. I turn it way low when I vacation.
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Old 01-27-2020, 06:55 PM   #2825
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I've only had mine (4 of them at two houses) for 3 years or so, but I've never had to reprogram them unless I changed my preferences. We've had power outages, but that's what the battery is for.

Doing it manually is pretty simple, but I like automation. I've got programmable thermostats, and timers on many of my lights. Also on my router and cameras, just to make them reboot automatically when I'm away. I leave the timers active whether I'm there or not. Somewhat for security, but also largely through laziness. Laziness and automation worked well for me during my career, and it's carrying over well as a FIREee.
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Old 01-27-2020, 07:40 PM   #2826
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I replaced my 7 day programmable heat/cool battery backed up thermostat with a good old fashioned Honeywell round dial manual one because I got tired of reprogramming it.
You could have just turned off program mode and adjusted temperature the "old fashioned" way.

My thermostat is programmable but I've never programmed it...I just adjust the temp as required. It's Wi-Fi so I'll make the adjustment from my phone when I wake up or when I'm on the way home.
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Old 01-27-2020, 07:57 PM   #2827
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17MAY2017 - massive hailstorm with golf ball sized hail stones.
Insurance payout of $32K USD.
27JAN2020 - we approach the finish line.
Expected completion before the 3 year mark.

I never want to deal with this situation again.
Our contractor (Lumin Systems) was not very good. Poor communication. Crappy subcontractors. Employee turnover.
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Old 01-28-2020, 08:50 AM   #2828
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17MAY2017 - massive hailstorm with golf ball sized hail stones.
Insurance payout of $32K USD.
27JAN2020 - we approach the finish line.
Expected completion before the 3 year mark.

It took 3 years to complete the hail damage repair? Can see why you weren't happy with the contractor, could have built a half dozen new houses in that time.
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Old 01-31-2020, 07:52 AM   #2829
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Replaced and adjusted Garage Door Torsion Springs. Had to Make some Turn bars out of 1/2" Steel rod ($8 from Home Depot). Had to measure the existing springs and order new ones, then had to install and test them.

Why? My neighbor had one snap/break, our homes are about the same age, ~17 years. Cost him $607 to replace them and repair the damage caused by the spring breaking during an open cycle, the opener broke and pulled a support strut off the door.

Garage Torsion springs have a 10,000 cycle average life, that is about 9 years with 3 cycles per day.

So I thought I would do some preventative maintenance. Adjusted the door closing/opening force and height at the same time.

Total Cost including springs, center bearing and tension rods = $75! This 66 year old patted himself on the back for this one.
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Old 01-31-2020, 08:07 AM   #2830
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We had the older style extension spring break while we were in the the living room. It made a heck of a noise and were both looking at each other wondering "what was that"?
I bent a new hook on the spring and it worked another 10 years until we had a hurricane that damaged the door.
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Old 01-31-2020, 12:06 PM   #2831
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When one of ours broke, I replaced both as I figured the second one had a short life left.
I did buy the steel levers from the site that sold the springs, they cost around $12-$15 for the pair.
The amount I saved over paying someone to do the fix was great.
I watched a number of you tube videos, (some do it wrong) to be sure to see how to do it safely.
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Old 01-31-2020, 01:01 PM   #2832
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The hardest part with the torsion springs is that when both springs are unwound and loose, the cables want to slip of the end pullies. I wound each one 5 turns to provide a little tension, but allowed me to turn the torsion bar by hand, all 17' of it, just enough to slip the cables back onto the pullies and then I continued tensioning each spring till I got to MY calculated turn ratio of 28 x 1/4 turns (7 full turns). When they are correct you should be able to lift the door to about half way, and it should stay there. Then it is "balanced".

I wonder how many folk here would attempt such a repair vs hire it out? I would rate it about an 8 out of 10 for difficulty level, mainly because you have to be VERY careful doing it. Those torsion spring adjustment bars will only need to slip off once to cause you and perhaps the door very serious damage. Anyone see a Poll coming...
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Old 01-31-2020, 02:29 PM   #2833
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The pavers of my courtyard were buckled by the roots of a couple of pine trees 15 ft away. The pine trees have been removed and their root systems mostly dug up a few years ago (a big project that was hired out), but I kept procrastinating on repairing the courtyard myself.

Recently, finally decided to do that before it gets hot here, and also to fix the underground plumbing of a drip system.

I originally built the courtyard to have a rustic look for ease of building, as perfection was not needed. It works out well for repair too.


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Old 01-31-2020, 02:41 PM   #2834
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^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Good Job, I need to do the same. Gotta get some sand.
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Old 01-31-2020, 06:07 PM   #2835
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I'll be adding an approximately 6' x 6' concrete pad to set our grill on in the near future. Now it just sets on four flag stones, and to cook, you stand in the grass/dirt/mud, depending on the season. I want it an all concrete area.
Lots of plans, little gumption!
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Old 01-31-2020, 06:19 PM   #2836
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I'll be adding an approximately 6' x 6' concrete pad to set our grill on in the near future. Now it just sets on four flag stones, and to cook, you stand in the grass/dirt/mud, depending on the season. I want it an all concrete area.
Lots of plans, little gumption!
You could fill a 6x6 area with gravel (dig it out to 8 inches deep) then fill up about 6 - 7 inches with gravel, and put paver stones on it and fill cracks with with sand. Since it's not for a car to park on, the paver stones can be the thin ones which are about an inch thick.
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Old 01-31-2020, 06:30 PM   #2837
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Forgot to comment about the torsional springs for the garage door.

I had to replace mine more than 20 years ago. The original springs only lasted about 8 years. The replacement springs are of better quality, and work till now.

Thought about replacing them myself, but was busy with work, plus the safety issue scared me. It was so long ago, but I think it cost perhaps $200-250 then.

It's too bad there's no way to torque the springs when the door is up. That's when the springs are under the least tension.

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^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Good Job, I need to do the same. Gotta get some sand.
Thanks.

I did the courtyard myself 30 years ago. Gosh, I am so much older now. It looked really nice until the darn tree roots destroyed it. They even lifted up a section of masonry block fence, and that was when I said they had to go.

These adobe pavers are quite popular in the SW. I think they are made in Mexico. I laid them on gravel, then used mortar to grout the joints to keep them in place. I got sloppy and the mortar got on top of the pavers, and looks like hard water deposit. Oh well. Maybe I can clean it out with a bit of muriatic (pool) acid.


Burnt adobe pavers are colorful, and when new look like this (photo from the Web).

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Old 01-31-2020, 11:56 PM   #2838
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...I wonder how many folk here would attempt such a repair vs hire it out? I would rate it about an 8 out of 10 for difficulty level, mainly because you have to be VERY careful doing it. Those torsion spring adjustment bars will only need to slip off once to cause you and perhaps the door very serious damage. Anyone see a Poll coming...
I did one many years ago, borrowed home made winding bars from a friend. Just one side broke, the other side's spring lasted for many years. I went back years later to the garage door company that would sell parts, besides installation. All I needed was a new door bottom seal. Their parts area was totally gone. A guy in an office there quietly sold me the seal I needed, said he really wasn't supposed to do that. He knew I bought the door there years before. I asked why no parts sales anymore? He said their installers were being traumatized by what they saw in some residential garages that they were being called to, really grim, where a guy was picked up by paramedics, and the floor was a mess. The installers did not want to see or work in those conditions anymore.

The oldest spring finally broke, and I bought a new set online, with winding cones pre-installed (rather than prying out and re-using old winding cones like I did before). The company I bought them from had info on how one could upgrade for a few $, by using a longer spring, and I think a diameter change went with it. This reduced the torque per unit length that winds up/unwinds so many times, leading to a much longer life. I went that route, and I bought their winding bars too. I work slowly, think twice, act once. With no one right around me to distract me. Keep brain 100% on task and safety.

I think very very few people do this task themselves. That has never deterred me, I have done all sorts of things that most people won't do themselves. And almost all of it totally on my own, no one around to help me if something went badly awry.
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Old 02-01-2020, 12:02 AM   #2839
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... And almost all of it totally on my own, no one around to help me if something went badly awry.
I set up a camera to video me cutting down a big tree, so if someone came around later and found my body, they could watch the video to know what happened. Since it all worked out I have a nice video of the tree cutting
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Old 02-01-2020, 07:15 AM   #2840
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Replaced and adjusted Garage Door Torsion Springs. Had to Make some Turn bars out of 1/2" Steel rod ($8 from Home Depot). Had to measure the existing springs and order new ones, then had to install and test them.

Why? My neighbor had one snap/break, our homes are about the same age, ~17 years. Cost him $607 to replace them and repair the damage caused by the spring breaking during an open cycle, the opener broke and pulled a support strut off the door.

Garage Torsion springs have a 10,000 cycle average life, that is about 9 years with 3 cycles per day.

So I thought I would do some preventative maintenance. Adjusted the door closing/opening force and height at the same time.

Total Cost including springs, center bearing and tension rods = $75! This 66 year old patted himself on the back for this one.
I had one side spring break about 3 weeks ago, and I replaced both, easy peasy. Yesterday the 1/3 HP opener failed, it's been in operation since 1993. A pro wil replace ours with a 1/2 HP model for $415.00 Blow that dough!
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