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Old 12-17-2016, 06:03 PM   #1761
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Is this a slab on grade situation? No backer-board required? Did you use thin set mortar (ie glue)? Big tiles and uneven surfaces sometimes require more. Where 4 tiles come together, did you have a hard time getting those perfectly flat? Big tiles sometimes are stubborn to get installed 'flat'.
This is the first tile work I have done. I used thin set. I didn't have a problem with where the big tiles came together and the backer board was not perfectly flat. I pushed some of the 2 inch squares down a little too far. It doesn't look bad, but I will know better next time.
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Old 12-17-2016, 08:28 PM   #1762
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I spent last night installing two new toilets--after changing colors away from dark brown. (We just bought the house 4/2016.)

I'm also in the process of tiling the master bath in our old house--for resale. I installed Wonderboard with thinset mortar (and screws) and am installing the tiles with more thinset--and backbuttering the tiles. I'm using a 1/8" grout spacing which makes it more difficult to install than wider grout spacing.

They're also right about the difficulty installing 16" or larger tiles. They've for sure got to be backbuttered when installed and close attention paid to the 4 corners coming together.
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Old 12-17-2016, 10:04 PM   #1763
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I'm also in the process of tiling the master bath in our old house--for resale. I installed Wonderboard with thinset mortar (and screws) and am installing the tiles with more thinset--and backbuttering the tiles. I'm using a 1/8" grout spacing which makes it more difficult to install than wider grout spacing.
I did our guest bathroom in 4" tiles about 2 years ago. I did the shower surround (full tearout of the plaster, installed Hardiebcker and tiles) and the lower 42" of the walls (thinset over the intact plaster walls). It is a tiny bath, but that was one of my least enjoyable projects. It looks pretty good, but what a PITA to cut all those tiles for corners, window surround, etc. I called four tilers for estimates, only two came out and only one ever gave me a bid: $6k+ for less than 200 sf of wall--I don't think he really wanted the job. So, I did it myself. And I know I'll have to do our master bath very soon (60 years old, tiles spongy around soap dish--a very bad sign).
The folks at the tile shop were trying to talk me into epoxy grout, but it sounded like large potential mess. The "regular" grout is almost magic in the ease with which it goes on, fills the gaps, and cleans up--very satisfying.

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They're also right about the difficulty installing 16" or larger tiles. They've for sure got to be backbuttered when installed and close attention paid to the 4 corners coming together.
I even backbutter 12" tiles, though I use a fairly fine trowel. It's much slower and messier than just applying the compound to the floor, but it just seems to adhere to the tile better. There's nothing worse than getting a floor finished and later hearing the hollow sound of a tile that's got a big area not stuck down.
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Old 12-18-2016, 06:41 PM   #1764
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Originally Posted by sengsational View Post
Is this a slab on grade situation? No backer-board required? Did you use thin set mortar (ie glue)? Big tiles and uneven surfaces sometimes require more. Where 4 tiles come together, did you have a hard time getting those perfectly flat? Big tiles sometimes are stubborn to get installed 'flat'.
Thinset under backerboard, screwed down. More Thinset with 1/4" trowel then tile.

If you buy a quality tile with uniform widths you're less likely to have probles at corners.

This was my 4th tIle job and I think I'm getting better after each job. Taking time laying out best pattern and squaring off definitely makes for a better job.

Getting your Thinset mixed to the right consistency, spreading it out even, level tiles as you go along with spacers all helps.

Back buttering isn't really needed on laying floor tile, I just press them down good into thinset. Marble tile, yes, backbutter them.
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Old 12-20-2016, 07:43 PM   #1765
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I had to dismantle the center console of my Lexus because something dropped down inside the cupholder door/lid. A google search showed this is quite a common problem with some difficult solutions. People had accidently let a key, a credit card, pens, and other things get down inside this thing which could not be opened from the bottom. Nor could these things get fished out.

But I'm telling you all this because the solution may be applicable to some other problems you may have.

Basically, I had to pry up the edges of very tightly fitted plastic parts without scratching them. A screwdriver would not work. Fortunately, I remembered that I had some Michelin tire levers for my bicycle tires. The levers have a very thin, very strong edge just perfect for this kind of prying. Here's a pic of the tire levers. The very thin edge is on the left end and pointed upward in the middle lever:


So if you have to do some dashboard work or pop out some close fitting parts that you don't want to damage with a screwdriver, I think this is one answer that is probably cheaper than the geniune Lexus prying tool.

And a bonus: I bought this vehicle used, so when I popped this open I was unsurprised to see a sticky mess from a coffee spill from more than 3 years ago.
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Old 12-20-2016, 09:49 PM   #1766
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So if you have to do some dashboard work or pop out some close fitting parts that you don't want to damage with a screwdriver, I think this is one answer that is probably cheaper than the geniune Lexus prying tool.
I've done some stereo upgrades on vehicles and found an auto tool pry kit to be a necessity for removing door and dash panels without damaging the panels and the clips that hold them in. Can get a decent basic plastic pry kit on Amazon for ~$6 that would be sufficient for most needs.
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Old 12-20-2016, 11:59 PM   #1767
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Originally Posted by LOL! View Post
I had to dismantle the center console of my Lexus because something dropped down inside the cupholder door/lid. A google search showed this is quite a common problem with some difficult solutions. People had accidently let a key, a credit card, pens, and other things get down inside this thing which could not be opened from the bottom. Nor could these things get fished out.

But I'm telling you all this because the solution may be applicable to some other problems you may have.

Basically, I had to pry up the edges of very tightly fitted plastic parts without scratching them. A screwdriver would not work. Fortunately, I remembered that I had some Michelin tire levers for my bicycle tires. The levers have a very thin, very strong edge just perfect for this kind of prying. Here's a pic of the tire levers. The very thin edge is on the left end and pointed upward in the middle lever:


So if you have to do some dashboard work or pop out some close fitting parts that you don't want to damage with a screwdriver, I think this is one answer that is probably cheaper than the geniune Lexus prying tool.

And a bonus: I bought this vehicle used, so when I popped this open I was unsurprised to see a sticky mess from a coffee spill from more than 3 years ago.
Good idea,
I have a Toyota Sienna and it has this flip up top for the console.
Sure enough a small thing on it like a paperclip or toothpick or pen has gone down the gap when the compartment is opened.

The pen caused the lid to get stuck and not want to go down. after a bunch of wiggling, the pen fell further down and the lid works again.

Someday I'll have to open the thing up, so I'll keep these type of tools in mind to avoid scratches.
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Old 12-21-2016, 04:33 AM   #1768
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Originally Posted by zinger1457 View Post
I've done some stereo upgrades on vehicles and found an auto tool pry kit to be a necessity for removing door and dash panels without damaging the panels and the clips that hold them in. Can get a decent basic plastic pry kit on Amazon for ~$6 that would be sufficient for most needs.
Thanks! Now that I see those things it makes total sense that there would be pry tool kits. I wonder if anybody has used one of them for a bike tire lever?
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Old 12-29-2016, 11:04 AM   #1769
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Furnace problem fixed!

We woke up this morning to an inside temperature of 62 deg., outside about 20 deg.

I diagnosed & replaced the flame sensor on our gas forced air furnace. Thanks to Youtube videos it was easy, and the symptoms were very clear (it would "fire up" for 30 seconds, then shut down and retry several minutes later).

Two hours and $20 later it's working fine.

I felt pretty proud of myself, and saved at least $100. DW thinks I'm a hero, too
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Old 12-29-2016, 11:30 AM   #1770
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We woke up this morning to an inside temperature of 62 deg., outside about 20 deg.

I diagnosed & replaced the flame sensor on our gas forced air furnace. Thanks to Youtube videos it was easy, and the symptoms were very clear (it would "fire up" for 30 seconds, then shut down and retry several minutes later).

Two hours and $20 later it's working fine.

I felt pretty proud of myself, and saved at least $100. DW thinks I'm a hero, too
Good job! Now that I have a new, modern furnace and water heater, I need to research the common failure parts and have spares on hand.

For my old units, that was thermo-couples (standing pilot), for my older, older furnace, that was also a belt for the blower (everything is direct drive now). Over the years, a few simple/cheap thermo-couple replacements got me up and running faster and far fewer $$$ than a service call.

I need to check out just how these igniter systems work on these units I have.

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Old 12-29-2016, 12:36 PM   #1771
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I think the flame sensor might be a thermocouple (temperature sensor). My understanding is that when the thermostat calls for heat the controller opens the gas valve and starts the electronic ignitor. The tip of the flame sensor is positioned where the flame will be.

If after 30 seconds the sensor does not detect the hot flame, then it registers as an error and the controller shuts the valve off. This prevents natural gas from being poured into the combustion chamber if the ignitor doesn't ignite. In my case there was flame but the sensor wasn't detecting it.

Some sites recommend burnishing the old sensor with steel wool because a crusty build up can prevent the sensor from reading accurately. I just went to the appliance parts store & got a new one.

From the number of Youtube posts it seems this is the #1 thing to check on an electronic ignition gas forced air furnace that isn't starting.
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Old 12-29-2016, 01:24 PM   #1772
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I fixed my Samsung lower freezer compartment ice maker. It had stopped working and some "parts" were hanging down. My upper one where ice comes out of the refrigerator door was still working.
I watched some tube videos and took the old one out to see if it could be fixed. I was missing a part so at some point I must have thrown that away when it fell into the ice bucket without knowing what it was.
Identified and then located the ice maker on the Samsung site and with their replacement parts company and then sourced it. Amazon was the cheapest ($74). I installed it the day it arrived and had ice in a couple of hours! I had to get resourceful as I could not take the freezer door off and even if I had I was afraid I would not be able to lift it to get it back on. Placed a bench beside and some long pillows across the open door to give me leverage, laid across the door and managed to get half my body into the freezer (5'3") . A push and two screws and I was back in business.
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Old 12-29-2016, 01:43 PM   #1773
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I haven't fixed anything recently because my wife is an engineer. I stay out of the way. On the other hand, she fixed the kitchen sink faucet since multiple nozzles were blocked.
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Old 12-29-2016, 06:20 PM   #1774
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I have a SS double sink in the kitchen and the top rim of sink drain assembly had become discolored over the years so decided it was time to replace the drain assembly on both sinks. The plumbing under the sink was kind of a mess so decided to re-do that also. One thing that caught my eye to replace all the old plumbing in one shot is the Snappy Trap drain kit, had good reviews on Amazon. I'm sure most plumbers would never consider using it but it looked like an easy DIY install and would likely provide more room under the sink. Have to say it went together really easy and because the hoses have some flexibility they can be routed in multiple ways to provide good drainage and also maximize the space under the sink. It drains well and no leaks, time will tell how well it holds up.
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Old 12-30-2016, 03:46 PM   #1775
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I was at DD's house this past week. She told me her clothes dryer was flashing F40 and wouldn't dry. I googled and found out the most likely cause was a thermal fuse. I had to drive 30 miles to get one during the holiday week, but I found one and got it fixed. I've never worked on a dryer before, so it was interesting pulling the front off. Got DGD (10 y.o.) to help(/hinder) me, holding screws and vacuuming lint out since we had to pull the lint filter duct. It was fun explaining how things worked and letting her see not to be afraid of trying a repair. As I explained, the worst that could happen is we'd have to call a repairman, and that's where we were before we started. I conveniently forgot to mention that if you really screw it up it could be a lot more expensive. That's a lesson for her to learn at a later date. But she was very proud of helping fix the dryer for her Mom.
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Old 12-30-2016, 04:22 PM   #1776
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.......... I googled and found out the most likely cause was a thermal fuse. ..........
These things seem to be the norm, now. In the bad ole days it was common to have thermal circuit breakers with a red reset button you could just push. Of course the circuit breakers cost a quarter and the fuses are a nickel, plus $100 to change them.
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Old 12-30-2016, 06:02 PM   #1777
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These things seem to be the norm, now. In the bad ole days it was common to have thermal circuit breakers with a red reset button you could just push. Of course the circuit breakers cost a quarter and the fuses are a nickel, plus $100 to change them.
$23 plus the 30 mile round trip drive, vs. $120 to get the guy out here, assuming he'd even have the part when he got here, and probably the fuse would have cost more from him. And of course the real costs are still 30 cents. If I'd been in town longer I'd have gotten it from Amazon for $7. Hopefully DGD will be undercutting the handyman/repair industry for another generation.
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Old 12-30-2016, 06:07 PM   #1778
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$23 plus the 30 mile round trip drive, vs. $120 to get the guy out here, assuming he'd even have the part when he got here, and probably the fuse would have cost more from him. And of course the real costs are still 30 cents. If I'd been in town longer I'd have gotten it from Amazon for $7. Hopefully DGD will be undercutting the handyman/repair industry for another generation.
I guess that I didn't make my point. The old thermal circuit breakers had an accessible, external button, so if it popped, anyone could just push the button and you were good to go. The thermal fuses are buried and you need to disassemble the device to replace them - or pay a tech to do it for you.
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Old 12-30-2016, 06:16 PM   #1779
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Sorry, I did miss your point. The concept of a repair that easy just blew right past me. Even doing it myself was much more expensive and difficult than that. I hope whoever thought of the "improvement" got a good bonus.
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Old 12-31-2016, 08:09 AM   #1780
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It may sound trivial, but I got my dvd player and vcr and tv to work together, without needing to move cables around. Yay! I won't be wearing out the cable connections anymore each time I change from cable TV to DVD. The old vcr I was using died, and for some reason it was a challenge hooking up the new (used) vcr. Finally got it! Pats self on back. BTW, I was able to get rid of the old dead vcr by taking it to a Staples office supply store. Fuse blew on old vcr, replaced fuse, blew again, OK that's it, time to recycle!
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