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Old 01-15-2021, 11:05 PM   #41
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Not really a repair, but I inspected the septic tank. It is required every 3 years and by taking a short course, I'm allowed to do it myself every other time.

The upshot is that you measure the thickness of the scum on the top and sludge on the bottom and compare it to the depth of the tank. I'm still OK, but will probably be over in 3 years, so I'm thinking of having it pumped now. I was shocked to see what it costs here in Washington - about $600 for a 1250 gallon tank. In Michigan 3 years ago I was paying half that.
Yikes. $130 around here.
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Old 01-18-2021, 07:44 PM   #42
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I replaced our kitchen faucet today, but that is not the whole story.

I remodeled our kitchen about 6 years ago. I found a high-arc faucet with a pull-down sprayer that I liked, but it had some small problems from the get-go, e.g., the pull-down sprayer did not "dock" in the faucet arm correctly. Then it developed some other problems with the sprayer, and they got worse and worse. I finally decided to just buy a new faucet.

I liked the look of this faucet, and it has a longer "reach" than is usual. I tried to find a similar one, but was striking out. Due to the problems with the original, I didn't really want the same faucet, but I looked at the company where I bought it from originally in desperation. But they no longer had this model. Finally, I found a similar-looking faucet from a well-known Italian company (Paini), and ordered it.

It turns out to be the EXACT SAME faucet as the first one. I installed it today, nevertheless. And, for two of the components of the faucet, those nincompoops had shipped the wrong part. However, I was able to scavenge the relevant part from the old faucet, and get it installed today. Phew.
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Old 01-18-2021, 11:40 PM   #43
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I'm thinking of having it pumped now. I was shocked to see what it costs here in Washington - about $600 for a 1250 gallon tank. In Michigan 3 years ago I was paying half that.
Yep, I had our 1250 gallon tank pumped in 2019 for $539 here in SW Washington.

We get it inspected every 3 years, but haven't had it pumped since 1999 (10 years earlier). We had the septic installed years before we lived on the property, so I had the larger 1250 tank installed not knowing what our future needs might be. We've had no issues with it in over 30 years.
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Old 01-21-2021, 08:42 AM   #44
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I'm installing new baseboard trim in my Florida townhome after having the floors replaced.

I've done some of this previously, but I'm very much an amateur.

I was installing one very visible section, and the wood floor had a high point right in the middle of the section, so I couldn't make the piece fit nice on either end.

I placed the board level to the floor, and used a pencil to scribe the bump in the floor onto the wood trim. Then I used a hand planer to remove the material at the bottom on the baseboard where the hump existed.

It turned out great. I sat and admired my work for some time, and now I'm on here bragging about it. Kind of fun.

Take care, JP

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Old 01-21-2021, 10:58 AM   #45
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Great job making it look perfect
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Old 01-21-2021, 03:52 PM   #46
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This is how my handle repair technique has advanced over the last 30 years. I'm expecting a better Dremel bit for this on Monday that I'll use to fix another handle, and I may try a thicker pin between the holes (either a piece of hanger or baling wire instead of a paper clip), but I have to use needle nose pliers to straighten the bent pin and it was difficult even with the paper clip. The furniture is over 55 years old.

Don't be afraid to use a Dremel bit in a hammer drill. As long as it's not in hammer mode.
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Old 01-21-2021, 08:00 PM   #47
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...
It turned out great. I sat and admired my work for some time, and now I'm on here bragging about it. Kind of fun.

Take care, JP
You deserve it, very nicely done. Not many people will take the time to fit it the right way, as you did. Looks great!



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Old 01-21-2021, 08:20 PM   #48
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We were given an outside butterfly mobile by our sons. As time went by, the original little pieces between the bars of the mobile and the butterflies broke.
My efforts to solder them with my 125 watt soldering gun were unsuccessful, so I bought a 260 watt gun. It sort of worked, until I thought to my self, stop screwing around and get a torch.
I bought a Bernzomatic torch, and that was the end of my problems. I also discovered the the refillable 18 ounce propane bottles I bought for my little fire pit will also work with the torch.
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Old 01-21-2021, 08:54 PM   #49
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I thought to my self, stop screwing around and get a torch.
I considered everything but that. I didn't want to repair and use my jewelry kiln to allow me to bend the handle because I was afraid of fumes from the mystery finish on the handle. I didn't think Gorillaweld would be strong enough. I looked up the melting temperature of iron and steel last night. I finally settled on a mechanically attached paperclip. I'll probably revisit it in the future for Handle Repair 4.
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Old 01-25-2021, 08:36 PM   #50
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Almost two months ago, I replaced the thermal fuse in my air fryer. The fuse failed open again yesterday, despite having a higher temperature of 180C vs the original's 172C.

They came in a package of 5, so I just installed a new one, and will see how long that lasts.

If the fuses keep blowing, then the fryer is running hotter than it should. Determining the cause will not be so easy. I guess I may tell my wife to not use the highest setting of 400F. I will try to remember to check its internal operating temperature with an infrared thermometer.
The thermal fuse inside the air fryer blew again. I just replaced it, and am down to 2 spare fuses out of the ordered package of 5. Dang!

Here's how long they last.

1) Original factory fuse: 3 years.
2) Replacement fuse #1: 2 months
3) Replacement fuse #2: 3 weeks
4) Replacement fuse #3: to be determined

I suspected that perhaps the wire crimp on the fuse was not tight, and the extra heat caused by the ohmic loss at the two fuse leads might have caused additional temperature rise at the fuse, causing it to blow. But when I replaced the fuse, carefully inspected the crimp leads, and they were tight.

Could it be that the replacement fuses had the wrong rating? Maybe I should order another pack of a few degrees higher?

PS. When the fuse blew, my wife was running it at 350F. The max temperature setting is 400F.
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Old 01-28-2021, 12:23 PM   #51
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...........Could it be that the replacement fuses had the wrong rating? Maybe I should order another pack of a few degrees higher?
Should be easy enough to test, no?
180C x 1.8 + 32 = 356F.
Put one of the fuses into an oven at 300F (tested with thermometer), remove and check for continuity, if good, repeat at 325, 350 etc.
I would expect a more consistent pattern in time to failure if the fuses were 'misrated'. Possible faulty thermostat?
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Old 01-28-2021, 01:29 PM   #52
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Should be easy enough to test, no?
180C x 1.8 + 32 = 356F.
Put one of the fuses into an oven at 300F (tested with thermometer), remove and check for continuity, if good, repeat at 325, 350 etc.
I would expect a more consistent pattern in time to failure if the fuses were 'misrated'. Possible faulty thermostat?
Yes, it's not hard to check as you describe. It's that every little thing around me turns into a science project, and there's not enough time to "study" everything.

Another thing that occurred to me is that the top metal dome where the fuse is mounted is slowly covered with brown fat. Note how the original fuse at 172C is only at 342F, while the fryer is allowed to go up as high as 400F, as I mentioned in the original post (on last year's thread).

Perhaps they rely on the shininess of the metal dome to reflect part of the heat, and that quality is now gone.
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Old 01-28-2021, 02:07 PM   #53
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Another thing that occurred to me is that the top metal dome where the fuse is mounted is slowly covered with brown fat. Note how the original fuse at 172C is only at 342F, while the fryer is allowed to go up as high as 400F, as I mentioned in the original post (on last year's thread).

Perhaps they rely on the shininess of the metal dome to reflect part of the heat, and that quality is now gone.

I like that better than the faulty thermostat.

The fix of course would be to clean the metal dome, providing the chrome finish is still intact...... or make a supplemental heat shield to shelter the fuse.
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Old 01-29-2021, 07:39 PM   #54
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I looked again at the air fryer today, in an eye on how to remove the metal dome on top of the chamber to clean it. That takes more work than I want to commit to at this point. But, it occurred to me to check the operating temperature of the fryer with a thermocouple, which I have. It's so easy to thread the thin wire sensor through the tray door gap into the interior chamber. Why had I not done that?

With the temperature setting at 300F, I observed the fryer cycling its heater to bring the temperature up to 350F, and allow it to go down to 300F before turning on the heat again.

Two observations:

1) the peak temperature is quite a bit higher than the temperature setting. Has it always been this way? Or has the temperature sensor gotten off with age, and causes overheating which tripped the safety fuse?

2) the hysteresis of +- 25F is quite high. I would think they would design it to be tighter, which should not be hard with electronic control.

The fryer has a small temperature probe that sticks out 1/2 in into the cooking chamber. The electronic control uses this sensor to take measurements, then cycles on/off the heater via a relay. I would think they could easily use a triac to cycle the heater, or better yet, control the duty cycle to maintain a tighter temperature range.

Back on the safety thermal fuse being burned out, I did not try the top temperature setting of 400F to see how high the actual internal temperature would be. I don't feel like opening up the fryer again so soon to replace the fuse once more.
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Old 01-29-2021, 08:30 PM   #55
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....

2) the hysteresis of +- 25F is quite high. I would think they would design it to be tighter, which should not be hard with electronic control.

The fryer has a small temperature probe that sticks out 1/2 in into the cooking chamber. The electronic control uses this sensor to take measurements, then cycles on/off the heater via a relay. I would think they could easily use a triac to cycle the heater, or better yet, control the duty cycle to maintain a tighter temperature range.... .
How much current does this fryer draw? I'm working on a hobby project now with an SSR (Solid State Relay), which is just a triac switch packaged with an opto-isolated input control. These things aren't as simple as a relay when you get into the ten amp plus area. A Triac drops ~ 1~ 1.5 volt, so that 10 amp load creates 10 ~ 15 watts of heat that has to be dissipated to keep the junction temperature below the destruction level. I was testing mine today with a 10 A load, and it takes a heat sink that's about a 3" cube to be conservatively safe. A relay that handles 10 A is not large, doesn't require a heat sink, thermal compound, torquing down mounting screws, etc.

But a relay doesn't want to be switched on/off too often (though I haven't noticed specs on this - other than life cycle specs, typically 100K, but I'm told that each switch dissipates some power and you'll overheat the contacts). I'd bet the 25F hysteresis is to avoid short-cycling the relay.

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Old 01-29-2021, 08:51 PM   #56
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How much current does this fryer draw? I'm working on a hobby project now with an SSR (Solid State Relay), which is just a triac switch packaged with an opto-isolated input control. These things aren't as simple as a relay when you get into the ten amp plus area. A Triac drops ~ 1~ 1.5 volt, so that 10 amp load creates 10 ~ 15 watts of heat that has to be dissipated to keep the junction temperature below the destruction level. I was testing mine today with a 10 A load, and it takes a heat sink that's about a 3" cube to be conservatively safe. A relay that handles 10 A is not large, doesn't require a heat sink, thermal compound, torquing down mounting screws, etc.

But a relay doesn't want to be switched on/off too often (though I haven't noticed specs on this - other than life cycle specs, typically 100K, but I'm told that each switch dissipates some power and you'll overheat the contacts). I'd bet the 25F hysteresis is to avoid short-cycling the relay.

-ERD50
You have the point about the dissipation heat of the triac. It is not insurmountable in this app because of the fan that an air fryer must have.

The vertically mounted fan has impellers mounted at both ends of the shaft. The motor is mounted above the cooking chamber, with the lower end of the shaft poking through the dome into the cooking chamber. The lower impeller is to circulate the air inside the cooking chamber. The upper impeller is to stir the air above the chamber dome, in order to ensure the electronics mounted at the top does not get "cooked" by the oven heat. This forced air cooling would allow the use of a smaller heatsink for the triac than ordinarily needed.

About cycling of the relay, I observed that the internal temperature of the fryer took about 10 sec to heat up from 300F to 350F, and about 30 sec to cool down. That was with the fryer empty. With some food for a "payload", the thermal mass is higher, and during normal cooking, the cycling of the heater would be even less. I would think halving the hysteresis and doubling the relay switching operation would not be harmful.
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Old 01-31-2021, 08:44 PM   #57
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A vacuum pump and gauges wasn't the main issue with my installation...it was the braising. Not that I couldn't buy a torch, but I figured it would take a while to get good enough to risk my brand new system to my fumbling. The solution was to get an independent HVAC guy to evacuate and charge the system after I got it in place. But it sounds like braising is not required on these kits (mine was a standard evaporator coil / condenser unit system).
Yes, it's very difficult to get this right. From what I read, when brazing refrigerant lines, you are supposed to have dry nitrogen in the line to prevent copper oxide, a contaminant, from forming.
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Old 01-31-2021, 08:56 PM   #58
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Not really a repair, but I inspected the septic tank. It is required every 3 years and by taking a short course, I'm allowed to do it myself every other time.

The upshot is that you measure the thickness of the scum on the top and sludge on the bottom and compare it to the depth of the tank. I'm still OK, but will probably be over in 3 years, so I'm thinking of having it pumped now. I was shocked to see what it costs here in Washington - about $600 for a 1250 gallon tank. In Michigan 3 years ago I was paying half that.
Thank you for posting this. We are looking at houses and some of them have septic tanks. I had better read up on them to see what added expenses or headaches I could have with a septic system.
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Old 01-31-2021, 09:03 PM   #59
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Thank you for posting this. We are looking at houses and some of them have septic tanks. I had better read up on them to see what added expenses or headaches I could have with a septic system.
It can be substantial. When I sold my 50 year old house in Michigan, it failed inspection and it cost me over $20K to remedy it.
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Old 01-31-2021, 10:20 PM   #60
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Replaced the impeller on my Cyclone Rake leaf vac. After 15 years of use the impeller blades were beaten up pretty bad, causing the blower to vibrate so much that the motor handle and safety cover both broke off the blower. Ordered the parts from Cyclone Rake and got to work. First problem was that they didn't have a replacement for the motor handle so I had to drill a new mounting hole and reuse the broken handle. Better than nothing I guess. Encountered a big problem when I tried to pull the impeller off the motor shaft. It was froze on the shaft, and in trying to pull it off I mashed the threads on the shaft. I was ultimately able to get the impeller off after a couple days of lubrication, but I had to take the motor to my local farm equipment dealer who was fortunately able to tap the damaged threads without any trouble. While he was tapping the thread he said, "looks like you got a leaking valve cover gasket there". So off I go to search for the gasket. Finally found one in stock at the sixth placed I tried. Replaced the valve cover gasket and reassembled the blower with the new impeller. Changed the oil and air filter while I was at it. Started it up and seems to be working well. Ready to suck leaves again next fall.
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