Skip to main content

View Diary: Saturday Morning Home Repair v7.8 (45 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  Morning all! (9+ / 0-)

    Still in prep mode for our Great Guest Room Remodel.  Right now we're trying to hammer out scope.  Do we just do the floor and the replace the godawful tile around the fireplace?  Or go ahead and get gas to the house, put in a gas log upstairs and/or down, and an instant hot water heater?  The gas line is already to the house next door, so we're not going too far out on a limb.  Rumor has it that the gas company will extend a line to your house for free if you put in drops for at least three appliances.  

    Also have to try to track down a coolant leak on the little car.  If it's not external, it's inside the engine, which is Bad News with a capital B.  At this point, it drinks about a pint of coolant a month, so it's not terrible, but we still need to get it ironed out.  

    The human race has one really effective weapon, and that is laughter. -Mark Twain

    by boatgeek on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 08:46:15 AM PDT

    •  Still a fan of the gas drop... (8+ / 0-)

      If anything, you can have a drop put in for a gas stove...and leave it idle if you still prefer electric. This way you'll still have the option later.

      If the exhaust isn't coming out really white, it's probably external. Weather permitting, you can put cardboard underneath when you get home for the night; where ever the drip marks are will give you a hint to the cooling leak. One car I owned had a bad gasket on the radiator cap, and that's all it was; yet another had one bad freeze plug.

      "The less time you have, the more you need to use it wisely." - Cpt. Avatar, Starblazers

      by DeathDlr73 on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 09:17:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks! (6+ / 0-)

        Already have some hardboard paneling down on the garage floor, so that will show anything that drips off the car.  I don't think there was anything fresh, so I suspect that it's a slow drip from a coolant temp sensor I replaced a year or so ago.  The drip would land on a waffle-shaped part of the transmission, so it would have plenty of time to boil off before hitting the ground.  

        The human race has one really effective weapon, and that is laughter. -Mark Twain

        by boatgeek on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 10:07:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  If that's the case, you could also... (7+ / 0-)

          ...thoroughly dry where you suspect the leak to be, then sprinkle baby powder on the possible connection fault. Once the car warms to NOT (normal operating temperature), the powder will quickly show if there is any escaping fluid.

          "The less time you have, the more you need to use it wisely." - Cpt. Avatar, Starblazers

          by DeathDlr73 on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 10:23:16 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Or, as I suggested to mint julep... (6+ / 0-)

            Use newspapers to wrap all over possible leak locations like next to radiator, hoses, etc, as soon as you get back from a drive when the engine is  still hot and coolant under ppressure. The smallest pinhole leak causes a visible water spot on newsprint!

            Then go with talc; I like that idea, J..., wish I had thought of it.

            Mint found a "hidden" leak in her car with newsprint... and then avoided a tree that fell right on the spot where she usually parks by not going home that very stormy night - talk about fortuitous!

            "The first duty of government is to protect the powerless against the powerful."
            Code of Hammurabi, 1700 B.C. (Republicans obviously don't study history!)

            by CodeTalker on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 11:35:55 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Hey E - ask me about on-demand water heaters...; (6+ / 0-)

      We've had ours over a year now - and I wouldn't do it again, for several reasons...

      Takes longer to get any kind of warm to hot water at the sinks, since there's no already heated water to keep pipes warm, and every time you turn the hot water tap on it has to heat whatever volume that flows through from the standing temp. until I made the contractor move the unit close to our plumbing tree - the total original run was almost 40 feet of 3/4" copper, and now it's only 6 or 7 feet (to the new entry point of the existing tree) - so it took up to almost a full TWO minutes to get even warm water upstairs.

      Doesn't seem like much? That's EVERY time you turn it on, because even when you run hot, turn it off, wait a few seconds and turn it back on, the temp drops as the new, un-tempered water comes into the unit, so you have to go through almost a full cycle of heating again.

      Every time. Think how much water that's wasting - our unit consumption went up much more than 10% (haven't tabulated exact totals yet), even though there are only 2 of us; most places don't recommend them for 2 person households for that reason. OTOH, with 4 or more people they do make more sense.

      I haven't tried to tabulate gas consumption, but our bill hasn't changed. At all. So yes, I would think longer and harder about getting one the next time. I hate to waste water, and i haven't seen much of a change in costs, plus the ROI is way too long because the initial install was in the $2,500 range, compared to less than $350 for a to-p of the line tank heater for gas.

      Anyone else have any experience with them?

      "The first duty of government is to protect the powerless against the powerful."
      Code of Hammurabi, 1700 B.C. (Republicans obviously don't study history!)

      by CodeTalker on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 11:48:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Most HW runs in our house are short (3+ / 0-)

        We'd be reducing the runs for almost everything, the bathroom upstairs and the sink downstairs.  The bathtub downstairs would be similar, though perhaps a little longer.  I think the kitchen supply would be shorter as well, but I need to pace it out.  

        Thanks for the feedback, though.  Maybe a question for a future SMHRB article.  Heeey, I have one coming right up!

        The human race has one really effective weapon, and that is laughter. -Mark Twain

        by boatgeek on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 01:41:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  see below ramble.. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          CodeTalker, boatgeek

          my sister just redid a bathroom and has the same complaint, it takes the water the same 2 minutes to warm up way back 30' away.

          And I just realized that last we saw her spiffy new soldered hw and cw lines just before drywall...the hw wasn't  insulated.

          Here in sunny santa barbara it means the attic raccoons have a better winter.

          there is the low R rubber, then better higher R more expensive..google will provide all prices and info, but remember that when you were pricing your piping, the insulation costs more!!!

          crikey, it ain't easy being green.

          This machine kills Fascists.

          by KenBee on Mon Oct 08, 2012 at 03:09:42 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  cwazy talk :> (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CodeTalker, boatgeek

        think about it, any type hot water heater output pipe cools off when you stop flow.

        The entire pipe has to fill, whatever the source of hw, instant, gas, nuke...so what you may need do is to replumb for a gravity feed recirculating system that is always heating the water in an insulated!!! circulation loop, a dedicated circulation loop that  can be programmed to start circulating the hw thru the recirculating system before you get up and be ready..and then maybe start up again in evening when hw needed again..but you are saving water but buying gas(that water has to be heated and there aqre heat losses from the insulated pipes you have to pay for...and 10-30 a year for the pump electricity.
          The insulated hot water in the recirculating loop whatever recirc design) 'just' means that the short feeder line to your sink or shower    can be heated quickly and waste less water til hot.

        Remember this is independent of your heat source..yes there is a short burst of cold into the cold pipe when starting, your gas hw tank would not have that 2-8" of cold water in the line..big deal.

        What you need to do is insulate the HW pipes out and as well 5' back before the inlet as heat sneaks out there as well.

        And redo the size of the hw pipes getting the hw there quicker and wasting less, at, yes, less flow..a tricky balance no? but one probably changed back when you got your instant installed.
               I bet you increased the HW line from 3/8 or 1/2" to 3/4" to make sure 'you had lots'...and the price is the time and energy needed and water wasted filling that gianter pipe..gianter than a 1/2" or smaller tubing hw line.
        And for short HW needs a sourced electric low capacity instant hw heater for hw hand washing would save water..and cost more in elec.

        Instant electric hw heaters are good for powder rooms 1/2 baths and hand wash sinks at the far end of the house. If there is a bath/shower there you may benefit from having it's own dedicated larger gas instant hw heater close by...

        But your problem isn't necessarily the instant hw heaters fault, it's the layout and maybe no insulation.
          So, ready to bust out the drywall and start insulating? heh...but do what you can...

        sry, it's late, all over the map here, heh, good luck, and thanks for cat herding.

        This machine kills Fascists.

        by KenBee on Mon Oct 08, 2012 at 03:04:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site