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A chilly good morning to all you Homers from the High Desert on the east side of New Mexico.  Clear and 20 degrees and yes, there is a warm fire to gather around; grab a cup of coffee and settle in.

We gather weekly to discuss home repair/improvement projects and emergencies. Our ad hoc cadre of construction professionals and gifted amateurs is dedicated to the proposition that yes, YOU can fix/maintain/build it yourself, thus saving you money and giving you satisfaction.

Hard to be an effective activist while you listen to that toilet gurgling through the night...

I am down to the last week on my own project; the owners plan to do T-Day week in their new house w/family and friends aboard. The maiden voyage, as it were.  The cleaning lady comes on Thursday for the final wipe down and then I'll take some photos for you.

Today I am also refilling the 70 thousand gallon storage tank ("standpipe", technically speaking) that serves our village water system, after this week's draindown, washout and inspection.

I am going to post this and then run over to the well and turn on the pump again and then rush right back here to visit with you all.  We are operating the big (10HP, 42 amps@230V) pump, as the automatic controller still doesn't work. We use about 25 thousand gallons a day for our 90 or so families.  Our smaller pump, running continually, can just about keep up with this demand, but will not gain on the demand to fill up the tall tank that keeps the water pressure at acceptable levels.

BRB

Originally posted to claude on Sat Nov 15, 2008 at 05:59 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Busy drooling over (18+ / 0-)

    This Old House's Weston Project.

    It gives the term "pre-fab" a whole new meaning!  Practically everything is measured, precut, and partially assembled off site.  Even the timbers for the timber framing!

    Radiant heat runs in the floors, electric in the walls - installed in the factory.  It requires a crane to pick up the panels and "fly" them in but that's a small price to play.

    Using computers to make the process efficient in a lot of ways.  Love it!

    I can't get excited when they do rec rooms the size of some apartments, but show me quality engineering and I'm happy!

    Proud member of the Cult of Issues and Substance!

    by Fabian on Sat Nov 15, 2008 at 06:10:03 AM PST

    •  Weston is FABULOUS! (12+ / 0-)

      I've been following this one with rapt attention - what a fantastic place, what great manufacturing. The attention to detail and the precision is outasite.

      Only problem I have with TOH is all their projects are priced in the stratosphere now. Bet this one is gonna cost two bundles.

      "The first duty of government is to protect the powerless against the powerful."
      Code of Hammurabi, 1700 B.C.
      www.caringbridge.org/visit/brittany

      by CodeTalker on Sat Nov 15, 2008 at 06:18:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  linky to this? (6+ / 0-)

      I don't have TV,  although I have heard of This Old House.

      On a similar matter, does anybody watch a show called "House"?  Is this based on Tracy Kidder's book "House"?

      don't always believe what you think...

      by claude on Sat Nov 15, 2008 at 06:41:10 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Oh yes, simply gorgeous (5+ / 0-)

      DH and I were admiring the system with the added chase on the inside of the walls - it seems like a great idea and it also seems very expensive. We were wishing they would say how much it cost.

      That has been my biggest objection to SIP-type construction, the burrowing in the insulation and structure to run cables.

      The exterior barn board siding is lovely, but I was surprised that there were no battens (is that the right word?) on the joints between the larger boards. Will they add them, or are they depending upon the waterproofing behind the boards, or are they counting on the porch ceiling to protect it?

      Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

      by elfling on Sat Nov 15, 2008 at 08:31:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I noticed the lack of batten strips (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        claude, rincewind, Fabian, Leo in NJ

        I wondered the same thing, but I think I heard those barn boards were T&G'd, so they wouldn't need batten strips. Might be wrong, tho.

        They usually go over the overall project price at the end - my bet is a mil and a quarter.

        "The first duty of government is to protect the powerless against the powerful."
        Code of Hammurabi, 1700 B.C.
        www.caringbridge.org/visit/brittany

        by CodeTalker on Sat Nov 15, 2008 at 09:26:26 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Of course! (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          claude, rincewind, CodeTalker, Fabian

          I didn't hear them say it (obviously), but that is the clear solution.

          I have some buildings in old growth redwood board-and-batten siding, some of which would be best used as material in something new. But that thought is in opposition to new California fire codes, which are on my mind as Southern California is on fire again.  In our specific area, they are a suggestion rather than a requirement, but one I take seriously.

          Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

          by elfling on Sat Nov 15, 2008 at 10:16:12 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Ted Benson, argh! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CodeTalker

      We've watched the first 4 episodes or so and my husband (the hand/medieval woodworker) is about out of patience.  He can't stand Benson's warping of real timber-framing and gets so irritated!  Benson, the stress-skin panel king!  And TOH is SOOOO thrilled with him!  

      "This Old Mansion" is right, too!  It raises our blood pressure every time we watch it, but it's a great way to keep informed on the latest untested technologies and construction-industry fads! (fore-warned is fore-armed, eh?)

      Real timber framing would require a crane too, the big beams are simply too heavy to move safely, unless you have a crew 3 or 4 times the size that's working the Weston job.  

      Real timber-framing uses much more complex joints; Benson's computer cut joints are quite simplified, to fit what the computer can do.  

      We have noticed a fair amount of checking in some of the members... in old, dry recycled wood... how did that happen?, was the stuff left out to get wet and then dry again???

      90% of interior walls at Weston are stick-framed, too -- why isn't the frame designed to do that?

      Another thing?  

      live oak crucks bracing the main girt that spans the dining area

      -- we're about 90% sure those crucks are not structural, just decorative.  Why would you want such a pronounced color  & material contrast (oak vs fir & pine) with the rest of the framing?  Why would you put crucks internally?  In real timber-framing, crucks are used in the exterior frame to reinforce and rigidify; not for display, internally.

      Just another day of screaming at the TV when TOMansion is on! 8-)

      'We ain't what we ought to be and we ain't what we want to be and we ain't what we're going to be. But thank God, we ain't what we was.'

      by chimene on Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 01:48:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Remember, this couple liked the "look" (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CodeTalker, Bronx59

        of a big old barn.

        Also, remember that anything LIKE the timber framing on this project is incredibly expensive.  That part isn't mainstream, it's still rare due to economics if nothing else.

        OTOH - the panel prefabbing could easily go mainstream and considering the low, low quality of current housing that would be a good thing.  Low bid subcontractors doing everything from framing to drywall to wiring and plumbing - it's amazing that the houses aren't riddled with problems.  (Friends of ours have had their own problems with new homes - just standard mass built housing, nothing fancy.)

        I loved the exterior panel design.  The design of the house?  Can't say I'm a fan.  I'm always envious of when things are done right from the beginning - the foundation drainage system, radiant heat, insulation.  We have some DIY projects that will be a total PITA because retrofitting usually is.  We need to wrap the heating ducts that run through a crawl space and pin batting up against those floor joists.  With pre-fabbing that could have been done in a clean, dry, well lit factory - not crawling in the grime and dark and damp.  Plus I'd have installed radiant heat instead.

        Proud member of the Cult of Issues and Substance!

        by Fabian on Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 03:09:10 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Morning, claude and all (12+ / 0-)

    Can't wait for those pix!

    Cold and gray here -- IOW, typical November. I should work on storm windows today, but the darlin' grandson will be here shortly and I most likely won't get 'em done.... Oh well, he's much more fun  ;>  Also.

    IMPEACH "...so that no future president may infer that we have implicitly sanctioned what we have not explicitly condemned." John Conyers, 1974

    by rincewind on Sat Nov 15, 2008 at 06:13:17 AM PST

  •  Good morning Claude, and everyone! (9+ / 0-)

    Can't wait to see the "After" pics, Claude. Oh, and where does your water supply come from - is it a well? How far up is the standpipe? Just curious...

    It's wet and cold here, and we're due for some snow later, glad I got the tube in my snowblower tire, and started it during the pre-season checkup last week.

    Also, I'm rebuilding an old Homelite 16" Super2 chainsaw - anyone have experience with them? Don't know if it runs yet, the primer bulb was shot, but I stripped it down to pieces and am almost ready to reassemble and fire up as soon as the new bulb gets here. Only other bad part was the sprocket, which I have already, and one oil line. The chains aren't great but I'll resharpen them - for what little cutting I do it'll be a while before I need a new one.

    "The first duty of government is to protect the powerless against the powerful."
    Code of Hammurabi, 1700 B.C.
    www.caringbridge.org/visit/brittany

    by CodeTalker on Sat Nov 15, 2008 at 06:14:55 AM PST

  •  Ack, sputter, er, help? (12+ / 0-)

    I complained to my contractor that there was a leak behind my washing machine. It was on the floor and leaked below to the above-ground basement/garage. That and water damage from my neighbor let to water damage to back of the basement below and now I have termites.

    My contractor wants to treat the termite damage in the laundry room and below in the basement, but when he did it earlier for another part of the basement/garage, he treated with stuff that had a horrible chemical smell that drifted up to the kids' playroom for months.

    Does anyone have a recommended termite treatment for inside a house? Safe and nontoxic to kids and animals?

    •  I just Googled some... (8+ / 0-)

      Look here for my Google results, there seem to be quite a few, but with caveats..."no treatment is 100%", "may not remove all traces", things like that. It looks like there ARE alternatives - but we don't really get termites here in the NE, so I'm not sure which ones might be right for your situation, of course.

      Well worth a read, though.

      "The first duty of government is to protect the powerless against the powerful."
      Code of Hammurabi, 1700 B.C.
      www.caringbridge.org/visit/brittany

      by CodeTalker on Sat Nov 15, 2008 at 06:38:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Maybe Borax (5+ / 0-)

      will do the trick and is natural

      Republicans : Socialism for the rich, capitalism for the poor

      by ctsteve on Sat Nov 15, 2008 at 06:43:48 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Does "Roach-Pruf" work on termites? (7+ / 0-)

      It is completely non-toxic and works by mechanical action, so to speak, a fine borax crystal powder that gets into the joints of their exoskeleton and wrecks them, iirc.

      don't always believe what you think...

      by claude on Sat Nov 15, 2008 at 06:45:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Speaking of which....dead rats! (6+ / 0-)

        when he removed the tiny square tub in the bath and replaced it with a full-sized one, he found a dead rat underneath the old tub.

        When he took a section of wall down to the studs behind the washing machine, he found another, but it was dried and yellow....like it died in 1970.

        I guess folks poison the critters and they die in the wall.

        Yuck.

        •  Zapped mice (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          rincewind

          Worked on a crew that was tearing out old office partitions once, and we used to find dessicated mice, zapped from contacting the wiring inside the partition modules.

          A lot of poisons aren't really toxic; they just harden inside the critter's stomach and they actually starve to death. The best kinds are the ones that they bring back to the nest and share.

          "The first duty of government is to protect the powerless against the powerful."
          Code of Hammurabi, 1700 B.C.
          www.caringbridge.org/visit/brittany

          by CodeTalker on Sat Nov 15, 2008 at 01:46:26 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Put termite on shingle (9+ / 0-)

      2d step: strike it hard with another shingle
      ;-D

      If Liberals really hated America we'd vote Republican

      by exlrrp on Sat Nov 15, 2008 at 06:50:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  HaHaHa! Does that also work... (8+ / 0-)

        ... on other problems, like when my SO is being a pest?

        "The first duty of government is to protect the powerless against the powerful."
        Code of Hammurabi, 1700 B.C.
        www.caringbridge.org/visit/brittany

        by CodeTalker on Sat Nov 15, 2008 at 06:52:23 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  /snicker (9+ / 0-)

        My gardening-fiend grandmother had a similar trick with the gigantic grasshoppers in her flowers:  Grab it, and snap its ugly head off.  My 9-year-old reaction?  "Eeeeeeeeeeeuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuwwwwwwwwwwww!!!!"

        Speaking of non-toxic v. toxic solutions:  I wish I could figure out what they used at work on the concrete subfloor.  They did asbestos abatement last weekend and supposedly put a non-toxic mastic on the subfloor to seal it.  Well, that non-toxic and harmless stuff outgassed something, because I wound up in the ER with burning sensations in my throat and lungs.  I've asked, and others have too, and we still don't know what it was or what the ingredients were.  Given my fixer-upper house, I really want to know so I don't inadvertently buy the same crap when it comes time to strip the newel, balusters and railing on the stairs.  They're too cool to pitch and replace, but omigod do they need refinishing.

        "Fighting Fascism is Always Cool." -- Amsterdam Weekly, volume three, issue 18 (-8.50, -7.23)

        by Noor B on Sat Nov 15, 2008 at 07:04:23 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I had an experience like that years ago (7+ / 0-)

          I walked through a courtroom at the court house I was working at while they were cleaning the carpets and wound up in the emergency room. I was told whatever chemical they used burned the cilia in my lungs. Don't know if that's accurate, but god, I was miserable.

          My lungs are probably shot, but I've got 5 year old twins, so I want to extra careful.

        •  that sounds like (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          claude, CodeTalker, borkitekt, Leo in NJ

          my reaction to formaldehyde, but I don't think anybody would call a formaldehyde product "non-toxic". Maybe the mastic contained something that's fine by itself but created a problem when it came in contact/mixed with something else? (important to remember combination effects when you're doing your home projects).

          IMPEACH "...so that no future president may infer that we have implicitly sanctioned what we have not explicitly condemned." John Conyers, 1974

          by rincewind on Sat Nov 15, 2008 at 07:41:49 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I had the same experience once (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          claude, rincewind, Leo in NJ, boatgeek

          Worked in a Budweiser brewery as a painter, applying epoxy finish to the brewhouse floor but wasn't supplied breathing protection the first day, came out coughing and spitting up blood specks, ended up at Urgent Care. Luckily it was only a "minor problem" according to my Doc, and cleared up quickly; the contractor had to furnish proper protection from them on. Never happened again, so I suppose I'll be OK - don't have any lung problems so far, at least.

          Many commercial mastics still contain solvents that are classed as irritants - and until they dry completely, they can outgass materials that may irritate some people.

          Most "homeowner" products are considerably less toxic, whether mastics, adhesives, or now - even finish strippers. I wouldn't worry as long as you read labels before you buy, because now you can usually get a product that won't bother anyone. Look for "latex" and "water-based" products first, and always follow directions - oh, and use good ventilation, even if it doesn't say you need it!

          "The first duty of government is to protect the powerless against the powerful."
          Code of Hammurabi, 1700 B.C.
          www.caringbridge.org/visit/brittany

          by CodeTalker on Sat Nov 15, 2008 at 08:14:41 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Epoxy (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            claude, rincewind, CodeTalker

            I'm not sure if this was the case with you or not, but people can develop a sensitivity/allergy to epoxy with repeated exposure.  It can get to the point where you can't sit down on an epoxy-sealed surface without getting a rash (from the very small percentage of uncured material), and it can also cause reactions in the lungs.

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

            by boatgeek on Sat Nov 15, 2008 at 09:24:03 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  that's too bad, (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              rincewind, CodeTalker

              because epoxy is such great stuff, as paint or as glue.

              don't always believe what you think...

              by claude on Sat Nov 15, 2008 at 12:31:11 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Can't get along without some (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                claude, rincewind

                I love epoxy finishes; used a single part coating on exterior ply when I built a tub/shower once about 13-14 years ago, hung the tub and installed fiberglas shower panels right over it, no problems in all those years. Done right, it's great stuff. Finish is like iron.

                Very handy for repairs, too... I fixed a buddy's 4lb sledge to a 'glas handle with it after the factory glob let go, and it's still banging away, many moons later.

                I used to lay up 'glas on cars; I'd hand the mix containers to my kids right after I poured the goo out and they'd always be amazed at the heat.

                Don't believe I'm sensitive to it yet!

                "The first duty of government is to protect the powerless against the powerful."
                Code of Hammurabi, 1700 B.C.
                www.caringbridge.org/visit/brittany

                by CodeTalker on Sat Nov 15, 2008 at 01:32:52 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  my first experience with epoxy (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  rincewind, CodeTalker

                  was in the mid 50s, when my step-dad bought an old speedboat with a 25 HP Evinrude outboard motor with a cracked lower casing. He fixed the crack with epoxy and it held up for years; never did fail that I know of. I'd like to think that someone in Michigan still has that old boat together and running.  It was an all plywood "Bumblebee" (iirc) 14 footer (that's a little boat!) with all solid mahogany superstructure.  I got to pilot it, and I could waterski behind it.

                  don't always believe what you think...

                  by claude on Sat Nov 15, 2008 at 01:47:25 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

              •  You can prevent sensitization (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Bronx59

                With good workplace practices--gloves for the most part.  You might need a Tyvek suit if it's going everywhere, or a respirator if you're spraying it.  The main thing is to prevent skin contact.

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

                by boatgeek on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 04:29:48 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

    •  Termites (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      claude, rincewind, CodeTalker, Leo in NJ

      Fun facts about termites. [Applies only to subterranean termites, not "dry wood" or Formosan termites.]

      Termites need clean, dry wood.  They can't use wood that that has already been fed on by microorganisms like mold and bacteria - they need virgin wood untouched by rot.

      Regular termites send workers to feed above ground (where you expect to find dry wood) but they live underground, where their soft tender bodies are safe from predators.  Despite termite's fearsome reputation among homeowners, they are lunch to large ants and anything bigger.

      Termites are so vulnerable that they build mud tunnels to protect themselves instead of traveling exposed above ground.  If you are lucky (like I was) you will see the distinctive mud tubes running from the ground along the foundation to the their feeding tunnels in the structure.  Crushing or removing the mud tubes should reveal the pallid termite workers.  If you aren't sure the tubes are in use, remove all you can find and wait a day - an active colony will rebuild them ASAP.  Termites do go dormant in the cold months, so only do this during the warm months.

      Characteristic termite damage runs along the wood grain in roughly parallel tunnels.  If the wood is otherwise sound, termites can do a lot of damage before something fails.  Fortunately, it takes termites a long time to do a lot of damage.

      The most effective treatment for termite colonies is killing the queen.  Luckily, there is only one queen per colony.  The bad news is that one colony will produce new queens almost every year - more potential colonies.  Early detection is important and best done via mud tubes or seeing swarms in the spring.  Winged termites are weak and almost pathetic fliers.  If you see a swarm in the spring, try to catch a few for ID.  It should be very easy to catch them if they are termites.  Here's a pic.

      Swarms are attracted to light, so if you get a swarm inside, definitely check them out!

      We have monitoring stations set up around the house.  We've had no positives since they first treated with "live" bait stations.  The workers feed on the tainted bait and the chemical causes a fatal defect in termite larvae.  Worker termites work hard and die fast and the colony needs to produce new workers constantly...or starve to death.  The queen can not feed herself or leave so the colony perishes.

      I can't imagine treating inside a house unless you couldn't find the access tunnels.

      Proud member of the Cult of Issues and Substance!

      by Fabian on Sat Nov 15, 2008 at 11:52:23 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Mornin', Ya'll! (16+ / 0-)

    On the agenda today:  Install tilt-out windows on greenhouse and build an A-frame for pulling engine off of boat.

    Regarding greenhouse, if any of you have ever been associated with DoD contracting, you'd understand the term "mission creep".

    claude, I've got pix but haven't had time to upload them to Mrs. BK's webshots page.  Maybe next week; I'll be in San Diego on business so, unless I'm working next Sat, I'll have no chores to do.

    I missed a great opportunity to do a step-by-step photo essay on replacing a electric water heater element last Sunday.  Always seems things break whenever I least have the time to document them for this diary.

    BK's Home Maintenance Tip:  Periodically flush your water heater to remove sediment.

    I had come to an entirely erroneous conclusion which shows, my dear Watson, how dangerous it always is to reason from insufficient data.

    by TheBigKahuna on Sat Nov 15, 2008 at 06:22:52 AM PST

    •  Yeah, me too (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      claude, rincewind, jainm, borkitekt, Lashe

      I've missed some great photo ops lately too - but that mission creep makes it all but impossible to do most times! And you got that right - periodic flushing, especially for electrics - is a MUST.

      Right now I'm about to zap some old NiCd battery packs  in a second effort to revive them; I already did it once with my (really old!) cordless screw driver, a 3.6V unit, and it spun for the first time in years - and it's been sitting in a box the whole time. If it can save my Craftsman 15.6V drill pack I'll be happy - they want up to $75 for a "new"/old NiCd battery. I found a place that will rebuild it for about $45as a  NiMH that will recharge in the original charger.... but for free I'll try this on it first.

      "The first duty of government is to protect the powerless against the powerful."
      Code of Hammurabi, 1700 B.C.
      www.caringbridge.org/visit/brittany

      by CodeTalker on Sat Nov 15, 2008 at 06:31:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  have you tried opening it? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        claude, rincewind, CodeTalker

        might just be a few C sized batteries you can replace solo.

        Listen to Noam Chomsky's Necessary Illusions. (mp3!)

        by borkitekt on Sat Nov 15, 2008 at 08:21:21 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  They are (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          claude, rincewind, borkitekt

          Most battery packs are C's in series, and I priced the tab style at about $3 each, all you have to do is solder them in the right configuration to make up a pack.

          Flexi-Packs are less than $20, so it's about twice the cost of C-cells at 3.6V.

          But shocking them back to life is free, and a bit of fun too! Plus, it works fairly often - my SkilDril is turning for the first time in over 10 years. The best part is I can revive individual bad cells in a pack without replacing the whole pack.

          "The first duty of government is to protect the powerless against the powerful."
          Code of Hammurabi, 1700 B.C.
          www.caringbridge.org/visit/brittany

          by CodeTalker on Sat Nov 15, 2008 at 09:32:22 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  you'll have to tell me more about this (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            claude, CodeTalker

            I've never tried.

            Listen to Noam Chomsky's Necessary Illusions. (mp3!)

            by borkitekt on Sat Nov 15, 2008 at 03:52:12 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Here's a link (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              claude, borkitekt

              And another after - between them you should get a pretty good idea!
              This one explains the concepts

              And this one shows how

              I'm using a car battery charger, set on trickle, 2A. I also have a 12V battery from my riding mower that I can hook in series for the higher voltage packs, but I'm still going on the oldest and lowest voltages first, until I get good at it.

              First one I did was a cordless hand vac, 4.8V. Next up is my FlexPacks, 3.6V - they've been dead for over 10 years. The best part is that my 15.6V Craftsman pack is not completely dead, so if I can figure out which cells are bad I can revive them without doing the entire pack.

              "The first duty of government is to protect the powerless against the powerful."
              Code of Hammurabi, 1700 B.C.
              www.caringbridge.org/visit/brittany

              by CodeTalker on Sat Nov 15, 2008 at 06:32:39 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  thanks BK (6+ / 0-)

      That water heater tip can't be repeated too often: flush that sucker out twice a year. This is true of all  water heaters, but especially true for electric heaters with the insert elemments.  All  heaters have a drain valve at the bottom.

      don't always believe what you think...

      by claude on Sat Nov 15, 2008 at 06:32:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  BK - the A-frame... do you weld? (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      claude, rincewind, jainm, Lashe

      I have an old Linc, a 225A stick box, got for $50 a long time ago, but I usually only weld small things now, my wrought iron railings, for example.

      "The first duty of government is to protect the powerless against the powerful."
      Code of Hammurabi, 1700 B.C.
      www.caringbridge.org/visit/brittany

      by CodeTalker on Sat Nov 15, 2008 at 06:34:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Naw, this'll be a temporary (7+ / 0-)

        from some 4x4s.  One day, I'd like to have a welding machine (and torch) for various repairs and projects.

        I have a 'glass boat.  I need to remove the inner cap to access/replace the wood in the transom.

        Anyway, if I did weld, I'm sure my motto would be the same as is for my soldering:

        The bigger the glob, the better the job!

        I had come to an entirely erroneous conclusion which shows, my dear Watson, how dangerous it always is to reason from insufficient data.

        by TheBigKahuna on Sat Nov 15, 2008 at 06:50:37 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  "The bigger the glob, the better the job!" (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          claude, rincewind, Leo in NJ

          HaHaHa! That's what my last railing looked like, until I ground the welds down! You'd have thought I'd never welded before; I will admit it had been a while.... and the last 2 welds looked almost textbook.

          I can't remember NOT having a welder of some kind; I even owned one of those 120V tin boxes that burned 1/16" rods. It worked on REALLY light gauge metal, but I was always a little afraid of it - the insides glowed bright red halfway thru a rod and it "sang" like an old Fender reverb amp spring. I think I spent more time breaking stuck rods off and trying to strike an arc than I did welding!

          "The first duty of government is to protect the powerless against the powerful."
          Code of Hammurabi, 1700 B.C.
          www.caringbridge.org/visit/brittany

          by CodeTalker on Sat Nov 15, 2008 at 07:21:16 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Transom core replacement (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          claude, rincewind, CodeTalker

          Now there's a big job.  Are you doing it from the inside or the outside?

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

          by boatgeek on Sat Nov 15, 2008 at 09:29:20 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  And check/replace the sacrificial anode (6+ / 0-)

      rod if your heater is 5 years old or more, if you want your heater to last longer than that.

      Here is some general info; google "water heater anode" for more. You can replace them yourself if you have the right size socket wrench.

      •  "right size socket wrench" (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        claude, rincewind, CodeTalker, jainm, Leo in NJ

        Something I should have mentioned earlier.

        Depending on the type of electric water heater, the elements are part of a threaded assembly.  You need a special socket to remove them.  If you've got a full 1/2" drive set, you may have one that fits (can't remember the size; something like 1 1/2").  

        It's usually better, though, just to buy the tool from a hardware or plumbing supply store.  It's one of those things that you may only need once every 10 years (we've been in this house for nearly 19 years and I've replaced three elements).  BUT, when you need it, you need it.

        I had come to an entirely erroneous conclusion which shows, my dear Watson, how dangerous it always is to reason from insufficient data.

        by TheBigKahuna on Sat Nov 15, 2008 at 06:54:17 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  yup, 1 1/2 inch, BK (4+ / 0-)

          I have a big truck lug wrench that does the trick.  NB, all, you have to remove the little cover plate to see whether you have insert elements or wrap-around band (external) elements.

          Whether gas or electric, you MUST turn off the heat source before draining a HWH tank. DO NOT FORGET THIS!!!

          don't always believe what you think...

          by claude on Sat Nov 15, 2008 at 07:11:16 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  We haven't got a water heater. (6+ / 0-)

      We have an oil-fired boiler unit that provides hot water for the bath, kitchen and radiators.  (I have to space-plan around those suckers, and that's going to be a pain.)  Does that have to be flushed too?  I've never had one of these systems before, so I haven't the first freaking clue.

      "Fighting Fascism is Always Cool." -- Amsterdam Weekly, volume three, issue 18 (-8.50, -7.23)

      by Noor B on Sat Nov 15, 2008 at 07:08:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Probably (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        claude, rincewind, CodeTalker, Noor B

        have a good look at it; see if you can find the lowest point that has water in it. If there is a faucet-like valve there, put a bucket under it and open it (If it's stuck, DON'T force it until you're ready to replace it).

      •  any water heating system (4+ / 0-)

        ought to be drained and flushed now and then.  Your heater unit is called a "boiler". I would presume in your system you have a "passive" hot water storage tank that has a heat exchanger within. Hot water from the boiler, which is a closed loop circulation system, passes through the heat exchanger in the tank to warm the water while not mixing with it.  

        Some closed-loop circulation systems have anti-corrosion additives or even anti-freeze in them to increase the heat carrying capabilities.  This is why the circulating loop MUST be kept isolated from the actual potable water in the storage tank.

        My new house project has such a systen, naTURAL GAS FIRED, (fkn caps lock!), because the owners are self-admitted "hot water hogs".  Such a system has enormous capacity to produce hot water, because the heat source is the large and efficient burner in the boiler, rather than a separate flame for the HWH itself.  Almost imposible to run out of hot water if the thing is sized correctly.

        don't always believe what you think...

        by claude on Sat Nov 15, 2008 at 07:19:46 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  another must do (8+ / 0-)

    which I have mentioned over the years is to "exercise" one's GFCI recptacles by pushing the little "test" button and then reseting it.  It should go "click" when you push the test button.  This should be done at least monthly.  If you have a central GFCI circuit breaker in your circuit breaker panel, you should also exercise it.

    The very first SMHRB, 2 and a quarter years ago featured this advice.  I am too lazy to dig up the link to it.

    don't always believe what you think...

    by claude on Sat Nov 15, 2008 at 06:38:58 AM PST

  •  I'm looking forward... (7+ / 0-)

    ...to those photos!

    Fear will keep the local systems in line. -Grand Moff Tarkin -SLB-

    by boran2 on Sat Nov 15, 2008 at 07:04:14 AM PST

  •  Doc's Ever-So-Fascinatin' Septic Update! (12+ / 0-)

    It's been MONTHS now. The problems began in FEb of this year and we stressed out over the costs of proposed solutions, including the complete reinstallation of a new system with a lift station and all manner of expensive crap - $8600.

    We chose a Remediator™ and it was installed in May _$3900. Still painful but..you know.

    It was a gamble - the things are new technology.

    It's November now and we have simply forgotten septic problems. The thing really began to make a difference by the middle of July and by August we could do laundry anytime we wanted.

    Now it's exactly like it should be - out of sight and out of mind. The damned thing really appears to have worked.

  •  Mornin' claude. (6+ / 0-)

    Hope it's not too cold out that way.

    "The truth shall set you free - but first it'll piss you off." Gloria Steinem

    Iraq Moratorium

    by One Pissed Off Liberal on Sat Nov 15, 2008 at 07:09:58 AM PST

  •  Vinyl floor, edges lifting (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    claude, rincewind, CodeTalker, Leo in NJ

    The edges of my vinyl floor are lifting up. They need to be reglued somehow. Suggestions please?

    •  sheet or tile? (6+ / 0-)

      They make special adhesive ("mastic") for vinyl flooring. You must make sure the old, flaky adhesive and all dirt, crud and dust is removed, or it won't stick.

      Mastic usually comes in large containers. Maybe someone can suggest a substitute for small spots.

      •  more help (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        claude, rincewind, CodeTalker, Leo in NJ

        Do I have to peel it back?, will the vinyl break?
        This is sheet vinyl not squares. I was hoping for something easy like a syringe of glue.

        •  Try this first (7+ / 0-)

          Is it right on the edges? How much has lifted? Can you get to it all easily? How long has it been since it first lifted?

          If it's been a while and they are on edges and easily accessed, they're probably too dirty to re-glue as is, so you must clean them well, and then simply apply mastic that's recommended for vinyl, and probably weigh them down with books or something to hold the flooring in place until the mastic sets, because it tends to curl when the mastic lets go.

          If they just came up and are still "clean", try heating with a hair dryer until the vinyl feels really, really warm - but not HOT - and then apply weights to hold it down. Heat will often reactivate certain mastics and glues, but not knowing what was used, it's a gamble because many are not heat sensitive, especially older products.

          If it's just a bubble, yes, you can inject a glue like Gorilla and weight it down until it sets, but that's not practical for larger areas, or if it's at all dirty - in that case, you really do have to clean and reapply mastic.

          "The first duty of government is to protect the powerless against the powerful."
          Code of Hammurabi, 1700 B.C.
          www.caringbridge.org/visit/brittany

          by CodeTalker on Sat Nov 15, 2008 at 08:27:30 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Completely off topic (6+ / 0-)

            But this talk of vinyl and tile and heat and mastic reminded me of an incident in the next town over.

            This is in a town of about a thousand people.  A local school building was undergoing renovation, and as a part of that renovation they had to remove tiles in one of the rooms.  Naturally, the tiles were found to contain asbestos.  They were faced with a full-blown asbestos abatement project and astronomical costs UNLESS a way could be found to remove the tiles in one piece, unbroken.

            They tried every trick in the book -- heat, chemical solvents, even sand-bagged the room and flooded it with water for something like 72 hours -- nothing worked.  The tiles just wouldn't come up in one piece.

            Just as things looked darkest and they were facing a budget-busting containment project, an oddly fortuitous thing happened.  Vandals, it seemed, broke into the school one night and instead of spray-painting the walls or smashing the urinals like vandals usually do, they took scrapers and chipped up every last one of those offending tiles.

            At least that's the way it was reported in the local weekly newspaper.  Presumably with a straight face.

            Oh, and thanks -- I have a couple of spots where the kitchen vinyl is lifting along the edges.  I'll give your suggestions a try.

            Newspapers are unable, seemingly, to discriminate between a bicycle accident and the collapse of civilization. -- George Bernard Shaw

            by dsteffen on Sat Nov 15, 2008 at 10:15:48 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Great story! (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              claude, rincewind, dsteffen, addisnana

              And let me add, old vinyl tends to harden and may break if you bend it back enough to get under it, but new vinyl should be ok. Either way, you can (usually) soften it with a hair dryer enough to bend it back and work underneath without damage. Set something underneath it to hold it up as you work so you don't have to keep lifting it up to get under it. Heat should also make mastic removal easier - although, as your story points out, not always.

              Just pay attention as you work, be gentle with the vinyl, and it should all work out without cracking.

              "The first duty of government is to protect the powerless against the powerful."
              Code of Hammurabi, 1700 B.C.
              www.caringbridge.org/visit/brittany

              by CodeTalker on Sat Nov 15, 2008 at 11:25:23 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  yes, great story (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              rincewind, CodeTalker, dsteffen, Bronx59

              but, I would imagine that the asbestos in tiles (my grade school had them in the early 50s) is pretty well bound up and unlikely to become free floating particles that would get into lungs.  It would have been best to just leave it there in place and apply new flooring above it.

              don't always believe what you think...

              by claude on Sat Nov 15, 2008 at 01:02:06 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  bravo, CT (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            rincewind, CodeTalker, Bronx59, addisnana

            a truly useful comment in the best tradition of SMHRB.

            Real help for the afflicted....

            don't always believe what you think...

            by claude on Sat Nov 15, 2008 at 12:58:55 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  I forgot to say thank you , appreciate the help n (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        claude, rincewind, CodeTalker, Leo in NJ
  •  Just installed a new showerhead -- (6+ / 0-)

    -- the kind that includes a handheld and a bracket.  I used plumbers tape on all the connections and everything is good... except the connection at the shower pipe.  I'm still getting some drips there when the shower is on, and I suppose I should be grateful that it's not spraying or something worse there.  

    Any suggestions?  Should I just live with the couple of drips?

    •  Do you mean where the showerhead... (6+ / 0-)

      ...screws on to the shower pipe that comes out of the wall? Did you have a rubber washer in the head before you screwed it on the feed pipe? Check for that first; without that washer most heads will drip no matter how tight they are.

      If it's just a really slow drip it will eventually stop, but if it's drip, drip, dripping, you should unscrew the showerhead and reapply the teflon tape, wrapping it 5 or 6 times completely around the pipe threads, and then fitting the showerhead snugly - try not to overtighten it. You can tighten it while the water is on so you only have to go as far as needed to stop the drip.

      The problem usually happens when a showerhead is screwed on and it doesn't "land" on the threads in quite the right spot, because they tend to be turned with very "loose" threads so they'll fit without being too tight, or they "bottom out" on the pipe threads without ever getting tight enough to make a watertight seal at the washer. Yours must be really "loose", because at the showerhead water is only under a little pressure, but you usually can't simply tighten up a head very much without risking breaking it, so you have to apply more turns of teflon to compensate.

      "The first duty of government is to protect the powerless against the powerful."
      Code of Hammurabi, 1700 B.C.
      www.caringbridge.org/visit/brittany

      by CodeTalker on Sat Nov 15, 2008 at 08:39:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  We have some pretty new wood slabs (6+ / 0-)

    We had to cut down a dead black walnut a while back, and our neighbor is milling some of the larger pieces for us now. It turns out that it had once been an english walnut on black walnut rootstock, and the black walnut had engulfed the english walnut, which makes the wood even more interesting.

    So now those pieces are in our garage, for some future project, like stair treads or bookshelves or a table.

    We still have the enormous trunk left, about 4' in diameter. That's beyond the capability of the neighbor's equipment, so I'll have to hunt down someone who can help us with this for a price we can afford.

    Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

    by elfling on Sat Nov 15, 2008 at 08:36:22 AM PST

    •  Sweet.... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      claude, rincewind

      I have a 3"x12"x10 foot length of dark cherry in my barn; after 23 years I still haven't come up with a project that would do it justice.

      I'll bet that walnut has beautiful grain!

      Trunk wood that large carries a premium if you were to sell it, don't you think, Claude?

      "The first duty of government is to protect the powerless against the powerful."
      Code of Hammurabi, 1700 B.C.
      www.caringbridge.org/visit/brittany

      by CodeTalker on Sat Nov 15, 2008 at 08:43:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The catch on the trunk wood (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        claude, rincewind, CodeTalker

        is that there may be nails in it, from kids adding swings and the like. I already know that anyone who agrees to work on it will require me to promise to replace any blades they break on it.

        We had him cut the long pieces into 2" x 15" x about 12' slabs. They take up a lot of space, so maybe that will give us an incentive to do a project sooner rather than later.

        Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

        by elfling on Sat Nov 15, 2008 at 10:23:48 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  LOL, CT (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rincewind, CodeTalker

        rememinded me of the 19" x 8 foot x 3 inch "cant", or center cut from a Ponderosa log, un edged, so the two long edges are the outside of the log. This stick has been around for over thirty years, and I logged the tree and hauled it to the mill myself, back then.

        My neighbor had a mill, one of those ones with a track upon which the motorhead traveled while the log was stationary.  The motorhead was an aircooled Volkswagen engine geared up to run a cut blade and two edger blades at once in one pass down the log.  Can't remember what they called that mill.

        don't always believe what you think...

        by claude on Sat Nov 15, 2008 at 01:10:31 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Was it a Peterson? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          claude, rincewind

          Perkins? I seem to rememnber something about that type of mill and how it worked.

          A cant can be any thickness, right - it doesn't have to be lumber or timber thick, does it?

          "The first duty of government is to protect the powerless against the powerful."
          Code of Hammurabi, 1700 B.C.
          www.caringbridge.org/visit/brittany

          by CodeTalker on Sat Nov 15, 2008 at 02:15:07 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  as I understand it, a "cant"... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            CodeTalker

            is the middle slice of a log after the rest of the log has been sliced back towards the center.

            I'm pretty sure it wasn't Peterson. Remember I am harking back to the mid 70s, when my neighbor got this unit, and it was a fairly exotic thing back then.

            Using a 40 HP Volks engine made it pretty much worldwide, as those engines were everywhere.  The name may come to me.  It was a pretty sophisticated little device; I got to see it in operation many times.

            don't always believe what you think...

            by claude on Sat Nov 15, 2008 at 05:22:56 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  I just want to point out... (7+ / 0-)

    ...how much I look forward to these discussions on Saturdays.  I discovered this thread just last week, and I'm already hooked.

    Thanks, all!

    Hard core Christian and hard core liberal...not an illogical combination at all.

    by penny8611 on Sat Nov 15, 2008 at 09:02:05 AM PST

    •  It IS addictive, isn't it??? (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      claude, rincewind, Fabian, Bronx59, boatgeek

      Can't imagine a Saturday morning without y'all any more.

      Claude - you created a monster, you did!

      "The first duty of government is to protect the powerless against the powerful."
      Code of Hammurabi, 1700 B.C.
      www.caringbridge.org/visit/brittany

      by CodeTalker on Sat Nov 15, 2008 at 09:09:23 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  CT (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rincewind, CodeTalker, Bronx59

        it does seem to acquired a life of its own, doesn't it?

        Are you interested in hosting a Saturday?  I would not mind a break, any Sat morning, if you would like to post the blog and open the shop.

        don't always believe what you think...

        by claude on Sat Nov 15, 2008 at 01:52:48 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thanks, let me chew on it. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          claude, Bronx59

          I do have a few ideas - your email is @plateaul (with an "L"?)

          I'll drop you a note, drop me one when you got a min. Mine's in my profile, too. That's a numeral "1" after my name. Then I'll send you my private addy.

          Gracias - honored.

          "The first duty of government is to protect the powerless against the powerful."
          Code of Hammurabi, 1700 B.C.
          www.caringbridge.org/visit/brittany

          by CodeTalker on Sat Nov 15, 2008 at 04:02:29 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  CT, (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            CodeTalker

            plateautel.net

            don't always believe what you think...

            by claude on Sat Nov 15, 2008 at 05:24:53 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  LOL! (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              claude, Bronx59

              Wow, was I seeing things when I read your email addy!

              Or, it COULD have had something to do with my SO, who let my little feral cat buddy in - with a mouse in his mouth! I yelled NO! HE's got a mouse!, which of course only made him jump and let it go, whereupon it scampered right between my legs and under my office futon. In the mad scramble to get the futon pulled out and try to whack the half-dead thing, my laptop (which is on a sewing stool at the head end so I can type lying down, for my back) got skewed and almost fell, the cat went meowing under one of the desks looking for his prize, my SO still standing in the doorway yelling back What mouse? I didn't see a mouse!, and I'll freak out of a mouse runs across my bed tonight! And the dog, Shadow, joined in, whining at Sharon and trying to decide between in and out, I was on my hands and knees, the cat was trying to get under me and under the futon - and somehow in all that, I typed a reply, the cat began whining, the dog went out and back in again, Sharon got up on the couch slipper in hand, and a little mouse must be sitting in a corner somewhere, thanking his lucky stars....for now!

              "The first duty of government is to protect the powerless against the powerful."
              Code of Hammurabi, 1700 B.C.
              www.caringbridge.org/visit/brittany

              by CodeTalker on Sat Nov 15, 2008 at 06:43:29 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  thank you, penny (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rincewind, CodeTalker, Bronx59, penny8611

      I love to feel valued.  Nobody EVER gets enough strokes.

      AND thank you to all the other Homies who join me here, that "ad hoc cadre" I talk about. Experienced folks who have good advice for these things that all of us homeowners face.

      Remember that we folks in our 60s were raised by folks who endured/survived the Great Depression, and there is a lot of info/wisdom to be passed along,  i/w that some generations haven't felt the need for while things have been phat for the past generation or so.

      There is both old i/w dealing with basic house stuff, and a whole new continent of i/w about all the newer stuff that has become part of a house, like pre-wiring for computer terminals, which is a fairly recent development.

      don't always believe what you think...

      by claude on Sat Nov 15, 2008 at 01:20:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Some of us younguns raised by older parents... (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        claude, rincewind, CodeTalker, penny8611

        and learned a few things that way.  My parents lived through the depression in Ireland.  
        My paternal grandfather died when my father was 8 years old.  My father lied about his age to get on a road crew at 14 1/2 to support the family.

        Given that everyone knew everyone else there, I suspect now that whoever hired him knew my father's age and knew they really did need the money.  

        Sometimes the rules do have to be bent a bit.  

        •  Do we have the same family? (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          claude, Bronx59, penny8611

          That sounds almost exactly like my Dad's tale - they were Irish into NW PA mid 1800's post-famine, he worked on the rail at about age 15 unloading 100# sacks of sugar, because his own Dad had died of the flu at 40.

          Their wisdom AND insight has kept me aloft may a time when my own balloons had deflated! Plus my inate curiousity helped keep me abreast of more recent trends and info.

          I think the world lost something extremely valuable after the Industrial Revolution when families went to work in mills and such - the passing down of skills and wisdom around the table and workbench. I never wanted to lose my "hand skills," tho I had many chances to work in a white collar. Now I try to give my children and their young'uns what I can, and at least teach them how to THINK, how to solve problems, how to use their common sense to get by well.

          I learned a valuable lesson from a boss once, how to react under stress. You ask three Qs: What is the real problem here? What do I want the result to be? How do I get from here to there? Can't tell you how many times those simple steps have rescued otherwise  hopeless situations!

          "The first duty of government is to protect the powerless against the powerful."
          Code of Hammurabi, 1700 B.C.
          www.caringbridge.org/visit/brittany

          by CodeTalker on Sat Nov 15, 2008 at 04:15:51 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Kitchen Paint Pics (7+ / 0-)

    Moring Claude!

    Here are a couple of pics of the kitchen painting project:

    The tile countertops are all original 1949.  Fortunately, nobody in the 70's got the brililant idea to bust them out and put in Formica.  The round white thing on the wall in the second picture is the original exhaust fan.  It was quieter with better airflow than the "modern" one in the old range hood.  In the process, we also replaced the range hood and range, so now my dear wife has a window in the oven.  She rewarded us with scones this morning. :)

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

    by boatgeek on Sat Nov 15, 2008 at 09:18:20 AM PST

    •  Looks great, BG! n/t (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      claude, rincewind, Bronx59

      "The first duty of government is to protect the powerless against the powerful."
      Code of Hammurabi, 1700 B.C.
      www.caringbridge.org/visit/brittany

      by CodeTalker on Sat Nov 15, 2008 at 10:08:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  boatgeek (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CodeTalker, Bronx59

      are those the old timey steel cabinets?

      I like the color. Did you do the tile backsplash with the blue border?  You will appreciate the pics I hope to have next week, in which the blue line is little rectangular turquoise cabs.

      don't always believe what you think...

      by claude on Sat Nov 15, 2008 at 05:31:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Naw, they're not that unusual (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Bronx59

        They're straightforward plywood doors.  The carcasses are solid wood, for the most part.  I didn't notice the color of the line on the backsplash--it's actually a dark red.  You can see the color better on the bullnose at the edge of the counter.  We didn't have to do the backsplash, either--it was that way when we moved in 11 years ago.

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

        by boatgeek on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 04:36:41 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Looks like I missed the party, (5+ / 0-)

    but if anybody out there knows anything about dishwashers, I've got an ongoing battle with a portable Maytag Jetclean.  I bought it at the thrift store earlier this week (for 15 bucks!).  First, it needed a new coupling and hoses which I have now connected after figuring out that someone had converted this machine for a permanent install.  I have reconverted it to a portable, connected the water supply (finally!) only to discover that the damn thing doesn't want to function properly.  The rinse works, so it is not a water supply/switch problem.  And with a little persuasion I can get it to work on the gentle cycle.  Otherwise, no love.  Suggestions?  I really don't know anything much about appliance repair, but now I'm invested in this project and intent on having a working dishwasher.  Help!

    "Intelligent minds believe only in lost causes, realizing that all others are merely effects." -e.e. cummings

    by Super Grover on Sat Nov 15, 2008 at 11:11:49 AM PST

    •  More info (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      claude, rincewind, Fabian, Leo in NJ

      See if you can find an actual model number, and I may be able to walk you through a fix.

      You say it will rinse, which is good, but does the water drain? And, what do you mean by "doesn't want to function properly", and it will "work on the gentle cycle" - do you mean it will spin/spray on gentle but not otherwise? Please, more detail and numbers...

      "The first duty of government is to protect the powerless against the powerful."
      Code of Hammurabi, 1700 B.C.
      www.caringbridge.org/visit/brittany

      by CodeTalker on Sat Nov 15, 2008 at 11:33:04 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Sounds like the controller (5+ / 0-)

      although I wish you'd been more specific. See if you can take it apart and clean it; dirt may be fouling the electric contacts.

    •  never too late, grover (4+ / 0-)

      I usually check back hours later to catch up and address late comers.

      You can see that I am not alone in so doing.

      I agree this is a controller issue.  Many towns/small cities have an "appliance repair/salvage" person who reconditions old appliances and resells them cheap.  We got ten years out of a reconditioned 160 buck clothes washer. Find this person in your area.

      don't always believe what you think...

      by claude on Sat Nov 15, 2008 at 01:25:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  thanks. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        claude, rincewind, CodeTalker

        There's a guy right around the corner, actually.  I'm trying to keep this expenditure to the absolute minimum though, as my husband and I are broke and I can't justify spending any more money than I have to on a "luxury" item like a dishwasher.  I also enjoy the feeling of accomplishment and gratification I get from repairing something that would otherwise be useless and end up in a landfill, and instead becomes something useful in my home.  I'm sure you know the feeling.  Thanks again!

        "Intelligent minds believe only in lost causes, realizing that all others are merely effects." -e.e. cummings

        by Super Grover on Sat Nov 15, 2008 at 01:39:07 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The reason I asked (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          claude, Super Grover

          Getting the exact model number can lead me to "exploded drawings" and schematics, which I can read well enough to suggest ways to extract and repair various and sundry parts of all types. I just stripped down an old chain saw I'm rebuilding (see my post about it above) without help, because I have pages and pages of drawings. Getting that info could tell me how to clean those contacts and possibly make the controller work like new. Our clothes washer is 25+ years old and third-hand, and I did exactly that to it, plus I've rebuilt our gas dryer completely, even the gas burner and ignitor, and repaired our oven the same way - all because I know where to find schematics.

          I'll be on this page for a while longer if you do post that, and I'll try to point you in the right direction - I hate to spend money making repairs that I can do myself for free!

          "The first duty of government is to protect the powerless against the powerful."
          Code of Hammurabi, 1700 B.C.
          www.caringbridge.org/visit/brittany

          by CodeTalker on Sat Nov 15, 2008 at 04:24:35 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Where do yoiu get exploded drawings (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            claude, CodeTalker

            and schematics?  It would certainly be useful to have them. The model # is MDC4000AWX.  It's working, but the dial is particular.  You have to put it in just the right spot for it to begin the cycle.  Otherwise it seems to be working fine.  Except for a vey minor leak from the water intake on the bottom of the machine.  I think it may be leaking from the fitting on the end of the hose that attatches to the machine..  I'm deliberating with myself over whether to exchange the hose assembly for a new one.  The leak is very minor, and perfectly managable (maybe 1 tbsp. of water per use).  But then again I worry that it will worsen over time and I'll have to pay $50 for a new assembly at some point in the distant future.  Also, I'm not positive that that is where the leak is.  Any general advice on identifying the source of a drip in this type of application?  Thanks very much!

            "Intelligent minds believe only in lost causes, realizing that all others are merely effects." -e.e. cummings

            by Super Grover on Sat Nov 15, 2008 at 06:07:01 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Schematics/drawings here (oops - fell asleep) (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Bronx59, Super Grover

              (My pain meds do that to me sometimes, sorry.)

              OK, look here and here for starters. Yes, they look identical; click on a drawing on each page to see the difference in how they work. Nicest part? You can easily get a name, location, and part number for nearly everything, PLUS see how it all fits together!

              As far as the drip; I'd dry everything off carefully first. Then begin again, only with a large, dry newspaper/cardboard or similar dry material under where you noticed the drip, so you can see drips easily. Shut it all off including the water supply as soon as it drips, and try to trace it by sight and feel. Use a flashlight if necessary.

              For example, I do that with faucets, drying my fingers as I work up the pipe, supply line, supply valve, etc. You'd be surprised how easy it is to pinpoint the source of a leak with a dry fingertip and your eyes. Highest/lowest wet point usually will show you where the leak originates; then use a paper towel to dry THAT spot, looking for the next drop, repeat if necessary - and you can be sure nearly 99% of the time that you've pinpointed the source, that quickly.

              After that it's a question of how to stop it, is it a gasket/O ring/nut that needs tightening, and so on. This is where those drawings are worth their weight...

              "The first duty of government is to protect the powerless against the powerful."
              Code of Hammurabi, 1700 B.C.
              www.caringbridge.org/visit/brittany

              by CodeTalker on Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 07:12:04 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Well, I appreciate (0+ / 0-)

                your reply.  I will try your suggestions to try to identify the source of the leak.  I just have to figure out what I can put the machine up on while I'm trying to trace it.  When I was connecting the hoses and whatnot I just put it on its face, but I'm pretty sure it would be a bad idea to do that with the machine running..  Unfortunately your links do not work for me.  link 1 says: Error!, link 2 says I don't have permission.  Anyhow, thanks again.  I'll try and check in on Saturday and let you all know if I've made any progress.

                "Intelligent minds believe only in lost causes, realizing that all others are merely effects." -e.e. cummings

                by Super Grover on Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 08:36:51 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Broken links (0+ / 0-)

                As BG pointed out, those links won't work, so here are good ones; plus  -  anyone can use these to track down schematics for their own appliances.
                PartsSelect Maytag Jetclean

                Maytag Jetclean at Appliance Parts Warehouse

                There are other good sources for schematics - all I really do is Google by model number most of the time, the trick is in knowing which results are good and which ones are garbage pages. That comes with experience.

                "The first duty of government is to protect the powerless against the powerful."
                Code of Hammurabi, 1700 B.C.
                www.caringbridge.org/visit/brittany

                by CodeTalker on Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 10:05:27 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  My bad - I meant "SG", not "BG" n/t (0+ / 0-)

                  "The first duty of government is to protect the powerless against the powerful."
                  Code of Hammurabi, 1700 B.C.
                  www.caringbridge.org/visit/brittany

                  by CodeTalker on Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 10:07:00 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

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