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Good morning and welcome to SMHRB, the dKos DIY group.

We meet here every Saturday morning, to share, chat, exchange ideas, and answer questions about taking care of our homes and property, thereby (hopefully) becoming more self-sufficient AND enjoying the satisfaction of knowing that we really can do it ourselves.

I'm CodeTalker, your cat-herder and bottle-washer, and I'm inviting all Kossaks to drop in, join in, or just lurk for a while. Hope you have a nice morning beverage and a comfortable chair; please feel free to jump in anytime, ask a question, andswer a question, or just post a comment, because that's what it's all about.

Follow us as we toss/across the dKos curl - there's more!

From building things to maintaining them to fixing them when they break; from "fixin' stupid" to just plain doing it right the first time; we like to pass along what we've learned over the years, and hope you benefit from it, whatever you're interested in. Some of us are, or were, professionals in our fields; most of us are true do-it-yourself'ers, and all of us are pretty well-versed in the WHY and HOW of DIY, whether it applies to our hovels or homes, our palaces or properties, or even our cars, computers, carpets or crap - whatever it is, if you need to know something... just ask, and someone here can probably help you with it!

Among us are carpenters and plumbers and contractors and roofers and painters and welders and mechanics and farmers and well, name it - one or more of us has probably got experience in that field. And that's what it's all about - we do this because we want to, we do it for the satisfaction, we do it for the experience, and we do it because we're just the sort of "I CAN" people who don't want to HAVE to have someone else do it for us!

Then too, this is also our chance to "relax," doing what we love to do, taking a break from the madness that politics has become, sharing what we believe has lasting value - along with the attitude that we don't have to be at the mercy of others who just want to get paid for doing something, and STILL might not do the job the right way. Remember, even if you don't actually do it yourself, the understanding you have about why and how to do it will also help you make sure the job gets done correctly AND help ensure your hard-earned money is well-spent!

But most of all, we do this because we have to; we care about others and what they have to deal with, and we'd hate to see someone get stuck or worse, ripped off, with nowhere to turn for answers.

We're here to HELP.

**A reminder to anyone who can type - if you can add a DIY diary to the list, just let CJB know by a comment below; she keeps the calendar of who's scheduled for what and when. You're all welcome to contribute; we love to read about problems, successes, or failures, whatever you have, as long as you're willing to share them with us.**

So sit back, crank up your Rube-Goldberg inspired bicycle-based pedal-powered atomic-integrated keyboard/swizzle-stick/apple-pickin'/paint-mixin'/language-translatin' monstrosity you work at, crack your knuckles if you must, sip that nice hot cuppa, and let's get this show on the road...

Take it away, DIY'ers!

Originally posted to CodeTalker on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 06:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Saturday Morning Home Repair.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tipped jar (26+ / 0-)

    Just because...

    "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 Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 10:37:16 AM PDT

  •  Good (wet) morning, everyone... (15+ / 0-)

    Rainy and chilly here - what's it like where you are?

    "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 06:03:14 AM PDT

  •  Dang cold here (16+ / 0-)

    18 degrees F in the Northern Rockies.

    Glad we got the furnace filter cleaned last week for the first time since it was installed two years ago. It has a high end electrostatic feature which kept a lot of the wildfire smoke particulates out of our lungs these past few months.

    Another surprise arrived this week, a letter from the state tax folks auditing us for the energy tax credit for the new furnace. Luckily, we have all the documentation. Remember, save all the receipts when doing energy conservation improvements!

    "I come close to despair because so many of the pieces of the country are broken, and when you see that, you have two choices: You can give up, or you can do something about it." Elizabeth Warren

    by Ed in Montana on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 06:27:41 AM PDT

  •  Got cold here last night. No freeze yet. (14+ / 0-)

    I'm glad we put an electric baseboard heater in an always cold, except in the the summer when it's always hot, bedroom that has 4 of 6 surfaces exposed to the outside. Easy and useful, and it got it's first use of the season.

    Don't "boo". Vote! President Obama, to the voters at his rallies

    by lexalou on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 06:31:09 AM PDT

  •  Cool & Post-Rainy Here in NE Ohio (15+ / 0-)

    I've got to pack up a couple of my artisan business orders to ship this morning, good ol' USPS, then off for the week's grocery shopping.

    As our 40's little cape style house was only partially rewired when majorly renovated for sale half a dozen years ago, today might be a good day to spend attempting to trace the maze of wiring across the basement ceiling, and thoroughly identify all the breakers which is only partly finished at this point.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 06:31:30 AM PDT

  •  Good morning, Fixers :) (11+ / 0-)

    Anyone here have any experience with
    Tile-Redi shower pans?

    I asked about this a while back, [when the contractor
    was Supposed to start this job....Do Not get me started :) ],
    and was hoping that someone had worked with them
    since I first inquired.

    Since it's a second-floor bathroom, I was really concerned
    about possible leaks, and these one-piece bases seem
    like a good idea--altho a bit pricey.

    Are they worth it?
    Any leads on a good place to purchase?
    Do they work as well as they claim to?
    Any caveats that I can pass on to the contractor?

    Thanks :)

    •  Glen should be along to answer that (10+ / 0-)

      My understanding of shower pans in general is that you  don't rely solely on the pan to prevent leaks, but prep the area under it to catch any water that does leak through. You might google for the proper installation procedures so that you can discuss THAT with your contractor and monitor the process as it happens to make sure they don't take shortcuts. Your fears are founded because of the location, but that's why there is a recommended way to install them rather than let each installer dream up how they want to do it.

      BTW - this principle applies to MANY areas - such as roofing. We had a new roof put on 7 years ago; it was done by the book according to the system we chose, from the rafters up, and we even exceeded specs in one way, by doubling the area covered by ice and water membrane. This makes the 25 year warranty roofing system valid; too many people hire guys who "stand behind their work" but may take shortcuts that might invalidate an actual warranty, and leave a homeowner on their own in the event of a failure. That's why knowing yourself what the requirements are can save you much hassle years down the road, and IMO it's one of the most important facets of hiring contractors - so you can make sure they do it by the book and therefore have the full force of the warranty behind you rather than have to argue for a claim settlement knowing the proper methods might not have been used.

      It pays to know how and why things are done a certain way, and IMO is more important than price when it comes to making an investment worthwhile because then you can help ensure a job is up to standards - right exlrrp? This is one of James nightmares - not only was he an inspector checking on contractors, he even lives in a place where that was never done by the previous owner, who apparently made procedures up each day depending on how he felt or maybe which way the wind was blowing as he installed loads and loads of stupid, which James has had to tear out and redo, one by one by one by one - well, you get the idea.

      Hope that helps!
      John

      "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 07:13:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I had never heard of them...but just went to (8+ / 0-)

      check online.

      you might want to talk this over with your tile installer...and if you do use...have it installed by somebody has used this product before.

      I found a lot of complaints about flexing of poorly installed units.


      We are not broke, we are being robbed.

      by Glen The Plumber on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 07:22:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Follow the directions (10+ / 0-)

      EXACTLY! and they are an excellent solution for an all tile shower.  

      The old method of a soldered sheet lead floor and wall liner, with the correct weep-hole type drain fitting (these bronze beauties cost several hundred bucks), dry packed mortar tile base, reinforced floor framing to handle the weight, etc. worked well, and would cost a fortune if you could even find an old timer with the skills to put one in correctly.

      An access hatch in the ceiling below the trap is a good idea.   Trimmed with matching door casing it can look pretty good, although one wouldn't like it in the ceiling of your formal dining room.

      Test everything well before you close it in, because the smallest of drips will become a spreading brown cancer in the ceiling below.  Cover the drain with a piece of garbage bag, fill the pan to the rim and let it stand for several hours.  Look carefully for any leaks.

      Labor was the first price paid for all things. It was not by money, but by labour, that all wealth of the world was originally purchased. - Adam Smith

      by boatwright on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 07:36:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Forgot to mention (9+ / 0-)

        Bed the pan in mortar to prevent flexing.

        Labor was the first price paid for all things. It was not by money, but by labour, that all wealth of the world was originally purchased. - Adam Smith

        by boatwright on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 07:38:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Let me add a small point or two... (9+ / 0-)

        Any time you caulk around a tub, fill it with water first. The weight will help it settle a tiny bit and give the best results; too often they get caulked dry, which may stretch the caulk bead when filled, eventually leading to failure. I know - it's happened to my work.

        The difference between a "pro" and an "amateur" is often that the pro knows these tips and shortcuts, as well as following recommended methods and procedures, and that can be the difference between long-term success and a failure.

        A neighbor recently bought the duplex he now rents, and second on his list of projects (after new windows) is a new roof; however, he's hiring a "friend" who will give him a new roof for a good price and who "stands behind his work" - all well and good as far as it goes, but it doesn't go far enough. If he installs the roof the way most "casual" contractors do, it won't be according to the roofing manufacturers' own guidelines - which, after all, will include more steps to be sure the structure is prepared for all that new roofing, and thus be more expensive. They will NOT honor a warranty if the roofing is not done according to THEIR methodology, leaving it all up to the "friend" to take care of problems - and my neighbor with no real guarantee unless they can agree on what to do, NOT a good way to spend your money.

        He also has a "buddy" who will convert their 60A wiring to "200 amp for $300 each side" - which is a physical impossibility for several reasons. 1-No power company will rewire from 60A to 200A from the pole in unless it passes inspection. 2-no upgrade CAN pass inspection in the city unless it's done by a licensed electrician - which this guy is NOT. 3-that means, instead of upgrading, all he's buying is a disconnect notice if the guy puts new panels in for 200A service, leaving them out of their own home. 4-to fix that, he'll have to hire a licensed electrician and also have to pay to rip out what was already installed and didn't pass, easily doubling the entire cost of rewiring.

        Lesson? Sometimes there ARE NO shortcuts, you simply have to work by the rules and zoning regs. Above all, don't rely on a "buddy" to do anything that will require an inspection, but save yourself the grief and money and get it done correctly the first time.

        Thanks for the bedding in mortar tip, boatwright - I remember reading that one too, because flexing will eventually lead to a leak or outright failure of a pan.
         DD73 - plumbing shouldn't scare you, and you HAVE made several plumbing projects work without disaster; like electrical projects, if you study up beforehand and plan the project out in advance, doublecheck the requirements and are sure it meets them, make sure you're safe from being zapped, take your time and use common sense, you can do it.

        In jobs that don't require licensed sparks or plumbers, that is!

        When I work on my car - new brakes, for example - and then go on the highway and drive at highway speeds for several hours, I do so because I trust my work, not because I like to gamble, since my life is literally on the line then. And I trust my work because I've studied what's involved in the repairs I do, taken the time to make sure they're done correctly, used a checklist (even if only a mental one) to be sure I didn't leave anything out, and finally, have gone BACK over a job to be sure I didn't forget something vital. Given that, we've been using the furnace I rebuilt myself for over 12 years without incident, rely on plumbing I installed (with "only" 2 minor leaks over the years - well, minor because I shut the water off before it flooded the place!), and have put many, many thousands of miles on cars I've maintained myself - even as far as wheel bearings and brakes, which are kinda important - and all because I don't guess and I don't improvise when it's critical.

        The important difference between a pro mechanic and a DIY backyard wrench is mostly education - knowing what to do and how to do it are the reason we pay others to do certain things we prefer not to take chances with. But if you take the time to learn how things are supposed to be done you can benefit either way - if you do the work yourself, or if you hire someone and are then able to verify that THEY did it correctly. BOTH result in a win for you!

        "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 08:28:37 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  All very true, but I have to add one thing (10+ / 0-)

          No matter the project or scope, it's also good to know when you're out of your league.

          Example: when I bought the house, the light in the second bedroom didn't work. No big deal, right? Pull the light, hook up whichever wire was missed, check the switch, and away we go...

          Or not. When I pulled the light, there were six wires hanging from the ceiling. After 2 good zaps, I realized there was more going on electrically than I could do, so I called the electrician (subsequently the whole house was rewired from K&T). The previous owner had crossed this light with a plug in the kitchen, and one in the other bedroom. His ineptitude over the years led to layers of teh Stupid.

          And I miss working on cars. I opened the hood of my '09 Accent when I got it, and quickly reclosed it. With CVVT, TPMS, ESC, ABS, TCS...you really do need a diagnostic computer now. Meanwhile, my brother-in-law has never even seen a carbuerator. If my wife ever lets me get a project car, it'll be an early 70's lead sled. As a win-win, she can't drive stick :)

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

          by DeathDlr73 on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 09:08:26 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Why you long-haired hippie homeowner, you! (8+ / 0-)

            Actually, I shouldn't tease you - we had similar problems when we bought this shack; 2 outlets have actually smoked on us over the years due to cheap fixtures and poor wiring practices. I've replaced nearly all fixtures in the house for that reason, and have come across some pretty dumb wiring mistakes just like you did.

            None of them compare to what the former tenant did across the street, though. My neighbor owns it and she asked me to go see why they couldn't turn the breaker on for the kitchen lights as the tenant had just moved out and she couldn't turn the overhead light on to clean... I saw a little smoke trace as soon as I got near the switch, so went right to the panel and made sure the breaker was off.

            After pulling the cover plate I could see shorts burns on the wire, the switch, AND the box, so I just pulled the switch and wiring out and disconnected them all, then tried to figure out just what he had done... near as I could make out, he had stuck a new ceiling fixture up, since it was obviously new and not even dirty yet - pulled that right away but all was OK, except for not having the splice nuts taped, something I always do.

            Back to the switch, traced a total of 6 wires; just the feed and two loads (ceiling fixture and passthrough for outlet below switch), but the wires he had hooked to the switch weren't the ones for the light OR the outlet, they were the 2 coming from the breaker panel!!! Great - turn switch ON, blow breaker with a dead short! No wonder the scorch mark went right up the wall!

            Talk about teh Stupid!
            Go ahead, top THAT, I dare you!

            "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 12:00:07 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Will write about this one soon... (7+ / 0-)

              got a good picture of what crashing through a ceiling looks like while insulating the attic, can't get it in here though. Attack of the stupid on this one goes back to the original builders.

              After pulling up the floorboards in the attic to lay the insulation, I was careful to only step only the joists, not in between. Unfortunately, someone cheaped out on nails a century ago; one joist was never nailed in at the ends. It folded over, I landed on the second floor's kitchen linoleum.

              Now let's not even go into the business park I used to manage.....:)!

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

              by DeathDlr73 on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 12:51:23 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Incidentally, some of the nieghbors... (6+ / 0-)

              ...were actually worried when they saw the long-hair in a Metallica T-shirt moving in. Had to go introduce myself to all of them ASAP. Apparently the previous owner's son also had long hair...and a serious drug and stealing problem.

              Besides, I never knew what the southern phrase "hair across your ass" meant until I grew it out to cover some scars...

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

              by DeathDlr73 on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 01:05:12 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Sigh... I think you have me beat (5+ / 0-)

              I don't think it compares, but the former owner of our house pulled out a 100-amp (or so) fusebox and dropped in a 200-amp breaker panel.  Didn't bother to update the service, though.  Oops.  fortunately, we didn't add enough loads to the panel to burn the house down.  

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

              by boatgeek on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 01:38:28 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Not trying to beat anyone here... (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Aunt Pat, Unknown Quantity, mama jo

                ...just keep coming across stuff with the label "WTF" time and again.

                Perhaps the previous owner intended to upgrade the service until he saw the cost of doing so? At least you're off fuses; we had a nearby lightning strike a few months ago, and the folks across the street had every appliance in the house blown.

                If you do upgrade the service at some point, ask for a net meter. That way if you ever add solar or a generator they can accurate measure your usage...and maybe reduce the bill if you generate more than you use. Current meters are often inaccurate, but new meters cost the electric company some bank.

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

                by DeathDlr73 on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 01:47:53 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  PS - thanks for your good comment, too! n/t (6+ / 0-)

            "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 12:01:04 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  This whole thread reminds me of why... (9+ / 0-)

      ...plumbing scares me. The smallest mistake can lead to huge problems...and I do dumb things. Here in MA, incidentally, it's illegal to do any plumbing work (even in your own house) unless you're liscenced. Guess I won't tell them about the toilet, or the sink, or the sump pump....

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

      by DeathDlr73 on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 07:48:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  good morning SMHRB crew... (9+ / 0-)

    is anybody else ready for the time to change back..??

    last weekend I went to help build a Sukkah at the Synagogue...and last night night the little one along with many other little ones slept in it...she was very excited...we'll see how excited she is this morning after sleeping on the cold hard concrete last night...myself...I was very comfortable in my memory foam bed.


    We are not broke, we are being robbed.

    by Glen The Plumber on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 07:48:03 AM PDT

  •  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 ]

  •  Busy weekend for me here in MN (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    boatgeek

    Which is why I'm commenting on a Monday.

    A few weeks ago I mentioned the Basement Stair Disaster. I was going to post pics here, but was unable to figure out how in a timely fashion. Suffice to say, my replacement stairs are perfectly pitched, and solid as the concrete I secured them to.

    The biggest reason I was motivated to do the stairs (besides safety) was so that I could build a sub-nano scale brewery in my basement. This project is well underway now, with the utilities mostly done, and the parts mostly acquired. I'm taking pictures along the way, and once completed, I'll try and post some highlights here.

    I'm blogging about it, and about my nascent beer activism here:

    http://fourelementsbrewing.squarespace.com/

  •  link to tankless vs tank discussion (0+ / 0-)

    with recirculating system and the smaller popint of use electric hw heater.

    I may have posted this a couple of weeks ago, but anyway:
    Tankless vs Tank Hot Water and more

    work back into the forum for more topics similar, but this one seemed to well cover your comment the other day.

    This machine kills Fascists.

    by KenBee on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 12:08:08 AM PDT

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