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Aranarth
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Re: Anyone repair anything today?

Mon Feb 18, 2019 8:22 am

notfred wrote:
During Snowmageddon (about 40cm) on Wednesday I was having problems with my snowblower. It's an ancient Sears Craftsman 8hp 25" model that I've for 12 years but I'm the 3rd owner. It would drive with the gears properly, but attempting to pull it back manually would cause the transmission to jam. I took a look yesterday and found the axle bearing on one side is half missing - just completely worn through and disintegrated. I also checked over the rest, belts were good, plug looks good. I've had a few problems with it running rich when warmed up so I checked and adjusted the carburettor. I ordered some parts yesterday while the stores were open, 2 new bearings, 2 new axle washers and 1 new bearing retainer based on one bearing is gone so the rest of the parts are probably pretty worn out. I have the original manual but the parts guy had fun trying to find the part numbers and what they were now as pretty much every part has been superseded, some 2 or 3 times over.


Proof positive they don't make em like they used to.
These days it would have been a throw away and buy a new one.
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cheesyking
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Re: Anyone repair anything today?

Mon Apr 08, 2019 11:24 am

I've got a whole bunch of repairs to add:

I now have a working handbrake in my car. The outer of one of the cables had collapsed so it was just concertinaring up rather then applying the brake. I was expecting this to be a complete nightmare to do without lifting the car on a hoist but it turns out VW aren't complete ******s and the only reason you even have to even jack it up is to get the wheel off to fit the caliper end of the cable. The other end of the cable just gets shoved into a metal pipe underneath the back seat that brings it out ready to clipped into the handbrake itself.

Fixed the exhaust vibration in the same car... I'd had to put a new cat on it and being an aftermarket cheapo cat some of its mounts weren't in quite the right places. A tiny amount of bending has made a huge difference as the mounts no longer rub on the body. It's amazing how such a small thing can make such a big difference and I'm not sure how I put up with it for so long.

I got an old clock working. It's nothing that fancy, 7 day movement with a nice Roman numeral 12" dial in a slightly tatty wooden case. It had been hanging on a wall stuck at 5:20 for at least 15 years. Turned out there were 3 major faults:

The wall I had it on was nowhere near vertical.
The mechanism had fallen off the back of the dial and was only held on by the hands.
The mech was quite heavy and when it fell off it had bent all the friction drive stuff up so when I remounted it the hands just flopped around.

Back on the theme of tiny things that can completely ruin something... After reassembling that clock for the 3rd or 4th time trying to get the tension on the hands right it just stopped working. It would tick 4-5 times and stop. I don't play around with clocks that much, I've broken 100% of all the clocks and watches I've ever opened before so I was on the verge of putting it back on the wall at 5:20 before I made things any worse. Just as I was putting the pendulum back in I noticed that the tiny bit of spring steel that acts as the fulcrum at the top was slightly bent, maybe 40 degrees from vertical and sure enough that was the problem.
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Mr Bill
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Re: Anyone repair anything today?

Mon Apr 08, 2019 11:39 am

I uncovered the swamp cooler and set it up late Sunday afternoon. This Swamp cooler has been on this house since at least the 1990's and maybe as far back as the mid 1970's. We have really great water here. Its finally starting to rust out the bottom but so far a little screen and some tar has taken care of that.

So, Sunday, inside temperature was 69 and we have kept the house at 60 all winter. It felt quite a bit too warm. Also, my 200 gallon aquarium has a setpoint of 76F and had risen to 79F due to this warming of the house. We turned off the heat and left the swamp cooler on low all night. This morning we woke to 45F in the house and the aquarium is back at 76F. For the next few weeks we will probably just run the cooler a bit in the evening, then start running it on vent over night and it will probably be several weeks before we start actually running it on cool full time to keep the house cool.
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Re: Anyone repair anything today?

Mon Apr 08, 2019 12:14 pm

We picked up a dehumidifier over the weekend. Going to try the A/C at 78* with the dehumidifier set at 40% instead of 76*. Should be a net power savings. So far last night was quite comfortable. (We're in the 90's here during the day now).
 
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Re: Anyone repair anything today?

Mon Apr 08, 2019 12:18 pm

My precious giant Catnapper had a rivet break in the reclining mechanism yesterday. I tell ya, I can handle a PC going down, got plenty of spares, but when my chair stopped reclining, it was downright unsettling. I didn't want to mess around with such a critical repair, so I picked up a short shoulder bolt, a 1/2" grade 8 bolt, some grade 8 washers, and a grade 8 nylon lock nut to match. On a whim, I also snagged a bronze sleeve bearing with a flange. The shoulder bolt was a touch too big, and I couldn't maneuver my drill into place to solve the problem. Thankfully, my 1/2" bolt backup plan worked fine, nice and clean too with the Dremeled-short sleeve bearing filling the gap and reducing slop in the larger of the old rivet's two holes. I'm not thrilled that the threads from the bolt are in direct contact with some of the armature but it's the best I could do within reason.
 
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Re: Anyone repair anything today?

Mon Apr 08, 2019 1:53 pm

I did the opposite of repair: I had a nasty old shed (old farm homestead) taking up valuable real estate in my back yard that I finally got sick of enough to do something about.

I initially thought maybe I would strip the siding and roof off and build a small greenhouse/firewood kiln out of the remaining frame, but while cleaning it out I leaned on the door frame and the whole shed leaned over by about 4 inches under just the force of me leaning on it. So out comes the chain and a set of lag bolts, which I attached to the roofline and a tow strap. 5 minutes and a tug by the truck later and I end up with this:

Image

That process was a bit unnerving because as it tipped over (which I expected), all the walls flattened out like a book on its spine (which I didn't), which gave the shed quite a bit more reach than I had anticipated. Even with a 20' tow strap attached to the chain, it got within a foot of my bumper which ended up a little too puckery for me. :o

I forgot what fun (kinda) good ol' demo work can be when the weather is nice. With a sawzall, pry bar, and a nice 34" sledge, I had it basically reduced to a flattened-out tin roof and pile of old shingles by the end of the weekend when the rain chased me back inside.

I also had the foresight to pick up a magnetic sweeper, which came in super handy because the shed was probably at least 60 years old and filled with old forged nails, which it happily shedded everywhere when I toppled it over. Hopefully tonight I can finish cleaning up the site and decide if I'm going to frame up a kiln or discard the site entirely, which means tearing up and hauling away like 8 tons of concrete pad.
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Chuckaluphagus
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Re: Anyone repair anything today?

Tue Apr 09, 2019 8:49 am

Mr Bill wrote:
This morning we woke to 45F in the house

If I ever caused this to happen, my wife would play the grieving widow and they would never find my body. :D
 
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Re: Anyone repair anything today?

Tue Apr 09, 2019 9:56 am

More plumbing fun. One of the flex lines in the kitchen faucet had given out, but my wife and I had talked about wanting a pull-out sprayer faucet anyway, so this Saturday she got her wish. New flex lines, new Delta faucet with a soap dispenser.

Installation was pretty easy other than the under-sink valves being stuck open, probably due to hard water. I just turned off water at the main valve in the basement. A minor inconvenience.

Image
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Re: Anyone repair anything today?

Tue Apr 09, 2019 1:53 pm

I did this also. But now I have to crawl under and fix it because the hot water supply hose was barely long enough. I stretched it to fit and now its been leaking. Another thing, these new faucets have only 1/8" ID hoses. The old faucet had 3/8" and flowed like a monster.
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Usacomp2k3
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Re: Anyone repair anything today?

Tue Apr 09, 2019 4:06 pm

I hate low-flow crap. If I want low flow, I won't open the faucet/shower handle all the way. Grr.
 
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Re: Anyone repair anything today?

Tue Apr 09, 2019 11:39 pm

Mr Bill wrote:
Another thing, these new faucets have only 1/8" ID hoses. The old faucet had 3/8" and flowed like a monster.

Yeah, I noticed that when I changed our kitchen sink faucet last year. Seems like the only way around that now is to either purchase the washtub-style faucet assembly with the 1/2" FIP connectors on the back side, or go hunting for something rated for commercial install.
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Re: Anyone repair anything today?

Wed Apr 10, 2019 7:18 am

Usacomp2k3 wrote:
I hate low-flow crap. If I want low flow, I won't open the faucet/shower handle all the way. Grr.

About half the low-flow stuff has a little limiter you can remove "if you have low water pressure". The other half gets a date with a power drill.
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MileageMayVary
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Re: Anyone repair anything today?

Wed Apr 10, 2019 9:05 am

I changed the oil in my wife's car. There was just enough leftover in the 5qt jug to change the oil in the lawnmower too!
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derFunkenstein
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Re: Anyone repair anything today?

Fri Apr 12, 2019 1:15 pm

Mr Bill wrote:
Another thing, these new faucets have only 1/8" ID hoses. The old faucet had 3/8" and flowed like a monster.

In my case it wasn't a problem because the faucet I replaced was also a low-flow unit. But then I go to my parents' house and turn on the water and it's like a ride at Sea World. Big disappointment, but sometimes it be like that. :lol:
SuperSpy wrote:
About half the low-flow stuff has a little limiter you can remove "if you have low water pressure". The other half gets a date with a power drill.

I didn't spend very long wondering about modifications. The line going into the integrated sprayer is attached to the stem by a little plastic clip and nothing else. It's quite remarkable but any more pressure and I'm sure I'd blow it up.
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The Swamp
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Re: Anyone repair anything today?

Sat Apr 13, 2019 3:53 pm

I fixed a garage door opener which had a blown run capacitor. It's the second time I've had to replace the cap in the past year. Area has dirty power.
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Mr Bill
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Re: Anyone repair anything today?

Mon Apr 15, 2019 1:01 pm

derFunkenstein wrote:
Mr Bill wrote:
Another thing, these new faucets have only 1/8" ID hoses. The old faucet had 3/8" and flowed like a monster.

In my case it wasn't a problem because the faucet I replaced was also a low-flow unit. But then I go to my parents' house and turn on the water and it's like a ride at Sea World. Big disappointment, but sometimes it be like that. :lol:
SuperSpy wrote:
About half the low-flow stuff has a little limiter you can remove "if you have low water pressure". The other half gets a date with a power drill.

I didn't spend very long wondering about modifications. The line going into the integrated sprayer is attached to the stem by a little plastic clip and nothing else. It's quite remarkable but any more pressure and I'm sure I'd blow it up.
I hooked in an extension line to relieve the strain. But the leaking is now in the faucets below the sink. Time for another trip to the hardware store. All the plumbing in this 1955 home is 1/2" copper. So I feel your 'Sea World' comment and I would not have it any other way in the shower. I installed a valve to throttle the flow and save the hot water but its great to let it blast when you want to.
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Re: Anyone repair anything today?

Mon Apr 15, 2019 1:04 pm

Mr Bill wrote:
All the plumbing in this 1955 home is 1/2" copper. So I feel your 'Sea World' comment.

Stuff from that vintage is all thin-wall to boot. Turning on the water at MiL's camp every spring meant replacing some pipe somewhere.
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Re: Anyone repair anything today?

Tue Apr 16, 2019 11:39 am

Tonight, I will be replacing the undersink faucets. Hope that works out OK.
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Re: Anyone repair anything today?

Wed Apr 17, 2019 8:45 am

I swear all these posts about plumbing have jinxed me.

Last night just before headed in bed I hear the unmistakable *pip* *pip* *pip* *pip* of water droplets striking concrete at a precise interval. I head down to the basement and find not one, but two little wet spots, one from the furnace dehumidifier that's gotten clogged and is very slowly overflowing, which wasn't the source of the noise as it has a drain hose. As it was 2am I just opted to close it off until I get a chance to clean it. The second was a faucet for an old laundry hookup whose valve must be getting ready to die. I cycled the valve then closed it as hard as I could with my hand and it stopped dripping as far as I could tell, but I have a feeling I will be replacing that valve anyway as they tend to start back up again.
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just brew it!
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Re: Anyone repair anything today?

Sun Apr 21, 2019 7:56 pm

The TV upgrade misadventure I posted about in DYMT a little while back is finally over. After getting the third party VESA stand attached and getting everything hooked up, I discovered that we had an audio sync issue. Since our sound system is still "old school" (~20 years old), it has no digital optical input; but the new TV's ONLY audio out is optical. Because of this the audio from the cable box and DVD player were routed directly to the stereo over analog connections, causing them to be slightly ahead of the picture due to latency in the TV.

The solution to the audio sync issue was one of these and one of these. Now the sound system takes the digital audio out from the TV. As an added side benefit, there's no longer a need to switch the audio source on the receiver between cable box and DVD.

While I had everything pulled out (again), I figured I might as well also add Bluetooth audio capability to the stereo. One of these seems to do a reasonable job. It's plugged into a phone charger for power, and double-side taped to the top of the receiver so the Bluetooth pairing button is easily accessible.

I also vacuumed up a decade worth of dust bunnies, and removed at least a half dozen assorted cables, power cords, and power bricks which were still stuffed back there but no longer connected to anything. :lol:

So now we have a fully functional frikkin' huge TV, and the family room sound system has finally been brought forward into the new millennium. :wink:
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JustAnEngineer
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Re: Anyone repair anything today?

Sun Apr 21, 2019 9:04 pm

just brew it! wrote:
Our sound system is still "old school" (~20 years old), it has no digital optical input. The solution was one of these and one of these and one of these.
I would have suggested one of these as a good solution.

I spent a lot more than that in 1997 to get an Integra TX DS838 that included multiple digital inputs and outputs.
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just brew it!
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Re: Anyone repair anything today?

Sun Apr 21, 2019 9:06 pm

JustAnEngineer wrote:
just brew it! wrote:
Our sound system is still "old school" (~20 years old), it has no digital optical input. The solution was one of these and one of these and one of these.

I would have suggested one of these as a good solution.

I spent a lot more than that in 1997 to get an Integra TX DS838 that included multiple digital inputs and outputs.

Something along those lines was "Plan B". Figured I'd try the solution which costs an order of magnitude less first. :wink:
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Waco
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Re: Anyone repair anything today?

Mon Apr 22, 2019 12:07 am

The wife and I have been on a bit of a jet ski kick lately. Built a trailer for a pair of small jet skis we bought recently (Kawasaki X2 and JS550). Hit the lake for the first time today with the third ski we picked up, a Yamaha Waverunner 500, and the JS550. The wife pulled the guts out of the X2 and it's currently sitting gutted waiting for her to decide what color she's painting it after she finishes fiberglassing.

Of the two...the Yamaha just freakin' worked. It sat for 12 years before it saw water today - and all it took was new plugs, fresh fuel lines, and a small coupler for the water drain at the nose. The carb needs a bit of tuning, but it started every time and rode pretty well!

The JS550 did not fair as well. I'm pretty n00bish at riding standups, but unfortunately that wasn't the problem. The prior owner didn't winterize it properly (after he broke the gas cap) and there was a bit of water / old fuel in the tank we didn't realize was there on first inspection. It runs GREAT until it picks up some of the water/crap/whatever was on the bottom of the tank and dies instantly. I nearly did a tail stand when I first gunned it (it has some kick!) but then after cruising for a minute or so it just died. Rinse, repeat, till I beached it and had fun with the other ski we brought plus the few our friends brought.

Not a very good repair story - but given these skis are all from the late 80s, I was surprised how easy it was to get them going again!


The worst part? Broke my big toe falling off our friend's trailer because I misjudged the edge when scampering away from the hose he was using to clean off the skis. :lol: Leave it to me to get injured not riding standups when I'm getting older...but to fall off the damn trailer.
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derFunkenstein
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Re: Anyone repair anything today?

Thu May 02, 2019 10:46 am

Not exactly broken, but I transplanted a Game Boy Advance into a new aftermarket shell last night. The hinges were a pain to remove, but once I popped them out and could examine them, reassembly was easy. Best part is that it worked just like new on the first try.

The shell is a nearly-perfect recreation of the Nintendo original, too. It even included the sticker with a fake serial number to go on the back and a nice embossed Nintendo logo to go on the lid. The only weird oddity is that sometimes the power light turns red. Tapping the power switch fixes it, so it's not like the new aftermarket battery is low on juice.

I did not replace the screen cover. It's glued to the display and the stock one was not scratched enough to bother me. OTOH, the body was very worn and the L shoulder button was intermittent. The new shell fixed that. Only $12 on Amazon.
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Mr Bill
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Re: Anyone repair anything today?

Thu May 02, 2019 12:23 pm

Mr Bill wrote:
Tonight, I will be replacing the undersink faucets. Hope that works out OK.
Well, the hot water side was a bugger to get off. But no more leaks. The new half turn ball valve slightly restricts the flow. Guess I'll keep an eye out for one with a larger ID in the ball valve. After seeing that the hot water flow was lessened, I left the cold water side alone because it was not leaking and it saves having to shut the water mains off at the curb. There is a valve under the house in the crawl space but no way am I crawling on my belly that far in spider webs, etc.
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Chuckaluphagus
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Re: Anyone repair anything today?

Fri May 03, 2019 9:12 am

derFunkenstein wrote:
Not exactly broken, but I transplanted a Game Boy Advance into a new aftermarket shell last night.

Somehow, it never occurred to me that this was a product. I'm tempted to buy one and then fit it with Pi Zero, screen etc.
 
derFunkenstein
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Re: Anyone repair anything today?

Fri May 03, 2019 9:46 am

Chuckaluphagus wrote:
derFunkenstein wrote:
Not exactly broken, but I transplanted a Game Boy Advance into a new aftermarket shell last night.

Somehow, it never occurred to me that this was a product. I'm tempted to buy one and then fit it with Pi Zero, screen etc.

This is the one I got. For less than $15 it sounds like a pi project could be interesting, assuming it fits.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01M2X7253/

edit: a pi zero might fit better into a GB Color aftermarket housing, not sure. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N1LQ7DZ/
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Chuckaluphagus
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Re: Anyone repair anything today?

Fri May 03, 2019 12:54 pm

derFunkenstein wrote:
Chuckaluphagus wrote:
derFunkenstein wrote:
Not exactly broken, but I transplanted a Game Boy Advance into a new aftermarket shell last night.

Somehow, it never occurred to me that this was a product. I'm tempted to buy one and then fit it with Pi Zero, screen etc.

This is the one I got. For less than $15 it sounds like a pi project could be interesting, assuming it fits.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01M2X7253/

edit: a pi zero might fit better into a GB Color aftermarket housing, not sure. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N1LQ7DZ/

Thank you. If I give that a whirl, I'll post about it.
_______________________

Not sure if this counts as a repair, so much as "correcting a grievous design flaw": I swapped out the original, abominable clickpad on my wife's Thinkpad T440p for a unit with proper, physical buttons (following this page). If you're not familiar, the T440 was where Lenovo said, "Actually, we hate our customers," and downgraded the previously-used-and-entirely-serviceable touchpad+physical buttons to the world's worst clickpad with no individual physical buttons, just multitouch and a chunky click that had ridiculously deep travel and was terribly imprecise.

My wife got this laptop for work, and actually hasn't used it in years because the lack of buttons makes the user experience so bad. She's been limping along on a T61, which has been a fantastic machine for twelve years now but is finally giving her grief. Rather than purchase a whole new notebook right away, I figured I'd spend $20 and a lunch hour and replace the offending clickpad with something that doesn't actively make a person feel like the world is a bad place. We can always shell out for a new laptop later, if need be.

Installation went smoothly, because Lenovo at least has continued the Thinkpad tradition of freely downloadable service manuals. Windows 10 hasn't updated in over a year, so I'm going to let the little thing churn through all of that and make sure everything is up to snuff before I give it back to her.
 
notfred
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Re: Anyone repair anything today?

Mon May 06, 2019 8:12 am

Fixed the toilet in our ensuite.

It suddenly started being very noisy when filling, a lot of whistling water noise. I took a look at the fill valve and it all looked good from the outside, so I went to pop the top off and run some water through it in case some muck had got stuck inside, and that was when I discovered the actual problem. I turned the shutoff valve but the water kept flowing!

I had a similar problem a couple of years ago with our dishwasher so I knew what had happened. The shutoff valve was a multi-turn type and they have a rubber tap washer in them that disintegrates after a while. Those bits of rubber were now clogging the valve and the thin pipe from the valve to the toilet and making the whistling noise as the water squeezed past them. One trip to the hardware store to pickup a quarter-turn sharkbite connector and a new flexible fill line and less than 10 minutes had it working better than new. It's far quieter than the other toilets and fills noticeably faster, so I may have to upgrade the others at some point!
 
MileageMayVary
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Location: Baltimore

Re: Anyone repair anything today?

Mon May 06, 2019 10:22 am

notfred wrote:
One trip to the hardware store to pickup a quarter-turn sharkbite connector and a new flexible fill line and less than 10 minutes had it working better than new. It's far quieter than the other toilets and fills noticeably faster, so I may have to upgrade the others at some point!


I've used this connector to replace the shutoff valve for two toilets now.

(what's the point of the oval handled ones if they're too stiff to turn?)
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