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Darkmage
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Re: Anyone repair anything today?

Thu Feb 15, 2018 9:40 am

My wife interrupted a good gaming session to report water on the floor of the downstairs bathroom, centered around the toilet. We soaked up the water, pulled up a bunch of the linoleum tiles where the glue had lost grip and then started on the leak itself. Interestingly, the hose that leads from the float valve to the bottom of the fill tank had popped off and water was jetting to the underside of the lid and from there to the floor. Push the hose back on and turn the ball valve down a bit and no more problem.

Of course, the ball valve decided to start leaking at that point. So a couple trips to Home Depot to get the proper replacement and it's fixed. For now. I don't trust that hose in the tank. I'll pick up a compression clamp later and add some redundancy.
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Re: Anyone repair anything today?

Thu Feb 15, 2018 9:44 am

Last time I replaced a float valve the hose that came with it was too stiff, and kept kinking. This resulted in the bowl not refilling completely after a flush. I tossed the supplied hose and replaced it with a short length of flexible tubing from my brewing equipment closet.
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Re: Anyone repair anything today?

Thu Feb 15, 2018 12:01 pm

I've given up using anything but these kind of hoses for anything that holds pressurized water. I've had way to many flooded rooms using anything that doesn't have threaded connectors and a braided steel jacket. Three times I've had a plain plastic hose with a rubber compression ring wiggle it's way out then start flailing about under the sink flooding the room (always either in the middle of the night or when I'm out of town). I've also had those stupid plastic lines rupture over the tiniest shock (oops something fell over under the sink and the hose exploded).

Never again.
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Usacomp2k3
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Re: Anyone repair anything today?

Thu Feb 15, 2018 12:31 pm

I use braided hoses with threaded connectors wherever possible. I wish the plumbing industry would just adopt the 3/4" garden hose threads for all connectors (sinks/toilets/garbage disposals, etc) and then I could use them anywhere. I think it is a con by the industry to make plumbing difficult and thus force people to hire plumbers.
 
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Re: Anyone repair anything today?

Thu Feb 15, 2018 12:44 pm

Usacomp2k3 wrote:
I use braided hoses with threaded connectors wherever possible. I wish the plumbing industry would just adopt the 3/4" garden hose threads for all connectors (sinks/toilets/garbage disposals, etc) and then I could use them anywhere. I think it is a con by the industry to make plumbing difficult and thus force people to hire plumbers.

Too big. Just like with pipe, you need different sizes for different flow volumes and suitable connectors for whatever you're tying into. Nobody needs a 3/4 garden hose connector coming off the 1/2" pipe stem under their toilet.

Most plumbing threads are standardized now, the problem is there's something close to a dozen different thread and pipe diameter combos, and typical residential construction only needs about three.
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Re: Anyone repair anything today?

Thu Feb 15, 2018 2:19 pm

Yeah I ended up gutting an old farm house so I got to swap nearly everything out to my personal preference.

All the wiring (bar the kitchen that was already to code) gone and replaced with a new panel and 12/2 everywhere and new outlets/switches/fixtures.
All the water piping except the main lines to the pump/bladder tank gone and replaced with 3/4" copper for the main runs and 1/2" for individual runs, with shut-off valves and braided/threaded hoses for all appliance connections.
All the drains removed and replaced with new 1 1⁄2, 3, or 4" PVC.
Oil furnace gutted and innards replaced with radiator and outdoor hydronic wood burner.

It's the first house I've lived in that hasn't had some idiotic issue and all it cost me was a years' worth of work :roll:
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Re: Anyone repair anything today?

Fri Feb 16, 2018 1:38 pm

ludi wrote:
Nobody needs a 3/4 garden hose connector coming off the 1/2" pipe stem under their toilet.

You may not need it, but since there's plenty of room, there's no downside to having it.
 
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Re: Anyone repair anything today?

Fri Feb 16, 2018 2:22 pm

Usacomp2k3 wrote:
ludi wrote:
Nobody needs a 3/4 garden hose connector coming off the 1/2" pipe stem under their toilet.

You may not need it, but since there's plenty of room, there's no downside to having it.

Spend more time working in confined spaces of old construction and you might change your mind. Bigger nuts mean bigger wrenches and I just got done replacing three mineralized/leaky screw-type shutoff valves beneath the toilets in our older townhome with new quarter-turn ball valves. Had to redo two of them twice because the original copper compression rings had pinched the pipestems enough that the new brass rings wouldn't quite seat, and naturally, the one that caused the most trouble was also the one jammed in the corner of the smallest restroom. (Finally had to convert that one, against my better judgment, to a PEX-style push-on connector with a spring clip retainer because there wasn't enough pipe stem left to cut back.) 3/8 hardware on the outlet side was more than sufficient, and it also doesn't apply as much cantilever force against the pipe stem when you cinch it down. A hex nut over 3/4 threads would have been a serious aggravation.

You don't even want to see what the previous owner did when they rebuilt the plumbing under the kitchen sink. At some point soon we'll need a new faucet head and I'll probably end up redoing that mess correctly. I'm not sure I'll even be able to get a proper-sized crescent into the tangle.
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Re: Anyone repair anything today?

Mon Feb 19, 2018 8:54 am

I am firmly in the "cut it all off and start fresh with solder" camp. Screw dealing with compression fittings and rotted/misshaped pipes.

In that same regard, I hate the soft roll-out copper pipe. Once unrolled, they are never completely round again.

If you want to use pipe by the roll, use #&#%@^% pex instead of something that deforms and work hardens. :evil:
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Re: Anyone repair anything today?

Mon Feb 19, 2018 9:22 am

The budget is in need of some fixing, try to get to that today.
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Re: Anyone repair anything today?

Mon Feb 19, 2018 10:14 am

Yesterday, I:

- Replaced the rear wiper arm on our mini-van (twice; got it installed facing the wrong way on the first try, so when I turned it on to test it, it was wiping the rear hatch below the window instead of the window)

- Fixed a plastic guard under the front end of our other car (a Camry) which had been intermittently dragging on the ground after backing over a pile of snow last week (partial fix; it's still kinda loose because there's some sort of fastener missing and I need to get it up on ramps so I can crawl under there to get a better look)

- Installed a new kitchen faucet (what should have been a fairly easy 30 minute project turned into a 2+ hour misadventure, and it's not done yet (counterweight for the pullout sprayer head keeps getting tangled up in the other plumbing and I still need to figure out how to deal with that)

So three repairs, but all of them were sorta half-assed. :lol:
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Usacomp2k3
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Re: Anyone repair anything today?

Mon Feb 19, 2018 10:56 am

just brew it! wrote:
counterweight for the pullout sprayer head keeps getting tangled up in the other plumbing and I still need to figure out how to deal with that)

I have yet to use a pullout sprayer that pulls out cleanly and then retracts cleanly. I think I'd need to build a box underneath for the plumbing so it stays in place and doesn't mix it up.
 
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Re: Anyone repair anything today?

Mon Feb 19, 2018 11:00 am

just brew it! wrote:
- Fixed a plastic guard under the front end of our other car (a Camry) which had been intermittently dragging on the ground after backing over a pile of snow last week (partial fix; it's still kinda loose because there's some sort of fastener missing and I need to get it up on ramps so I can crawl under there to get a better look)

I loathe those plastic push-clips (likely your missing fastener) and find zip-ties much quicker to install/remove.
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Re: Anyone repair anything today?

Mon Feb 19, 2018 11:52 am

just brew it! wrote:
- Fixed a plastic guard under the front end of our other car (a Camry) which had been intermittently dragging on the ground after backing over a pile of snow last week (partial fix; it's still kinda loose because there's some sort of fastener missing and I need to get it up on ramps so I can crawl under there to get a better look)

I keep a few dozen various-sized Honda and Toyota retainer clips on hand at all times. Pro tip: don't buy them at any auto parts store unless it's an emergency, since you'll pay $5+ for a handful and probably end up with the wrong size anyway . Go for the pre-emptive strike:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/146-Pcs-Fender ... Cl&vxp=mtr

https://www.ebay.com/itm/FOR-TOYOTA-292 ... V4&vxp=mtr

There are similar kits running around on Amazon.

I usually buy the 25 or 50 pack of the specific types I need, since I tend to replace them a half dozen at a time rather than re-use the half busted ones that came out, but either of the above is great for occasional repair jobs.
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just brew it!
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Re: Anyone repair anything today?

Mon Feb 19, 2018 12:13 pm

Usacomp2k3 wrote:
just brew it! wrote:
counterweight for the pullout sprayer head keeps getting tangled up in the other plumbing and I still need to figure out how to deal with that)

I have yet to use a pullout sprayer that pulls out cleanly and then retracts cleanly. I think I'd need to build a box underneath for the plumbing so it stays in place and doesn't mix it up.

My big concern at the moment is that an over-enthusiastic family member (youngest daughter, most likely... her approach to life seems to be if something is stuck you're not using enough force) will yank on it hard enough to damage something under the sink and cause a flood.

Your "box" comment has got me thinking though... if I can just find a box of the right size and shape for the pullout hose to hang down into, that might be a reasonable "fix".

Oh, and one of the confounding factors in the faucet replacement was that the hot water shutoff was leaky. So I basically had to organize the workflow to minimize the amount of time between disconnection and reconnection of the hot water hookup. Really did not feel like tackling replacement of the shutoff valve yesterday, since that would've involved an extra trip to the hardware store.

Captain Ned wrote:
just brew it! wrote:
- Fixed a plastic guard under the front end of our other car (a Camry) which had been intermittently dragging on the ground after backing over a pile of snow last week (partial fix; it's still kinda loose because there's some sort of fastener missing and I need to get it up on ramps so I can crawl under there to get a better look)

I loathe those plastic push-clips (likely your missing fastener) and find zip-ties much quicker to install/remove.

Near as I could tell based on what I could see with the wheels on the ground is that use of zip ties is iffy in this particular case due to the location of the holes for the fastener. But that was indeed my first thought.

ludi wrote:
just brew it! wrote:
- Fixed a plastic guard under the front end of our other car (a Camry) which had been intermittently dragging on the ground after backing over a pile of snow last week (partial fix; it's still kinda loose because there's some sort of fastener missing and I need to get it up on ramps so I can crawl under there to get a better look)

I keep a few dozen various-sized Honda and Toyota retainer clips on hand at all times. Pro tip: don't buy them at any auto parts store unless it's an emergency, since you'll pay $5+ for a handful and probably end up with the wrong size anyway . Go for the pre-emptive strike:
...

Thanks for the tip, I'll look into those.
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Re: Anyone repair anything today?

Mon Feb 19, 2018 12:23 pm

just brew it! wrote:
ludi wrote:
I keep a few dozen various-sized Honda and Toyota retainer clips on hand at all times. Pro tip: don't buy them at any auto parts store unless it's an emergency, since you'll pay $5+ for a handful and probably end up with the wrong size anyway . Go for the pre-emptive strike:
...

Thanks for the tip, I'll look into those.

Just ordered a similar kit on Amazon.
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Re: Anyone repair anything today?

Mon Feb 26, 2018 7:51 am

How about a unique one?

I just fixed a Montgomery Ward's (remember them?) model 20 egg incubator. It is likely 80 years old.

The fan motor on it was spinning but was badly vibrating and whirring. I suspect bearing failure along with a marginal stator coil. The fan stirs the air inside the box, it does not exchange air with the outside. I just replaced the fan with a 140mm computer case fan and 12v fan power supply.
Wife did not more holes in the wood casing so I snipped the end of the power supply plug and wired it directly to the terminals for the heater rather than threading the wire outside.

We seem to be getting the right temp and humidity so we are brooding 21 eggs in there right now.
We should get a mix of leghorns, cochin bantams, and if we are really lucky maybe a seabright bantam in 21 days.

The incubator used to be the Wife's Grandmother's and the last time it was used was likely 30 years ago. Simple low power resistive heaters and I believe a bi-metal strip for the temperature control in a simple on-off configuration. The whole thing is dead simple but built to last.
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Re: Anyone repair anything today?

Mon Feb 26, 2018 8:44 am

Oh and I'm still working on finishing the basement bathroom.
Last weekend I finished the vanity lights and wall plug (gfci) and hooked it up to a new breaker in the box.
This weekend I installed the taps and drain plug now it just needs to be hooked up to the house plumbing.
Need to get more pipe and peices first.
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Re: Anyone repair anything today?

Sat Mar 03, 2018 10:36 am

Today I'm going to try and figure out why the garbage disposal suddenly isn't running. If I switch it on at the wall, the motor hums for a few seconds but there's no motion, and then there's a safety cutoff and a red button on the bottom of the unit (under the sink) pops out. Seems like it got an obstruction in there somewhere, but I can't see it from above. This is going to be fun and messy. And by that I mean, not fun at all and likely very messy.
 
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Re: Anyone repair anything today?

Sat Mar 03, 2018 10:43 am

Chuckaluphagus wrote:
Today I'm going to try and figure out why the garbage disposal suddenly isn't running. If I switch it on at the wall, the motor hums for a few seconds but there's no motion, and then there's a safety cutoff and a red button on the bottom of the unit (under the sink) pops out. Seems like it got an obstruction in there somewhere, but I can't see it from above. This is going to be fun and messy. And by that I mean, not fun at all and likely very messy.

If it is a few years old it may make more sense to just replace it.
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JustAnEngineer
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Re: Anyone repair anything today?

Sat Mar 03, 2018 11:26 am

If the disposal unit is really jammed, there's an Allen nut on the bottom that will let you move the mechanism with a wrench rather than relying on the motor.
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Re: Anyone repair anything today?

Sat Mar 03, 2018 12:18 pm

just brew it! wrote:
Chuckaluphagus wrote:
Today I'm going to try and figure out why the garbage disposal suddenly isn't running. If I switch it on at the wall, the motor hums for a few seconds but there's no motion, and then there's a safety cutoff and a red button on the bottom of the unit (under the sink) pops out. Seems like it got an obstruction in there somewhere, but I can't see it from above. This is going to be fun and messy. And by that I mean, not fun at all and likely very messy.

If it is a few years old it may make more sense to just replace it.


Every time that has happened for me, the end result was a trip to the local home store for a new unit. I figure that the shaft seals start to leak just a bit and water gets in the bearings and it you don't use it for a few days, the bearing seize and your done.

--SS
 
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Re: Anyone repair anything today?

Sat Mar 03, 2018 12:29 pm

JustAnEngineer wrote:
If the disposal unit is really jammed, there's an Allen nut on the bottom that will let you move the mechanism with a wrench rather than relying on the motor.

And this is what did it. Looked up the manual online (the unit was already installed when we bought the house), went through the troubleshooting steps. I have no idea what the blockage was - manually cranking it back and forth ground it up, but I couldn't see anything in the drain. I was able to start the disposal again, and it's running properly.

Ok, so that really wasn't a repair. I was expecting something much worse than this. Sorry for the false alarm.
 
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Re: Anyone repair anything today?

Sat Mar 03, 2018 2:10 pm

It was a trivially-easy job, but it pleases me that I replaced the ohrpolster (earpads) and cord and installed a new microphone on the headphones that I use for PC gaming. In a day when huge companies like Apple make expensive disposable electronics that cannot be serviced, Sennheiser still sells original equipment replacement parts for headphones that were discontinued over three decades ago.
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Re: Anyone repair anything today?

Sat Mar 03, 2018 2:43 pm

I've been in the process of upgrading my 6890 GC-FID Diesel Range Organics (DRO) system to increase sensitivity and lower the detection limit. The idea is to use CSR-LVSI Concurrent Solvent Recondensation – Large Volume Sample Injection. I've put a 5m 0.53mm ID deactivated silica guard column from the inlet to the 30m 0.25mm ID analytical column and increase my injections from 1uL to 5uL. I got a cal curve on this week with the new setup. So far, my MDL has dropped from 100ppm to ~20ppm DRO. I have a 50uL syringe on order and when that comes in, I will be doing 20-25uL injections for an additional 5X improvement in detection limit. This is all to allow me to extract as little as 40mL of water to do DRO instead of a liter; with a corresponding decrease in solvents required for the method. Its going to save me a ton of extraction work and expensive solvents.
Last edited by Mr Bill on Sat Mar 03, 2018 2:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Anyone repair anything today?

Sat Mar 03, 2018 2:49 pm

Disassembled a butcher block couch today because the canvas sling is ripped. Taking it off and getting another one made. My sister gave it to me and I have dragged it around for the last 20 years. Its an ugly man-cave kind of couch and I love it.
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Re: Anyone repair anything today?

Sat Mar 03, 2018 3:03 pm

SuperSpy wrote:
I am firmly in the "cut it all off and start fresh with solder" camp. Screw dealing with compression fittings and rotted/misshaped pipes.

In that same regard, I hate the soft roll-out copper pipe. Once unrolled, they are never completely round again.

If you want to use pipe by the roll, use #&#%@^% pex instead of something that deforms and work hardens. :evil:
Agreed and its also true of the large diameter reinforced Tygon tubing. I finished plumbing my aquarium system with 1-inch because I though it would be easier than gluing it all with PVC pipe. They store that tubing too tight on the rolls that are too small in diameter and its got a permanent eliptical cross section. Makes it hard to route without curling. I ended up running hot water through it and stretching it out while it cooled. It helped a little. I need to take some pictures of that tank and put it in the aquarium thread. Its looking mighty good.
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Re: Anyone repair anything today?

Mon Mar 05, 2018 7:55 am

This weekend was a fun game of pick-up-sticks from the wind storms. Plus I got to use the chainsaw and that's always exciting. But the real progress was replacing the thermostat with a WiFi model. It went much easier than I remember from the last time. Of course, the last time was installing the unit I just replaced. The WiFi feature is great. I can set the schedule via a website instead of some unintuitive series of button presses.

Additionally, I got my case feeder on my reloading press working again. I found all the pieces, cleaned the guide rods and lubricated the mechanism. It's not perfect (and probably never will be). But it works as designed about 80% of the time. That 80% is enough to speed things up by a factor of 3. Enough that I deprimed about 400 cases in an hour yesterday.
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Re: Anyone repair anything today?

Mon Mar 05, 2018 10:06 am

Darkmage wrote:
But the real progress was replacing the thermostat with a WiFi model. It went much easier than I remember from the last time. Of course, the last time was installing the unit I just replaced. The WiFi feature is great. I can set the schedule via a website instead of some unintuitive series of button presses.

What model did you end up with? I'm looking for a dumb, wi-fi connected one with simple temperature control and on/off. I don't need any features beyond that. In fact I specifically don't want occupancy sensor and the like. I have yet to find anything for under $120 that meets that criteria.
 
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Re: Anyone repair anything today?

Mon Mar 05, 2018 10:02 pm

Usacomp2k3 wrote:
What model did you end up with? I'm looking for a dumb, wi-fi connected one with simple temperature control and on/off. I don't need any features beyond that.
It's a Honeywell something or other. This one looks pretty close.
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