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Home Projects (upkeep/repair/mods/cool sh*t/advice/question)

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Carpet_pissr
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Re: Home Projects (upkeep/repair/mods/cool sh*t/advice/quest

Post by Carpet_pissr » Tue Jul 12, 2016 8:54 am

My latest project was replacing a range hood in the kitchen. When we moved into this house about 3 years ago, the vent hood was an el cheapo, tiny recirculating kind. Thankfully our range is up against an exterior wall, so I just punched a hole through the brick, bought a nice (overpriced) stainless steel modern hood, and it really made a difference, not only in looks, but more importantly to sucking out cooking smells.

Unfortunately, the motor in the unit died about 3 months outside of the warranty, and just the "squirrel cage" style motor (VERY basic) was $385 to replace. After trying to find a used motor on eBay, and fiddling with it to try and repair myself (one of the few times I was willing to break a motor all the way down to try and fix), I gave up and ordered a new unit that looks identical, for 1/3 the price (thanks, China!).

I assumed the install would be cake since I had already done the hard install work on previous unit, but as with all similar projects like this, nothing ever is as simple as you think. The width of the chimney and brackets was more narrow enough to make me have to re-drill holes. The electrical had to be moved from one side to another, etc. In the end it took me most of a day to do what I would consider almost an "in place install".

Anyhoo, we have a working vent now after many months of being without. Nice to have one largish thing checked off my list of 876 pending house projects.

Lesson learned: Like refrigerators, there is no reason to pay a premium for a basic modern range hood. Anecdotally, the $900 ones seemingly come from the same factories in China as the $300 ones.

The only difference is that the stainless steel seems a bit (just a bit) thinner on the Chinese version, and the wiring is not as robust (seemed to be less copper). But those are things you would only notice on install, not in use, so again, no reason IMO to pay such a premium for those small perks. Both units will suck up a piece of paper on high, and I would even say the Chinese version is slightly more quiet at the loudest setting.

The Italian Faber that died shortly after warranty ($799):
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Chinese knock off ($199):
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Re: Home Projects (upkeep/repair/mods/cool sh*t/advice/quest

Post by ImLawBoy » Tue Jul 12, 2016 10:20 am

We're working on getting the house ready to sell, so I've actually had to do a few projects (not my strong suit). Fortunately, my dad and his buddy are retired and looking for things to do, so they are doing much of the work for the cost of materials.

Complete:
- Walling off and putting a door over empty space in the back of the kitchen to create a pantry (dad's friend did this)
- Installing shelving in said pantry (I did this - go me!)
- Patching some drywall in the basement (dad and friend)

In Progress:
- Wash and stain front and back decks (dad - he washed and did a first coat of stain, but it really needs another)
- Landscaping (wife did some nice flowers, but we need to call a professional to deal with the chaos of the "lawn")

To Do:
- New granite counters in kitchen (company is coming over for formal measurements today - leaving this to the pros)
- Paint master bedroom (I bought the paint, though!)
- New carpet in three bedrooms and on two staircases (I'll probably end up calling Empire or something to do this quick)

Lots of other odds and ends I need to take care of, too. Ten years in a house can leave a lot of little things that I always planned to get to later . . . .
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Re: Home Projects (upkeep/repair/mods/cool sh*t/advice/quest

Post by stessier » Sat Jul 16, 2016 4:28 am

Ugh...a fitting under the sink in our second story bathroom leaked for at least the night. First story ceiling is soaked for at least 3 sheet rock panels, plus the carpet plus a wall. This is not good.
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Re: Home Projects (upkeep/repair/mods/cool sh*t/advice/quest

Post by Carpet_pissr » Sat Jul 16, 2016 11:58 am

Oh man, that is terrible. I feel your pain, having experienced that on a much smaller scale.

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Re: Home Projects (upkeep/repair/mods/cool sh*t/advice/quest

Post by stessier » Sat Jul 16, 2016 6:15 pm

We are being told it's not really that bad and that I caught it early. We went to bed at 9pm last night, and there was no leak. This morning I woke up at 3:30am to go running and found the leak and figured out how to stop the water in about 30 minutes. The ripped up some carpet, tore off the kick boards on the cabinets in the bathroom, cut up some vinyl flooring the bathroom, tore out a bunch of molding, drilled some "circulation holes" in the walls, and tore down a 4'x4'. of sheet rock in the first floor living room. The guy doing the water remediation thinks the rest of the sheet rock will be able to be saved in place once it is all dry - some taping and mudding will have to be done, but they shouldn't have to tear down the sheets. We have an open joist system between the floors, so there is plenty of air circulation up there to get everything dry.

We have 8 blowers and 2 industrial strength dehumidifiers going. I can hear the TV when I get the amp up to 65 dB...so it's going to be fun sleeping here for a few days.

The insurance adjuster comes out on Monday. I really hope most of this is covered. We have a $1000 deductible, which we can handle. If it's 3x or 4x of that out of pocket, we're going to have a problem.
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Re: Home Projects (upkeep/repair/mods/cool sh*t/advice/quest

Post by Carpet_pissr » Sat Jul 16, 2016 11:52 pm

That sounds like $3-4K to me...sorry. Hope I'm wrong.

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Re: Home Projects (upkeep/repair/mods/cool sh*t/advice/quest

Post by stessier » Mon Jul 18, 2016 8:09 am

Interesting - the adjuster called this a "small claim" and doesn't even have to come out and see it. They are going to use the pictures the water remediation people took and then work up the claim based on restoring that to "like new" (the house is only 3 years old). Whatever they come up with, they will deduct our $1000 deductible and then cut us a check. So it sounds like I'll only be out $1000 - which is not so bad.

We are quite tired of the blowers and dehumidifiers though - there are 8 blowers and 2 industrial strength dehumidifiers running constantly. Hopefully those leave today. The house hit 84 yesterday (normally we keep it at 74, but the air conditioners couldn't keep up) and the constant drone is difficult to sleep through.
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Re: Home Projects (upkeep/repair/mods/cool sh*t/advice/quest

Post by Default » Mon Jul 18, 2016 1:14 pm

Ants.


Need to make borax and sugar again.
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Re: Home Projects (upkeep/repair/mods/cool sh*t/advice/quest

Post by stessier » Wed Jul 27, 2016 1:10 pm

stessier wrote:Interesting - the adjuster called this a "small claim" and doesn't even have to come out and see it. They are going to use the pictures the water remediation people took and then work up the claim based on restoring that to "like new" (the house is only 3 years old). Whatever they come up with, they will deduct our $1000 deductible and then cut us a check. So it sounds like I'll only be out $1000 - which is not so bad.

We are quite tired of the blowers and dehumidifiers though - there are 8 blowers and 2 industrial strength dehumidifiers running constantly. Hopefully those leave today. The house hit 84 yesterday (normally we keep it at 74, but the air conditioners couldn't keep up) and the constant drone is difficult to sleep through.
Update - the insurance just sent us their claim resolution. They detailed all the work as going to cost $1068.53 to repair the house to "as new" condition. We have a $1000 deductible, so they are sending us a check for $68.53 and we have to find a contractor to do it. We had one come out on Monday and one more coming this afternoon. A third will be out next week. The one from Monday said they usually work directly with the insurance and just do it for whatever the insurance will pay - so I guess that is the worst case scenario.

One thing not in the insurance quote is painting the entire living room. Only one internal wall was effected, but matching flat paint in our open floor plan seems unlikely. The adjuster believes it won't be an issue. I'm hoping the contractor will convince her otherwise. We shall see, I guess.
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Re: Home Projects (upkeep/repair/mods/cool sh*t/advice/quest

Post by Carpet_pissr » Wed Jul 27, 2016 1:15 pm

Will that claim make your rates go up?

$1,000 is right on the line where I decide to make a claim or not. I've heard some bad stories about claims resulting in being dropped by an insurance company. Not excessive claims, ONE. Crazy. That business is really in chaos for the past few years.

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Re: Home Projects (upkeep/repair/mods/cool sh*t/advice/quest

Post by stessier » Wed Jul 27, 2016 1:21 pm

Not sure - but they paid for the water mitigation people directly as well (those with the industrial dehumidifiers), so the full bill is certainly more than that.
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Re: Home Projects (upkeep/repair/mods/cool sh*t/advice/quest

Post by Kraken » Wed Jul 27, 2016 3:13 pm

Carpet_pissr wrote:Will that claim make your rates go up?

$1,000 is right on the line where I decide to make a claim or not. I've heard some bad stories about claims resulting in being dropped by an insurance company. Not excessive claims, ONE. Crazy. That business is really in chaos for the past few years.
Our last claim (for wind damage) was of a similar cost/benefit magnitude. A few weeks after we got our modest check, we got our rate increase notice.

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Re: Home Projects (upkeep/repair/mods/cool sh*t/advice/quest

Post by ImLawBoy » Tue Aug 02, 2016 10:53 am

Had granite counters installed in the kitchen yesterday, so the next step is a backsplash. I want to go quick and cheap, but still have something that will look nice to prospective buyers. For ease, I'm looking at peel-and-stick mosaic tiles. These will go on drywall (some painted, some not) and will of course be subjected to things like heat from the stove/oven and water from the sink. I see that some peel-and-stick tile still needs grout, while some does not.

Does anyone have any experience with this? Will the peel and stick hold up? Any real difference between grout and grout-free?
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Re: Home Projects (upkeep/repair/mods/cool sh*t/advice/quest

Post by Isgrimnur » Tue Aug 02, 2016 10:57 am

Insurance adjuster comes out Thursday to inspect the wind damage on several roof locations. It's not a huge number of places, so I imagine it will be beneath my $2.5k deductible. I'll follow up with the BIL contractor for a roof guy recommendation.
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Re: Home Projects (upkeep/repair/mods/cool sh*t/advice/quest

Post by Remus West » Tue Aug 02, 2016 11:22 am

Water running out of wall in garage intermittently. I'm not sure from where so will be having a grand time trying to figure where it is coming from since as far as I can figure there should be no water in that area. Sigh.
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Re: Home Projects (upkeep/repair/mods/cool sh*t/advice/quest

Post by RMC » Tue Aug 02, 2016 12:13 pm

Remus West wrote:Water running out of wall in garage intermittently. I'm not sure from where so will be having a grand time trying to figure where it is coming from since as far as I can figure there should be no water in that area. Sigh.
Ugh.. That sounds awful.
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Re: Home Projects (upkeep/repair/mods/cool sh*t/advice/quest

Post by Remus West » Tue Aug 02, 2016 1:10 pm

RMC wrote:
Remus West wrote:Water running out of wall in garage intermittently. I'm not sure from where so will be having a grand time trying to figure where it is coming from since as far as I can figure there should be no water in that area. Sigh.
Ugh.. That sounds awful.
The only good thing is that running is probably the wrong word. There is a small run off there that was also there a few days ago. No active flow that I can see.
“As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.” - H.L. Mencken

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Re: Home Projects (upkeep/repair/mods/cool sh*t/advice/quest

Post by Smoove_B » Tue Aug 02, 2016 1:13 pm

Wait...like it's coming out of a wall in the garage or it's running water at the junction between your garage floor and walls (the "sill")? I have water from a gutter downspout that under the right conditions will not drain away from house but instead flood back up and drain through the sill space -- essentially makes a tiny river that flows from the back of the garage wall to the front of the garage. Fixing it would mean new gutters (which is in the plans) and/or regrading the rear yard as to accommodate better drainage. It happens so infrequently that it's low on my priority list but it enrages me every time I see it.

F-houses.

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Re: Home Projects (upkeep/repair/mods/cool sh*t/advice/quest

Post by Z-Corn » Tue Aug 02, 2016 6:40 pm

Yep, F-houses...

I love living here, it's a really cool house but it was built in 1960. So it's starting to crumble. And I owe so much more money on it. But is IS a cool house...

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Re: Home Projects (upkeep/repair/mods/cool sh*t/advice/quest

Post by Isgrimnur » Tue Aug 02, 2016 7:00 pm

At least until the A/C dies.
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Re: Home Projects (upkeep/repair/mods/cool sh*t/advice/quest

Post by Holman » Tue Aug 02, 2016 7:07 pm

Z-Corn wrote:Yep, F-houses...

I love living here, it's a really cool house but it was built in 1960. So it's starting to crumble. And I owe so much more money on it. But is IS a cool house...
Heh. My house is 1860.

In fact we just this week replaced the failing boiler (installed in 1965).
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Re: Home Projects (upkeep/repair/mods/cool sh*t/advice/quest

Post by Default » Tue Aug 02, 2016 9:14 pm

Holman wrote:
Z-Corn wrote:Yep, F-houses...

I love living here, it's a really cool house but it was built in 1960. So it's starting to crumble. And I owe so much more money on it. But is IS a cool house...
Heh. My house is 1860.

In fact we just this week replaced the failing boiler (installed in 1965).
Sorry, but you are killing the collector's value every time you install new stuff. :horse:
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Re: Home Projects (upkeep/repair/mods/cool sh*t/advice/quest

Post by Kraken » Tue Aug 02, 2016 9:53 pm

Default wrote:
Holman wrote:
Z-Corn wrote:Yep, F-houses...

I love living here, it's a really cool house but it was built in 1960. So it's starting to crumble. And I owe so much more money on it. But is IS a cool house...
Heh. My house is 1860.

In fact we just this week replaced the failing boiler (installed in 1965).
Sorry, but you are killing the collector's value every time you install new stuff. :horse:
The kitchen in our 1912 house dates to the 1940s. I would love to kill that collector's value.

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Re: Home Projects (upkeep/repair/mods/cool sh*t/advice/quest

Post by Holman » Wed Aug 03, 2016 9:20 am

Default wrote:
Holman wrote:
Z-Corn wrote:Yep, F-houses...

I love living here, it's a really cool house but it was built in 1960. So it's starting to crumble. And I owe so much more money on it. But is IS a cool house...
Heh. My house is 1860.

In fact we just this week replaced the failing boiler (installed in 1965).
Sorry, but you are killing the collector's value every time you install new stuff. :horse:
:lol:
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Re: Home Projects (upkeep/repair/mods/cool sh*t/advice/quest

Post by coopasonic » Wed Aug 03, 2016 9:30 am

Thanks for the thread guys. When my wife complains about our house I will point her here. :twisted:
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Re: Home Projects (upkeep/repair/mods/cool sh*t/advice/quest

Post by Chaz » Wed Aug 03, 2016 9:30 am

The popup stopper in my bathroom sink hasn't been working in months. I'd been putting off investigating how to fix it forever, but I just got around to consulting google. After finding a diagram of how the thing mechanically works and where it might be broken, I took another look.

Turns out it was just two parts that had gotten disconnected. Two minutes later, it was fixed. My wife was impressed. I was kicking myself for not thinking to google it sooner. Reminded me that you can get a long way with home repair armed with basic tools and an internet connection.
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Re: Home Projects (upkeep/repair/mods/cool sh*t/advice/quest

Post by RMC » Wed Aug 03, 2016 9:34 am

It all depends on which part of our house you go into for the age. The original part of our house is actually pre 1900's. The beams supporting the floor are all tree trunks with the bark still on them.

But we have put at least 3 additions on, and prior to my parents buying the house in the late 70's there were at least two additions put on.

So we have a large ranch house with lots of styles and additions plugged onto it. :)

I bought the house from my mother about 10 years ago, and we have done a ton of work updating the kitchen, and a few of the bathrooms.

Sometimes we have the weirdest things, and find the darndest items in our house. Luckily I live in a township and I can do most of the work myself without getting the government involved with permits and stuff. :) (The additions needed to have building permits, etc.. but when I do plumbing and electrical in the house they pretty much leave me alone.)
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Re: Home Projects (upkeep/repair/mods/cool sh*t/advice/quest

Post by Isgrimnur » Wed Aug 03, 2016 9:35 am

Chaz wrote:The popup stopper in my bathroom sink hasn't been working in months. I'd been putting off investigating how to fix it forever, but I just got around to consulting google. After finding a diagram of how the thing mechanically works and where it might be broken, I took another look.

Turns out it was just two parts that had gotten disconnected. Two minutes later, it was fixed. My wife was impressed. I was kicking myself for not thinking to google it sooner. Reminded me that you can get a long way with home repair armed with basic tools and an internet connection.
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Re: Home Projects (upkeep/repair/mods/cool sh*t/advice/quest

Post by Chaz » Wed Aug 03, 2016 10:36 am

My house was built in the 70's, then gutted and remodeled by the former owner, who was a contractor. Basically, I'm playing the modded version. It looks much better than the original release, but I keep finding weird little bugs that make me and the service guys go "huh."
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Re: Home Projects (upkeep/repair/mods/cool sh*t/advice/quest

Post by ImLawBoy » Wed Aug 03, 2016 12:35 pm

My house was probably built in the 1920s or so (records are spotty), has had at least one major addition (timing unknown), and was gut rehabbed just before I bought it 10 or so years ago. The people who did the rehab did a terrible job, so I've had lots of things (some minor, some major) to keep me occupied since moving in.
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Re: Home Projects (upkeep/repair/mods/cool sh*t/advice/quest

Post by Isgrimnur » Thu Aug 04, 2016 8:22 pm

Isgrimnur wrote:Insurance adjuster comes out Thursday to inspect the wind damage on several roof locations. It's not a huge number of places, so I imagine it will be beneath my $2.5k deductible. I'll follow up with the BIL contractor for a roof guy recommendation.
Adjuster stated that the wind basically picked up whole rows of shingles and dropped them back into place after popping the nails.

Roof is totaled.
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Re: Home Projects (upkeep/repair/mods/cool sh*t/advice/quest

Post by TheMix » Thu Aug 04, 2016 10:42 pm

Damn. That sucks. :(
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Re: Home Projects (upkeep/repair/mods/cool sh*t/advice/quest

Post by Isgrimnur » Thu Aug 04, 2016 10:46 pm

Yup. $10k estimate, 30% sent to me up front, plus my out of pocket at 25%, then the rest after the work is completed, 45% of the depreciation of my 9yo 20-year shingles.
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Re: Home Projects (upkeep/repair/mods/cool sh*t/advice/quest

Post by naednek » Fri Aug 05, 2016 12:02 pm

We're getting the house cleaned up for refi. Same model down the street listing for $369K, We need 358K to get us past the 20% mark and save money on PMI. We owe $280K on the house. Going to put the difference back into the mortgage to lower monthly payments as that's killing us right now. That should free up about $300, plus Erin's extra hours she secured, and my upcoming raise in October. This should jumpstart our savings for landscaping the backyard.

We've waited all summer as the market has gone up quite a bit. Now we might wait till October to see what the same house sells for. That would the direct comparable. Doesn't to seem to have any upgrades so I assume since we also don't have the upgrades we should be pretty close in comparison.
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Re: Home Projects (upkeep/repair/mods/cool sh*t/advice/quest

Post by Chaz » Fri Aug 05, 2016 12:15 pm

The slow leak that my pool's had all season seems to have gotten worse this week. I called the pool place, but the soonest they can get someone out here is Tuesday. I'm really hoping that the problem is a leak around the return and/or skimmer port rather than something in the liner. I guess if the water stops dropping when the goes below the ports, then we can be pretty sure that's the problem.

The pool has not been my friend this year.
I can't imagine, even at my most inebriated, hearing a bouncer offering me an hour with a stripper for only $1,400 and thinking That sounds like a reasonable idea.-Two Sheds

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NickAragua
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Re: Home Projects (upkeep/repair/mods/cool sh*t/advice/quest

Post by NickAragua » Fri Aug 05, 2016 12:20 pm

Chaz wrote:The slow leak that my pool's had all season seems to have gotten worse this week. I called the pool place, but the soonest they can get someone out here is Tuesday. I'm really hoping that the problem is a leak around the return and/or skimmer port rather than something in the liner. I guess if the water stops dropping when the goes below the ports, then we can be pretty sure that's the problem.

The pool has not been my friend this year.
Is a pool ever really your friend?

malchior
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Re: Home Projects (upkeep/repair/mods/cool sh*t/advice/quest

Post by malchior » Fri Aug 05, 2016 12:23 pm

I'm having a similar issue with my pool - it drops fast when the pump is running but not when it is off. I'm completely at a loss at where/what it could be. It doesn't drop to a dangerous level ever so I'm inclined to just put it off to next year. I am just not in a mood for another big bill. Like Smooth I hate houses. I am feverishly working on a time machine to tell myself that my maintenance bills will be 3 or 4 times my *very conservative* estimates *every year*. I was explaining this to a friend a few weeks ago when he asked why I never take vacations. It has all been cause of the house. :(

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Chaz
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Re: Home Projects (upkeep/repair/mods/cool sh*t/advice/quest

Post by Chaz » Fri Aug 05, 2016 12:52 pm

I mean, if the level drops only (or faster) when the pump's running, then the obvious culprit is probably somewhere in the plumbing. If that's the case, it should be pretty easy to track down, and unless it's a crack in one of the pieces of equipment, should be cheap to fix.

I thought I had something like that, but I lost another 3/4" of water overnight when the pump wasn't running.
NickAragua wrote: Is a pool ever really your friend?
Sure, when it's super warm out, it's awesome. It'd help if my pool wasn't on the older side. I have a feeling it's only got a few more years in it. After that, my wife and I will have to have a long talk about whether we remove, replace with another above ground, or just go for an in-ground. She really likes having a pool.
I can't imagine, even at my most inebriated, hearing a bouncer offering me an hour with a stripper for only $1,400 and thinking That sounds like a reasonable idea.-Two Sheds

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RMC
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Re: Home Projects (upkeep/repair/mods/cool sh*t/advice/quest

Post by RMC » Fri Aug 05, 2016 1:44 pm

malchior wrote:I'm having a similar issue with my pool - it drops fast when the pump is running but not when it is off. I'm completely at a loss at where/what it could be. It doesn't drop to a dangerous level ever so I'm inclined to just put it off to next year. I am just not in a mood for another big bill. Like Smooth I hate houses. I am feverishly working on a time machine to tell myself that my maintenance bills will be 3 or 4 times my *very conservative* estimates *every year*. I was explaining this to a friend a few weeks ago when he asked why I never take vacations. It has all been cause of the house. :(
I guess I must be an exception. My house is old, but I don't have that many maintenance expenses. Our furnace broke a few years ago, it cost a few thousand to fix, but other than that my expenses for break fixes have been almost non existent.

I mean, I am fairly handy, since my family use to own rental homes so I know how to fix things, so maybe I am fixing them and just don't realize it, but the expense isn't enough for me to notice.
Difficulties mastered are opportunities won. - Winston Churchill
Sheesh, this is one small box. Thankfully, everything's packed in nicely this time. Not too tight nor too loose (someone's sig in 3, 2, ...). - Hepcat

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Chaz
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Re: Home Projects (upkeep/repair/mods/cool sh*t/advice/quest

Post by Chaz » Fri Aug 05, 2016 6:31 pm

I think experience of knowing what to watch for to catch things and address them before they're problems is a big part of it. I never had that background, so a lot of home ownership has been learning as I go, usually by screwing something up.

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I can't imagine, even at my most inebriated, hearing a bouncer offering me an hour with a stripper for only $1,400 and thinking That sounds like a reasonable idea.-Two Sheds

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