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

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

Post by malchior » Tue Jan 24, 2017 2:37 pm

The tradition of my terrible luck with my home continues in 2017. My furnace decided to stop blowing hot. I played around and got it to work and then it'd kick off. I had HVAC come out and the diagnosis is a cracked heat exchanger - leaking CO2 into the vents at a non-dangerous but elevated level. It is under warranty but labor plus related parts is $2300. So he recommended getting an estimate for a full replacement just to compare. Perfectly in line with his training I imagine. :)

It however makes sense to at least consider since I have an older 80% system and older means November 2006. :grund: Anyway a 98% system might make sense on top. We will see once I get them side by side.

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

Post by Exodor » Tue Jan 24, 2017 5:20 pm

malchior wrote: the diagnosis is a cracked heat exchanger
We had that happen a few years back. Our family room used to be the garage before the prior owner refinished it so the furnace is in a closet off of that room. Apparently sometime during the night the heat exchanger cracked and started venting CO2 into the house. My wife and i woke up groggy but didn't think too much of it but we called HAVAC repair because the heat wasn't working.

The guy who came out said we were lucky we woke up at all. :shock:

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

Post by malchior » Tue Jan 24, 2017 5:27 pm

Luckily not that bad but may have been having an issue for awhile. He recommended not using it - it is mild so at least I'm going to try and get 3 or 4 quotes. Too expensive to not shop around.

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

Post by Carpet_pissr » Tue Jan 24, 2017 5:36 pm

Completely random but at least related to failing HVAC's: Don't use a filter on your returns with higher than 8 MERV, even if you have allergies.

Makes your unit work too hard to get airflow through, and reduces life span of unit (not to mention actual airflow itself)

I had several knowledgeable ppl in HVAC tell me this, and one even said buy the cheapest filters you can find, just replace them once a month.

Add separate air cleaners if you need it.

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

Post by Isgrimnur » Tue Jan 24, 2017 8:17 pm

Mine are up next month. I may scale down to 7s, then.
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Re: Home Projects (upkeep/repair/mods/cool sh*t/advice/quest

Post by malchior » Wed Jan 25, 2017 2:15 pm

I'm gonna burn this bitch down - three contractors came in and had the same thought - the "entire" system is not salvageable. Meaning new AC coil, furnace, everything - at that point I'm just going whole hog on a new system. The furnace was new but installed shoddily (it was an insurance repair from a flood) and was installed in such a way that over time the 30-year old AC coil overstressed the furnace. A new furnace would just have the same issue as would just repairing it. So have 3 quotes in a range between 12K and 18K to decide between. I hate this fucking house. An average of $10K a year in unexpected maintenance related issues is a bit excessive. My home inspector was useless as shit. The three contractors independently noticed the problem immediately.

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

Post by RMC » Wed Jan 25, 2017 3:40 pm

malchior wrote:I'm gonna burn this bitch down - three contractors came in and had the same thought - the "entire" system is not salvageable. Meaning new AC coil, furnace, everything - at that point I'm just going whole hog on a new system. The furnace was new but installed shoddily (it was an insurance repair from a flood) and was installed in such a way that over time the 30-year old AC coil overstressed the furnace. A new furnace would just have the same issue as would just repairing it. So have 3 quotes in a range between 12K and 18K to decide between. I hate this fucking house. An average of $10K a year in unexpected maintenance related issues is a bit excessive. My home inspector was useless as shit. The three contractors independently noticed the problem immediately.
Not sure if you considered it, or have the space, but have you considered Geothermal heating/cooling. I installed this into our very old house, and it was a huge cost saver. Basically payed for itself within 5 years in lower heating/cooling costs from what I had prior to installing it.

It was not cheap, but it was worth it. We went with Water Furnace, but there are a few other manufacturers out there.
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Re: Home Projects (upkeep/repair/mods/cool sh*t/advice/quest

Post by Smoove_B » Wed Jan 25, 2017 4:32 pm

Residential geothermal heating/cooling permit in NJ? :laughing-rofl:

I worked for over a decade in the public sector issuing permits and I saw exactly one attempt; he was told no.

I'd give you a recommendation for my local HVAC guy but I can't imagine he'd travel to your part of NJ. Though it sounds like you have agreement on what the problem is. Sorry man. F'ing houses...

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

Post by malchior » Wed Jan 25, 2017 5:13 pm

Yeah I looked into a geothermal system as an idea a few years ago - as Smoove said the nearest instance of that happening is out in PA Anyway I just signed a reasonable deal (for NJ). Total rip and replace - the difference between a high-efficiency system and regular was about $4000 and getting $1500 or so in rebates so +$2500 seems like a good trade. Even if I go half of the efficiency gain it'd turn into $40 - $50 a month I imagine. 4 year payback on that seems fair.

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

Post by RMC » Wed Jan 25, 2017 5:31 pm

I guess I was unaware of that kind of issue for Geothermal. What is the main reasons that they don't allow it?

I mean the holes they dig are rather large, but a vertical instance for a residential house would not be that many holes, maybe only 2 or 3 total?
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Re: Home Projects (upkeep/repair/mods/cool sh*t/advice/quest

Post by Smoove_B » Wed Jan 25, 2017 5:35 pm

RMC wrote:I guess I was unaware of that kind of issue for Geothermal. What is the main reasons that they don't allow it?
It's going to be something that requires special permits and review from both the locals and the state. Here's an article from 2009 about what is involved in a single town in NJ:
"You can't just get Joe Plumber to hook up your system," he said. "Instead you've got to get someone who knows the geology of the site and who knows how to read soil maps."

The best geothermal locations in the state, he said, are roughly along a line south and east of Route 1 -- an area with some of the state's highest population density.

Then there is the matter of the startup cost, particularly the drilling expense, Andrews said. Drilling, unit installation and ductwork can cost $60,000, he said, roughly three times as much as a solar-power system.

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

Post by RMC » Wed Jan 25, 2017 6:34 pm

Smoove_B wrote:
RMC wrote:I guess I was unaware of that kind of issue for Geothermal. What is the main reasons that they don't allow it?
It's going to be something that requires special permits and review from both the locals and the state. Here's an article from 2009 about what is involved in a single town in NJ:
"You can't just get Joe Plumber to hook up your system," he said. "Instead you've got to get someone who knows the geology of the site and who knows how to read soil maps."

The best geothermal locations in the state, he said, are roughly along a line south and east of Route 1 -- an area with some of the state's highest population density.

Then there is the matter of the startup cost, particularly the drilling expense, Andrews said. Drilling, unit installation and ductwork can cost $60,000, he said, roughly three times as much as a solar-power system.
Hmmm... Weird. One of the install methods is to run the piping into a pond. So not sure why the article states that fast moving water would not allow the project to work. And it did not cost me 60k to install two Geothermal units into my house. (I have a large ranch house, so instead of one big unit with 'zone' controls, I did two smaller units.)

But, I am not an expert so can't begin to guess what all the hub bub was about in NJ. They are fairly common here in Ohio where I live, out in the boonies about an hour west of Cleveland.

But thanks for the information.
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Re: Home Projects (upkeep/repair/mods/cool sh*t/advice/quest

Post by Isgrimnur » Wed Jan 25, 2017 6:43 pm

RMC wrote:One of the install methods is to run the piping into a pond.
I'm sure the environmental impact folks would love that.

NJ propylene glycol

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

Post by Zarathud » Wed Jan 25, 2017 6:59 pm

Basically Ohio has the Trump EPA.
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Re: Home Projects (upkeep/repair/mods/cool sh*t/advice/quest

Post by RMC » Wed Jan 25, 2017 7:04 pm

heh. Go figure. It is still legal to do the pond loop, or at least it looks like it is:

Water Furnace link

And maybe it is because I am out in a township, not as many checks. I have the horizontal set-up, as we have a bunch of acres.
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Re: Home Projects (upkeep/repair/mods/cool sh*t/advice/question)

Post by Smoove_B » Thu Jun 07, 2018 6:42 pm

So my washing machine decided on Tuesday night that it no longer wanted to drain water. Spin the drum? All day. Drain the water? Nope. It might be clogged, but I don't think so based on the sound it's making (or not making) - I think the pump is burnt out or broken. I hop on the internet and try to see if I can find anything helpful. Turns out my washing machine is so old, there's no documentation available online. My best guess is that it's about 25 years old. Maybe more. Anyway, up until Tuesday, worked like a champ but I know it doesn't owe me a day so I start pricing out new options.

As it turns out, unlike all other technology, washing machines are actually larger now than they were 20+ years ago. Not the drum size or capacity - no that would be crazy. Just the physical size of the unit. My current washing machine is 25.5" wide. New ones start at 27". That doesn't sound like a big deal but the punchline to this entire story is that the former homeowners built a laundry "nook" in the basement - a raised platform with walls. The nook they created was crafted to fit the existing hardware and as you can imagine, slapping a 27"+ washing machine in there won't work because it's not wide enough.

I have a repairman coming tomorrow, but if he's unable to get my ancient machine working, it looks like my weekend project is wall demolition to accommodate modern technology.

This is the hell that is home ownership.

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

Post by $iljanus » Thu Jun 07, 2018 7:33 pm

Nuke it from orbit...you know how the rest goes.
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Re: Home Projects (upkeep/repair/mods/cool sh*t/advice/question)

Post by em2nought » Thu Jun 07, 2018 9:48 pm

There's a stack unit that wide. How old is your dryer? lol
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Re: Home Projects (upkeep/repair/mods/cool sh*t/advice/question)

Post by Smoove_B » Thu Jun 07, 2018 10:09 pm

I was actually in a Sears Outlet this afternoon and looking at that exact model. Well an electric one - no gas. There's a 21" machine but the drum is so small - I think it's half the size of the drum in my 25.5" machine now - which I don't understand. Or maybe my drum is 3.5 cubic feet, the 21" machines are 2.x and the 27" machines are 4+. Either way, I don't think a stacked machine would fit in the space either - I'd need to demo the pedestal or else it would bang into the exposed overhead ceiling stuff.

I have been filled with the fury of a thousand suns for like 3 days now. :grund:

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

Post by em2nought » Thu Jun 07, 2018 11:25 pm

Oh, that one was gas? I prefer electric, didn't notice I was linking to a gas appliance. That stack is 6ft tall. It would probably last you another two decades, I think those stack machines are pretty reliable because they lack all the fancy electronics, and are designed for apartments where the owners want to get maximum return on investment.

Maybe you could just shorten the pedestal? That's if your 220 VAC cord and vent hose can reach there easily.
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Re: Home Projects (upkeep/repair/mods/cool sh*t/advice/question)

Post by Daehawk » Thu Jun 07, 2018 11:34 pm

I see front loaders on Craigs list for $190 - $300 for the pair. Course dont know sizes. Should check your craigs list.
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Re: Home Projects (upkeep/repair/mods/cool sh*t/advice/question)

Post by RuperT » Thu Jun 07, 2018 11:58 pm

Our washing machine also failed to drain. Whatever genius engineered the drain tube made it so quarters would exactly fit through 98 percent of its length (and trap other change between). How quarters actually made it out of the drum is another design enigma.
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Re: Home Projects (upkeep/repair/mods/cool sh*t/advice/question)

Post by Kraken » Fri Jun 08, 2018 1:55 am

We had a similar situation a couple of years ago when our 1950s-era range died, and replacing it made more sense than rehabilitating it (although it disappeared from the curb within hours, because vintage appliances are apparently a thing). We have what they used to call an apartment range, meaning a mini one. As much as I'd love to remodel the kitchen to fit a real grown-up range, we just bought another mini-range, because they still make them. It was poorly rated, but since we really are going to remodel the kitchen someday...really....it would only have to last a few years.

Then a few months ago the crappy new replacement range died. What I thought would be a cheap thermostat replacement turned into an expensive master control thingie replacement. It almost made sense to buy another new range instead. "Almost," because now they just barely make that size. We had four contenders...three with lousy reviews and one crazy expensive. So we paid the $200 repair to avoid the $400 replacement because we really are going to remodel the kitchen someday. Really.

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

Post by Carpet_pissr » Fri Jun 08, 2018 8:18 am

Smoove_B wrote: As it turns out, unlike all other technology, washing machines are actually larger now than they were 20+ years ago.
Agree with above...time to nuke and move on. Modern units are larger in part because of acoustic dampening, but also because they are a lot more energy and water efficient (particularly front loaders).

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

Post by Smoove_B » Fri Jun 08, 2018 8:28 am

F front loaders. Between the moldy gaskets and the risk of catastrophic failure and subsequent release into my basement, I don't like the option. I'm also not keen on basement demolition, so we're at an impasse. :D

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

Post by RMC » Fri Jun 08, 2018 8:36 am

I am running a new 220 line for our dryer conversion from Gas to Electric. Getting rid of our Propane tank, since they want us to pay over 100 bucks just for the privileged of having the tank in our yard.

We switched to GeoThermal heating/cooling about 10 years ago, and I left one of our stoves and dryer as gas, but now it is cheaper to just buy new appliances then it is to pay rent on the tank and the huge hit to refill the tank all at once.

But I find these types of things fun. The demo is always the easy part to me, it's the finishing of drywall and painting that I really hate. We just finished a total bathroom remodel last year, and while it took me way too long to complete, it was fun. :)
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Re: Home Projects (upkeep/repair/mods/cool sh*t/advice/question)

Post by Paingod » Fri Jun 08, 2018 8:40 am

Rent the tank, eh? Wow.

Our propane suppliers charge us a single tank fee to take it away, not put it in. I've got an old 50 gallon tank sitting behind the house because I didn't want to pay them to haul their own equipment off. I figure some day I'll scour it for ID numbers, file them down, and then leave it by their HQ at 2am some random night.
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Re: Home Projects (upkeep/repair/mods/cool sh*t/advice/question)

Post by Daehawk » Fri Jun 08, 2018 9:40 am

Scrapyard might pay you for it. But if its still theirs they may want it one day :)
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Re: Home Projects (upkeep/repair/mods/cool sh*t/advice/question)

Post by Jeff V » Fri Jun 08, 2018 9:48 am

During my second trip to the Philippines, we rented a condo which included a washing machine on the roof (natch) of the 20-something story building. The machine had two parts - agitator and spinner. You filled the agitator with water and soap and let it churn for it's programmed cycle. You then transferred the sopping wet items to the spinner, and then opened a valve that emptied the water onto the concrete roof, where channels would direct the flow leading to some netherworld. After the spinning was done, you hung things on clotheslines to dry because it was always fucking hot and sunny.

This was the first time my wife had ever used a washing machine of any kind.

I believe those kind of machines were selling for about $100 new. And not many parts to break!

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

Post by Smoove_B » Fri Jun 08, 2018 11:03 am

Repair man's first words: "Wow"

He believes the machine was from between 1987-1990. Amazingly, parts are available, but the fix would be around $600 -- and the motor is leaking oil. Looks like it's weekend demo time.

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

Post by The Meal » Fri Jun 08, 2018 11:28 am

Short term (extreme) pain, long term gain. Time for the basement widener.
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Re: Home Projects (upkeep/repair/mods/cool sh*t/advice/question)

Post by Smoove_B » Fri Jun 08, 2018 11:48 am

I'll update when the new machine is delivered and it has a right-handed flange rod that somehow won't work with the 1987 plumbing that's installed.

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

Post by coopasonic » Fri Jun 08, 2018 11:49 am

The Meal wrote:
Fri Jun 08, 2018 11:28 am
Short term (extreme) pain, long term gain. Time for the basement widener.
taken out of context...
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Post by Isgrimnur » Fri Jun 08, 2018 11:53 am

In an open basement, Ned!
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Re: Home Projects (upkeep/repair/mods/cool sh*t/advice/question)

Post by Smoove_B » Fri Jun 08, 2018 12:05 pm

Well, I've always wanted a saws-all. Then again, I do have a chainsaw....

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

Post by em2nought » Fri Jun 08, 2018 2:57 pm

Daehawk wrote:
Thu Jun 07, 2018 11:34 pm
I see front loaders on Craigs list for $190 - $300 for the pair. Course dont know sizes. Should check your craigs list.
I bought a stack on craigslist for $200. After cleaning a twenty gallon trash bag of lint from the insides it works great! lol I kid you not. lol :roll:

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

Post by Smoove_B » Fri Jun 08, 2018 8:31 pm

Didn't get access to a reciprocating saw, so I used an old fashioned drywall saw that I think was my grandfathers. Then to remove the studs, I tried a pruning saw that is primary used for relatively small limbs. But hey, a 2x4 is just a squared flattened limb, right? However, for any home owner, the real MVP is the Wonderbar. Get one.

I've carved out a space that should work. I guess we'll see tomorrow when it's delivered.

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

Post by mori » Fri Jun 08, 2018 9:19 pm

em2nought wrote:
Fri Jun 08, 2018 2:57 pm
Daehawk wrote:
Thu Jun 07, 2018 11:34 pm
I see front loaders on Craigs list for $190 - $300 for the pair. Course dont know sizes. Should check your craigs list.
I bought a stack on craigslist for $200. After cleaning a twenty gallon trash bag of lint from the insides it works great! lol I kid you not. lol :roll:

That used appliance guy certainly wasn't the Maytag Man. lmao
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Re: Home Projects (upkeep/repair/mods/cool sh*t/advice/question)

Post by Zarathud » Tue Aug 21, 2018 2:01 am

Smoove_B wrote:
Thu Jun 07, 2018 6:42 pm
That doesn't sound like a big deal but the punchline to this entire story is that the former homeowners built a laundry "nook" in the basement - a raised platform with walls. The nook they created was crafted to fit the existing hardware and as you can imagine, slapping a 27"+ washing machine in there won't work because it's not wide enough.
How about this one? In the "new" home I'm buying, the owner decided to turn the second floor laundry area into a "nook" after moving in the front loading washer and drier. Never mind that the door to the front loading dryer doesn't open all the way, and there seems to be no real reason to have built in little edges. He just did it because. I'll have to pry back the wall after moving in.

The seller's other bright idea was to build a "walk in" closet behind the laundry nook. 4 feet wide and 13 feet long. Anyone who has met me knows that I'm a big guy with big shoulders (and everything else), so I'm going to need a narrow closet shelving system -- likely either the Ikea Elvarli or the Closetmaid.
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em2nought
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Joined: Fri Oct 15, 2004 5:48 am

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

Post by em2nought » Tue Aug 21, 2018 2:31 am

RMC wrote:
Wed Jan 25, 2017 5:31 pm
I guess I was unaware of that kind of issue for Geothermal. What is the main reasons that they don't allow it?
I would have assumed it's because Jersey is where the Mob buried all the bodies. :mrgreen:
Waiting for the tide to bring me a sail.

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