What Did You Do To Your House Recently?

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davintosh
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What Did You Do To Your House Recently?

Post by davintosh »

Most of us do all kinds of stuff to our houses, either repairs or improvements, and some of those jobs end up getting their own threads. I thought we might start a new thread along the same lines as the wildly popular What did you do to your E28 today? and the almost as popular What did you do to your other car(s) today? threads. What handyman projects have you been working on?

Me? Over the weekend I resurrected my trusty old garage door opener. It's an older Chamberlain door opener, nothing fancy at all, but it stopped after lifting the door about 8" on Friday morning as I went to take my wife to work*. I hit the button a couple more times, and it moved a little, and I could hear the motor turning, but it obviously wasn't going up. So I gave the emergency cord a yank, backed out, got her to work on time, then popped the cover off when I got home; this is the sight that greeted me.

Image

Yup, that main gear was shot. There were white shavings all over inside the thing.

My first thought was that it's time to replace it; I had no idea how old the opener was -- it was in the house when we bought the place 15 years ago -- plus I had no idea what it took to replace that gear or what else might be worn out. Later in the morning my son & I went shopping, and I was ready to plunk down ~$200 for a new one, when I noticed a generic-looking bag on the shelf that had a nylon gear that looked a lot like the worn one in my opener, plus a new worm gear and a bunch of other hardware for about $25. The package said it was for Chamberlain (and a few other brands) door openers, so I rolled the dice & brought it home. I did a Google search for replacing the gears; it turns out this is a pretty common failure mode, and replacing the bad gear is pretty straightforward. Most of the time it's only the large gear that needs to be replaced; the worm gear is fine, as are all the associated hardware bits. I also found you can buy just the gear for a lot less than the ~$25 I spent, but would probably have to order it; I wanted to get it fixed that day, so I just tore into it.

I followed the steps in one of the videos to pull the gear and its shaft out the top, then pounded out the pin keeping the gear in place. I was planning on just replacing the gear, but then noticed a little wobble in the shaft; the bearing at the top was worn to a bit of an oval; there was a fresh bearing in the kit, so I just replaced it. After reassembling it all I put the shaft with the new gear back in place and bolted it back up. I plugged it back in to test everything and got a loud POP! and a flash. Crap. A closer look showed that one of the screws holding the gear & shaft in place had pinched an orange wire; that was the wire for the light. Crap. It looked like the only thing that had happened was the wire itself had acted like a fuse and burned about 1/4" of the conductor, so I put a splice in there and tried it again. It worked! Cool!

But... when I put the drive chain back on the sprocket on top I found that it would only spin a few revolutions in either direction before stopping and flash the light bulb a few times like there was something breaking the electric eye at the door. There wasn't anything in the way, and the sensor showed a green LED, so that wasn't it. I also noticed a green LED on the back of the unit would flash five times, pause, then flash five more times... Trouble code. I did a Google search on that; others had had the same problem, and had cured it by resoldering some cold joints on the controller board. I pulled the board out, resoldered a half-dozen joints, put it back together, and it worked! I'm not sure if the shorted wire had caused the solder joint problem or was just the straw that broke the camel's back, but either way I'm glad that fixed it.

Almost like earning $175 for my troubles. ;)

* I don't always take my wife to work, but was planning on changing the oil in her car that day. She was glad that she wasn't driving when the garage door failed like that, because she had no idea how to open the door without the opener. She knows now. I wonder how many other wives aren't aware of that...

Who's next?
2 5's and a 7
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Re: What Did You Do To Your House Recently?

Post by 2 5's and a 7 »

Too much junk in my garage for cars........
wkohler
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Re: What Did You Do To Your House Recently?

Post by wkohler »

My Genie garage door opener hasn't worked since 2011. I think it's from the 1970s. I have an old wooden door and it is a mess too. Not sure how I'm going to proceed with it.
davintosh
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Re: What Did You Do To Your House Recently?

Post by davintosh »

I just saw this article -- Young people are 'lost generation' who can no longer fix gadgets, warns professor -- and felt that much better about my DIY repairs. :up:

As for your wooden garage door, Chris, if your counterweight springs are adjusted correctly the weight of the door shouldn't make a difference in picking an opener if you're replacing it. The springs should be adjusted so that you can lift the door manually without much effort; if the door works ok, it shouldn't take much to replace the opener. But it might be worth the trouble to fix the old one too.
LandCruzer94
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Re: What Did You Do To Your House Recently?

Post by LandCruzer94 »

davintosh wrote:I just saw this article -- Young people are 'lost generation' who can no longer fix gadgets, warns professor -- and felt that much better about my DIY repairs. :up:

As for your wooden garage door, Chris, if your counterweight springs are adjusted correctly the weight of the door shouldn't make a difference in picking an opener if you're replacing it. The springs should be adjusted so that you can lift the door manually without much effort; if the door works ok, it shouldn't take much to replace the opener. But it might be worth the trouble to fix the old one too.
I skimmed that article today, very interesting.

We we moved to Indianatwo and a half years ago into a brand new house and there's two things that need work:

Garage - the only walls that are finished are the ones attached to the house, the rest are open studs. I need to drywall those in and plan out some built-ins like cabinets and some benches. The lighting is also terrible, two bare 100w bulbs to light a three car garage in addition to e whatever light the door openers put out, which isn't much. My last house I converted those bulbs to outlets and installed fluorescent lights. Just went by Costco on Saturday and saw they have LED shoplights for $40 each, not sure if that's a great deal or not so I'd appreciate some feedback.

Basement - I have 1440sq ft doing nothing for me right now except for storing a few boxes of shit from our college years and a bed frame I promised my neighbor I'd sell for him over a year ago; it's an open canvas.
wkohler
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Re: What Did You Do To Your House Recently?

Post by wkohler »

I'm actually standing in front of that lamp right now and I think I might buy a few. Being LED, they draw 1/3 amp so you can hook up a billion or so of them. They don't seem to generate intense heat and the light is nice and even like a fluorescent but without the flickering, humming or difficulty starting in cold weather. I also like how this includes a cable for hanging, or it could be flush mounted to the ceiling or under a cabinet. Given that it's only 3700 lumens, I'm Interested to see how bright it actually is outside the store setting though.
Last edited by wkohler on Dec 29, 2014 9:48 PM, edited 1 time in total.
Mike W.
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Re: What Did You Do To Your House Recently?

Post by Mike W. »

LandCruzer94 wrote: ...Garage - the only walls that are finished are the ones attached to the house, the rest are open studs. I need to drywall those in and plan out some built-ins like cabinets and some benches. The lighting is also terrible, two bare 100w bulbs to light a three car garage in addition to e whatever light the door openers put out, which isn't much. My last house I converted those bulbs to outlets and installed fluorescent lights. Just went by Costco on Saturday and saw they have LED shoplights for $40 each, not sure if that's a great deal or not so I'd appreciate some feedback.
I was actually kind of bummed when I bought this place a few years ago and the garage was all sheetrocked, I lost lots of storage space for small spray cans, brake fluid and that sort of thing. But what I did do was paint the thing white, all white, semi gloss to leverage the lighting I was going to install. Which brings me to part 2, IMO LEDs aren't quite ready for prime time yet to replace the good old 4', T8 fluorescent. I wired up 6 2 lamp fixtures in mine to replace the single 40 watt bulb that was in the middle If you're not quite up for something like that I'd suggest a couple of 4 lamp wrap fixtures, they're cheap and put out a good amount of light. You can't have too much light in the garage, you really can't. And white paint helps a bunch too, it reflects lots of light.
Mike W.
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Re: What Did You Do To Your House Recently?

Post by Mike W. »

wkohler wrote:I'm actually standing in front of that lamp right now and I think I might buy a few. Being LED, they draw 1/3 watt so you can hook up a billion or so of them. They don't seem to generate intense heat and the light is nice and even like a fluorescent but without the flickering, humming or difficulty starting in cold weather. I also like how this includes a cable for hanging, or it could be flush mounted to the ceiling or under a cabinet. Given that it's only 3700 lumens, I'm Interested to see how bright it actually is outside the store setting though.
That's somewhat less than a 2 lamp fluorescent fixture, they're about 4500. Optics can be an issue too, both good and bad. I did spend over $100K on a LED project that worked out well even though it was less light. I also spend about $2M on other lighting projects so I've got a little background. :laugh:
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Re: What Did You Do To Your House Recently?

Post by Justin_FL »

Hah, my garage door opener looks like exactly the same failure. Broke in 2010, so about 15 years or so of use. Big wooden door too, it tends to weigh more during the rainy & humid season. Although mine doesn't have rot, wood isn't really a durable product for Florida (even with gutters you get plenty of splash back from driving rain). Never fixed the opener since I don't really care about having to open it by hand and I want a new door that meets hurricane code anyway. A neighbor put in a new door and with the nylon or whatever rollers they use now it is so smooth and quiet.

The newest LED panels for warehouse applications do look pretty promising, though not inexpensive. My workshop/garage needs more lighting. It wasn't really thought out well when my brother and I built it. I have some warehouse/bay HID fixtures in there but it really isn't ideal with the optics and ceiling height. Plus the warm up time. I have some big-ass CFLs for quicker lighting but they are too high up.

As for my housing projects, I was out in the back yard this weekend removing a bunch of overgrown brush. Exotic/invasives. Brazilian pepper, earleaf acacia, and this really nasty vine that is like steel wool and is like carpet. Will post some pictures of some of my progress if I can figure out an easier way to post them from the phone without having to use the computer.
oldskool
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Re: What Did You Do To Your House Recently?

Post by oldskool »

After all of the holiday leftovers, there was a huge addition made to our master bathroom.
a
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Re: What Did You Do To Your House Recently?

Post by a »

I pulled down the clematis and took apart the trellis it was entwined in. Then I painted the wall behind it I rigged a cleat and hauled it back into place.
vinceg101
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Re: What Did You Do To Your House Recently?

Post by vinceg101 »

When you own an 87 year old house, there is always something needing looking after.
We're preparing for a total Kitchen remodel. We've been postponing it since the summer when work took off as we were supposed to start it right after the Living Room repair/remodel. We've had all the cabinetry flat-packed sitting in our Living Room since November, so I guess we had better get moving with it.
Technically we still have to finish decorating and moving stuff back into the Living Room.
Here are a few shots of the Living Room from earlier this year; it was a massive foundation repair that also included a new finish ceiling, dead fireplace removal, plaster wall repairs, structured A/V wiring, wood floor refinishing and new paint. It's been a slow process but it's coming together.
During:
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Construction complete:
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Wife and Supervisor taking a break from moving furniture back in:
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Just recently for X-Mas:
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ElGuappo
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Re: What Did You Do To Your House Recently?

Post by ElGuappo »

Mike W. wrote:
wkohler wrote:I'm actually standing in front of that lamp right now and I think I might buy a few. Being LED, they draw 1/3 watt so you can hook up a billion or so of them. They don't seem to generate intense heat and the light is nice and even like a fluorescent but without the flickering, humming or difficulty starting in cold weather. I also like how this includes a cable for hanging, or it could be flush mounted to the ceiling or under a cabinet. Given that it's only 3700 lumens, I'm Interested to see how bright it actually is outside the store setting though.
That's somewhat less than a 2 lamp fluorescent fixture, they're about 4500. Optics can be an issue too, both good and bad. I did spend over $100K on a LED project that worked out well even though it was less light. I also spend about $2M on other lighting projects so I've got a little background. :laugh:
I saw those at Costco the other day also, and liked the looks of them. A bit more than I want to spend for that at $40, but as under cabinet lamps above the laundry gear would be nice. I currently have 2 T12 lamps there and they are miserable coloring, and hang down below the fascia of the cabinet.
I think I'll pick up 1 of the lamps and see how I like it, and if I do like it and want to get another, they will be sold out and not carry it any more.

On that note, doing some work in the garage of doom this weekend, adding some shelves to the laundry area (laundry in the garage sucks but cannot be changed in this house). Phase 2 will involve installing counters over the front load washer & dryer, and installation of a small sink with wall mounted gojo & soap dispensers. Tying into the cast iron drain stack is going to be fun. :evil:
But it wil make my woman happy, and thats reason enough.
davintosh
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Re: What Did You Do To Your House Recently?

Post by davintosh »

ElGuappo wrote:On that note, doing some work in the garage of doom this weekend, adding some shelves to the laundry area (laundry in the garage sucks but cannot be changed in this house). Phase 2 will involve installing counters over the front load washer & dryer, and installation of a small sink with wall mounted gojo & soap dispensers. Tying into the cast iron drain stack is going to be fun. :evil:
But it wil make my woman happy, and thats reason enough.
I thought attaching a new drain to a cast iron stack would be tough too so I hired a plumber to do it for me; he used a hole saw to open a hole in the old pipe, then put a PVC saddle tap on it. He was there & gone in about a half hour. I was a little concerned that it wouldn't seal well, but that was about 7 years ago, and nary a drip from it. Heck, if I knew it was that easy I sure would've done it myself.

Image

(might be a good idea to check your local code before doing that though.)
ElGuappo
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Re: What Did You Do To Your House Recently?

Post by ElGuappo »

davintosh wrote:
ElGuappo wrote:On that note, doing some work in the garage of doom this weekend, adding some shelves to the laundry area (laundry in the garage sucks but cannot be changed in this house). Phase 2 will involve installing counters over the front load washer & dryer, and installation of a small sink with wall mounted gojo & soap dispensers. Tying into the cast iron drain stack is going to be fun. :evil:
But it wil make my woman happy, and thats reason enough.
I thought attaching a new drain to a cast iron stack would be tough too so I hired a plumber to do it for me; he used a hole saw to open a hole in the old pipe, then put a PVC saddle tap on it. He was there & gone in about a half hour. I was a little concerned that it wouldn't seal well, but that was about 7 years ago, and nary a drip from it. Heck, if I knew it was that easy I sure would've done it myself.

Image

(might be a good idea to check your local code before doing that though.)
I've spoken with a couple of plumbers that I know that live in other parts of the country. Its a much smaller pipe, maybe 3" OD, so that wouldnt work.
I've been advised to cut out a section with a diamond blade on the sawzall, install a sanitary tee with rubber couplings, and make sure its installed at the right height so there isn't too much pitch between the sink drain and drain stack. Don't want to pull the water right out of the trap.
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Re: What Did You Do To Your House Recently?

Post by Karl Grau »

Jay, I would just go with regular metal cutting blades on the Sawsall. Plumbing pipe is measured I.D. so unless there’s a toilet on the other side of the garage wall, you most likely a ~2.25” O.D. pipe to cut through. Don’t be surprised if the existing pipe is full of crud and the actual working I.D. is somewhere around 1” :shock:

It’s probably easiest to go with a 2x2x1-1/2 cast iron tee with 2 no-hub bands. The 1-1/2” inlet would be F.I.P. and you could switch to plastic at that point.

You could also do it with an ABS tee using ABS to cast iron (no-hub) adapters but you’ll have to cut a much larger section of the stack out.

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Xenocide
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Re: What Did You Do To Your House Recently?

Post by Xenocide »

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Wired an outlet and a new breaker awhile back for the kegerator, just used it an hour ago for the welder. I've really got to finish wiring the garage with 220 for the compressor, welder, and brewing heaters. Oh and get the e28 back on the road. :rofl:

EDIT: Damned thing is rotated, too much whiskey to figure it out. Click image to see upright.

PS: The welder was just there because that's the most convenient dedicated breaker and I was welding some shit earlier (much before the whiskey)
oldskool
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Re: What Did You Do To Your House Recently?

Post by oldskool »

I plan on laying some pipe in near future. I'm reasonably skilled and it should go very quickly.
Karl Grau
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Re: What Did You Do To Your House Recently?

Post by Karl Grau »

I have the kind of dryer vent outlet that has the louvers that are supposed to open when there's air pressure behind them. I was taking out the trash while the dryer was on and noticed that only one was open. When I went to investigate, the whole thing basically fell apart to due to being brittle from the sun.

Image

I broke off the rest of the pieces and found the vent seriously clogged with lint. I cleaned it all out and put one of these on (except in white).

Image
Xenocide
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Re: What Did You Do To Your House Recently?

Post by Xenocide »

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Did some dryer stuff meself too, just after the kegerator was squared away. I cheaped out on the length of tubing because this is where the homebrew setup is going and I know I'll be re-doing the dryer (directly through the front wall) venting so that I can accommodate a steam hood for the 90+ minute boils later :D

To the right is an exterior wall, I'm not sure if I'm going to do a T junction and a radon fan for steam venting or a total separate circuit for the steam, either way it needs to be reworked. On the outside is a flapper w/ hood which seems to be functioning just fine, are the cage setups marginally better?
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Re: What Did You Do To Your House Recently?

Post by Lubehead »

Went to the house in the Northeast Kingdom for a bit of R & R after Christmas. Seemed awful cold when we entered. Evidently something chewed the T-Stat wires. Ice in the toilets, had to replace a frozen shower valve, refrigerator ice maker valve, refrigerator filter, and bust open a new ceiling to repair a frozen cold water supply as well as repair a feed line to the outside hose bib. Took 2 weekends of work-hopefully the R & R starts Thursday!
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Re: What Did You Do To Your House Recently?

Post by Karl Grau »

Xenocide wrote:are the cage setups marginally better?
I think only from the standpoint of fighting lint clogging. My cage thingy is advertised as a 'Bird and Rodent Guard'. Some people are louvers, not fighters though.
Mark in Toronto
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Re: What Did You Do To Your House Recently?

Post by Mark in Toronto »

Karl Grau wrote:I have the kind of dryer vent outlet that has the louvers that are supposed to open when there's air pressure behind them. I was taking out the trash while the dryer was on and noticed that only one was open. When I went to investigate, the whole thing basically fell apart to due to being brittle from the sun.

Image

I broke off the rest of the pieces and found the vent seriously clogged with lint. I cleaned it all out and put one of these on (except in white).

Image
Good thing you cleaned the lint out of the pipe. A dryer/lint fire could totally ruin your day.

Image

Image
Last edited by Mark in Toronto on Dec 31, 2014 4:39 PM, edited 1 time in total.
ElGuappo
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Re: What Did You Do To Your House Recently?

Post by ElGuappo »

Karl Grau wrote:Jay, I would just go with regular metal cutting blades on the Sawsall. Plumbing pipe is measured I.D. so unless there’s a toilet on the other side of the garage wall, you most likely a ~2.25” O.D. pipe to cut through. Don’t be surprised if the existing pipe is full of crud and the actual working I.D. is somewhere around 1” :shock:

It’s probably easiest to go with a 2x2x1-1/2 cast iron tee with 2 no-hub bands. The 1-1/2” inlet would be F.I.P. and you could switch to plastic at that point.

You could also do it with an ABS tee using ABS to cast iron (no-hub) adapters but you’ll have to cut a much larger section of the stack out.

Image

Image


Image
Charles, I've not seen the cast iron tee like that, its much shorter.
The drain stack is for the washing machine, and at least an upstairs sink if not also the toilet. Sure sounds like it when its flushed anyway.
SO not looking forward to that, but I am looking forward to a damn sink in the garage.
I even scored some foot operated pedals, like hospital or restaurant sinks use, cheap on CL. So no hands required when I'm covered in grease. :up:
Image
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Re: What Did You Do To Your House Recently?

Post by wkohler »

Those are sweet.

I bought one of those Costco lights last night. It's pretty friggin' bright. I'd actually say it's brighter than the two fluorescent lights I've got hanging in the garage right now.

Unfortunately, for me, the big drawback on this is that there is no switch on it. My other lights have a pull chain. This one has to be hooked up to a switched outlet or something and there's no way to hard wire it in from what I can tell. I was thinking a few of these on the ceiling could give me all the light I'd ever need, but I'm on the fence.
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