1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
4/28/20 12:39 p.m.

In reply to golfduke :

Thank you! You just crossed an item off my to do list.

golfduke HalfDork
4/28/20 12:53 p.m.
Dusterbd13-michael said:

In reply to golfduke :

Thank you! You just crossed an item off my to do list.

I'm happy to have helped, haha!  One less cold shower that I can stew over in hopes of educating and saving others from similar fates!  

RevRico PowerDork
4/28/20 5:14 p.m.
dculberson (Forum Supporter) said:

In reply to RevRico :

Please DO NOT caulk in "bad smells" from the toilet. That's how you end up with a years long undetectable sewage leak and rotten subfloor and structural framing. The toilet should be leak free and smell free without any caulking. All sealing takes place at the flange with the wax ring and if it's not sealing there something is wrong. You might need a tall wax ring, or it might be something else.

Yea. The real answer is going to be modifying the floor. I didn't get around to a picture of it, but the wax ring is in the right place, just the footprint of what is cut into the old floor and the new toilet are off. I haven't decided if it's a good or bad thing it's linoleum on concrete. Concrete base lets me get away with a lot, but ancient linoleum could mean I'm doing another floor all together. 

Onto my next wonderful surprise.

This is along side the short chimney, in theory. It's water it could be coming from anywhere. But this is berkeleying frustrating. I need to recruit someone to go up and look to see what the deal is. I don't do roofs. 

In slightly more positive news

 bed frame showed up today so our new bed is up. Mattress in a box hasn't fully adjusted itself yet in the picture.

Because someone can't quit ordering E36 M3 and Amazon has developed this really annoying habit of delivering early, I have to go back down tomorrow for whatever ridiculous and useless thing got ordered now. 

While I'm there, I'm going to start cleaning up the plumbing at the water heater, and get rid of the stupid timer altogether with some new wire to replace the crumbly old black stuff. 

Greg Smith (Forum Supporter)
Greg Smith (Forum Supporter) Dork
4/29/20 2:26 a.m.

In reply to Dusterbd13-michael : (and golfduke as well)

We replaced our water heater recently and I looked for options and found the Rheem smart water heater with EcoNet. 

This let me know that the stupid way I set my water temp with the old water heaters was too low. We have kids, and I didn't want a chance of scalding. But - that also meant that my showers were pretty much all hot water. Not so good at bedtime. 

I got the 50 gal 'Gladiator' unit which has a brass drain valve for a little over $600. 

Water temp is 120 most of the time bumped up to 125 during peak shower use time. I think we're actually saving enough money over the expected life of the unit to pay for itself. (Roughly $100/year) 

The other nice thing is the app will tell you the "hot" capacity - so if we're running laundry, doing dishes, and kids showering... I can wait till it's up to 2/3 again so I have hot :)


pinchvalve (Forum Supporter)
pinchvalve (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
4/29/20 7:33 a.m.

I don't think anyone else has mentioned it, why get rid of the wood stove in the garage? Personally, I'd sandblast it and restore it a bit, but even without that, its a pretty handy thing to have. It will help keep the space warm for a lot less than running a gas or electric heater, and what better way to get rid of all the little bits of wood and paper that a shop invariably generates? It can also be used for heating up car parts to free stuck bolts or bearings, you can burn off oils and grease in there, heat up coffee, heat metal for bending, dispose of body parts...so useful!

RevRico PowerDork
4/29/20 9:42 a.m.

In reply to pinchvalve (Forum Supporter) :

I have a forge and a foundry already, and it's in my way where it is. Also takes way to long to get going when I'm trying to work. You can have it if you want though. Just having an enclosed space is an upgrade compared to the wind tunnel carport I have currently. 

The garage is going to wind up being two parts, a 20x20 and a 10x20 to save my wallet and property values. Having the pass through thing is just inviting me to stack giant rusty hulks in the yard between the shed and the garage. I was hoping to already be working on that by now, but the house plumbing had other idea's for my time and money.

Hoondavan Reader
4/29/20 10:12 a.m.

In reply to RevRico :

You're probably far enough north that winter heat is a bigger concern than summer heat...but having pass-through airflow makes a huge impact in FL in the summer.  With that said, I imagine a regular door wouldn't be too much worse than a garage door on the backside.

RevRico PowerDork
5/3/20 5:50 p.m.

As mentioned in the specific thread about it, I stopped the water leak. The pressure controller at the main was shot, sending 155psi water through the house. The, combined with ancient valves, made for wet times. It's all fixed now though, I might turn it down from 70 to 60, but at least I have the option.

The garage door opener seems to have maGically unberkeleyed itself. I tried it on a whim the other day and the trolley moved perfectly fine, reattached the door and it's good. That will be the tractor side of the garage I believe. 

Supposedly, and exact a thread and a rant from this, Tuesday the 5th I'm getting a "contact free internet hookup". This is interesting, because the last time I spoke with the provider, they needed to run a line from the pole to the house. Wtf are they going to do, give me a bundle of fiber, a shovel and a ladder?

Went onto the roof, looks like whoever did it last missed some flashing, but it only seems to leak in really hard rains. Blackjack to the rescue!

Arrangements have been made to add a riding mower to the collection. I don't really need it for the size of the yard, but having something small I can attach a trailer to and a snow plow blade to will be really nice. It's also only $125. 

We should be entirely moved in by the end of the month. The easy part will be Dana and the girls, the hard and expensive part is going to be dragging everything from garage and shop out, after tearing it all down, organizing it, and rebuilding again. Not really looking forward to it, just one 6 foot truck bed at a time. At least I'm getting better mileage now.

I have also lucked into a  pre divorce sale for furniture. Ex wife is getting money from everything he sells? Fine, dollar an item! Works for me.

RevRico PowerDork
5/5/20 4:41 p.m.

Now that we have high speed internet and water that works, 50ish psi now, it's time to look at other things.

This is a close up shot of the banister going to the first floor. The bottom 3 of these blocks are broken and make the banister wobbly. I have zero idea how to fix this, so I'm hoping for some advice. There isn't a wall for me to use as bracing to stiffen things up, but in afraid of creating a bigger problem by trying to cut and paste something together. 


Outside, the first "terrace" we'll call it is in pretty rough shape.

Those lower rail road ties. They're rotten and falling down. 

I see three possible options for fixing this. None are cheap or easy. 

Option 1, replace them with new ties, and find a way to dispose of the old ones.

Option B, rip them out, throw some gravel in the hole, then build a rodded and grouted block wall. Maybe 3 courses of cinder blocks, filling every cell as it goes up and tying it into the ground so it can't go anywhere.

Option 3, rip the ties out, and bring in dirt to try to smooth the hillside and level things out. This might be the cheapest, but certainly seems the most labor intensive. 

Goals are to make it easier to mow, and not be dealing with it year after year. 

I suspect the roots from that pear tree will have a very different opinion than the dirt or railroad ties, but if as the neighbor says, the pears are no longer edible, it can go away if need be.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/5/20 6:17 p.m.

You have enough here to keep you busy for some time :) Lots of reverse engineering to do! Old houses can be weird, especially with a cheap and/or DIY kind of previous long term owner. We bought our place from the original owners who lived here for over 30 years. You can see Barry's attention to detail and general give-a-berkley fade over the years, to the point where we can almost date when something was done. 

Wall ovens: our new house came with one. Janel wanted to keep her fancy range from the old place, so I brought it along. Pulled out a cooktop and replaced it with the range, so now we have two ovens. Janel LOVES it. Apparently having two ovens is wonderful. Someone suggested that around the first page, consider this a second vote.

Wood stove for garage: can confirm they work very well. I'd keep it.

I got my first US mortgage from a small broker who was recommended by my Realtor (TM). I actually walked out of the first closing because the paperwork didn't match. This was after hanging up on him as he tried to jerk me around on rates. Boy, if you want to see people scramble, walk out of a closing. I do not recommend that broker or that Realtor (TM). That mortgage was sold and ended up with Countrywide, if you remember that fiasco. My subsequent ones have been through Wells Fargo and I could not have been happier. I think it comes down to the people in your local branch. We have one person that we simply don't talk to because she's a bit of an idiot, and one person who is on top of her game.

RevRico PowerDork
5/5/20 9:20 p.m.

Keith said

You have enough here to keep you busy for some time :) Lots of reverse engineering to do! Old houses can be weird, especially with a cheap and/or DIY kind of previous long term owner. We bought our place from the original owners who lived here for over 30 years. You can see Barry's attention to detail and general give-a-berkley fade over the years, to the point where we can almost date when something was done. 

Growing up poor, with poor friends, I've come to expect a certain amount of "necessity is the mother of invention" with fixes, but this guy, wow, he was something else. 

I was trying to stay out of the internet guys way today so I worked on setting up my attached garage work bench. I've discovered that the used wire he wired it with is 3 conductor, but my plugs are all polarized because they were cheaper. At least it will be an easy fix. 

Beam clamps though, I'm amassing a nice collection because they're how he attached the wire to everything. Must have been able to bring them home from work. There's also a nice little vise being used as a curtain rod I'm going to need to reclaim and restore. 

Some of the patches and modifications make sense when you step back and look at the big picture, but just seeing the bandaid with no context, it's mind blowing. Other things are just giant WTF?!? Like the line going to the hose on the side of the house, that goes from copper to CPVC to copper back to CVPC outside. 

This year my priority is plumbing. Replacing the copper mazes with direct pex runs to manifolds. Next year, and realistically the year after, will be the wiring. Circuits and switches that make no sense, breakers that are split across 4 different rooms,  the aforementioned wire to outlets being all weird. 

Eventually we'll get to doing something about the ugly wall paper over uglier wall paper over paneling, but I predict that will be very expensive, and I'm down to about a grand until the end of June. 

RevRico PowerDork
5/18/20 12:58 p.m.

Well we've officially moved in to the house. Started living here full time Friday night. 

It's reasonably soundproof. Like I had 100db stereo pounding in the great room, go into any bedroom and shut the door and you could barely hear the bass. Of course, I want the living room with TVs and game consoles and stuff in the basement, which is right under the youngests room, and thats a little loud at much more than half volume. 

Got the tractor up and running, and all the old busted solar lights pulled out of everything. 

Got the first kill too, a very VERY aggressive 4.5 foot black snake thought attacking the lawnmower while I was cutting was a good idea. I now have a holster mounted on the tractor. 

Wifi coverage is good, we still don't really have furniture much past a couch in the basement, our beds and the dining room table and chairs. Just haven't managed to bring the stuff I bought over yet. Still missing laundry as well, rain has been making that take longer to get here. 

But the kids like it, Dana likes it, I've got all the massive problems solved for now, so it's time to slowly start making it ours. 

One day at a time. 


Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/18/20 1:02 p.m.

In reply to RevRico :

That sounds like a black racer, they're generally dicks like that. Non-venomous, though they'll still be happy to bite you given the opportunity. 

LifeIsStout GRM+ Memberand Reader
5/18/20 1:34 p.m.

FYI your plant question, what you were asking about (the little grass like plant with blue/purple flowers) is Grape Hyacinth

They will grow all over the place and are self propagating (bulbs). Pretty easy to transplant around your property as well




Also your pear tree may just needs some work, I would bet that it would benefit from a compost/fertilizer injection as well as some pruning to make things happier.  If it's been neglected for a long time those things would go a long way to help.





Agent98 Reader
5/18/20 4:31 p.m.

Might want to check that air compressor tank interior before you put it under pressure. Saw the aftermath of a guy standing near one when it shattered due to rust , no bueno

RevRico PowerDork
5/18/20 4:56 p.m.

In reply to Agent98 :

Yea, im going to try. I had it running the other day too to fill a tractor tire up, and it doesn't hold air worth a damn. Not sure if it's the tank or maze of fittings the guy used to plumb it with, or the antique rubber hose. Best I can tell it's pre 1984, but no real clue to an actual age. 

I have an M12 inspection camera here on loan trying to figure out some plumbing, I'm going to stick it in the tank for a good look before I put it into permanent service, if I can force one of the access ports open.

Luckily, I've got my trusty 30 gallon emglo compressor as a backup, just haven't brought it over yet.


RevRico PowerDork
5/19/20 2:40 p.m.

So now that the tractor is running and home, it's time to start looking at my summer/fall project

So the tractor has that nice beefy aftermarket front bumper already installed. Awesome. 

I want to attach this plow so I can clear the concrete driveway in the winter.

Some closeups of the plows mounting system. 

That's all I got so far, but having the pictures here to look at and get some other opinions. I really haven't put any thought into it yet. 

I've got assorted angle iron, square and round tube, plate, all thread, a welder, and a plasma cutter some *something* will help me attach the things together, and hopefully take it back off because I don't really want it on there while I mow. Although that could probably help the wheelie situation the slipper clutch on the tractor has. 

slantsix New Reader
5/19/20 3:10 p.m.

I went through 3 garden tractors plowing.


Busted the transaxles every time.  Heavy wet snow will be the widow maker unless you have something with an actual rear axle.


I saved the plow off the last garden tractor and modded it for use on my $900 craigslist honda fourtrax... much better to be able to plow at 25 mph if I want!

RevRico PowerDork
5/22/20 11:43 a.m.

 want to find the high and low spots in your yard? Set up a swimming pool.

Filled it up yesterday, cold and rainy today, of course, but it's up. 


RevRico PowerDork
5/27/20 7:31 a.m.

Yay, the bigass kitchen refrigerator E36 M3 the bed. $800 more that I don't really have to spend out the door. 

The 1950s basement fridge is still trucking along though after 15 years in a storage unit. 

Agent98 Reader
5/28/20 8:10 a.m.

In reply to RevRico :

Mine did it cost me a new control board $200 and evaporator fan $12, replacing the board was easy in the back, fan in the freezer behind a bunch of shrouding was a true pain. Narrow in there! 

RevRico PowerDork
5/31/20 3:36 p.m.

New fridge is in. 

I have an interesting ant problem. They're swarming around and in and out of electrical boxes in the detached garage. No food of any kind that I'm aware of, but since I started using some outlets they're shown up. 

NissanTech dropped off some plants for me this week, but since the pool is where the old garden was I had to improvise. 3 gallon smart pots to the rescue. There's at least 2 each of oxhart, Kellogg, and some purple variety of tomato, and a cucumber. I don't remember which is which. 

I planted seeds last Sunday in my little greenhouse and have 2 sprouts so far, an atomic grape tomato and bell pepper. 

RevRico PowerDork
6/7/20 2:01 p.m.

I built an aquarium table

 is now housing 2 baby axolotle,a dirty leuciatic GFP, the blurry thing between the skull and orange plant, and a wild GFP you might be able to see at the mouth of the black ceramic pot. 

They're tiny. They don't have names yet. But they're home. 

Antihero (Forum Supporter)
Antihero (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
6/7/20 2:10 p.m.
RevRico said:

Yay, the bigass kitchen refrigerator E36 M3 the bed. $800 more that I don't really have to spend out the door. 

The 1950s basement fridge is still trucking along though after 15 years in a storage unit. 

Our last house had like....the first side by side ever made in it. My wife hated it and has has me put in a new one.


New one E36 M3 the bed so I reassembled the old one in the garage, I kept it because....well.....it worked, turned it up full blast and went to sleep. 8 hours later the fridge was at the bottom of the thermometer, -47f and the fridge was -10.


Best fridge ever......

RevRico PowerDork
7/7/20 2:55 p.m.

So I've not been updating this thread because I've been collecting things and not actually doing anything with the house. I still have a full size Uhaul to bring over from my mom's, but I'm working out the logistics.

I just want it somewhere so I have notes. 

Pull all the accessory wiring from the old house. That means disconnects the primary sub at the main panel, and collect all outlets and romex from the garage. Leave the run going to the carport, but get everything out of there as well. 

The studs and half the drywall are here for my wall, but it's too dark and hot to want to work. Even still, I'm pushing to rewire the detached garage BEFORE I build the dividing wall, get all my outlets, circuits, panels setup in a way that makes sense and in a way it can be modified later. 

Once the wall is built and the garage illuminated, then get the Uhaul of stuff from my mom's house and spend as much time as possible actually organizing things, repairing old carts, and trying to get everything into one place. 

During the organization, I want to better setup my home space. This means reorganizing my little rolling tool box for house exclusive tools. Plumbing, drywall, wiring, networking. No building stuffs, no car stuff. Just to keep everything in a place I can find it easily. I also want to start taking notes and stocking up on replacement parts. Faucet stems, light switches, toilet stuff, sink stuff. I have the space, I feel it would be dumb of me not to. 

After that is all done, it's time to build the networking cabinet under the basement steps. I think I'm going to need a cooling fan in the cabinet, but it should work out fine. Then I can finally start working on the basement ceiling. 

I've got enough tile to do half of it. I kinda want to do drywall on the other half, and replace the light fixtures with can lights or anything not 2ft flouros. But I need more time to think and probably a thread asking for ideas. I also REALLY need to find better shades for the doors and windows in the basement, the glare sucks on the wall that makes sense for tv.

I did manage to get an LED down here. Even lazily hung is better than the other lights. This room will eventually be redone. I think the vinyl cutter and 3D printer will be very happy here. Really all it needs is wired better from the switch, a second led, and a continuation of my bathroom fan project.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Our Preferred Partners