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Old 01-01-12, 07:00 PM   #1
RubenX 
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Fixin' stuff

What are your latest DIY fixes? Specially those where you experienced an Eureka! feeling when you finally found out what was wrong.

I had two today:

The Propane Heater

It wasn't starting. A good shake confirmed that the 15lb tank still had plenty of propane. A weird switch looked suspicious. It after lots of thinking and voltmeter testing I concluded this must be a "dump switch" with the inside ball stuck. I took it out, shake it vigorously until the ball came loose. Put it back in and Eureka, now it works.

The Garbage Disposal

It had something stuck and was not turning. Several attempts to remove the obstruction failed. And then, Eureka! I used the vacuum cleaner to suck it out. It was a chicken bone. Garbage disposal now works just fine.

SAFETY NOTE: Please do not attempt Rube(TM) fixes in your home unless you know what you are doing (tho Rube usually doesn't). Rube makes no guaranty that your house will not catch on fire, explode, implode or whatever.
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Old 01-01-12, 07:19 PM   #2
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^bullet holes in ceiling
powder burns on kitchen table
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Old 01-01-12, 07:23 PM   #3
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well, at least you did not stick your hand in the disposer and then have the room mate turn on the switch.

Chicken bones. Do you know how much money I make pulling chicken bones, rib bones, broken glass and small screws (from DIY projects I presume) from disposers?

I always carry a couple price ranges of new disposers on the truck in the case of seriously malo ones.

Tip O' the week for disposers:

Take a tray of ice cubes and dump them in the disposer. Turn it on WITHOUT water running. After ten seconds turn on water. This cleans ALL stinky crap from inside and under that rubber splash guard. Next, take a 1/4 cup of vegetable oil and dump it in disposer. Turn on disposer WITHOUT water again. This lubes up the thing like you would not believe. It will sing like a canary when these steps are followed. If it doesn't, you have already abused it beyond its life expectancy.
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Old 01-01-12, 07:35 PM   #4
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You've got to admit that vacuum thing was clever.
Too bad their carpet vacuum is now ruined with stinky sludge,water,and petrified french fries.
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Old 01-01-12, 07:57 PM   #5
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Tip O' the week for disposers:

Take a tray of ice cubes and dump them in the disposer. Turn it on WITHOUT water running. After ten seconds turn on water. This cleans ALL stinky crap from inside and under that rubber splash guard. Next, take a 1/4 cup of vegetable oil and dump it in disposer. Turn on disposer WITHOUT water again. This lubes up the thing like you would not believe. It will sing like a canary when these steps are followed. If it doesn't, you have already abused it beyond its life expectancy.
Won't the vegetable oil clog up the drain pipe?
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Old 01-01-12, 08:04 PM   #6
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Ruben. You are safely out of GA then?
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Old 01-01-12, 08:05 PM   #7
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Oh yes... I'm back in Florida.... can't wait to visit Georgia again, loved the place.
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Old 01-01-12, 09:02 PM   #8
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Won't the vegetable oil clog up the drain pipe?
Why would it? It stays liquid. Bacon fat would be another matter entirely.
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Old 01-01-12, 09:36 PM   #9
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Won't the vegetable oil clog up the drain pipe?
No. By turning on the disposer you are flinging that stuff all over the place but inside the grinding basket. It just leaves a coating over the entire disposer. It is not like you are dumping a 55 gallon drum down there. Besides, last night's spaghetti mess is what clogs up the drain from half ass grinding.
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Old 01-01-12, 10:19 PM   #10
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No. By turning on the disposer you are flinging that stuff all over the place but inside the grinding basket. It just leaves a coating over the entire disposer. It is not like you are dumping a 55 gallon drum down there. Besides, last night's spaghetti mess is what clogs up the drain from half ass grinding.
Why would anyone put 1/2 an ass in the grinder and what would you charge to plunge it out?

Are you going to watch your old coach tomorrow at the outdoor Winter Hockey Classic?
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Old 01-01-12, 10:22 PM   #11
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Oh yes... I'm back in Florida.... can't wait to visit Georgia again, loved the place.
That's exacty what Ned Beatty said before he went messin in them woods.
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Old 01-01-12, 10:28 PM   #12
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Our disposal also jammed up a few weeks ago. I unplugged it, detached it from the sink and the plumbing and dropped it front of me on the floor. The manual fishing commenced, with a toddler in my lap to watch.

I still don't know how a pop-up meat timer got in there.

I also repaired a tire on the Fit today. So far, that's one successful tire repair on the Tacoma back in '03, one on the Civic in '05, and three (two on the first set of tires and one on the second) on the Fit.
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Old 01-01-12, 11:10 PM   #13
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I fixed the closet door in my youngest boy's room.

Had to trim the baseboard, find another plinth block I made for extras back in '99, paint it, run a sawzall between the jamb and framing for clearance, ran finish screws into the jamb, then shot the freshly painted plinth back on with my 15GA nailgun. Next is paint, though none of it will fix that side of the house sagging down...which is what caused the door to bind in the first place.
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Old 01-01-12, 11:23 PM   #14
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Replaced the fluorescent lights in the kitchen. Easy enough, standing on a spaghetti pot to get a little extra height.

The real trick was getting the bulbs home by bicycle. Held them along the top tube. Used one bungee cord by the head tube, and wrapped it around the frame several times before looping it around the bulbs so the bulbs did not come in contact with the frame when secured. Then used a small bungee cord to suspend the rear end of the tubes from the saddle rails. And a third bungee cord in opposition to that one, anchored on the bike rack. So the rear end of the tubes were suspended in the air. With little road shock reaching the fluorescent tubes, the ride home was smooth.
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Old 01-02-12, 12:19 AM   #15
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I fixed and adjusted the convertible top latches on my car the other day. Now they work better than they have since I bought the car. No longer do the sun visors hold the latches closed. In celebration, I removed the sun visors entirely, since they were useless anyway.
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Old 01-02-12, 01:01 AM   #16
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man, I haven't fixed anything recently, except for my bikes.
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Old 01-02-12, 03:09 AM   #17
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I've gotta replace my mom's toilet in the next week or so. Not looking forward to it, she's had that thing for at least thirty years and I know how that woman eats.
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Old 01-02-12, 01:42 PM   #18
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Why would anyone put 1/2 an ass in the grinder and what would you charge to plunge it out?

Are you going to watch your old coach tomorrow at the outdoor Winter Hockey Classic?
I prefer a full ass to half an ass. Think Kim Kardashian from the 'rear'.

And you must mean ol' what's his name?
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Old 01-02-12, 02:12 PM   #19
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man, I haven't fixed anything recently, except for my bikes.
I'm with you there. I'm not exactly "handy".

I am going to attempt to fix my girlfriends toilet. It will often keep running after the tank refills.
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Old 01-02-12, 02:49 PM   #20
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My funnest fixes are usually emergency cobbles that involve butterknives in lieu of screwdrivers and bits of wire abandoned by the roadside.
Last "repair": wiring around the broken switch on the coffeepot at work.
Prior to that, I made a PCV fitting for my jalopy out of PVC fittings from home depot. PVC=PCV.
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Old 01-02-12, 07:39 PM   #21
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I had this really amazing toilet dismantling at my old place in WV; took off the toilet, found no collar, or whatever that thing is called, underneath; there was a sheet of lead wrapped into a tube coming up out of the cast iron waste pipe, and the whole thing was surrounded with oakum, and then the wax ring kind of glommed onto it. I took all of that out and tried to bolt on a modern whatever the ring thing is called, and it didn't fit; turned out the waste pipe was directional and it was mounted backward, so I tried to restore the lead sheeting and oakum and rebuild from there. It was very gratifying when I got it all back in place and nothing leaking.

My favorite repair job was in that same bathroom when I replaced the sink w/ one that wouldn't fit w/ the existing pipe (my wife wanted a specific pedestal sink we salvaged from another fallen down building); so I took the sawzall (we spent our whole time in WV going to estate sales and auctions looking for power tools), cut the floor away, and started moving the pipes around in the floorboard. When I got the drainpipe to where the sink would fit, I put in a piece of plywood to cover where I had cut the floor away, and that was that.

Later on we tiled over that whole floor, which involved removing both the toilet and the sink and then sitting them back down on the new tiles.
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Old 01-02-12, 07:42 PM   #22
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Our new house has a disposal; I got kind of cavalier about reaching in to scoop stuff out of it; eventually I found (after no amount of scooping would let it start up enough) that it had a nut on the bottom that I could put a hex wrench into and give it that much extra spin/leverage to snap through whatever was the last obstacle. Haven't had to do that allen wrench thing again.
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Old 01-02-12, 08:28 PM   #23
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Last weekend I replaced the drain stack and tree at my sister in law's house and then replaced the lower control arm on my son's Volvo 850. Neither was too bad of a job.
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Old 01-02-12, 09:28 PM   #24
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I'm with you there. I'm not exactly "handy".

I am going to attempt to fix my girlfriends toilet. It will often keep running after the tank refills.
probably just needs to be cleaned of minerals or it might just be a hardened rubber plug.
the only annoying part is closing the valves so you can work on it.
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Old 01-02-12, 10:02 PM   #25
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Silless shower for the folks.
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