At Your Disopsal

30 Jun

My most frequent service calls are for jammed kitchen disposers. These are actually very durable machines but they are sometimes tripped up by the smallest of things as you will see in this video. There are a variety of tools for servicing disposals. In this video I demonstrate a hex wrench which comes with the disposer and is used to crank a jammed disposer. Not all disposer models have this hex drive port and must be cranked from the top. It can be done with wooden spoon or with a special cranking tool I will demonstrate in another video.

More Plumbing Secrets “They” Don’t Want You to Know

29 Jun


In a previous post from my little plumbing shop of horrors I did a bench demonstration of how to repair a leaky shutoff valve by swapping the stem rather than removing and replacing the entire valve. Here is a slight variation on that theme shot in the field. This job was made more difficult by the location of the shutoff valves-under the utility sink. Whenever possible you do not want to have to replace sweat joined copper fixtures like this one. I’ll show you how to do that on another video when an opportunity comes along. This fix avoids that difficulty. However, there was no way to be sure that the problem wasn’t a crack in the brass casing of the valve. Had this repair failed it would have been necessary to replace the entire valve.

A couple of relatively inexpensive tools make this job much easier: the handle puller and the stem puller. Also the use of stem packing material is demonstrated. This is rightfully are more advanced DIY project . In the beginning I show the valve in the ‘off’ position and it is not leaking. If you try this repair and get stuck you can always put things back together , shut the valve off and call the plumber. However before you begin you will need to shut the water off at the main unless you want to wash your floors.

As always if there is some project you’d like to see me try please send along your suggestion.

You CAN do this and save yourself a big chunk of change.

Passing Gas

27 Jun

I just couldn’t post a photo about a dangerous situation involving an unsecured gas line without presenting a safe, secure and relatively easy fix. This fix is made much easier with a hammer drill and masonry bits. A hammer drill literally pounds the special masonry bit into the wall. I have a combination drill which is a hammer drill, chisel drill and rotary drill all in one. A single function drill is cheaper. Either kind, it’s a must have tool. So are masonry bits. Normal wood bits will be destroyed by trying to get them to work on masonry surfaces.

I’m sorry the lighting in this video isn’t studio quality, but to rationalize, it adds a look of cinema verite.

I am not sure how I am GONNA do it but I’m GONNA stop dropping my “g’s”. That greek dude put rocks in his mouth. It’s bad enough that I have the Minnesota thing, donch know.

Bad Gas Causing You Pain?

20 Jun



Here’s a situation that is much more dangerous than it looks. No, as a matter of fact you cannot hang a gas line with a curtain hook. Just one chin-up by some unsupervised child and you have a major disaster on your hands. Normally the horizontal span would run along the ceiling and then drop down where it connects to the appliance. Alternatively the line could be laid so it is tight against the wall and secured with clamps. Oddly this situation has been missed several times by inspectors. Once when it was originally laid and a second time with a rental inspection. An employee of the gas company red tagged this line when he was at the house for a restart of service.

Made in the Shade

2 Jun Built in the sun-made in the shade

Built in the sun-made in the shade

When we bought our little ’59 rambler 18 yrs ago there was a small window looking out on to the back yard. I opened up that space to install a sliding glass door. It brightened our very dull kitchen but the summer sun was brutal on this south side of the house. A few years later I added a deck with the help of my brother-in-law, the master deck builder. Use was confined to early morning or evenings even with an umbrella over the table-just too much sun. Three years ago my wife asked me to put up a trellis on the west side of the deck with a slight overlap of the deck so she could grow some vines. I started out with no particular plan but soon realized that I would have to put a support post right in front of the opening side of the sliding glass door. At that point the project became a full-blown pergola. Once again, no formal plan I just kept building until it was solid. She planted some Aunt Dee’s Wisteria and Grape Valiant #2. Only three years later we now have all day shade. I don’t know how much my cooling costs have been affected but the kitchen is far more comfortable in the late summer afternoon. It’s a very nice spot for a morning cup of coffee, reading at mid day with an ice tea or visiting over adult beverages in the evening.

Removing Broken Glass from a Disposer

30 May

Here’s a how to on challenging job – clearing broken glass from a disposer. The big take away is to clean glass on the other side of the sink but accidents happen. You can do this safely if you follow the steps shown here.

Off Ramp

10 May

Took down the ramp at mom’s house a few days after she passed away. It came down a whole lot easier than it went up. Rather than try to sell it we donated it to the local branch of the Wounded Warriors.

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