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fancycwabs: (Safety)
I guess it would have cost $150 for a plumber to fix it )

UPDATE: Changing the whole cartridge took ten minutes, as predicted (even putting it in backwards the first time, which results in hot water where you expect cold water), and seems to have stopped the leak, as predicted.
fancycwabs: (Safety)
Name: Fix the damn washing machine.
Status: Complete
Symptoms of problem: Washer would agitate the clothes until they were ready to kill, then stop, without draining, rinsing, or spinning.
Cause: Lid switch had broken completely free from its mount.
Temporary solution: Tie lid switch permanently closed with a bag tie from a loaf of bread.
Unintended consequences of temporary solution: Water all over the floor of the laundry room.
Time spent mopping up water: Twenty minutes
Time spent sucking up the rest of the water using the steam cleaner after getting tired of mopping: Twenty minutes
Amount of water on floor: Probably a couple of gallons.
Skills required: Shopping, unscrewing, unclipping, bulky object manipulation, tool location, finding small parts which have fallen inside a washing machine, swearing.
Cost of part: $25
Photo of the new switch in a plastic bag:
Washer Switch
Is it easy to take a washing machine apart?: If you know the trick to it, yes. If not, you're screwed.
Photo of washing machine in its disassembled state:
Washer apart
Is it easy to put a washing machine back together?: Not as easy as taking one apart, that's for certain.
Clothing washed since the repair: About half a load.
Amount of water on floor after repair: Just what I couldn't get up from the first massive leak without moving the dryer.
Feeling of manly/husbandly satisfaction: Low. I didn't even get a thank-you from Mrs. Cwabs for the last project, so this project will probably lead to more complaints about how I don't do enough laundry.
fancycwabs: (Default)
Name: Replace the in-sink garbage disposal
Status: Complete
Skills required: Wiring, plumbing, cleaning all that crap out from under the sink.
Thing I had to run back to the hardware store to get: Plumber's putty, electrical tape, wire caps (not used).
Old horspower: 1/3
New horsepower: 3/4
New sound: Probably cut 10-20 decibels out. It's got pretty good insulation.
Where I went to get one first: Best Buy
What they had in stock: A computer showing a web page full of garbage disposals that you could order.
Where I ended up buying one: Sears.
Cost: $99 (on sale!)
Things the new disposal has eaten: One biscuit
What I hope: New disposal doesn't blow a circuit breaker with over twice the power. Need to run some calculations and see what size we've got in the box. Don't think it'll be a problem, but homebuilders can be cheap.
Feeling of manly/husbandly satisfaction: Moderate.
fancycwabs: (Safety)
Yesterday morning I got up to go to work and jumped in the shower to discover genital-shrinking cold water, but could do nothing about it until this morning, when I climbed up to the attic where the water heater is.

Step 1: Read the warning on the outside of the heater. Normally I wouldn't pay a lot of attention to this, but as it's a gas water heater and could conveivably go blooey if matches are placed in close proximity I figure it's probably a good idea.

Step 2: take the cover off the pilot light and gas main lines. Relatively easy to accomplish.

Step 3: Look inside. For some reason all the flashlights in the house have gone missing, or have been used as blugeons by Destructo. A quick check with the wife confirms this, and also that we have no sources of open flame in the house (Destructo, again), so it's off to the neighborhood market to get a flashlight and some matches or an aim-a-flame.

Step 4. Tools in hand, light the pilot light per instructions. Not too difficult, and I've only wasted about an hour trying to light something with a match. Only when the pilot light gas feed bypass valve is released, the pilot light goes out. Poof.

Step 5. Check online for how this stuff is supposed to work. Ah. Pilot light heats the adjoining thermocouple, which keeps gas flowing to the pilot light as long as the thermocouple stays hot. If the pilot light goes out, odds are it's a bad thermocouple.

Step 6. Drive to Home Depot and buy a replacement thermocouple for $7.

Step 7. Replace thermocouple. Hm, it seems that the only screwdriver capable of removing the old thermocouple (the screw is in the confined space inside the bottom of the heater) has gone missing (Desctructo, I'd wager). It's probably somewhere in the house, but could be buried in the back yard. A search of Descructo's room turns up a number of pieces of missing silverware, some parts of somebody's ceiling fan (probably one I bought a while back to go upstairs but never installed), all my Beatles CD's, and a storeroom full of half-eaten food.

Step 8: Call wife and ask her to bring home a short Phillips head screwdriver when she comes back from her thing.


We're holding at step 8.


In other news, I'm told that an acquaintance of mine has made it to American Idol finals. But it's a secret. Don't tell anyone!

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