All posts by joe

Faulty Shutoff Valve Floods Home

By | Plumbing | No Comments

An acquaintance had her shut-off valves replaced recently from the gate valve type to the 1/4 turn shut-off style not because they were bad but because she wanted to update things and not have to worry. Talk about proactive property maintenance! The Weakest Link There is nothing in this world that can not be made faster and cheaper. My hunch is that it is a Chinese knockoff with plastic parts to make it look like metal. A licensed plumber installed them and sadly one morning as the hairdryer was on, a distinct sound of running water was heard in the…

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Help My Roof is Popping

By | Problem Solving, Understanding your home | No Comments

I get some intriguing questions from time to time. I could not pass this one up. A popping roof means it is not just a weird occasional issue, it actually wakes her up. This concern is that the house is in some danger of collapsing. Although possible it is unlikely even from a layman’s perspective. If it is real fear then by golly it was my responsibility to investigate and that is exactly what I did. Catastrophizing Is A Thing Fear of things makes them worse. Did you hear that? Another pop. Let’s face it everything gets worse when you…

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Gas Oven Failure Fixed

By | Appliances, Understanding your home | No Comments

I’ve been working on a Viking Professional natural gas oven that was not heating properly. It is a simple system that has very few parts or controls. The burners were burnt out and that was the first obvious sign, I bought an igniter thinking that it was the problem too but they were both glowing orange so I figured that they were working. (Typically when they are not working they are  fractured) I was wrong! After replacing the burners I was disappointed that it still had an issue of fluctuating on then off them sputtering so I tapped on the…

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Sprinkler System Failure Repaired

By | Problem Solving | No Comments

I was asked to fix a Rainbird sprinkler system that was not doing its thing. The battery was new, the system was pressurized with water. I first looked at the display that had a constant error message. It was not changing as I spun the dial so I knew something was wrong. Prior to searching for an answer on google, I did a few things to understand what is wrong. I checked the fuse for continuity out of the device. GOOD I double-checked it with an extension cord that I knew had power. NOT ANY BETTER I then took my…

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The Handy Man Craze Hits Boise

By | Basements, Electrical, Plumbing, Problem Solving, The Law | No Comments

I have recently come across 3 guys that have quit employment to go out on their own to become handymen for their sphere of influence. I love entrepreneurship and I encourage everyone to give it a try. I can not thank them enough to take over the small jobs that my company is frankly not able to take care of because our niche is handling far more complicated and larger projects. Let’s face it YouTube and the Big Box stores have given rise to this new industry. Where is the line? When handymen cross the line is when they start…

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My House is More Humid Than Normal

By | HVAC, Indoor Air Quality, Understanding your home | No Comments

I recently was asked to look at a new development in the summer of a home we recently remodeled. The concern is that it is in the ‘mid to high ’80’s and the house is humid. OUTSIDE HEAT mid to high ’90s INSIDE SET TO: 73deg UPON ARRIVAL: House is 70 deg AC not running. Fan in auto Humidity inside 44% Humidity outside 36% Background information The AC unit was replaced 4 years ago with a 3 ton coil (Inside) 2.5 ton compressor (Outside). We added 650SF to a 1500 SF home and a new furnace that was installed above…

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According To The Big Box Store Guy…

By | Customer Service, Problem Solving | No Comments

A friend called to tell me that “according to the Home Depot guy” (If I had a dime for every time I’ve heard this) “This pull on and twist for temperature shower valve faucet is illegal now, and must be completely replaced”. He also said the the parts are no longer made. “Bull shit”, I said and directed my buddy to where to buy the parts for $5 to fix it. Could they have misunderstood The HDG? Perhaps. If you strip a handle usually the stem is still OK and a trip to the local hardware store will net you…

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The Leaky Faucet Gets the New Parts

By | Plumbing, Problem Solving | No Comments

I have been surprised at how often new things don’t work like we expect them to. As a remodeling contractor our plumbers install lots of faucets. In a recent project we had two of them start to leak within a few months of installation at the kitchen sink. Warranty Anyone? As a warranty item this is not big deal in the big picture. That we buy from a reputable wholesale supply house makes it so much easier to resolve. With a phone call we had parts shipped to us no argument or issue. I replaced the parts myself as a…

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Retrofitting Hydronic Heating

By | Aged Home Upgrades, Energy, Floors, HVAC | No Comments

Our client wanted heated floors in their existing home. There was a partial basement and crawl space access. I remembered a system that we have used before that circulates fluid beneath the floor and felt that this would be a good option to offer.  It uses glycol and is separate and detached from the plumbing system. We decided to offer a radiant heated under floor system for a home that had a mixture of hardwood floors and Tile floors. The home already had a forced air system but the idea of warm floors was a big hit. It took 7…

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Joist Hangers Use & Misuse

By | Fixing things, Problem Solving, Understanding your home | No Comments

Joist hangers have been around for around about 59 years, they were developed by Simpson Strongtie for a friend who was looking for a way to secure some boards in a more structurally sound way. Now days there are all kinds for them for all sorts of purposes. There are many things that are intuitive like how to use a saw which reminds me of a joke. The logger and the Salesman A guy was logging on his land using an old crosscut saw to fell trees. A salesman suggested he would love the new chain saw so he left…

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