This Blog is dedicated to the notion that fixing things on our homes as well as understanding how they work is a fun, life-long learning process.

Fixing things and remodeling are my passions, If you are interested in remodeling your home, or just happen to stumble upon my site, please spend some time in my world. You’ll be pleased that you did.

The original content contained here is proof that when you are passionate about something it is easy to find stuff to talk about.


Behind the scenes at Levco Care

We are working on setting up our systems for our clients. We have a great idea and a great place to start, I just need to free up the staff to make it happen.


Inspirational Quotes

Surround yourself with people you love and have fun. The rest is gravy. Paul Tillotson (1965 -2016)

I love the smell of sawdust in the morning. Me, renaissance man (8-28-58 Still going strong!)

“Quality construction does not cost- it pays” (as seen on a bumper sticker)

Figuring Out a Three Way Switch

By | Electrical | No Comments

Three way switches used to frighten me, they seemed so complicated. I found a great residential electrical book and redrew the diagram several times until I thought I had it figured out. Inevitably, I ended up not trusting myself and randomly switching wires around until I got it, or at least I though I did. Then I found an electrician that showed me how the big boys do it. Here is what I do now. It reminded me how Red corrected me forever when I was pronouncing Porsche wrong every other time. He said,” Joe I’m going to say this…

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Hey, Is That A Contractor In Your Pocket?

By | Problem Solving | No Comments

Technology is becoming so important. I have seen the future and it dared me to think big. It begs the question, “Is that a contractor in your pocket? Or are you just happy to see me?”. My daughter Athena lives in the Bay Area 800 miles away but she is able to get me to fix things with her technology. We fixed her dryer, a stuck oven drawer, and I was able to explain what the freezer sound was in her new apartment in 5 minutes. The other night I was able to turn power back on to a client’s…

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French Door Repair

By | Doors, Understanding your home | No Comments

I have a Peach tree French door that has been troublesome for awhile. Having them out of business has been a pain in the butt. They has some proprietary weatherstripping that is no longer available and the parts are getting harder to find. I had to replace the door lock because my dog was landing on the handle repeatedly and it eventually broke the lock internally. I turned the handle from 3:00 position to 12:00 position so he had no leverage so It should be fine. I bought standard weatherstripping and cut off a sliver and it seals well now….

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Air for Your Gas Appliances

By | Appliances | No Comments

There are two forms of air that are needed to make gas appliances work properly. Without them things go haywire and it could kill you and your family. There is makeup air and there is combustion air. Although they both do the same thing they are though of in different ways. First off, fire needs the triangle to work. Then the products of combustion need to leave the home through a flu pipe. (High performance appliances are now extracting so much heat out of the gas that they can be vented through PVC pipe) Combustion air: The air needed to…

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Glow Igniter Failure

By | Fixing things, HVAC | No Comments

I was called to fix a gas fired forced air furnace the other day. It was one I was familiar with. This one is on its side in the crawl space. Not the ugliest situation, at least it was dry, had light, and was free of major obstacles or creepy crawlers. Upon discovering that it had power I removed the covers and depressed the door switch to watch the cycle. First the induction fan came on Next the glow igniter came on. WOOPS, no glow then the cut off. Then I examined the glow igniter and saw it was discolored….

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Gas Water Heater Failure

By | Plumbing, Problem Solving | No Comments

No hot water is the symptom but what could be the cause. I responded to the home of a client that we did a major remodeling project work for in 2012 which 5 years after installation. What could be wrong? Its a gas water heater, for cryin’ out loud, such simple technology. My typical triage shenanigans out of the way over the phone, the client confirmed that she had paid her gas bill and the unit was plugged in “Ha Ha”. I decided to respond on a Sunday evening imagining that the pilot had gone out and that it would…

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Sulfur Smell From Hot Water

By | Plumbing, Problem Solving | No Comments

I recently diagnosed a new electric water heater emitting a nasty sulfur smell from it. The darn smell would not go away so I asked my Father-In-law Bob the retired plumber what he thought. “Anode rod must be bad” he said. Whatever the cause, it was a very nasty smell that could not be ignored. After researching the issue, I discovered that sulfur gas that is not harmful was being formed by an aerobic bacteria that was attacking my sacrificial anode. Perhaps we did not flush it enough at the beginning, who knows the point is that the smell was…

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Flashing Red GFCI

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

I recently returned to a kitchen remodeling project to figure out why the a counter outlet stopped working. I traced the power back under the crawl space to a junction box with a GFCI outlet that would not reset and had a flashing red LED in it. I turned it into a junction box and left the outlet un-energized as a cover plate of sorts until I can get back up there. We do not have non-working outlets in our projects. Looking it up I realized that it was a failed GFCI outlet. It was nice to have the flashing…

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Roof replacement problems

By | Roofing, Trust, Understanding your home | No Comments

As a part of our work requests we take care of homes that have been inspected for the purposes of resale. In the majority of these homes, we have found that when a roof replacement has been done that the ducts have been left disconnected. The ducts we are talking about are the solar tubes, exhaust ventilation from bathrooms and kitchens as well as dryer vents. Whats the big deal Q: Why are ducts out of the home installed in the first place. A: To vent warm humid air out of the home. Ever heard of the “M” word (Mold)?…

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Maintenance required

By | Understanding your home | No Comments

I had a Honda Accord 30 years ago that had a little red indicator on the analog odometer with a manual reset. That was my first car with this innovative reminder. Who knew it would be the launchpad for a new venture 3 decades later. Idiot Lights are a real thing I remember a time when if the idiot lights came on, it was too late. An indelible impression was made when my best friend Dave chose to ignore the idiot lights on the dash for the last time. Sadly, the Chevy II Nova motor blew up on the freeway…

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