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)

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 | Electrical | 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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Can you flip a p trap?

By | Plumbing, Problem Solving | No Comments

I recently came across a problem that is fairly common in remodeling kitchens. A client remodeled their home after 35 years and ended up with a nicer, under mount sink. The sink bottom ended up about 4″ lower than the previous one too, so the connections to the wall needed to adjusted to make it all work. This usually comes as a surprise to everyone and if your kitchen cabinets have backs it can be a real problem to fix. If you are gutting the kitchen, always lower the sink drain. Shit goes down hill The first rule of plumbing…

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Fuses

Fuse failure almost causes fire

By | Electrical, Energy | No Comments

Fusees are an important link in the safety chain of electrical components of a home. They are designed to fail prior to the wires getting so hot that they melt and or catch other things on fire. Sadly many folks are willing to put too large of a fuse or the wrong rating of a fuse in the line to keep a circuit working. There are many different looking fuses some look the same but operate differently. The key is to use the appropriate fuse for the job. Just because it fits in the space does not mean that it…

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More winter blues, the ceiling is falling!

By | Moisture Protection, Water Awareness, Weatherization | No Comments

I got called by a property management company to urgently evaluate a second story apartment that had a leaking ceiling, and likely falling in. The first time pregnant woman was worried about her health and rightfully so. Upon arrival I found a snow covered roof at a low slope. It was 6:00 PM,  36 degrees and raining slightly. I went upstairs and walked into a wall of humidity, I saw that the windows were sweating and they were baking and making spaghetti. The walls were dripping a bit especially up near the ceiling. There was some discoloration on the semigloss…

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window winter

How cold is it?

By | Basements, Safe Practices | No Comments

Its so cold I saw a dog stuck to a tree. Just kidding, but it did freeze a vinyl window shut. Egress windows are giving a false sense of security if they don’t open when they need to. To say the least it has been a hell of a winter. I am exhausted and frustrated with it. One of my residents just informed me that it took an hour with a hair dryer to thaw the darn thing. He used WD-40 to lube it up and we will see if it works. Heed this warning Check your egress windows for…

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Failed Pipe

Hissing sound turns out to be serious

By | Plumbing, Problem Solving, Understanding your home | No Comments

A past client called to report a strange hissing sound emanating from beneath her kitchen area. She said “It sounded like a machine running or air moving”. It seemed like no big deal until she noticed a crack in her drywall in the same general area. That is when I got involved. After lifting the lid on the crawl space it became obvious that she had a leak beneath her floor. Whats that sound? I instantly noticed a high humidity condition on my face and got a sinking feeling about what I was going to discover. I Jumped down into…

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