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)

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 | 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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