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 Furnace Flame Sensor Fix

By | HVAC | No Comments

The flame sensor was an ingenious solution to a serious safety problem. On a gas furnace, they provide an incredible safety feature when they are working right. When they aren’t they become a menace and cause silly service calls. For some reason there seems to be a correlation between furnaces near the laundry. One fellow suggested that a particular dryer sheets seem to be the culprit. I have not made that connection but who knows. When the Furnace Just Wont Fire Up Gas furnaces got through a series of safety checks before they come on. Some more than others. The…

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Failing Exhaust Duct work

By | Fixing things, HVAC, Indoor Air Quality | No Comments

A client called to report a hot exhaust wall in their bathroom. Naturally fire and Carbon monoxide poison come to mind. The gas water heater exhaust and the 80% furnace exhausts commingle and go up and out of the home in a double walled oval exhaust flu. The home was built in the ’70s and has already had the furnace replaced once. Was it a bad install or just warn out? The thin 2 x 4 wall was hot in one spot. A thermal image was showing over 100 degrees in one spot. How were we going to see what…

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Is My House Toxic?

By | Indoor Air Quality, Problem Solving, Understanding your home | No Comments

I have always enjoyed understanding building science and have dabbled in the realm of an amateur of sorts trying to discover what is causing a home to make a resident feel ill when they are inside of it. Being a former Paramedic, I blend my knowledge into a pretty good problem solver. Yes, your home could make you sick, and even kill you if have faulty systems. The risk goes up the tighter the home is. Have You Ever Considered That Your House Could Be Making You Ill? Do you have any of these symptoms only when you are at…

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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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