Author Topic: The joys of home-ownership  (Read 3322 times)

Cliffh

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The joys of home-ownership
« on: July 26, 2022, 11:32:24 PM »
Over the last couple of weeks the dogs and I have seen a couple opossums, one large and one small.  The large one got to live 'cause we were outside a bit after dusk, it was playing possum & I didn't have anything lethal with me.  The next one was actually during the daytime, it too was playing dead.  I was close enough to the scrap metal pile to grab an old mower blade and send it to paradise.  DW called out an exterminator, (Orcon), who said we did have a opossum infestation under the house.  They seem to like the fact the underneath is insulated.  Didn't get a quote from him, he flat out said we couldn't afford their services.  (How the F*CK does he know what I can afford??). 

So, I've been setting live & sticky traps around the place.  Caught & killed the big one (hoping it's the only big one) in a live trap. The first sticky trap disappeared.  Nailed the second one to the ground, caught a small one on it.  I did notice a problem with sticky traps in 100+* heat - they aren't so sticky when they get hot.

Day before yesterday I noticed the toilet in the the master bath was moving.  OK, it's hot & dry, maybe the floors dried out a bit.  Got a half turn on one bolt.  The other bolt, well... the nut just kept turning until the bolt came out.  Damn.  Maybe the bolt just turned while I was tightening the nut and it came out through the slotted hole.....

  Next night I tried putting the bolt back into the flange & tightening it.  It never got tight, came out again.  Took the toilet off today.  Wouldn't ya know it, the damn PVC flange is broken.  And it's glued in.  The plumber (who's coming out tomorrow morn) gave an estimate over the phone of +/- $200. 

Been trying to trim the trees around the 5 acres.  There are many trees around here - they're growing into each other along all 4 sides of the property and there are quite a few scattered around inside.  This has to be done 'cause SWMBO has a shade on her riding mower & I've had to repair it twice, due to low hanging limbs.  And we're having a heat wave.  Tree trimming in 104* is so much fun.  Having a bad neck, low back, shoulder & knee doesn't make it any more fun.

Wouldn't trade it for living in town for anything.

Bogie

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Re: The joys of home-ownership
« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2022, 11:54:35 PM »
I have to replace my toilet sooner or later. I am NOT looking forward to doing so, since I have no idea what may be under it. Probably going to, at worst, chisel stuff out and replace using copious amounts of JB Weld...
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HeroHog

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Re: The joys of home-ownership
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2022, 12:01:58 AM »
A true friend is the coworker (IT Programmer) who will come out to your 60 year old house, pull the toilet, use a die grinder in the old cast iron pipe the toilet mates to so the new wax ring will seat properly, breathing in 60+ years of caked on feces and rust to help his coworker out.

Good luck finding that friend! God Bless you Dan Steggerda!!!  :old:
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Perd Hapley

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Re: The joys of home-ownership
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2022, 12:22:18 AM »
I have to replace my toilet sooner or later. I am NOT looking forward to doing so, since I have no idea what may be under it. Probably going to, at worst, chisel stuff out and replace using copious amounts of JB Weld...

Be a real man - build an outhouse.
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HeroHog

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Re: The joys of home-ownership
« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2022, 12:28:12 AM »
Be a real man - build an outhouse.

Been There; Used That, Froze/Sweated/Got Bug-Bit/Stung/Splinters. HELL NO! :old:
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K Frame

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Re: The joys of home-ownership
« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2022, 07:34:16 AM »
 WTF are you doing killing possums?

STOP!

Possums are incredibly beneficial. They hunt and kill mice, rats, and snakes. They are hell on ticks. They're naturally resistant to rabies.

And stop using sticky traps. Those things are just *expletive deleted*ing monumentally cruel. If you're going to kill something, kill it quickly.
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K Frame

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Re: The joys of home-ownership
« Reply #6 on: July 27, 2022, 07:37:14 AM »
AS for your broken toilet flange, don't pay someone to replace it, get this.

https://www.amazon.com/Toilet-Flange-Repair-Kit-Flanges/dp/B078HGCYYJ/ref=asc_df_B078HGCYYJ?tag=bingshoppinga-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=80264400674375&hvnetw=o&hvqmt=e&hvbmt=be&hvdev=c&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=&hvtargid=pla-4583863979620796&psc=1

Works like a charm.

Now that I've saved you $200, how about doing me a favor and stop killing your possum friends?

Live trap and relocate them. Or make pets out of them. Possums make great pets. Actually, they don't. They're wild animals. But stop killing them.
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Ben

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Re: The joys of home-ownership
« Reply #7 on: July 27, 2022, 07:54:53 AM »
Be a real man - build an outhouse.

I'm gonna be a real man the next time mine needs replacement. I'm gonna use my real man phone to call the plumber, then use my real man credit card to pay him. I have thoroughly embraced Grampster's "old retired guy" methodology: call and pay the younger guy, then kick back with a beer while he works.  :laugh:
"I'm a foolish old man that has been drawn into a wild goose chase by a harpy in trousers and a nincompoop."

MechAg94

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Re: The joys of home-ownership
« Reply #8 on: July 27, 2022, 08:41:34 AM »
I guess I should feel lucky.  One of my toilets leaking around the base once.  I was able to put in a new wax seal and that fixed it.  Glad there were no other issues.  I realized later than I should have just gotten a new toilet.  Changed out the other one 4 or 5 years ago without too much issues.  House is only 27 years old with a concrete slab.  I guess it isn't in too bad.


I like learning to do things myself if it isn't too hard.  A lot of home repairs are ready made to do it yourself if you don't have complications.  I drew the line at changing out bath tub faucets a year or two ago.  I have copper piping and the plumber cut it back and ran the new polymer piping a few inches to the faucet valves.  I think I will let the professional do that. 
“It is much more important to kill bad bills than to pass good ones.”  ― Calvin Coolidge

WLJ

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Re: The joys of home-ownership
« Reply #9 on: July 27, 2022, 08:43:39 AM »
WTF are you doing killing possums?

STOP!

Possums are incredibly beneficial. They hunt and kill mice, rats, and snakes. They are hell on ticks. They're naturally resistant to rabies.

And stop using sticky traps. Those things are just *expletive deleted*ing monumentally cruel. If you're going to kill something, kill it quickly.

Beat me to it.
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K Frame

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Re: The joys of home-ownership
« Reply #10 on: July 27, 2022, 08:44:16 AM »
Final word of advice.

Skip the wax ring and go with one of the new waxless rings. Those things are awesome.
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MechAg94

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Re: The joys of home-ownership
« Reply #11 on: July 27, 2022, 08:48:27 AM »
Final word of advice.

Skip the wax ring and go with one of the new waxless rings. Those things are awesome.
Something to keep in mind.  I didn't know that was a thing. 

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Fluidmaster-Better-Than-Wax-Universal-Wax-Free-Toilet-Seal-7530P24/205762183
“It is much more important to kill bad bills than to pass good ones.”  ― Calvin Coolidge

K Frame

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Re: The joys of home-ownership
« Reply #12 on: July 27, 2022, 08:52:54 AM »
Something to keep in mind.  I didn't know that was a thing. 

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Fluidmaster-Better-Than-Wax-Universal-Wax-Free-Toilet-Seal-7530P24/205762183


I've installed several of those, including one on a toilet at my house. Works GREAT.

The best thing is... if you miss sitting the bowl down straight on your first shot, with a wax ring you're screwed and you need a new ring.

With the waxless system, you just try again. You can remove/reposition the toilet as often as you need to.
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K Frame

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Re: The joys of home-ownership
« Reply #13 on: July 27, 2022, 08:56:34 AM »
And here's another flange repair thingy (that's a specific industry term).

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Water-Closet-Repair-Flange-PSF-100/100372312



And here's yet another kind. I THINK this one is your best bet if you don't have enough access to get under the flange, which would be a problem with flanges that are either at or below floor level.

Simple fact is, though, that this should be a pretty simple repair for just about any homeowner as there are a WIDE variety of different flange repair parts available.

https://www.lowes.com/pd/Oatey-7-in-L-Circle-Round-Stainless-Steel-Ring/50315043?cm_mmc=shp-_-c-_-prd-_-plb-_-bng-_-LIA_PLB_142_Pipe-Fittings-_-50315043-_-Local-_-0-_-0&ds_rl=1286981&msclkid=29ccd65f853715faaf32b4beb0891e40&gclid=29ccd65f853715faaf32b4beb0891e40&gclsrc=3p.ds
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Ben

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Re: The joys of home-ownership
« Reply #14 on: July 27, 2022, 09:00:18 AM »
I like learning to do things myself if it isn't too hard.  A lot of home repairs are ready made to do it yourself if you don't have complications.  I drew the line at changing out bath tub faucets a year or two ago.  I have copper piping and the plumber cut it back and ran the new polymer piping a few inches to the faucet valves.  I think I will let the professional do that.

I had rentals before I retired, so did a lot of plumbing stuff myself. I didn't mind it and liked having the skills. Nowadays my time is worth 100X more than my money. For even simple stuff, like replacing the "in-wall" water valves, I don't want to deal with it anymore, partially for what I think you're alluding to: I on more than one occasion had a corroded in or otherwise seized valve that at least tripled my work time from it either breaking or some other boondoggle during replacement.

I have enough other stuff to do around this place that I can't find someone to pay to do, that most anything I can pay someone else to do, I like to hire out. As my dad used to say, "I did my share of work, now I'll let the young guys make some money".  =)
"I'm a foolish old man that has been drawn into a wild goose chase by a harpy in trousers and a nincompoop."

K Frame

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Re: The joys of home-ownership
« Reply #15 on: July 27, 2022, 09:03:32 AM »
"Nowadays my time is worth 100X more than my money."

You're retired. Your time ain't worth *expletive deleted*it. Jeesh, such delusions of self importance...

Ben Freaking Rockafella, here!

 :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:
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Ben

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Re: The joys of home-ownership
« Reply #16 on: July 27, 2022, 09:05:35 AM »
You're retired. Your time ain't worth *expletive deleted*it. Jeesh, such delusions of self importance...

 :laugh:

Just wait till you retire and have the time to realize that you already have way more time on Earth than you have time left on Earth. "Can't take it with you" starts to have a lot more meaning.  :laugh:
"I'm a foolish old man that has been drawn into a wild goose chase by a harpy in trousers and a nincompoop."

K Frame

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Re: The joys of home-ownership
« Reply #17 on: July 27, 2022, 09:07:52 AM »
Hell, I've already started. I paid a husband and wife landscaping team (they were doing work for my neighbor) $200 to cut the hedges back in front of my house. They had really gotten out of control. They also reset the brick border and spread a bunch of mulch.

I was happy to pay to have it done as I've just not had the heart to tackle it.
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MechAg94

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Re: The joys of home-ownership
« Reply #18 on: July 27, 2022, 09:34:25 AM »
I had rentals before I retired, so did a lot of plumbing stuff myself. I didn't mind it and liked having the skills. Nowadays my time is worth 100X more than my money. For even simple stuff, like replacing the "in-wall" water valves, I don't want to deal with it anymore, partially for what I think you're alluding to: I on more than one occasion had a corroded in or otherwise seized valve that at least tripled my work time from it either breaking or some other boondoggle during replacement.

I have enough other stuff to do around this place that I can't find someone to pay to do, that most anything I can pay someone else to do, I like to hire out. As my dad used to say, "I did my share of work, now I'll let the young guys make some money".  =)

For that job, I had already attempted to pull the guts out of the bathroom faucets to try to change that out.  The threads were completely seized.  I couldn't get them to budge.  The plumber tried also.  I think that was a big part of just cutting back the copper and sweating on PEX fittings to install the new hardware. 

“It is much more important to kill bad bills than to pass good ones.”  ― Calvin Coolidge

K Frame

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Re: The joys of home-ownership
« Reply #19 on: July 27, 2022, 09:39:21 AM »
I had a similar problem with the shower handles on my Mom's (and later my) shower. Decades of hard water had completely cemented them into place.

Solution?

Spray the backs of the handles with vinegar, and keep doing that over the course of about a week.

The vinegar eventually ate through the calcium and the handle puller took them off with ease.
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cordex

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Re: The joys of home-ownership
« Reply #20 on: July 27, 2022, 10:02:22 AM »
When I was working on my new house I was doing lots of work myself but I had a local plumber in handling some of the copper.  I asked him about the "better than wax" seals and he hated them.  He said he had more failures/call backs, more quickly with those than he has ever had with properly installed wax rings.  He also told me that when he installs the wax rings he gets two of the extra thick rings and squishes them together, and that whenever he uses that method he never has issues with it again.  I had already set one of the toilets, but I used that trick on the other one.

He did say that some plumbers really like the wax free seals, so your mileage may vary.

Cliffh

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Re: The joys of home-ownership
« Reply #21 on: July 27, 2022, 10:33:04 AM »
I've replaced the seal on this same toilet about 12 years ago.  The floor was rotted around it, took a couple days of work to remove, re-frame and install a new sub-floor.  Used two wax rings that time.  I bought one of the new wax-less (rubber) ring for use this time. 

The plumber's grinding out the old flange as I type this.  He's been grinding for at least 15 min and still going strong.  He's also about 40 years younger than I am.  He's going to replace the PVC flange with a steel one.  Maybe we'll get another 12 years before it'll need work. 

Looks like I'll make it to the doctor appointment on time.

As for the opossums, have you had opossums under your house & in the walls?  They are NOT considerate neighbors.  Noisy as hell, tear up insulation, eat wiring & plumbing, carry diseases and will (on occasion) bite pets & humans.

These who've moved in are not the only ones in the neighborhood.  I doubt my killing this family will put them on the endangered species list.

As far as the sticky traps, they go out at night and are checked first thing in the morning, then removed for the day.  Not a whole lot more "inconvenient" for the critter than the live traps.  Because of the heat, I've had to discontinue their use anyway.

I haven't checked into the legality of relocating critters in this area.  Relocating the entire family would be problematic at least.  And it'd moving them into some other animals territory, an area they're not familiar with.  Means fighting for space, and trying to find food & water.

While working around one of the live traps, next to the house, I noticed a young copperhead.  He was able to make it under the house before I could get the necessary equipment.  He entered using the same route the opossums have been using.  Note that the snake was still alive, not eaten by the opossums.  I've still got to deal with him....  Won't be the first copperhead I've killed around here.

MechAg94

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Re: The joys of home-ownership
« Reply #22 on: July 27, 2022, 10:36:34 AM »
I think I used the extra large wax seal the last time with no issues.  Using two seems excessive.  I will keep it in mind.
“It is much more important to kill bad bills than to pass good ones.”  ― Calvin Coolidge

K Frame

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Re: The joys of home-ownership
« Reply #23 on: July 27, 2022, 10:39:15 AM »
I've known plumbers who won't use anything but the waxless seals and plumbers who will slap you and call you out at dawn if you suggest using a waxless.

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K Frame

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Re: The joys of home-ownership
« Reply #24 on: July 27, 2022, 11:36:51 AM »
"As for the opossums, have you had opossums under your house & in the walls?  They are NOT considerate neighbors.  Noisy as hell, tear up insulation, eat wiring & plumbing, carry diseases and will (on occasion) bite pets & humans."

Possums, no.

Raccoons, yes.

Squirrles, yes.

Raccoons and squirrels die because they are aholes. Raccoons especially. They'll bite just for the hell of it. And they're a HUGE vector for rabies.

Yes, any wild animal is going to rearrange its new living space.

Possums will generally only bite if they are REALLY provoked. Because, generally, they're not aholes. Like raccoons or squirrels. Or humans.
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