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Home Improvement/Repair Questions

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On 7/4/2018 at 9:19 AM, YMZ PE said:

Saw some water dripping from the overflow on my water softener. I opened the brine tank and found it completely full of water. After draining it, I figured out the bypass valve was leaking and had flooded the tank. I have a part on order and will be replacing the entire valve this weekend since internet research tells me replacing the O-rings won't cut it. It's a cheap plastic valve; I wish there was an option to upgrade it to something more sturdy.

Funny, my water softener has a similar leak right now.

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53 minutes ago, Audi driver, P.E. said:

Funny, my water softener has a similar leak right now.

Mine is the Whirlpool 33,000 grain softener. What about yours?

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17 hours ago, YMZ PE said:

Mine is the Whirlpool 33,000 grain softener. What about yours?

Honestly, I don't know. I think it might be a Whirlpool.  I got it from my father in law who had abandoned it a few years back.

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F'in A.  So we had a nasty brief storm Saturday afternoon.  Sure enough, ripped down one of our shutters and pulled three more huge pieces of eaves/fascia trim off the house.  This is the third time that shit's come down.  Of course, the one guy who called me back did the "oh, we need to fix it right, replace fascia boards, etc. etc. we're super expensive because we overpay our workers, blah blah".  Yeah dude, all I want is someone who will charge me $200 to crawl up there and use screws and washers instead of f*cking 1" finish nails.  This shit isn't rocket science...

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maybe that 20; extension ladder would pay for itself by now ;) ?

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1 hour ago, Road Guy said:

maybe that 20; extension ladder would pay for itself by now ;) ?

My roof is steep as hell.  I have no business being on it.  I watched the last young, spry contractor damn near fall off the thing as he tried to traverse it.  

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2 hours ago, Supe said:

My roof is steep as hell.  I have no business being on it.  I watched the last young, spry contractor damn near fall off the thing as he tried to traverse it.  

All you need is a good rope.

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14 minutes ago, Audi driver, P.E. said:

All you need is a good rope.

Sure.  My contractor can bring it with him.

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Hoo boy, CasaSquare's pool (we just moved in) got real cloudy in just a couple days. We were so busy moving I didn't check on the pool and it turns out the seller turned off the pump when they left. Time to shock it and maybe change the filter. Any pool advice? Never had one before. I'll consult the Google, too, of course.

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Above ground or in ground? I don't think there's a filter to change on an in ground.  All the ones I've seen are a sand filter.

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just be prepared to drop a lot of time and $$$$$$$!!!!!   chemicals, parts, tools, toys, electricity...it adds up fast.  we got rid of ours several years ago.  we were dropping $600+ a year for a 3 month season and only ended up using it a couple times.

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2 hours ago, jeb6294 said:

Above ground or in ground? I don't think there's a filter to change on an in ground.  All the ones I've seen are a sand filter.

In ground, I'm learning as I go!

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1 hour ago, snickerd3 said:

just be prepared to drop a lot of time and $$$$$$$!!!!!   chemicals, parts, tools, toys, electricity...it adds up fast.  we got rid of ours several years ago.  we were dropping $600+ a year for a 3 month season and only ended up using it a couple times.

Ughhhh, I refer to it as "surprise pool" because I didn't want it, need it, prepare for it, or budgeted for it. But it came with the house and LadySquare wants it. I'll give it a couple years I guess!

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would assume in CA you can get a good bit of use out of it?

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1 minute ago, Road Guy said:

would assume in CA you can get a good bit of use out of it?

I'd better use it now! It's all good, just griping about something I didn't ask for and I just want to do it right. It's 104F as I write this, so I guess you wacky EB weirdos better hit me up next time you're here! Everyone who walks in the door gets a standard-issue  "walking around beer." :bananalama:

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Back to the topic: forgive my ignorance for I am a mere mechanical engineer, but do I need to hire someone to tell me if a wall is load-bearing or not? LadySquare wants to knock down a wall to expand the master bath. Do I need to call a guy? Inspector? Civil/structural engr? Architect? Billy-Bob down the street?

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you should be able to decipher - do your ceiling joints run parallel to the wall or perpendicular to it? (may have to climb in attic)

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1 minute ago, Road Guy said:

you should be able to decipher - do your ceiling joints run parallel to the wall or perpendicular to it? (may have to climb in attic)

I'll take a look and report back! I've only been living there for 4 days and I haven't poked around the attic and haven't paid attention to the ceiling. Thanks @Road Guy!

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1 hour ago, squaretaper said:

 It's 104F as I write this

I've just started saying the temperature in Kelvin.  316K.  That just seems to more accurately represent what it feels like to be outside for more than three minutes between the hours of 2PM and 7PM.

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1 hour ago, squaretaper said:

Back to the topic: forgive my ignorance for I am a mere mechanical engineer, but do I need to hire someone to tell me if a wall is load-bearing or not? LadySquare wants to knock down a wall to expand the master bath. Do I need to call a guy? Inspector? Civil/structural engr? Architect? Billy-Bob down the street?

you need to follow the framing and understand the load path.  RG's suggestion is good but basic.  If you have high ceilings or irregular framing it may not be as obvious.  Start cheap with getting an estimate and the contractor should be able to tell/confirm your suspicions.  If there's doubt find a local structural guy.  Depending on the age and configuration of the house and being in CA it might be designed to resist lateral loads from seismic events in addition to vertical loads.  A seismic shear wall could be just as important as a vertical load bearing wall, if there's ever a quake.

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32 minutes ago, envirotex said:

I've just started saying the temperature in Kelvin.  316K.  That just seems to more accurately represent what it feels like to be outside for more than three minutes between the hours of 2PM and 7PM.

Why not go all in and go Rankine? 564°R burns!!!

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7 minutes ago, MA_PE said:

you need to follow the framing and understand the load path.  RG's suggestion is good but basic.  If you have high ceilings or irregular framing it may not be as obvious.  Start cheap with getting an estimate and the contractor should be able to tell/confirm your suspicions.  If there's doubt find a local structural guy.  Depending on the age and configuration of the house and being in CA it might be designed to resist lateral loads from seismic events in addition to vertical loads.  A seismic shear wall could be just as important as a vertical load bearing wall, if there's ever a quake.

This is sort of what I'm worried about. High ceilings (to me) and irregular framing (to me). Again, I am a mere mechanical. I guess the root of my question is who can I call to make the final decision whether or not I can take a wall down (really, I'm moving it).

Edited by squaretaper

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5 minutes ago, squaretaper said:

This is sort of what I'm worried about. High ceilings (to me) and irregular framing (to me). Again, I am a mere mechanical. I guess the root of my question is who can I call to make the final decision whether or not I can take a wall down (really, I'm moving it).

You planning on doing the work yourself or hiring someone to do it?  If it's DIY I'd suggest retaining a local structural engineer to look and provide a stamped plan on what needs to be done to remove it.  If you're going to have a contractor do it, then get some estimates from remodeling contractor's and when you select one, be sure to put in the contract that you want a letter/plan stamped by a PE for the work.  that way if god-forbid anything goes amiss (even like settling and causing cracking to finishes inside) you have support material to have him pay for any necessary repairs.  I obviously don't know the specifics of your house it might be very simple, or...it might not be.  Good luck.

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21 minutes ago, MA_PE said:

You planning on doing the work yourself or hiring someone to do it?  If it's DIY I'd suggest retaining a local structural engineer to look and provide a stamped plan on what needs to be done to remove it.  If you're going to have a contractor do it, then get some estimates from remodeling contractor's and when you select one, be sure to put in the contract that you want a letter/plan stamped by a PE for the work.  that way if god-forbid anything goes amiss (even like settling and causing cracking to finishes inside) you have support material to have him pay for any necessary repairs.  I obviously don't know the specifics of your house it might be very simple, or...it might not be.  Good luck.

I'm definitely having someone else do it. I'm busy with other DIY projects! I'll definitely request that my contractor get the planned work reviewed, I just didn't know if contractors are typically able to conclude what walls can be demo'd.

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Just now, squaretaper said:

I'm definitely having someone else do it. I'm busy with other DIY projects! I'll definitely request that my contractor get the planned work reviewed, I just didn't know if contractors are typically able to conclude what walls can be demo'd.

If a contractor can't determine if a wall can be removed, they have no business working on your house.

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