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Home Improvements

kjel

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We've been looking at our kitchen counter-top and it really needs help. It's a synthetic material, not tile or formica, less than 10 years old, but previous owners set hot pans directly on it and did not use cutting boards. We want to avoid the expense of replacing it, so I've been doing the Google thingy for about a week trying to find a product to refinish the existing top. Maybe it doesn't exist. Here's what we had in mind: sanding down the tops and applying some type of finishing product like a hard, clear enamel or epoxy. You folks ever come across such a process or product? Am I way off-base? Wasting my time? We're going to the local home and garden show this morning. Maybe we'll get some ideas there.

What does the Throbbing Brian say?
wasting time...the epoxy really doesn't hold up well. you are better off replacing it and will like the end result much better.
 

Richmond Jake

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Looking at tiling my shower this weekend. Anyone in the last hours of the week have some advice for this DIYer......
Don't do it. It's a pain in the royal ass to keep clean, especially the grout. I've lived in 3 houses and one apartment with tile showers.

Explore other solutions. Trust me.
 

kjel

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Don't do it. It's a pain in the royal ass to keep clean, especially the grout. I've lived in 3 houses and one apartment with tile showers.

Explore other solutions. Trust me.
You are not lying. I once lived in a rental that someone thought it was a good idea to make a shower stall with 1"x1" tile. Try keeping all that grout clean.
 

Zoning Goddess

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You are not lying. I once lived in a rental that someone thought it was a good idea to make a shower stall with 1"x1" tile. Try keeping all that grout clean.
Ugh, I had that crap in the house I sold last summer. For 10 years I spent much of my time scrubbing it with a toothbrush. I never could get it clean enough for RJ.
 

ofos

Vintage Cyburbian
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8,278
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27
You actually have to apply cleanser and bend over and scrub the damn stuff with a brush, woman.

Guess I know what I'm doing this weekend. :-o
[ot]After that start, guess we all know what you won't be doing this weekend. ;);)[/ot]
 

dandy_warhol

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31
went down to the basement today to notice water all over the back corner of the floor. :-o the water heater had sprung a leak. looks like tomorrow we'll be searching for a new water heater and someone to install it by this Friday. our Mardi Gras party is Saturday. :-|
 

kjel

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went down to the basement today to notice water all over the back corner of the floor. :-o the water heater had sprung a leak. looks like tomorrow we'll be searching for a new water heater and someone to install it by this Friday. our Mardi Gras party is Saturday. :-|
Well at least it was in the basement. My mom had one go out that was located in the closet of the third bedroom which was rarely used. She couldn't figure out why the carpet was waterlogged when she did go in there. New water heater, ripping out the carpet/pad, drying out the sub-floor, new carpet...it wasn't fun.
 

SW MI Planner

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I have a boiler (hot water heat, baseboards) and there has been some water dripping from some part of it. Not sure what that means. It's not a huge amount, but enough to dribble a foot or so away. I've also had forced air, so have no clue if something is wrong or if its just normal condensation. Any guesses? Should I be having the boiler serviced every so often, once a year, etc? I am trying to figure out what type of annual maintenance I need to have done on stuff in the house.....

Also, my one gutter has an ice dam, huge ice dam. What can I do to make sure it doesn't thaw into the attic and into my house?

On another note, I moved in 6 months ago, and love it! I am so happy to be in my own little house, just mine and my daughters. I bought the house of the people that bought mine and the exes old house. Kind of a swap, but it worked out perfectly - they were looking for a new big house and me a smaller one. It's 1200 sf, 3 bdrm, 1 bath; they had redone the kitchen and bath. All the walls were white, so I have spent lots of time painting and decorating and have one room left. I just redid my bedroom this weekend and LOVE it.
 

Veloise

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...
Also, my one gutter has an ice dam, huge ice dam. What can I do to make sure it doesn't thaw into the attic and into my house? ...
Ice dam heat cable. This is affixed to the roof above the gutter to provide a channel where the snow melts and drains away. It extends into the gutter and down the spout.

December's brief thaw? I was up on a ladder twice, once to set it up, and then to make it work. and it does. Last year I had the icicle from Hell overhanging my front steps. This year, nothing.

Need a warmish day for optimal installation.

I found the cable at a Menard's and it's made right here in my fair city.

HTH
 

dandy_warhol

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Anyone have experience owning a tankless water heater? Around here a standard gas 40 gal/ 12 yr guarantee is $500 plus ~$220 for installation. According to what I've read it will save you aboue 7% on your utility bill.

A tankless water heater runs about $1000 plus $200 for the venting. I'm not sure about the installation costs (probably a bit more because of the addtional venting). According to what I've read it will save you about 30% on your utility bills.

We are sans water heater at the moment so I need one sooner rather than later but I want to make sure I make a smart investment and a "green" one if possible.

Thoughts? Suggestions? Experiences?

oh, also there is a $300 tax credit for the tankless, none for the storage.
 

kjel

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Anyone have experience owning a tankless water heater? Around here a standard gas 40 gal/ 12 yr guarantee is $500 plus ~$220 for installation. According to what I've read it will save you aboue 7% on your utility bill.

A tankless water heater runs about $1000 plus $200 for the venting. I'm not sure about the installation costs (probably a bit more because of the addtional venting). According to what I've read it will save you about 30% on your utility bills.

We are sans water heater at the moment so I need one sooner rather than later but I want to make sure I make a smart investment and a "green" one if possible.

Thoughts? Suggestions? Experiences?

oh, also there is a $300 tax credit for the tankless, none for the storage.
I had a Rheem gas tankless water heater in my house in SC. I'd never seen one before but it came standard with the house and it worked fine for 3 people in the house. Our gas bill was significantly less than many people we knew with comparable sized homes/family size. The only thing is keeping in mind that you can't really run multiple hot water uses at the same time if you want truly hot water. Other than that we never had a problem.
 

Richmond Jake

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I've developed this wild hair....to paint our kitchen cabinets. But they appear to be covered with a thin vinyl coating--or something like that. Particle board underneath. I don't know the brand. I can post a picture or two if necessary to give you a better idea.

Anybody with experience with this type of cabinet? Can I just lightly sand over the surface than paint over it? Or do I have to remove the coating (that ain't gonna happen)?
 

wahday

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I've developed this wild hair....to paint our kitchen cabinets. But they appear to be covered with a thin vinyl coating--or something like that. Particle board underneath. I don't know the brand. I can post a picture or two if necessary to give you a better idea.

Anybody with experience with this type of cabinet? Can I just lightly sand over the surface than paint over it? Or do I have to remove the coating (that ain't gonna happen)?
Ah! I did this at our previous house. I did remove the doors and sand them down, but no stripping was involved - I just roughed them up a bit to get better adhesion. To be honest, we did not stay in the house long enough to notice if that was a problem or not. I lived with my work for about 4 years, though, and only had to do a few touchups.

Overall, the results were fantastic. The previous owner had been in construction and it appeared as though he just pieced the cabinets together from leftovers. The cabinets "almost" matched design-wise, but not at all in terms of color. I also redid the knobs - got simple pine knobs at Home Dept and stained/sealed them. BIG improvement.

Make sure you get the right kind of paint!! Something with a hard enamel finish that resists mold and mildew, too. I almost made the mistake of not getting kitchen paint...

If you are really worried about stripping them, you might call a sandblasting place and see what they might chargeand if they can do it without destroying them. I did this with a pair of car rims and another friend had glass windows "frosted" this way for his bathroom renovation, so it seems like it should be doable. They might be able to do it fairly cheaply and save you the trouble of dealing with solvents.
 

wahday

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Anyone have experience owning a tankless water heater?...Thoughts? Suggestions? Experiences?

oh, also there is a $300 tax credit for the tankless, none for the storage.
I just had a conversation with an architect friend who put one in his own house. The thing he warned m about was the large air intake requirements to fire the thing (I had been hoping to put one in a lower kitchen cabinet). You may want to get someone to look at your installation site and see it can be easily mounted without too much trouble (if you haven't already). I think this is partly why, in Europe, many are just mounted on the wall, uncovered. They're actually quite handsome, so it just looks like another appliance.

The tax credit is attractive, too. But I know a number of people who have one and I have never heard any complaints from anyone about them. I say go for it!!

Another advantage is water savings - the water is almost instantly hot, so no waiting for the shower to heat up while gallons of water go down the drain...
 

Richmond Jake

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Thanks, wahday, for your advice. Here's a pic of some more detail. See how the coating is pulling off the particle board? Urgh!!!

DSC01674_2_.jpg
 

kjel

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Thanks, wahday, for your advice. Here's a pic of some more detail. See how the coating is pulling off the particle board? Urgh!!!
That's a different problem altogether. If the outer layer was still bonded to the particle board you can rough it up and paint it as wahday said. In this case I think it would be a stopgap fix.
 

Queen B

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So am I understanding this right, The counter tops are bad and need to be replaced and the cabinets are coming apart. Sure does sound like a kitchen remodel at hand.
Sucks to be you...
(As she exits to her Kraftmaid kitchen and corian cabinets);-);):-D
 

Veloise

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Thanks, wahday, for your advice. Here's a pic of some more detail. See how the coating is pulling off the particle board? Urgh!!!

DSC01674_2_.jpg
Looks like the coating is actually a strip of something cut to size. And if it will peel off as readily as it has started to do, should be easy to remove it from all the doors.

Gotta love that humidity. (It's 48 here today and I am headed out in a windbreaker with the fender bike.)

Pretty grody-lookin' handle on that cab. Who cleans your house??
 

Gedunker

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Jake I've never seen an applied surface like that on cabinet doors or carcasses. Instead, I'm guessing that the adhesive used to hold veneer to the particle board has failed (likely from the humidity). If this is the only door that you have the problem with, get a hairdryer and use it to warm the adhesive under the veneer and see if it will re-seat. (Careful, surface will be hot;-)). However, if it is a general problem, you'll need a heat gun or a gross of blow-dryers (your choice).

Believing in the old adage that the devil you know is better than the devil you don't, I would not attempt to remove the veneer, especially if the doors are particle board. That stuff has a nasty, uneven surface, and it is a haven for mold. Not a good recipe for a wet place like a kitchen.

Rather than repair them, it might be worthwhile to look into just replacing the faces and doors/drawers. Good luck!
 

Linda_D

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Here are pics of my heat tape. Look how well it works: all the ice and snow has melted!

ETA: It's the zig-zag on the roof above the porch.
You installed this yourself? Is it just plugged into an outdoor outlet? I've seen the stuff at Home Depot and the instructions seemed pretty straightforward. I have nasty icicles on the front of my house where the house has an "L" that could use this.

The back porch is another problem entirely. The porch is nearly flat and the two and has a new rubber roof. That didn't stop the icicles (and ice dams -- the water gets under the shingles from the adjoining roof), so I had to pay somebody to shovel the 2 feet of snow off of it before today's big thaw. I think will call the contractor who put on the roof last year to see if he can attach that heat tape to at least stop the icicles.

PS -- don't buy a house with a flat or nearly flat roof! They are nasty to deal with, especially in cold, snowy areas like Western New York. Generally, they are covered with rolled roofing which lasts maybe 5-7 years even where it isn't snowy. Rubber roofs are much more expensive, but they are the solution.
 

Veloise

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Here's another view.


It's a long cable with a power plug at one end. I installed it myself using plastic gutter clips (Xmas light hangers) which slipped under the shingles during the chilly weather chosen for the first install. The cable came with metal clips, and they require that the shingles flex a bit. In a couple months...

When things thawed again (Christmas week) I got back up and did the zig-zag. The cable dead end hangs out the bottom of the down spout; it runs up, across in the gutter, does the Vs, and ends on the left side of the porch. Not shown is the extension cords running to the outdoor plug. I have an electrician supposed to come install its own plug later this week.)

The cable stays at about 50-60 degrees when plugged in (at least going by my hand temperature). Just warm enough to keep a dam and icicles from forming.

My father in the "D" area has a flat roof. Such a good idea...not.
 

zman

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The only thing is keeping in mind that you can't really run multiple hot water uses at the same time if you want truly hot water.
Maybe that was yours, I just got out of a HOT shower with both the washer and the dishwasher running and I was fine.

My tankless is nice, but sometimes I have to run the water in the kitchen for a long time before the hot water comes to the faucet. That is really my only drawback.

It came with the house, so I haven't a clue as to the installation price.
 

Zoning Goddess

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13,853
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Anyone have experience owning a tankless water heater? Around here a standard gas 40 gal/ 12 yr guarantee is $500 plus ~$220 for installation. According to what I've read it will save you aboue 7% on your utility bill.

A tankless water heater runs about $1000 plus $200 for the venting. I'm not sure about the installation costs (probably a bit more because of the addtional venting). According to what I've read it will save you about 30% on your utility bills.

We are sans water heater at the moment so I need one sooner rather than later but I want to make sure I make a smart investment and a "green" one if possible.

Thoughts? Suggestions? Experiences?

oh, also there is a $300 tax credit for the tankless, none for the storage.
We looked at tankless heaters but ended up going with solar. Florida, duh. No cost after the heater is installed, unless we're really cloudy for 2-3 days, then the electric will kick in. The heater is twice the size of the old one, so no chance of running out of hot water on a normal morning. I think we ended up with $2000 in tax credits between the feds and the state of FL.
 

SW MI Planner

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I need to look into replacement windows this spring or fall. Mine are original and drafty as all get out. I have a typical early 1970's ranch house, double-hung wood windows with storms...

In trying to figure out replacements, what should I look for? Is there a difference (in quality, etc.) between vinyl or wood? Should I stick with double hung, or go with casement? It's just me and the kiddo, so I'm looking for something low maintenance and easy to take care of. Any thoughts would be appreciates :)
 

wahday

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Thanks, wahday, for your advice. Here's a pic of some more detail. See how the coating is pulling off the particle board? Urgh!!!

DSC01674_2_.jpg
Hmm, I don't quite know what to make of that...

From the pic, it almost looks like heat damage (as in the vinyl coating heated and started to shrink up and pull away from the particle board). Is that possible? This cabinet doesn't sit near the stove, does it?

Otherwise, you might also employ the old Gorilla Glue or similar adhesive. To get it well adhered, I would use a clamp (a "parallel" clamp). Apply the adhesive along the edge of the cabinet, place a block of wood (2X4 or smaller) over top of the strip to be adhered and then put the clamp on the whole deal. The clamp will extend across the face of the cabinet so it is holding the block (and vinyl edging) in place on the one side and is secured to the side of the door on the other.

That's so much harder to explain in words than to illustrate...Does that make any sense?

Personally, I might be hesitant about heating up the coating. I would be afraid it would change shape or shrink...

Also, I would fix this peeling before trying to do any of the painting (and surface prep that goes with it). Certainly DON'T try and remove all the coating like this. Most of it is probably impossible to remove and you'll get halfway done, curse me, and then come to make me pay for my bad advice...
 

Richmond Jake

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.... This cabinet doesn't sit near the stove, does it?
It's immediately adjacent to the stove. :(

....Otherwise, you might also employ the old Gorilla Glue or similar adhesive. To get it well adhered, I would use a clamp (a "parallel" clamp). Apply the adhesive along the edge of the cabinet, place a block of wood (2X4 or smaller) over top of the strip to be adhered and then put the clamp on the whole deal. The clamp will extend across the face of the cabinet so it is holding the block (and vinyl edging) in place on the one side and is secured to the side of the door on the other....
Brilliant!!! That's the solution!!! I'm off to Lowe's during my lunch hour tomorrow for the clamp!! :-D Thanks a lot.
 

Jen

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One clamp will never do, best to get a bucket full, think of alternate uses ;)
 

Richmond Jake

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.... employ the old Gorilla Glue...(and) use a clamp....
Just here to report complete success using G-Glue and a clamp. The vinyl coating the cabinets did shrink but I can cover that small edge with paint. Thanks again.
 

Linda_D

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Here's another view.


It's a long cable with a power plug at one end. I installed it myself using plastic gutter clips (Xmas light hangers) which slipped under the shingles during the chilly weather chosen for the first install. The cable came with metal clips, and they require that the shingles flex a bit. In a couple months...

When things thawed again (Christmas week) I got back up and did the zig-zag. The cable dead end hangs out the bottom of the down spout; it runs up, across in the gutter, does the Vs, and ends on the left side of the porch. Not shown is the extension cords running to the outdoor plug. I have an electrician supposed to come install its own plug later this week.)

The cable stays at about 50-60 degrees when plugged in (at least going by my hand temperature). Just warm enough to keep a dam and icicles from forming.

My father in the "D" area has a flat roof. Such a good idea...not.
Thank you, Veloise! I'm going to have my handyman install this stuff on the front roof and gutters and on the back gutters (I won't put holes in my rubber roof!) this summer. I'm going to have an electrician in to put in an auxiliary circuit box and put electric heaters in the sun room, so he can do a plug out front, too!

I need to look into replacement windows this spring or fall. Mine are original and drafty as all get out. I have a typical early 1970's ranch house, double-hung wood windows with storms...

In trying to figure out replacements, what should I look for? Is there a difference (in quality, etc.) between vinyl or wood? Should I stick with double hung, or go with casement? It's just me and the kiddo, so I'm looking for something low maintenance and easy to take care of. Any thoughts would be appreciates :)
I would go with wood windows with the exteriors clad in aluminum or vinyl. The interiors are stainable/paintable, and there's much less chance of air leakage because wood windows don't require thermal breaks to prevent the transfer of cold air through the window frame into the house. Installing wood windows correctly is much easier than it is for most vinyl windows; it's a DIY project for somebody who's competent. If a wood window gets broken, you remove it from the sash and take it to the local hardware store or glass shop.

I have all vinyl windows in my current house (installed by the previous owner). Two of the double hungs leak -- one because of the insulation between the sashes and one because of installation (I sort of fixed it with caulk but I need to do a better job so it looks nicer). One of the casements has broken hardware that I have no idea how to fix -- or even who I would call to fix it: the fasteners that hold the crank to the sash have come loose, so I generally only open it when it's very warm. My vinyl double hung windows seem to be very sensitive to cold and will slip open in cold weather if I don't lock them. The flip open to clean feature is nice, but you can get wood windows like that, too. My vinyl windows are white inside and out, which would be okay if my interior trim was white (it's mostly not). Luckily, they look okay on the exterior of the house because the white sort of "fits".

Here's advice on windows over sinks: don't get double-hungs because it's virtually impossible for a woman who's not like 6' tall to open and close them easily. If almost 5'4 and I have to stand on a step stool to get them closed tight enough to lock.
 

Zoning Goddess

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We found the oddest thing last weekend when RJ was putting in his new plants in the bed outside the pool enclosure. A television cable connection about a foot long, extending from an outside wall which would be behind the master bedroom shower. (It had been hidden behind some vines which we had cleared out).

Can anyone come up with any reason why the builder/first owner would install a cable connection from an outside wall with no protection from the weather? I'm perplexed.
 

kms

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We found the oddest thing last weekend when RJ was putting in his new plants in the bed outside the pool enclosure. A television cable connection about a foot long, extending from an outside wall which would be behind the master bedroom shower. (It had been hidden behind some vines which we had cleared out).

Can anyone come up with any reason why the builder/first owner would install a cable connection from an outside wall with no protection from the weather? I'm perplexed.
Is it connected to the neighbor's cable? Maybe he tied in illegally.
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
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It has been raining about 7 hours now. I cleared a path from the leaky basement corner to the drain. I am *not* happy but with an 1885 house you deal.
 

jmello

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Can anyone come up with any reason why the builder/first owner would install a cable connection from an outside wall with no protection from the weather? I'm perplexed.
There may have been a man cave or hot tub with TV in the back yard at one time. There also may have been a satellite dish in the backyard.
 

michaelskis

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43
Has anyone installed a radio fence for their dog? We just purchased an “Invisible Fence” as a DIY Kit. We already had the collar and our dog is trained because my in-laws have this system.

From what I have read about the system, it appears to be very simple to install and I think that we can install it within a weekend. I see it going as follows:

• burry the wire
• cut the driveway
• lay the wire
• patch the driveway
• drill hole into foundation of house
• run wires
• wire to transmitter
• plug in transmitter
• test system
• seal hole in foundation
• dare drunk friends to hold onto collar and walk down driveway
• Spend two to three weeks training dog to know where the lines are

Does anyone have any tips or suggestions on how to best install this system?
 

DetroitPlanner

Cyburbian Emeritus
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27
We found the oddest thing last weekend when RJ was putting in his new plants in the bed outside the pool enclosure.
That is quite odd. Why would you have a bed outside, and why would RJ put the plants in a bed? I for one would not want to sleep in a soggy poolside bed, nor in a bed full of dirt/leaves. :)
 

SW MI Planner

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Messages
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Points
26
Has anyone installed a radio fence for their dog? We just purchased an “Invisible Fence” as a DIY Kit. We already had the collar and our dog is trained because my in-laws have this system.

Does anyone have any tips or suggestions on how to best install this system?
Sorry, no clue on that!

The joys of homeownership.....last month my garage door opener died, last week my sump died and had that replaced....

I need new gutters but also have a couple layer of shingles on the roof, so basically I'll need that done in the next few years. Same with the windows. Just seems it's neverending!
 

Linda_D

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Messages
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19
I have a small pond in my backyard. For the last couple of years, I've just used an extension cord along the edge of the brick patio to bring electricity to it to run the pump. However, since I'm going to have an electrician in to do other work, I thought that I might put in an underground cable and an outlet near the pond. To save some $$$, I thought I'd bury the cable myself. It will be in going through a garden bed along the side of the house and then the patio. I thought I'd put it fairly close to the the foundation and the patio so it will be easy to find in the future.

How deep does the cable have to be buried? I haven't been able to find the buried cable between the house and the garage (not that I looked, but I haven't hit anything in my numerous gardening projects!) so it's either underneath the driveway or buried pretty deep!

I've thought about running the cable through PVC pipe as additional protection from inadvertent gardener faux pas. :-$ Any thoughts on this idea?
 

ofos

Vintage Cyburbian
Messages
8,278
Points
27
I've done this in my backyard. I tried to put the wiring 18"-24" inches under ground although I'm not sure what the suggested standard is. I ran NM wiring through a PVC conduit to the pond. To protect against accidental death, I installed an outdoor GFCI outlet at the house with the NM coming out of it into the conduit. At the pond end of the conduit, I installed a weather resistant electrical box with another GFCI box in a sheltered wood box that blended with the shrubbery. The pond filter was plugged in there. If you're having an electrician do the hook-ups, make sure that he/she approves the way that you bury the wiring in advance, that you use the gauge of wiring that he/she suggests, and that you leave him/her lots of excess wire on either end for his hook-ups.
 
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Planit

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37
Has anyone installed a radio fence for their dog? We just purchased an “Invisible Fence” as a DIY Kit. We already had the collar and our dog is trained because my in-laws have this system.

From what I have read about the system, it appears to be very simple to install and I think that we can install it within a weekend. I see it going as follows:

• burry the wire
• cut the driveway
• lay the wire
• patch the driveway
• drill hole into foundation of house
• run wires
• wire to transmitter
• plug in transmitter
• test system
• seal hole in foundation
• dare drunk friends to hold onto collar and walk down driveway
• Spend two to three weeks training dog to know where the lines are

Does anyone have any tips or suggestions on how to best install this system?
You basically got it. I used a gas power edger to cut the ground to place the wire in. I used an expansion joint/crack and clear sealant in the driveway so I wouldn't have to cut the driveway. If your wire gets too close to itself (like at the corner) it might cause interference, so make wide turns. PM me if you have any other questions. Not hard to do, it took me a total of 3 hours.
 

wahday

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Points
23
Has anyone installed a radio fence for their dog? We just purchased an “Invisible Fence” as a DIY Kit. We already had the collar and our dog is trained because my in-laws have this system.

From what I have read about the system, it appears to be very simple to install and I think that we can install it within a weekend. I see it going as follows:

• burry the wire
• cut the driveway
• lay the wire
• patch the driveway
• drill hole into foundation of house
• run wires
• wire to transmitter
• plug in transmitter
• test system
• seal hole in foundation
• dare drunk friends to hold onto collar and walk down driveway
• Spend two to three weeks training dog to know where the lines are

Does anyone have any tips or suggestions on how to best install this system?
My father had one of these. The control unit was in the garage, just inside the door, so they ran the wire to the control box through a small hole in the garage wall down near the cement pad the garage rested on (ala cable wire). It then ran up the wall inside of the garage o the unit. That sounds easier than drilling a hole in your foundation...

I think you should make the drunk friend WEAR the collar personally. Its a lot harder to get off that way...
 

Gedunker

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I have a small pond in my backyard. For the last couple of years, I've just used an extension cord along the edge of the brick patio to bring electricity to it to run the pump. However, since I'm going to have an electrician in to do other work, I thought that I might put in an underground cable and an outlet near the pond. To save some $$$, I thought I'd bury the cable myself. It will be in going through a garden bed along the side of the house and then the patio. I thought I'd put it fairly close to the the foundation and the patio so it will be easy to find in the future.

How deep does the cable have to be buried? I haven't been able to find the buried cable between the house and the garage (not that I looked, but I haven't hit anything in my numerous gardening projects!) so it's either underneath the driveway or buried pretty deep!

I've thought about running the cable through PVC pipe as additional protection from inadvertent gardener faux pas. :-$ Any thoughts on this idea?
Don't run standard electric cable (romex) without a conduit! It's a code violation and the rubber sheath on the outside will degrade over time exposing the copper wire to the elements. Pull the wire first, then insert your conduit piece by piece (it's easier than fishing the wire through the already-joined conduit.

Funny story: when we bought our house we noticed the circuit was tripping for our bedroom night after night. It was happening about 5.30 in the morning and I couldn't think of anything that could be causing it. When the weekend rolled around, I traced the circuit from our bedroom down to the circuit panel. The house had the old knob and tube wiring. In the middle of the line there was a flying splice where the previous owner had simply cut the knob and tube and spliced 12-2 romex (no box, cover, or grounding screw). That line ran outside. I followed it and it served the pump on the ragged old pond in the backyard. Turns out he had merely scratched the surface of the yard, laid the romex, and covered it up. By the time we bought the house the sheath had failed and the copper wires were exposed. When the sun came up and a little dew developed on the grass, it caused the circuit breaker to trip. I fixed that right quick!;-)
 

michiganplanner

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I would like to witness this part once it starts happening.
My brother attached it to his leg and walked over the line. We about died laughing when starting screaming and hopping on one leg. The best part was that he didn't move past the shock zone. He just kept hoping on one leg trying to get the collar off.

We still laugh about that one. He was sober, but he was a teenager so hence the idiocy.
 

michaelskis

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Radio Fence Update

I put in a request on Thursday for Miss Dig to come out and mark lines as it would suck to cut something that should not get cut. They have yet to come out.

I installed everything else in our basement. I wanted to put the control box right on this large wood panel which houses the security system panel, breaker panels, and a few other things, however there was no outlet to pug it in. So I put it in another temporary basement location and I will have a couple of outlets installed when I redo the kitchen. I did run the wire from the desired location to the exit point in anticipation of moving it with minimal effort.

The interior installation was a snap. I even found a place to run the wire out side through what was a phone trunk line when the house was used as a lawyer’s office! It is amazing how much air has been getting in! No more though.

The DIY kit includes a concrete blade for my circular saw and I am just going to open up a joint a bit more and run the line. It will get a bit more complicated by the front door as I will need to make an arc in the concrete to prevent the wire from interfering with its self as it needs to turn the corner from the driveway to the front yard.

I think that the dog will catch on very quickly one we get the system up and running. She is use to the system at my in-laws house and it will be the same collar. The trouble will come from the homeless people who sleep under the porch as they use to cut right along the fence and the dog will now have access there!

I have also been looking at landscaping possibilities for the front yard and have been toying with the idea of buying them and planting them in the back yard in anticipation of having to paint the house early this summer. That way I can transplant them in the fall, get the early season discount, and will not have to clean paint chips out of the hydrangeas!
 

Veloise

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Before - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - After

(the window with the shutters, on the far right, is no longer blocked up)


Before - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - After

The shutters happened tonight. $5 down to the Habitat ReStore. They match the roof.

Inside, in process - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - and the buried treasure after the tub unit was moved


Why'd I have this done now? Because if unemployment happens and I'll be spending more time here, I will have an enjoyable bathroom!

(NOT moving back to the Land of the Ugliest Strip Malls)
 
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