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Re: Can you really know your AA until you've hit a bear mark

I'm not sure you can. As Taylor's post notes, It is one thing to see a year's income evaporate and another to see 10 years income go poof. It is one thing to see it while comforably employed and another to get the opportunity to explore one's options precisely when the clouds are darkest. One to see...
by Bengineer
Fri Mar 27, 2015 4:17 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Can you really know your AA until you've hit a bear market?
Replies: 74
Views: 5122

Re: Measuring duct volume and/or temperature

A Green Building Advisor article on flow measurement you might find interesting. I think I am going to build a reversible blower window for duct and general air leakage detection. In a reasonably well sealed house, the range hood and bath fans do ok for pulling air, which is good for windows, doors,...
by Bengineer
Tue Mar 24, 2015 6:11 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Measuring duct volume and/or temperature
Replies: 6
Views: 498

Re: Dilemma re: taxable account

... Secondly, what I need from my taxable account is four years worth of income, to bridge the time between now and when I am required to take RMD's. At that point, the RMD's will cover my income needs. Over the next four years, the amount I will need to withdraw from my taxable portfolio to suppor...
by Bengineer
Sun Mar 22, 2015 10:03 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Dilemma re: taxable account
Replies: 18
Views: 1663

Re: Tankless Hot Water Heaters

...When we expanded our house two years ago the kitchen ended up farther away from the rest of the plumbing so it takes what seems like a long time to get hot water out of the sink. I know the dishwasher has its own heater so that's not a problem. But we do wash dishes by hand too and it seems wast...
by Bengineer
Fri Mar 20, 2015 9:28 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tankless Hot Water Heaters
Replies: 29
Views: 2519

Re: Tankless Hit Water Heaters

It depends. Anecdotally, I've had tankless natural gas water heaters in the last two houses. No issues, but we're light users, they were/are only a few years old and I descale them. Edit: Both were in temperate areas with ~60+ degree cold water year round. We have fairly low-flow fixtures. I think t...
by Bengineer
Thu Mar 19, 2015 12:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tankless Hot Water Heaters
Replies: 29
Views: 2519

Re: job offer, 2x salary

Ok. What do you think you're "worth" on the open market? Have you been underpaid for 15 years? Is the 2x offer, um sketchy in any way? You're nervous, but if 2x is actually within the range your research tells you that your sklls & experience should bring and it's what you'd like to be...
by Bengineer
Wed Mar 18, 2015 8:27 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: job offer, 2x salary
Replies: 53
Views: 4832

Re: Cleaning my back yard?

If you do end up using bleach, remember to wear your painting clothes & eye protection. Rubber gloves & boots might be a good idea. You _will_ get it on you. Where does the runoff from the area go? The area doesn't seem that large - I might be inclined to scrub it with detergent/bleach. mayb...
by Bengineer
Mon Mar 16, 2015 1:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cleaning my back yard?
Replies: 35
Views: 3824

Re: Wireless Internet Question

I too think you want your network to look like modem->firewall->router->switch -> internal lan. The fw, router & typically 4-port 100mBs switch + wifi are your typical consumer "wireless router". Need gigabit? My wired 3MP ip cams run at a few kbits each. I'm with previous posts - 2.4G...
by Bengineer
Mon Mar 16, 2015 1:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wireless Internet Question
Replies: 31
Views: 2422

Re: Gaming amazon product reviews

As far as I can tell, Amazon has pretty much gotten to be the wild-wild west. Not only are the reviews astroturfed, but depending on the product, sellers of counterfeit products join in with the legit sellers, even to the point of "fullfillment by Amazon". You have no idea what you're gett...
by Bengineer
Sun Mar 15, 2015 4:01 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gaming amazon product reviews
Replies: 16
Views: 2172

Re: Ink Cartridges dry up on seldom used printer, any ideas?

I've owned an HP 6210 & 6500A for (too many) years. I often go for a while between printing. If the cartridge or printhead stops putting ink on the page or is partially blocked, I've had good luck with soaking the cartridge / printhead in warm water with a drop of DW detergent just deep enough t...
by Bengineer
Thu Mar 12, 2015 5:04 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ink Cartridges dry up on seldom used printer, any ideas?
Replies: 32
Views: 1721

Re: Kitchen appliance question

I check CR's repair history when considering appliances.

Anecdotally, I had a recent JA smooth-top gas range. The center down-draft vent pulled the heat off the burners. I had to replace the keypad twice.
by Bengineer
Mon Mar 09, 2015 9:49 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kitchen appliance question
Replies: 10
Views: 995

Re: My attic air leak blocking checklist

I've just used the urethane foam for plumbing & wiring holes in the top plates and cracks, vs silicone some places, foam others. I don't think you need fire caulk except around flues / chimneys (along with sheet metal fill) or a firestop. Agreed, urethane foam is sticky & permanent. Wear you...
by Bengineer
Sun Mar 08, 2015 1:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: My attic air leak blocking checklist
Replies: 22
Views: 1670

Re: Car Repair [Maintenance vs. repair costs]

I'll add one more bit to tibbit's & LadyGeek's advice(s). Find a good independent that works mostly on your make of car. I did this for our older, german cars by finding a couple of locals that had good reviews online (yelp, cartalk. there likely won't be much for the smaller guys) and a recomme...
by Bengineer
Mon Mar 02, 2015 10:44 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Repair [Maintenance vs. repair costs]
Replies: 20
Views: 2187

Re: Recommend a quality (and reasonably priced) knife set

I concur on not buying a set. Think of it as a tool-buying opportunity! If you're thinking ~$30 for a utility grade 8" chef, Victorinox/Forschner & Dexter are reasonable quality & price and available online and at restaurant stores. Pretty good steel, thin, easy to sharpen, no-maintenan...
by Bengineer
Wed Feb 25, 2015 2:13 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommend a quality (and reasonably priced) knife set
Replies: 64
Views: 2667

Re: how best to supplement heat with heat pump

just heard back from the tenant ... I am calling the HVAC guy tomorrow but I am wondering why the emergency heat failed (he said he had it on emergency and woke up with 53 degrees) ... Again, this heat pump was installed new in May 2013. OP, the aux heat strips may not be sized to provide the full ...
by Bengineer
Mon Feb 23, 2015 5:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: how best to supplement heat with heat pump
Replies: 49
Views: 2532

Re: how best to supplement heat with heat pump

I'm not sure you need supplemental heat. If your heat pumps are sized correctly and functioning properly, they should be able to hold 70 down to the ~18 degree design temp for Richmond on the heat pump alone and down to really cold with the aux strips on as well. What they aren't going to do is allo...
by Bengineer
Sun Feb 22, 2015 3:30 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: how best to supplement heat with heat pump
Replies: 49
Views: 2532

Re: I'm not a bad Boglehead

For me, the value lies in the entertainment, just thinking about the possibilities. What if? :)
by Bengineer
Tue Feb 10, 2015 4:46 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I'm not a bad Boglehead [buying Powerball ticket]
Replies: 101
Views: 6378

Re: seiko divers watch

I have a "kinetic 200m" with a 30mm dia. crystal / 40mm dia. bezel I've had about 10 years. Had to get the capacitor replaced about 5 years ago. It is very accurate.
by Bengineer
Fri Jan 23, 2015 5:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: seiko divers watch
Replies: 8
Views: 642

Re: Loss of water pressure when using hot water

One way to test whether the problem is the supply from the heater or the fixtures is to hook a hose to the hot supply for the washing machine and measure the flow with the valve wide open, see if it drops off, vs the cold side etc. Careful!
by Bengineer
Thu Jan 15, 2015 9:46 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Loss of water pressure when using hot water
Replies: 24
Views: 2252

Re: Options for moving our pets across country

OP, if you do drive & motel it with your pets, consider that you might be told "we don't have any pet-friendly rooms available" after a long days drive. I don't mean to dissuade you from going this route, it's what I did and would choose again. Anecdotally, I drove across the country o...
by Bengineer
Thu Jan 15, 2015 9:41 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Options for moving our pets across country
Replies: 47
Views: 2542

Re: Is my HVAC (heat pump) really dead?

o You noted it pulls in outside air, indicating a significant leak in the return side of the ducting / air handler. If you're pulling in 2 deg air and trying to heat it up to 70 ... Now this is something nobody has mentioned. And I have to say I don't know how a leak in the return side would make t...
by Bengineer
Sun Jan 11, 2015 12:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is my HVAC (heat pump) really dead?
Replies: 54
Views: 3150

Re: Is my HVAC (heat pump) really dead?

Hey, OP - From everything in this thread, It seems like the Boglehead thing to do to get an HVAC service call. You could get your tstat / aux checked / repaired, air handler leveled, and ductwork sealed up, which should set your HP up to be the best it can be for a few hundred. It seems plausible yo...
by Bengineer
Sat Jan 10, 2015 7:45 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is my HVAC (heat pump) really dead?
Replies: 54
Views: 3150

Re: Home Energy Audit - worth it?

I think getting an actual energy audit is. I had one done that was subsidized by my electric utility. It was described as a full energy audit. I paid 100, free-market would likely be 5-700. Blower door, duct blaster, infrared cam walkaround with the blower door running. I tagged along and the guy sh...
by Bengineer
Sat Jan 10, 2015 11:09 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Energy Audit - worth it?
Replies: 22
Views: 2374

Re: LED Flood Light Question (CREE/FEIT/Etc)

I just put in a few Philips #452383 BR30 2700k 9.5w flood bulbs. They seem a bit brighter, but their 650 lumens vs the 620 (somewhat less after aging) incandescents they replaced doesn't seem like much. 10% maybe? I like them. The light is good, the light is spread a bit more, not so much guilt when...
by Bengineer
Thu Dec 25, 2014 11:36 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: LED Flood Light Question (CREE/FEIT/Etc)
Replies: 28
Views: 3984

Re: Electric Stove question

I'm going with the temp sensor.... The comments from my Boglehead colleagues led me to believe it is likely the temperature sensor. I got a replacement on Wednesday morning. When I got the back off the stove, I realized I needed a ceramic/porcelain electric wire connection to splice in the new sens...
by Bengineer
Thu Dec 25, 2014 10:15 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Electric Stove question
Replies: 15
Views: 1928

Re: Electric Stove question

I'm going with the temp sensor. Hard to believe an oven will get to 370 in 2 mins. If you / availible friendlies are DIY types, I've had good luck with sears parts direct for appliance parts.
by Bengineer
Wed Dec 24, 2014 3:46 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Electric Stove question
Replies: 15
Views: 1928

Re: How long do grilles last?

An 8 year old Weber done? Come on, man! I've had my gas genesis at least 10 years and cook on it regularly. I scrape down the inside every so often. I've replaced the flavorizer bars once. I keep it covered when not in use. I fully expect it to last another 20 years with maybe an ignitor and new bur...
by Bengineer
Mon Dec 08, 2014 7:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How long do grilles last?
Replies: 26
Views: 2580

Re: how to join nylon webbing?

A sewing awl and waxed thread worked for repairing my dog leashes / collars.
by Bengineer
Mon Dec 08, 2014 7:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: how to join nylon webbing?
Replies: 26
Views: 1885

Re: Help with bottom feeders

You might try hooking him up to a financial adviser who will give him good advice rather than directing him toward such awful investments. You are right about parents not wanting to listen to their children but he is obviously willing to take advice from others. Just get him hooked up with an ethic...
by Bengineer
Tue Dec 02, 2014 3:00 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help with bottom feeders
Replies: 18
Views: 4199

Re: Just Paid Off My Car

Congratulations! You've set your course, keep at it. There is no better feeling than no debt, money in the bank, finances on track to accomplish your goals. Advice you didn't ask for :) : Maintain the car carefully yourself if DIY and research & find a good independent in advance of an "iss...
by Bengineer
Tue Dec 02, 2014 2:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Just Paid Off My Car
Replies: 24
Views: 2293

Re: Best market solution for a large car/SUV for roadtrips?

I'm in the rental camp too. I dunno about your market, but we rented a minivan for a long weekend for 6 of us & gear for maybe 200 or so. The hertz weekly here for a minivan is < 400. If it is a road, vs backcountry trip, a minivan will tote vast #s of people & gear in a easy to drive, cushy...
by Bengineer
Tue Dec 02, 2014 2:38 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best market solution for large car/small SUV for roadtrips?
Replies: 17
Views: 1556

Re: Attic fiberglass insulation - energy efficiency

After looking at your pix... Holy Moly! I'll add to my notes in your "plywood" thread. You almost certainly have significant air leaks with the chopped up attic you have (multiple planes & shapes). Can lights? A fair bit of the insulation is well below the joists. Maybe R15 or so effec...
by Bengineer
Fri Nov 28, 2014 11:50 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Plywood R value attic - energy efficiency
Replies: 29
Views: 1773

Re: Plywood R value attic - energy efficiency

I'd think you'd get more bang for the buck with (my) usual advice. Get a blower door / energy audit to identify the air leaks and your current insulation R-value / insulation install quality. Seal the leaks starting with the biggest ones until the house is pretty tight. Add blown in cellulose attic ...
by Bengineer
Fri Nov 28, 2014 10:49 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Plywood R value attic - energy efficiency
Replies: 29
Views: 1773

Re: Engineered Hardwood Floors

I'm in the install being the issue rather than "its the product" camp. If the installer's forte is unfinished 3/4" oak T&G and he installed your prefinished 3/8" in the same manner, I can see how there might be problems. There was an install sheet for the LL Bellawood product...
by Bengineer
Thu Nov 27, 2014 11:01 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Engineered Hardwood Floors
Replies: 14
Views: 2575

Re: dryer vent cleaning--your thoughts?

...Hey, that sounds like mine!...A big part of the problem (in addition to the snaking around and huge stack the dryer has to overcome) - the idiot installers used 6-8 screws at every joint. Screws protruding at least 1/2" into the pipe, where they catch lint. ... I think your guys did my hous...
by Bengineer
Thu Nov 27, 2014 9:33 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: dryer vent cleaning--your thoughts?
Replies: 26
Views: 3771

Re: My grown up Christmas wish-A Warm House

Any suggestions on a heat sensor/temp reading thing to buy? Preferably from amazon. Here ya go. It's basically an infrared thermometer set up for measuring temp changes with a targeting spot that changes color. One with video is a little more, but way cooler. :wink: ... and one for your phone !
by Bengineer
Mon Nov 24, 2014 9:38 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: My grown up Christmas wish-A Warm House
Replies: 27
Views: 3672

Re: Bogleheads, anyone doing "Black Friday"

Spend my time fighting the masses for supposed deals on consumer junk? I think not. I'm taking the dog for a walk and getting together with friends for good home-cooked food & good times.
by Bengineer
Mon Nov 24, 2014 9:24 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bogleheads, any "Black Friday" [recommendations]
Replies: 59
Views: 6412

Re: Carrying alternatives for phone, credit cards, money

...Fortunately, you didn't ask about gun, knife, flashlight, and other EDC / zombie-defense stuff, which require other creative solutions. Just go on over to the edc forums. You could spend days on all the tool/light/key/spray/knife/gun/carry location combos. Cargo shorts/pants? A pocket for everyt...
by Bengineer
Fri Nov 21, 2014 3:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Carrying alternatives for phone, credit cards, money
Replies: 25
Views: 2697

Re: My grown up Christmas wish-A Warm House

I'd start with an energy audit. Your electric utility may subsidize it. It will tell you where your insulations is(nt) and how much air leakage in the building envelope & ducts you have. Air sealing is messy, dirty, but low-tech work you can DIY or contract. With a 3 story house + attic + baseme...
by Bengineer
Fri Nov 21, 2014 2:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: My grown up Christmas wish-A Warm House
Replies: 27
Views: 3672

Re: bath tub [replacement]

IMO, good call on going with a rod & curtains. We had glass doors on a past tub. I disliked them. Awkward getting in & out, a pain to keep clean, felt claustrophobic.
by Bengineer
Thu Nov 20, 2014 1:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: bath tub [replacement]
Replies: 14
Views: 1879

Re: Did you energy upgrade california and save money?

An audit will give you a good baseline on how energy efficient your house is now. I had one done in Sacramento when SMUD was subsidizing them with a cost to me of $100. Retail for an energy audit is ~$5-600. I picked a rater rather than a contractor, as my interest was in the audit vs a specific upg...
by Bengineer
Mon Nov 17, 2014 11:55 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Did you energy upgrade california and save money?
Replies: 7
Views: 1894

Re: Waitress giving me discount - ethical question

Thought about asking the waitress when you get the bill next time?
by Bengineer
Sun Nov 16, 2014 12:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Waitress giving me discount - ethical question
Replies: 62
Views: 9208

Re: Shower silicone replacement - Price? DIY?

I'd suspect the vertical joints or the drain. I think there (should be) a raised lip behind the tile around the rim of the tub. ... The hardest part of the job is getting every speck of the old caulk removed. That will take some time. Putting the new stuff in is relatively easy... Exactly. If the ve...
by Bengineer
Sun Nov 16, 2014 11:06 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Shower silicone replacement - Price? DIY?
Replies: 27
Views: 1847

Re: Sell or repair car decision

Maybe your first best shot is finding an independent that works primarily on older Toyotas that comes recommended by your friends, family or coworkers with similar cars, particularly women. I'd be slightly leery of the motives of someone associated with a used car dealer. Any good mechanic will want...
by Bengineer
Sun Nov 16, 2014 10:51 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sell or repair car decision
Replies: 23
Views: 3013

Re: home insulation question

You might find this EPA sealing and insulating DIY guide useful. It does a good job of covering the basics.
by Bengineer
Fri Oct 31, 2014 9:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: home insulation question
Replies: 13
Views: 1865

Re: Heat pump question

... I ran it last night as a test. The internal temperature was 68, I set it to 69. It dropped 3 degrees before it started to climb back up. The heat strips did not turn on (seems to happen at 4 degrees below set point) and it took about half an hour or so to claw back up to 69 degrees. The outside...
by Bengineer
Fri Oct 31, 2014 10:08 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Heat pump question
Replies: 50
Views: 3757

Re: Lightweight Electric Blanket.

Dual zone mattress pad underneath, Down comforter on top.
by Bengineer
Tue Oct 28, 2014 1:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lightweight Electric Blanket.
Replies: 8
Views: 1080

Re: Gas stove features

Continuous cast iron grates are nice for moving heavy pots around and setting plates / cutting boards on while cooking. A large hi-power burner is good for boiling water, stir-fry / saute & large pots. An ultra-low simmer burner is convenient and widely available. If the range you're considering...
by Bengineer
Mon Oct 20, 2014 10:38 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gas stove features
Replies: 12
Views: 1157

Re: Indoor tankless water heater recommendations

We have a Rinnai tankless under our home. I've used one of these hot water recirc pumps in an upstairs bathroom for years --> http://www.chilipepperapp.com/ It provides us with a push button start and temp dependent stop. No water gets wasted during this process. It is a good solution when you have...
by Bengineer
Thu Oct 09, 2014 1:23 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Indoor tankless water heater recommendations
Replies: 29
Views: 2194

Re: Indoor tankless water heater recommendations

We've had tankless natural gas heaters (Noritz #N-0631S-OD, Rheem #RTG95XN) in the last two houses. Details: ⋅  We're a family of two, so low HW use frequency & volume. ⋅  Summer gas costs for HW & clothes drying have been near the minimal billing. ⋅  Both were ...
by Bengineer
Wed Oct 08, 2014 1:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Indoor tankless water heater recommendations
Replies: 29
Views: 2194
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