Search found 375 matches

by Bengineer
Fri Apr 15, 2016 12:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Security features of a good front door
Replies: 34
Views: 2431

Re: Security features of a good front door

I think the basic level is to prevent a walk-up & kick-in. A good deadbolt & strike with 3" screws extending through the strike and into the studs is a start. I've added long screws for the strike and one per each side of each hinge as well. You're going to have to raise the bar a lot h...
by Bengineer
Thu Apr 07, 2016 3:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help with cleaning glass shower doors
Replies: 32
Views: 2351

Re: Help with cleaning glass shower doors

^^^^^ Thanks! I'm going to try a chamois.
by Bengineer
Thu Apr 07, 2016 3:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help with cleaning glass shower doors
Replies: 32
Views: 2351

Re: Help with cleaning glass shower doors

jepalan wrote: ... *Every* morning when I finish showering I wipe down the glass door and all tile walls.
...The glass door is 10 yrs old and crystal clear as the day it was installed, as is the tile & grout.


I use a squeegee. Had you tried one before the chamois?
by Bengineer
Thu Apr 07, 2016 12:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help with cleaning glass shower doors
Replies: 32
Views: 2351

Re: Help with cleaning glass shower doors

Plain old white vinegar with a bit of dishwashing liquid in a spray bottle. spray on, soak 15 mins, scrub with a scrubber sponge that won't scratch glass, rinse, squeegee. I clean the entire shower stall with it. It softens / dissolves the hard water deposits & "soap scum" better than ...
by Bengineer
Thu Mar 31, 2016 6:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you pay for yardwork?
Replies: 61
Views: 5322

Re: Do you pay for yardwork?

...Someone who knows how to tend garden beds is a rarer creature. If you hire someone for that be certain they know what you want done. I hired some people who did an excellent job the first time, then "weeded" out a desirable ground cover, etc. the next time. I totally agree. Mow & b...
by Bengineer
Tue Mar 29, 2016 4:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Copper in Brake Fluid
Replies: 43
Views: 2076

Re: Copper in Brake Fluid

cheese_breath wrote:...
There is nothing in the owner's manual about replacing the brake fluid...


For my cars (Audi, VW), brake fluid replacement is down at the bottom of the maintenance chart with a couple other time-only items. In an earlier car, it was in a separate section.
by Bengineer
Tue Mar 29, 2016 1:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Competing Offers when Selling Home
Replies: 20
Views: 1282

Re: Competing Offers when Selling Home

We listed our house at what seemed like its value considering the comparable sales around the neighborhood at the time, spiffed it up and staged it, had an open house, got multiple competing offers with in a few rounds before the deadline and sold in about a week for well over asking. I think we con...
by Bengineer
Tue Mar 29, 2016 9:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Copper in Brake Fluid
Replies: 43
Views: 2076

Re: Copper in Brake Fluid

I've never had my fluid tested, nor even heard of "copper in brake fluid", but flushing & replacement every two years is fairly standard. I do mine every couple years. I'd be more vigilant in a humid locale, as brake fluid is hygroscopic and so slowly accumulates water, which will boil...
by Bengineer
Thu Mar 17, 2016 2:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tub Cleaning Issue - Soap Scum
Replies: 23
Views: 2678

Re: Tub Cleaning Issue - Soap Scum

stuffthatpig wrote:Best thing ever that I've found is Dawn (1/3) and Vinegar (2/3) in a spray bottle. Spray and wait for ~10 minutes. Scrub/wipe away. Cheap and easy.


White vinegar with a little dawn added is my go to for buildup in the shower as well.
by Bengineer
Fri Mar 11, 2016 9:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dogs & my mailbox
Replies: 37
Views: 2385

Re: Dogs & my mailbox



The reviews of this thing are pretty funny.
by Bengineer
Mon Mar 07, 2016 4:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: new gas range + convection oven, is it all that?
Replies: 14
Views: 979

Re: new gas range + convection oven, is it all that?

This being the internet and all, opinions may vary. :)

The self-clean cycle on our gas range works pretty much as advertised when I follow the directions, leaving mostly gray ash that I can wipe out once the oven cools. The window does take some extra cleaning.
by Bengineer
Mon Mar 07, 2016 2:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: A Lost Engineer [Which masters program to pursue?]
Replies: 20
Views: 2732

Re: A Lost Engineer

^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Nisi's post is very insightful. I "went back" to grad school after 4 years or so. Part of it was a dead-end career at a small company and part of it was a poor job market at the time. I knew I liked "working with things" early on. For the most part, I had a blast at...
by Bengineer
Mon Mar 07, 2016 1:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: new gas range + convection oven, is it all that?
Replies: 14
Views: 979

Re: new gas range + convection oven, is it all that?

I like gas for the immediate heat control. Smooth top electric not so much because of the long thermal time constant. "Convection" is a minor feature for me. It does help if you need to roast/bake on two racks at the same time. As noted above, it comes on mid priced ranges. Continuous grat...
by Bengineer
Fri Jan 29, 2016 7:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Manual can opener recommendation
Replies: 45
Views: 2925

Re: Manual can opener recommendation

I've been using a classic Swing-a-way for IDK how long. Tip: Open the can most of the way (can moves ccw), move the opener to the other side of the cut and finish in reverse (can moves cw). The lid will be cut off cleanly almost every time, vs being left hanging by a meat-hook. vvvvvvv Sawhorse's ex...
by Bengineer
Tue Jan 26, 2016 2:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Refrigerator replacement
Replies: 23
Views: 1785

Re: Refrigerator replacement

OP, I have to think almost any fridge you get will be more efficient than one 20 years old. I would hook the current one up to a kill-a-watt for a month or so just because I want to know. :) You can compare the models you're looking at via their energy guide, which will state the # kWh per year the ...
by Bengineer
Sat Jan 23, 2016 2:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Brake pads/rotors: will shop install my parts?
Replies: 24
Views: 1920

Re: Brake pads/rotors: will shop install my parts?

My usual advice for service - find a local independent that services your make. Mine charges about the same for rotors and pads for our german cars as I could buy them for. You'll possibly also find that the kind of hard upsell that goes on in some of the chain stores is missing. Look for a place th...
by Bengineer
Mon Jan 04, 2016 8:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much is your house worth?
Replies: 71
Views: 5818

Re: How much is your house worth?

I searched my address & picked 5 realty sites, including RF. The spread around the average of the 5: ⋅ RedFin: +7.5% ⋅ Zillow: -1% ⋅ Movoto: -13% ⋅ RealtyTrac: +6% ⋅ Trulia: +0.5% The average of these was +5% over my guestimate of the value. Most...
by Bengineer
Sat Dec 19, 2015 10:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you handle auto care? (for a non-DIY'er)
Replies: 54
Views: 4037

Re: How do you handle auto care? (for a non-DIY'er)

After much asking around, we were lucky to find a local shop that is really honest. Not the cheapest around, but always does the job right and he'll tell you what doesn't need to be done and how I can save on parts. I've recommended a few family members and friends to the same shop; no complaints. ...
by Bengineer
Tue Dec 15, 2015 1:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Motion Activated Outdoor Security Lights
Replies: 16
Views: 1330

Re: Motion Activated Outdoor Security Lights

I've had pretty good performance and reliability with the Heath/Zenith branded motion sensors, meaning 4 years here in the SoCal sun. The bulb saver feature appears to work (sample of 1). I do have to adjust the sensitivity slightly between summer & winter.
by Bengineer
Thu Dec 10, 2015 2:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: We have a major bedding issue. Yes, bedding.
Replies: 43
Views: 4694

Re: We have a major bedding issue. Yes, bedding.

This might seem somewhat counterintuitive, but have you tried sleeping with the bedroom much warmer, under nothing or just a sheet?
by Bengineer
Mon Dec 07, 2015 9:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: exterior timer for Christmas lights
Replies: 10
Views: 643

Re: exterior timer for Christmas lights

I use an inexpensive dongle style one from the orange big-box store that will come on at dusk and stay on some hours. It's worked fine the last few years. I'd think they'd be everywhere this time of year.
by Bengineer
Tue Nov 24, 2015 9:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: PhD Mechanical Engineer --> Law School?
Replies: 47
Views: 4375

Re: PhD Mechanical Engineer --> Law School?

... Luke, Luke, resist the dark side! ... :D ... The key to success, in my view, is to pursue a field for which you have a passion. Exactly. I have a similar background story to Call_Me_Ops. Get the PhD. Slog through the endless dissertation edits & committee. Once you finish, your degree will l...
by Bengineer
Mon Nov 23, 2015 9:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Keeping water away from your house (curtain drain)
Replies: 4
Views: 947

Re: Keeping water away from your house (curtain drain)

The first question is where is the water coming from? I recommend getting out and walking around your house for a good looky-loo during the next rainstorm. Land sloped away from the house for 8-10' on all sides? Gutters all feeding into drains carrying the water away from your foundation? Water comi...
by Bengineer
Thu Nov 19, 2015 11:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are Subarus reliable?
Replies: 81
Views: 6007

Re: Are Subarus reliable?

Consumer Reports predicted that Subaru would be the 5th most reliable brand for 2015. This highlights a common flaw in Consumer Reports' methodology. They're great for reviewing product features, but less great at analyzing long-term value. They are making predictions based on data from consumers w...
by Bengineer
Thu Nov 12, 2015 8:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Asphalt driveway - Temporary patch for depressed area in front of garage
Replies: 24
Views: 1717

Re: Asphalt driveway - Temporary patch for depressed area in front of garage

I'm in the cold patch camp. buy some (estimate the volume and the bags will tell you how many you need ), toss it down in a 1-2" layer, drive over it a few times until it is compacted, repeat until you get the desired level. Get a tamper and use that if you can't drive over part of your depress...
by Bengineer
Thu Nov 12, 2015 1:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Could someone check my propane math
Replies: 16
Views: 1251

Re: Could someone check my propane math

I'd pay-as-you-go for a couple years till you figure out your usage and the local prices & service. I wouldn't go with the "lock in". That's the same approach to locking in customers as with a leased tank. I'd also think about getting a second tank & valve setup so when #1 is empty...
by Bengineer
Thu Nov 12, 2015 10:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Concrete Driveway Sealers
Replies: 14
Views: 1752

Re: Concrete Driveway Sealers

Used Kure-n-Seal 25 LV on my concrete apron the day it was poured (once it was solid enough to walk on and the concrete guys had "buffed" it one last time). Winter came and went. Spring came and went. Summer came and went. Over a year later it's sweet. Did it myself with a paint roller an...
by Bengineer
Thu Nov 12, 2015 9:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ideas to close open shelves in kitchen?
Replies: 16
Views: 1335

Re: Ideas to close open shelves in kitchen?

... My only concern was the entire back wall, where the shelves are, is tiles. Inread its difficult to drill into tiles. So would I need to haves the tiles removed the before I am able to put the cabinets in? Also, the shelves themselves seem to be embedded in the wall. I was thinking putting it ca...
by Bengineer
Tue Nov 10, 2015 11:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying Prescription Eyeglasses Online
Replies: 31
Views: 4072

Re: Buying Prescription Eyeglasses Online

Op here with a follow-up. I ordered a pair with progressive lenses from zennni. The order took two weeks to arrive on the west coast via USPS. They were about 1/7th of my retail pair. 8-) The prescription is accurate, with the far-near transition set well, which was my biggest concern. The frames ar...
by Bengineer
Mon Nov 09, 2015 12:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Crawlspaces - insulate or encapsulate?
Replies: 13
Views: 1154

Re: Crawlspaces - insulate or encapsulate?

FYI, here are links to two sites with articles on the subject that I found informative. Both of these sites have a wealth of information on building science and energy efficiency.

Energy Vanguard - Crawl Space Encapsulation

Green Building Advisor - Building an Unvented Crawl Space
by Bengineer
Fri Nov 06, 2015 6:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Direct Vent Gas Hot Water Tank
Replies: 21
Views: 1914

Re: Direct Vent Gas Hot Water Tank

I'd think direct vent would be the way to go if you can place the water heater next to an outside wall, the vent can go through it and have the proper clearance outside. No need for power & hot water during and outage. No possibility of backdrafting. The big box stores carry them. I'm thinking h...
by Bengineer
Fri Nov 06, 2015 6:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gas Cooking Range suggestions?
Replies: 17
Views: 2172

Re: Gas Cooking Range suggestions?

We've used and preferred gas ranges for the last 20 years & 4-5 houses. Some thoughts: ⋅  A continuous grate is nice, makes sliding large pots around easy. ⋅  As yourselves, "what kind of cooking do we do?". We cook, roast & broil, baking occasionally. A gas ove...
by Bengineer
Fri Nov 06, 2015 10:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Counter Depth Refrigerator to buy
Replies: 27
Views: 2032

Re: Best Counter Depth Refrigerator to buy

Not so hard to bump a non-load bearing wall back 3-4", maybe turn the studs flat-ways. Didn't fly with the missus. This is funny. Is your name Red Green? What's on the other side of that wall? In my case my back yard. Not so easy. Ha! I hadn't heard of Red Green. I think I am going to have to ...
by Bengineer
Fri Nov 06, 2015 9:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Winterization -- Window Insulation Film, Weatherstripping, etc.
Replies: 10
Views: 1480

Re: Home Winterization -- Window Insulation Film, Weatherstripping, etc.

You could also use rope caulk vs a liquid gunned product around the sashes where they meet the frame. Easy to apply & remove in the spring. I found it in the same area as the weatherstripping products.
by Bengineer
Thu Nov 05, 2015 7:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Counter Depth Refrigerator to buy
Replies: 27
Views: 2032

Re: Best Counter Depth Refrigerator to buy

In a recent topic, counter depth refrigerator was not recommended. Instead recommended to recess back wall 3" and use standard refrigerator. Another reply said simpler refrigerators more trouble-free than complex ones. See/search topic: https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=11&t...
by Bengineer
Thu Nov 05, 2015 3:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home gym flooring
Replies: 16
Views: 2161

Re: Home gym flooring

Check out horse stall mats. 4' x 6' x 3/4". I floored the area around the weight rack & benches with them.
by Bengineer
Tue Nov 03, 2015 8:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Whisky Recommendations
Replies: 109
Views: 9615

Re: Whisky Recommendations

You're going to have to narrow it down a little. Is whiskey irish, scotch, kentucky, Canadian, or ? to you. Or all of the above. My cabinet usually has mostly Kentucky bourbons or similar. Currently, Woodford Reserve, Basil Hayden, Bulleit, and Maker's Mark are on hand. Depends on what you like. For...
by Bengineer
Tue Oct 27, 2015 10:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Refrigerator temperature fluctuations
Replies: 9
Views: 1088

Re: Refrigerator temperature fluctuations

It is possible the defrost cycle isn't working properly. Admittedly, my experience below is with one fridge. Hopefully some of the info will be of use in debugging yours. Our three year old fridge went from working fine to the fridge compartment not staying cool while the freezer went to below setpo...
by Bengineer
Wed Oct 21, 2015 8:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying Prescription Eyeglasses Online
Replies: 31
Views: 4072

Re: Buying Prescription Eyeglasses Online

Thanks for the replies. I'm motivated to try an online pair.

Coincidentally, the WSJ has an article The Pros and Cons of Buying Glasses Online today.
by Bengineer
Tue Oct 20, 2015 7:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: If your savings rate is sufficient to meet goal, should you own stock?
Replies: 17
Views: 1552

Re: If your savings rate is sufficient to meet goal, should you own stock?

An allocation you can sleep well with might let you retire in less than 20 years. Knowing you could "go Johnny Paycheck" at any time is a nice feeling. :D Or live a more luxurious retirement. Or get to "make a difference" territory with your charitable giving. Or ...
by Bengineer
Tue Oct 20, 2015 6:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying Prescription Eyeglasses Online
Replies: 31
Views: 4072

Buying Prescription Eyeglasses Online

I've just gotten new eyeglasses. I'm fairly myopic with a fair bit of astigmatism (think -4 to -6 total correction). 20-20 vision is a goal. I looked up the same frames & prescription online. The price was 40% of my retail cost, which is enough off to get my attention. If you have a similar pres...
by Bengineer
Sat Oct 17, 2015 5:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit card for teenage daughter - best option?
Replies: 46
Views: 3376

Re: Credit card for teenage daughter - best option?

... At the moment she has her own checking account with our local teachers credit union that has a VISA debit/ATM card attached that is set up to provide no overdraft protection and no fees. ... I don't know how widespread it is, but my CU debit card can be processed as a credit transaction as well...
by Bengineer
Fri Oct 16, 2015 10:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Progressive lenses for eyeglasses if you want clarity above all
Replies: 77
Views: 5379

Re: Progressive lenses for eyeglasses if you want clarity above all

... So without trying I can't decide whether a squishy, gradual soft-edged change in the stereoscopic distance and direction of the world will be more or less bad than a sharp-edged change. ... I think you learn to tilt (and rotate) your head to get sharp focus at whatever distance with progressive...
by Bengineer
Thu Oct 15, 2015 6:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Progressive lenses for eyeglasses if you want clarity above all
Replies: 77
Views: 5379

Re: Progressive lenses for eyeglasses if you want clarity above all

I've had progressives for ~15 years or so. I'm fairly myopic with a good bit of astigmatism. I go with whatever egregiously expensive progressive lens technology the optometrist suggests. I haven't really had a problem except when going with a lower-cost lens technology once. As noted, the in-focus ...
by Bengineer
Fri Oct 09, 2015 4:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Driveway Gate Opener - Any Suggestions?
Replies: 2
Views: 390

Re: Driveway Gate Opener - Any Suggestions?

We have a Liftmaster LA400. It has been trouble free for 3-1/2 years.
by Bengineer
Fri Oct 09, 2015 10:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Merits of Getting a Construction Loan Over Cash
Replies: 8
Views: 588

Re: Merits of Getting a Construction Loan Over Cash

If I had the cash, I'd avoid a loan, the costs and headaches of having a bank and its inspectors in the mix. I'd structure the contract to have enough stages to keep the contractor happy with the cash flow, allow a reasonable time for inspection at each stage, hire my architect/engineer/inspector to...
by Bengineer
Thu Oct 08, 2015 8:56 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why doesn't the NWFCU 3 yr CD show up on bankrate.com?
Replies: 4
Views: 887

Re: Why doesn't the NWFCU 3 yr CD show up on bankrate.com?

Interesting. They show up on depositaccounts.com. The only item I saw that came up searching on bankrate was a checking account survey.
by Bengineer
Tue Oct 06, 2015 4:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Internet (and TV) in rural CT, NY, MA
Replies: 12
Views: 555

Re: Internet (and TV) in rural CT, NY, MA

One thought on rural internet is a wireless internet service provider (WISP). If you see flat panel or yagi antennas on neighbors' rooftops you might be in luck. The local guys tend to be small and not so well advertised - ask around. Basically, you're talking a (nearly) line of sight point to point...
by Bengineer
Tue Oct 06, 2015 8:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Power washing our house: rent or pay to have it done
Replies: 11
Views: 1095

Re: Power washing our house: rent or pay to have it done

I agree with songman52's post. Now don't get me wrong, pressure washers are fun. But, as noted up-thread, one can really tear up the side of the house with a pressure washer. Spraying on a bleach solution, scrubbing it with a brush and rinsing it off with a hose is gentle on the siding, caulk and wi...
by Bengineer
Mon Oct 05, 2015 5:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tub/Shower combo or Shower only in bath remodel
Replies: 20
Views: 1693

Re: Tub/Shower combo or Shower only in bath remodel

As long as you'v[e] got a shower/tub available elsewhere in the house I'd simplify to just a shower in the master bath. ... My thoughts as well. A tiled walk-in shower with a bench & no doors/glass is a pleasure to use every day. Maybe clerestory windows or a skylight/solar tube vs the picture ...

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