Search found 398 matches

by Bengineer
Thu Sep 15, 2016 12:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Refrigerator issues - Temperature & Other
Replies: 22
Views: 1509

Re: Refrigerator issues - Temperature & Other

OP, I'm going to suggest putting a simple fridge/freezer thermometer in the middle of one side at a time, adjusting every so often until you get ~0 in the freezer and ~40 in the fridge, giving it hours to a day in between adjustments. The "dreaded fill tube freeze-up" is a well-known issue...
by Bengineer
Thu Sep 15, 2016 12:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: want to leave comcast but keep my email?
Replies: 17
Views: 1701

Re: want to leave comcast but keep my email?

My preference is a paid email service. It's all they do. Simple to set up, a few $ a year, permanent (assuming the provider remains in business). I'm not tied to an isp, nor am I a product available for mining by the likes of google or yahoo. I chose not to set up my own domain, but rather use one o...
by Bengineer
Mon Aug 29, 2016 1:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Eating Healthy/Meals for One
Replies: 65
Views: 4672

Re: Eating Healthy/Meals for One

... I seem to be tossing out/wasting a lot of food. I find it nearly impossible to make a recipe that serves less than 4 - and after 3 days of the same thing, I don't want to look at it any more. ... I eat a mostly whole foods diet - do not like processed food much. All suggestions appreciated. I'l...
by Bengineer
Mon Aug 29, 2016 1:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What to do with my underwater house, sink or swim?
Replies: 29
Views: 3444

Re: What to do with my underwater house, sink or swim?

William104 wrote:Don't put too much weight on Zillows estimate in your decision making. ...


And/or do your own homework on recent sales near you, comparing them to your own home.

If you want to stay, refi-ing to a 15 or 30y fixed mortgage would cut your interest costs if your cash flow supports it.
by Bengineer
Fri Aug 26, 2016 12:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: pocket listing
Replies: 13
Views: 722

Re: pocket listing

We have had good luck with: 1) Having a pretty good idea of what the house is worth - location, dig up the recent sales in the area, etc. 2) Picking a listing/selling agent after interviewing a few that sell similar houses in the neighborhood. 3) Spiffing up & staging the house & yard so the...
by Bengineer
Wed Aug 24, 2016 11:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: AC blower motor died. need replacement
Replies: 20
Views: 1149

Re: AC blower motor died. need replacement

One option would be to buy a window unit to give you some time to shop around. If your air handler has an ECM, $840 might be a pretty good price for an AC company replacing it. If it is a PSC motor, that's a bit much. If it is a PSC motor, the start capacitor is a likely suspect, as noted, but your ...
by Bengineer
Sat Aug 20, 2016 1:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home energy efficiency
Replies: 7
Views: 665

Re: Home energy efficiency

I think the checkup will be worth it if it is a proper energy audit, which should involve a blower-door house envelope air leakage test, a duct leakage test, record the HVAC efficiency, insulation levels, etc. I had one done that was a similar arrangement with my electric utility. I think it is in y...
by Bengineer
Mon Aug 15, 2016 11:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: bifiocals vs progressive lenses - value/cost
Replies: 20
Views: 1293

Re: bifiocals vs progressive lenses - value/cost

Progressives for general use. If you spend a lot of time reading like heartwood or working on a large monitor desktop like me, consider an additional single-prescription pair for that. I really dislike moving my head to read various parts of the screen. Having a single prescription pair with a wide ...
by Bengineer
Thu Aug 11, 2016 7:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: advice on backyard project
Replies: 20
Views: 2144

Re: advice on backyard project

I advocate getting your design down in detail first. "What do we do" is one of the best things we've found think about. How do you envision spending your time out back and doing what? Meals, partying, reading a book, sunning, hot tubbing, pitching horseshoes? ... Engaging a landscape desig...
by Bengineer
Thu Aug 11, 2016 7:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: air conditioning filters
Replies: 36
Views: 2662

Re: air conditioning filters

From the air handler's perspective, it's all about pressure drop at the airflow your system runs at, something like 400cfm per ton of AC, might be more or less cfm for your heat. Your system probably has a filter slot/grill sized appropriately for a "bird catcher" - the blue or white stand...
by Bengineer
Tue Aug 09, 2016 1:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I get a different cassette for my road bicycle? Currently 11-23
Replies: 40
Views: 1813

Re: Should I get a different cassette for my road bicycle? Currently 11-23

"me too" :) I got a larger cassette & chain for hill rides. It worked well for me. As noted, be sure your derailler can handle the larger range.
by Bengineer
Mon Aug 08, 2016 9:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hardwood Flooring: Floating vs. Glue
Replies: 35
Views: 11880

Re: Hardwood Flooring: Floating vs. Glue

I think I'd go with a floating floor. A perfectly flat subfloor is critical. As noted, engineered flooring is basically cheap plywood / mdf / plastic substrate with a finish layer. The thicker the finish layer, the denser/harder the substrate and better the finish, the more wear and impact resistant...
by Bengineer
Tue Jul 26, 2016 5:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gmail, Two POP Clients, Smartphone, Gmail Recent Mode
Replies: 12
Views: 1107

Re: Gmail, Two POP Clients, Smartphone, Gmail Recent Mode

I use exactly this [pop, gmail recent] on multiple clients. I automatically download new messages, leave messages on server, for at most nnn days.
by Bengineer
Tue Jul 26, 2016 8:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: HELP - After Market Rims?
Replies: 14
Views: 1000

Re: HELP - After Market Rims?

Good points noted above. Here's a Car and Driver article on upsized wheels & tires. Note how the larger wheel combos weighed more, no doubt correlated with the higher elapsed times. You can spend some serious coin getting light high performance wheels to get the wheel+tire weights down. I own a ...
by Bengineer
Sun Jul 24, 2016 3:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Whole House Humidifier
Replies: 11
Views: 841

Re: Whole House Humidifier

OP, here's a different thought. Low humidity in your house in winter is likely caused by the air in your house leaking out and being replaced by dry air from the outside. The people, showers, laundry and cooking all contribute moisture. Cold outside air can't hold much, and so is very dry. Assuming ...
by Bengineer
Thu Jun 30, 2016 8:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Favorite ski resort
Replies: 61
Views: 3389

Re: Favorite ski resort

So I view "where to go" as all about the skiing. Night life is a hot tub with friends after getting up at the crack on a powder day and doing every last bit you can do. I too think SLC is a good choice if it's all about skiing. 400" a year, light powder. Stay in town and drive up each...
by Bengineer
Thu Jun 09, 2016 11:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HVAC Upgrades When Old Systems Still Work?
Replies: 16
Views: 1429

Re: HVAC Upgrades When Old Systems Still Work?

There's no telling how long the old system will last. We had an old AC and furnace that while not so efficient, just kept on going. Given that it is currently running, you have a great opportunity to do your research on the available brands and system types and get competitive bids instead of a &quo...
by Bengineer
Tue May 31, 2016 6:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Two-Way Fence Lock
Replies: 12
Views: 1120

Re: Two-Way Fence Lock

How about the old-school arrangement often used on gates? A chain with as many inter-connected padlocks as there are users? Maybe not the most elegant, but effective.
by Bengineer
Mon May 30, 2016 9:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is there such thing as easy load front load washer/dryer?
Replies: 30
Views: 2225

Re: Is there such thing as easy load front load washer/dryer?

I found the pedestals a little spendy @ $250-300 per. I built a nice platform that the washer & dryer fit on and 3 clothes baskets fit under out of wood for a few $. Gets the W/D doors up to a convenient height, more functional than the pedestals and cost way less.
by Bengineer
Wed May 11, 2016 5:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Low flow shower head?
Replies: 41
Views: 5555

Re: Low flow shower head?

I have these in my house. Love them -- they don't feel like low flow. http://www.amazon.com/Niagara-N2515CH-Fixed-Mount-Showerhead-Chrome/dp/B0089CGG9K ... I chose this one as well. I was looking to save water and/or energy and I like a large area shower spray head vs a needle jet or massage jet he...
by Bengineer
Sat May 07, 2016 2:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is buying organic really that expensive?
Replies: 111
Views: 11119

Re: Is buying organic really that expensive?

Frankly, I'm much more concerned about campylobacter, salmonella, e-coli and cryptosporidium (to name a few) than I am about trace amounts of pesticides and hormones in my food.

I tend to buy whatever seems freshest and tastes best vs what it is labeled as.
by Bengineer
Fri May 06, 2016 9:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What to buy my sig other from the DOG for Mothers Day
Replies: 16
Views: 1988

Re: What to buy my sig other from the DOG for Mothers Day

A really nice 6' full-grain leather walking lead? Mom! Take me out!
by Bengineer
Mon May 02, 2016 10:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sunscreen
Replies: 51
Views: 4183

Re: Sunscreen

Coppertone sport lotion, 30-50. Neutrogena stick, 70. Good sunglasses. Wide-brimmed hat & long sleeve shirt.

I have yet to find anything that doesn't sting when sweat carries it into my eyes.
by Bengineer
Fri Apr 15, 2016 12:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Security features of a good front door
Replies: 34
Views: 2928

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: 2725

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: 2725

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: 2725

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: 6190

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: 2457

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: 1476

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: 2457

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: 3086

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: 2728

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: 1146

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: 3003

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: 1146

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: 3459

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: 2056

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: 2237

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: 6666

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: 4696

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: 1524

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: 5198

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: 726

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: 4987

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: 1007

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: 7191

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: 1991

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: 1356

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: 1914

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...

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