Search found 475 matches

by Bengineer
Mon Nov 12, 2018 6:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How long have you had, or did you have, your HP-12C calculator?
Replies: 72
Views: 2647

Re: How long have you had, or did you have, your HP-12C calculator?

I've hat its relative, the HP-15C for 36 years or so. Still going strong. What great calculators they are! Thanks for the "check the batteries" note up-thread. Still good after maybe 10 years, no corrosion.
by Bengineer
Sun Nov 11, 2018 1:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should we open 1 or 2 HSAs?
Replies: 9
Views: 528

Should we open 1 or 2 HSAs?

Should we open one or two HSAs? Spouse and self recently covered by a HDHP, HSA eligible family plan. We're not in a state that taxes HSAs. We're self-employed (1 spouse possibly retired, may or may not have earned income in the future). We're over, and expect to continue to be over, the income limi...
by Bengineer
Sat Nov 03, 2018 12:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: retirement travel: RVs vs fly/drive/hotel
Replies: 98
Views: 9142

Re: retirement travel: RVs vs fly/drive/hotel

So many heavy financial threads this week, thought I would poll the experienced and Walter Mittys with regard to the area of travel, whether to consider an RV, which RV, or just fly/drive and stay at hotels/motels. ... Just for brainstorming another option I have toyed with that you could consider ...
by Bengineer
Fri Nov 02, 2018 7:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: NSF/ANSI 53 Undersink Water Filter
Replies: 3
Views: 329

Re: NSF/ANSI 53 Undersink Water Filter

We have a pullout faucet in the kitchen. I chose a Culligan EZ-4 undersink filter , installed it undersink and in an existing hole in the sink and plumbed it by splicing it into the ice maker line so that both my cooking/drinking water and ice are filtered. The EZ-4 filter claims to be tested for NS...
by Bengineer
Sun Oct 21, 2018 6:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: No power in half the house
Replies: 17
Views: 1668

Re: No power in half the house

I think you've lost one leg of your 240v power coming to the house. Likely all of your 240v circuits and about half your 120v circuits are affected. One possibility is that the utility power transformer feeding your house is going bad.
by Bengineer
Wed Oct 17, 2018 6:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Not convinced with insurance
Replies: 45
Views: 3680

Re: Not convinced with insurance

... Maxing up all retirement accounts, close to 1M assets in taxable. I am doing more than fine. I guess I don't fully see the picture of the more you have the more insurance you should get. I see our assets as the insurance itself. I think the increase in insurance should come from the number of d...
by Bengineer
Sat Oct 13, 2018 6:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gas Fireplaces
Replies: 22
Views: 1696

Re: Gas Fireplaces

OP, you mentioned snow drifts. I would think the location of the direct-vent coaxial flue/intake would deserve consideration.
by Bengineer
Sun Oct 07, 2018 8:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Faucet filter to remove Chloramine?
Replies: 22
Views: 1387

Re: Faucet filter to remove Chloramine?

I installed a Culligan US-EZ-4 due to my concerns about our municipal water supply. It filters chloramine. I spliced it into the icemaker line and replaced a soap dispenser with the faucet.

I'll note that if you want a better looking faucet, they are available in various styles and finishes.
by Bengineer
Tue Sep 18, 2018 6:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Humidity in basement
Replies: 65
Views: 4203

Re: Humidity in basement

Hmmm. I don't think a radiant barrier would do much for you. Radiant can help some where you have really high temperatures you want to mitigate, like roofs. Even so, radiant barriers are only effective if they stay clean (dirt increases the emissivity) and have an air gap (the radiant part). You def...
by Bengineer
Sat Sep 15, 2018 12:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Humidity in basement
Replies: 65
Views: 4203

Re: Humidity in basement

OP, ... First, measurement. You're measuring relative humidity (RH). The basement is cooler than upstairs, so the RH will be higher for the same amount of water in the air. Try calculating the dew point for the up and downstairs to get a measure of the water in the air that's comparable at differen...
by Bengineer
Sat Sep 15, 2018 8:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Humidity in basement
Replies: 65
Views: 4203

Re: Humidity in basement

OP, I have a few thoughts. First, measurement. You're measuring relative humidity (RH). The basement is cooler than upstairs, so the RH will be higher for the same amount of water in the air. Try calculating the dew point for the up and downstairs to get a measure of the water in the air that's comp...
by Bengineer
Mon Aug 13, 2018 7:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What's the reason you would buy reading glasses at...
Replies: 42
Views: 2612

Re: What's the reason you would buy reading glasses at...

..... Or you could figure it out for yourself. Assuming you don't need prescription glasses, but find yourself straining to read or see details that are up close now that you're over 40, you will likely find "drugstore readers" work just fine for reading. If you do wear prescription glasses and don'...
by Bengineer
Wed Aug 08, 2018 9:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Interviewing potential builders / GCs / General Contractors for Extensive Remodel / Renovation
Replies: 3
Views: 343

Re: Interviewing potential builders / GCs / General Contractors for Extensive Remodel / Renovation

Good point. I don't think so, but will inquire as we go forward. I updated my OP to indicate the house was built in the late '70s
by Bengineer
Wed Aug 08, 2018 7:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Interviewing potential builders / GCs / General Contractors for Extensive Remodel / Renovation
Replies: 3
Views: 343

Interviewing potential builders / GCs / General Contractors for Extensive Remodel / Renovation

We are embarking on an extensive remodel / renovation of our home, which was built in the late '70s. We did one fairly extensive remodel of a much older house about a decade ago. The plan with our architect is to interview several potential contractors and pick one to work with the architect and us ...
by Bengineer
Tue Aug 07, 2018 8:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: "Dollar Tree Store" favorites
Replies: 84
Views: 6886

Re: "Dollar Tree Store" favorites

Eyeglass leashes. (think Croakies)
by Bengineer
Mon Jul 30, 2018 6:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any problems with freezer "drawer" models
Replies: 40
Views: 2991

Re: Any problems with freezer "drawer" models

... Unlike side-by-side doors which close on separate freezer and refrigerator compartments. French doors close on a single refrigerator compartment. Therefore, most designs have an interlocking rotational seal between the two doors. This requires some inertia or manual close. ... That was my exper...
by Bengineer
Mon Jul 30, 2018 6:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kitchen sink (faucet)
Replies: 10
Views: 984

Re: Kitchen sink (faucet)

Seems like a higher flow aerator could work. The other of you does have a point, in that the point of an aerator is to minimize the splashing... Possibly more than you want to get into, but I used an on-demand recirculating pump in two CA houses for the "wasting a gallon of water while waiting for i...
by Bengineer
Sat Jul 28, 2018 7:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mold in caulk of shower
Replies: 21
Views: 2303

Re: Mold in caulk of shower

... You'll also want to correct the conditions that enable the mold to grow. If you remove the old caulk (not easy) and reapply, the new caulk will eventually mold unless you address the favorable conditions. And when you do replace the caulk, do a careful job of removing the old caulk (and inevita...
by Bengineer
Tue Jul 03, 2018 11:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do I fix my heating bill?
Replies: 73
Views: 3706

Re: How do I fix my heating bill?

... Hm, it seems whenever I turn on my heat in the winter if it is below freezing, emergency heat automatically comes on. The heat pump is located outside (it's also my AC) so not sure how it could be bringing in warm air at all? I'll have to do some more reading on heat pumps as my understanding o...
by Bengineer
Tue Jul 03, 2018 10:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do I fix my heating bill?
Replies: 73
Views: 3706

Re: How do I fix my heating bill?

... My thermostat has "emergency heat" that shows up when it's on but I'm not sure how accurate that is. But during the months of December/January/February, emergency heat is pretty much on at all times that the heat pump is on. That doesn't sound right. Your 2016 heat pump should be carrying the l...
by Bengineer
Tue Jul 03, 2018 7:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How Not to be a Slave to my Wood Deck?
Replies: 37
Views: 3141

Re: How Not to be a Slave to my Wood Deck?

Basically, no film-forming coating (i.e. paint) is going to last on any wood surface that goes through a wetting and drying cycle. The wood expands with moisture and contracts as it dries, popping the coating off. You're after a stain that penetrates the surface, provides some UV resistance and repe...
by Bengineer
Fri Jun 29, 2018 1:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [Small, Portable, and Ductless Air Conditioners]
Replies: 60
Views: 3809

Re: Best Small Air Conditioner

Check out the window ac info @ energystar.gov.
by Bengineer
Sat Jun 23, 2018 3:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Repair old refrigerator or purchase new
Replies: 24
Views: 1931

Re: Repair old refrigerator or purchase new

OPs issue sounds like a classic case of auto defrost failure. It’s likely one of 3 parts; defrost timer, defrost thermostat or defrost heat coil(s). Each part is $10-$25 and can be determined with a screwdriver and possibly a VOM, if you have the skill. Will likely require taking rear interior out ...
by Bengineer
Tue May 08, 2018 7:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help with current Auto/Home/Umbrella/Term Life Insurance Policies
Replies: 6
Views: 827

Re: Help with current Auto/Home/Umbrella/Term Life Insurance Policies

I third the "get quotes from an independent agent". I've become a convert after many years with one of the companies one sees on TV. I got the desired coverages at a much better price than "named" insurance companies quoted me in my area. I hadn't heard of any of the companies backing our policies, ...
by Bengineer
Wed May 02, 2018 3:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Reasonable cost for Tankless Water Heater Inspection / Annual flush
Replies: 4
Views: 692

Re: Reasonable cost for Tankless Water Heater Inspection / Annual flush

OP, you can do this. First, you need hose-thread taps on your water heater inlet and outlet lines in order to flush it. Your WH should have these. If not, it's plumber-time. Assuming you have those, You need a 5 gallon bucket, a set of washing machine hoses, a small utility pump, and about 3 gallons...
by Bengineer
Thu Apr 12, 2018 7:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mid-40s in tech - how to pass off as acceptably young
Replies: 111
Views: 12125

Re: Mid-40s in tech - how to pass off as acceptably young

OP, an alternate thought: It's not your age, it's where you're interviewing.

You have experience and skill in managing the mayhem at a small start-up. I'd think that would resonate most strongly with similar organizations.
by Bengineer
Tue Apr 10, 2018 2:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I prewire my home network myself?
Replies: 40
Views: 2763

Re: Should I prewire my home network myself?

OP, some thoughts: You could prewire and not terminate - just run cat5e/6 from wherever you want your central panel to be to each room outlet and terminate the ones you use later. If you have a basement or utility room, it's nice to have a panel to set up your incoming cable/fiber/phone/networking a...
by Bengineer
Mon Mar 26, 2018 7:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I proactively replace my central AC unit?
Replies: 33
Views: 2989

Re: Should I proactively replace my central AC unit?

This: I wouldn't. Had a similar situation and just got a window unit until I could get it repaired. A few hundred to keep life tolerable, resell on CL. Do some reading up and shopping around in the meantime so that you know what you want, get some quotes. then when it breaks, you have a plan. Maybe ...
by Bengineer
Wed Mar 14, 2018 7:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anybody have a sixthreezero beach cruiser bike? Or Electra Townie?
Replies: 7
Views: 1651

Re: Anybody have a sixthreezero beach cruiser bike? Or Electra Townie?

I own a Breezer Uptown 8. Upright, lights, fenders, rack. 8 speed Shimano Nexus internal hub, 1.5" wide tires, front shock. Great for city/relaxed riding. We own a Specialized Haul as well. The key is the Shimano Nexus or Alfine internal hub.
by Bengineer
Wed Mar 14, 2018 6:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Awning over door: style and size?
Replies: 3
Views: 534

Re: Awning over door: style and size?

We have a sunbrella over frame awning that is 30" deep. I'd say that depth is about the minimum to get out of the rain while opening the door. An awning will also protect your door from weather, prolonging its life and helping to avoid eventual rot downward from the door sill. Think about how strong...
by Bengineer
Thu Mar 08, 2018 7:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: California Tax of Income for Non-Resident
Replies: 3
Views: 555

California Tax of Income for Non-Resident

Here's the scenario: Consultant does some work for a California company while living and working in another state. The company is entirely in CA, the consultant does his work remotely, never setting foot in CA. The CA Franchise Tax Board docs are clear that if the consultant lives in CA and/or the w...
by Bengineer
Thu Feb 15, 2018 7:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dental chews for dogs....useful?
Replies: 36
Views: 2698

Re: Dental chews for dogs....useful?

For us, yes. They mechanically scrub off the dog's teeth and massage their gums as they chew it up. Our 7 year old dog gets an appropriately sized treated rawhide chew daily. Teeth & gums in great shape They kept our last dog's teeth in good shape into his teens. I use the basic chews treated with e...
by Bengineer
Wed Feb 07, 2018 12:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Radon: basement stair and basement gym considerations
Replies: 11
Views: 1332

Re: Radon: basement stair and basement gym considerations

I think I would understand the mitigation system in place and that it was functioning as designed. I would get a test kit / detector and verify that the current radon levels in the basement are below what is considered safe and monitor the level going forward. You'll probably want fresh air when exe...
by Bengineer
Sun Jan 21, 2018 11:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Range Hood Blower Sizing
Replies: 40
Views: 2262

Re: Range Hood Blower Sizing

I've done a couple range hoods. Agreed, quiet trumps power. I installed a 600cfm 30" with an 8" pipe up through the roof over a gas range in my last house. We cook daily and I never used max speed. It was loud running wide open and not all that quiet at lower speeds. Consider that while you may have...
by Bengineer
Fri Jan 19, 2018 2:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Alternatives to Subaru Forrester
Replies: 34
Views: 2985

Re: Alternatives to Subaru Forrester

We chose the '17 Outback over the Forester after driving both. The Forester ride was less settled, meaning more roll and sway over a bumpy city street. It was also noisier inside. The OB had a more settled, composed ride (subjective terms, I realize), was quieter, had a nicer interior and will tow a...
by Bengineer
Tue Jan 16, 2018 4:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: best flooring for a basement wood shop?
Replies: 27
Views: 2011

Re: best flooring for a basement wood shop?

My .02. Inexpensive carpet now for the kids. T&G OSB or plywood or planks later for the shop. Might depend on what's cheap and how level your current subfloor is vs how level you want it. I'd think it would be really handy to be able to shoot some screws into the floor to set up braces / props / sca...
by Bengineer
Thu Jan 11, 2018 7:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help with what to do with drafty fireplace
Replies: 26
Views: 1721

Re: Help with what to do with drafty fireplace

OP, I grew up with a fireplace used daily and have had one at all but a couple residences since. I really enjoy a wood fire on a cold, damp night. A chimney-top damper works well. It will totally seal the flue and keep weather from entering. I also had a leaky, bent damper in one house and installed...
by Bengineer
Tue Jan 09, 2018 3:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: cost analysis on buying vs. renting skis?
Replies: 12
Views: 934

Re: cost analysis on buying vs. renting skis?

I'm in the rent camp. I skied a fair bit when younger and owned several pairs of skis at a time. With a bit of arrangement, you can pick up near top of the line, nearly new "demo" (meaning skis like you'd buy, vs "rental market") skis that are sharpened and waxed when you arrive and keep them your e...
by Bengineer
Mon Jan 08, 2018 11:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hot Water Delay at faucet/shower far from water heater
Replies: 100
Views: 8340

Re: Hot Water Delay at faucet/shower far from water heater

OP, is your issue the time it takes hot water to arrive, or the wasted water? If it's the time, a circulator or small water heater as others have suggested sound like a solution, albeit at extra energy use. If it's the wasted water, an on-demand pump is one answer. They are typically plumbed to the ...
by Bengineer
Tue Dec 05, 2017 4:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: carry on luggage, 4 wheel spinner or 2 wheel rollaboard?
Replies: 29
Views: 2311

Re: carry on luggage, 4 wheel spinner or 2 wheel rollaboard?

We have both. I think the traditional rollaboards are more durable. Our spinners have smaller plastic swivel casters. I've replaced the casters that have failed on both types with "skate" wheels, which have good bearings, but the swivel part of the caster is cheap plastic. I expect one of the swivel...
by Bengineer
Wed Aug 02, 2017 10:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Basement water issue or not? Advice?
Replies: 5
Views: 995

Re: Basement water issue or not? Advice?

From your description, you have windows that are below grade and wells that bring the grade down to below the windows. How do the wells drain? I'd think you'd want a drain that ties into your other yard drains. What happens when you run a hose into the wells? What happens when you spray the windows ...
by Bengineer
Mon Jul 31, 2017 5:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Auto Battery
Replies: 31
Views: 3805

Re: Auto Battery

Thanks for all the info contribution. ... Since 2013 I have been retired and my truck sits in the driveway most of the time. ... One thing that might help in this scenario is to use a smart charger/maintainer to keep the battery at full charge. I use a Cetek MUS 4.3. Checking/filling with distilled...
by Bengineer
Mon Jun 19, 2017 10:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Exterior Home Improvements - Order of Operations?
Replies: 10
Views: 1810

Re: Exterior Home Improvements - Order of Operations?

I too think a landscape architect / designer is the first item. Get what you want to happen with your outdoor spaces first. Meanwhile, you can investigate replacement window options and cost and maybe start getting recommendations for contractors. You can get a general contractor to do the whole job...
by Bengineer
Sun Jun 18, 2017 5:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dehumidifier woes
Replies: 66
Views: 8155

Re: Dehumidifier woes

Thanks for the humidistat info LTG & DD. Hmm. I was thinking of getting the Frigidaire 50pt/day FFAD5033R1. After all the anecdotal commentary on this thread, I'm not expecting a long life out of whatever I end up with. I'll surely go for the energy star 2+L/kwh, but after that, it seems like shooti...
by Bengineer
Sat Jun 17, 2017 3:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to direct water away from a sloping driveway - French drain or ..
Replies: 13
Views: 4431

Re: How to direct water away from a sloping driveway - French drain or ..

Go out and look at what the water is doing when it is raining. If it's pooling around the drive / garage / house, where could it drain to? What's lower than where the water is pooling? If the ground around is lower, could you grade the yard so it drains? If not, then things get more complicated. Und...
by Bengineer
Fri Jun 16, 2017 3:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dehumidifier woes
Replies: 66
Views: 8155

Re: Dehumidifier woes

I have found that all of these cheaper, easy to obtain dehumidifiers (ie found in retail stores) internal dehumidistat will short cycle the unit because of the moisture left on the coils after it cycles off. They may also have a fairly low humidity swing on/off trigger point. Decided to get an exte...
by Bengineer
Fri Jun 16, 2017 3:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Happy Fathers Day - got me a used Weber grill!
Replies: 26
Views: 4260

Re: Happy Fathers Day - got me a used Weber grill!

I second that. Plus, you've now got a Weber, which will last you many years, and have the satisfaction of re-using something perfectly good instead of landfill the old + buy new. :happy
by Bengineer
Fri Jun 16, 2017 11:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Solar attic fans vs. regular turbines?
Replies: 26
Views: 4617

Re: Solar attic fans vs. regular turbines?

OP, I'm with the "air-sealing and insulating" posters. Your contractor has an inherent conflict of interest. I think the Bogleheads DIY analogy is to inform yourself on the allocation and investment options, determine the best course of action and then act to get the best return and value for your m...
by Bengineer
Thu Jun 15, 2017 6:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Real Estate Prices, expecting over listing?
Replies: 8
Views: 1445

Re: Real Estate Prices, expecting over listing?

I'd add the size of the buyer pool to bigred's hot vs cool market. Selling a house in a county with 9 million inhabitants is quite different from one with a few thousand 100 miles from a city. We have priced slightly under market comps and sold for well over asking in a week twice now in populous ar...
by Bengineer
Thu Jun 15, 2017 11:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Estimated Tax Underpayment Penalty
Replies: 9
Views: 1716

Re: Estimated Tax Underpayment Penalty

I'd recommend running your taxes in December, particularly if you have variable income. That way, you can make a Q4 estimated payment to cover any shortfall you discover.