Search found 560 matches

by Bengineer
Thu Nov 05, 2020 4:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Automatic Dishwasher Detergent
Replies: 23
Views: 1771

Re: Automatic Dishwasher Detergent

Don't do it! It's just a marketing ploy to get you to spend more. :o) I've not had any trouble finding cascade or store brand powdered at the grocery store. I use the amount needed for the water hardness and load size/dirtyness. A pac/pod/tab has to have excess built in, it seems to me. I don't care...
by Bengineer
Thu Nov 05, 2020 6:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Looking for a knife set
Replies: 99
Views: 6871

Re: Looking for a knife set

Agreed on buying individual knives vs a set. If you have a partner, they may prefer a different handle size/type, blade shapes and lengths. We use magnetic knife blocks near the sink for the most used ones. I like seeing my knives at hand, they're up off the counter and convenient to use, hand washe...
by Bengineer
Tue Nov 03, 2020 6:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Improving Wi-Fi coverage: Use existing Cat5e and MoCA? [Solved]
Replies: 87
Views: 5875

Re: Improving Wi-Fi coverage: Use existing Cat5e and MoCA?

OP, You don't have that big of a house. Or a stone/metal one. I think I would do the simplest thing as your next step - Insert a switch in the ethernet connection to your TV at the bolt+ end and add a wifi access point (AP) with the same wifi spec as your main Asus RT-N66U router. That will get both...
by Bengineer
Sun Nov 01, 2020 11:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recirculator for tankless hot water heater?
Replies: 20
Views: 1768

Re: Recirculator for tankless hot water heater?

We used two on-demand push-button pumps that under the sink plumbed to the hot and cold with a Rheem tankless. Press button, wait 30 sec, hot water, no waste. This is an interesting solution, but is this practical in a house with multiple sinks and bathtubs? It sounds like I would have to install a...
by Bengineer
Sat Oct 31, 2020 8:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recirculator for tankless hot water heater?
Replies: 20
Views: 1768

Re: Recirculator for tankless hot water heater?

We used two on-demand push-button pumps that under the sink plumbed to the hot and cold with a Rheem tankless. Press button, wait 30 sec, hot water, no waste.
by Bengineer
Sat Oct 31, 2020 6:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can openers
Replies: 37
Views: 2376

Re: Can openers

I've used a Swing-a-Way manual can opener for many years. It's a tried and true classic that keeps working when other products fail. I won't be without one. https://www.amazon.com/Amco-709BK-Swing-Comfort-Opener/dp/B0000505J0/ref=sr_1_7?crid=2RS21WFOBZCB7&dchild=1&keywords=swing+away+can+op...
by Bengineer
Sat Oct 31, 2020 6:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honda CRV, Toyota Rav4 or Subaru Forrester
Replies: 48
Views: 3816

Re: Honda CRV, Toyota Rav4 or Subaru Forrester

To muddy the waters - check out an Outback while you're looking at the Forester. Spec-wise, they're nearly identical. We liked the ride and interior design/space (particularly more room for gear in the back) and so chose the Outback. As noted - drive all three, spend some time checking out the drive...
by Bengineer
Sun Oct 11, 2020 5:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Moving to CA - Keep or Change cars?
Replies: 60
Views: 2909

Re: Moving to CA - Keep or Change cars?

One consideration to factor in on the bring / buy new - you'll have to pay sales tax on the value of the car you bring in to CA when you register it.
by Bengineer
Sun Oct 11, 2020 5:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: "Nice" furniture recommendations
Replies: 114
Views: 10757

Re: "Nice" furniture recommendations

My spouse and I will shortly be moving into our first "real" house together. We are in our mid 30's, and through a combination of frequent moves ... Something to think about - you'll move again, possibly multiple times. Your furniture might or might not fit or "go" with the new ...
by Bengineer
Fri Oct 09, 2020 7:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replace one tire on Subaru Outback? Others are just under a year old.
Replies: 15
Views: 1341

Re: Replace one tire on Subaru Outback? Others are just under a year old.

My Outback had a tire that caught something like baling wire in the sidewall at maybe 18k mi. I ordered a new tire of the same type from tire rack, had them shave it to the same depth as the others and had a local shop mount and balance. Ran them down to 2/32 over another 30k or so miles. What's the...
by Bengineer
Sun Sep 27, 2020 5:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Oil change disaster
Replies: 127
Views: 13988

Re: Oil change disaster

I think I would seek out a well-known independent mechanic in the area that does a lot of jeep work to assess the problem, rather than letting the lube shop have my car. Oops. too late! The lube place has a self interest in minimizing their cost and responsibility and likely won't have the skills to...
by Bengineer
Sun Aug 30, 2020 7:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What works best to clean tile? I have 4 inch tile with cement used as grout.
Replies: 11
Views: 1141

Re: What works best to clean tile? I have 4 inch tile with cement used as grout.

White vinegar & Dawn for the soap scum / hard water deposits. Spray on, let soak, scrub off. Works well on the glass shower door too. Bleach & dawn solution for the mildew. Same application. Ventilate the fumes while you work! A stiff drill brush cuts down on the elbow grease and time. It wi...
by Bengineer
Sun Aug 30, 2020 7:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tinting Home Windows
Replies: 9
Views: 959

Re: Tinting Home Windows

A couple things to think about: Window film on the inside of dual-pane glass units raises the temperature of them, which could be trouble for the seals. I've used external solar screening for windows and solar roll-up shades for sliders on three houses now. It cuts the solar gain quite a bit and pro...
by Bengineer
Sun Aug 30, 2020 7:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Removing a White Oak from Side Yard
Replies: 41
Views: 2637

Re: Removing a White Oak from Side Yard

My thoughts: Canvas your neighbors with big trees for recommendations. There will likely be one that's done a good bit of the work around you. I found two really good "tree guys" that way. I concur on checking insurance. Get their agent to send you a certificate. Get a few quotes, negotiat...
by Bengineer
Mon Aug 10, 2020 7:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: WiFi burglar and fire/smoke detector system
Replies: 76
Views: 3990

Re: WiFi burglar and fire/smoke detector system

You might have luck with a wireless system if it uses zigbee or zwave. Both of these protocols support mesh networking. That doesn't guarantee success, but at least it's plausible.

It should be easy to test - set up a sensor too far from the base to work, add a device in between to relay.
by Bengineer
Wed Jul 29, 2020 9:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replacing a single tire on an AWD car
Replies: 40
Views: 29589

Re: Replacing a single tire on an AWD car

Tire Rack shaving: AWD car, had a tire with a non-repairable puncture at fairly low miles, got an identical replacement shaved to the avg depth of the remaining 3 in two days. Had to call to get the shaving done. $25, AIR.
by Bengineer
Wed Jul 29, 2020 8:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Variable Speed HVACs
Replies: 31
Views: 2240

Re: Variable Speed HVACs

Right that’s what I’ve noticed. Variable speed improves humidity control (with potential reliability/longevity issues, which I have definitely experienced as well). Seems like some think just a dehumidifier may be a simpler solution. 3000 sq ft one story so 5 tons seems not oversized. I suggest tha...
by Bengineer
Fri Jul 24, 2020 9:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: vacuum sealers
Replies: 11
Views: 896

Re: vacuum sealers

... I bought a Nutrichef ... great reviews but it was a piece of junk and the customer support was awful. ... Those who own vacuum sealers, I'd like to hear about your experiences with your model. Well. I own two Nutrichef vacuum sealers. They were cheap and have worked well for me - pull a good va...
by Bengineer
Fri Jul 24, 2020 3:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Backyard BBQ - easy
Replies: 42
Views: 3878

Re: Backyard BBQ - easy

I recommend a Weber Smoky Joe as well. Ideal in size for meals for 1-2. I find it cooks as good as my 22" kettle with far less charcoal. You're going to be making a production of grilling your meat for one, so go charcoal and maybe a chunk of wood for the best flavor. Bonus, you can grill eggpl...
by Bengineer
Wed Jul 22, 2020 3:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: cheap, easy, temporary heat blocking stuff for windows?
Replies: 44
Views: 2550

Re: cheap, easy, temporary heat blocking stuff for windows?

Re exterior solar screens: I had a window shop and a hardware store make me aluminum-framed window screens with solar screen fabric on two different houses. They mounted just like regular window screens with clips and bails. They were bit more than insect screens due to the fabric. I also DIY'd wind...
by Bengineer
Mon Jul 20, 2020 6:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: cheap, easy, temporary heat blocking stuff for windows?
Replies: 44
Views: 2550

Re: cheap, easy, temporary heat blocking stuff for windows?

My go-to for cutting insolation through the windows is exterior solar screens.
by Bengineer
Mon Jul 13, 2020 10:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Coffee storage
Replies: 42
Views: 3482

Re: Coffee storage

When i have more beans than I'll use in a week, I use a vacuum sealer and store the beans in the dark.
by Bengineer
Sat Jul 11, 2020 5:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New roof needed - Consider METAL ROOF?
Replies: 32
Views: 3165

Re: New roof needed - Consider METAL ROOF?

Some thoughts: You need a new roof if the shingles are cupping / curling and/or the grit has worn off so you can see the asphalt underneath. The life of a shingle roof depends on the pitch and sun and weather exposure. Leaks happen. In my experience over several shingle-roofed homes, nail pops will ...
by Bengineer
Fri Jun 12, 2020 11:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Noisy return/intake in new HVAC
Replies: 63
Views: 12377

Re: Noisy return/intake in new HVAC

Many thanks for all the information and suggestions. My husband tried to take off the grilles to test the sound, but was unsuccessful. Some of the screws are stuck and he is afraid of damaging the surrounding drywall. He may try again today with a higher ladder. What we did discover was that the op...
by Bengineer
Fri Jun 12, 2020 5:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Noisy return/intake in new HVAC
Replies: 63
Views: 12377

Re: Noisy return/intake in new HVAC

Ok. OP, you've noted "rushing air" sound from your two returns. The total area of your returns (and return ducting) is related to the rushing air noise, efficiency and longevity of your HVAC system. The number of returns around the house is more related to your comfort. What size air condi...
by Bengineer
Mon Apr 20, 2020 8:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Growing Fruit and Vegetables
Replies: 30
Views: 2003

Re: Growing Fruit and Vegetables

Tomatoes are the hands-down "better than the store" for the garden. For summer in the south, I like zucchini, yellow squash, Japanese eggplant and okra for grilling. I don't know how much better they are than store-bought, but being able to pick at the perfect size & ripeness and go di...
by Bengineer
Mon Apr 20, 2020 7:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pool of Water six feet from foundation of front of home
Replies: 30
Views: 2622

Re: Pool of Water six feet from foundation of front of home

Getting out during a good rain will tell you a lot about where the water is coming from and going to, where your high and low spots are and where you could grade or drain water from - to.
by Bengineer
Sun Mar 01, 2020 3:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dog grooming clippers - any recommendations?
Replies: 18
Views: 685

Re: Dog grooming clippers - any recommendations?

A couple thoughts. Workable clippers will depend on your dog's coat. A poodle or similar with a wool coat will require heavy duty "pro" clippers like Andis or Oster. Wahl or similar will likely work for a dog with a lighter coat somewhat similar to human hair. I've used a Oster Golden A5 w...
by Bengineer
Wed Feb 05, 2020 6:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Suggestion: Check your credit reports, even if frozen
Replies: 21
Views: 2047

Re: Suggestion: Check your credit reports, even if frozen

gtd98765 wrote: Tue Feb 04, 2020 9:44 pm I think checking credit reports is a good idea as well. I put a reminder on my calendar every four months to check my report at one of the three credit agencies via annualcreditreport.com .
This.
by Bengineer
Wed Jan 29, 2020 4:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I install modern water savings toilet in old building? Plumber says absolutely NOT TO
Replies: 52
Views: 5688

Re: Should I install modern water savings toilet in old building? Plumber says absolutely NOT TO

LawEgr1 wrote: Wed Jan 29, 2020 1:33 pm Anecdotal but we replaced our super old toilet that used up gobs of water with a 1.28gpf Kohler Cimarron.

It's awesome.
Same here. The canister flush valve "gets it on out of there"!
by Bengineer
Fri Jan 10, 2020 6:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: RTA Kitchen Cabinets
Replies: 17
Views: 1983

Re: RTA Kitchen Cabinets

I liked Ikea cabinets on my computer. Then to assemble them... Pass. I actually used RTA on the advise from a general contractor. I was very happy overall. Some pointers: ... I realize I sound like a paid shill. I'm honestly not. I really was very happy overall with the entire process. Would buy fr...
by Bengineer
Sun Jan 05, 2020 9:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New Landlord: Have leases assigned or new ones?
Replies: 4
Views: 465

New Landlord: Have leases assigned or new ones?

I recently became the owner of land leased to tenants with mobile homes. The tenants are all on 30 day leases signed long ago with the previous owner. I'm in a rural area of a landlord-friendly state. Is it important to have the leases formally assigned to us or get new leases signed? My question ce...
by Bengineer
Wed Dec 18, 2019 7:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Casual slip on shoes
Replies: 25
Views: 2710

Re: Casual slip on shoes

Have a pair of the merrell jungle mocs, like them. Good foot support, reasonably good for walking on flat / low-slope ground.
by Bengineer
Sat Dec 14, 2019 7:47 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Growing income and becoming more nervous...
Replies: 28
Views: 4507

Re: Growing income and becoming more nervous...

With your business consuming your focus & wife's employment & income situation, I might step back a bit and consider the big picture. In addition to investment , are your insurances , wills & POAs all set up? Have you considered shifting from your SEP to an individual 401k , which could ...
by Bengineer
Fri Dec 06, 2019 6:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home renovation
Replies: 12
Views: 1111

Re: Home renovation

... I would like to put a 2nd floor on my home ... From our working with an architect and attempting a remodel: Changing the envelope up or out is way more costly than interior remodeling that doesn't involve load-bearing walls. Remodeling contractors and subs are more expensive than build new due ...
by Bengineer
Wed Nov 06, 2019 8:35 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Robinhood, Heading for a Trainwreck?
Replies: 42
Views: 6527

Re: Robinhood, Heading for a Trainwreck?

There's a bit of irony in their name - "stealing from the poor to give to the rich"... :mrgreen:
by Bengineer
Tue Oct 01, 2019 8:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Non stick pan preference?
Replies: 46
Views: 4081

Re: Non stick pan preference?

We banished teflon and the like years ago. Carbon steel for scrambled/fried eggs. Hot pan, add oil/butter, then eggs, wait a bit before stirring. stir. wait. stir. wait... Lodge carbon steel pans are pre-seasoned as are their cast iron pans. Cast iron for frying and searing. IMO, the only better sea...
by Bengineer
Mon Sep 30, 2019 8:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: high toilet
Replies: 33
Views: 3728

Re: high toilet

We have a Kohler like this . It "gets it on out of there" with not much water. The "aquapiston" really does create a good flush with minimal water. It replaced a toilet that used far more water and didn't flush well. It was so bad that I pulled it thinking someone had dropped som...
by Bengineer
Mon Sep 30, 2019 5:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: AA batteries (in a blood pressure monitor for example)
Replies: 39
Views: 3272

Re: AA batteries (in a blood pressure monitor for example)

Note that NiMH (Eneloop mentioned above and other rechargable AA, AAA cells) have a lower voltage than alkaline cells. NiMH cells are great for flashlights and motorized devices. I've had less luck with electronics, as some depend on the higher voltage of the alkaline batteries. One comparison here .
by Bengineer
Wed Sep 25, 2019 7:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pitfalls in owning a mobile home park
Replies: 16
Views: 2605

Re: Pitfalls in owning a mobile home park

Thanks all. Quite a few good points & suggestions. I would certainly do the physical and legal due diligence suggested. I may come back with more questions if it seems workable.
by Bengineer
Tue Sep 24, 2019 12:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pitfalls in owning a mobile home park
Replies: 16
Views: 2605

Pitfalls in owning a mobile home park

Hi all. What are the pitfalls in owning a rural mobile home park with tenant-owned homes? I might have the opportunity to purchase a small park with less than 10 units. My interest is in control of the land, rather than running a business. It's rural. The park is zoned for mobile homes and the surro...
by Bengineer
Sat Sep 21, 2019 11:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: *UPDATE* A/C and furnace - flooding
Replies: 52
Views: 5177

Re: A/C and furnace – probable replacement (soon)

Condensate seems like a plausible source for the water, though Colorado is pretty dry. Where does the condensate go? Is it just a pipe, or is there a pump? Regardless, it likely will end in a pipe terminating above ground, though sometimes it is run to a plumbing drain in the house. Condensate shoul...
by Bengineer
Sat Sep 14, 2019 5:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: HVAC isues - fix R22 system or replace?
Replies: 14
Views: 1134

Re: HVAC isues - fix R22 system or replace?

I'd take issue with "expensive diagnosis", unless the leak is in the lineset buried in the walls. With the significant leak you describe, it should be obvious to a tech with a leak detector. It's not clear "R22 will not be obtainable". It is being phased out, no new residential s...
by Bengineer
Sat Sep 14, 2019 5:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kitchen drawer slide hardware recommendations needed
Replies: 17
Views: 1199

Re: Kitchen drawer slide hardware recommendations needed

Agreed that Blum has been the gold standard forever.

I used Custom Service Hardware for replacement slides when the "soft close" plungers on some of the cheapo ones in my house failed.
by Bengineer
Wed Sep 04, 2019 7:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cold Air Penetrating Window Glass (Winter, Boston)
Replies: 34
Views: 3292

Re: Cold Air Penetrating Window Glass (Winter, Boston)

You've got a lot of windows. The best windows are ~R-4/U-0.25, vs a 2x4 wall with fiberglass insulation @ something like a whole wall R-10/U-0.1. With lots of windows that are cooler than the walls, your mean radiant temperature will be lower. You're going to feel cooler that the thermostat setting ...
by Bengineer
Mon Sep 02, 2019 8:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: semi-DIY solar panels
Replies: 39
Views: 3736

Re: semi-DIY solar panels

A couple thoughts: The sun is hot in Texas -> Solar carport. Solar power, shaded parking, not on the house roof. I'd think the electricity rates, utility and regulatory environment (think net metering and how powerful the utility is at quashing solar - i.e. Arizona as noted above) would be key. Area...
by Bengineer
Mon Sep 02, 2019 7:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to clean baked on "carbon" from corners of old cookie sheets
Replies: 27
Views: 2400

Re: How to clean baked on "carbon" from corners of old cookie sheets

Spray on "fume free" oven cleaner, layer plastic wrap over to keep it from drying out, let sit for a while, scrub off. Also works on the outside of pots & pans that have fired-on oil gunk. As others have noted, the seasoning == baked on, hardened oil, is what keeps your biscuits from s...
by Bengineer
Sun Sep 01, 2019 6:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Subaru Outback issue
Replies: 38
Views: 4262

Re: Subaru Outback issue

To the OP's actual question: If it's your wife's car, go new to allay her fears unless that's a significant financial issue. If it's yours, find a respected independent that works on Subies and have them go over it. Re CVTs: Consumer Reports, which is the closest thing I know of to statistical data ...
by Bengineer
Wed Aug 07, 2019 10:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: which stud finder?
Replies: 52
Views: 3732

Re: which stud finder?

A hammer and a finish nail. Tap wall to find most solid sounding point, use nail to find solid wood.
by Bengineer
Sun Aug 04, 2019 2:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: HVAC questions: asbestos-insulated ducts need replacing? A/C costs?
Replies: 21
Views: 1779

Re: HVAC questions: asbestos-insulated ducts need replacing? A/C costs?

From your pix, you have "hard duct" - galvanized sheet metal, which appears to be partially wrapped with unfaced fiberglass insulation. Your supply ducts are under positive pressure and so wouldn't suck. Black on them is from air escaping from your supply ducts into the crawl. Your returns...