Category Archives: Repair

December 2008, Mead, Chicken & Repair update

The Cherry Mead stopped bubbling this week, so it took about 4 weeks to ferment completely. Any time now it can be transferred (racked) into a glass carboy and allowed to clarify. It smelled great while bubbling, so I have high hopes for it.

The chickens started laying the week before Christmas. I brought the chicks home on July 1st, so they are 5 months or about 25 weeks. Chickens need more than 12 hours of light a day to lay. I have two 250 WATT infrared lights on a timer to give them 13 hours of light and keep them warm. It appears to be working.

Sunday night I discovered that the sump pump had quit working. Actually, it was trying to work, but the pedestal that supports the motor had self destructed and the whole thing was turning. I was able to put together a splint using 1 1/2 PVC pipe and hose clamps. It should hold until I can replace the pump this weekend.

I would like to be able to pump out the sump without electricity. Lehmans has this hand powered transfer pump, which looks like it would do the trick. I may have to pick up one as a backup.

New project: Hickory snath (scythe handle)

I have a new page in the project section for a straight snath, made out of hickory.  Since I was building my own snath, I was able to incorporate all the advice on snath design and make the just right for me and it works fabulously.  This is a very straight forward project, taking a little bit of two afternoons.  Tools used: bandsaw, drill, jig saw and router.

Click here to read more

New project: Hand water pump installation

There is something quite satisfying about using a hand pump, knowing it’s your own power lifting it out of the ground and into your kitchen.

This pump was purchased through Lehmans. When it arived, I discovered that it was made in Maine by Bison Pumps, whom I contacted for assistance. They listened to what I wanted to do, answered my questions, then helped me figure out what parts I needed to connect the pump to my well.

I wanted to be able to switch between the hand pump and my existing electric pump. Bison said I needed two shutoff valves, a check valve, water line and various other brass and plastic parts and pieces. They made a diagram, showing how to connect everything, and were extremely helpful.

read about this project here

Kitchen faucet repair

Most modern faucets have the breakable parts (valves and washers) in a replaceable “cartridge”.  The best place to get replacements is directly from the manufacturer.  Some manufacturers, like Price Pfister, warrant their faucets for life to the original purchaser, and consider you the original purchaser as long as you have the owners manual.  Save those owners manuals, you might be able to get replacement parts for the cost of shipping.

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Water heater repair

Our water heater was doing something weird. A valve on the side, with a tube running down from it was leaking very hot water onto the floor. We turned off the water to the water heater to prevent a major catastrophe.

According to the owners manual, the valve is a safety valve that opens up if too much pressure builds up in the water heater. This happens if the water overheats and can be very dangerous. 55 gallons of almost boiling water could drain onto the basement floor.

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