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  1. Mikey

    Measuring developed length and fixture units

    I'm converting from a tub/shower to a large (72" x 72") roll-in shower with 2 shower valves and heads -- one standup and one at a bench. The tub used a 1 1/2" drain, and the shower requires 2". But the existing tub drain to the stack can be easily replaced with 2" using the same routing. Two...
  2. Mikey

    Moving back-to-back vanities 12" further from vent/drain

    The two vanities are currently served by a double sanitary T with the vent above and the drain below going off to the final stack to the septic system. Can I replace the double san-T with a single san-T pointed a foot away and use a double elbow at the vanities? Or must I replicate the double...
  3. Mikey

    Eco Drake Flapper questions

    I installed 2 Eco Drake toilets in late 2016. Last week I heard one of them refilling for a few seconds without being flushed. I turned off the water and waited for a while, and sure enough, the water in the tank had gone down. I checked the flapper valve, and found the rubber(?) seal covered...
  4. Mikey

    Extension handle for Square D QO 200A main breaker

    Is there such a thing? I've got 2 200-A service panels in the house. They both have the main breakers oriented horizontally, way up high, and they're almost impossible to switch. Larger breakers have auxiliary handles to make the job easier, but I haven't been able to find one for the QO 200A...
  5. Mikey

    Looking for a 90° 1/4" male to 1/4" female compression adapter

    I've got an ice-maker outlet box similar to the one in the image below, and a refrigerator we'd like to put as close to the wall as possible. But as you can see, anything connected to the 1/4" compression outlet sticks straight out of the wall, and any flexible tubing I've found requires 6" to...
  6. Mikey

    GFCI tripping with no load when connected to power

    I have a 20A circuit which feeds a string of 3 receptacle outlets in the garage, and 3 in the house. The junction of the garage-string and the house-string fortuitously is in one of the garage outlets, so I replaced that receptacle with a Seymour/Legrand GFCI receptacle, hooking the line from...
  7. Mikey

    Low-flow toilets vs septic systems

    I was talking to a septic system designer the other day in connection with a questionable septic drainfield on a home I bought. I mentioned that I was planning to replace all the old 3-gallon toilets with modern low-flow or dual flush units (specifically, Drake or Aquia). He suggested I...
  8. Mikey

    Can PVC pipe be threaded using normal tools?

    I use a lot of FPT PVC fittings, and am getting tired of buying MPT adapters by the carload. Can I just use normal threading tools to cut threads in PVC pipe and thus make nipples of arbitrary length?
  9. Mikey

    Media shelf life

    I purchased 2 cf of Nelsen Cation Resin a few years ago, thinking my softener would need recharging in the near future, and the media brought the order total up to where shipping was free. It's been stored in its unopened plastic bags since then. The softener is still doing OK after over 10...
  10. Mikey

    Extending a flexible duct

    Pardon my introductory rant (which could be a lot longer) -- I do have a question near the end. About a year ago, I had all my attic ductwork replaced by a large local firm, in hopes of solving a condensation problem on the branch lines, which were metal ducts wrapped in a fiberglass foil-faced...
  11. Mikey

    Anode rod after 6 years

    I have well water, chlorinated, filtered through Centaur carbon, then softened. Solar heater, so electric backup is seldom used, temperature usually around 160°F at the kitchen sink. I flush the water heater annually, and usually see a bunch of white crystals. I pulled the anode rod to see...
  12. Mikey

    Designing a single well and pump system to supply both irrigation and treated water

    In another thread Dittohead mentioned ( that "Irrigation should not be fed off the softener." With a single well, pump, and pressure tank, how do you plumb and wire the...
  13. Mikey

    Strange corrosion in copper pipe in multiple locations in a ceiling

    Staying with a friend in a rental apartment in Loma Linda, CA for a few days. We noticed a slow drip of water coming from the ceiling, and called the maintenance department. They responded pretty quickly, while we were out touring museums and airports. Came back to find a 4' x 2' (or so) hole in...
  14. Mikey

    How do I remove the top screen from a control valve?

    In this case, an Autotrol 255... doesn't seem to want to untwist. I'm leaning toward crushing the screen and replacing it when I reinstall the valve, but if there's a way to do it without destroying it, I'd love to save the big bucks. Are top screens interchangeable among different valve brands?
  15. Mikey

    Rebedding a carbon filter; measuring chlorine

    Today was the day. Got some questions: Q1) Is there a special wrench or trick to remove the adapter base (Fleck 2510) from the tank? The pro who installed this didn't intend for it to leak or ever come off the tank. After beating it to break the seal, I used an oil filter strap wrench to turn...
  16. Mikey

    Can anyone identify this old strange valve stem and washer (?)

    A friend is trying to be a handyman, but for his first job he got into a leaking shower installed in the 50s or so, and extracted a valve stem with an odd washer arrangement: I apologize for the lousy picture - it was taken with a cellphone under poor conditions. Anyway, the valve stem is...
  17. Mikey

    Looking for a bi-directional electrically actuated valve

    I've installed a Watts circulating pump under a bathroom sink at the far end of the plumbing lines to replace an older "Chili Pepper" appliance whose pump motor crapped out. I still use the control circuitry from the Chili Pepper, allowing on-demand operation of the Watts. Everything works...
  18. Mikey

    High (?) condensate volume and low internal pressure

    Just out of curiosity, I stuck a bucket under the condensate drain and found the system is wringing out about 5 gallons per day from our 1800 sq ft home in central Florida. Now, admittedly, it's humid outside, but should it be that humid inside? Is this a normal condensate volume? However, I...
  19. Mikey

    Any experience with Laing ecocirc® solar pumps?

    I have a March 809 pump controlling circulation through the solar panel (open-loop system). It's driven by a PV panel - no sun, no circulation -- and has worked well for just over 4 years, but started getting intermittent recently. On inspection, the brushes were down to nubs and the entire...
  20. Mikey

    Emergency Heat vs heat pump in very cold weather

    I'm renting a small apartment for a couple of months with an AC/heatpump problem. I't a relatively new Carrier system. When it's cold, say 50° or less, in normal mode the compressor runs all the time, and the coils seem to be frozen most of the time I look. The incoming air feels cool, and...
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