Random household issues -- questions asked and answered here

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    wprager
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    Re: Random household issues -- questions asked and answered here

    Post by wprager on Fri Mar 22, 2013 12:12 pm

    How long have you been in that house? 2006 was the highest total fall precipitation; 2009 was the highest (over the last 30-odd years) for summer. Total winter precipitation looks to be on the decline.

    Bottom line, if you've been there for 7 years you've seen the worst we've had, and if you haven't had a leak yet, is there really a worry? The "damange" is not recent is it?

    Just make sure that your grade is good -- if not, get some soil and fix it (something I have to do pretty darn now).

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    Re: Random household issues -- questions asked and answered here

    Post by tim1_2 on Fri Mar 22, 2013 12:27 pm

    We've been in the house since 2004, but the larger crack has gotten bigger lately...not sure when exactly, but it has.

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    Re: Random household issues -- questions asked and answered here

    Post by Vandelay on Sat Mar 23, 2013 9:37 am

    Regarding the foundation crack, I'd cut out a chunk of drywall to get a closer look. If your insulation around the cracks is not wet or black (moldy) than you're probably fine for now.

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    Re: Random household issues -- questions asked and answered here

    Post by wprager on Sun Mar 24, 2013 10:39 pm

    OK, so I've had to re-start my hot water tank two more times. The snow is still pretty deep on the side of the house (to go and check if the flue is blocked) but It's melted/evaporated enough now that I can probably check it out. Chances are I won't see anything obvious, so it'll have to be a service call. Crap.


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    Re: Random household issues -- questions asked and answered here

    Post by tim1_2 on Fri Apr 05, 2013 8:02 am

    So what's the verdict on the hot water tank? Any service call should've been free, since it's a rental, no?
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    Re: Random household issues -- questions asked and answered here

    Post by wprager on Fri Apr 05, 2013 8:13 am

    tim1_2 wrote:So what's the verdict on the hot water tank? Any service call should've been free, since it's a rental, no?

    Been too busy. I've had to re-start it three times now. Finally the snow melted off enough to check out the intake flu on the side of the house. There were two pipes there - both just PVC pipe coming out the side of the house with a 90 degree bend toward the ground. One of them had a grate at the open end (to prevent critters coming it), the other didn't. The one that didn't came off in my hands when I was checking the opening. I stuck it right back in, but that could be the source of my problems -- if the sealant/putty or whatever is holding it in dried out some water could have come into the pipe.

    Couple questions -- how do I know which pipe is which? Why does one have a grate and not the other? Would a little water seeping in cause the problems I've been seeing?


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    Re: Random household issues -- questions asked and answered here

    Post by tim1_2 on Fri Apr 05, 2013 8:27 am

    I believe one of those PVC pipes is your furnace exhaust, and the other is your hot water tank exhaust...I have the same setup. When your furnace is running, you'll see exhaust coming out of that PVC pipe, so you should easily be able to tell which is which.

    In theory, it could be water coming in the exhaust (or an internal leak in the tank), or wind, or a few other things.

    Do you have a carbon monoxide detector in your furnace room? Apparently excess carbon monoxide can also extinguish the pilot light.

    I would just get a service rep out there ASAP, since it should be free anyway.

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    Re: Random household issues -- questions asked and answered here

    Post by NEELY on Fri Apr 05, 2013 8:53 am

    wprager wrote:
    tim1_2 wrote:So what's the verdict on the hot water tank? Any service call should've been free, since it's a rental, no?

    Been too busy. I've had to re-start it three times now. Finally the snow melted off enough to check out the intake flu on the side of the house. There were two pipes there - both just PVC pipe coming out the side of the house with a 90 degree bend toward the ground. One of them had a grate at the open end (to prevent critters coming it), the other didn't. The one that didn't came off in my hands when I was checking the opening. I stuck it right back in, but that could be the source of my problems -- if the sealant/putty or whatever is holding it in dried out some water could have come into the pipe.

    Couple questions -- how do I know which pipe is which? Why does one have a grate and not the other? Would a little water seeping in cause the problems I've been seeing?

    Go downstairs and check which one is coming out the right side and which one of coming out the left. just gotta follow your pipes... if you have a finished basement just turn your thermostat up to 30 for like 2 mins while the furnace runs and whatever pipe is exhausting the flu.... that's the furnace and obviously the other would be the water heater.
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    Re: Random household issues -- questions asked and answered here

    Post by wprager on Fri Apr 05, 2013 9:28 am

    You both talk about "exhaust" -- are they, though? The exhaust ones couldn't be PVC because of the heat, I'd say. So I'm thinking they are both for air supply, in which case I don't really understand why one of them has a grate but not the other (of course if could have fallen out too).


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    Re: Random household issues -- questions asked and answered here

    Post by tim1_2 on Fri Apr 05, 2013 9:33 am

    They are both exhaust.

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    Re: Random household issues -- questions asked and answered here

    Post by NEELY on Fri Apr 05, 2013 10:23 am

    wprager wrote:You both talk about "exhaust" -- are they, though? The exhaust ones couldn't be PVC because of the heat, I'd say. So I'm thinking they are both for air supply, in which case I don't really understand why one of them has a grate but not the other (of course if could have fallen out too).

    Depending on if you have a high eff furnace then there will be 2 pipes. One to take in outside air for combustion and other to exhaust the flu.... there is also a water heater flu pipe that is an exhaust. The intake will not be anywhere near the exhaust because of code though, it has to be at least 3 feet away... so if there pipes are right beside each other then yes, they are both flu exhausts.
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    Re: Random household issues -- questions asked and answered here

    Post by wprager on Fri Apr 05, 2013 11:05 am

    I was talking to a friend at work who literally knows everything and he said both of the outside pipes are exhaust ones. The air intake for the furnace is right there in the basement -- you can stick your hand over it and feel the draft when the furnace is on. There is a vent somewhere to ensure that the basement air pressure is normalized with the outside. I assume the air intake for the hot water tank is similar -- I can see the flames when it comes on, so it's not watertight by any stretch.

    I'll have to use some PVC glue to re-attach the exhaust pipe properly (right now I just jammed it in -- it's not even a proper fitting). Maybe because there was no grate something got inside? But how would you check that out?

    I think I should just call this in -- as you said, the tank is a rental.


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    Re: Random household issues -- questions asked and answered here

    Post by NEELY on Fri Apr 05, 2013 1:40 pm

    wprager wrote:I was talking to a friend at work who literally knows everything and he said both of the outside pipes are exhaust ones. The air intake for the furnace is right there in the basement -- you can stick your hand over it and feel the draft when the furnace is on. There is a vent somewhere to ensure that the basement air pressure is normalized with the outside. I assume the air intake for the hot water tank is similar -- I can see the flames when it comes on, so it's not watertight by any stretch.

    I'll have to use some PVC glue to re-attach the exhaust pipe properly (right now I just jammed it in -- it's not even a proper fitting). Maybe because there was no grate something got inside? But how would you check that out?

    I think I should just call this in -- as you said, the tank is a rental.
    '

    You're paying them to be annoying... so be annoying. It's their tank but of course it's "your pipe".

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    Re: Random household issues -- questions asked and answered here

    Post by tim1_2 on Mon May 27, 2013 1:39 pm

    Anyone have any opinions on the best deck stain?

    Consumer Reports says Behr Solid Stain is the best, but everything you read online contradicts this. Seems like TPW and Defy are the best products, but neither are available in stores in Canada...I can order "Defy Extreme" online, which looks like the best bet.

    Thompsons, Rez, CIL, Olympic, etc, all seem to be second rate.
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    Re: Random household issues -- questions asked and answered here

    Post by wprager on Mon May 27, 2013 2:17 pm

    tim1_2 wrote:Anyone have any opinions on the best deck stain?

    Consumer Reports says Behr Solid Stain is the best, but everything you read online contradicts this. Seems like TPW and Defy are the best products, but neither are available in stores in Canada...I can order "Defy Extreme" online, which looks like the best bet.

    Thompsons, Rez, CIL, Olympic, etc, all seem to be second rate.

    I assume it's a cedar deck. Former co-worker who had a woodworking side business said that he much preferred the natural grey that cedar turned (he used the term "patina"). Too bad I didn't listen to him because after spending a lot of money and time, our fence is pretty much where it would have been without spending all that time and money.

    Taking to another (current) co-worker, the stuff you can get here is useless, but what you can get in the US (or online) -- possibly "Defy" that you mention -- will give you a great color that won't fade.


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    Re: Random household issues -- questions asked and answered here

    Post by SeawaySensFan on Mon May 27, 2013 2:24 pm

    wprager wrote:
    tim1_2 wrote:Anyone have any opinions on the best deck stain?

    Consumer Reports says Behr Solid Stain is the best, but everything you read online contradicts this. Seems like TPW and Defy are the best products, but neither are available in stores in Canada...I can order "Defy Extreme" online, which looks like the best bet.

    Thompsons, Rez, CIL, Olympic, etc, all seem to be second rate.

    I assume it's a cedar deck. Former co-worker who had a woodworking side business said that he much preferred the natural grey that cedar turned (he used the term "patina"). Too bad I didn't listen to him because after spending a lot of money and time, our fence is pretty much where it would have been without spending all that time and money.

    Taking to another (current) co-worker, the stuff you can get here is useless, but what you can get in the US (or online) -- possibly "Defy" that you mention -- will give you a great color that won't fade.

    In any climate? I use a so-called "stain" that looks more like a paint and I would realistically have to redo it every year. As for a true stain, I wonder if the trick would be to find a really good sealant rather than be preoccupied with the stain itself?
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    Re: Random household issues -- questions asked and answered here

    Post by tim1_2 on Mon May 27, 2013 2:33 pm

    Apparently the Defy Extreme stuff I mention is really UV resistant, and will hardly fade. My deck is half cedar and half pressure treated...thus I am going to use a semi-transparent or solid stain so it'll look pretty much uniform.

    If I started from scratch, I would just go with cedar everything and not worry about it, letting it age naturally.
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    Re: Random household issues -- questions asked and answered here

    Post by SeawaySensFan on Mon May 27, 2013 3:57 pm

    tim1_2 wrote:Apparently the Defy Extreme stuff I mention is really UV resistant, and will hardly fade. My deck is half cedar and half pressure treated...thus I am going to use a semi-transparent or solid stain so it'll look pretty much uniform.

    If I started from scratch, I would just go with cedar everything and not worry about it, letting it age naturally.

    This is all you need to know about wood stain:


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