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gpdewitt

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About gpdewitt

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  1. Thanks, Kurt and Rob. I have electric radiant in my living room to help even out a 2 1/2 story house. Turns out we mostly only use it all winter, and we like it a lot. Cost about 3K to install under hardwood. The floor gets to 78 or 80 in about an hour.
  2. I saw my first boiler (SoCal area) with in-floor PEX under stone, tile and brick. The air temp was already 74 degrees. Set all 6 zone thermostats to 86, computer came to life, boiler fired, stone floors raised 1-2 degrees over a 2 hour period. Is this sufficient differential to call this system operational? As I understand it, high '70s is pretty much all you get from these systems. I'm considering recommending the system be tested again when it gets cold, December or January. Opinions please. Click to Enlarge 397.37 KB
  3. Looks like the owner is trying to electrocute the inspector to avoid a bad report? Too many reportable items to list here, mostly life threatening.
  4. If you want to know if you have dampness moving through masonry, try this: Tape a piece of clear plastic, large plastic bag, etc. to the wall/floor in such a way as to seal the edges fairly well. Come back and look at it in a day or so. If there are water droplets on the inside of the plastic, you have moisture. By the way, wood in direct contact with masonry is a bad idea, the wood will potentially rot from moisture.
  5. MMMMM, Bacon! I made a BBQ pork loin wrapped in apple slices wrapped in bacon slathered with maple bourbon butter sauce, fabulous! Recipe courtesy of the BBQ boys on youtube. Seriously, we have two types of teeth, adapted to meat (tearing) and grain/vegetables (grinding). Also, it stands to reason that before animal domestication and farming, it was a lot easier to pick fruit and vegetables than hunt down meat, so we probably ate mostly vegetables and a bit of meat when we could get it. There are numerous scientists who theorize that we have altered food much faster than we can adapt to eating it as a species, causing widespread health problems. I tend to agree. Except for rice, glycemic index of processed carbs is much higher than unprocessed carbs. High GI foods tend to cause obesity and diabetes in the long run. It can even be argued that genetic altering of grains and other foods make them less healthy, and this has been going on since the first farmer started hybridizing his crops for greater yield. I haven't seen studies on this yet, and don't expect to any time soon, since major food manufacturers like Monsanto have such an interest in their patented "foods". I heard recently that there is no corn still growing in the US that isn't genetically altered because of pollen spread from altered corn to "natural" corn in adjoining fields. Hazards from this remain to be seen, it hasn't been around long enough for definitive studies. Fortunately, there are still some samples of various grains around that are very old, not altered and still viable, and there are farmers in remote regions growing crops from them to bring back the real thing. Well, now that I've completely depressed myself, I think I'll go have a burger and fries with a shake, and celebrate the new year!
  6. Specialty auto body shops have been repairing fiberglass for decades (think Corvette), same thing with fiberglass motor home bodies. Must be possible. Might be a good idea to drill small holes where the smiles are and inject foam, then repair pan with resin and glass.
  7. Pentax W90. Nearly indestructible, and takes great pics too.
  8. Wonderful old bench. Looks like a LOT of stuff was built on it over the years. I especially like the angled legs at the vice end, that bench will never rack or wiggle. Based on the design and lack of metal, I agree, probably more than 140 years old. Is it heavy?
  9. Thanks for your help on the issues I've posted here, and stay in touch!
  10. Had a friend here in SoCal in 1971, built an in-ground "hot tub" for himself out of cinder block. No plumbing. No rebar. Parked an old car nearby on the lawn, used 2" PVC and ferncos to bypass radiator, connected directly to water pump and block. For about $5 in gas, he could heat it up in an hour and keep it hot all night.
  11. Chad, Randy is correct for my area. Only society I know of where people buy expensive cars, then leave them out in the weather (sun here) to degrade while they keep mostly worthless junk filling the garage. MGB, shocking truth, there are 4 square feet of storage (not including that owned by the person storing the stuff) for every man, woman and child in the US. There are many places globally where people would love to have those 4 SF just to have enough room to live in. I believe the source of that stat is Nat Geo TV.
  12. We have dozens of them around here, population seems stable. They are an amazingly intelligent bird. Been observed waiting for traffic to clear at a busy intersection and then dropping nuts on the pavement where the car tires go. Then they wait for a car to crack the nut and move on, and collect the meat. There's a Youtube video of this somewhere. Around my neighborhood, they mostly live on leftover fast food from bags tossed from cars. I have also seen a crow and a falcon fighting over territory. The crow deferred to the falcon, then flew over to a tree that had many crows in it. A couple minutes later, a large flock of them flew up from the tree and chased the falcon away. Birds working together as a group. Amazing.
  13. All the masts I've seen in my area, L A County, CA, have an insulator. Exceptions are where masts are too short for one, under 12" or so, and the neutral is tied to the roof near the masts, also with a ceramic insulator. These are houses built in the 50's. Some of these even have 3 insulators attached to the roof, one for each cable, but not usually still in use.
  14. Aaaaaaah, that was nothin'. Around here, that's an every 2-5 year shaker. If I really pay attention, I can feel movement at least once a month on the top floor of my condo here in Burbank, CA. Been through 5 major ones in my lifetime, with a friends' house shifted FEET off the foundation, pool water washed clean through the sliders and house, central chimney offset over 6", just totaled. And then there were the 2 story apartment buildings built over garages that pancaked... I'm looking forward to the next one, whole lotta inspecting to do!
  15. The manufacturers of GFCIs and UL, who do the testing and listing, both accept the test button *on the GFCI* as the valid way to test it. Here's an interesting scenario for you - You use your handy 3 prong circuit tester with GFCI test button to test a receptacle that is *not* a GFCI type. You do this because this particular receptacle is next to the sink in the master bath on the third floor, and you know it's required to be protected. The receptacle responds by going dead. Now what? You spend however long it takes to find the actual GFCI on that circuit and reset it. What if it's behind a permanently installed cabinet? What if it's behind the owner's hutch filled with 400lbs of his families' fine antique china? What if, also, there is a freezer in the garage, buried under much of the owner's belongings and out of sight, that's filled with expensive meat, or a wine cellar that must be kept at a low temperature to protect thousands of dollars worth of fine wine? You're screwed. If I can't find GFCI where there should be one, in spite of having tripped any visible ones and noting any GFCI breakers in the box, I report it as such and suggest an electrician check it out for safety.
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