Home Maintenance

Rossymeister

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How do you deal with things breaking around the house? I swear just this month, I've had a dishwasher go out, and now the bathroom faucet is leaking. Just seems like its something every month. Anybody else in a similar situation?
 
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Mothman

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Jun 30, 2024
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There is so much junk out there nowadays. I try and make informed purchases and use manufacturer warranties whenever possible but unavoidably there are times I just have to toss and replace, even at great expense.
 

iacchus

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Just always fixing something. It is what it is.
I do my best to stay ahead of the catastrophe. If something is starting to show signs, I go ahead and try and fix it, rather than letting it degrade to the point of failure. This saves quite a bit of trouble when applied correctly.
Always keep a bit of money back each week, let it build and dont touch it unless you need to dip in for repairs, then replace what you used as quickly as possible. You will eventually need it, and then again, and then again, and so on.

Hiring things fixed is absurdly expensive, and most fixes are far simpler than you imagine. If you are in any way handy, try and save money and fix it yourself. Youtube is a boon! I've fixed many an appliance in an afternoon with a $10 part from amazon after a bit of research.
I really only hire out complicated electrical work, and that's because of insurance and code reasons.

Such is the joys of being a homeowner!
 

pnwoutdoors

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How do you deal with things breaking around the house? ... Just seems like its something every month.

Best approach I've found is to be a bit aggressive on maintenance, to keep ahead of "the curve."

With any potential water/air intrusion, going after it hard and "permanently" makes sense, IMO. It's water, after all, and water can do amazing damage if given a bit of room and time. Doors, windows, faucets, tub, toilet, and all related piping/fittings.

Subflooring is another thing that ages, and it can begin moving, squeaking. Hard to keep up with that in a bits-and-pieces approach, given it's everywhere. Helps to start with good "bones" for the house, and use high-grade materials with quality installation. The "good" stuff, glued-and-screwed, IOW.

Appliances, too, are full of "wear" components. They might be called "durable" items, but as quality's gone down and complexity has risen, things simply don't seem to last like they once died. HVAC, refrigeration, dishwasher, etc.

Of course, everything is a "wear" item, eventually. I've treated my vehicles well, maintenance-wise, over the years. It's been decades since one failed me, and that was a failed part (old radiator) that I should have replaced a year or two earlier. Treating the home like that can get expensive. But with the important stuff, it can help ensure very little fails and makes a mess of things.

Wish there were a better answer. But maintenance and upkeep, aggressively, consistently, helps cure a lot of potential problems. Assuming one can financially keep up with everything in that way.
 

Rossymeister

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Any recommendations for a good quality bathroom sink faucet? Is delta a good brand thats easily serviceable?
 

leukos

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My wife often tells me to hire out more of our home remodel project so I have more free time for other things. However, I had an electrician out a few months ago for 1.5 hours of work and was charged $1,000. The way my brain works, I think of all the things I could have purchased on my wishlist rather than paying that bill. It motivates me to own lots of tools and be a DIYer. It also gives me an incredible sense of confidence for dealing with the challenges of home ownership and frees up a lot more cash for hobbies and eventual retirement!
 

pnwoutdoors

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Any recommendations for a good quality bathroom sink faucet? Is delta a good brand thats easily serviceable?

I've not had experience with Delta. Have used Moen and Pfister. Both are "cartridge" type faucets, allowing periodic replacement of the internal valving. Both of these seem to be durable and fairly easily maintained.

Of course, some equipment out there has tougher valving, some even with "never leak" guarantees. Such as the Pfister "Port Haven" faucet. Can get pricey.

Perhaps some of the members with construction experience will chime in, based on what they've seen.

 

bykfixer

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Dust in the Wind
I've tried the other brands but went back to Delta for bathroom stuff simply because of ease of repair and availability of parts.

I have a Moen kitchen faucet because it was so rugged. That thing weighs a ton. While in the store, first we picked out 5 choices, then one by one picked up the box they came in. The Moen was by far the heaviest. Some 12 years later it's been flawless.
 

Monocrom

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NYC
How do you deal with things breaking around the house? I swear just this month, I've had a dishwasher go out, and now the bathroom faucet is leaking. Just seems like its something every month. Anybody else in a similar situation?
I can do small repairs and upkeep. But having a maintenance staff on-call is a HUGE perk of living in a CO-OP building. These guys are very capable. Plus, we have a neighbor who is a mostly skilled handy-man. Depending on how serious or complex the job is going to be, depends on who gets the phone call. Slip the individual a few portraits of dead U.S. Presidents, and the situation is fixed.

Though for the fridge, I have an older GE model. Bought it at Sears over 20 years ago. Actual quality, normal-sized, no-frills, decently priced.... You know, the kind most folks want but no one makes anymore. Well, got lucky after the first time it broke down over a decade later. Found a small company that a neighbor recommended. They only deal with fridges and A/C units. Fixed it right away. Stayed fixed for over a decade. Few years ago, acted up. Called them again.

Not only still in business but now expanded to four locations in total. Fantastic! I'm glad those guys are doing well. Fixed my fridge, again! Guess I'll give them another call in about a decade. Imagine seeing the same person, once every 10 years. And he remembers you!

No worries, modern-day fridges are apparently such garbage that he's got no problem making a very steady income.
 

TPA

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Aug 26, 2005
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Florida
Any recommendations for a good quality bathroom sink faucet? Is delta a good brand thats easily serviceable?
Are you planning on keeping the place? Moen or nothing. I'm still using 50+ year old Moen shower & tub valves at multiple condos, and all of the parts are still available. Moen still sells these valves new. I think the oldest Moen faucet I have is 45 years old at this place and still going strong. In general, if anything does go wrong with these, it's a cartridge, one which Moen will send you free, and it's a 5-10 minute job to replace, depending on how familiar you are with them. Turn the water off, pop the handle, put in the cartridge tool, twist, and it comes right out. Reverse the steps to put the new one in. That's if you have to service them. Even with the crappy water here, I've never serviced my faucets. I did change out the shower valve cartridges ONCE but that's because we were doing renovations and I already had a plumber on-site and figured it'd be preventative maintenance at that point.

As far as appliances, tried & true works best. Top-freezer fridges if you can stand them, side-by-side if you can't. Never a French-door or similar fridge, especially one which has the icemaker in the fridge compartment. That's just asking for trouble.
 

Monocrom

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I'd recommend staying away from American Standard faucets.
Absolute garbage! They fail too often, parts can be hard to find, and when you do; you'll pay through the nose for them. Plus, since the replacement parts are also garbage, they'll fail on you in a handful of years again. Got so fed up, paid a plumber to rip out the faucet in my apartment and replace it with a better quality one.
 

Rossymeister

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U.S.A.

Rossymeister

Enlightened
Joined
May 4, 2008
Messages
924
Location
U.S.A.
I'd recommend staying away from American Standard faucets.
Absolute garbage! They fail too often, parts can be hard to find, and when you do; you'll pay through the nose for them. Plus, since the replacement parts are also garbage, they'll fail on you in a handful of years again. Got so fed up, paid a plumber to rip out the faucet in my apartment and replace it with a better quality one.

Thanks for letting me know! I've got a no-name faucet that cane with the house thats leaking now. Id like to just replace this once, and be done with it.
 

Rossymeister

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May 4, 2008
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924
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U.S.A.
I've tried the other brands but went back to Delta for bathroom stuff simply because of ease of repair and availability of parts.

I have a Moen kitchen faucet because it was so rugged. That thing weighs a ton. While in the store, first we picked out 5 choices, then one by one picked up the box they came in. The Moen was by far the heaviest. Some 12 years later it's been flawless.

Thats great! 12 years is a good run.
 

TPA

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Florida
Yep, that faucet takes a standard Moen cartridge (no washers), and if you ever have a problem it's a lifetime warranty, so they'll send you what you need. You might need to get a cartridge puller tool, but if you ask nicely they'll sometimes throw one in the box for you at no charge.

One other thing: These Moen faucets are often cheaper than the cheapie store-brand stuff, as they include the hoses and mounting bits. By the time you add all of this to the store brand, it's about the same cost or more.

Make sure the top of the faucet is not perfectly flat. I bought these for one of my condos, both the bathroom and similar high-arc kitchen version and while they work fine, that flat top allows water droplets to sit there and get water spots on it. They look gorgeous but I'm always having to polish it. 13 years later I still like how it looks, so I put up with the extra work of keeping it looking pristine. Very much a statement piece and changes the look of the rooms.

I was on a tour of mansions in the area for Christmas one year and the guy had the same faucet in his master bathroom. I asked him how he kept the water spots off his and he laughed and said, "Oh, so you have these too."

Now, when it comes to toilets... Toto or bust. Our 30 year old Toto Drakes are still going fine, never used a plunger on them. I have replaced the fill valve diaphragms and flappers a couple of times, but the beach water is filled with tons of debris. My ~18 year old Toto Aquias are also doing well. Still haven't changed the rubber seals on the flush tower nor changed the diaphragms on the fill valves yet.
 

Hooked on Fenix

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Dec 13, 2007
Messages
3,341
My wife often tells me to hire out more of our home remodel project so I have more free time for other things. However, I had an electrician out a few months ago for 1.5 hours of work and was charged $1,000. The way my brain works, I think of all the things I could have purchased on my wishlist rather than paying that bill. It motivates me to own lots of tools and be a DIYer. It also gives me an incredible sense of confidence for dealing with the challenges of home ownership and frees up a lot more cash for hobbies and eventual retirement!
Don't blame the electrician. When I started doing electrical work, a 250 foot roll of 12/2 Romex wire was under $30. Now it's $139. Canned lighting was cheap with regular bulbs. Now everything has built in l.e.d. and you have to replace the whole fixture. In commercial buildings in CA, code requires four zones/circuits per room with varying levels of dimming away from the windows plus an emergency circuit, a $10,000 lighting control panel to tie it all together and a back door remote cutoff switch (demand response) for the utility company to control your lights and a.c. directly. Wiring a floor of an office building can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. All electrical apprentices and journeymen have to go through 8,000 hours of training in an approved apprenticeship program being bounced around between strangers for 4 years hoping that one *** during that process doesn't ruin their career to make journeyman. Then, they get stuck mostly on residential jobs where they spend more money in gas getting to the job and time gathering supplies at Home Depot than at the job. Most residential jobs require climbing through an attic in summer to run wire to hook up a ceiling fan where they are roasting up there in 120 degree heat. Then that $1000 goes mostly to the contractor who bid the job, not the guy doing the work, and for materials. Usually the guy doing the job gets about $20-$40 an hour before taxes and half the people stiff him on the bill.
 

raggie33

*the raggedier*
Joined
Aug 11, 2003
Messages
14,094
All my romex is to thick must be 10 or 12 Guage. So hard to work with
 
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