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September 2021
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Water Heater Hose Failure - WATT Stainless Steel Hose

Water leaks in your house are one of the most damaging and messy things to happen to any homeowner. Loose water sucks on so many levels. Mildew, Mold, Dry Rot, Stains, Drywall, Flooring, base board damage….you get the idea. There are two areas where flexible hoses are used. The laundry room for your washer and your water heater. The Natural Handyman has a good posting on Laundry hoses which applies to Water Heater hoses as well.
It makes sense in both locations as both your washer and water heater have limited life spans and at some point will need replacement. Both manufacturers are in the business of moving product and not making your life easier. Probably the best illustration of this is washer commercials. They talk about features, capacity, colors, etc. None of them talk about longevity or only needing one.

One of the more important connections in your plumbing supply are the connections at your water heater. There are two. The cold water supply into the water heater, and the hot water outlet for your house. This is most often accomplished with a flexible hose.
This is a photo of a pair of WATT Stainless Steel Hoses. They both failed in less than 4 years.

These were purchased at Lowes, and are still stocked. Probably available at the orange store too.
They looks like a braided stainless high pressure hose such as found in heavy construction equipment for the flexible hydraulic fluid which is under many times the pressure of a domestic water supply. This is not the case here. This is a demonstration of sizzle over steak.
These look like a heavy duty product. They are not. They are crap and should not be used under any circumstances.

Both of these hoses failed at the same point. Crappy manufacture in any case. I do not have high water pressure nor any other cause that would say it is not the manufactures fault. Both lines failed. Hot and Cold side.

They failed less than 6 months apart. I should have replaced them both at the same time, but there were other concerns like sucking up all that damn water and drying out the utility room. The other one failed the day before yesterday and has been replaced. I talked with my plumber so that I would not have to pencil in this chore anytime soon. Here are the new lines.

These are one piece Falcon Stainless Steel Corrugated lines. They are what my plumber uses for all installs and retrofits so he doesn’t have to return to replace them. My Plumber is very good. Good enough for me. These are more expensive like everything else but are worth it.
Here is the tag if you decide you want to do this yourself.

These are made by Falcon Stainless Inc. You will probaby need to find a commercial hardware or plumbing supply store for these. Highly Recommended!
Here is what the kit looks like.
Borrowed from the Falcon Stainless Inc. site.
Did I mention the LIFETIME warranty?
This is one of those deals where you want to replace both at the same time.

Bomb Proof Wall Paper

I guess if you need to use wall paper, you might as well get the toughest stuff around.

Best Of What’s New 2009: Bombproof Wallpaper Test from PopSci.com on Vimeo.

Type Pad – Spam that is more than 30 days old will be automatically deleted. LIAR LIAR!!

Spam that is more than 30 days old will
be automatically deleted. Liarliar
 LIAR LIAR!! Someday Type Pad will grow up.

those darn designers 1

I run across a lot of weird things in remodeling. Occasionally something appears that reinforces my long held belief that architects and designers should be required to serve an internship and residency like doctors before they get a license to practice. Like vaulted ceilings. Heating and cooling spaces you cannot possibly use because you are not 10 feet tall.
A lot of other things that gripe me is the lack of thought on maintenance down the road.

A recent paint job brings this home. Here are two bathrooms in the same house.


Never mind the counter material choice, think about having to replace the guts of these toilets. There is enough room to remove the top, but that is about it. You can almost replace the flapper, but if you have to replace the fill valve, you literally have to disconnect the toilet and drag it out from the wall. In addition to the fill valve, you will need a new wax ring, and have to go through the dance to reseal it properly.

those darn designers.

Lightyear Sunken Bath Episode 11 Access Panel Follies

The tub we have installed is a 36” Jacuzzi Espree model. This presented a number of challenges such as planning and sizing the
finish materials to trim out this unit. The walls are going to be covered completely with solid surface material from the top of the tub
deck to the bottom of the soffit. The soffit was built wide enough so that we will have a clean vertical line between the tub and the soffit.

It is designed as a drop in tub for those having bathrooms the size of 2 car garages and want to build platforms to display it. Why the hell you want to have steps to get into a bathtub, whose primary claim to fame is the therapeutic bubbling is beyond me, but hey, it keeps folks employed building displays for them. Now most of my visitors do not have bathrooms that large and in some cases like me, have houses that are barely larger than two car garages.

By now if you are following along, we have mounted it in a more traditional manner, (being surrounded by three walls.)

One of the things that I have learned in doing remodeling is thinking about working on things later. Electric tubs are a poster child for this thinking. Stuff breaks and requires access to repair it.
So for this project we are framing in an access panel. I talked with the solid surface guys and we had decided to put a panel across the whole thing with screws to be able to access the pump and motor down the road. Later that night I was thinking about it. Putting an access panel all the way across would mean that I would have an unfinished base trim detail in this area. So I made the panel surface smaller, providing blocking for the screws for the panel, the gap for the upper trim piece, and enough space at the bottom to be able to run the baseboard in this area. This allows the panel to be removed woithout damaging either the walls or the floors.

This is the front view. The back side is an ugly mess as I had to trim the track to clear the hoses and pipes on the top, and the stand, bracket and plumbing on the bottom.


Here is the left side showing the gap across the top for the reveal piece of solid surface. This also shows the pump housing that sticks out enough so the solid surface guys will have to router out the back side of the panel for clearance. This is one of those details that let you know that the product was designed for ease in manufacturing rather than ease in installation. sigh… another remodeling surprise!


I also provided a space to get into the back of the tub should it be necessary for servicing the jets or lines on the wall side.


Shopping for Remodelers and Filthy Lucre

Shopping for Remodelers
With the holidays around the corner, giving gifts is one way of expressing your feelings to your significant others, friends, and comrades in arms. 

Remodelers are strange folks. You cannot buy them ties or fruit baskets. They will use the ties to mop up spills, and the fruit baskets will get covered in dust.

To a remodeler, nothing says love quite as much as remodeling stuff. Tools, Hardware and Fixtures is how you will be remembered. You may ask a remodeler what they would like for the holidays or birthdays, and they will tell you, in excruciating detail. Most of you who know remodelers probably think that they have been possessed and are speaking in tongues. Relax! There is no cause for alarm or calling for intervention.

 They inhabit a world where sheets do not go in the laundry, getting nailed and screwing are  not bedroom activities. What to do?

Filthy Lucre
Show your love, get them a gift card! By now you have already figured out that buying a traditional gift for a remodeler is harder than buying a present for a second cousin twice removed whom you have never seen.

You can however spread holiday joy with an Amazon Gift Card
Using this link, not only spreads joy to the remodeler, but I also make some money as well! Which I will use for my remodeling projects.

Mortgage Looney Tunes

Just about every house blogger is being affected by the cratering in home values, and is probably thinking about having a panic attack. You bought a house, have a mortgage, and are remodeling or restoring it. Meanwhile, next door, down the block, around the neighborhood, for sale house signs are springing up saying Bank Owned, Auction, Short Sale. A far cry from 3 Bedroom, Gorgeous Inside!
You look at the sale prices, look at your mortgage, figure out what you are spending on your projects, and want to panic.


Home Value in dollars and cents is an artificial number, based upon
sale price, which over the past few years has been artificially
inflated through any number of reasons, most of them a financial
engineering, greed fueled carnival of bullshit.

I live in an rainbow coalition, bad side of the tracks,(according to the city fathers) old neighborhood, (houses here were built in the early 50's) the house next door was sold for 1/2 of its last purchase price, and a house flipper is busy putting lipstick on it. It is good lipstick as they are putting in a new roof, new HVAC unit, and some double glazed windows, which here are necessary, not because of the heat here in Phoenix, but because of the airplane noise. Did I mention that I live directly under one of the landing patterns for the airport? That there is one both north and south of us as well?

But my neighborhood is probably a lot nicer than yours. Not as pretty, certainly not historic, but we have what so many neighborhoods lack. We sit on our porches, kids play in the street, we watch out for each other. We are all taking a hit.

Your value is taking  a hit, but you are making a long term investment. Yes it is an investment. A 20 or 30 year investment. Even if you do move, trade up or down, remember that your value is not just a figure on a piece of paper, assigned by somebody looking for a commission, but is that place where your neighbors wave, hold your packages, and when you walk in your door, know that you are home. 

Don't Panic!

The Rich are Different

On a link from a normally cool blog comes this number.
Source – Nieman Marcus

M-Velop. only a 100,000 grand.
One of 10

A sort of transformer playhouse. The Rich are different.

Interior Design Insanity

Interior Design is one of those grey areas in life. What I like and what you like are different critters. How we get there is a personal choice. Interior Designers and their support group, ASID would have believe that you are not capable of making personal design choices.
Marginal Revolution is a blog unrelated to remodeling, (yeah I am more than a guy with a hammer and a skilsaw) has this nugget:

In Alabama it is illegal to recommend shades of paint without a license. In Nevada it is illegal to move any large piece of furniture for purposes of design without a license. In fact, hundreds of people have been prosecuted in Alabama and Nevada for practicing "interior design" without a license.
Source:Marginal Revolution Designing Monopoly
Note: the comments are worth reading also

I personally have yet to meet a interior designer that figures out what you want without specifying some high margin item available only to the trade, which usually blows any rational budget out of the water. But that is me.

Here is the Money Shot from Designing Cartels Through Censorship

In more than 30 years of advocating for regulation,

ASID has yet to identify a single incident resulting in
harm to anyone from an unlicensed interior designer.

Here is a link to this article.

Designing Cartels Through Censorship (PDF)

Housebloggers!! Save Hundreds on Dollars on Your Shower Curtains

Housebloggers. Your remodeling projects will come to an end. There is a danger of post punch list depression, [PPLD] after you have finished your projects. I can Help!

This is actually a two for one!
Replace those tacky shower curtains with Poly Sheeting!
Introducing Poly Curtains!! For thirty bucks you can get a large roll of Poly sheeting, and make your own Shower Curtains.
You can be on the edge of Remodeler Chic!


The rest of your house may be done, but with this Internet Only Offer, You can Relive the Remodeling Experience every time you step into your bathroom! Again and Again!

Don’t Delay! Your projects may end, but the remodeling experience can be yours daily!!