Will Plumber's Goop destroy a USB? Answered

I'm thinking of using it for custom USB case. Like a lego/eraser case and all that. I have it from some other things, and was wondering if it contacted the USB's electronic stuff  will anything bad happen?

Question by Batryn   |  last reply


Any ideas for hardening plumber's putty? Answered

I want to mold it, harden it, sand it, gift it.

Question by JeanDuke   |  last reply


Unique Job Opportunity - deadline Friday

Are you a plumber or an electrician with a sense of adventure, few ties and a willingness to work hard and play hard?Then this could be the job for you!The British Antarctic Survey is looking for both jobs, to start as soon as possible, for contracts up to 18 months long.The salary is relatively low (roughly $50,000 per year), but accommodation is provided, living costs are extremely low, and the experience would be unrepeatable.If you think you're up to the challenge, you need to complete the online application before the 12th September.Plumber vacancyElectrician vacancyUPDATE: The BBC also covered this story.

Topic by Kiteman   |  last reply


Any ideas for using hardened plumber's putty? Answered

I bought a tub of this to fix my sink and only used a tad.  Despite it saying "Will not separate, harden, or crack" it does all that.  Unfortunately, they don't give warranties with this stuff, so I was left with a life time's supply of plumber's putty that is hardening as I speak.  Please, if you have ANY ideas on how to use this or soften it, do pass them along.  Thanks!  :)    =^..^=

Question by happi cat #71   |  last reply


Attention Masons, Carpenters, Electricians, Plumbers, Farmers and Handy-Men

Attention Masons, Carpenters, Electricians, Plumbers, Farmers and Handy-Men We have a beautiful Farm in upstate New York. Looking for hard working, good, drug-free people to come work with us. In exchange for your labor we will share the harvest with you and your family! Work for natural ORGANIC food and meat. This is a LIFESTYLE opportunity. A way for you and your loved ones to benefit directly from the fruits of your labor. Eat what you grow! A new, clean, healthy and fulfilled lifestyle is just around the corner! Serious Inquiries Only. This is not a monetarily paid job. Email for more. 

Topic by eglenn3 


Attention Masons, Carpenters, Electricians, Plumbers, Farmers and Handy-Men ect.

Attention Masons, Carpenters, Electricians, Plumbers, Farmers and Handy-Men We have a beautiful Farm in upstate New York. Looking for hard working, good, drug-free people to come work with us. In exchange for your labor we will share the harvest with you and your family! Work for natural ORGANIC food and meat. This is a LIFESTYLE opportunity. A way for you and your loved ones to benefit directly from the fruits of your labor. Eat what you grow! A new, clean, healthy and fulfilled lifestyle is just around the corner! Serious Inquiries Only. This is not a monetarily paid job. Email for more. 

Topic by eglenn3 


Ways to make a crappy low-flow showerhead suck less OR slaying prehistoric plumber's putty?

Moved into a new flat and they're into water conservation. Great. Has a low flow showerhead. Fine. Except that it's got the worst design known to mankind with hideously low water pressure and an unadjustable spray that conveniently directs the water everywhere but you. The problem is that this craptastic showerhead is cemented to the pipe with what appears to be fossilized plumber's putty. I can't cut the pipe, as the internet suggests, because this is an apartment and they will rain brimstone and damage fees down upon me. So, the question: 1. How do you get rid of seriously ancient and hardened plumber's putty? 2. If you can't, how might you make an attachment to go over a showerhead that could improve water pressure or at least improve the direction of the spray without decreasing water pressure?

Question by TheJenx   |  last reply


My shower pipes "scream" when the faucet is on.

My shower pipes "scream" when the faucet is on. Is there a way to fix this without tearing apart the wall and calling a plumber?

Question by clarissa_ann   |  last reply


Replacing a garbage disposal?

Our In-Sinkerator disposal is shot (15 years old) and I want to place it with the same model. Is this something I'd be better off having a plumber do? I'm pretty handy myself.

Question by skarakozia   |  last reply


How do you fix a whistling toilet? Answered

My toilet emits a high-pitched whistle or squeal when flushed.  This just started two weeks ago.  Of course, when the plumber was here, it didn't make the sound. help Janet

Question by jbass012706   |  last reply


help with my invention

I came up with a great idea about one year ago. The outcome was 3 inventions all related. I am a union plumber from Chicago. My ideas are plumbing related, also with water saving. Inventions has no patent. Looking for someone to help me patent,prototype,market,and find a investor. Also must believe in my idea as much as I do. I feel this idea should be in every home and office. I am a plumber, I think this should of been out 20 years ago. Looking for someone in the Chicago land area, that can help me market my inventions from step 1. daaabears@yahoo.com

Topic by daaabears 


How do I remove a stuck water hose from the faucet?

The housing around the hose seems "frozen" to the faucet.  I've tried WD40 and even a plubmers wrench but still no movement.  Any assistance short of call the plumber is appreciated.

Question by mvv1   |  last reply


I have a leak between a PVC pipe and a fitting, whats a good glue to seal it with. Answered

I tried plumbers goop but it only get a few shots before the seal breaks. The leak is between a modified bushing in which I grinded the lip off and a 11/2 in pipe. Its for a piston valve air gun.

Question by imthatguy1125   |  last reply


I can't figure out how to get the drain stopper out of my tub/shower?

...so I can clean out whatever accumulated hair/gunk is making it drain so slow... ? What to do (besides get a plumber)? I've tried yanking it, and unscrewing (Neither direction works)?

Question by motherboard   |  last reply


What can we make with our dead water heater?

We have discovered a slow leak in our water heater, so we're getting a new one.  The plumber will haul the old one off, if we want, but is there a cool way to upcycle the old one?  All my searches come up with ways to upcylce other things into various kinds of heaters.  We have skills in basic metal and wood crafting (we have friends who can weld/smith parts for us), soldering and wiring, and fiber use. Any and all suggestions will be considered!

Question by chromolly   |  last reply


Most people have a hot water heater in the house. Anyone know how to change a John Woods heater's Anode rod?

Its a plumbing problem possibly requiring cutting copper pipe and soldering fittings together. Basically I need to know if the anode rod is in the same place as usual for most hot water heaters or if my John Woods hot water tank does have the anode connected to the hot water intake. If so, how am I going to save money and change the magnesium anode rod myself rather than paying a plumber 80$/hour.

Question by rgrewal   |  last reply


Power bill sky high, hot water leaking. Is my overflow valve wrecked? Answered

I went to look at a friends house to see what was causing the electricity bill to be double the cost compared to last years.  What I found was that the hot water cylinder was (1) turned up too hot, and, (2)is constantly trickling out of the overflow pipe. This cylinder isn't vented through the roof, it has a pressure doohickey on the top that vents water direct to the drain outside.  Is there a way to check that the pressure valve is working ok, or just get a plumber to replace it?

Question by Gaark   |  last reply


How do I tell if my neighbors are connected to my water meter? Answered

I live in a three apartment unit and there are two water meters. My landlord insists that my other two neighbors are connected and pays for their water. As a single unit with one meter, he can stick me with the bill. However, I have been having some exceptionally high water bills in my current apartment and I suspect that one of my neighbors might be connected to my water supply. Is there any way I can tell, short of calling a plumber and having the water turned off?

Question by randofo   |  last reply


How do you open a clogged plumbing air vent to a kitchen sink? Answered

We are having a plumbing problem with the  kitchen sink draining. The dishwasher ( for the most part) drains, but the kitchen sink does not. We have  tried the regular drain cleaners with no success. Then on the Internet it said to try sulfuric acid. When he went to Lowe's to get the acid, the Lowe's man suggested another really good drain cleaner and we tried it, it was something that you put so much in for 3 days. It didn't work. Last night we tried the sulfuric acid, sink still not draining. Or I should say , it drains very very very slow, pretty much takes several hours to drain. He has also been up on the roof checking to see if there was a bird nest or something blocking the vent. He didn't find any obstruction. He used a plumbers snake and he could put it down through the vent until it reached water. However , the plumbers snake did come loose from the handle, and now it is in the vent. We don't know how to get it out, or if it will be a problem in the vent. ....and he did not take a hose up to the roof and run water into the vent. That is the only thing I see that we have not done yet. He has taken all the pipes apart under the sink and run the snake under there as far as he can, there is no clog under the sink that we can find. Those drain pipes are all put back together. The plumbing in the rest of the home all works properly.

Question by rocknlinda   |  last reply


I'm sick

Does anyone have "good" excuses for sick-leave? Not for myself, but someone else in the building (or not as it happens to be, but she might be back in for a day this month...) So far I've got: Rabies Malaria Rickets Scurvy The Black Death Pendular-Plumbitis Lumber-Lung Plumber's crack Juggler's despair Achy-breaky-pelvis Post-traumatic alien-abduction disorder Electromagnetic hypersensitivity disorder Arbeit-macht-krank disorder Jogger's nipple Xbox-thumbs Lotto Letdown Bluntman-chronic fatigue syndrome prostate cancer necrotising fasciitis Death Millennium super-bug Happy Virus (The cartoon published in the free-paper amused me, and that's the only reason it's here)

Topic by lemonie   |  last reply


EPR (Einstein Podolsky Rosen) paradox

. Following a link in one of kelseymh's posts, I started reading the Wikipedia page on Bell's Theorem. Before I got through the first sentence of the Overview, I got sidetracked on the EPR paradox (read about it before, but found I had forgotten or misunderstood a lot of it). A lot of it still doesn't make sense. They didn't teach us a lot a quantum physics back in the '70s. heehee. Looks to me like I need to understand EPR before I try to go any further. Any volunteers to try to explain it so that Joe Plumber can understand?. TIA

Topic by NachoMahma   |  last reply


Can a polypropylene water main be repaired.?

I wanted to tap into a polypropylene water main.  I had some previous experience with this type of pipe in my city.  I tried to used a PVC barb fitting coupling with SS hose clamps.  But these pipes have been in the ground in my city about 30 years.  The pipe seems to be brittle with age.  I had to  use a torch to get the previous 1" pipe to slip onto the barb fitting.  It held for about 2 months, then split and began to leak at the repair.  My plumber friend tells me his company will not touch these pipes.  They just replace the whole water main with copper pipe (for about $2200!).

Question by fixallmike   |  last reply


Wet Computer

I have a Dell Dimension 4600C, but it was ruined when my room was flooded (Thanks Joe the Plumber!). I know the power supply is fried (no power comes out, the circuit board looks white and wet), but I'm not sure if the motherboard is bad. Only the bottom 1/2 inch got wet, and it looks fine. Everything else in the computer works, but the computer was plugged in when it died. Is there a way to test the motherboard (without another computer or PSU)? Should I buy a PSU without knowing if the motherboard works? A new motherboard is too expensive, I might as well get a new computer, but the power supply is only $20. Henry

Topic by -henry-   |  last reply


questions about patents in illinois

I have been working on an invention/idea for the past year now. I can make a prototype if I really wanted to, if i did it would look like crap, and no one would buy it. Plus, I was told you do not need a proto type to sell an idea. It's a simple invention that you can use small plastic parts, and can be used in everyhouse hold. I have went to places like invent help and others, but no real help. They just want a lot of money to market it for you, and help you get a patent. I have no patent because, I have about 6 different models and don't really know which one is best for marketing, selling, things like that. I don't really know anyting about computers and the internet. I paid a lawyer to look up my ideas/inventions and so far there is nothing out there that is close? Looking for help or different ideas to market and patent my ideas?? any info would help, a lot of web pages for help costs thousands of dollars, which I do not have. I am a Plumber by trade from chicago, and I think it should be in every bathroom,I just don't know where to start. I really like to meet someone, who knows about patents, marketing, sales, and an engineer. that can help me make and market and patent my new plumbing ideas. I know they would work. I know they will sell. I am a union plumber of 7 years from chicago. Anyone around Chicago, that wants to meet up somewhere with me to see if they can help would be great. Email daaabears@yahoo.com Thanks nick go bears!!

Topic by daaabears   |  last reply


Is it safe to use a microwave for small aluminum melts?

Seeing as how I have a spare microwave, and I've heard of people doing melts in a household microwave, I though that I'd try it myself.What do I need to add so that I don't destroy the microwave?"From a hardware store on Fourth Street, I bought a silicon carbide sharpening stone and 3 pounds of tin/silver plumber's solder; from Macy's, I purchased a microwave-safe casserole dish and a stainless-steel measuring cup; and at Williams-Sonoma, I found a cute cast-iron cornbread fish mold and a pair of long-cuff leather grilling gloves. " - PopSci's Theo GrayA good source of silicon carbide? A better material? (I don't even understand its purpose here).

Topic by carbon   |  last reply


what is a good motor/alternator/generator to use for a bike generator that's cheap (under $50, preferably under $20)? Answered

I'm on a budget and the bike is going to be mobile so I need a cheap motor but I also need it to be light. The bike would be used to power a USB hub where any USB powered device would be charged or used. So all i need is 5 V. I don't think an alternator would work becuase they look very heavy and I would be riding about 10-20 mi. round trip. It must be light and as far as attaching it goes I intend to use an instructable on bike generators or just plumbers ties to attach it. The only instructable that met all the requirements I've named that I've seen was https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Charge-Any-USB-Device-by-Riding-Your-Bike/ . That motor was too expensive "We decided to stick with our Maxon 90, which was a beautiful motor, even though its cost was $275." . Thus the need for a cheap light motor to charge a USB driven device. By the way, thanks for everyone that has posted so far!

Question by cdubnbird   |  last reply


How to connect 12v water pump to the 240v wall socket Answered

Hi there I really hope someone can help. I want to install a campervan tap setup in my office (tu cut a long story short, I need the sink and running water and the building is too old and no plumber will work there for little money) and got a 12v water pump which I indent do connect to a tap and feed from a 20L water tank.  This is the pump: http://www.trademe.co.nz/motors/boats-marine/parts-accessories/pumps-tanks/auction-1195429887.htm I got these details: Volts: 12V Nom. (9-14.4V) Amps: 3MAX (3.5A fuse required)  My question is: Can I hook it up to a 12V 5A power adapter to it and simply plug it to the wall? This is the adapter I found: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Power-Adapter-Supply-For-Led-Flexible-Tape-Light-AC110-220V-to-DC12V-1A-2A-3A-4A/32658402593.html?spm=2114.13010608.0.0.k9Mw96 I really hope someone can help as I'm useless with this stuff 

Question by RacineO   |  last reply


Hydrogen torch - anyone made or used one? Answered

I am working on my own "hydrogen batteries" to create a lot of hydrogen when I need it as a replacement for those propane/butane canisters when camping or fishing. Got some simple prototypes working for the gas creation but do struggle a bit with converting some orifices (is that eve a word?) and a torch to work with hydrogen. Not to mention the pressure regulation LOL Biggest problem so far seems to be the flame temperature. The gas is produce at up to 50°C and my current burners all start to glow red hot after just a short amount of time. Where they struggle to braze copper with propane the hydrogen is almost overkill ROFL Must be really close to these yellow acetylen bottles the plumber use. So big questions: Do I really need a different orifice hole and if so bigger or smaller than used for propane/butane? Do I really need a acetylene rated torch or can I just ignore the orange red color of mine when using hydrogen? I don't think it will melt but after a while the heat travels down into the handpiece too...

Question by Downunder35m   |  last reply


help with patent and prototype

I have been working on an invention/idea for the past year now. I can make a prototype if I really wanted to, if i did it would look like crap, and no one would buy it. Plus, I was told you do not need a proto type to sell an idea. It's a simple invention that you can use small plastic parts, and can be used in everyhouse hold. I have went to places like invent help and others, but no real help. They just want a lot of money to market it for you, and help you get a patent. I have no patent because, I have about 6 different models and don't really know which one is best for marketing, selling, things like that. I don't really know anyting about computers and the internet. I paid a lawyer to look up my ideas/inventions and so far there is nothing out there that is close? Looking for help or different ideas to market and patent my ideas?? any info would help, a lot of web pages for help costs thousands of dollars, which I do not have. I am a Plumber by trade from chicago, and I think it should be in every bathroom,I just don't know where to start. Email daaabears@yahoo.com Thanks nick go bears!!

Topic by daaabears   |  last reply


How can I hang something heavy from the underside of my desk? Answered

I have a sit/stand desk and I would like to screw down or attach everything to the desk I can so that it doesnt move or slide. I have a heavy (20lb) UPS and a small RAID array that currently sit on top of my desk. I would like to hang them from the bottom of the desk instead. I thought of a few ways to do this but I want to KISS and do it good enough.  The two main ways I came up with was to create a simple 4-sided rectangle shelf and screw it to the underside of the desk and slide the heavy stuff into it, one on each side like saddle bags on a bike or motorcycle. Alternately they could slide into place using some kind of track of french cleat though I have not found anything suitable to do that.  The quick and easy was was to use "plumbers tape" which is basically thin steel strips with holes in it, to quickly create a U bracket to attach the items to the bottom of the desk.  Here is a mockup of my desk showing the shelf idea. Ideally I would like these to be removable so that I can disassemble and reassemble the desk easily in the future. So if anyone has an idea or knows of a bracket or sliding rail system that would work that would be awesome!

Question by pcmofo   |  last reply


Comber greenway opening.

Saturday 8th November the Comber greenway will be officially opened in Belfast, which is kind of odd I've been riding it for nearly a year since they paved it and a few years when it was an assortment of dirt tracks and swamps. A Community Carnival cycle to celebrate the opening of the Comber Greenway has been organised on Saturday 8th November starting at 9:30am at Walkway Community Centre, Finvoy Street, East Belfast. Full details of the days activities are available below.Carnival program9.30am - Welcome and Wobble Activities at Walkway.Porridge for Pedal Power!Tree PlantingBicycle Obstacle RaceSlow Bike Race10.30am - Ribbon Cutting Ceremony: The Comber Greenway is Open.Community Carnival Cycle to Comber with Paddy Bloomer artist, inventor, explorer and plumber the most exciting mobile spectacle since Mickey Marley's roundabout!Tullycarnet Tuck Stop12.45pm - Eats at the Enler River (provided)1.15pm - Carnival Cycle Continues2.00pm - Pedal Parade into Comber - Refreshments2.45pm - Homewards for the Holywood Arches to arrive by 4:30pmChildren under 16 must be accompanied by an adult and wear a helmet. Information taken from Sustrans.org.ukMore information on the greenway at Comber greenway.tkI'll have updates on this and more late saturday or sunday, it's a big thing for many cyclists and I here in Northern Ireland since it's been threatened by a high speed bus route, the track used to be a railway and it's a lovely ride, though calmer than my usual...

Topic by killerjackalope 


Homemade shop urinal?

Any plumbers out there? I know that to some this sounds pretty gross, but I would like some ideas on how this might be done. I am not aware of all of the possible pipe fittings and combinations and ways of hooking things up. I have a homemade "sink" that I made out of one of those plastic storage containers and I have a hose bib as my faucet. As a side note, anyone know of an affordable but efficient "on demand" water heater, for the purpose of washing various shop related things? Anyway, I was thinking that there might be a way to maybe put a 45 degree fitting below the drain and run it out to a point to where it would be easily accessible. I would think that just running the water down the drain would sort of clean the pipe, and I would just have to maybe fill a cup with water and pour it down the 45 after using it to clean that part out. Meant to mention that I'm a man. I'm sure that's a useful piece of information! Also, meant to say that I have the pipe drain going down through the floor of the shop. It's then connected to a 90 and it runs the length of the building underneath the ground. I had drilled holes every inch or so along that whole length so that some of the water etc goes out all along that length and seeps into the ground and not just all the way to the end. Thanks for any ideas.

Question by stevecinstrfme   |  last reply


Sparkfun CNC parts. Need a head start with project, need help with shopping list.

First off, I know practically NOTHING of robotics and I have a plumber's understanding of electronics.  This has to be a "For dummies" project.  It's also important that most or all of the electronic parts come from Sparkfun, because I wish to take advantage of the great bargain they have coming up and because I cannot find anything locally. That said, I have been looking at building a small CNC milling machine.  Something that can engrave and cut light materials like circuit boards, foam, and softwoods.  I want to at least be able to engrave steel as well, but I feel that is up to the tool attached to the milling machine. The machine itself is not a problem.  I understand the mechanics of it, have the tools and know-how to produce, find or buy all the required parts. The trouble is the steppers, driver, and software.  The more I look at it, the less I understand.  Let's get to the questions I guess.  There's a lot, I'm very sorry. -Are there any well-documented projects here or on the web using mostly Sparkfun parts? -What is typically involved in setting up a stepper controller/driver?  Will I need to flash anything? -What software is best for operating a CNC from a windows or linux PC?  As a printer driver? -Out of the motors available on Sparkfun, which will give me the highest resolution and which will be strong enough to move up to five pounds of material without trouble? I know I need a lot of hand-holding here, but I really want to get started on this and I really want to take advantage of that sale.  It seems like the perfect time to begin.  Please help!

Question by DELETED_GuardianFox   |  last reply


Tap water often quite dark and with a strong chemical smell - what to do?

I don't ask for much help but this time I am reaching the end of my knowledge and patience with landlord and water authorities.That's the story so far:When I moved in I did the usual checks and tests but of course did not pay too much attention to what comes out of my taps.After a few weeks I noticed that the drain in bathroom sink seems to rust on the enamel....Easy wipe with some cleaner fixed it but since the actual drain is made of brass I started to wonder what caused the discoloration in the first place.A bit later I had my niece here and while she had a shower I realised that I only get very little hot water from any other tap in the house.Landlord stated that no one would need hot water from two outlets at one and refused to have it checked out - WTF??Paid for plumber myself and the result was not good.The hot water system is connected "open" was his answer after half an hour of messing around.For the lame man it means that whenever there is a pressure difference between hot and cold water it will go through the hot water system.Did not fully get this so he showed me in the laundry.Open the hot water a bit and it runs out fine, open the seperate cold water tap and the hot water stops.This even worked when turning on the cold water in the kitchen.The water is able to go back into the hot water system through the outlet much easier than through the inlet side.And to top it off, the current install basically turns the hot water system into a giant bypass valve :(Paid a few bucks extra so I would get that same explanation in writing for my landlord a few days later.The next and growing problem is the chemical smell.If highly chlorinated then my aquarium test kit would show this and recommend to use a water conditioner when using tap water to top the tank up.And it does not really smell like any chlorinated water I know.Definately a chemical cleaning or sanitation smell though.The plumber could not do more than basic tests so I contacted my water supplier.To my surprise they were happy to send someone out for free.Of course they only cared about their product and all tests were limited to the tap right next to the water meter.Pressure ok.Water clearity ok.Chlorine levels next to zero."Harmful substances test" came back negative as well.It was recommended that I have the plumbing under the house inspected for the water color changes and smells/bad taste.And I had to admit that what came out of the front tap really looked and smelled fine.Work slowed me down for a while and the problem only came back to my mind when I came back from a weekend trip.Needed something to drink quickly so I filled a glass from the tap.It came out like from a rusty bucket.Definately of brownish color and the chemical smell worse then ever.Had to let the water run for about 15 minutes to get something out I dared to drink.Installed a water filter a few days later and though all is good now.Pre-filter, 0.5 micron filter and then a cartridge with activate carbon.Am a single and the unit was meant to be for a busy family.Should have been good for well over 5000 liters of water.I don't really use much in the kitchen for drinking and cooking purposes so I guesstimated I need new filters every 12 to 18 months at worst.They lasted less than 4 weeks before the water came out in drops instead or running....Cutting the fliters open revealed that both pre- and fine filter were fully blocked and brown.Provided all documents and evidence to my landlord but again was told there is no issue and the house is just old :(As a last resort I tried to get under house yesterday to check the pipes itself.Couldn't get all the way in due to all the pipes from the ducted heating system.But I found a bad mess of literally all bad plumbing skills.From the water meter a just finger thick copper pipe goes under the house.This goes into some 1/2" galvanised steel pipe and it look the main way of sealing the connection was some glue or resin around the screw fitting.The same old gal but thinner pipes go close to where the connections for water go.There the "plumber" again used screw on press fittings and glue to connect to thin copper pipes.Hot water is designed the same way, one big gal pipe straight through and then thin copper pipes connected to it.I am not a plumbing expert but I do know that copper and steel won't mix if water is involved.Assuming the hot water system is affected in the same way then this giant battery is eating away the thick gal pipes while supplying me with all the byproducts of this galvanic reaction.The landlord won't budge unless I take legal action and around here you would want to do this as a tennant.Right now I have a long garden hose from the front tap going through my kitchen window :(At least I get usable drinking and cooking water this way, my fish no loger suffer losses after the topping up the water from this hose either...But this can't go on like this.Once the gal pipes start to leak the landlord is required to act but not before that.And chances are these thick pipes will last a few more years before failing :(If i wouldn't know better then I would say at some stage the ducted heating was replaced and to have more room all but the main gal pipes were removed.All copper pipes are the flexible ones and are bend to follow the floor and wooden beams.What are my real life options to fix this water problem?A set of filters ever 4 or 6 weeks sets me back close to 120 bucks each time, hence the garden hose :(What sort of tests can I make to determine what is actually created in my water that causes the smell, taste and discoloration?By the way: a simple rust test available to check for corroded steel pipes only shows traces of rust even if the water is of a slight brownish color.Replacing the piping myself is not just far over my budget but also not allowed for a tenant.And somehow I still wonder if there is more hiding in the walls but could not get close enough to see if the opper pipes actually connect to the taps or just another piece of old steel pipe.Apart from the obvious, what are the dangers of having steel and copper pipes mixed like this for my health?

Question by Downunder35m   |  last reply


Excessive Conservation Wearing Out [noun]...

So... While brushing my teeth - I first rinse my brush, turn the faucet on, brush, then rinse the sink/mouth. Yes, I turn the faucet off while brushing. And if you're counting - that's two on/off cycles per brushing...I've been playing with this tool: http://www1.eere.energy.gov/femp/procurement/eep_faucets_showerheads_calc.htmlAnd I pose an open question for discussion.. But first, my data/research...I'm estimating 3 minutes of use per day - 365 days/year. According to the tool... I use 2190 gallons per year. Lets say that's 5 uses per day (2 for teeth - 1 for bathroom use). The tool seems to estimate an 8.4 year service life - so that's a total of 18396 gallons of water over it's life as a faucet.So If I leave the water on while brushing - that's 3 on/off cycles per day.butIf I turn the water off while brushing - That's 5 on/off cycles per day (40% more cycles).Realistically, a faucet's wear comes from on/off cycles - each use bringing it closer to retirement. So 40% of 8.4 years is 3.4 years.Now... Leaving the faucet on an extra 4 minutes per day (2 minutes per brushing) consumes 2920 gallons of water per year.The difference over 8.4 years is: 30660-18396=12264 gallons. At about $4 per 1000 gallons - that difference is $49.06. BUT, the direct replacement for my faucet (as priced today in home depot to the exact model) is $75. So after 8.4 yearsFaucet remaining on will cost me:$49.06 + $75 = $124.06Faucet being turned off will cost me:$75 + $30(prorated cost of faucet for 3.4 years of wear on a new faucet) = $105Differences:$19.0612,264 gallons of waterThat is to say - due to extra wear on my faucet - it's only marginally more economical to turn my faucet off while brushing my teeth. If I wasn't me, and not able to DIY replace - it very well may be cost effective to leave it on given the cost of a hiring a handy man or plumber...Okay... Now that you've read the above... please discuss your thoughts. I am very much aware of the assumptions I have made (no need to point them out) - just looking for opinions :)UpdateLets turn this discussion on it's head now... As several have pointed out, conserving is more important - bonus as it's close to an economical wash in my fictitious scenario above (it's not 100% real and based on data from the link above and some hefty assumptions).My car uses .3 gallons of gasoline per hour at idle. Lets take a 100% city drive in heavy traffic (my drive yesterday). I was at a complete stop due to traffic lights or traffic for 20 seconds or more a total of 12 times to travel ~10 miles (yes, I freakin timed it). So that's a total of 4 minutes (wow, that worked out nice) of idle time. That time consumes 0.02 gallons of fuel costing me $0.06. If I were to make that commute 5 days a week, twice daily - that's a cost of:10.4 gallons of gasoline$31.2 worth of fuelSo, a new starter for my car costs $130. Typically the motors don't actually die - just the contacts. But lets assume I don't want to fiddle with that and just want to direct replace (corollary to valve washers :D).This means - using my starter an additional 24 times per day - it will take 4.2 years for the fuel savings to pay for a new starter. In 4.2 years - averaging 12,000 miles per year - I will have traveled 50400 miles.Okay - now lets consider the cost of fuel to restart - 24 times.... According to mechanical engineering magazine, a V6 engine used 5 seconds worth of idling gasoline to restart. So - redoing some math to compensate - that's a savings of7.8 gallons of gasoline per year$23.4 per yearTime to recoup 1 starter: 5.6 years (equating to 66000 miles)So, I'm having some problems finding data on starter life cycle - all I have is anecdotal evidence... *My personal car has 115K miles and is ~8 years old - and I've been doing this since I bought the car >2 years ago. *My last car was sold at 98K miles and this was done for a little less than 2 years (the car was 8/9 years old when sold).*My first car had unknown mileage (estimated around 150K), was 10 years old and the engine was killed at stoplights.*My parents own a conversion van (seldom used now) that is 12 years old, 120K miles - did not shut the engine (v8) down at traffic lights.None of the cars above have had their starter go.*Father had a truck that had it's starter replaced around 220K miles - unknown age. That car left us with a blown connecting rod around 300K milesBatteries... Yes, this does put more strain on your battery... I'll go more into that when I can find some better data (more than anecdotal :p)...But, that's to say... It's economically viable to turn off your engine at traffic lights... So much so, it's illegal to idle (over a certain period of time) at traffic lights in some countries...

Topic by trebuchet03   |  last reply


Soldering tips and tricks for complicated metals

Whether you are just a hobby builder or do your own electronics projects, you know how to solder...Then one day you find yourself in the position that your solder just does not want to stick...My first moment of total defeat happened when I was a teenager.Was building some simple motor with instructions from a book but substituted what I could...Ended up with some stainless steel contacts and being unable to solder my wires to them...If you ever had problems like this then read on ;)What are easy to solder metals?Basically everything that does not form an oxide layer on the surface and is able to bind with tin, lead or silver.Copper is one of the easiest metals to solder on but every plumber certainly knows how important a clean and corrosion free surface is.Any coating or alloy that prevents oxidisation or provides a harder surface usually means with normal, electornics solder we might be lost.Nickel for example can be a true pain and same for chrome.So lets start with the hard metals first.Steel, nickel, stainless...If the part size does not already mean trouble to get it hot enough, then we face the problem of how to "wet" it with our solder.Normal steel is usually fine if you give it a fine sanding right before the soldering, however getting the heat onto the part is crucial.Even something simple like a 5mm thick steel rod can be a pain with a normal soldering iron.I good way to cheat is to preheat the part or area with a blow torach on a soft flame - not a hot, blue flame.Try to do this away from the area you need to solder as the temperature difference usually causes some initial condensation on the surface.Most steels that play a vital role don't like to be overheated as it can affect the hardness an other things, so be careful here.Rosin core solder works fine on steel and it also indicates when the temperature gets too hot by boiling and smoking badly.If you still struggle to wet the surface try to scratch it with your solder - if it does not melt the surface is not hot enough.Nickel coatings are usually very thin and a slight sanding quickly reveals the layer underneath.If the metal used is not copper already then a copper layer will be electroplated on before the nickel coating.Either way the key is to get through the nickel without going through the copper, for example if steel contacts were used for durability reasons.After that soldering is as easy as directly onto copper.Steinless steel however can be a true pain, same by the way if you need to preserve the nickel coating as best as possible and can sand it off.Without using chemistry the only way I found is to use a stainless steel tip in the soldering iron.But as the preperation of one requires chemicals anyway we might start with them first.The passivating layer of layer or stainless steel can of course be pre-treated by sanding.Especially very shiny surface benefit from it.After this I prefer to wet the surface with Phosphoric Acid - you can find it in the harware store as "Rust remover".It is a food grade acid used in many of your favourite fizzy drinks, so skin contact is not a big deal - just wash it off.The phosphoric acid is not strong enough to break the oxide layer but it keeps air away.And once you start scratching the hot metal with your stainless steel soldering tip it will prevent a new oxide layer from forming.This method however requires a low temperature solder and quick work as the acid boils off quickly.In the plumbing section of your hardware store your find various fluxes for soldering.Look for something containing both Ammonium Chloride and Tink Chloride.Around here a common brand name is Bakers Fluid.Usually if it has a red danger label on it you will find the above ingredients on the lable somewhere.Be careful with it as it is very corrosive and harmful to your health!Good thing is that all remains can be washed off with just running water.What does it do though?Unlike the phosphoric acid, the chlrodies directly attack the metal.Especially once getting hot, so if in doubt wear proper protection as advised on the label!The oxide layer is not only being eaten away, there is also an ion exchange happening, so a product with more than 30% of zink chloride is prefered here.The zink binds with the stainless steel or nickel and provides an easier way to bond for the solder.Key is to work quickly and with precision!Flux paste is good for brazing but not so good for soldering.The flux liquid, unlike the paste will start to boil right when the metal get to soldering temperatures.That is if you use standard lead based solder, most lead free types should be ready a bit sooner.Start to scratch the metal with the solder and use a soft flame from the other side or close to the soldering area - do not apply the flame directly onto the flux covered area.Why? Well, the flux isolates the metal from the heat of the flame and it will boil off way before the metal gets hot enough ;)On smaller parts and when using the soldering iron create a small bubble of solder and keep scratching the surface while it heats up.In case the flux dries off apply a bit more before this happens!Once the solder starts to wet the metal a tiny bit it is usually very easy to spread it out to the desired size and shape.With the heat applied from the underside the solder will always flow to the area of most heat!Once done it is best to let the part cool down then to give it a good wash under running water to remove all remains of the flux.Failing to to do so will result in quick and ongoing corrosion, so do it properly...Aluminium, the bad metal...I encountered it first when I could not welding or brazing on a quite small part.Plus, of course, the problem of having to add a copper wire as well.Then again when I had to solder some aluminium wire.Acid won't work, chlorides only make it worse, so don't bother with either for aluminium.Standard rosin core solder also fails.But there is a suprisingly simple solution to the oxide problem on aluminium.Mechanical work...There are quite few videos out there showing how someone solders onto some aluminium foil.It is so simple because the foil is thin - use it to test your new skills.A thing though that is often done wrong is the surface preperation.It usually starts with a fine sanding - to remove the oxide layer.....The some oil is applied and soldering starts under the oil cover.And if pay attention then it is often a painful process of scratching with the soldering iron while trying to make the solder bubble wet the aluminium.That's why foil is so simple here....What happened in those videos?Quite simple: Aluminium oxidises right away while you sand it.Even if you are quick with the oil it already happened.So why not do the sanding after the oil was applied?A fibreglass pen or a stainless steel wire brush (usused on other things!) work quite well here.The oil prevents the air from attacking the aluminum.If in doubt use some clay and form a little dam around the soldering area to prevent the oil from running off.Petroleum jelly, vaseline and all other identical things work fine here same for clean engine oil.But you have to use rosin free solder, no flux core, just plain solder.If you don't have it simply melt some normal rosin core solder to a nice drop and clean the rosin off ;)Since there is no real oxide layer with this way of pre-treating the soldering and wetting happens right once the aluminium get hot enough to melt the solder.You might find it sticking nice right away but don't be fooled!You need to heat the aluminium until you actually see the solder forming a nice puddle.With careful sanding you create very clean boundaries.Other soldering tricks...Getting cholired based flux for a single job might be overkill.If you happen to have one of these tip cleaning stones for your soldering iron then you have what you need ;)Simply scrape some of it off and dissolve it is a tiny amount of water.Will only be ammonium chloride and requires more scratching on stainless steel but works...Preparing a stainless steel soldering tip sunds as easy as finding a suitable piece of wire and grindinga tip onto it.If you every changed the tip on a soldering iron them you know there is two types.The simple one for the cheaper irons uses a set screw or similar to hold the tip.The better ones are hold in place by a collar or other type of screw fitting.And well, those have a thicker part in their body.If you need to solder stainless steel more than once or twice it makes sense to buy a cheap but powerful soldering iron and to make sure it uses a straight piece of metal with no thicker parts to hold it in place.If you can't find some stainless steel wire or round bar of suitable thickness you can go slightly below or much thinner if you require a thin tip.Just make a copper or aluminium collar for the tip to hold it in place, like a sleeve to go around.Grind the tip to your desired shape before fitting it in....You won't need a mirror finnish and it can be helpful if the the surface is quite rough.After all, you want to scratch around on stainless steel with it and you can't harm it this way.To get a nice and clean cover of solder onto the tip you need the mentioned flux from above.Use a small cup and fill some of the flux in it so you can dip the tip of the soldering iron into it.If there is no temperature control start with a cold iron and the tip sanded off a last time right before dipping it into the flux.Use some clamps or whatever you feel like to help keeping the tip in place.If you get flux onto bits you don't want to cover with solder then wash off and try again.Turn the iron on observe the tip.As soon as you see tiny bubble forming take it out and quickly start rubbing your solder onto the tip.It helps to have a thick enough solder so you can apply some pressure here.And of course the solder should be nice and shiny and not covered by oxides...Special cases like titanium or othe metals that usually fail to bond with solder....Let's face it: whenever soldering is not feasable we are happy to revert back to crimping or screwing.Nothing wrong with it either and often the better option when it comes to being able to do a quick repair at a later stage.Most of thes special metals, including your favourite heating wire can still be solder using the right surface prep and flux but it really should be avoided if you can.And real bond like you get when soldering copper would only be on a surface level and mechanical strenght questionable.On a professional level ultrasonic soldering is used to make the impossible possible.The cavitation effect breaks through the surface oxides or passivating layers and the solder just wets the surface like it would be copper.On a hobby level things look different though.Unless you decide to build your own solar panels from scratch the investment into some low end ultrasonic soldering machine already set you back a few grand....There is a way to cheat on the cheap though if you are into experimenting and building things....More on that in my other topic about making an ultrasonic soldering tank. ;)

Topic by Downunder35m