way OT: a honeydo project

Finally finished a small honeydo project today. Something went awry under some wallpaper in the family room, made a dark spot about 18"
long by a few inches wide. Been that way for several years, yawn, but y'all know how that works. It has suddenly become as onerous, offensive and unacceptable as a dead lizard nailed to the wall. Sigh! I cut and stripped the dark spot region, masked the area and gave it 3 coats of Kilz a coupla days ago to seal up whatever was going on under the wallpaper. I said that should really thoroughly dry before proceeding. Her nibs agreed, but finally tumbled that it needn't dry until Easter before proceeding. Dang! Awright, so today we proceeded. She'd found some holdback reserve paper that had been "relaxing" on the quilting table for a few days. Ah! "We'd better get new paste. Man, I'd hate to use old paste and have it not turn out well, right?" The ploy: she is NOT gonna wanna go to Depot or Wally's on the weekend of Black Friday, right? Wrong. Sigh.
So we went to Depot, got some new paste. There was nobody but clerks at Depot. The herd must all be at Wally's and Best Buy buying gadgets.
The old paste was just fine, but the new paste had a neat sponge rollertop applicator on the bottle that was worth the trival price of admission. "You'll be throwing away those two quarts of old paste now, right?" "Uh, yeah." "Right about now, perhaps?" Ungh. "Oooh, ya, I was just reaching for it!" (CLANG)
"I gotta go sharpen my razor knife." (Disposable razor knives, even brand new, aren't sharp anymore. They are disposable immediately as found, but they can be given an edge in less than a minute.)
"Of course, Dear. We'll have this done before afternoon coffee, no hurry." Ooops. Zow, hone hone strop strop unzow. "Let's get 'er done!" Tim Allen couldn't have said it more energetically.
And so we did. Laid old on top of new, stretched it flat, taped it in place, cut thru both layers using a Starett 18" heavy ruler (from a machinist's square) as a guide. "Would you rather use my transparent quilting guide?" "Am I quilting? This is knifework." Never thought of using one of her razor disc rotary fabric cutters. Dang, that might just have worked slicker 'n snot. Oh well.
Peeled off the margin of old stuff, applied paste to the patch, fitted it and smoothed it in place. Dang, it doesn't just pass the stopsign test ( bodywork term: nobody laughs when stopped next to you at a stop sign), it's flat invisible when standing right in front of it with nose a foot away from the wall. My hero badge is intact. Good grub (really good chow, hohtie kew-sine) beats gruel all to hell.
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[snip story but leave the finish]

Entertaining story -- thanks -- and good job. Ain't it great when they turn out like that?
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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Good work. Proved once again to you that keeping you around is a good idea. ;)
Wes
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OK, well you've got your "Hero" badge on, let me through this out to the group. History first, About 5 years ago I had a new air conditioning system put in, everything, including some new ductwork. This is central Florida, house is built on a slab, condenser and return lines run under the slab. About a week ago, wife is dusting the ceiling in living room, (room where no one goes), she called me and said there was a black area on the ceiling, "MOLD" I looked, yes, about 6 inches from the wall was a stain, and mold. I had just been up on the roof cutting back branches away from the dish, so I knew everything was OK up there. So I went around the house and looked where the mold was. Well, when the air was put in 5 years ago, they put the new lines through the attic, and no insulation on them; condensation, then mold. Of course the company is out of business, so that rules that approach out. And the attic is about 2 feet high, and where the mold is about 6 inches high. Does anyone have any ideas as to how I should approach this project. I really don't want to cut open the "Popcorn" ceiling, they never match afterward. I know I can cover the area with "KILZ" and then repaint, but in 3 months when summer is here again, I'll have the same issue. I'm looking for any suggestions. HELP...
wrote:

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I would get a plastic garden sprayer and a darn good respirator and fill the sprayer with bleach and get after it. Set sprayer for mist.
After it dries, I would get some tubular foam insulation and try to slip it over the pipes.
j/b
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Yup. Then, if the tubular foam won't slide or slit-tube won't fit, put a sheetmetal drip catcher under the pipes that drip, oriented so collected moisture will drain away from the area to where you can drain it.
Another possibility might be to rig a spray can of foam insulation (.g., "Great Stuff") on a pole (with remote nozzle-pusher) so you can foam-insulate the offending pipes that way. That foam is closed-cell, impervious to moisture. I'd still put a sheetmetal drip trough under the pipes, but the less dripping the better.

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wrote:

The lazy bums probably abandoned the old refrigerant lines under the slab and fished a new lineset 'blind' through an un-crawlable attic - and they ripped up the insulation on the lineset over the Living Room pulling it in. They are supposed to use a pre-made lineset that has foam rubber insulation on it, but if they were really cheap (and really stupid) they /could/ have just run bare copper through...
cold suction line + humidity + defrost cycles = condensation = Mold.
I did the following in first-person, and if you don't want to hire someone to do it for you it's not that difficult to DIY - but to do it right and legally you need to {rent borrow or buy} some specialized tools ($1K hunting at pawn shops to $3K for new) and supplies, and do a bit of book learning to get a Refrigerant Technician License (Read a book, understand how it works, pay a small fee, take an open-book "multiple guess" test) to buy R-22 refrigerant and the other special parts at a wholesale house.
If you Honey-Do this for her you deserve a Gold Star with Clusters - at least until she sees the credit card bill for how much you spent on new tools ($1K for a new recovery machine and a new vacuum pump) and then you are a dead man walking. But what a way to go - remember the R.C.M Motto: "He who dies with the most tools wins." ;-)
And if you pay someone to do it, and they skip over too many of the steps detailed below, you have a reason to be worried. And every time I tried to make it shorter, it kept growing - so I gave up.
You're in R.C.M, so I'll assume you have an Oxy-Acetylene or Air- Acetylene "Prestolite" plumber's rig for silver brazing.
Pressure test the old refrigerant lines that go under the slab for leaks before you do anything - silver-braze caps on one end and service valves on the other, and run them up to 100 PSI with dry nitrogen or CO2. Hopefully they left long enough stubs to work with, and they didn't drop a ton of crap down in them.
If the previous AC unit's compressor burned out, it's just like having an electric motor catch fire in a sealed environment, with the usual acids and debris expected in any fire - plus the fire reacts with the refrigerant to make a witch's brew of nastiness like phosgene. They may have just abandoned the old lineset rather than bother to clean it out - but now you have a good reason to go through the trouble of cleaning and putting it back in service.
If you don't want to mess with rehabbing the old lines, just pull out and redo the 'new' lines running through the attic - but the right way this time. Simplest and least expensive solution. The suction line needs to be well insulated, and the insulation not messed up as they go through - if you put them inside a sleeve of corrugated black poly landscape drain pipe first they'll be well armored when you pull them into the attic - and it will bend a bit if needed.
The other reason to abandon the old lines would be it's an oddball lineset they didn't want to (or didn't know HOW to) mess with. Like an old O'Keefe & Merritt 5-Ton with four 5/8" OD lines in parallel - three for suction, one for liquid. You have to build a two or three-into- one manifold at both ends of the suction side, while keeping it all level so you don't make an unintentional oil trap.
And if the spec sheet for the new condensing unit insists that 5/8" is too big for the liquid line you have to thread a new 3/8" liquid line through the old one with a fishtape, and pinch-and-braze seal them together at both ends to keep the bugs out. Put a service valve at one end of the old "Sheath" line, and leaks will be easy to detect.
You might want to get some of the special lineset flushing solvents from Nu-Calgon Corp. to make sure the lines are clean, and get out the burn-out junk if they aren't. Degreasing Solvent EF (60% Stoddard Solvent) and/or "RX-11 Flush" (Freon HFC solvent), followed with a dry Nitrogen chaser.
Keep the lines plugged after the flush and nitrogen purge, then silver-braze your extensions on the lines and pressure test. After that, throw an oil-diffusion vacuum pump on the lines (NOT the air venturi one from Harbor Freight) for a good long dehumidify soak before you braze it back into the system.
If you close the Liquid service valve out of the condensing unit and start it up, you can pump down almost all of the refrigerant from the evaporator coil and "new" lines into the condenser coil, and then shut the Suction service valve before you cut the power to trap it in the condensing unit...
Same way they "factory charge" the unit for a coil and 30' lineset - but watch the pressures and be ready to stop, if your new lines are a lot longer and they added several pounds more, it may not all fit in the condenser core. Or you could hook the high-side test port to an empty recovery cylinder and pump the liquid refrigerant straight in.
Letting the big compressor (2 to 5 HP) on the condensing unit do most of the work makes sucking the last of it out of the lines with a little portable recovery machine (1/3 or 1/2 HP) a lot faster.
Add both a suction-side filter-drier at the condensing unit (or change the factory one inside) and a liquid-side filter-drier at the furnace evaporator coil. Cheap insurance if you missed some dirt, or if the old lineset copper oxidized inside from air exposure and some scale breaks loose, if not caught it could clog the metering orifice at the evaporator.
Two filters REQUIRED if the old system was a burn-out, you can never flush it all. And get an Acid Test Kit to make sure any residue in the lines was either flushed or neutralized.
Have access valves at both sides of the filter-driers, so you can watch for clogging - pressure drops across the filter. Leave enough tubing slack so you can braze a new one in without a big fight.
If you really want thorough, stick a sight glass with a pink/blue moisture indicator on the liquid line leaving the condensing unit. For quick-and-dirty checks - If you see foam there it's probably low on gas, get out the gauges. And a pink indicator means you didn't vacuum all the moisture out and the driers are saturated. They are rated by how many drops of water they hold, doesn't take much.
--<< Bruce >>--
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Don Foreman wrote:

My honeydo project yesterday wasn't for the honey I've just celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary with.
It was for one honey of a lady who is a member of the Rotary Club I'm proud to be associated with.
A couple of weeks ago her family had to have their pet dog put down and she announced that sad fact and made a donation in it's memory when the "Happy Dollars and Fines" contribution basket made it's way around the tables at a our Rotary Club's luncheon meeting.
When I offered my condolences to her after the meeting she told me that she'd had their pet's remains cremated and were going to bury the ashes in their garden.
I told her the location deserved a marker and offered to try and make one for her. She liked that idea.
I had a small rectangle of paving stone in the garage, left over from several years ago when I'd prettied up a couple of plain concrete steps at the back of our house by adding stone surfaces to them. one side of that piece of stone was quite flat.
I laid out the lettering on the stone with a Sharpie pen and did the engraving using a 3/16" masonry bit chucked in my drill press, by drilling down into the stone about 1/16" and then sloooowly sliding the stone around "freehand" on the oversized plywood I'd put on the machine's table when I bought it new about 40 years ago. A couple of more passes let me get the engraving about 3/16" deep
Whoever gets my drill press when I'm finally "on the wrong side of the grass" will be pleased to find out that the metal table unscathed, as I've never screwed up and drilled all the way through that added plywood table <G>..
The results aren't exactly museum quality, but when when it's in place on the ground and looked at from eye level it'll do the job.
http://home.comcast.net/~jwisnia18/temp/licorice.jpg
Jeff
--
Jeffry Wisnia
(W1BSV + Brass Rat '57 EE)
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Great job. You'll pass the four way test for this.
Fellow Rotarian
Karl
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On Sun, 25 Nov 2007 18:05:53 -0500, Jeff Wisnia

That is VERY nice work.
Humm...I see a future for CNC mailorder headstones for pets.....
Gunner
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Jeff Wisnia wrote:

Very nice! I'm really impressed with how well the stone is "carved". I wouldn't have thought that you could route stone like that. Without a $10,000, 5 hp, diamond bit machine. What kind of stone is it - it can't be especially soft, being used as paving.
Bob
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wrote:

Hehe... all I could think about was the Columbo episode where he dialed a phone number, and the WALL started to ring ! (a dead woman was hidden behind the drywall and her bracelet pager was ringing)
Hope your spot doesn't come back !
grummy
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Don Foreman wrote:

<snip> Dang, it doesn't just pass the

Well, my wife pulled a hot something out of the microwave and couldn't get it to the table, so she put it on the linoleum. (She overheats everything, when you say "nuke it" in the microwave, she takes it literally!) It left a bir round black spot. I said, well, we have a little piece of the stuff left, I'll just replace it. We now have this 12" square of bright white Armstrong linoleum right in the middle of a very yellow floor! Oops, and there's not much I could do about that. I don't know if wallpaper yellows or fades as much as linoleum (Hmm, people don't WALK on the walls) but you can see this thing from 100 feet away. The burn spot, of course, could be seen from a couple blocks away.
Jon
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Good work. Try the Lennox bimetalic blades it's all I use anymore. Karl
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