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DIY Fail

Y’all know that when something breaks around here, I’m usually pretty good at fixing it.

Well, I think I finally met my match a couple of weeks ago.

It all started when I woke up one morning and reached into the dryer to pull out what I expected to be dry towels, which I’d put in the night before.

That’s when I had an inkling that something was amiss.

Everything in the dryer was still very much wet.

I wondered if I’d forgotten to turn it on, so I did and went about my business . . . working out, showering, etc.

When I finished, my clothes were still wet.

Y’all, when my stuff isn’t working properly, I don’t function well.

I quickly googled what might be the problem and realized that I could be in for a pricey fix.  I left the Mr. a note beside his coffee . . . just so he wouldn’t miss it . . .

After posting a picture of the note on Facebook, because I’m all about posting everything on social media, or so my family tells me, the Mr.’s cousin sent me a message listing out possible fixes.

The first thing I needed was a multimeter to check the connections of a few parts . . .

I had to do some reading to understand the difference between open and closed circuits.

Then, I began taking the dryer apart – after I watched a video on YouTube . . .

One of the thermostats that controls the heating element

This is the heating element

This is the fuse.

I’m not going to lie.  I don’t think I ever quite figured out how to read the multimeter as I tried to test four different parts.  By that time, the Mr. had found a kit with the parts I needed . . . the more inexpensive ones . . . for only $30, so he ordered it.

In the meantime, we found ourselves needing clothes.

Thus began our weekly treks to the laundromat.  We’d wash our clothes at home and then carry them a couple of miles up the road to dry them.

It had been awhile since I’d had to use the laundromat and couldn’t remember how to operate the dryer.  A lady patiently told me that I’d put my money into the wrong dryer.  Then, we figured out that I couldn’t get my money back, so I had to move my clothes over.  Then, I figured out that I didn’t have enough change, so her husband gave me a few quarters.

Because this is how I do life.

Sigh.

Of course, I didn’t realize, until eighteen minutes in, that I’d set the dryer on medium heat.

I repeat, this is my life.

You’re jealous, aren’t you?

The Mr. visited the laundromat the next day, because we wash our clothes separately, and made the same mistake with the heat settings that I did.

Welcome to our life together as a married couple.

Betcha feel sorry for us now, eh?

Ha!

Unlike me, who did not enjoy the experience, the Mr. actually enjoyed the time he spent there.  He likes people watching.  We’re in a good town for that too.

It’s a good thing though because even after spending a couple of hours installing the new parts when they arrived, the heat still would not work.  The dryer was also making a funny sound when it ran – a sound that had not existed prior to my magic touch.  Ahem.

As a last-ditch effort, I pulled out the Mr.’s wet/dry vac and tried to blow out the dryer vent.

Picture the Mr. standing outside, at 10pm, while it’s cold, looking for dryer lint to fly out.

This didn’t fix the problem either.

I knew, at that point, that the fix would involve a lot more than $30.  The Mr. knew it too, so he reluctantly agreed that it was time to find a new dryer.

Truth be told, even though we’d had our current unit for about five years, it had never really dried clothes all that efficiently.  Simply put, I think we’d gotten a lemon.

So, we spent another week visiting the laundromat until we got our butts in gear and ordered a new one online from Best Buy.

The Mr. thought he was going to get away with getting me a cheap one.

Yeah, no.

I told him that I was going to pay for it, so I could get what I wanted.

We researched the heck out of them, ran to the store to look at them (they didn’t have the models I’d narrowed my search down to), and finally made our decision.

It had really good ratings, and I also liked that this model was made in America . . .

That was last Sunday.

I set up delivery for Friday afternoon, the day after my surgery.

Now, let me tell you that the only place I’ve ever bought big appliances from has been Sears, and I’ve always gone into the store to do that.  It’s usually been a bit of a hassle.

Not so this time.

I signed up for text alerts and was updated and reminded regularly that my appointment was coming up.

Not only that, but someone from the Geek Squad called us two different times to tell us they were on their way.

The second call came about ten minutes before they arrived, which I appreciated because I was in quite a bit of pain, trying to navigate around on my crutches.  I called the Mr., who’d gone to Walmart, and he made it home a few minutes after the delivery guys arrived.

They were well-dressed and uber-professional.  They carefully removed the old dryer and quickly got the new one set up.

As Yoda might say, “Thoroughly impressed was I.”

They even saved me $30 by suggesting that I keep the dryer vent I already had since it was longer and more flexible than the one I’d been required to order with the dryer.  They set up the refund before they left.

Totally cool, eh?

The Mr. and I went back and forth over who was going to use the dryer first.

I won.

Naturally.

He stuck a load of sheets in to help me out since I’m unable to put weight on my bad ankle, and when it was time to turn on the dryer, I took over.

My new dryer has a lot of bells and whistles and a fancy menu screen.

You know me and technology; we are a match made in heaven.

I used the Sanitizing setting since they are sheets that Chicky will be sleeping on the next few nights.  She’s got a lot of allergies, so I wanted everything squeaky clean for her.

The dryer was super quiet and yeah, the heat worked just fine, as evidenced by my hot laundry room.

While I’d love to brag and add another item to the long list of things I’ve fixed over the years, I can’t say that this DIY fail was, in fact, a fail.  I wound up getting an early Christmas gift out of the situation . . . From :  Me . . . To:  Me

Psycho Ice Maker

Last year, the Mr. and I bought a new refrigerator.

I have loved it, let me tell you.  The LCD lights inside make it easy to find things, and the freezer has more space because the ice maker is in the door.

But…

A few months ago, before Rooster left for Basic, the ice maker decided to quit making ice.

I tried everything that my searches on Google said to try, and then I set up an appointment with Sears.

A couple of days before they came, the ice maker started working again.  I canceled my appointment and thanked the Lord that we wouldn’t be forking out oodles of money for a repair.

Fast forward to last week and the sight that greeted me one morning…an empty ice maker.

Sigh.

So, I tried to remember what steps I’d taken the last time.

I checked the tubing to make sure it wasn’t frozen and even got out the hair dryer and blew hot air on it for a few minutes just in case.

I also vacuumed the vent in front of the fridge.  I forget to clean this regularly, and with three dogs in the house, hair builds up quickly.

I turned on the accelerated ice feature and checked on it in the morning.

Nothing.

I googled, pushed the refrigerator away from the wall to check for other blockages, and hit the freezer with more hot air from the blow dryer.

For awhile.

Then I waited a couple more days.

The Mr. bought a bag of ice while I tried to remember if I still had ice cube trays…the old fashioned kind…in one of my cabinets.

#firstworldproblems

When I checked the freezer a day or two later, I found this…

I had ice cubes!  There weren’t many, but hey, they were new!

I texted the picture to the Mr.

His response:  “Psycho.”

Ha!

But then there was nothing else.

For several days.

Nothing.

I bought a new bag of ice to get us through the weekend.

I began to pray.

No kidding.

I laid my hand right on the ice maker, blew more hot air on various parts of the freezer, and prayed some more.

I also added a note to my to-do list…”Call Sears.”

And I prayed again.

And then the next day, I had a few more ice cubes!

Then, I began hearing the sound of an ice cube or two dropping into the bin and the refrigerator’s ice tray filling with water.

This happened in regular intervals until I found this two days ago…

The psycho ice maker had a Come to Jesus meeting with the One who hears prayers.

Some Assembly Required

Summers are always about DIY projects.

You may have seen my post about my screen door project, which is still not finished.

Sigh.

My latest adventure happened this past weekend when I decided to get busy and put together the Mr.’s birthday present.

Not the Bowflex (that’s mine), but the grill, which he’d picked out at Walmart.  Here’s the photo of the one he saw in the store…all put together, mind you.

He had wanted to purchase this one, but I poo-pooed the idea and told him it wouldn’t fit in the back of my car.

I’d be forced to eat those words later.

The box sat in the garage for over a week before I decided to give it a go.

The Mr. decided that he would go to the grocery store.

Can you say role reversal?

heehee

I had to carry the parts in separately because the box was too heavy to carry in by myself.

There were a LOT of parts…

I’ve put a LOT of things together over the years.  The labeling of parts has gotten better, let me tell you.

The manual laughed at me…

Getting started was the hardest part…kind of like beginning an essay…trying to figure out which parts were which.

I finally figured out where my first pieces were and got busy.  The dogs were a little curious.

Not very helpful though.

I got the first few steps done and then ran into a problem.

Bent parts.

The Mr. had pounded down one part to flatten it out, but these parts…they couldn’t be fixed.

The Mr. was not very happy.  This kind of thing stresses him out.

As a teacher used to thinking on her feet, I came up with a plan.

I would return the grill.

And I wouldn’t take apart the section I’d put together.

Take that.

The Mr. helped me load it in the car.  We put the non-assembled parts back in the box and stuck the section I’d finished in as it was.

The people in the Garden Center were very understanding, but I had to go to Customer Service before I could do anything.  My plan was to exchange the grill for another one in a box.  The Garden Center representative told me that there was an assembler on staff who would put it together for me.  I love how they didn’t tell us this when we’d purchased the grill the first time around.

Sheesh.

The Customer Service representative told me that she needed the old box to scan.

Really?

Sheesh.

My Garmin was racking up the steps with me going back and forth across the store.

The Garden Center rep put everything on a cart for me, and we walked BACK to the Customer Service desk.

Doesn’t that assembled section on the bottom look like a dead bug with its legs in the air?

heehee

The rep issued me a Walmart giftcard since I didn’t have the VISA giftcard that the Mr. had used to buy the first one, and then I had to go back to the Garden Center to rebuy the grill.

Sheesh.

It was the most inefficient process EVER.

The grill wouldn’t be ready until the next day, so I headed home and watched a soccer game that was HALF OVER by the time I got back.

Grrr.

The next day, I went back to get the grill.

It was beautiful.

It was put together.

Ahem.

I crossed my fingers in the hopes of it fitting into the car.  Two sweet young men worked on loading it.

It did fit, much to their surprise, and I got to listen to it rattle and clank all the way home.

The Mr. and I unloaded it, and he grilled on it the next day.

The thing is HUGE.

It needs a separate handle to roll it around.  That’s our biggest complaint.

Otherwise, the Mr. is happy.

Tool Time!

A few days ago, I retrieved the following from the garage…

I was on another one of my DIY missions.

This time, I wanted to replace the screen door on my patio.

It was looking pretty ratchet…slang for nasty.

My students taught me that word three or four years ago.

Be impressed.

As you can see, there’s a hole in the door, and my doggy door looks less than stellar.

We are rednecks.  What can I say.

The door quit closing properly a year or so ago, so we’ve left it propped open, with a piece of wood and one of those stepping stones you see there on the right.

Rednecks may not have good manners, but we can improvise with the best of them.

Anyhoo, one of my goals for the summer has been to get it replaced.  After talking to someone from a local screen and shutter place, I learned that I’d have to wait four to six weeks for them to come out.  Well, by that time, I’d be back in school and wouldn’t have the flexibility of being here, so I thought about it and decided, hey, I’m Auburnchick, welder of all tool things.  Why not have a go at it.

I found the right size tool and went for it.

Look at my moves…with pretty nails.

Are you impressed yet?

I sure am.

Ahem.

So, I removed all of those bolts, or whatever they are called.

I had to remove the ones on the outside of the door too.

I removed the frame around the door as well.  It was warped and needed to go.  Everything came off without any issues, leaving a lovely empty space.

I’ve got to figure out what to do with the old door.

I headed on out to Home Depot.  I’d been looking at doors online and thought I knew what I wanted.

All I want is simple.  I found the above, but…

The holes are not pre-drilled.  I supposed this is so the buyer can decide to put the hinges on the left or the right.  Still…I don’t drill.  That requires putting holes in exact places.  I don’t do “exact.”

I think you also have to buy a separate frame.

I left this in the store and came home to discuss the matter with the Mr.

He cares not.

I went back online and started looking some more.  I read reviews, and they are terrible for this door.  Seriously awful.

I looked at other stores online, and it would seem that everyone sells the same cheap doors.

Sigh.

So, I’m in a bit of a quandary.

Meanwhile, the dogs love the open doorway.  When Gambit sees a squirrel, he can take off without running into the corner of the door that used to be there.

DIY gone unfinished.  People, this is not how my overachieving self does things.

Redneck Crossfit

About a week after school got out, we had a storm.  It wasn’t really that bad, that I remember, but as I sat in the house, I heard a loud noise.

When I got up to check it out, I saw this…

Yep.  That’s my tree, and that’s my fence.

It looked as though the tree had been thrown through the fence.

We’ve had a problem with our trees the last couple of years.  I don’t know if they have a virus, but they are slowly dying.  Large branches fall nearly every time it storms.  That’s why I wasn’t initially concerned about the loud noise.

Ha!

Now, you know I’ve been working out with weights for about two months.  I thought I could move that tree out of the yard.

If you heard thunder just now, that may have been the universe laughing at my stupidity.

heehee

We needed a chainsaw.

The teacher who has a classroom beside me saw the picture I posted on Facebook and offered her husband’s services.  He would bring his chainsaw.

I was all about that!  I didn’t want the Mr. to have another excuse to make a purchase at Home Depot and, possibly, hurt himself.

She came the next day, bringing her husband and her young son, and they got right to work.

What a sweet family!  Not only did he cut my tree into chunks, but he climbed over the fence into the neighbor’s yard, with the neighbor’s permission, and fixed the sprinkler head that my tree had broken when limbs had fallen on it.

It was such a humid day, which made the job a little tougher.  I was even more grateful for my friend’s generosity.

They left, and I began clearing the debris.

Oh word, but trees weigh a LOT!!!  I should have taken pictures of the chunks.  I guess I forgot.  Some, I was able to carry in my arms.  A few, I had to turn, end over end.  I was reminded of tire turning exercises that athletes do to get stronger.

Now, you know I’m all about my blog, even when I’m not exactly blogging regularly (cough, cough).

I set up my phone and recorded one of my trunk-turning trips across the yard.

Oh yeah.  I was wearing my heart rate monitor and saw, afterward, how many calories I burned doing this.  It was major, y’all.

I think I may have just created a new form of exercise.  Who needs a fancy gym?!

My efforts were worth it.  My yard was clean by the time the Mr. got home.

AuburnChick’s DIY Project – Bifold Closet Doors

One of the things I do after my babies leave for college each semester is clean their rooms.

Such was the case last Friday.

This time was different, though, because Chicky took many of her belongings…not leaving much behind since she will be staying in Lakeland after she graduates in December.

After two hours of work, I’d accomplished the following…

Now, if you’ll take a look at the second picture, you’ll see Chicky’s bi-fold closet doors.

I’d noticed that I couldn’t close the closet doors completely…that the metal pieces kept ramming into each other…

I got Rooster to try to help me realign the doors because he is six-foot plus, but Rooster quickly gave up out of frustration.  He suggested that I hire someone to fix it for me.

Yeah.  No cigar.

I knew that the problem was that the top screws that pop into the brackets weren’t popping in completely.

I did a little bit of research on the internet, saw some parts up of the closet up close, and figured out what I needed to do.

First, I took the right half of the closet door off of the brackets…

Then, with a pair of pliers, I loosened the bottom screw, which fits into a track that is mounted on the floor.

My plan was to make it tall enough to raise the door higher, thus putting the metal bracket that would meet up with the opposite door’s a bit higher so the doors could close properly.

The next thing I did was stand the door back up, fit the bottom screw into the track, and prepare to fit the top screw into its own bracket…

See that little metal piece?  It has some sort of spring thing, so if you push it down, you can fit the door under the top frame.  The screw thing fits into a circle in the bracket that’s mounted on the frame…

The last step was fitting the screw with the roller/spinning wheel thing into the top track.  All you have to do is push it down, and it pops right into the track!

I can’t say that things worked out correctly the first time.

The doors still wouldn’t close flush.

I took the door off and unscrewed it more.

The second time I tried to fit it in, I’d unscrewed it too much, making the door sit too high, so I couldn’t even pop the top right screw into the round hole!

Would the third time be the charm?

Judge for yourself…

This goes to prove, once again, that you don’t have to hire someone to fix things around the house.

I always say, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.”

Where’s the Leak?

A couple of weeks ago, I noticed that there was a leak in the Mr’s bathroom sink.

You know me and my DIY projects.

I LOVE them!

So, on Saturday, I ran to Home Depot and picked up these…

Then, I got down to work.

Let me first tell you that this project seems easy.

It’s not.

Unless you pay attention to what you’re doing.

Which I didn’t.

But I digress.

Let me go through the steps of how to fix a Delta, two-handled faucet.

First of all, I had to find a tool to unscrew the itsy bitsy screw inside of the handle.  No easy feat.  The allen wrenches we had in our toolbox were either too big or two small.

Finally, I found the perfect thing…

That’s my tool for adjusting my sprinkler heads.

It worked perfectly!

The screw is very small, so if you attempt this yourself, make sure you pull up on the plunger thing, seating the sink stopper so nothing goes down the drain accidentally.

I was able to pull the handle right off, but I still had to remove the inner hardware to get to the washers underneath.  The washers are what get worn out and allow for the dripping that occurs in faucets.

Taking out the pieces in the middle was harder than I expected.  First, I had to unscrew the ring that sits below the middle section.  To do this, without ruining the metallic finish, I wrapped a towel around the ring, grabbed some a pair of piers, and turned the piece to the left (righty tighty, lefty loosie)…

I thought things would be easy from here, but they weren’t.  I still could not make that center piece budge!

I discovered that I could use a screwdriver as leverage and, by sticking it under one little tab on the side, I was able to loosen the piece…

Voila!

If you’ve never seen the inside of a faucet before, please let me enlighten you…

That hole is where the spring and washer go, and it’s where the water comes up before going out the center part.

Fascinating, I know.

The easiest way to get those parts out is by sticking a screwdriver inside and pulling out the parts…

One would think that the last part…putting everything back together…would be the easiest.

It really should have been except that it wasn’t.

First of all, I couldn’t get the top of the faucet seated back on top of the middle section.

I tried and tried.

Finally, I took apart my sink’s faucet (I have a dual sink vanity).  After looking at the way the cold water faucet was set up, I promptly went over to fix the Mr’s hot water faucet.

The only problem was that I don’t have a math mind, so I forgot to reverse the setup.

Stupid, stupid, stupid.

When I finally figured this out, then I had another problem.

See, the inside of that faucet has an extra white piece that comes out.

Look closely at the following picture…

See the piece that doesn’t have the hole in it?  The white piece?

Well, it turns out (after trial and error) that where you put that piece determines which direction the handle turns.

I’m serious!!

I know this because I put it in the wrong slot and had my faucet handle turning on the water in reverse.

I could have been mean and left it this way for the Mr to figure out.

I’m a perfectionist, though, and had to put it back in proper working order.

Oh, and take a look at how one half of the metal piece has a straight edge and the other half is curved.

That is significant, it turns out.  It has to be facing the side what the handle will be facing when it’s off.  Go figure (which I did…the second time I had to fix the faucet).

So, after much sweat, fussing, and wishing I’d never started the project, I was finished.

I tested things out by turning on the water (did I mention that you have to turn it off before dismantling the faucet?  Oops.).

Well, that darned hot water faucet had water pouring out of it, so I knew that I hadn’t seated the spring and washer properly.

I had to dismantle the entire thing again.  I think that all of my efforts to fix that white insert, I loosened up the washer.

Finally, and I do mean finally, I had things working perfectly!

No more leaks.

No paying an arm and a leg to call in a plumber.

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