Fixit Log

What skills to learn, what tools to get
davtheram12
Posts: 181
Joined: Mon May 28, 2018 6:02 pm

Re: Fixit Log

Post by davtheram12 »

Gilberto de Piento wrote:
Fri Nov 05, 2021 8:14 am
A few minutes of cleaning it out and it works again!
It always amazes me how a simple deep cleaning can fix many things. I've been doing the same with some of my electronics lately and they are run much smoother without the dust, debris and grime.

User avatar
Sclass
Posts: 2288
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2012 5:15 pm
Location: Orange County, CA

Cleaned dryer vent

Post by Sclass »

Hey I just cleaned my dryer vent. My wife told me our dryer was broken and would shut down before drying the clothing and flashed a clogged vent code.

I went outside and sure enough I saw part of a bird’s nest in the vent opening. If I don’t keep the little gravity operated door perfectly clean it jams open. This is like a “vacancy” sign for our local song birds. They put in a few sticks and then the fine lint starts piling up. It’s amazing how we run and clean the filter every load but tiny bits of lint get through and accumulate through the vent.

It gets especially bad if the birds build a nest in there. I’m really glad I didn’t get a handful of eggs in my face or worse baby birds. The bird parents usually give up because we run the dryer regularly. Wait, that usually happens in spring. I think this thing has been clogged for months.

I pulled a pineapple sized ball of lint and twigs out of the 4” vent. I used this handy $1 vent cleaning brush I bought at the dime store. I think I bought it to clean a car’s evaporator coil many years ago.

Saved a dollar today. Maybe it’ll run more efficiently now.

Jiimmy
Posts: 73
Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2021 12:28 pm
Location: Nevada

Re: Fixit Log

Post by Jiimmy »

One time, a bird made it all the way into my dryer, from the outside. I could hear it flopping around. I pulled the dryer out from the wall and disassembled the vent tube. Soon the bird hopped out, flew a couple laps around the room, and zoomed out the door. After that, we installed a screen in the outdoor end.

User avatar
Sclass
Posts: 2288
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2012 5:15 pm
Location: Orange County, CA

Re: Fixit Log

Post by Sclass »

Attached tiles to my roof.

Not my images but 80s tract homes all look like this in socal. The missing tiles were at the outer edge of the apex about 25’ up. They went crazy back then for vaulted ceilings. 80s middle class chic. Hard to heat. Hard to change recessed lighting. Super hard to climb up and patch rat holes and reattach tiles.

Some of my tiles are trim and they are attached to the roof’s edge with a single 3” nail with about 1” of penetration into the wood. Forty years of Santa Ana winds have loosened them. Two let go this week and were hanging over the edge waiting to fall on someone.

So I made kind of a spider web of ropes over the roof tying off on the chimney, gazebo posts and any other stationary anchor points I could find. I tied in with a carbiner and harness to bights and straight sections using a prusik knot so I could move around while still being tied in. Got access to the roof by climbing out the window. :lol:

Should have taken some photos, these aren’t mine. Basically safety lines tied between two points with half hitches. Ropes lashed together with sheet bends. Tie ins for my safety belt with Prusik knots so I could slide my attachment point around. I threw the ropes over the house using a baseball in a sock tied to the end of the rope.

Not sure how the pros do this. Climbers, how do you tie in to a safety line without an assistant belaying you? Is there some special ratcheting clamp used to minimize the distance down the rope you slide down in the event of a fall?

I miss Firefighter Jeff. He really inspired me to take this on myself. I nailed the tiles back over the outer edges like the ones in this photo. Dipped the nails in gorilla glue before I pounded them in. Hope that helps keep them in. Did I mention what stupid construction this is? Single nails to hold those tiles in on the outer edge. Cheap greedy developers ripping off hardworking middle class homeowners by selling them a dream cookie cutter home.

The neighbors stopped in front of the house to watch me hanging over the edge upside down pounding in nails. I might be breaking an HOA rule. To keep my hands free and get over the edge I had to lie down slope on my belly. It looked pretty unorthodox. I’m not good with heights but I really didn’t want to get a 30’ ladder or hire a roofer to put two tiles back in place.

Took an hour to set up the safety lines. Took ten minutes to secure the tiles. 90% preparation 10% execution.

Image

Some of the knots I used.

Image

Image

Image

Blackjack
Posts: 31
Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2020 12:36 am
Location: Colorado

Re: Fixit Log

Post by Blackjack »

Sclass wrote:
Fri Nov 26, 2021 2:26 pm


Should have taken some photos, these aren’t mine. Basically safety lines tied between two points with half hitches. Ropes lashed together with sheet bends. Tie ins for my safety belt with Prusik knots so I could slide my attachment point around. I threw the ropes over the house using a baseball in a sock tied to the end of the rope.

Not sure how the pros do this. Climbers, how do you tie in to a safety line without an assistant belaying you? Is there some special ratcheting clamp used to minimize the distance down the rope you slide down in the event of a fall?
I think this is the question you are asking, but ask some clarifying questions or let me know if I’ve misinterpreted what you are asking.


Usually there are two anchors at any belay point (in multi pitch this is where you transfer from one section of the wall to the next higher section), or you build an anchor with two or more redundant anchor pieces and just one carabiner to attach to in the wall. Then you will have probably two slings (definitely at least one) attached to your harness with a carabiner attached to the end. You will then attach yourself to the anchor with the carabiner, weight that with your weight (so you can’t fall), and then tie yourself in to the rope. You always want to have 2 points of contact (1 redundancy) when you can.

User avatar
Sclass
Posts: 2288
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2012 5:15 pm
Location: Orange County, CA

Re: Fixit Log

Post by Sclass »

I don’t quite get it. I had a length of safety line I was following along my roof. The problem was if I just clipped to it with a carbiner, if I slipped, I’d fall quite a way down the roof to where the end of the line was anchored. The carbiner will just slip down the rope like a zip line till I crash into whatever I tied it to. So my solution was to connect on to it with a prusik knot and inch along. If I slipped it would instantly catch me.

I’ve seen people in movies climb a mountain on a long line of rope that is bolted to the rocks. But if they fall, what keeps them from falling all the way down to the last bolt they passed which may be many feet below them? They have to be able to move up the rock so being statically tied to a bight in the rope won’t work.

Sorry to sound naive, I don’t know anything about mountaineering.

I’ve seen the people in the rock gym where they belay the climber from below. But I don’t have the luxury of having anyone I trust down below to do that for me while I climb around on the roof.

Can you refer me to a diagram online? I cannot really visualize your description.

Blackjack
Posts: 31
Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2020 12:36 am
Location: Colorado

Re: Fixit Log

Post by Blackjack »

Yup, I got you. I misunderstood the systems you’re asking about.

Climbing up on a rope alone is an absolute last resort we usually have a partner with us to belay us properly. If you are descending, you can use rappelling techniques which are fairly safe when executed properly and used constantly by climbers outdoors. These will not get you back up, but from a roof they should be safe, and you can prusik back up a couple of feet when you need to provided you have a prusik brake. https://www.climbing.com/skills/rappel ... technique/. Just rap to the ground when you are done then go clean up everything from the top.

If you want to aid upwards, use a prusik system like it sounds like you were using: https://www.vdiffclimbing.com/prusik-rope/. This is relatively safe as it is backed up multiple places.

When you are trying to climb solo, you can do solo climbing techniques https://www.vdiffclimbing.com/rope-solo/. These are very UNSAFE for doing complex tasks, and most of the people I used to know who did them often are dead now. Use this for educational purposes and rescue only.

Edit: there are a number of devices out there to make soloing less dangerous, and in your case, which is soloing a top rope (rope is already through the anchors), a grigri or silent partner device would be almost considered “fairly safe”. These devices are brake assisted, so theoretically when you fall, they will engage and grip the rope quickly, and you won’t end up actually falling very far. See: https://people.bath.ac.uk/dac33/high/12GoingSolo.htm

Double edit: Don’t do any of these solo climbing techniques on a static line. If you don’t have a dynamic stretch from the rope, falling be fairly dangerous to you as a human (stopped immediately by the brake, no stretching) and maybe break the rope.

Gilberto de Piento
Posts: 1786
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2013 10:23 pm

Re: Fixit Log

Post by Gilberto de Piento »

I am not an expert on any of this so take my comments with a grain of salt.

To do what you are doing really correctly/safely you should look at what the rope access work world does since you are really trying to do work, not rock climb.

No one should really be doing this stuff without proper training and gear. You don't know what you don't know until you are falling. I've done my share of oddball things though too and I know how real life is. You're not going to get a rope access certification and gear to nail some tiles back on your roof and you don't want to pay someone.

blackjack is right, the closest thing to what you are doing in the climbing world is top rope soloing. Recently I did something like this to replace a rope swing for a friend. I threw a weighted cord over the branch, pulled the cord over, tied on a climbing rope, pulled that over so I now had a climbing rope hanging over the branch with two sides both touching the ground. I put on my harness and set up the method that blackjack linked to: https://www.vdiffclimbing.com/prusik-rope/. Then I ascended the rope, tying a bight in the ropes every five feet or so. If the prusiks did slide back down the rope the fall will stop when the bottom prusik hits a bight. Once I got to the branch I put a couple of slings over the branch, set up an anchor, connected to the anchor, and did my work. You wouldn't have to use an anchor, you could just let the prusiks hold you up, but I felt the anchor was safer.

Once I wanted to come back down I had a choice. 1. I could set the prusiks back up, transition from the anchor back to the rope, and descend using the prusiks. The prusik method is slow and takes a lot of energy. Another method 2. is that I could rappel. Either way you've already taken the anchor set up with you so when you get back to the ground you just pull the rope back out of the tree.

If you search for "progress capture device" you will find a lot of gear in the rope access world that allows you to move up but not down (at least without pulling a lever on the device or similar). There isn't a lot of info/gear in the climbing world because climbing this way is very uncommon. Almost all climbing is done with a belayer. For example, you would not be allowed to climb using this method in a gym.
Last edited by Gilberto de Piento on Sun Nov 28, 2021 1:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Ego
Posts: 5416
Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2011 12:42 am

Re: Fixit Log

Post by Ego »

Gilberto de Piento wrote:
Sat Nov 27, 2021 12:30 pm
No one should really be doing this stuff without proper training and gear. You don't know what you don't know until you are falling.
GdP, forgive me but I have come to despise the precautionary principle. As a society we would be well served if we applied the precautionary principle to the precautionary principle itself.

Gilberto de Piento
Posts: 1786
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2013 10:23 pm

Re: Fixit Log

Post by Gilberto de Piento »

Ego wrote:
Sat Nov 27, 2021 6:55 pm
GdP, forgive me but...
Debating the precautionary principle in general is way out of my league, sorry. I'm here for the lentil cooking tips. I'm always happy to hear your opinion on things though.

I'm not sure the principle applies to diy roof repair since it is about things where the dangers are unknown: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Precautionary_principle
The precautionary principle (or precautionary approach) is a broad epistemological, philosophical and legal approach to innovations with potential for causing harm when extensive scientific knowledge on the matter is lacking
In my opinion the average person shouldnt be figuring out on their own how to repurpose climbing gear to do diy roof repair because it is apparent to me that it is dangerous. I dont have any stats on that scenario but roofer is listed as the 4th most dangerous job here:
https://www.ishn.com/articles/112748-to ... ted-states.

User avatar
Sclass
Posts: 2288
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2012 5:15 pm
Location: Orange County, CA

Re: Fixit Log

Post by Sclass »

Ego wrote:
Sat Nov 27, 2021 6:55 pm
GdP, forgive me but I have come to despise the precautionary principle. As a society we would be well served if we applied the precautionary principle to the precautionary principle itself.
@GDP is just trying to keep me alive.

Personally I’ve gotten pretty far by refusing to take precautionary advice. I’ve luckily avoided the graveyard. I think it’s my personality flaw. I get motivated when people say I cannot or should not do things. I think that is why I like @Egos journals so much BTW.

Capturing device. Yes, I was looking for something like the rope climber’s equivalent of a ratchet. I’ve seen a lot of those grigri/ascender devices online the last few days. The Prusik worked very well for me.

Well the tile is back on. I’m not going up there anytime soon I hope. I’m scared of heights.

Married2aSwabian
Posts: 162
Joined: Thu Jan 07, 2021 7:45 pm

Re: Fixit Log

Post by Married2aSwabian »

Sometimes I lose my temper when a DIY project / repair doesn’t go right. In an effort to stop sweating the small stuff, I’ve promised DW to always ask myself, “what is the worst thing that can happen if this doesn’t go as planned?” If the answer is, “Someone could die, then it’s time to sweat it.”. Please be careful with shit like that, Sclass. The couple we bought our second house from - he was a maintenance guy at local university- and we later heard he died falling off a roof.

I’ve yet to finish the dryer repair, but will continue again soon. DW actually says we don’t need it! Still needs to work for the next owner, though. I installed the plastic cage at vent outlet to keep all the (many here) critters out. :)
One reason we don’t need dryer is that I installed 100’ of clothesline in an unfinished section of our basement adjacent to our fireplace. Made wood drop supports so that the lines hang just overhead. We set a box fan on workbench nearby and clothes are dry in a short amount of time. Also acts as a great humidifier in winter which is especially needed when heating partially with wood. I think we may increase WL by 0.2 there. :lol:

Yesterday was also another example of a device just needing to be cleaned to work right. Furnace condensate pump sounded like it was going to explode! I think these are pretty standard: https://www.amazon.com/Little-554425-VC ... RydWU&th=1
Just shut off power at furnace, took off cover and removed pump from container. It was filled with rusty, gunky water. Cleaned the container and pump with vinegar, hot water and an old toothbrush and viola! Took out check valve - that works fine. Float valve is Ok. Works great now. Took about an hour all together. Considered just running a pvc line over to floor drain (15’) away, but don’t want something to trip over.

Post Reply