Unblocking A Blocked Toilet

Introduction

As you can see I’ve censored the featured image for this post. I decided somethings are best left to the imagination. Imagine the water level is just below the level you can see and you will have the picture.

I had to help an elderly neighbour the other day when they reported a blocked toilet to me. I’ve unblocked the occasional blocked toilet over the years. I can assure you I don’t like making a mess or getting dirty in the process.

Another thing I’ve done with toilets is remove the water from the built in trap. I’ve done that so I can disconnect them without spilling the trap water when they are moved.

Both of these things can be done using the same tool and similar methods.

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What Is A Retractable Clothes Washing Line?

Introduction

Consider the benefits of having a retractable clothes washing line:

  • Coiling it up in a box keeps it clean.
  • If you have a nice vista you won’t want it permanently scared with one or more lines cutting across it.

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Retractable Clothes Washing Line Repair

Introduction

What is a retractable clothes washing line? Find out here.

My Past Experience With A Retractable Clothes Washing Line

I’ve used a retractable clothes washing line for many years but my original one, from B&Q, came to the end of it’s life in 2015. The parts which tensioned the line had broken halfway through its life. I fixed it by tying a loop in the line so it could be hung over an adjacent hook. Surprisingly the bulk of the loop didn’t get in the way when it was allowed to coil up.

This original line could be removed from its support post in the winter by lifting it off its bracket. This was a good feature I required in any replacement. So when I couldn’t replace it with the exact same model I took a good look at what was available online before I settled on one. Here is Google’s selection.

My Current Experience With A Retractable Clothes Washing Line

In the summer of 2016 I installed a Minky Retractable Clothes Washing Line in the garden. It worked well until a couple of weeks ago when I heard a clattering noise outside and a cry of desperation from my wife. The new retractable clothes washing line had become detached from its wall bracket and a load of heavy wet washing was strewn along the garden path. Continue reading “Retractable Clothes Washing Line Repair”

Radio Controlled Wall Clock In My Shed

Introduction

I have for some time wanted a reliable time piece outside my house. I don’t actually require an exact time outside anymore than I do elsewhere, but I do need to get the grass cut by teatime. So, I have acquired a Radio Controlled Wall Clock for my shed.

I have had the difficulty of not being able to see any of the indoor clocks easily through the windows from outside the house. Although I have a wall clock in the kitchen I have to open the door to see it. Reflections on the windows make it difficult to read otherwise.

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Securing Shed Doors

Introduction

ERA Hasp & Staple
Hasp & Staple of the type cut open on two of my sheds

In 1997 both of my sheds were burgled. I thought I’d made them secure enough. I’d used hasps with the thickest staples I could find on the market (similar to these) and disc padlocks with hardened shackles. But the burglars cut through each staple in two places making a gap through which the padlock shackle could pass. My advisers suggested the burglar used a hydraulic bolt cropper. The burglar cut through steel as thick as a man’s little finger. So I took securing shed doors very seriously and made immediate improvements.

While on the subject of sheds why not take a look at my post about putting a “Radio Controlled Wall Clock In My Shed”. — HC

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Condensation Free Bathroom Mirror

Introduction

This post describes how to make a condensation free bathroom mirror using an automatic mirror heater. See the one I made in 2007 here. Look carefully and you will notice the condensation around the edge but not in the central heated area.

Without a heater it would be impossible to use the mirror without first wiping it with a towel. Cold mirrors usually mist over again after wiping.

With an active mirror heater it’s possible to get straight out of a bath or shower and use the mirror immediately.

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Making An Insulated Loft Trapdoor

Introduction

I recently had a ground floor extension built which required access to the loft space in the pitched roof to provide and service pipes and cables. So I asked the builder to create an insulated loft trapdoor. I made it clear that it should not just be a sheet of MDF or plywood. It must have thermal insulation fixed to it to prevent it forming a cold spot in the ceiling. I also required it to be out of sight if possible. By that I meant he must avoid putting it in the main reception room of the extension.

By widening the gap between two ceiling joists he made an opening 485mm wide. Enough to accommodate a telescopic ladder I bought to climb into the loft.

The builder built the opening and finished it with architrave around it and clapping strips on all sides to form a lip that supports the insulated loft trapdoor. I offered to make the insulated loft trapdoor myself since it wasn’t part of the original estimate. That allowed the builder to get on with work that was part of the original estimate. Continue reading “Making An Insulated Loft Trapdoor”