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.
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.
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”
I have already written about making a Toilet Silent Fill Valve Repair, but whether a toilet fill valve is silent or not it can’t always be repaired. So I have written this article about replacing a toilet fill valve to help those who need to get a new one.
“This operation can involve spilling CLEAN water. So be warned and be prepared.”— HC
When I first had a Microsoft Windows personal computer I put it on a computer desk in the lounge and bought a typical office chair with five castors. Over the next few years wheeling that chair around the desk area with my weight on it seriously damaged the carpet in that location. So I had to find a way to prevent office chair castors damaging carpets. See this discussion on the subject.
We are all trying to reduce energy costs and CO2 emissions by choosing modern alternatives to incandescent lamps. Here are some lighting charts to help you select the best lamp for your situation. Since the decline of incandescent lamps there have been many alternatives made available based on fluorescent tubes bent in many ways to condense a long tube into a confined space.
I had my first Philips SL prismatic Compact Fluorescent Lamp (CFL) lamps soon after they came on the general market back in the 1980’s. I only recently sent my last one to recycling after deciding that even my shed could do better than have one of those long time warm-up devices.
In the early days of low energy lighting there was nothing better than the good old fluorescent tube, usually confined to kitchens and garages in the British house. I still had two twin fluorescents in my kitchen until 2015. If you want the room lit without shadows that’s the way to do it. After much searching in 2003 I found some streamlined fluorescents fit for the modern era to replace my old fluorescent ‘chunky boxes’. Unfortunately they went off the market and I struggled to find a decent looking replacement that didn’t cost a fortune. There were some problems with the ones I used. They had a self destruct mechanism built-in. The plastic fixings for holding the wires in place on the frame all deteriorated under the ultraviolet light given out by fluorescent tubes. I replaced them with zip ties but they suffered from the same problem.
To get back to the point of this article, which is to advise on the brightness of replacement lamps, I have chosen to publish a chart by which seems to relate to the UK/European market and another by which relates to the American market and appears to suggest their lamps emit more light than European lamps, e.g. UK/European 100W ≅ 1300 lumens, American 100W ≅ 1600 lumens (see A USA Lighting Chart). Continue reading “Lighting Charts – Which Lamp Do I Need?”
I have two teak garden seats which spend all their time outdoors on the lawn or patio. They go back to the 1980’s and the bottom of all the legs has rotted where they are perpetually in contact with the ground. I first noticed the problem while I had them upside down when I was cleaning and sanding them ready for repainting. I dug a penknife into the underside of the end of each leg only to find the wood was soft and easily dug out. I had painted them with exterior paint several times over the years but this wood wasn’t good to paint anymore.
I had noticed a deterioration in the wood previously when I painted them but just put plenty of paint on the bottom of the legs after letting the wood dry out. The problematic area was in the bottom 5mm to 10mm of each leg and It had got to the point where the wood was crumbling away and the legs were no longer all of the same length. I had to find a method of repairing rotten garden seat legs. Continue reading “Repairing Rotten Garden Seat Legs”
Everyone has to design their kitchen or utility room to suite their circumstances but when my kitchen came up for renewal in 2003 I made specific use of the considerable space behind my pan drawers. I discarded my pan drawer carcase back panel and brought together many of my kitchen appliance connection points onto this large area of wall space behind the drawers, as shown in the featured image.
This article advises how I have replaced a Mira Shower thermal switch in a MIRA Sport 9kW Thermostatic Shower on several occasions.
Originally I installed a MIRA Sport 9kW Thermostatic Shower as part of a new bathroom and had it tested and certified by a qualified electrician on 1st May 2007. I was very pleased with it and it worked well for three years until June 2010 when it developed a fault.
I found that in the middle of taking a shower the water would go cold for a few seconds and then get warm again. On the first few occasions I wondered if cold water being drawn off by other taps and appliances was lowering the water pressure to the shower and so causing it to operate incorrectly (although the low pressure light was not illuminating). As the days went by the problem got worse and my wife ended up washing shampoo off with cold water. I knew then that I would be in bad books until it was fixed.
I had to determine if this fault could be fixed or if I would have to replace the entire shower unit. For this I needed to take a look inside the shower unit.