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RE: converting stairs from carpet to hardwood - DIY? (Follow-Up #11)

posted by: patches123 on 12.15.2007 at 09:37 pm in Flooring Forum

We just did this a year ago. We had the mdf treads underneath the carpet and spindles installed into the treads. So, we removed the spindles - they were the cheap kind and tossed them as they cracked easily.

Then we used a prybar and removed each tread. We had 16 treads. We bought one piece oak treads from a lumber supply place. ($30 each) Lowes has them as well, but for not much more they lumber place was nicer.

I finished them before removing the existing mdf treads and installing these, that way they were able to be immediately walked on. So each stair had to be measured at the back, middle and front to get a precise measurement and cut. Before installing we put very thin whiteboard over the existing riser. I prepainted these white. You could fill, sand prime and paint the existing risers, possibly.

Then after the treads were installed we drilled holes for the new spindles...we replaced with white spindles from Lowes.

It wasn't technically hard, but it took us a long time to complete it, because we just worked on it on the weekend. But, its DIYable.

PS - we used a table saw, drill and finish nailer.

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clipped on: 01.20.2009 at 04:33 pm    last updated on: 01.20.2009 at 04:33 pm

RE: Soot--No More Candles in my PR. (Follow-Up #10)

posted by: dilly_dally on 11.24.2008 at 03:08 pm in Home Decorating Forum

Greenfish, I never really "measured" it. Just eyeball it. Use an 80/20 ratio or 90/10 or 75/25. More water than oil. Fill the bottle half full of water (So there is room to shake it well.) and add the oil until there is a layer that looks about the right proportion. Shake the bottle and spray. You can't 'screw it up' because you are only mixing the oil in water. There is no chemical reaction or anything that takes place where one would have to be exact in the measurements. I wouldn't go 50/50 or greater with the oil as then the mixture becomes too thick to spray and the sprayer clogs. If that ever happens just run under hot water. (Do this when you are going to fill the bathtub and the oils that you rinse off won't be wasted. You will scent your bathwater!) Sometimes if a bottle sits around for a long while the sprayer tip gets thick with oil and needs to be rinsed. Not a big problem. If you make a batch of spray that is too heavy just dilute with more water. Or add more oil if it isn't giving enough scent. After you have been using the sprays on a regular basis you may want to cut down on the proportion as there will be scent in the room already and you just need to freshen it and kick it up a notch.

Oakley, I've tried that trick and my lightbulbs ended up with brown, baked, junk all over them. I've hear that doing this can cause the lightbulbs to shatter. Using the scent diffuser rings that they sell, is better. Keep in mind that 'perfumes' now days are made from all sorts of chemicals and some are considered toxic. I would make my own scent for light bulbs. Mix a carrier oil with your favorite aromantherapy essential oils and fill the ring. Set on the light bulb. Whenever you turn on the light the scent will fill the air. I like to stick with spice scents for heat diffusers. Somehow the citrus and flower scents seem to smell "hot" or something, to me and jsut don't seem "right".

Before I came back to this thread I was motivated to mix up a new batch of room spray. I used Peppermint and Eucalyptus. It is snowing outside and the whole house seems crisp and fresh now.

BTW if you believe in aromatherapy, the Peppermint and Eucalyptus mix sprayed into the air and breathed in will help curb appetite and aid in a subtle way with weight loss. If you are feeling hungry and it is not mealtime, spray some of this around your desk (or where ever you are) and you won't feel hungry and run to get snacks out of the cupboard. Bergamot and Fennel are said to do the same thing. Studies have proven that Lavender can alter brain waves into a calming state and Peppermint can make one more alert.

Here is a list of types of essential oils that can be found. There are many more others offered for sale at other sites. I have no connection to this site, nor have I purchsed from them:
http://www.aromatherapy.com/essentialoils.html

Diffuser for sale. No connection to site:

http://metapot.com/product.php?productid=3404

Here is a link that might be useful: Scent Diffuser for Lightbulbs

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clipped on: 11.25.2008 at 05:36 pm    last updated on: 11.25.2008 at 05:37 pm

Retiling our foyer: come watch....and help!

posted by: weedyacres on 04.17.2008 at 08:18 am in Flooring Forum

Our latest DIY remodeling project is to redo our tiled foyer with something more updated. We're starting with nondescript 12" gray tile laid on the diagonal in the 10'x14' space.

Last Saturday we rented an electric hammer and chipped out all the tile. It took about an hour with a sharp chisel head to pry out the tile (set without underlayment(!)), and nearly 3 more hours to knock down the residual thinset stuck to the OSB. To get at that, we used a rounded chisel head and hammered at it perpendicularly, to kind-of crush it with vibrations. Any lessons for next time on how to do this more easily?

After hammering and shop-vac'ing, it now looks like this:

Questions:
1. The OSB is a bit pockmarked, as a lot of slivers came up with the tile removal. Do we need to do anything more to prep it, or will it be okay to lay thinset/Ditra over?
2. We're using 4 different tiles in our pattern, and one is a mosaic that's a little thinner than the main tile. It's going to be a border. What do you recommend to build up underneath to make it level with the surrounding tile?

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clipped on: 11.18.2008 at 03:43 pm    last updated on: 11.18.2008 at 03:44 pm

RE: URGENT help w/ pool chemicals.. did we screw up our new pool? (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: smuggs on 07.09.2008 at 09:46 pm in Pools & Spas Forum

Mrs Mack -

They definitely should have been added individually, and with some time between. Generally, you should adust PH first (PH minus = Muriatic Acid / PH Plus = Borax). Alkalinity Up = Baking Soda. I would suggest brushing the pool (you probably need to do that anyway since I'm guessing you are in the first 2 weeks.) Regardless, I highly suggest that you spend some time on troublefreepool.com to learn about the chemistry and PLEASE get a good test kit (TF-100 or Taylor k-2006). The test strips that your PB gave you are not very helpful....also, the testing that your PB does at their HQ location in Mount Ephraim is not very good. As for ruining your plaster, so long as you didn't bring your PH down too low for an extended period of time, you should be OK.

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clipped on: 09.11.2008 at 07:29 pm    last updated on: 09.11.2008 at 07:42 pm

RE: Help! Help! Scale,SWG etc (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: trhought on 07.23.2008 at 03:19 pm in Pools & Spas Forum

laughinglizzie-

Sorry to hear about your scale problem and so-called local expertise.

As repair guy stated, scale is the result of not maintaining pool balance. Scale happens when hardness is high and PH is high. Salt cells tend to push PH high and if not balanced periodically with acid PH will become too high. If hardness is also high, then scale will result.

Check your PH and calcium levels and adjust to within range. You should also check your filter and clean it as high PH and hardness will also require the filter to be cleaned more frequently.

It is possible to maintain a high PH pool with SWG and minimize acid usage, but hardness and alkalinity need to be balanced to avoid problems such as scale.

Below is a link to information on maintaining a high PH pool that may be helpful. This is a little advanced as far as pool balance is considered and if you are uncomfortable after reading this, then I would recommend maintaining the balance as recommended by commonly accepted pool industry practices.

I have a SWG pool and have been using the high PH method for about 10 months and it works. Prior to discovering this method, I was using about a gallon of acid per week for our 34K gallon pool at $4/gallon. Now, I use about a gallon every 3 months or so to adjust alkalinity and PH stays around 8.0 and I keep calcium at the low end of acceptability. No scale, no algae and minimum chemical cost. In my opinion, the less chemicals to add, the better from both a cost perspective as well as environment perspective. As you have learned the hard way, checking pool balance and maintenance is necessary no matter what system or method is being used.

Once the pool balance is in check, youll find that checking chemical levels once a week or so and adjusting every other week or so will be adequate.

Hope this helps!

Here is a link that might be useful: High PH Pool

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clipped on: 09.11.2008 at 07:25 pm    last updated on: 09.11.2008 at 07:25 pm

RE: Salt Water pools (Follow-Up #41)

posted by: scl4 on 09.23.2007 at 02:08 pm in Pools & Spas Forum

I've had a pool for 14 years and started with the typical chlorine regimen, then ozone/Nature 2, and finally SWG.

With aging plaster, there was only one pool guy who managed to keep our pool clean, and then he passed away. Our pool turned to pond scum and we finally decided to remodel the pool with an all tile surface, and convert to a SWG.

That was three months ago. Besided the SWG, we have an acid drip system. I check the pool weekly and it remains balanced. I've added NOTHING. The SWG and the acid drip keep everything perfectly balanced. We bought a pool sweep for the first time and now the only thing I have to do is empty the skimmer basket every couple of days, and backwash and sweep the sides monthly. It couldn't be easier.

I'd never go back to any other method.

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clipped on: 09.11.2008 at 02:25 am    last updated on: 09.11.2008 at 02:25 am

RE: Salt Water pools (Follow-Up #29)

posted by: kurtv on 07.27.2007 at 02:25 pm in Pools & Spas Forum

In response to this, "? What's the difference in chl from a stabalized puck and chl generated from a salt cell? I think its trendy and thats about it."

skinnydipper said: "Well, this has been an argument in several threads. Here is what I've learned after researching the subject. I figured I needed to learn what exactly the difference was to defend myself from all of the "IT'S ALL CHLORINE!" arguments. I know very well that it is different simply based on the effects it has on my hair.

Used up chlorine creates "chloramines." Using liquid chlorine or pucks does not constantly get rid of chloramines, which is what gives you the dry skin, red eyes and dries out my hair so much. The way to get rid of chloramines is to 'shock' the pool. Without a swcg, you do this by adding a large amount of chlorine to the water. The average pool isn't shocked often enough because it's inconvenient to wait for the chlorine levels to drop back to a safe level for swimming. In the peak of the swimming season, you'd need to shock it very often."

Me: Sorry, but your premise is faulty. I chlorinate mainly with chlorinating liquid (aka bleach) and have never, in over one and a half years with this pool, had a measurable amount of combined chlorine in my water. I have also never shocked my water. A well cared for pool won't develop combined chlorine except when a sudden and/or unexpected demand for chlorine arises (e.g. heavy bather load, lots of organic material getting into the water). The same thing can and does happen with SWG chlorinated pools. If you doubt that, look around on this forum, poolforum.com, and troublefreepool.com for threads about people with SWGs who are battling algae; you can probably find a hundred such threads in a minute or two. I add extra chlorine when I know I'm going to have a bunch of kids in the pool, in pollen season, etc. Wise SWG users do the same (manually or by turning up the cell run percentage or by using a boost button). It's about being proactive with your water care, not about how you deliver chlorine. SWGs make that easier but not any better.

skinnydipper said: "When using a swcg only, as water flows through the swcg unit, it is constantly shocked. With chloramines constantly being destroyed, the irritating side effects are greatly reduced or eliminated."

Me: That's a theory that is often offered but it has not been proven (or even studied to my knowledge). Beyond that, not all of your water passes through the SWG cell in a given period of time and therefore isn't subjected to super-chlorination (think of the circulation dead spots that exist in every pool and just the basic fluid dynamics involved). Even if the theory is 100% accurate, the example of my pool and many others that are operated like it show that that effect is essentially meaningless. We don't get combined chlorine and we don't shock because we stay on top of the chlorine levels in the water.

skinnydipper said: "...I hope this doesn't sound like I'm arguing, I'm just trying to help everyone understand that there is more to the difference than being 'trendy.' "

Me: I'm sorry, but there really isn't any meaningful difference that's attributable to the SWG in this regard. I agree with you that SWGs are more than trendy; SWGs are a very convenient way to chlorinate. They let you do what I do without having to buy and add chlorine yourself. But, you still need to test the water frequently and put extra chlorine in the water in anticipation of increased demand for it or shock after it's all used up and you have a bunch of combined chlorine; with or without an SWG.

I keep between 1200 and 2000 ppm salt in my water for the "feel". I guarantee that your hair would be just as manageable after swimming in my pool as it is in yours.

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clipped on: 09.11.2008 at 02:21 am    last updated on: 09.11.2008 at 02:21 am

RE: Salt Water pools (Follow-Up #17)

posted by: skinnydipper on 07.26.2007 at 08:46 pm in Pools & Spas Forum

"What is the level of stabilizer in your pool. If the stabilizer is low, you will go through most all of your chlorine in one day. You might want to take a water sample into the local Leslie pools and have them run the tests on it."

That was low a few months ago, I had no idea we'd have almost none after just a year. I think it left when my son's friends (the varsity football offensive line) decided to see who could do the best cannonball. Shortly after, I realized we were low on salt, stabilizer (and water-lol)! Right now it's at 80. We have it a little high so the chlorine will do better.

This is our 2nd salt cell in a year (warranty covered the new one) and this one seems to be doing better. Our water is soooo hard that I have found that I need to clean the cell much more often than it says to.

Today I ordered 3 bottles of Jack's Magic Purple Stuff online. An acid wash guy I spoke to recommended it to minimize scale buildup on the cell.

I also ordered a new Frog mineral pack. Leslie's told me not to bother since I had an swcg, but I found it online for only $80 (instead of the $129 @ Leslies) so I'm going to see if it helps. The website says it will make your pool use less chorine- or something like that. I have the Frog system already so it won't hurt to try using it before I give up. ;-)

All I know is that chlorine puck floater is NOT going back in! If it does, I know I will avoid going in and I am not paying up the a$$ for this pool, only to avoid getting in it.

On that note, I'm going out to check on the chemicals in my money pit- oops, I mean swimming pool, tap the new BJ's Blonde keg in the kegerator and start a beer can chicken on the bbq. In a few hours I won't give a crap if the water is balanced or not!!! ;-)

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clipped on: 09.11.2008 at 02:02 am    last updated on: 09.11.2008 at 02:02 am

RE: Salt Water pools (Follow-Up #13)

posted by: doyles on 07.26.2007 at 05:21 pm in Pools & Spas Forum

SkinnyDipper,

What is the level of stabilizer in your pool. If the stabilizer is low, you will go through most all of your chlorine in one day. You might want to take a water sample into the local Leslie pools and have them run the tests on it. I have an Aquarite system and it has no problem generating sufficient chlorine for my 18k pool. It is rated for up to 40K gal pools.

..Doyle

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clipped on: 09.11.2008 at 02:00 am    last updated on: 09.11.2008 at 02:00 am

RE: Salt Water pools (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: scrapula on 07.26.2007 at 06:33 am in Pools & Spas Forum

We love ours. Now that it's at the peak of summer, we've turned up the generator to about 35% of capacity. It's been 8 months since the pool was completed. We've cleaned the cell once and it was an easy job to do. So far, we haven't had to add any salt. The chemicals are tested regulary and we add a couple of cups of acid per week. Our pool finish is pebble tec and we have a faux-rock waterfall. There is no problem with using salt water.

I love the soft water that salt provides. It feels so smooth and silky. If I ever build another pool, it will definately have a SWG.

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clipped on: 09.11.2008 at 01:57 am    last updated on: 09.11.2008 at 01:57 am