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As God as my witness, I thought turkeys could fly.
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My water heater hadn't been working quite right so I decided it was time to flush it and replace the elements (that's the short version anyway - I did some troubleshooting in there).

Anyway, while it was draining I got to thinking how old it was and how I might should consider replacing it soon. Wanting to do it myself I decide to look at how the wires were connected. Just to start thinking about it.

Then I discovered that the damn thing wasn't even grounded. The ground wire was just kind of laying in the little area where the wires connect but wasn't actually screwed down.

Damn. Talk about a sloppy install!

Also - if you flush a water heater, wherever you run the first tank of water out into, make sure you take the aerator off. I have to replace two because I got impatient and ran water through faucets that had aerators before it was completely cleared. Oops!
 

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The more you know about construction, the scarier life is. I guess that's true of many things.
That's why 30 some odd years ago I literally built my own home. Never built one before, but did almost everything myself, including concrete pouring, framing, roofing, wiring, plumbing, sheetrock, etc, etc. I did (at times) hire a 'gopher' to help with some of the heavy lifting stuff.

The only things I hired done were the well drilling, excavation work, HVAC work, brick work (full brick with a massive chimney), and I did hire a trim carpenter to finish trimming some of it. I'm not a trim carpenter. My brother who is a professional carpenter, came over to visit occasionally along the way while I was building. He said, "You overbuilt it, but there's nothing wrong with it".

My brother also said, "THE SECRET TO BEING A GOOD CARPENTER IS KNOWING HOW TO HIDE YOUR MISTAKES" It's nice to know there are no mistakes hidden in this house.

I've never had a water leak of any kind including the basement. It hasn't burnt down, never even had a settling crack in any of the brickwork or anywhere else in the house. Everything works, and we've had many complements over the years on what a lovely home it is.
 

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Just replaced mine this past weekend (caught the leak early, thankfully.) Exact same AO Smith 40 gallon I put in about fifteen years ago bought from the same Ace...and the new one was three inches taller and two inches wider. Apparently, the insulating jackets are bigger on the new one so I had to cut the flue and completely replumb the whole thing as well as move the floor stub-outs for the bigger footprint. Took two full days (spent more time driving back and forth to the hardware store than I did working on it) HH
 

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Just replaced mine this past weekend (caught the leak early, thankfully.) Exact same AO Smith 40 gallon I put in about fifteen years ago bought from the same Ace...and the new one was three inches taller and two inches wider. Apparently, the insulating jackets are bigger on the new one so I had to cut the flue and completely replumb the whole thing as well as move the floor stub-outs for the bigger footprint. Took two full days (spent more time driving back and forth to the hardware store than I did working on it) HH
My DIY projects usually generate a worthwhile accumulation of take-backs


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My DIY projects usually generate a worthwhile accumulation of take-backs


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Every, and I mean every single stinkin' one of my home projects just spin out of control, to the point I haven't so much as touched a screwdriver in 15 years.

My personal best? Replacing the screen in the kitchen sink spigot, a washcloth wrapped around it to prevent scratching, a pair of pliers, twist it off, take out the old screen, put in a new one, screw it back in, what can go wrong?

1700 dollars later, two weeks without water, an entire new kitchen sink and basin, replaced the old PEC lines with PVC, and 400 bucks for the new pump for the well.

300 of that was for the materials I bought, that ended up in the trash, trying to apply one bandage after another, until I finally called a plumber and had it all done right.
 

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Just replaced mine this past weekend (caught the leak early, thankfully.) Exact same AO Smith 40 gallon I put in about fifteen years ago bought from the same Ace...and the new one was three inches taller and two inches wider. Apparently, the insulating jackets are bigger on the new one so I had to cut the flue and completely replumb the whole thing as well as move the floor stub-outs for the bigger footprint. Took two full days (spent more time driving back and forth to the hardware store than I did working on it) HH
My AO Smith was installed in 1995. 80 gallon 240V. I replace the heating elements about 10 years ago. Keep thinking I'm going to replace it, but it keeps going...
 

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Our first A.O.Smith water heater lasted thirty years of heavy usage before replacement was needed. This was our reason for buying another A.O.Smith. Dynaclean diffuser dip tube helps reduce lime and sediment buildup while maximizing hot water output.
 

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Then I discovered that the damn thing wasn't even grounded. The ground wire was just kind of laying in the little area where the wires connect but wasn't actually screwed down.

Damn. Talk about a sloppy install!
If that's the worst wiring issue you find in your house, count yourself lucky. I've seen some real doozies.
 

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If that's the worst wiring issue you find in your house, count yourself lucky. I've seen some real doozies.
I changed out an electric water heater that had a 110 plug with the blades twisted sideways so it would fit in a 220 receptacle
 

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I changed out an electric water heater that had a 110 plug with the blades twisted sideways so it would fit in a 220 receptacle
How about a whole 50ft roll of Romex hooked-up and live with bare ends just laying on top of the over-head rafters? Or live Romex run to a switch box and never hooked-up or wire nutted/taped.
 

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I am on my third water heater at my current home. I usually get about 9-10 years out of one. In KY you have to have a licensed plumber install the water heater so your going to pay unless you live near another state and go buy one there and install it yourself. I could install one myself if push come to shove. As for work around the house, if it is plumbing I can generally take care of it myself. If it is electrical I have limited training and know enough that it will kill me graveyard dead real quick. So electrical I call my brother who went to school for electrician training or my Dad who learned it doing construction and rebuilding electric motors when he was young.
 

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Like a lot of things, one has to consider the expected useful life of an appliance when it comes to fixing or replacement. Been in this house since 1996, on the 2nd water heater. Our furnace still great, in the 1st washer & dryer too.

I look things over, sometimes it’s simple stuff.
 

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Quick! Duck!
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... if you flush a water heater, wherever you run the first tank of water out into, make sure you take the aerator off. I have to replace two because I got impatient and ran water through faucets that had aerators before it was completely cleared. Oops!
I flush mine using the spigot on the water heater itself. Or is the above comment about clogging aerators after the heater is flushed?
 

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Formerly retired EE.
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If that's the worst wiring issue you find in your house, count yourself lucky. I've seen some real doozies.
I bought a house in the early 90's in Ohio and it came with a breaker box full of FPE breakers. I was replacing the electric stove with a gas one (house was plumbed for gas). I felt competent to remove an electric circuit (I am not an electrician, but I do have a BSEE degree) so I was getting things ready for the stove installer.

I flipped the stove breaker off and got back to the outlet, I was removing and got a feeling. I metered the circuit and it was still live. The 230V, 30A circuit breaker feeding the electric stove was stuck on.

That was not too many years after the whole FPE thing blew up in Exon's face so I knew that FPE was something to be wary of, but that flabbergasted me.

I had the entire panel replaced not long afterward. The PO had installed a lot of oddball DIY wiring during his possession, I required all non code compliant wiring be removed before I would close.

The inspector missed the AC powered wall clock with the zip cord routed through the walls. How could this ever seem like a good idea?
 

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Rational
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The more you know about construction, the scarier life is. I guess that's true of many things.
You aren't kidding.

923859


923860


923861


This one's my favorite....when running wires through the ceiling from the light fixture to the wall, just punch holes in the old ceiling before you cover it up with sheetrock (see above picture):

923862


923863


Window flashing? What's that? Just glue it in!

:(

I don't even want to see what's under the floor....
 

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That's why 30 some odd years ago I literally built my own home. Never built one before, but did almost everything myself, including concrete pouring, framing, roofing, wiring, plumbing, sheetrock, etc, etc. I did (at times) hire a 'gopher' to help with some of the heavy lifting stuff.

The only things I hired done were the well drilling, excavation work, HVAC work, brick work (full brick with a massive chimney), and I did hire a trim carpenter to finish trimming some of it. I'm not a trim carpenter. My brother who is a professional carpenter, came over to visit occasionally along the way while I was building. He said, "You overbuilt it, but there's nothing wrong with it".

My brother also said, "THE SECRET TO BEING A GOOD CARPENTER IS KNOWING HOW TO HIDE YOUR MISTAKES" It's nice to know there are no mistakes hidden in this house.

I've never had a water leak of any kind including the basement. It hasn't burnt down, never even had a settling crack in any of the brickwork or anywhere else in the house. Everything works, and we've had many complements over the years on what a lovely home it is.
It is indeed one of the more satisfying things in life to accomplish. Congrats.
 
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