Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Replace Fan Switch With Timer

Do you ever walk into a bathroom and exhaust fan is still running. Letting the fan running for too long consumes power and depend on the electric price in your area, this could be a costly mistake.
Also, let the fan run for too long can add wear and tear to your fan.

To avoid forgetting to turn off the fan, I opted to find a solution for this and I found the way to help is to replace the fan switch with a timer.

After searching around, I found a timer made by GE that will allow me to have a preset time of 5, 15, 30, 60 minutes up to 4 hours.

As you can see, the old switch is below. The switch on the left is for fan and on the right is the light switch.

Always, safety first, I left the light on and go to the breaker and turn off the power to these switches.
By leaving the light on, now when I go back, the light is off, I can be sure that there's no power to this switch.
Now, using a flat screw, remove the screws that hold the cover. 

Next, remove the 2 screws that hold the switch and pull it out.

Use a small flat screw driver to insert into the hole next to the wires to remove the wires.
There should be one on top and one on bottom, in my case, I have 1 on top and 3 on bottom.
if you don't have a small screw to remove the wire, you can simple just cut the wires.

Next, open the new timer and follow the instruction to connect the new timer.

According to the instruction, the green wire should be connected to ground. Black wire should connect to power and the red wire should connect to the black wire that go to the fan.

Now insert the 2 screws to hold the new timer in place.

At this point, turn on power at the breaker.
Now press the button on the timer to turn on the fan.
If your fan is not on, please wait a few minutes for the timer to charge, this should be in the instruction.
Any problem, please refer to the instruction.
After installed the timer, I figured the light switch is also old so I decided to change to a new switch for the light so it look more modern.

There you have it, when you need to turn on the fan, just press the desired time and you can leave it there. The switch will keep your fan running and turn off itself. This will save you time and create a piece of mind

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See you in the next Weekend DIYer project.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Protect your Nest Hello Smart Doorbell

With the smart trend in home improvement, I recently installed a Nest Hello smart doorbell for my front door.

However, mounting 2 screw on a piece of plastic to the wall made me feel unsecured about this $200+ piece of equipment.

As you can see from the pictures, I feel the Nest Hello doorbell are just sticking out in the air and that some one easily knock it off with a kick. Or even walking by can accidentally hit it and break it.
Therefore, I decided to made a cover for the doorbell.

As per the specs of the Nest Hello, they are 1.7 in in width, 4.6 in in height, and 1 in thick.

So I decided to use a 2x4, because I mounted my Nest doorbell at an angle.
However, if you mount it straight, you can just use a 1x4 or better if you can get the real 1 in thick since the 1x4 at the home improvement store only give you 3/4 in x 3.5 in. But I think it should be enough thickness anyway.

Using a 1 3/4 in hole saw. I marked the middle of my 2x4 and drill 2 holes as the picture below
As a measurement, I marked 2 center points for drill the hole at 3 in part. After the 2, It would be 4 3/4 or 4.75 in, which give it some room for easy insert the Nest Hello.

Next I use a jigsaw to cut the hole to insert the doorbell

 After this, you should have a part that look like this, you can visualize how the Nest Hello will fit.

For my Nest, I also use the rip saw to cut the angle to match with the mounting of my Nest Hello.

 Since I did some rip cut and rough saw. I used sand paper to smooth out the edges and the cut.

 Next I draw the circle to make a round cut around the wood to make it look nice.

 After all the cut, this is how it fit around the Nest Hello. With some screws, I can secure the wood to the wall. I did not put any wood filler after putting in the screws.

With this protector, I think this feel a lot stronger and secured.
I may have make this a big deal but I think it added a nice touch to the doorbell.

As always, thanks for reading.

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Friday, January 5, 2018

Replace Smoke Alarm Battery

As standard safety, there are several smoke detectors installed through out the house. And for the new standard, all the smoke detectors in the house are wired together to intercommunicate. This type of wiring allow all the alarms go off if one of them goes off.
This is good because if smoke is detected down stairs in the kitchen, it can be heard in the bedrooms upstairs.
However, this come with a little bit of problem. If one of the alarm is not working or chirping low battery, all of the others smoke detectors in the house chirp.

For years, every time I hear chirping, I replaced all the batteries for all smoke detectors in the house. Most of the time, the chirping all go away after I replaced them.

However, a few weeks ago, after I replaced all the batteries, the chirping still exists. I pressed the test button on each of the detectors and they all beep.
Out of frustration, I took all the smoke detectors out from the ceiling.

To remove, just follow the instruction. For the one I had, I just turn it counterclockwise and it will drop down as the picture above.
After that, just unplugged the wiring connector from the unit.

Now I pressed the test button on each of the unit to test which one is having problem.
Turn out one of the battery I replaced was having problem. And after replaced the battery, put all the smoke detectors, they are all working now. No more chirping.

Hope this would help you with smoke detector chirping problem in the future.

As always, thanks for reading this post.

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Monday, November 13, 2017

Replacing Food Disposer Garbage Disposer

As a home owner, after a few years, you may find that the food disposer in your kitchen sink stop working.
There are many reason that a food disposer can fail to work. The most common reason I noticed over the years was the corrosion inside the food disposer cause the water to leak to the motor and or electronic compartment below.

Replacing a food disposer is a simple DIY projects that I feel anyone can do within a few hours to save money.

The first step is to remove the old disposer.
For safety reason, unplugged the disposer from the wall outlet under the sink.

Remove the drain hose from the washer from the dishwasher to the disposer.

 Next remove the 2 nut from the disposer to the drain pipe.

Loosen the pipe connection and wiggle the pipe from the disposer.

Next, use the wrench that come with the new disposer or the old one to open the disposer.
Turn counter clock wise (if you look up from below) will normally unlock the disposer.
Note: you may want to have small block below or make sure you hold the bottom of the disposer to avoid dropping it.

Now take a look at the new disposer.

 On the side, it will be the hole for dishwasher drain connection. You don't have to do this step if you don't have a dishwasher.
If you do, use a screwdriver or in my case, I use the ratchet to pop the nut out.
(Refer to your new disposer instruction for more information)

This is the nut that got removed from the step above. I just throw it away.

Now turn over the old disposer.
I reuse the power cord from the old disposer.

 Open the cover, there're connector nut, just remove it so I can have the power cord.

Now onto the new disposer.
I just connect the power cord to the black and white cord, and green cord for ground to the new disposer. Don't worry about which wire to black which to white. Just making sure green is ground and connect to the nut below the new disposer.

From this step on, it just the reverse steps of removing the old disposer I did earlier.

Tighten the 2 screw that connect the disposer to the drainage pipe.

Tighten all the connectors.

As with all DIY project, please consult professional if you are not sure with any procedure.
I hope you enjoy this post and hope it will help you more confident replacing your disposer save some money.

As always, thanks for reading.

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Please comment below if you have any question.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Small shed

Storage spaces seem to be the problem that many homeowners are facing. There are many types of storage sheds that are manufactured. To save money, you can buy all these shed kits that you can put together yourself. However, they come with a size that requires you to have a big enough yard to put it in. As the lot for the new house getting smaller and smaller, homeowners like me find ourselves with small yard and adding a shed can mean no yard. Home improvement stores also sale these small plastic shed that too small to store my tools and to expensive if buying several so I decide to build one myself.

The shed size is about 8 ft x 3 ft x 6ft since I only have about 3 feet between the house and the fence.
Below is the picture of the finished shed that I built.

First step is to build a frame for the shed.
The picture below is for the front of the shed.

For the front, I cut 8 piece of 2x4 to a 6 ft length since I want the shed to be 6 ft in height. For the top and bottom front, use the 2 ft wood left over from the 6 ft cut.
For the back frame, I have them at 8 feet so I don't have to make any cut for them

Since this shed will lay next to the fence to save space, I go ahead and attach the back using metal corrugated sheet laying side way

In my case, I want the shed to be above ground to prevent rotting so I pour 2 concrete column in the ground. You can do the same thing or just use the concrete deck blocks that are available on the home improvement store.
As in the picture, you see the base sit on the concrete base that I poured on the left bottom of the picture.
For the base, I used pressure treated lumber to prevent rot. As you see, I also add a strong tie to hold the base down.
And the next step is to attach the back frame on top, as in the picture.

Next I attached the front to finish the frame.

Next step is to add the siding. I use hardy plank for my shed so it match the back of my house.
This is the first time I cut Hardie plank, and I found it really easy to cut to length with just the utility knife. We just need to score it with the knife. To be sure it's a clean snap, I score both sides. After that I clamped it against the edge of a table and just break it.

Next, I secured the sidings to the frame that we previously built

For the door, I bought a 4 x 8 ft plywood, have the store cut them down to 6 ft length and another cut in the middle so I ended up with 2  2ft by 6 ft.
I add 3 strip of wood to re-enforce the door where the hinges will locate.
For the top, I also use the metal panel to finish off the shed.

After that, I paint the shed and add the 1.5 in x 1.5 in metal strip for the trim and the shed is finished.

I love this custom shed since it give me both sides for storing the tools that I have and in the middle, I can also store any taller item like the pressure washer in the picture.
This is my first time building a shed, and I choose material and size that save time and money so it may not look as nice as a pro do it but nothing beat the satisfaction of doing it myself. And if you wonder how much it cost, it cost less than the same price of buying a 2 x 4 feet plastic shed at the home improvement store. So I got more than double the storage space with less cost.
I hope this will give you idea on how simple it is to build your own shed.

As always, thanks for reading.

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