Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Repairing the Dishwasher Rack

After about 15 years of use this dishwasher started to lose the rubber seal that protects the metal frame that holds dishes and glasses to be washed. The bottom rack had the most erosion as can be seen on the above images. The top rack had smaller spots that were starting to rust.

In order to fix this, I went to Home Depot and bought some rubber like compound for about $5. It was called ReRACK Dishwasher Rack Repair from Performix. It is a small bottle of a white fluid that has brush on the bottom of the cap.

First I removed the rack from the dish washer. I then cleaned the spots off and removed loose pieces of rubber to expose the metal frame well. The pieces of rusted metal were then filed down to expose bare metal.
The metal pieces were then coated with rubber compound. I waited about 15 minutes between coats to let the fluid set up. I then rotate the frame to make sure the compound was coating the exposed areas. The frame was left for 24 hours to set up.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Repairing Chip in Stovetop

Flat top stoves are great when it comes to cleaning. The stove top can be bordered by an enamel trim. Our stove top border got chipped recently and I wanted to try and repair it. As it turns out there is a product you can buy called Rust-Oleum Specialty Appliance Epoxy Touch-Up. I found some at Home Depot for around $5.

It turned out to be a pretty simple process. Make sure the burners and oven are off and the appliance is cool to the touch. First you clean the area to be fixed. I used some isopropyl alcohol to clean. Next I shook the bottle of epoxy and then uncapped it. The cap has a brush. I lightly applied the first coat in to the chip area using a long stroke. Next I let it dry and then applied another coat. You do this till the layers build up and the chip is filled in.

As you can see from the below pictures it is not a perfect fix but it looks much better. From a distance and at  certain viewing angles one cannot tell it was repaired. What I am trying to determine if it can be sanded to make the repaired spot so it will be come flush with the rest of the stove border.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Repairing Garage Door Opener

Yesterday the garage door opener (Craftsman 1/2 HP Model 139.53975SRT1) stopped raising the door. The motor would turn but it would not move the chain that pulls the door up. In the last few weeks the door was not going all the way up on the first attempt so I sprayed silicon on the door joints. Since the temperatures in the area were at freezing or below freezing it seemed like the joints maybe getting stiff which caused the opener to stop due too much force being used to pull the door up.

One test I did was to detach the opener trolley from the arm that is used to move the door up and down. I then opened and closed the door manually to see if it was sticking or hard to move up and down. It was not.
Once the door quit moving, I took the casing off the opener and saw the issue. The plastic drive gear's teeth were stripped off thus unable to drive the gear moving the chain.

As it turned out a number of year's ago I was fixing another garage door opener that had been damaged by lightning. It turned out that replacing the damaged part costs just about as much as a new opener. So the homeowner opted to buy a new opener instead of waiting for a part to be shipped in. After working on it, I stored the old opener will all the other parts from the new one in the loft at my father's garage. Luckily, one of those parts (part # 41C4220A) helped fix the opener.

First, the eight screws need to be removed from around the opener outer casing (use 1/4" hex socket). The casing can then be removed. Next, the chain need to be detached from the trolley threaded shaft. This action allows the chain be removed from the opener sprocket on top of the opener. After this remove gear and sprocket assembly that has three hex head screws keeping it in place (use 5/16" hex socket). It is a little tricky removing one of the screws close to the motor. I had to use a couple of tools to leverage the ratchet to  remove the screw.

There is plastic gear at the bottom of the part shaft. It is called the limit switch drive & retainer. The plastic retainer clip needs to be removed which will allow the switch drive gear to be removed. The entire assembly can then be removed.

The new assembly can be slid into place and the three screws put in place to fasten it. Reattach the chain to the  opener sprocket and then fasten the chain to the trolley threaded shaft. Make sure the chain is not twisted when being put back on. The down and up adjustments might need to be made so the door will properly open and close. Last put the opener housing back on.

When I took off the housing the first time, white plastic shavings could bee seen from damaged gear. This opener had been in use 12 years before it failed.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Venus Flytrap

Pictured is the Dionaea muscipula or more popularly known as the Venus Flytrap. It is a plant that captures insects for food. The plant can be found in wetlands along the east coast of the United States.

Learn more about this plant at Wikipedia:

Friday, January 18, 2013

Billbergia nutans Flower of 2012

Pictures of the Billbergia nutans (Queens Tears) flowers. There was 1 plant that produced a red bloom stalk. The stalk had between 6 blooms. The flower shown bloomed on October 14, 2012. If I recall, each bloom lasted a day and the plant allowed one and only one bloom per day.  I hope to see the plant bloom in 2013.