Sauna

We bought our home with a sauna already built in. About a decade ago we stopped using it and it became another closet for storage. After my trips to Winnipeg and Fort St. John, where I used saunas to relax, I realized I want our sauna back.

Yesterday, I cleared it out and set up the benches again. I vacuumed up the cobwebs and dust from the walls and heater. I turned on the elements and the heat was returning. The smell of the remaining dust burning off was strong. However, shortly after the heat stopped working. So much for relaxing on a Saturday night.

How do you troubleshoot a sauna built in the 1970’s? I seriously have no idea where to begin. It obviously was getting power. My guess is that it could be one of three things-

  1. The thermostat is toast.
  2. The elements are toast.
  3. Perhaps there’s a fuse or relay switch that’s toast.

It’ll have to wait until my next set of days off. But how do I go about checking these things? I need to see if there’s and obvious fuse somewhere either in the controls or under the burners. That’s where I’ll first start. I really hope it’ll be something simple. I’m not sure what the cost would be to replace the entire heating mechanism. As well, the thermostat is built into the wood walls and I don’t really want to start tearing apart the sauna.

I’ll post an update if I eventually figure out the issue. I’ll need to relax once this is all sorted out. Wish me luck. I’ll also take any advice you have to offer.

Repair Man Joe

Our washing machine made a fun noise last week followed by a terrible smell. Not a dirt clothes smell, but rather a burning rubber smell. So I investigated.

Turns out the “boot” on our front loader got torn. To the Internet I went to scour for a part and instructions. Successful was I! And thus a new part was ordered.

This wasn’t the first time I’ve had to dismantle our washing machine. A few years ago it was leaking from the soap dispenser. That part was not available anywhere online. So I had to get creative using glue and plumbing tape. That fix worked 100%.

My research online explained that it would take one hour to replace the boot. It took me an hour and twenty minutes. Afterwards we ran a load of wash. No leaks! My repeat was successful.

But then the sound and smell happened again. The new boot was ruined. Online I went to find out why. Perhaps I should’ve looked deeper into why the first boot got wrecked. Turns out the gear holding the drum is worn. I am not in the mood to replace that gear or the drum. The cost and time is too high. So now we are off to buy a new washing machine.

So much for an inexpensive repair of the front rubber part. But at least I can say that I know how to do it. I think we are getting a top loader now.

Hmmph.

Roof Repair

We had a fairly substantial rainfall the other day. At which point my wife noticed that the door frame to one of our bedrooms was leaking. Ya. The door frame. I knew immediately what it was from.

Two weeks ago, we had a tree fall on our roof during a Wind Storm. I had only gone out on the roof that day to quickly assess the damage and clear off the broke logs. At the time I didn’t see any damage near where the large logs lay. So I planned on going back up on another day to clear off the roof and check some more.

I forgot to go back up. Because Christmas got in the way.

Part of a branch had punctured through. When I finally pulled out the remnants, it was in the shape of a thick blade about two inches long. My guess is that it snapped off of part of the tree when it collided with our roof. And remained hidden by the other branches and twigs.

Out came Handyman Joe to the rescue. I cleared away the surrounding debris from the hole. I had a can of roof repair handy from previous years of issues before our old roof. I over-filled the hole, making sure that the tar went under the shingle. Then I went to work liberally applying and smoothing our the patchwork tar.

No way to know if my repair was successful until the next rain storm. But I have a feeling that I was. At least, keeping my fingers crossed that I was.

A Day Off Means Home Repairs

Being a homeowner is both wonderful and a pain in the butt.  Is owning a little piece of property a wise investment?  Maybe.  For us it makes sense.  Instead of paying rent we are paying a mortgage.  Building equity up for future use.  However, in the current housing market, we can barely afford luxuries.  Like a new kitchen.  Today I had a honey-do list.  I wrote it for myself and added to it as I went.  


I headed into our furnace room to grab my tools and multimeter to check my stovetop only to discover yet another leak. It seems this house won’t stop dripping.  Good thing that the last time I had to make repairs on our pipes- I had bought some spare connections and pipes.  The fix took all of two minutes.  Now back to the first project.

The outer ring is heating up again, now to clean the stovetop.


It started with a broken element on our stovetop.  I disassembled the stovetop and was going to use my knowledge of circuitry to test the continuity.  As soon as I took it apart, I could see the problem. The coil had a small break.  I made some phone calls to find a replacement part, but it seems that the stovetop is no longer made or parts are available.  Next best thing for a temporary fix?  Move the burner coil so it touches again just past the split.  No idea how long this fix will last, but so far so good.


Since I was in the kitchen and had my drill out, I decided to do a temporary fix on our fridge door.  The metal bar across the bottom shelf had snapped at the clip.  Zip ties to the rescue.  Two holes drilled and another quick fix is completed.  Before putting away the drill, I remembered that we had a loose outlet and tightened it up.

I really wish we could go out and buy a new fridge and stovetop, perhaps some new cabinets or remodel the entire kitchen.  Our finances just don’t have it in the budget at the moment.  We have many other things we want to spend our money on.  Travel and education are top of the list.  (As well as paying down some debt.  But that’s not fun.)


Wisdom shared from Red Green:  “If the women don’t find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.”  

Luckily for my wife- I’m both.