Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Illuminating the Backyard

Last weekend Sam and I finally purchased the
rest of the components needed to electrify 
the backyard LED path lights.
I mentioned them in a post here 
when I was installing new backdoor lights.
Fist I positioned the lights
I put one lamp post in our old rose and 
mint garden on one side of the yard.

And the other in the "rock garden" 
on the other side of the yard.
The toughest part was digging the trench
and burying the one hundred feet of 
low voltage cable across the yard, 
that feat took the better of two days
with lots of breaks to get out of the sun.
Midway across the yard
we decided a little more illumination 
would look splendid. 
Unfortunately the little lamp posts
are no longer available so we checked out
a few alternative options at Lowes.

We chose an LED well light
to be buried in the ground
and up light the Pindo Palm.
Can you see it in the grass
 in front of the palm?
Cher has been wondering what I'm digging 
at across her yard these last few days.
I hung the new transformer,
set the clock,
connected the cable, and 
programmed the timer.
On at dusk, off at 10:30.
No need to have it on all night.
When darkness approached,
voila, the backyard sparked to life
with a beautiful glow. 

The up light illuminated the 
inside palm branches in a beautiful way.

Elvis and Cher even enjoyed 
a well lit night time potty break.
We've been on quite a kick replacing and 
adding all new exterior lights around the house, 
so we can't ignore the least used exterior light.  
The side garage door light.
It was the builder's basic plastic jar light
that came with the house back in 1998.

It was pretty brittle and came off easily.
I attached the new light's bracket,
trimmed and stripped the wires,
and attached the new light to the wall.
It's an LED light as well and 
should save big on energy.
It's very bright too.
Without matching them completely,
its look sort of ties in with both 
the front porch light, 
and the backdoor lights.

Well....I did say "sort of".
Thanks for stopping by
and happy hunting.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Replacing the Tub Drain

Removing an old tub drain can be a daunting task.
My drain came new with the house in 1998.
After about 9 years and a lot of hard water
 the little cross bars inside the drain
that supported the toe touch stopper,
Leaving us with just a hole.
To solve the problem easily,
 I bought a rubber stopper.
That worked fairly well for years, except
when it would slightly tilt while the water
was running letting the water empty out.
Also the dry rot and cracks were
 starting to be a problem.

I had to face facts, it was time to stop 
lollygagging and replace the drain
with a new one once and for all.
After a few searches on the internet
I found several how-to sights.
Some a little over complicated
like sawing notches into the metal 
in order to unscrew it....
to very simple, like using a claw hammer
to grab and twist the drain...
(My claw hammer wasn't shaped right.)
Another suggestion was to buy an expensive 
drain key to twist the drain out.
I headed off to Home Depot to check out
my options and came across this...
A drain removal tool!
Only three steps to a removed drain!
I figured it couldn't hurt.
Step one, lightly hammer 
that sucker into the hole.
Step two suggests using a ratchet and a 
really large extension to twist the drain loose...
I used my monkey wrench.
Applying steady pressure, I started to twist.
It was tough going there for a minute, 
and it nearly felt like I was going to break the 
pipe under the tub.  
Then suddenly it was loose and started to move!
I breathed a sigh of relief.
Step three, remove!
That was easy!
I cleaned up the hole and wiped away 
the hard old plumber's putty.
It wasn't easy removing the tool from the 
old drain, but a few whacks on the other side 
with the hammer popped it 
right out.
Now it was time to install the new drain.
I chose the "twist and close" design
due to the stress the toe touch one 
put on the old cross bars, plus the toe touch
mechanism doesn't seem to hold up well. 
This one just twists sightly and drops
down to plug the drain, then just lift and
twist to lock it into the open position.
Not a bit of stress on the cross bars.
A bit of plumber's tape or 
"Thread Seal Tape"
 around the threads to keep it watertight.
Plus another drain removal tool
that uses the cross bars
to tighten down the new drain.
I used my monkey wrench again.
Then I twisted on the new plug support
and lowered the plug.
Ran some water and let it sit.
No water leakage...
A complete success!
And it looks all new and shiny too!
I wonder how long this one will 
last with our hard water?
Only time will tell...
Thanks for stopping by
and happy fixing!

Friday, February 12, 2016

Rusty the Roadrunner and a New Light

Early this morning, our concrete garden burro, 
Mojave was enjoying his desert front yard,
when he suddenly noticed an odd little 
visitor darting around the yard!
First he was in front of the mesquite tree.

Then he ran in front of the big rock.

Next he stopped in front 
of the Rosemary bush.
Mojave was curious.
Just who was this little fellow?
Hello, he chirped, I'm Rusty!
I've come to add more interest 
to your desertscape.
Actually, Rusty is a concrete 
roadrunner garden statue we ordered from 
Little Baja with the same terracotta 
finish to match the burro.
I must admit, when we ordered him out of 
their catalog, I pictured him much bigger.
which is why I moved him from his 
intended spot in front of the tree to further 
back in the yard.  I didn't want someone to 
walk off with him.
He shows up better in front of the green 
rosemary instead of the salmon colored rock.

Next it was time to retire the 17 year old
 porch light that came with the house.  
Everyone in this neighborhood
has this same porch light.
We wanted something a little unique.
Something that looked a little more 
Mediterranean in theme.
With lots of black wrought-iron details.
On a whim, I also picked out a 
vintage style LED light bulb from Lowes.
It offers a warm glow while 
the visible filament peaks interest. 
There are little bubbles "seeded" in 
the amber glass globe to suggest an 
old world feel.
I just need to add the finial.
There, not a bad looking light.
I might have just upped my curb appeal!
Don't you agree Pepe?
Pepe likes!
Another Little Baja garden ornament!
The light is from Lowes.
It's called the allen + roth Grandura 18.63''h 
Mercado Black Outdoor Wall Light.
It was $79.98 when I bought it this February.
As dusk falls over the newly 
accessorized front yard.
The warm glow of the porch light 
adds a touch of romance!
Just in time for Valentine's Day!
Thanks for stopping by
and happy hunting!

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