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The christening of the crapper

Posted by admin on Jan 30th, 2009
2009
Jan 30

It’s been nearly a month since I started the unavoidable demolition and remodeling of our guest bathroom, which had been brought on by a water leak in the wall. The plumbing has been fixed, the walls have been put back up, the new fixtures are mostly installed, and finally – last night – we put the new Toto Aquia II dual flush toilet in. In a house that currently has 5 people and only 1 toilet, this was a BIG deal. We were all fighting to be the first to use it.


It was surprisingly easy to install, considering there are lots of complaints in various forums about how hard it is to get it to seal properly to the flange which can cause it to leak. I even read replies from plumbers on some forums who say they charge double to install these toilets. We didn’t have any trouble at all.


My wife was the first to have the honor of using it, while we waited patiently outside the door with anticipation of her review of the experience. A resounding thumbs up from her.


I’ll update with pictures and a bit more of an in depth review after it’s been tested a little more thoroughtly. For now, though, we did notice that the dual flushing mechanism is going to be something we’ll need to get used to. For the light flush, if we just push and release the button then there isn’t much water released into the bowl. If we hold the button down then it will release all of the water into the bowl – all 1.6 litres of it. We must be doing something wrong, but again, I’ll give a better review after the break-in period is complete.

Generator exerbike 2000

Posted by admin on Jan 14th, 2009
2009
Jan 14

It seems that the projects I have planned always take a lot longer than I expect them to. It’s not that I’m not motivated to build these things, it’s more a matter of time and resources usually. For example, two weeks ago I heard water leaking in the wall of our guest bathroom. After opening the wall and finding/fixing the issue we needed to then replace the tiles that I had to take out in order to get to the leak. This turned into a demo of the shower area, which turned into a demo of the rest of the bathroom, which turned into rerouting some plumbing and vent tubes. Now, a little over two weeks later, we are finally starting to put everything back together again. Whew.


On a somewhat positive note, I accidentally broke the toilet when a huge chunk of concrete and tile fell from the ceiling (the ENTIRE bathroom was covered in tile and about 1.5 inches of this concrete type stuff). The positive part is that we replaced it with a new dual flush toilet from Toto. Once it’s installed and has been taken for a few “test drives” I’ll give my review. I’ve read installation is extremely difficult on tile – like what we are doing – and that the flush is powerful enough on the low setting for most of what needs to get flushed. So good and bad, we’ll see.


That is just one example of unexpected things coming up which prevent me from working on my eco projects, there have been quite a few lately. Fortunately I have been able to find some time to finally put together my generator bike that I mentioned here and here, currently dubbed the GB2000. I used an old bike I had laying around. I pulled off the back tire, had to do some magical alteration and rerouting of the the rear tension gear, got a lawn tractor v-belt, and attached it all to a 12v 4.5amp water pump motor. I still have to figure out what to use for a regulator (I can get over 24v of output pretty easily without a regulator) and also some kind of diode setup so the power flow is only out to the batteries and not in to the motor. I’m leaning towards using a controller for an electric scooter, which also has a battery charger hookup. Most of them are 24v or higher, which is fine since it would allow me to charge two batteries at a time in series.


Here are pictures of the bike. I used some scrap 2×4’s I had and bought some deck joist ties from the local hardware store to hold the back of the bike up. It’s because of the joist ties that I had to reroute the tension gear.





View of the deck joist and the chain tensioner

View of the deck joist and the chain tensioner