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caster falling off of desk chair [message #555403] Wed, 23 May 2012 18:57 Go to next message
Barbara Boehmer
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Registered: November 2002
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I imagine that many of you have a desk chair similar to mine and have encountered this problem before and some of you may have a better solution than buying a new chair. I have a desk chair that has five casters (plastic wheels with metal stems on them) on the bottom of the chair, that enable the chair to roll around, so that I can easily slide closer to or further from my desk or left or right. One of the casters keeps falling off and, when it does, the whole chair tips in that direction. I have turned the chair upside down and examined the problem. There is nothing wrong with the caster or its stem. The problem is that the plastic piece on the bottom of the chair that the metal stem on the caster has to be inserted into is broken, causing it to be too loose and fall out easily. Unfortunately, that plastic piece is not some little piece that I can remove and replace. The entire five-pronged star that all five casters attach to is one big molded piece. I tried wrapping some tape around the stem of the caster to make it fit snugger, then hammering it in, but that didn't help. Does anybody have a better idea as to what to use to make it fit more snugly and securely or any other way to fix it?
Re: caster falling off of desk chair [message #555411 is a reply to message #555403] Thu, 24 May 2012 00:08 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Littlefoot
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If possible, put everything into its place (i.e. caster into its stem). If necessary, wrap them with some tape so that they are fixed. Then take a drill (or have someone else do that for you), make a hole through both stem and caster. Buy a screw (see the image; I don't know how it is called in English) that fits the hole (or, even better, FIRST buy a screw, then drill a hole) and ... well, the final step is obvious.

./fa/10178/0/

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Re: caster falling off of desk chair [message #555472 is a reply to message #555411] Thu, 24 May 2012 07:57 Go to previous messageGo to next message
ThomasG
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Another option:

Get 5 pieces of wood (2x5x20cm or so)that you can tape/screw under the 5 legs of the star, with holes just big enough that the stems of the casters fit snugly.

Then put the stems of the casters into the holes in the wood, which should be somewhat more lasting than the plastic only.
Re: caster falling off of desk chair [message #555527 is a reply to message #555411] Thu, 24 May 2012 13:33 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Barbara Boehmer
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Hi Littlefoot,

Thanks for the suggestion, but I don't think that is going to work. Let me see if I can clarify what I have. There is a plastic caster (wheel) that has a metal stem (screw) permanently inserted into it. There is no apparent way to separate the caster (wheel) from the metal stem (screw) and there is nothing wrong with this combination of parts. The metal stem (screw) is supposed to be inserted into the underside of one of the five plastic extensions on the bottom of the chair that are all part of one molded plastic piece. The problem is that the plastic on the underside of the one that the caster stem is supposed to be inserted into is broken, so that the caster stem does not fit snugly and falls out, with the castor attached to it. The problem is not attaching the caster to the stem. The problem is getting the stem to stay in the plastic hole in the bottom of the chair that it goes into.

If I could remove the existing metal stem (screw) from the caster, then I could perhaps replace it with a longer stem (screw), drill a hole in the plastic piece that it is supposed to fit into, then secure it with a nut or bolt. However, the stem appears to be permanently affixed to the caster and another might not fit, even if I did separate them.

I am thinking more along the lines of something to put in the broken plastic hole that the stem is supposed to be inserted into to fill the hole, inserting the caster stem while it is soft, then leaving it upside down until it hardens. I don't know what type of material that might be, that would fill a plastic hole, accept a metal stem, then harden so that they stay together.

Barbara





Re: caster falling off of desk chair [message #555528 is a reply to message #555472] Thu, 24 May 2012 13:35 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Barbara Boehmer
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ThomasG,

I see no way to attach wood to the plastic extension underneath the chair.

Re: caster falling off of desk chair [message #555530 is a reply to message #555403] Thu, 24 May 2012 13:51 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Barbara Boehmer
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This might sound silly, but I'm thinking maybe some children's "Silly Putty" would fill in the broken plastic in the bottom of the chair piece. I just don't know if it would hold the stem securely enough. I don't know if there is some similar substance that would harden, but not crack. I am not sure whether to head for a hardware/home improvement store or a toy store.

Re: caster falling off of desk chair [message #555532 is a reply to message #555530] Thu, 24 May 2012 13:58 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Barbara Boehmer
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I'm thinking maybe I could use something like plumber's epoxy putty. It sounds like I could stuff the hole with it, put the caster stem in it while it is still soft enough to do so, then it would harden 20 minutes to an hour later, depending on which brand.

http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_SPM3460488202P?sid=IDx20070921x00003a&ci_src=14110944&ci_sku=SPM2317562303

http://www.lyonsperformance.com/epoxi-putty-professional-grade-p-96.html

[Updated on: Thu, 24 May 2012 14:01]

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Re: caster falling off of desk chair [message #555535 is a reply to message #555532] Thu, 24 May 2012 14:40 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Littlefoot
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BB
I am thinking more along the lines of something to put in the broken plastic hole that the stem is supposed to be inserted into to fill the hole, inserting the caster stem while it is soft, then leaving it upside down until it hardens. I don't know what type of material that might be, that would fill a plastic hole, accept a metal stem, then harden so that they stay together.

That material would be concrete.

Seriously. I've had a windsurf; some Swiss guy made it at home, based on Mistral model - it was quite good! However, plastic parts that held the mast set loose and, eventually, I wasn't able to surf any more. As we were at the seaside, we have improvised - borrowed some cement and sand, made concrete and poured it into the windsurf's mast hole, fixed the plastic part and let it harden.

The day after, I had a windsubmarine. It was kind of "floating"; the only drawback that it was some 5 cm under the sea surface. Brilliant, eh?

P.S. I can't access the second link (forbidden, it says). The first one: how much of that stuff do you think you'll need?

[Updated on: Thu, 24 May 2012 14:42]

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Re: caster falling off of desk chair [message #555536 is a reply to message #555535] Thu, 24 May 2012 15:17 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Barbara Boehmer
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I can't imagine using concrete to fix anything that goes in the water. That's funny.

I think one package, for about $3, of the epoxy putty should be sufficient. I had already planned to do some shopping this evening. There is a Lowe's Home Improvement store that is in the same general area as the pet food store and grocery store that I plan to go to. There is also a new "Panda Express" restaurant that has a drive-thru that opened up in that area recently, so I expect I will be having rice and chow mein and orange chicken and an egg roll or some such thing for dinner tonight.

Frequently, when I have a broken piece of something, after I have researched whatever I can on the internet, if I still need help, I take the piece, if it is small enough, to a nearby hardware or home improvement store. I just show the piece to one of the employees and tell them that I need a new one to replace the broken one. It is a whole lot easier than trying to describe the thingamajig or whatchamacallit and using my hands to try to show about how big it is or whatever. I have done this with various things from an electrical outlet that was set so that the top outlet was controlled by a wall switch and the bottom one was just a regular plug to plumbing pieces from under the kitchen sink. The electrical outlet was worn so that any plug that I put into it did not get good contact and needed to be replaced. The previous owners of my house decided that they wanted the garbage disposal on the other side of the sink and did some weird plumbing rearrangements to achieve that, but they broke loose and leaked.

Sometimes I get good advice and sometimes I don't. I tried several things years ago, when I was younger and healthier and built a 30-foot long by 18-foot wide by 6-foot tall chain link enclosure with a wire mesh top outside the back door, so that my cats can have 24/7 access through the kitty door to an outdoor area where they can play safely. I wish I had known what I know now, because I would have built it differently. I would have used all 6-foot by 6-foot lighter weight panels, instead of a mixture of 10-foot wide by 6-foot and 6-foot by 6-foot. I also would have used the same panels for the top with supporting poles and clamped them like I did the rest, instead of using rolls of wire mesh that sagged. I initially used plastic zip ties that cracked, to attach the rolls of wire mesh, then metal pig rings, then found that metal cage clamps were easier and better. The top till sagged, so I used plastic pipes to support the top and they bent, so it still sagged, but not as much. So, I ended up adding 1/2" copper water pipes to make a free-standing support for the center, so it is mixture of various things, all based on various suggestions, mostly from people in the hardware and home improvement stores.

Re: caster falling off of desk chair [message #555537 is a reply to message #555536] Thu, 24 May 2012 15:27 Go to previous messageGo to next message
ThomasG
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Barbara Boehmer wrote on Thu, 24 May 2012 22:17
I can't imagine using concrete to fix anything that goes in the water. That's funny.


Not as funny as you think. Wink

Oh, and some additional thing to "hold the plastic together" if it is so broken that it sort of "explodes outward" might be cable ties.


[Updated on: Thu, 24 May 2012 15:27]

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Re: caster falling off of desk chair [message #555538 is a reply to message #555536] Thu, 24 May 2012 15:30 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Littlefoot
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"I wish I had known what I know now, because I would have built (done) it differently."

So true; experience is a wonderful thing. Too bad it doesn't come somewhat earlier.
Re: caster falling off of desk chair [message #555539 is a reply to message #555538] Thu, 24 May 2012 15:45 Go to previous messageGo to next message
ThomasG
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That's the thing with experience. Usually you get it right after you would have needed it.
Re: caster falling off of desk chair [message #555622 is a reply to message #555539] Fri, 25 May 2012 09:12 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Barbara Boehmer
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Yesterday evening I went to Lowe's home improvement store. After looking around and not finding epoxy putty or something that I could recognize as similar, I told a store employee what I was looking for and what I planned to use it for. I ended up buying "Loctite general purpose repair putty" for $5.14, including tax. Later yesterday evening, I turned the chair upside down, put on some disposable gloves, broke off a section of the tube of putty, which is blue on the outside and white on the inside, kneaded it for a few minutes until it was all one color, stuffed it into the plastic section of the chair where the caster stem goes, then inserted the caster stem, and let it sit for at least 45 minutes, then turned the chair right side up again. This morning the chair is rolling around fine, without the caster falling off, so I would call this repair a success. It was quick and easy and inexpensive and I believe I have enough of the putty left for the rest of the casters if they develop the same problem in the future. The putty is great stuff that I may find useful for other repairs. The putty comes in different kinds for different materials, with the general purpose version that I got being good for bonding different materials like the plastic of the chair and the metal of the caster stem. It doesn't stay soft like plumber's putty. It hardens like cement, but doesn't crack and is lighter weight. You can fill a hole, let it harden, then drill into it, but I found it easier just to put the caster stem into it while it was still soft.

[Updated on: Fri, 25 May 2012 09:14]

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Re: caster falling off of desk chair [message #555630 is a reply to message #555622] Fri, 25 May 2012 10:34 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Littlefoot
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./fa/2115/0/
Re: caster falling off of desk chair [message #555643 is a reply to message #555622] Sat, 26 May 2012 02:00 Go to previous messageGo to next message
John Watson
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Your loctite is definitely a branded epoxy putty. It is wonderful stuff, it also works underwater: the bonding action displaces water as well as air. I've used it to mend cracks in swimming pools, both concrete and plastic shelled.
Re: caster falling off of desk chair [message #555720 is a reply to message #555643] Sun, 27 May 2012 17:53 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Barbara Boehmer
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The repair didn't last. As I rolled the chair while sitting in it, I heard a cracking sound, a caster fell off, and the chair tipped. I found that it was the same caster that I thought I attached securely.

I found the cause of the stress on the casters. The casters extend wider than the chair. When I roll, whatever caster is on the left is bumping the base of the kitty condo next to me. The kitty condo is up against the bricks of the fireplace, so I can't move it further to the left. I don't want to try to move the heavy desk and everything else to the right. I like having a kitty condo on the left side, so that the cats can sit next to me. I have an ottoman on the other side. The kitty condo is pretty old and shredded. So, my solution was to order a new kitty condo with a base that is a few inches smaller.

I am planning to wait until the new kitty condo is delivered and in place before attaching the caster again. I plan to use the same method and hope that it will last longer, once the caster isn't bumping into anything. In the meanwhile, I will try not to fall out of my chair. I am still open to other ideas.
Re: caster falling off of desk chair [message #555765 is a reply to message #555720] Mon, 28 May 2012 08:32 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Barbara Boehmer
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When I sat down this morning, I heard another crack and another caster fell off. The crack is apparently the plastic part that the metal caster stems goes into breaking. It was probably a mistake to try to use it with one caster missing. The new one that broke is next to the other one, so there is no way to sit in it now without tipping significantly. So, I have moved the chair out of the way and am temporarily sitting in a stationary plastic patio chair with a car seat cover on it.

My tentative plan is to wait until this evening to repair both casters again, but then wait until the new kitty condo is delivered and I have swapped them, before using the repaired chair again. I also plan to look for one of those mats that you put on top of the carpet under your chair, so that it slides easier. Hopefully, that will eliminate the crooked sliding and casters bumping into the base of an adjacent item that seems to have put enough pressure on the plastic caster inserts to break them.

I am still open to other ideas.
Re: caster falling off of desk chair [message #555771 is a reply to message #555765] Mon, 28 May 2012 12:22 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Littlefoot
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Well, think different: how much money will you spend for all those trifles (putty, probably some more putty, kitty condo, (plastic?) mat you'll put under the chair, traveling costs - and the list might not be concluded here)? Apparently, your chair is falling apart. How much does a brand new chair cost? Would it be a better idea to buy it, instead of repairing the old one (and the outcome is dubious)?
Re: caster falling off of desk chair [message #555774 is a reply to message #555771] Mon, 28 May 2012 13:35 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Barbara Boehmer
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I don't think it is worth buying a new chair.

I still have enough leftover putty, so there is no additional cost or travel there.

The cats could use a new kitty condo, regardless of the chair problem, and I have already ordered it from amazon.com, using $38.94 of the "rewards" from my Discover card. The new carpeted kitty condo, although it will have a smaller base, will have two interior levels, instead of one, plus the top level, so it is nicer. It will be delivered, so there is no travel.

The best price that I found for a chair mat is $29.99 and they have them in-stock at my local Staples store. Although there may be some cheaper on the internet, they are more expensive after you factor in shipping. It is tentatively on my list of things to do Thursday, to stop by Staples, since I normally buy cat food at the PetSmart next to it on Thursdays, so there is no additional travel. I won't even have to park the car an additional time.

The chair is not falling apart. The casters are the only problem. The rest of it is in excellent condition and I really like it. It swivels and can tilt back when I want to put my feet on the ottoman and just watch television or lock upright when I am typing. It also has comfortable padding, a high back, an easy wipe surface, and adjustable height. I bought it at Staples for $74.63 in December of 2006. Prices have gone up since then. Staples currently has something similar advertised for $99.99. If I were to just get a new chair, without making it easier to roll on the ground and removing anything that it can bump into, then I would probably just end up having the same problem with the new chair, unless I buy something sturdier.

If I do ultimately resort to buying a new chair, I believe I will be turning the models in the store upside down, inspecting the caster connections. From what I have read on the internet, some of them have metal connections that are much sturdier, instead of plastic. That will probably mean a more expensive chair.

The plastic patio chair is surprisingly comfortable and durable. They are a seasonal item on sale at a local grocery store for $9.99 each. They are one piece molded plastic or resin or something like that. The back and seat have slats in them, so they have just the right amount of flexibility, but don't break. It's too bad they don't make one that rolls and swivels and tilts.

Prior to the chair that the caster fell off of I had a $100 wooden chair that rolled and swiveled. It wasn't as comfortable and only lasted a few years before the wooden base where the casters attached began to crack.

I am still open to other repair ideas or whatever.

[Updated on: Mon, 28 May 2012 14:16]

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Re: caster falling off of desk chair [message #555882 is a reply to message #555774] Tue, 29 May 2012 11:19 Go to previous messageGo to next message
ThomasG
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Of course, when you put the putty in anyway, putting an *additional* piece of wood ON the "putty blob" might also help making it more stable.

What I have also done once was to replace all the original casters with ones that had a "plate" instead of the "metal stems" and I could screw them to the plastic part with 4 screws.

I really have luck with my current chair. After going about 2-3 years usually before the new ones were broken (the "tilting" mechanism always), I found a this one at a garage sale for €10, and it's lasting about 8 years now.
Re: caster falling off of desk chair [message #555886 is a reply to message #555882] Tue, 29 May 2012 11:35 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Barbara Boehmer
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ThomasG wrote on Tue, 29 May 2012 09:19


Of course, when you put the putty in anyway, putting an *additional* piece of wood ON the "putty blob" might also help making it more stable.


Unless I removed all of the casters and did that with all of them, it would cause the ones with the added wood to be higher than the others. I am already encountering that problem as is.

ThomasG wrote on Tue, 29 May 2012 09:19


What I have also done once was to replace all the original casters with ones that had a "plate" instead of the "metal stems" and I could screw them to the plastic part with 4 screws.


That sounds interesting. Can you provide me a link to anything that has a picture of that sort of thing? I am not sure if the plastic part that I have would accept such a thing or not, but it sounds possible. If I use long enough screws and drill holes in the plastic, I could put the screws all the way through the plastic, and secure them with nuts or bolts or whatever you call them, them it wouldn't matter what shape the plastic is. I would think that would then be a very secure connection. Of course, I would probably use the belt and suspenders approach and put some putty in there too. I am really intrigued by this idea and hope you can provide a link. If not, then I suppose I will have to go back to Lowe's on Thursday, wander around again, then try to describe it to some employee.
Re: caster falling off of desk chair [message #555889 is a reply to message #555886] Tue, 29 May 2012 12:11 Go to previous messageGo to next message
John Watson
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How about removing all the casters; cutting a disc of (guess) 7 layer ply wood; attaching the disc with 5 bolts at the ppoints were the casters were; screwing new casters to the disc, off set from the original positions? That way, you will be spreading the load (I don't mean to suggest that you are over weight) evenly across all points of support, including the already weakened point.
Re: caster falling off of desk chair [message #555893 is a reply to message #555889] Tue, 29 May 2012 13:02 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Barbara Boehmer
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John Watson wrote on Tue, 29 May 2012 10:11


How about removing all the casters; cutting a disc of (guess) 7 layer ply wood; attaching the disc with 5 bolts at the ppoints were the casters were; screwing new casters to the disc, off set from the original positions?


That could work. When you say offset, do you mean like halfway between existing caster positions, going around the circumference of the disc?


John Watson wrote on Tue, 29 May 2012 10:11


That way, you will be spreading the load (I don't mean to suggest that you are over weight) evenly across all points of support, including the already weakened point.


I don't quite understand how that spreads the load. Frequently, when I sit in my chair, all 4 cats pile on top, either in my lap or on my shoulder, or on the back of the chair. That would add about 35 lbs, but I can't imagine that would exceed the weight limit of the chair.

I am thinking that I could perhaps add such a disc, but not completely circular, with cutouts so that I could leave the existing casters in place, then also add new casters in between. Now, that would distribute the load.

I have also contemplated just removing the remaining casters and having a stationary chair that still swivels, tilts, and is very comfortable. That would be a lot better than the plastic patio chair that I'm sitting in now.



[Updated on: Tue, 29 May 2012 13:03]

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Re: caster falling off of desk chair [message #555906 is a reply to message #555886] Tue, 29 May 2012 16:03 Go to previous messageGo to next message
ThomasG
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Pictures:

Have a look here for different options, including "plate mount"

I have seen similar ones in a lot of local hardware stores around here.

[Updated on: Tue, 29 May 2012 16:06]

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Re: caster falling off of desk chair [message #555909 is a reply to message #555906] Tue, 29 May 2012 18:58 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Barbara Boehmer
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Thomas,

Thanks for the link. It helps. At least I can now use the correct terminology that may help others understand what I have. Based on the pictures in the link, what I have are casters with "grip ring stems". They aren't threaded like a regular screw, which is probably part of the reason that I am having trouble re-attaching them, in addition to the plastic part that they go into being broken. There isn't a separate plastic socket. The socket that the grip ring stem inserts into is just part of one big molded piece.

It looks like what I need is "metal socket for use with grip ring stem", but it is intended for wood furniture. The top of the plastic around where the stems are inserted is curved, so I believe it would be very difficult to properly secure nuts on top of the plate screws, sticking out of the sloping sides of a curved surface. However, if I were to combine methods, I believe that long screws, inserted through the place where the caster is supposed to be inserted, would poke through the top of the curved portion and be easier to secure with a nut, so I could secure one sturdy disc of wood, putting a screw through where each of the casters normally goes. Then I could attach the metal sockets for use with grip ring stems through the wood between where the casters used to go. Then I could just insert the same casters that were removed from the original positions into the metal sockets that are attached to the wood in the new positions.

So, what I would need is to measure for the disc and take one caster with me. Then, at the store, I would need to test one of the metal sockets to see that it fits the grip ring stem. Then I would buy 5 sockets and one piece of wood. Does that sound like a good plan?

Barbara

[Updated on: Tue, 29 May 2012 19:01]

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Re: caster falling off of desk chair [message #556817 is a reply to message #555909] Wed, 06 June 2012 14:50 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Barbara Boehmer
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I think part of the problem with my initial repair using the putty was that I didn't push the caster stem in far enough, which caused the chair to be uneven and the caster to come out again easily. So, this time, I used an awl and a hammer to chisel out the remaining putty from my previous repair, then put in some new putty and pushed the caster stem as far in as possible, then let it sit. I am still using the same package of putty and have a little left.

I am still keeping the other repair methods in mind, in case this does not hold. One of the Lowe's employees suggested that I might get a whole separate bottom piece and attach that. I haven't searched to see if that is something that I could get. I looked at the bottom of the chair and it looks like most of it is attached with four screws, but there is other stuff, like the tilt mechanism that is connected. I don't know if one model bottom would fit my chair top or if I could separate the two.

I looked for other chairs with all metal bottoms. A lot of them have metal on the top of the legs that hold the casters, but when you feel underneath, there is plastic under the metal, where the casters attach. I only saw one with an all-metal bottom, and it was $300. In addition to having a sturdy bottom, it is an extremely comfortable cushioned high-back leather chair. I think I will keep that in mind for when my chair completely wears out and watch for a sale or coupon at Staples.

I bought a chair mat at Staples on Thursday. The kitty condo was delivered on Monday. So, Monday evening, I put the plastic patio chair outside the back door where it used to be, moved the old kitty condo to another spot, put the new chair mat in place, put the new kitty condo where the old one was, put my repaired chair on top of the chair mat, sat down, and cautiously rolled around a little. When I got the chair mat, it was all rolled up, so I had a little trouble getting it to lie flat at first, but it has flattened out pretty well now and the chair rolls around easily on it. The new kitty condo has a smaller base than the old one, so the chair caster doesn't bump it and three out of four of the cats have been using the new condo.

I was getting very tired of having to pick up the plastic patio chair to move it, instead of rolling and craning my neck to see things, instead of swiveling, and missed being able to lean my head back and rest my neck from time to time. So, there I was Monday evening, enjoying being back in my big comfortable chair, with the cats checking out the new kitty condo to my left, my computer in front of me, and my television to my right, when suddenly my computer screen went black, my television screen went black, and the floor lamp behind me went out.

Usually when the power goes out, my computer keeps working, because it has a battery. Apparently, the battery is no longer able to hold a charge and I need to buy a new battery.

Another light was still on, so I knew it was just my house, not a neighborhood outage. I usually have all of those things running in the evening, plus 3 fans during the day. The fans were off, so I was using less power than usual, so I should not have overloaded a circuit. It was dark and the circuit breaker box is outside, so I went outside and flipped every circuit breaker off and then on again, but that had no effect. It was late anyhow, so I just went to bed. The next morning, I tried again in the daylight and could see that one circuit is not resetting. I unplugged everything that had stopped working, then tried the circuit breaker again, but it still didn't reset. I got some extension cords and power strips at Lowe's yesterday and re-routed the light, 3 fans, the computer, the cellphone charger, and television to other working outlets, as a temporary measure. I have not yet found a place to connect the DVR and antenna signal booster and I need to get the cords out of the way better, before I trip on one of them. Everything is working, so the outage was not caused by a short in any of the appliances.

Apparently the problem is either one of the outlets or the breaker or some wiring in between. So, I guess I need to check each outlet, one at a time. I have replaced an outlet before, so if I find a problem, I think I can do that. I was reading on the internet about how to replace a circuit breaker, but I don't think I will try that. Where I used to live, in a rented house that was built in 1905, it was a simple matter of unscrewing the burnt-out breaker and screwing a new one in, but these are different, they are more modern switches, and I don't know how to remove and replace those safely. I also have no idea how to check or replace the wiring between the breaker and the outlets, so if I cannot identify the problem as one of the outlets, then I will end up having to call an electrician.

It seems like everything keeps breaking faster than I can fix or replace it. As soon as I fix or replace the chair or lamp or fan or window blinds or window screen or toilet or sink or refrigerator or computer or television or alarm clock or door lock or garden hose or paint over the latest graffiti on my trash bin or get the car fixed or whatever, then something else breaks.

I heard a sudden loud noise that I have never heard before. I am slightly hard of hearing and have trouble telling direction. I am not sure, but I think it was my smoke alarm. It was brief and then stopped. There was no smoke or fire. It was when I was repairing the chair with the putty. The stuff smells bad while you knead it and it says to make sure there is good ventilation, so I had the windows and doors open, but maybe the fumes still set off the alarm. What next?!
Re: caster falling off of desk chair [message #556828 is a reply to message #556817] Wed, 06 June 2012 15:19 Go to previous messageGo to next message
joy_division
Messages: 4454
Registered: February 2005
Location: East Coast USA
Senior Member
Barbara Boehmer wrote on Wed, 06 June 2012 15:50

It seems like everything keeps breaking faster than I can fix or replace it. As soon as I fix or replace the chair or lamp or fan or window blinds or window screen or toilet or sink or refrigerator or computer or television or alarm clock or door lock or garden hose or paint over the latest graffiti on my trash bin or get the car fixed or whatever, then something else breaks.


this reminds me of a movie for some reason. Don't take it as me laughing, because it is not meant to be that way.

Quote:

I heard a sudden loud noise that I have never heard before. I am slightly hard of hearing and have trouble telling direction. I am not sure, but I think it was my smoke alarm. It was brief and then stopped. There was no smoke or fire. It was when I was repairing the chair with the putty. The stuff smells bad while you knead it and it says to make sure there is good ventilation, so I had the windows and doors open, but maybe the fumes still set off the alarm. What next?!


I once used paint thinner indoors and it really smelled bad, but it did not set off the alarm. However, if your alarm is a combination CO2 and smoke alarm, then maybe. But the alarm would not be described as a loud noise by me. It would be a very high pitched chirp, either in succession or a single on spaced out every X number of seconds. Believe me too, you don't have to be hard of hearing to know which direction they come from. there must be something about those high pitched noises, because when the battery goes in one of my 3 devices, I don't know which one it is and have the check them all.
Re: caster falling off of desk chair [message #556829 is a reply to message #556817] Wed, 06 June 2012 15:24 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Littlefoot
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I don't know what is next, but I sincerely hope - nothing, for a long time.

Your stories are so interesting and I enjoy reading every single of them; doesn't matter whether it is about your everyday life, you being on a court, whatever. So (shame on my subconsciousness!) I hope nothing will break and pray for the next episode ./fa/1704/0/
Re: caster falling off of desk chair [message #556832 is a reply to message #556828] Wed, 06 June 2012 15:49 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Barbara Boehmer
Messages: 7860
Registered: November 2002
Location: California, USA
Senior Member
joy_division wrote on Wed, 06 June 2012 13:19


... this reminds me of a movie for some reason. ...


This one?:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Money_Pit

Re: caster falling off of desk chair [message #556833 is a reply to message #556829] Wed, 06 June 2012 16:29 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Barbara Boehmer
Messages: 7860
Registered: November 2002
Location: California, USA
Senior Member
Littlefoot wrote on Wed, 06 June 2012 13:24


... you being on a court ...


The last 3 times that I have had jury duty, I have been assigned to murder cases and it has taken two or three days to get through the process to the point where one of the attorneys dismisses me as part of the peremptory challenges. The first 2 times I was juror # 5 and the third time, earlier this year, I was juror # 10. The article below is about the original arrest for the most recent trial earlier this year.

http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2010/09/10/man-18-arrested-in-moreno-valley-stabbing-death/

After being dismissed, I followed the court calendar online and saw that the jury deliberated for a week, but I have not been able to locate any verdict. I don't know if it was guilty or not guilty or a hung jury or what. I was around just long enough to hear enough to get interested. In addition to wanting to know what the outcome was, I am extremely curious as to what the defense was. When you are accused of stabbing somebody to death as part of a racial gang fight outside of a mall after closing, what is your defense? You got the wrong guy? It was self defense? It was an accident? Temporary insanity? I wasn't there long enough to get to hear whether they had security tape or witnesses or if he was found with the knife and the victim's blood or what.

When you get jury duty, you learn to make the best of it. There is a tendency to look around for people that are similar to you in the jury room and sit near them and talk to them. I ended up with a couple of women who were slightly younger than me and dressed about like I was, in casual business attire, nice pants and top, but not a skirt and jacket, not blue jeans and tennis shoes, not something wild that looks like you just stepped off of a catwalk, just middle of the road, casual but not too casual, conservative, comfortable, practical, but still technically qualifying as business attire. We went to lunch together the first day, at a little coffee house down the road. After lunch, we spent some time partially putting together a jigsaw puzzle. After putting together the complete edge, we found that we had two extra edge pieces, apparently from another puzzle box. They stock the jury assembly room with jigsaw puzzles, books, snack and soda machines, and such and play the news on television between roll calls and announcements of who is on what jury panel and to report to what courtroom. I enjoyed talking with them and wish I had kept in touch. We should have exchanged emails, so that if one of us ended up staying on the jury, after it was over, we could have let the others know the outcome. At the point at which I was dismissed, the other two had not been seated and given a number, so I don't know if they stayed or not. They were seated side by side and, as I walked down the aisle toward the door they waved goodbye and I waved back. You are not allowed to say anything to anybody when you are dismissed.

You get all kinds at jury duty and it takes a few hundred potential jurors for them to find 12 plus 2 alternates that can serve as jurors on a murder trial. One of the more entertaining moments was when an elderly man who was a potential juror raised his hand, stood up, and send, "Excuse me, I don't understand what we're doing here." That sounds bad, but actually I think a bunch of people were confused and he was the only one that at least tried to get some clarification. They were going through all of the excuses for people that said they could not stay. So, they wanted all of us without excuses to go back and wait in the jury room, while they listened to the excuses of those who claimed they could not stay. The way they worded it was something like, "Everybody who can stay, leave now and those who can't stay remain seated." I had to think about that one for a minute myself. They would repeatedly take roll calls every time we all came back and kept missing some people. I think some were playing hookie, but some were just confused. They found some of them in the jury room or other courtrooms or coming out of a restroom, but some were never found and the judge issued some sort of "order to show cause". I guess they are contacted and have to explain why they disappeared and can be jailed if they do not have a good explanation. At one point, after merging what was left of 3 jury panels, the judge wanted more people, called the jury assembly room, and was told that out of the hundreds that were oredered to report that day, there wasn't anybody left.
Re: caster falling off of desk chair [message #556885 is a reply to message #556833] Thu, 07 June 2012 03:12 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Littlefoot
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Registered: June 2005
Location: Croatia, Europe
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That might be because people are bored to death - that process takes time and is much different from what we see on TV; films take approx. 2 hours of your life and you know everything - who killed the man, why, jury appeared once or twice on the screen and the judge sent the bad guy to prison. End of story.

Maybe too much democracy is just too much for (most of the) people. Maybe they think "hey, leave me alone! Why do I have to "suffer" if someone did something bad? You are the judge, you are paid for it, so do your job!" and try to avoid it the best they can.

Quote:
You are not allowed to say anything to anybody when you are dismissed.

What if you do? What are the consequences? Will they send you to prison? Pay some money? Discard you from your jury duty for the next 10 years (yes, please!)?
Re: caster falling off of desk chair [message #556946 is a reply to message #556885] Thu, 07 June 2012 08:26 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Barbara Boehmer
Messages: 7860
Registered: November 2002
Location: California, USA
Senior Member
Littlefoot wrote on Thu, 07 June 2012 01:12

Quote:
You are not allowed to say anything to anybody when you are dismissed.

What if you do? What are the consequences? Will they send you to prison? Pay some money? Discard you from your jury duty for the next 10 years (yes, please!)?


I believe the judge can hold you in "contempt of court" for which you might be imprisoned and/or fined.
Re: caster falling off of desk chair [message #557154 is a reply to message #556946] Sat, 09 June 2012 12:49 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Barbara Boehmer
Messages: 7860
Registered: November 2002
Location: California, USA
Senior Member
The saga continues with some good and some bad, mostly good.

The latest combination of chair repair, chair mat, and changing cat condos is still working.

I managed to re-route the dvr and the antenna signal booster, so I now have power to everything that was previously on the problem electrical circuit. In the process, I discovered that the cord to the surge suppressor/power strip that they were previously connected to had some exposed wire, so I replaced that.

Yesterday, I noticed that the light outside the back door, that has a light sensor, was still on in the daytime. I tried to adjust it and the thing fell apart. So, I went to Lowe's, looking for something similar, two floodlights with an automatic sensor. I also got two new bulbs. It seems they don't make the incandescent ones anymore. I hate the halogen bulbs because they produce so much heat. I ended up with a new light and two LED bulbs. I waited until this morning to try to install the new light and bulbs. Years ago, I installed the existing one, so I figured this was something I could do. After reading all of the instructions, checking that all of the pieces were there, putting a step stool under the light, setting a flathead and phillips screwdriver and all of the new parts on a chair nearby, and putting on rubber gardening shoes, I turned off all of the circuit breakers, including the main breaker. In the process, I had a very difficult time pushing the switch for the problem circuit all the way off. At that point it finally dawned on me that I may never have switched it all the way off before trying to set it back on again.

I removed the old light, then installed the new light, but found that I was unable to screw one of the bulbs in with the cover on. Apparently, the piece on one side was not manufactured quite right. The other side was fine. At that point, I had gone through enough hassle to install it that I was willing to settle for one side not having a cover, rather than undo everything that I had just done, go back to Lowe's to exchange it, then start all over. So, I put one bulb in with a cover and one without. Then I turned all of the circuit breakers back on and tested the light. As per instructions, I put a piece of black electrical tape over the sensor. I waited 5 minutes, but the light never came on. My tentative plan is to wait until tonight to see if it comes on, in order
to give it a fair test and make sure that I am just not able to tell if it is on during daylight. If that works, then I will settle for that. If not, then tomorrow morning I will undo everything and see if one of the wire nuts came loose while I was trying to attach the screw that holds the whole thing in place. If that happened, then I will fix that and re-test. If it still doesn't work, then I will return the whole thing to Lowe's tomorrow and start over. I suppose I will have to replace part of the old light, in order to keep from having an open hole in the exterior of the wall with exposed wires.

In the meanwhile, each time that I turn off the power to mess with the light, I lose all of the programmings on the DVR. The best news is that, after I turned the breaker to the bad circuit, which is not the one that the light that I am trying to replace is on, off and then on again, that bad circuit is now working. I suspect that the power strip with the exposed wire caused the problem that tripped the circuit breaker to begin with and that I never turned it all the way off. So, now I can plug everything back where it originally was and remove my temporary mess of extension cords. That is a big relief. I am so glad that it turned out to be something simple.

Wish me luck with the light problem.
Re: caster falling off of desk chair [message #557155 is a reply to message #557154] Sat, 09 June 2012 13:04 Go to previous messageGo to next message
John Watson
Messages: 4081
Registered: January 2010
Location: Global Village
Senior Member
We need photographs! The chair, the light fittings, the exposed wiring, and of course the villains that your security light is intended to deter.

On a different matter, I have to go to America again on Monday, I'll be flying into Philadelphia PA, never been there before. You don't happen to know of any enjoyable touristy things around there? I'll have all of next weekend free. My real interest is going to gigs, but that's no fun by yourself.

Re: caster falling off of desk chair [message #557158 is a reply to message #557155] Sat, 09 June 2012 13:43 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Barbara Boehmer
Messages: 7860
Registered: November 2002
Location: California, USA
Senior Member
Quote:

We need photographs! The chair, the light fittings, the exposed wiring, and of course the villains that your security light is intended to deter.


I stumbled across my digital camera the other day, while looking for something else. I have such a tendency to misplace things that I have begun maintaining a table with two columns, item and location. I inserted the digital camera and its location. I suppose you're expecting me to find the batteries, the charger, charge them, then figure out how to get the photos from the camera to my computer. Don't hold your breath. I may get to it eventually, but I have a lot of other things on my list first. I did do this with a previous computer, but the camera is a Sony and the computer was a Sony Vaio notebook computer, so they had a nice, compatible little stick that you take out of the camera and insert into the computer. I don't know if it will be as easy with this computer. I also need to find that stick. I think I left it in the old computer.

It seems like you get around quite a bit.

My father's side of the family were German immigrants who settled in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. For some reason, many German immigrants settled there. They were known as the "Pennsylvania Dutch", where Dutch was a misspelling and mispronunciation of Deutsch, which is the German word for German, giving many people the misimpression that they were Dutch not German. They immigrated in the 1800's and my father was the first to move to California. I remember visiting my paternal grandparents there when I was young, before they also moved to California.

I have never been to Philadelphia. The only thing that I can tell you is that they are famous for the Philly cheese steak sandwiches. While you are there, you should find some local place where you can get an authentic one. I recall encountering somebody from England on the old Oracle PL/SQL pipelines, who had never heard of a Philly cheese steak, so I will assume that you may not have either. They use a high-fat cut of meat that makes it nice and juicy, slice it in extremely thin pieces more like shreds, then cook it with some onions and bell peppers, cover it with some cheese, then put it on a long roll. The following link includes a picture:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cheesesteak

I am definitely not into going to clubs and partying, so I would not have any idea where to direct you. I used to do a lot of country western dancing, even entered competitions, and was on a performing dance team for a while, but I've never been into the nightclub scene. I would be more likely to look for a hotel with a swimming pool and visit a nearby zoo or stroll through a botanical garden or some such thing.
Re: caster falling off of desk chair [message #557161 is a reply to message #557158] Sat, 09 June 2012 14:01 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Littlefoot
Messages: 18826
Registered: June 2005
Location: Croatia, Europe
Senior Member
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As of your camera: I suppose that photos are stored on a memory card, such as "SD" (Secure Digital) or "MMC" (MultiMedia Card). Now, as you use a laptop (you do, don't you?), check whether it already contains a built-in memory card reader. My Compaq nx8220 has it; so, as I just take the SD card out of my camera, plug it into the card reader, Windows automatically detects a new storage device and opens the Windows Explorer. The rest is simple.

I was thinking that perhaps you could do the same.
Re: caster falling off of desk chair [message #557189 is a reply to message #557161] Sun, 10 June 2012 13:40 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Barbara Boehmer
Messages: 7860
Registered: November 2002
Location: California, USA
Senior Member
Things just keep getting worse.

The light didn't work last night. So, I spent another morning trying to fix things, instead of doing the things that I normally do. This morning, I went through the whole process of getting out the step stool, screwdriver, and rubber shoes, and turning off all the power again. I took the bulbs out and unscrewed the face plate. I found that the black wire had come out of the wire nut. There wasn't a whole lot of bare wire on the light to work with, so I stripped a little of the insulation off. Every little thing takes a long time when you don't have the proper tools. Eventually, using a kitchen paring knife to cut the insulation and pliers to pull it off, I managed to expose more of the wire. I twisted it tightly around the house black wire and put the wire nut on as tight as I could, then put the face plate back on, put the bulbs back in, turned the circuit breakers back on, and turned the wall switch back on. Still nothing. I tried removing the LED bulbs and testing with one of the old incandescent bulbs from the old light and it finally worked, with both covers in place and it senses light and dark and turns on and off automatically. I only have one working bulb, so I had to test each side separately, but both sides work, with the covers in place. So, there is nothing wrong with the light, it is properly installed, and I should be done with turning the electricity off and on and can now re-program my DVR.

I examined the instructions for the light and the packaging material for the bulbs carefully and found that the light is PAR38 and the LED bulbs that the Lowe's employee said would work with the hallogen light fixture are PAR30. I didn't know what that meant, so I looked it up on the internet:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parabolic_aluminized_reflector_light

and found that, amongst other things, it means that the PAR30 bulbs are too small in diameter to make proper contact with the PAR38 light fixture. Lowe's employees continue to be eager to give advice, but unfortunately about half of it is wrong. The first employee that I talked to went and got the employee for the lightbulb area, who should have known better, and still sold me the wrong thing. So, now I have to take the receipt, the bulbs, the bulb packaging, and the light fixture instructions back to Lowe's and see if there are some PAR38 LED bulbs that I can exchange them for. If not, then I will try to get a refund, then check Home Depot or True Value or order some over the internet. In the meanwhile I have a working floodlight with one bulb and light sensor. At least I didn't have to put the old light back and exchange the light too.

So, I put away the step stool and screwdriver and paring knife and pliers and light bulbs and pieces of the old light and what not. Then, I washed my grubby hands in the bathroom sink. As I was washing my hands, water came flowing out of the cabinet under the sink, where I was standing. I immediately turned the water off at the controls on the top of the sink and ran outside and turned off the water shut-off for the whole house. Then I cleaned up the water on the floor. Then I removed everything from underneath the sink, throwing out the things that were ruined when they got wet, and putting everything else in plastic bags, then putting the bags in a cardboard box and setting that out of the way.

I put a bucket underneath the sink, turned the main water supply back on and ran inside real quick to see if anything was leaking. Nothing was leaking, so I heaved a sigh of relief that this time it wasn't the incoming water supply, so I don't have turn off the water to the whole house until it is fixed. With the drain covered, I put some water in the sink, and still no leakage, so the leak is not between the water supply below the sink and the spout above the sink. Another sigh of relief. Then I uncovered the drain and all the water immediately went into the bucket. So, the leak is in the curvy pipes (trap) directly below the drain. I am using the kitchen sink as a temporary substitute.

Although I have bright lights in the bathroom, they are above the mirror above the bathroom sink, so it is difficult to see inside the cabinet underneath the bathroom sink. I am thinking that the first thing that I need to do is get a bright portable light. Although a flashlight might be handy for initially viewing where the problem is, it would be hard to hold and fix at the same time. So, I am thinking of looking for one of those kinds of lights that has a clip and a flexible portion. I figure I could clip it to the open cabinet door and adjust the flexible part to point where I need. I am guessing that I will probably need to either remove and replace or re-attach whatever parts are leaking or perhaps this is a better usage for the putty than the chair project. So, I might as well get some more putty while I am exchanging the light bulbs and getting a work light.

At this point I am exhausted, sweaty, and dirty. I had some breakfast and am enjoying a break, while I type this. I think I may take a bath and a nap before I resume, perhaps even waiting until tomorrow. Maybe my time would be better spent searching for Gremlins. Or, maybe it's Littlefoot's fault. Dude, stop praying for the next expisode! Things are breaking faster than I can fix them. I still haven't removed my spaghetti factory of extension cords and plugged in all of the appliances where they used to be, now that all the electrical circuits are working again. I hate working under sinks because I have back and knee problems and find it extremely difficult to stay in the position that I need to work on such things long enough to get anything done. Working on the light was easy, because I just needed to stand on a step stool to have it directly in front of me without bending, squatting, kneeling, or sitting.
Re: caster falling off of desk chair [message #557191 is a reply to message #557189] Sun, 10 June 2012 15:23 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Littlefoot
Messages: 18826
Registered: June 2005
Location: Croatia, Europe
Senior Member
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Witchcraft.

It works.

Finally ...

./fa/1693/0/
Re: caster falling off of desk chair [message #557192 is a reply to message #557191] Sun, 10 June 2012 15:43 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Barbara Boehmer
Messages: 7860
Registered: November 2002
Location: California, USA
Senior Member
Perhaps I should take up voodoo.

http://emoticoner.com/files/emoticons/smileys/voodoodoll-smiley.gif
Re: caster falling off of desk chair [message #557302 is a reply to message #557192] Mon, 11 June 2012 14:03 Go to previous messageGo to previous message
Barbara Boehmer
Messages: 7860
Registered: November 2002
Location: California, USA
Senior Member
The chair is still holding together.

I was able to exchange the PAR30 LED light bulbs for PAR38 LED light bulbs and the light and bulbs with both covers and sensor are working fine. Incandescent bulbs are warm and halogen bulbs are hot, but LED bulbs are cool. On hot evenings when it cools off outside faster than inside and I like to sit outside on a porch, the last thing I want is to either sit under a heat lamp or sit in the dark, so I really like the LED bulbs. I think I will replace the bulbs in the front porch light with the same sort of bulbs. They also use less electricity, so even though they are expensive, they save money in the long run.

I got the smog check done today and it passed.

I decided as a temporary workaround for the bathroom sink, instead of using the kitchen sink, that it would be more convenient to put a bucket under the sink, then each time I need to use the sink, empty the bucket into the toilet first, then use the sink. I figured it would be better than using the sink first, then emptying the bucket, so that it wouldn't still be dripping when I moved the bucket. I found out the hard way that the leak is not directly under the trap. Apparently, the bucket needs to be positioned all the way to the back wall under the sink. The thing that usually makes the drain stopper go up and down is just hanging loose, so it may have something to do with that. So, after cleaning up the floor again, I now have the bucket properly positioned, and that is working.

It seems like I have seen those clip-on flexible gooseneck work lamps advertised everywhere, but they didn't have any such thing at Lowe's. I want something that plugs in, not a flashlight and I don't want it sitting on the floor. If it leaks while I am working on it, I don't want to be kneeling in a puddle of water with a lamp sitting in it. I am looking for something that I can clip onto the cabinet or cabinet door and flexible so that I can move it around to see where the problem is, then have it stay in place, so that I have both hands free. I am probably not using quite the right terminology in my internet shopping searches.

I am sure that all of these things would be simple for someone of the proper profession, such as furniture repair, electrician, plumber, and so forth. For me, it is about like somebody who never used SQL or PL/SQL trying to program on an Oracle database. Things that would be a short job for a professional take me a week or more to examine, research, diagnose, and fix. I wonder if there is any sort of general home repairs class that I could take for this sort of thing.






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