The DRS News
In this issue:
1) 'Low-tech' washer tank leak patches
2) Cool Stuff Dept: Advertising (anything) using Ebay!
3) Testing Dehumidifiers in low humidity - a bit technical
4) Clogged Drain? Grab the (what else?) Wet-vac!
A Big DRSN 'thank you' goes out to subscriber Steve G. of Oklahoma for reminding me of the following trick recently; it's been a while since I used it. Thanks Steve!
1) One of the disadvantages of porcelain-on-steel as a material for clothes
washer tanks is the inevitability of chipped porcelain and eventual
rust-through and leakage. You might think the only solution is replacement of the washer.
But (if you're a subscriber to the DRSNews - plug, plug!) not necessarily. If the machine is in good condition otherwise, there is a way to
make a lasting repair on these, and it's pretty 'low-tech'.
The hardest part is removing the wash basket to gain access to the inside of the tank. Once that's done, and the hole(s) found -
usually one or more pinholes - clean the area and degrease it with naphtha (lighter fluid). I've had the best results using
3M/Scotch #800 'industrial' sealer. This stuff's around $15/tube, and it's awesome! More than one manufacturer uses it (or a material exactly like it) to 'glue' the tank outlet grommets into
their washers. Very tough, it lasts for years, and is available at most appliance parts stores.
If the hole in your particular tank is larger than just a 'pinhole', you'll need to add $.01 to the repair. If the leaking hole is
smaller than a coin, as most are, lay a bead of #800 sealer around it, then lay on a *penny*, and cover the whole area with more
sealer. I know this sounds pretty 'cheesy', but this little trick has passed the test of time - surprisingly, I have yet to see one of these repairs fail!
I used a penny for the first time on an old GE as an 'emergency' patch to bide some time until another washer could be installed.
But as it's turned out, this machine is still running fine, and I just checked our records; it was 'penny-patched' on February 11, 2000!
I've used this trick 4 or 5 times since with the same success, on both GE and Whirlpool products, so I feel confident sharing it with
you. I'd not count on this lasting an additional 10 years or anything, but it might pay to file it somewhere in your 'available options'
2) Here's a 'hot' tip for you this month that's unrelated to Appliances
but just too GOOD to keep to myself!
I've been doing a little selling on Ebay lately, as a sort of hobby, and the results are really encouraging!
But I want to let you in on a little-known 'twist' to Ebay that can help you make more money, especially if you promote *any* other
business venture or product. There's a clever way to not only sell a product on
Ebay, but to also 'backdoor' your auction visitors to
look at any other business venture or message. And it's perfectly ethical and within
Ebay's policies. I've been using it to get more exposure for this newsletter as well as for our
other online ventures, and I can tell you from my own experience that it will
really increase TRAFFIC to whatever project you're working on.
If you're familiar with Ebay, you know that most auction pages have 'hits counters' on them. Watch that counter the next time you're
buying or selling something. You'll be amazed at how many pairs of eyes surf by and take a look. Many, many more than actually bid.
Now there's an easy way to point a lot of those eyes to whatever other
message(s) you'd like them to see, and best of all, it's *free advertising*!
And here's a (big) bonus: if
you're using this method to advertise your business, your Ebay fees just
became deductible as advertising expenses!
I don't have space here for the details, but only to point you to the eBook that taught me how to do it. If you sell on
Ebay, or are just
considering selling something there, be sure to download this book before you do! This is NOT your typical, basic 'How-to
but a unique sales system, and it's easy to understand even if you have little experience with
It's called 'The Silent Sales Machine Hiding on Ebay', and I highly recommend it. You can read more about it here:
3) Here's one of those tricks that made me say 'duh!' when I finally
thought of it. I hesitated to include it here because it's a little more
technical than usual, but we have some professional appliance techs reading these ramblings and it might just save one of you guys some
Have you ever tried to test-run a dehumidifier in your shop in the winter when the shop's humidity level is too low to get it to start?
I know, you can just 'jump' the humidistat, but not with the newer electronic control models. And we're starting to see a lot of these
(electronic controls on appliances used to make me groan but I'm really starting to like them. Especially in thunderstorm season - they're really good for business <grin>).
Anyway, the solid state sensors are usually very small and somewhat fragile. Recently I had one of these in the shop that refused to run at
all. I finally realized that the microprocessor was programmed to run the unit only when the ambient humidity was 60% or higher. That's
when the little (dim) bulb in the back of my aging gray matter lit up.
Pull that little sensor and slip it into a small ziplock bag, wires still
attached. Puff a light breath of air into the bag, as if you're cleaning
your glasses, and zip it closed. Now the unit will run all day and you didn't have to get to the power pcboard to jump relays and 'smoke'
anything in the process.
'Don't know why it took this long for me to come up with this. But it's one more of those little things that always makes me think of
Adam, Noah and all those other pre-Flood guys that lived for so long. Can you imagine how much you could learn just by trial and
error in 950 years?! Makes my brain hurt!
4) Back in the August issue we talked about all the uses for that
handiest of tools, the 'wet-vac', and I'd like to briefly expand on one of those
We have a bathtub drain that is prone to clogging (having 3 teenaged daughters with beautiful hair doesn't help!) and I've
found the quickest way to solve the problem is with - Yep! - the old
You can just remove the strainer and vacuum the drain, and in most cases that'll do it. But if your situation is like mine,
sometimes these drains can be stubborn and need a little more 'encouragement'.
To make a thorough job of it, I fill the vanity sink with really hot water first. Start the vac, then open the sink stopper, and you'll
nicely 'back flush' that tub drain and postpone the next clog a little longer than usual.
We have to get 'Red Green' subscribed to our newsletter - I think I use my wet-vac even more than he uses duct tape!
God bless you guys,
"Whether you think you're a Success or a Failure - You're RIGHT!"
- Captain Charlie Plumb