Snow day repair

We had another snow day today. It started out snow and then switched over to freezing rain. Thankfully we didn’t have to go anywhere for work and with school canceled it was later in the day before I went out to shovel.

By the time I got out there the snow was pretty heavy and there was more of it than I thought. Thankfully last year we bought a snow blower for days just like today. We haven’t used it a lot but love having it when we do.

I managed to get about half way through when it stopped throwing snow. That’s your job snow blower! We finished off with shovels.

I’ve never had to do this before but I was pretty sure it was a shear pin that broke, but I didn’t think I had a spare and was too tired to deal with it. Later on after a coffee and digging through the manual I realized it had come with spare ones, so Noah and I went out to try our hand at fixing it.

Quickly saw there was one of the shear pins was missing which made me feel good. They are designed to break to prevent bigger damage. There was part of the old pin stuck and that took about the longest to get out. We put the new one in and tested it out. Still no throwing snow.

Maybe things are iced up because I didn’t clean it out after finishing earlier. So I tried clearing out all the snow but couldn’t get it all. A kettle full of warm water helped clear things out and the lab I saw the real issue. A little rock had wedges in between the body of the machine and or if the rotating pieces so it couldn’t move. I had to beat it out with a hammer. After that it was throwing the snow like new. Already for the next snow.

Snow blower repair
Old shear pin, new shear pin, pesky rock

Home Repair Weekend

This weekend, although filled in with a lot of fun, had some home repair items take place that I thought were going to cost me a lot of money. As it turns out I was able to fix both without calling anyone in!

The first thing ended up being really minor, at least for now. The toilet down stairs at my In Laws wouldn’t flush. The pump downstairs wasn’t kicking in to push it up out of the basement so it just wasn’t going anywhere. With the help of Google I was able figure out how to manually run the pump. After I did that the pump started kicking in by itself again as normal and has been working fine! Hopefully it stays that way.

Last night we had family and friends over for dinner and a games afternoon. We were playing Ticket to Ride and Carcassonne. During a break a bunch of stuffed chicken breasts got put in the oven. We continued on with the game and then when it was close to time to eat Jen went to check on things. The veggies on the stove were all done, but the chicken breasts were still frozen.

Luckily with Jen’s parents down stairs we were able to use their oven to cook and things were just a little later than planned. While they were down there cooking though it was time to do some troubleshooting to figure out what’s wrong. Probably the the element just burned out and we’ll have to get a new one. Nope element looked and tested fine. Uh oh. All burners on the stove still worked, and the broil worked, just not the bake element.

Taking things apart a bit further we found the we got to the control board and noticed some slight burn marks right near the bake line. We did a few things to troubleshoot and it seemed the problem was somewhere in the control board. After a quick search it looked like the control board was around $150 USD plus shipping and who knows how long it would take to get here.

Right near the burn marks there are two relays, one for broil and one for the bake elements. Since the broil worked and based on the way they were connected it seemed logical that it was the bake relay that was the problem. They two replays looked the same, but I couldn’t see the component numbers on the bake relay. This seemed like a good excuse to get a new soldering iron. My old one died a few years ago and there have been a few times where one would have come in handy, but never bought on.

Once everyone left I ran into Canadian Tire and picked up an iron. There wasn’t solder removing braid or wick though. After asking around I found somewhere I could get some today.

As far as I know we haven’t used the broil on our oven since we got it, so I figured if I removed the bake relay and it was the exact same as the broil one. So I swapped them and put things back together and now the baking works and the broil doesn’t. I can live with that!

The solder job wasn’t the greatest, but it works. There may have been a bit of burning when I was trying to get the old solder off to get the parts out. I’ve never been good at soldering though. My instructor in college years ago said I did well enough to pass the high reliability soldering part of my course, but he asked me, or begged me, to never to do it in a job.