Around the House Projects

Sanyo Rice Cooker Battery Replacement

The Sanyo EJC-BS-B35S rice cooker is ideal for 2 to 4 people. It’s compact so won’t take up much space on the counter top or kitchen cabinet. Other than the coin battery, it’s a VERY reliable appliance. The problem is the coin battery lasted a few years and was never intended to be replaceable. That is, it’s soldered directly to a circuit board in the case! When it runs down it no longer remembers the settings which is a bummer. In this project I’ll show you how I replaced it with a pair of AAAs which will last forever!

To see the Rice Cooker photo album of the project, Click here.

Repiping Home on Slab Floor

Lots of homes were built on concrete slab floors in our area. The contractors took the cheapest approach for delivering water through the house: The laid unprotected copper pipes directly on the soil and poured the concrete. In time, due to corrosion and mechanical wear against small stones in the soil and concrete, the wall gets penetrated. In our case the failure manifested as water dribbling, and eventually gushing, out of the slab edge. The plumber called his leak detection guy to find the leak, then jackhammered through the slab and patched the pipe. A week or two later, another leak sprang up.

That’s when we called a repiping contractor who installed a completely new water distribution system throughout the house, including all new angle valves, and replaced the supply line from the meter. The cost was about $800.

To see the Repiping Home photo album, Click here.

Oregon Scientific Rain Gauge

Great little weather station but annual total can’t be reset if batteries run down. I designed & built a device to reset it. Turned out to be challenging.

Click here

Garage Door Open Alert

Used to be that every once in a while I’d find the garage door open when I went out to get the paper in the morning. That’s when I decided we needed an alert of some kind, e.g. a blinking red LED in an often-visited room inside the house.

There were some kits available online, but I didn’t like them. You should look into what’s available now. Could be that there are some new kits that meet your needs. 

One motivation I had to build it myself was I had recently gotten interested in electronics. I posed the question on Electronics Point Forum. Very quickly, a fellow posted a circuit diagram using a microswitch, a couple resistors and diodes. Very straightforward. When the microswitch closes, a red LED in the house starts blinking. Worked perfectly when I implemented it on our tilt-up door. A few years later had to relocate the microswitch because we had a roll-up door installed. Turned out to be a big job, requiring some metalwork. I was able to do it because I had the tools. It’s been in service for several years now and wouldn’t want to be without it. To see a photo album Click here…