Four Failures

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Things come in threes according to the old adage but I think I can top that.

Since we began to seriously consider listing our property for sale, it seemed like everything decided to fall apart. During the second half of 2022 we replaced the solar hot water system, the pump for our water tanks, the inverter for our solar panels and the back stairs.

Ongoing maintenance is something that needs to be accounted for in terms of time, energy and most significantly, money. These four items cost us in excess of $13,000. Being a homeowner is not a cheap adventure and thankfully we had the funds to cover these unexpected expenses.

Whilst it will not necessarily be a large amount, there will always be unexpected expenses that crop up from time to time. How you manage this will depend largely on your own circumstances but it is definitely not something that can be ignored.

You may also choose what is an absolute necessity and what can be delayed. For us, the pump for the water tanks was essential as no pump = no water. The back stairs could have been a lower priority as we do have stairs at the other end of the house. The hot water and the inverter could have been delayed because we have a hybrid solar system and could have resorted to the grid connection. However, this would have come at a substantial cost, particularly when utility prices are rising exponentially.

Most of the work does not warrant a photo but here are the new back stairs – freshly painted by GMan.

Nothing to Show


Tonight’s post is somewhat unexpected so let me explain.

We had planned to view a DVD with friends this afternoon in preparation for a screening to a wider audience next week.  About 15 minutes before they were due to arrive, GMan tried to load the DVD but could not open the tray.

Nothing seemed to work so in desperation he decided to unplug the player and remove the cover.  Meanwhile, I googled ‘how to fix DVD that will not open’.  Once the cover was removed and he tried to open the tray manually we located a broken ‘O’ ring.

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I was unsure where this had come from or whether it had anything to do with the current problem.  A bit more google searching revealed a You-Tube video showing how to replace a broken ‘O’ ring in a DVD player with a regular rubber band of a similar size.

Armed with the jar of rubber bands, a pair of forceps that belong to my overlocker, a scalpel and a pair of scissors, I managed to refashion a rubber band to fit.

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It was the right diameter but too thick so I cut it in half lengthwise.  I started the cut with the scalpel and completed it with the scissors then used the forceps to position it around the 2 sprockets.

We were just replacing the cover when our friends arrived so it was time to plug the DVD player in and, “Hey presto!” the tray opened and we successfully played the DVD.

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I am not advocating undertaking complex electrical repairs but we had nothing to lose by at least having a look.  With the aid of Google and You-Tube we were able to identify and solve a simple problem which would otherwise have resulted in this item going to landfill and necessitated the purchase of a new DVD player.