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Thread: Don't Do's When Do-it-Yourselfing

  1. #1
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Don't Do's When Do-it-Yourselfing

    These are basic, common-sense things - but sometimes, some of us don't do the proper, safe - or right - thing.
    Don't let it be you... .


    * Getting rid of worn-out tires -

    The best home for an old tire is not as far as you can throw the thing into the woods behind your neighbor's house.


    Old tires, like old oil, should be recycled. Left stacked in huge piles, they can become a fire hazard as well as a threat to public health - your health - as they break down. Old tires letf outside in the rain and wet provide an ideal home for malaria-bearing mosquitos.

    Most tire shops will accept used tire carcasses for free (or for a small "hazardous materials disposal" fee; typically less than $10 for a set of four tires).


    * Oil & filter changes -

    Don't be a dick and pour used motor oil down the storm sewer; it's in the same moral class as clubbing baby seals to death.


    Pour the used oil in a secure plastic container with a tight lid. Gallon-sized plastic milk jugs work well (once the oil's cold!) and are easy to carry. Use a funnel to help limit spills.


    Don't mix other chemicals/liquids (such as solvents or anti-freeze, etc.) with the used oil. It creates problems for recyclers and could cause more serious problems, depending on who ends up with the used oil (see next item).


    Take the used oil to a service station that accepts used motor oil for recycling. Or give it to someone who uses an oil-fired stove for heating. Many commercial shops use oil-fueled burners and will be happy to take your old oil. It's free fuel to them. (In this case, be sure you're just giving them just old oil - not oil mixed with some old gas.)

    * Used-up batteries -

    Don't use them for target practice.


    Car batteries contain lead and sulfuric acid - two very caustic and potential dangerous substances that need to be properly handled.


    Also, don't forget the electricity. As a precaution, remove your wedding ring or any similar metal jewelry on your hands before you start trying to undo cables and pull the (heavy/unwieldy) battery out of the often very-tight little corner it's tucked into. If you don't and the ring - made of conductive metal - touches the wrong part of the battery and the wrong part of the car at the same moment as you're trying to pull it out (or install it) you could end up having a very unhappy day.


    Likewise, do not smoke near a battery - ever. Especially an old/nasty/leaky one. Hydrogen gas may be present and if you remember the Hindenburg, you'll know why smoking around hydrogen gas is a bad idea.


    Once you have the old battery out, take it with you to the auto parts store where you're going to buy the new one. Usually, you'll get a small refund - called a "core charge" - in return for the dead unit, which will be turned in for recycling.


    * Engine coolant -

    If you're doing a flush n' fill or changing out a water pump - and have pets - keep in mind that ethylene glycol (antifreeze) is apparently tasty to them. And very poisonous. Your dog or cat might die if it laps up some of the coolant that spilled on the ground while you're working and not paying attention to them.


    Best bet is to keep as much of the coolant from spilling onto the ground as you can by using a large diameter catch basin underneath whatever you're working on. And keep the pets inside or someplace else while you're working - and until you're done. That means until you've mopped up - and hosed down - whatever you did spill.
    Throw it in the Woods?

  2. #2
    *Don't let your wife watch home makeover shows before you start a new project in your old house.*

    She won't understand that you don't have a crew of 50 skilled laborers and cannot complete a kitchen makeover in less than a week.

  3. #3
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve View Post
    *Don't let your wife watch home makeover shows before you start a new project in your old house.*

    She won't understand that you don't have a crew of 50 skilled laborers and cannot complete a kitchen makeover in less than a week.
    Thank Elvis, mine's more understanding! She's seen the reality up close and personal... so she knows!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric View Post
    These are basic, common-sense things - but sometimes, some of us don't do the proper, safe - or right - thing.
    Don't let it be you... .


    * Getting rid of worn-out tires -

    The best home for an old tire is not as far as you can throw the thing into the woods behind your neighbor's house.


    Old tires, like old oil, should be recycled. Left stacked in huge piles, they can become a fire hazard as well as a threat to public health - your health - as they break down. Old tires letf outside in the rain and wet provide an ideal home for malaria-bearing mosquitos.

    Most tire shops will accept used tire carcasses for free (or for a small "hazardous materials disposal" fee; typically less than $10 for a set of four tires).


    * Oil & filter changes -

    Don't be a dick and pour used motor oil down the storm sewer; it's in the same moral class as clubbing baby seals to death.


    Pour the used oil in a secure plastic container with a tight lid. Gallon-sized plastic milk jugs work well (once the oil's cold!) and are easy to carry. Use a funnel to help limit spills.


    Don't mix other chemicals/liquids (such as solvents or anti-freeze, etc.) with the used oil. It creates problems for recyclers and could cause more serious problems, depending on who ends up with the used oil (see next item).


    Take the used oil to a service station that accepts used motor oil for recycling. Or give it to someone who uses an oil-fired stove for heating. Many commercial shops use oil-fueled burners and will be happy to take your old oil. It's free fuel to them. (In this case, be sure you're just giving them just old oil - not oil mixed with some old gas.)

    * Used-up batteries -

    Don't use them for target practice.


    Car batteries contain lead and sulfuric acid - two very caustic and potential dangerous substances that need to be properly handled.


    Also, don't forget the electricity. As a precaution, remove your wedding ring or any similar metal jewelry on your hands before you start trying to undo cables and pull the (heavy/unwieldy) battery out of the often very-tight little corner it's tucked into. If you don't and the ring - made of conductive metal - touches the wrong part of the battery and the wrong part of the car at the same moment as you're trying to pull it out (or install it) you could end up having a very unhappy day.


    Likewise, do not smoke near a battery - ever. Especially an old/nasty/leaky one. Hydrogen gas may be present and if you remember the Hindenburg, you'll know why smoking around hydrogen gas is a bad idea.


    Once you have the old battery out, take it with you to the auto parts store where you're going to buy the new one. Usually, you'll get a small refund - called a "core charge" - in return for the dead unit, which will be turned in for recycling.


    * Engine coolant -

    If you're doing a flush n' fill or changing out a water pump - and have pets - keep in mind that ethylene glycol (antifreeze) is apparently tasty to them. And very poisonous. Your dog or cat might die if it laps up some of the coolant that spilled on the ground while you're working and not paying attention to them.


    Best bet is to keep as much of the coolant from spilling onto the ground as you can by using a large diameter catch basin underneath whatever you're working on. And keep the pets inside or someplace else while you're working - and until you're done. That means until you've mopped up - and hosed down - whatever you did spill.
    Throw it in the Woods?
    How about filling the old antifreeze into suitable containers and dispose of them with the regular trash?

  5. #5
    Senior Member grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChevyMan View Post
    How about filling the old antifreeze into suitable containers and dispose of them with the regular trash?

    Eventually, that's the same as pouring it into your yard. The land fill will cover the trash with dirt and compact it. Layer after layer will compress it. Eventually, the bottle will smash open and spill it's contents. Ethylene glycol is recyclable. It takes oil to make it so you're actually helping your pocketbook as well as the environment by recycling it.
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