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About MrSniff

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  • About Me
    Accountant by profession, living and working in Luxembourg for the past few years... DIY maintainer and updater of a 1920s semi in South London and a 2009 end of terrace "townhouse" on the banks of the Moselle in Luxembourg.
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  1. There’s a song about that... for any blues fans:
  2. The brand is Osmo, and yes this does apparently include a drying agent, although it still takes a while before it's properly dry. I also tried and liked their decking oil, which I found out the hard way also seems to take longer than I thought to dry thoroughly...
  3. Last year I tried a natural oil teak woodstain (am I allowed to mention the brand on the forum?) on some south-facing window frames, for which treatments of both water-based and oil-based stains had failed previously. To date this is still holding well (far better than water-based, which is perhaps not a surprise) - it penetrates rather than forms a film. They do a clear (not so good UV protection) and slightly tinted (better UV protection), containing sunflower oil, soya oil, thistle oil and linseed oil. Overall I am happy with how it's performing but difficult to comment further as only one year on. I did not however enjoy cleaning the brush afterwards - too used to WB these days...
  4. The manual ones also have some weaknesses: the stops can become brittle with the result that a little too much enthusiasm in raising the blind can see them disappearing into the box, and the tape wears eventually. Both are easily fixed (assuming access to parts of course) but require opening up the box to gain access to the mechanism - been there, done that... Having said that, our previous property here had them (our current property has external venetian blinds instead) and I think they're excellent.
  5. I had understood that all water-based paints were almost VOC free (rather less so for a hybrid paint, but still better than oil-based) despite not being labelled as ECO or Green. I would certainly pay for and use a high quality water-based trim paint than spend out on what I suspect to be "trendy" ECO / green labelled paints. Having read the article, referring to an article written 10 years previously rather justifies the rant! Very poor.
  6. I found the on-line design tool at to be pretty good (and free) for putting together designs and basic rendering of the kitchen (although the rendering obviously based on the Nobilia range).
  7. Thanks for the responses. The units do have cooling and heating settings, and I couldn't see a heating element so it's helpful to understand that although not installed as an ASHP, it provides A2A heating in the same way. With that understanding I can at least have a bash at looking for obvious reasons why it stopped, and as a next step have an informed discussion with an engineer (not so easy despite the fact that most here speak English to varying levels). Since there is so much buildings going on in Luxembourg paying far better than individual customers, getting a decent tradesman in the first place is challenging. With that in mind, given that the fuses are intact and that at least one of the motor capacitors in the compressor units has failed (proven by switching) and I can see no other obvious sources of failure, I will replace them with new as a first step...
  8. Hi, I've been a bit of a lurker on this fantastic site, happily soaking up information and tips. I'm not a self-builder (yet - it is certainly a dream to one day take the plunge), but a DIY maintainer and updater of a couple of houses. We recently bought a house here in Luxembourg (built in 2009 out of plenty of concrete and the most solid blocks I have ever come across). The main heating is UFH, heated by a district hot water station, the controls for which will be the subject of a separate post... The house also has three wall-mounted Haier air conditioning units, each with its own external unit. One has never worked, not showing the slightest interest in life. The other two work (although one of them only after swapping the capacitor from the dead'un) - until now, when a second has died whilst in heater mode: the louvres remain open, so not a controlled shutdown. I have checked the obvious: electrical supply, connections as well the fuse located on the control circuit board which seems purposefully designed to be dropped into the guts of the machine. When we bought the house, the sellers said they had never used the AC units, so that is at least 5 years of disuse. So, a couple of questions. The first is sort of in the title: is an AC unit an ASHP which I should be able to use for supplementary heating, or is it likely the heating was supplied by some sort of element which burned out causing the unit to fail? Is there anything else I should check - any fuses I haven't found in the external unit? I plan to replace all the motor capacitors, is there anything specific I should look for? I think it should simply be a straight swap of a new 450VAC 25μF polypropylene capacitor, but is there any other specs I should be looking for? Any thoughts would be very much appreciated.