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WTF in America Part 2

WTF in America Part 2

Old Feb 22nd 2023, 8:10 am
  #16  
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Default Re: WTF in America Part 2

Originally Posted by Lion in Winter View Post
WTF?

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/...box=1676545889

"The Republican governor of Virginia, Glenn Youngkin, appears to have thwarted an attempt to stop law enforcement obtaining menstrual histories of women in the state."
Wish I lived in Virginia, I'd send Youngkin a bag of used tampons and a calculator, with a note 'KNOCK YOURSELF OUT'
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Old Feb 22nd 2023, 8:14 am
  #17  
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Default Re: WTF in America Part 2

Originally Posted by spouse of scouse View Post
Wish I lived in Virginia, I'd send Youngkin a bag of used tampons and a calculator, with a note 'KNOCK YOURSELF OUT'
There has been a campaign on Twitter to do just that, with his details and address given so he can receive a lot of 'gifts'
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Old Feb 22nd 2023, 8:18 am
  #18  
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Default Re: WTF in America Part 2

Originally Posted by mikelincs View Post
There has been a campaign on Twitter to do just that, with his details and address given so he can receive a lot of 'gifts'
I should have known the idea was too good for me to have thought of it first
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Old Feb 22nd 2023, 12:57 pm
  #19  
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Default Re: WTF in America Part 2

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
So to your question, why steal a cat? The catalyst in a car's catalytic converter is comprised of platinum and rhodium, which is rarer and more valuable than platinum. .... The amounts of these precious metals are very small, but if you can find a dodgy scrap deal to take a cat, it's worth a few bucks.
So not about car parts for cars then. Thanks.

Originally Posted by Steerpike View Post
Stealing Catalytic converters is nothing new; stealing from an occupied vehicle, where the vehicle driver drives off (and runs the thief over and kills them) is something of a new angle.

It's rampant in my area. My g/f already had a 'cover' installed on her car (at the cost of about $500). I'm going to get one installed on mine. The repair can be $1-2,000 including labor.

They especially target hybrids, as hybrid cat's see less use compared to conventional ICE cars (and we both have hybrids).
Funnily enough, after posting the question I read in my newspaper that the theft reports in these parts doubled last year compared to 2021.
So while not new, the increase certainly is.
I had just been thinking of it as parts for cars and dodgy mechanics, but it appears unrelated and is just another crime to get money like stripping copper stuff.


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Old Feb 22nd 2023, 2:02 pm
  #20  
 
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Default Re: WTF in America Part 2

Originally Posted by BristolUK View Post
... is just another crime to get money like stripping copper stuff.
It's exactly like copper stripping, and with a similar ratio of scrap value to damage done. I had a new heating and AC system installed recently and took the coils from the old system to the scrap yard, along with the invoice for the new system, to prove that I had a legitimate reason to be selling scrap coils. The scrap coils netted me about $140, an entry level replacement system would have cost about $14,000, so the theft costs the victim 100 times the scrap value received by the thief.

It's about the same for cats.
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Old Feb 22nd 2023, 2:29 pm
  #21  
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Default Re: WTF in America Part 2

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
I had a new heating and AC system installed recently and took the coils from the old system to the scrap yard, along with the invoice for the new system, to prove that I had a legitimate reason to be selling scrap coils. The scrap coils netted me about $140...
I remember you're a regular for selling scrap. You should get together with dbd33



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Old Feb 22nd 2023, 3:29 pm
  #22  
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Default Re: WTF in America Part 2

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
It's exactly like copper stripping, and with a similar ratio of scrap value to damage done. I had a new heating and AC system installed recently and took the coils from the old system to the scrap yard, along with the invoice for the new system, to prove that I had a legitimate reason to be selling scrap coils. The scrap coils netted me about $140, an entry level replacement system would have cost about $14,000, so the theft costs the victim 100 times the scrap value received by the thief.

It's about the same for cats.
How do you extract the refrigerant? I know that also sells, especially the older ones that are not sold anymore, a friend had theirs stolen… I had to pay extra at the transfer station when “dumping” a broken ice maker to cove their cost of dealing with the “Freon”.
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Old Feb 22nd 2023, 5:01 pm
  #23  
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Default Re: WTF in America Part 2

Originally Posted by Steerpike View Post
Stealing Catalytic converters is nothing new; stealing from an occupied vehicle, where the vehicle driver drives off (and runs the thief over and kills them) is something of a new angle.

It's rampant in my area. My g/f already had a 'cover' installed on her car (at the cost of about $500). I'm going to get one installed on mine. The repair can be $1-2,000 including labor.

They especially target hybrids, as hybrid cat's see less use compared to conventional ICE cars (and we both have hybrids).
These covers tend to be ineffective - thieves just cut through both the cover and the catalytic converter.

Check where your converter is located. On my hybrid, it's between the engine and the radiator as opposed to under the vehicle. Not impossible to cut out, but a lot more difficult.

Last edited by Giantaxe; Feb 22nd 2023 at 5:04 pm.
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Old Feb 22nd 2023, 5:55 pm
  #24  
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Default Re: WTF in America Part 2

Originally Posted by Giantaxe View Post
These covers tend to be ineffective - thieves just cut through both the cover and the catalytic converter.
There are many types of 'cat covers' out there. There are generic solutions, that are basically just 'sleeves' that go around the Cat; then there are custom covers that fit to the undercarriage and make it harder to get the 'cutter' into position in the first place.

This is what a generic one looks like (this is a $100 solution):


And this is a typical 'custom' plate that is fitted to a Prius: (this is a $240 solution; much higher on some vehicles)



This one costs extra in stainless steel (aluminum version cheaper). I'm sure they all can be 'defeated', but the general idea is, the thieves tend to be 'under and done' within 2-3 minutes and on to the next vehicle; if the plate offers some resistance, maybe they'll decide it's not worth the fuss and move on. All depends on how much time they have.

Originally Posted by Giantaxe View Post
Check where your converter is located. On my hybrid, it's between the engine and the radiator as opposed to under the vehicle. Not impossible to cut out, but a lot more difficult.
That sounds like a great design! Well, at least from a security perspective. May also explain why you can't buy a custom cover for the CR-V!

On mine, it's in the classic spot, roughly beneath where the front seats are located.
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Old Feb 22nd 2023, 6:29 pm
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Default Re: WTF in America Part 2

Originally Posted by BristolUK View Post
I remember you're a regular for selling scrap. You should get together with dbd33.
Well my choices are either pay to take it to the landfill, or be paid for taking it to the scrap yard, either way I have to load it into my truck, and the landfill is further away than the scrap yard, so IMO selling scrap is a no-brainer. It would be different if I didn't have a truck.
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Old Feb 22nd 2023, 6:36 pm
  #26  
 
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Default Re: WTF in America Part 2

Originally Posted by tht View Post
How do you extract the refrigerant? ....
The system installer can extract it, but as often as not, the reason it stopped working was that the coils had a leak and it had drained itself. The scrap yard I use doesn't seem unduly concerned about intact coils and compressor systems in fridges, but that may be an NC thing. I heard that in some states scrap yards can't accept intact fridges because of the freon.
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Old Feb 22nd 2023, 8:47 pm
  #27  
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Default Re: WTF in America Part 2

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
Well my choices are either pay to take it to the landfill, or be paid for taking it to the scrap yard, either way I have to load it into my truck, and the landfill is further away than the scrap yard, so IMO selling scrap is a no-brainer. It would be different if I didn't have a truck.
Did you self-install the new system? I paid a company to install mine, and hauling away the old stuff was part of the deal - never even came up in conversation.
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Old Feb 23rd 2023, 2:21 am
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Default Re: WTF in America Part 2

Originally Posted by Steerpike View Post
Did you self-install the new system? I paid a company to install mine, and hauling away the old stuff was part of the deal - never even came up in conversation.
There were several complications in my case, including switching from a package unit (all the machinery in a single metal box installed outside, up against the crawlspace wall), to a split system with the furnace in the crawlspace, and the condenser unit outside, away from the wall. The package unit had needed a roughly 2'x3½' hole in the wall for the ducts, and had been located just behind a row of railroad ties, which provided a little protection from vehicles parked in the adjacent parking area, at the end of a branch in the drive, as well as making an edge to the garden bed on either side. However, the ties were in the way of the condenser unit and had to be removed, leaving the unit unprotected. Also the area next to the house was slightly below the parking area, leaving it at risk of flooding. So by lifting up the condenser unit onto a plinth, I could [1] protect it from flooding, and [2] from being bumped by a vehicle, and also [3] leave open the possibility of eventually having the parking area concreted, or paved with blocks, without risking the condenser unit sitting even further below grade. The well-regarded heating contractor I was using had literally no interest in addressing any of these concerns or issues, which is exactly what I had already anticipated anyway. So between signing the contract for the new unit and the contractor coming to install it, I removed the old package unit, paid a bricklayer to brick-up the brick layer on the outside and the concrete block wall on the inside, dug a foundation for a roughly 8'x8' wall of concrete retaining wall blocks, built the square retaining wall plinth and filled it with waste hardcore and the clay from the foundation trench, packed it down well, leaving a very slight dome, covered it with thick sheet plastic tucked under the top course of concrete blocks, and covered it with a layer of crushed granite. After the condenser had been installed on the pad supplied by the heating contractor, I surrounded it with more crushed granite, leaving the wall capstones, the crushed granite, and the pad the condenser unit sits on, pretty much at the same level. This was the result (well apart from the final topping-off with crushed granite.)
​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The back left corner also still needed to be finished in this picture, as there had been a gas pipe in the way.) The forum keeps removing all my paragraph formatting.

Last edited by Pulaski; Feb 23rd 2023 at 4:15 am.
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Old Feb 23rd 2023, 3:56 am
  #29  
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Default Re: WTF in America Part 2

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
There were several complications in my case, including switching from a package unit (all the machinery in a single metal box installed outside, up against the crawlspace wall), to a split system with the furnace in the crawlspace, and the condenser unit outside, away from the wall. The package unit had needed a roughly 2'x3½' hole in the wall for the ducts, and had been located just behind a row of railroad ties, which provided a little protection from vehicles parked in the adjacent parking area, at the end of a branch in the drive, as well as making an edge to the garden bed on either side. However, the ties were in the way of the condenser unit and had to be removed, leaving the unit unprotected. Also the area next to the house was slightly below the parking area, leaving it at risk of flooding. So by lifting up the condenser unit onto a plinth, I could [1] protect it from flooding, and [2];from being bumped by a vehicle, and also [3] leave open the possibility of eventually having the parking area concrete, or paved with blocks, without risking the condenser unit sitting even further below grade. The well-regarded heating contractor I was using had literally no interest in addressing any of these concerns or issues, which is exactly what I had already anticipated anyway. So between signing the contract for the new unit and the contractor coming to install it, I removed the old package unit, paid a bricklayer to brick-up the brick layer on the outside and the concrete block wall on the inside, dug a foundation for a roughly 8'x8' wall of concrete retaining wall blocks, built the square retaining wall plinth and filled it with waste hardcore and the clay from the foundation trench, packed it down well, leaving a very slight dome, covered it in thick sheet plastic tucked under the top course of concrete blocks, and covered it with a layer of crushed granite. After the condenser had been installed on the pad supplied by the heating contractor, I surrounded it with more crushed granite, leaving the wall capstones, the crushed granite, and the pad the condenser unit sits on, pretty much at the same level. This was the result. The back left corner still needed to be finished as there had been a gas pipe in the way.) 
So that was the morning's project; what did you do in the afternoon?

Looks like there's a photo that didn't make it ?
​​​​​​​
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Old Feb 23rd 2023, 4:32 am
  #30  
 
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Default Re: WTF in America Part 2

Originally Posted by Steerpike View Post
So that was the morning's project; what did you do in the afternoon?
Took the old package unit to the scrapyard.

Looks like there's a photo that didn't make it ?
​​​​​​​
I tried multiple times to upload it, and I think it's there now - I can see it at my end.
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