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Author Topic: Crappy exterior, pristine interior  (Read 1634 times)

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Offline BillyB

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Re: Crappy exterior, pristine interior
« Reply #50 on: November 05, 2018, 07:43:42 PM »
it's called tankless (point of use) water heaters...

They probably won't be adopted in American homes on a widespread basis. To heat the water quickly, they need 220-240 volts. American homes are wired for 120v. Those units are pricey and a separate wire feeding 240v to every bathroom and kitchen would increase costs. Homes in other countries already running wires delivering 240v to the kitchen and bathrooms won't need to run additional wires for the tankless water heaters. Tankless water heaters may be adopted in high end American homes though. Busy people want their hot water now.

Offline ML

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Re: Crappy exterior, pristine interior
« Reply #51 on: November 05, 2018, 08:43:47 PM »
USA houses typically only have one hot water heater.   Unless you're talking over 4000 feet of living space, multiple bathrooms, etc.

On demand water heaters are more common place these days in new homes.   ML might have better insight, but when we built some homes not too many years ago, we did that evaluation.  It was cheaper to put in the storage type water heaters then.  But 'on demand' was catching up as a cost outlay and was cheaper to run as an ongoing expense.

I do have two tank type hot water heaters in my current house.
One feeds the kitchen, laundry room and two bathrooms.
The other feeds the master bath and Jacuzzi.
Didn't do the cost comparison for this and just one tank, but this is a better set up by providing hot water quicker due to distance between the needed locations.

I tried the point of use electric heaters for sink in one bathroom for even quicker hot water, but the element wires kept burning up.

General contractors have told me the point of use heaters (both electric and gas) can be quite finicky.
Winston Churchill.  “The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.”

Offline GQBlues

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Re: Crappy exterior, pristine interior
« Reply #52 on: November 05, 2018, 08:52:12 PM »
They probably won't be adopted in American homes on a widespread basis. To heat the water quickly, they need 220-240 volts. American homes are wired for 120v. Those units are pricey and a separate wire feeding 240v to every bathroom and kitchen would increase costs. Homes in other countries already running wires delivering 240v to the kitchen and bathrooms won't need to run additional wires for the tankless water heaters. Tankless water heaters may be adopted in high end American homes though. Busy people want their hot water now.

Yeah in newer/pricier homes billy. We have only twh In our current properties. Love long showers man. They are set at 130 and runs on 110v.
My wonderful rebuttal to the Prague Spring thread is now *relocated* again (being actively hidden, lol) in *Anything Goes* section, titled: Willy Waving. Hurry before she deletes it altogether. LMAO! Enjoy.

Offline ML

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Re: Crappy exterior, pristine interior
« Reply #53 on: November 05, 2018, 09:05:07 PM »

but it’s over now.... my wife and I shall never return to Crimea



So what is the status of your apartment and dacha ?
Winston Churchill.  “The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.”

Offline Boethius

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Re: Crappy exterior, pristine interior
« Reply #54 on: November 05, 2018, 09:07:42 PM »
Over time, cultural reasons developed for the "crappy exterior, pristine interior" manner of apartment living.

In Soviet times you never really owned your apartment. It belonged to the State and could be lost easily. Some apartments were controlled by worker's unions and were assigned based on how many years one had worked at a job, and sometimes significant job promotions included a promotion to a bigger or nicer apartment. Any misstep, suspected criminal activity, or anti-Soviet activity could cause one to lose an apartment.

Since it was never really your property, there is reduced incentive to care for it and especially the exteriors which to this day are either managed by some cooperative or by direct city government subsidy. The exteriors are the problem of someone else and thus are usually neglected by residents. If the electric lock/buzzer doesn't work, or some drunk threw up in the stairway -- and in a few weeks, or a few days, someone else will eventually come and clean up the mess or make the repairs. Maybe.

With the failure of the great Socialist experiment, housing was eventually deeded to individual occupants. But the exterior maintenance remains the domain of some resident cooperative or more likely, some city housing authority.  Often the only contact you have with those responsible is a telephone number posted in the entryway in case of some repair issue, broken elevator, etc. It could be days before a response.

Most apartment entries have a stench of pee. That is a cultural issue, likely stemming from the high rates of alcoholism. You'd never see someone taking a leak on the grass or sidewalk during the day, but after the sun goes down....

Large apartments mean a lot of people, and lots of people usually means lots of pets. At all hours of the day or night there are animals either roaming freely, or being walked on leashes. They have to do their thing somewhere, and often it is along the frontage of an apartment.

This summer we noticed several male residents one Saturday replacing the wooden benches at our apartment entryway. It is a long building with several entry points and they only did our entry. It took several hours and they had them reconstructed and painted by the end of the day. It turned out that they had grown tired of the broken benches and took it upon themselves to do the project. That is unusual, but nice, and so we picked up some strawberries and raspberries at a sidewalk stand around the corner and gifted each of them with some nice fruit to show our appreciation since they were not asking residents to share the cost of wood, materials and paint.

About once monthly a city crew shows up at our building. They pick up any tree branches, mow any grass that has somehow managed to grow, and use a water pressure tool to clean the interior entries and exterior walkways.

There are "big box" home improvement stores in the larger cities, and often these cater to interior items, from doors to door handles, paint, kitchen and bath items, etc.

This is not my experience of Kyiv apartments in the 1980's.  The lightbulbs would be stolen, so they were in cages with a lock.  The halls were painted, the outside of buildings were well maintained.  Every district had horticulturalists, who planted bushes outside apartments (usually adjacent to benches), trees on the boulevards, flowers in the spring, and they maintained those.  Residents could also plant trees and flowers.  Women would plant evening stock near the benches, as they often sat there on hot summer nights.  My MIL planted an apple tree, which was large by the time I saw it, outside her window.  She inherited the neighbour's plum tree when he moved to a bigger apartment.  The plum tree is gone now, but the apple tree is still going strong.

Each apartment dweller paid a tax on their utility bill, of about 50 kopeks a month, to ЖЭК.  ЖЭК cleaned apartment hallways, yards and streets.  Their workers usually were women from villages, many working in order to get priority for an apartment, others, living in nearby villages, just for something to do.  They were required to circle their areas every two hours, to ensure all cigarette butts were picked up, and that areas remained clean.  The better half tells me ЖЭК existed throughout the USSR.  I know that every apartment area I visited, in every region of the city, was clean.  All of that fell apart after the collapse.  Now, no one clears the snow, no one trims the bushes, and the city no longer plants flowers beside all apartment buildings.  However, the local park was cleaned up beautifully.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2018, 09:09:43 PM by Boethius »
To love someone means to see him as God intended him. - Fyodor Dostoevksy

Offline krimster2

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Re: Crappy exterior, pristine interior
« Reply #55 on: November 05, 2018, 09:19:15 PM »
"So what is the status of your apartment and dacha ?"

sold the apartment and in the process of transferring the Rancho Del Krimster to my wife's younger sister as a gift


BO, in sevastopol there was one day a year when all the neighbors were to "fall in" for a communal yard cleaning
we raked leaves, garbage, etc, painted stuff
there was even a time of the year when parents would go to the school and do the same...

I don't remember the name of this day
I called it "Pioneer Dan"  but I doubt that was the actual name
« Last Edit: November 05, 2018, 09:32:29 PM by krimster2 »
вы думаете, что любой из этих людей, даже российских, подозревает, что я русский?

вот как я могу создать американскую личность
Я могу взять напрокат

Offline BillyB

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Re: Crappy exterior, pristine interior
« Reply #56 on: November 05, 2018, 09:20:36 PM »
I tried the point of use electric heaters for sink in one bathroom for even quicker hot water, but the element wires kept burning up.


Did the person installing them leave the faucet on when filling up the heaters? If the air isn't purged from the water heaters, the heating elements can burn up instantly or at least  have their lifespan significantly reduced. If you try that system again, before turning on the tankless water heater, turn on the water and open the faucet to let all the air out.

Offline krimster2

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Re: Crappy exterior, pristine interior
« Reply #57 on: November 05, 2018, 09:31:24 PM »
the on demand heaters are operated by a sophisticated control panel with programmable features
it has to be able to switch its output to multiple points
because of this it is dependent on electrical power
you need to wire this control panel into your 220V AC backup
else when you lose power in a blackout you also lose hot water
I had a large 220V UPS for upto 8 hr blackouts
and a honda generator for longer than that

gas input had a "T" valve installed with special adapter with "highly illegal" propane tank installed on my balcony
also had a water filter and 500 liter water storage tank
that feature will be QUITE useful next yr
вы думаете, что любой из этих людей, даже российских, подозревает, что я русский?

вот как я могу создать американскую личность
Я могу взять напрокат

Offline ML

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Re: Crappy exterior, pristine interior
« Reply #58 on: November 05, 2018, 09:33:42 PM »
Did the person installing them leave the faucet on when filling up the heaters? If the air isn't purged from the water heaters, the heating elements can burn up instantly or at least  have their lifespan significantly reduced. If you try that system again, before turning on the tankless water heater, turn on the water and open the faucet to let all the air out.

I was the installer; and yes I followed the correct procedure as you outlined above.
Winston Churchill.  “The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.”

Offline mendeleyev

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Re: Crappy exterior, pristine interior
« Reply #59 on: November 06, 2018, 05:32:10 PM »

Many new construction projects have appeared across the former Soviet Union and those can be very nice.
While making the move from Russia to Ukraine, we spent part of the summer in Georgia on a writing and photo project. We also spent time in southern Ukraine, near the war zone.



We found very modern accommodations at very reasonable rent prices. This was our kitchen in that part of Ukraine.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2018, 05:34:38 PM by mendeleyev »
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Offline mendeleyev

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Re: Crappy exterior, pristine interior
« Reply #60 on: November 06, 2018, 05:36:45 PM »
The bathroom and toilet was in the same room, more of a Western style. Although have a split bath and toilet is our preference, this one was very well appointed.


The washing machine was also located inside this bathroom.




The Mendeleyev Journal. http://mendeleyevjournal.com Member: Congress of Russian Journalists; ЖУРНАЛИСТЫ.RU (Journalist-Russia); ЖУРНАЛИСТЫ.UA (Journalist-Ukraine); ЖУРНАЛИСТЫ.KZ (Journalist-Kazakhstan); ПОРТАЛ ЖУРНАЛИСТОВ (Portal of RU-UA Journalists); Просто Журналисты ("Just Journalists").

Offline JayH

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Before and after: metamorphoses of Soviet architecture
« Reply #61 on: November 10, 2018, 08:17:50 PM »

It is not just the interiors being updated .In Ukraine -- there are many battles going on for the control of old apartment buildings.

Before and after: metamorphoses of Soviet architecture

Soviet architecture is notorious for its unappealing, monotonous appearance. The standardized multi-apartment blocks were designed for a classless society of workers, and the architecture was as featureless and unindividualistic as the presumed ideal communist citizen was envisioned to be – a perfect cog in the machine. Moreover, beautifications and architectural details of all sorts were declared remnants of the bourgeoise past and found to be unfit in the society of comrades.

After the fall of the USSR, countries of the Eastern bloc developed their own approaches to renovating or redesigning its socialist architecture. Ukraine is only starting to tread this path. Blogger Alex Shutyuk gathered some examples of transformations of Soviet (and not only) architecture in different countries.



http://euromaidanpress.com/2016/09/14/before-and-after-metamorphoses-of-soviet-architecture/
SLAVA UKRAYINI  ! HEROYAM SLAVA!!!!
Слава Украине! Слава героям слава!Слава Україні! Слава героям!
 translated as: Glory to Ukraine! Glory to the heroes!!!  is a Ukrainian greeting slogan being used now all over Ukraine to signify support for a free independent Ukraine

Offline mendeleyev

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Re: Crappy exterior, pristine interior
« Reply #62 on: November 13, 2018, 11:36:39 PM »
Very cool, Jay! Thanks for sharing that.
The Mendeleyev Journal. http://mendeleyevjournal.com Member: Congress of Russian Journalists; ЖУРНАЛИСТЫ.RU (Journalist-Russia); ЖУРНАЛИСТЫ.UA (Journalist-Ukraine); ЖУРНАЛИСТЫ.KZ (Journalist-Kazakhstan); ПОРТАЛ ЖУРНАЛИСТОВ (Portal of RU-UA Journalists); Просто Журналисты ("Just Journalists").

Offline JohnDearGreen

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Re: Crappy exterior, pristine interior
« Reply #63 on: November 14, 2018, 07:58:48 PM »

Yet, upon being welcomed inside an apartment you discovered something actually nice, well-kept, clean, and perhaps even remodeled.
Yes,  the apt I stayed in on the Gray line looked worse than your 1st pic.  Concrete/steel, each with a nice balcony.  But the balcony was used for storing junk, mostly in colored plastic bags stacked up.   When I walked from the subway and my interpreter friend pointed at the building, I was thinking no way was I staying in that building.   Then we went inside, and it was fixed up very nicely.   Living room was made into a bedroom/office for her boy.   Her bedroom had a water bed and TV.  But had to sit around the kitchen table and watch a small TV.   They had promised a small grocery mart in the bottom floor, but it never came about.  There was one in the adjacent apt building.
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