Preventing things from becoming damaged, broken or unusable.

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3
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1answer
59 views

Fixing a toilet deceptively complicated, where did I go wrong?

I have a toilet which was both running and leaking and I tried to fix it myself. I replaced the fill valve, the flush valve and the main gasket, all with items from Home Depot. Home Depot had one ...
7
votes
7answers
2k views

How NOT to use a power drill [closed]

While I know how to operate a power drill in general, I am wondering which things I should avoid of doing to it, in order to get the best out of the drill. I am thinking of avoiding the drive to get ...
1
vote
1answer
31 views

What type of Anode rod should I get for my water heater?

It's time to replace my anode rod and I'm not sure what type I should get (Magnesium, Aluminum, Combination, or Powered). I have a well and use a water softener. I have a high iron content (orange ...
3
votes
2answers
65 views

Why is my furnace leaking, and what is it leaking?

I have a Honeywell Beckett oil burner/furnace that is less than 8 years old. We've lived in our home for 6 years now, and it has been running like a champ the whole time (no problems whatsoever). Most ...
0
votes
2answers
103 views

How to prevent tree stump from decaying

Not sure if this is the right place to ask this question. I have a very large eucaliptos tree. I have recently been told by at least two tree surgeons that the tree is dying and should be taken down....
5
votes
3answers
281 views

Should I run the tap while dumping boiling water?

It seems to be common advice to run the cold water while dumping boiling water down the drain (for example, when draining pasta). A variety of reasons are cited for this, one of which is that it is ...
1
vote
2answers
61 views

A/C tune-up: “Condenser fan motor drawing high amperage”

A local A/C company was offering a deal on a home heating/cooling "check-up". I've never worked with this particular company before, and I've had some bad experiences in the past (different home, ...
2
votes
2answers
195 views

Why should I replace the starter every time I replace a fluorescent tube?

Many fluorescent tube guides recommend replacing the bimetallic strip starter every time the tube is replaced; however, no one seems to provide a specific reason why it needs replacing. Presumably you ...
0
votes
2answers
92 views

Is heating feature in an air conditioner bad?

I was looking to buy an air conditioner (split system), recently and a local dealer told to go for ACs with cooling feature only and not ACs with heating feature, as they require more servicing and ...
0
votes
0answers
53 views

How do I turn my built in spa on?

I feel like this is a dumb question, but I recently purchased a new home, and I have no idea how to turn my built in spa on! I am posting pictures and labeling the setup in hopes that someone here ...
1
vote
1answer
121 views

How do I know if/when tuckpointing is necessary, especially if I finish the basement?

1900-ish brick-over-fieldstone foundation seems perfectly happy right now, but [digression about fieldstone aside]... What's best practice? What do I look for to tell when maint is required? (...
3
votes
1answer
105 views

Why did city utility work require me to modify my faucet aerator?

The city utilities came to my neighborhood this week to replace a few fire hydrants. They had to shut off water to my home during this work. When the work was done, one of the water fixtures in my ...
3
votes
2answers
182 views

How often should I recaulk the ceramic-tiles in my bathrooms and kitchen?

I'm wondering ow often should I recaulk the ceramic-tiles (with silicone) in my bathrooms and kitchen to prevent any water penetration into the walls? Thanks!
2
votes
1answer
335 views

When do tankless water heaters need to be descaled?

I had a Bosch tankless natural gas water heater that stopped working with C7 and EA error codes and the plumber indicated that the unit had failed due to water getting into the internals like the fan ...
0
votes
1answer
8k views

Why is my water expansion tank leaking?

I live in the northeastern US and we just turned the heat on (oil) and this morning I went down to the basement and saw this: The water is coming from the plumping above something labeled "water ...
3
votes
1answer
423 views

What is the lifespan of pvc cement?

My house is 32 years old, due to other reasons I have my bathroom floor removed. Looking down at the PVC pipe that is used for the tub, sink and toilet got me wondering. What is the lifespan of ...
0
votes
0answers
173 views

Steps for annual maintenance on a fuel oil furnace?

We have fuel oil and this year I'd like to try and maintenance the furnace myself: By "maintenance" I mean "clean it up so that it runs well throughout the winter." Just a basic tuneup and ...
1
vote
1answer
451 views

How can I straighten out a bent threaded rod?

I recently got a 1/2" acme screw for a project that has a deflection of approximately an eighth of an inch deflection. One would not think that it would be a big deal, but is is making alignment ...
1
vote
2answers
181 views

What annual maintenance does a dishwasher require?

The house we moved into has a dishwasher, and I am wondering if there are any annual maintenance procedures for it. In googling, all that I came up with was making sure the spinning propellers are ...
0
votes
2answers
461 views

What's the quickest way to get rid of larvaes and [clothing] moths at home?

We've moved to this apartment two months ago. The apartment was apparently repainted, while the building is no older than 10 years, but every single part of seems intact for all these years. I've been ...
3
votes
4answers
15k views

Metals in pool turn water green after adding shock, what's the solution?

Our pool hasn't been opened in 4 years. We are finally in the process of resurrecting it from the dead, and have spent a lot of elbow grease (and tears) to get it to the point its currently at. Last ...
0
votes
0answers
200 views

What maintenance does an 1890s brick-over-fieldstone foundation need?

I know that if when it comes time to repoint, I should get the current mortar analyzed to make sure its curing strength is compatible with the old bricks. I know that brick foundations in the time ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Is it a bad idea to use pine for painted exterior siding if prepared properly?

My house is about 95 years old, and currently has wood clapboard siding that is in pretty rough shape and needs to be replaced. My local lumber yard has 1/2" x 6" for $0.53/linear foot. Since vinyl ...
1
vote
1answer
937 views

How to bypass a clogged water softener?

We have bad water pressure in the house all of the sudden, and I spent about an hour tonight trying to locate the general vicinity of the problem, and it looks like it may be our water softener. For ...
0
votes
2answers
96 views

How to tell if there is poor water pressure before my main shut-off valve?

I am troubleshooting some spontaneous and inexplicable water pressure issues. Overnight, without anything jumping out as obvious, our water pressure has dropped from "good/steady" to "barely existent"....
0
votes
2answers
155 views

How can I figure out why my water pressure is basically zero?

I took a shower last night before bed and the water pressure in our house was perfectly fine. This morning the water is drizzling out from all faucets, showers and fixtures. I've checked the water ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Is sawdust really that bad for my vacuum cleaner?

My mother (who tends to be right about this stuff) says that using my non-shop-vac to cleanup sawdust will ruin the motor. I recently bought a new, fancy, expensive vacuum cleaner that was really ...
2
votes
2answers
346 views

How much maintenance should I budget for a historic home?

We've been considering some historic homes as a future residence, but one of our concerns is how much to budget annually for long-term maintenance and repairs. Let's use this late 1800's Victorian ...
2
votes
1answer
3k views

How can I get my stuck sprinkler heads to go down after watering?

I have an automatic water sprinkling system in my lawn. After it runs, some of the heads are still stuck in the up position. I will attach some photos. What can I do to ensure these heads go down ...
0
votes
1answer
180 views

How do I maintain a newly laid oiled floor?

I just bought an Emperor Oak Oiled Floor. The salesman of the reseller said it has been oiled 7 times with Woca oil but advises another coat once laid. Reading forums, opinion seems split: it's ...
1
vote
2answers
624 views

Can I put the burner head in the oven during self cleaning?

My renter moved out an left a grimy mess. The filth on the stove top actually backed-up into the nooks and carnies of surface burner head, and seems almost impassible to clean. Since the surface ...
3
votes
1answer
188 views

Is it necessary to keep tools lubricated?

I've noticed that some of my tools, especially the more expensive ones (e.g., a wire cutter), come lubed. So, is it necessary to keep them lubricated? If so, what kind of oil should I use?
0
votes
1answer
132 views

How do I turn off my water heater drain?

I read that draining the water heater is general good practice. The problem is that I don't know how to turn off the draining plug. It kept draining water through the night. Here is a picture of the ...
0
votes
1answer
724 views

How do I maintain an 80% efficient natural gas furnace?

I have an 80% efficient gas furnace at my house, that is seemingly working well and is configured with an air conditioner. What preventative maintenance should be done to it, and at what interval? Is ...
3
votes
5answers
19k views

What can cause the capacitor in an air conditioner to fail?

I just had the capacitor on my air conditioner fail. It was explained to me that the reason for this was the oil inside the capacitor got too hot, expanded, made the whole thing bulge, and no more ...
4
votes
2answers
9k views

What is an oven anti-tip device and how do you install one?

I'm trying to sell a home, and we're in the inspection / repair phase. The buyers asked for me to install an anti-tip device for the oven in the kitchen, and I'm not even sure what that is. Can ...
3
votes
2answers
664 views

What - if any - annual maintenance is required for grout/caulk in a shower?

I'm a new home owner who has been living in house that was built last year. Upon moving in the builder mentioned that grout needed yearly maintenance--would he referring to re-sealing the grout? Are ...
3
votes
1answer
508 views

What could be causing corrosion on a water heater burner?

Every 6 to 8 months or so my water heater (A.O. Smith 'Power Shot' high-efficiency) stops heating. The first time this happened (mid 2010) a plumber friend discovered that the burner had some ...
4
votes
1answer
7k views

Do gas fireplaces need chimney cleaning?

Is it necessary to have the chimney cleaned by chimney sweeping service if I use a gas imitation fireplace log (no wood) exclusively? If so, what is the reason? What is the root cause for chimneys ...
0
votes
1answer
120 views

How can I tell if something is ruptured inside my lawnmower?

My lawnmower got thrown into a rolloff container by mistake. When I went to dig it out, it was upside down and when I tipped it right-side up, all sorts of black liquid (I assume oil?) came spilling ...
4
votes
2answers
3k views

What is the maintenance schedule for a concrete driveway?

I have a concrete driveway that I'd like to keep looking good, and in good working order. What needs to be done to maintain the driveway, and how often should it be done?
1
vote
1answer
138 views

Does it matter how the chuck on a drill is set when it is stored?

When I put away my drill for storage, should I be concerned about whether the chuck is fully open, fully closed, or somewhere in between?
1
vote
4answers
15k views

What should I check if my chainsaw fails to start?

My chainsaw stopped working and I've got a tree that fell and needs cut up. Does anybody have any idea what I can do to get my chainsaw started? I've done a bit of stuff on cars so I'm willing to try ...
0
votes
3answers
3k views

Is a built-in oven easier to maintain than a standalone one?

What is the more suitable to buy, so that its maintenance is easier and less costly, a built-in oven and stove or a standalone oven? A built-in like this one: or a standalone oven like this one: ...
4
votes
1answer
3k views

How should I clean stone surfaces prior to applying sealer?

I apply impregnating sealer to all my tile and stone surfaces annually. I had been cleaning it with just soap and water, then letting the surface dry for a few minutes before applying the sealer. It ...
1
vote
1answer
920 views

What is the life expectancy of a ratchet strap?

During my house move I used ratchet straps to secure a book-shelf on a roof of my car. That was well secured and worked out perfect. But the second time I have tried using the same straps, they did ...
4
votes
4answers
27k views

How do I fix a Bostitch nail gun that is jammed?

I have a Bostitch nail gun (pneumatic) and it has been working fine all day until about 30 minutes ago. I went to nail in a piece of molding, and when I pulled the trigger I heard air feed into ...
6
votes
6answers
7k views

Should I open the top or bottom of double hung windows?

I'm a new home owner and was wondering if there is a "right" way to use the double hung windows in the house. Should I open the top or bottom? Is there a seasonality to it? Does it even matter at ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Is there a way to prevent mildew/mold from forming on vinyl siding?

The back side of my garage is shadowed by branches from neighbors trees, which causes mold/mildew to grow on the vinyl siding. Since removing the trees/branches is out of the question, is there some ...
4
votes
5answers
8k views

How to make a swing swing straight?

I don't know if this is "home improvement" since it is about an item in my garden but it is not about "gardening and landscaping" either so I am going to ask it here in the hope that, since it I think ...