Tagged Questions

Preventing things from becoming damaged, broken or unusable.

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0
votes
1answer
222 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
210 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
35 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
99 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
60 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
142 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
238 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
64 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
168 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
93 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
41 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
64 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
337 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
110 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
430 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
93 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
123 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
134 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
113 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
405 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
3answers
2k 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
2k 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
320 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
187 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
2k 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
92 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
873 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
103 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
3answers
1k 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
1k 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
825 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
503 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
8k 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 ...
5
votes
5answers
3k 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
588 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
4answers
3k 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the proper way to clean a cold water heater?

I have heard many times that it is good to clean your cold water heater about once a year by flushing it. I went to look online to find the proper way to do so and found many people recommending ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

How long can I leave a paint brush and roller sleeve submerged in water without damaging them?

I'm painting my fence (with water based paint) and have more to do tomorrow. How long can I leave the paint brush in water until it's likely to be damaged? I think it's a synthetic bristled one. ...
3
votes
5answers
3k views

Is cleaning out the main sewer line a regular scheduled maintenance item?

I just had to have my main sewer line snaked, and the technician said it should be done once every 2 years. Is this really the case, or was he just trying to insure he has job security?
0
votes
1answer
108 views

How to inspect an apartment before renting? [closed]

I've had several major problems with the apartment home I've lived in for the past year. During the summer time, the air-conditioner didn't work well. It was eventually fixed, but it took a ...
0
votes
2answers
172 views

How do I clean green and brown substances from the connectors of battery-operated devices?

Battery-operated devices have connectors to take in power from batteries in order to work. However, if the batteries are left there and the devices are not used for a few months or more, green and ...
3
votes
1answer
3k views

How can I remove rust stains from clothes?

While I was cleaning all my rusty devices and equipments, I got some nasty rust stains on my cloth. Then I remember that I had some old clothes that I can use to clean these rusty devices and ...
3
votes
2answers
6k views

How can I clean sticky and dirty hand tool's rubber?

I have a hand tool - Needle-nose plier that had a rubber that is used as the handle. Currently, I managed to clean up all the rust on the metal and would like to clean up the rubber handle as it is ...
13
votes
6answers
3k views

How do you sharpen a knife?

Just got done sharpening a few knives, and thought it could be useful to post a question about it here. So lets say I have one of these guys. With a coarse stone, a medium stone, and a fine ...
21
votes
7answers
5k views

How can I repair rusty tools?

Should I use sandpaper to clean the rust from the tools (e.g. Needle-nose pliers), or can I soak them in vinegar or lemon juice? Would I be better off just buying new tools (which can be an ...
3
votes
1answer
277 views

Can I use a rusty soldering iron?

I am thinking of getting back into stained glass. One of the projects I want to work on is to fix a stained glass window that has a section with a crack in it. I was given a couple soldering irons ...
3
votes
2answers
698 views

Which flat roofing system requires the least maintenance?

I am a board member of my townhouse homeowners association and our townhomes are unfortunately very tall (need a lift or 60 ft ladder to access the roofs) and also the builder made the roof one single ...
9
votes
1answer
4k views

Should I powerwash and waterseal a pressure treated deck?

Is there any maintenance that I should be doing such as yearly power-washing and water-sealing for a pressure treated deck?
11
votes
6answers
7k views

What is involved in DIY swimming pool maintenance?

We moved into a new house last year and when cleaning out the pool shed last weekend I stumbled across a report that was done by a business that handles swimming pool maintenance. It checked ...
9
votes
1answer
648 views

Is it OK to use powdered graphite to lubricate a garage door opener?

I am about due to lubricate my garage door opener and related parts, and while I have some silicone lubricant, I was wondering if I could be doing better. The can I have says it's good for all parts ...