Preventing things from becoming damaged, broken or unusable.

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7
votes
5answers
14k views

What is the best way to remove dried egg from a house?

Some troglodytes egg my house anywhere from every 1-6 months, and have been doing so for the last four years. They just did it again tonight, so I have a fresh supply of drying egg to now remove. My ...
4
votes
5answers
28k 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
17 views

Low-profile clear cover for a basement window

I'm looking to protect some wooden exterior basement window casing so that I don't have to re-paint it so regularly. I've seen window well covers like so: ...which could be useful except that ...
7
votes
7answers
2k views

How NOT to use a power drill. What are common mistakes that should be avoided? [closed]

While I know how to operate a power drill in general (by the manual, so to say), I am wondering which things I should avoid of doing to it, in order to get the best out of the drill. I want to know ...
1
vote
1answer
25 views

Is it ok to have a rise in an air compressors drain valve?

The designer of my compressor unfortunately didn't put a whole lot of thought into where to put the drain valve on it. It's on the back, and the compressor is against the wall, in a corner, usually ...
5
votes
6answers
7k views

How often should the air filter in the furnace be changed?

Does the period of change of this air filter have an affect on the longevity of the heating and a/c system? What is a good rule of thumb to require replacement?
3
votes
1answer
74 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
35 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
72 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 ...
4
votes
5answers
17k 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 ...
4
votes
5answers
9k 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
300 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
8k 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
125 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....
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 ...
9
votes
6answers
1k views

What type of regular maintenance should I be doing on my central air conditioning unit?

I have not done any maintenance on my central air conditioning system since I bought my house five years ago. Everything seems to be running fine but is there some sort of maintenance I should be ...
1
vote
2answers
62 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, ...
3
votes
4answers
17k 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
190 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!
13
votes
7answers
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 ...
5
votes
4answers
8k views

What maintenance can I perform on my GROHE 33 755 KD0 Ladylux Cafe Pull-Out kitchen faucet?

We moved into our house shortly after the previous owners installed this faucet: We've had it for about 5 years now and the water flow is severely limited. Also, it takes forever for the hot water,...
11
votes
7answers
1k views

How do I balance a ceiling fan?

About a year ago I installed a new ceiling fan in my living room and when it was installed it was balanced nicely, but it has a little wobble. How do I bring it back in to balance?
2
votes
2answers
237 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
96 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 ...
1
vote
4answers
16k 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 ...
6
votes
6answers
8k 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
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
0answers
55 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
128 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
7k views

How do I fix a chlorine feeder that's nearly impossible to open?

I've got an off-line Hayward chlorine tablet feeder on my pool (it has a 1/4" hose that taps off some water from the pressure side of the pump before the filter, and it outputs via 1/4" line to the ...
5
votes
4answers
14k views

Can I use a PVC cleanout plug in a Cast Iron Cleanout?

There's a cleanout plug on this pipe that I simply can't get loose. I've tried liquid wrench, PB blaster, heating up the area with a torch, everything I can think of. All that's really left is to go ...
3
votes
5answers
22k 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
5answers
7k 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?
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 ...
13
votes
3answers
11k views

When should I replace a circular saw blade?

Is there a rule of thumb for how often a circular saw blade should be replaced? Is visually inspecting the blade condition enough?
4
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the best way to condition and protect a hardwood floor under heavy use?

We rent an old house with hardwood floors and the area under one of our office chairs is now brittle and dull. What are our options for conditioning and/or protecting the wood (especially to prevent ...
2
votes
1answer
347 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 ...
28
votes
12answers
5k views

What are the “must do” tasks before winter hits?

I've had my furnace serviced in time for winter, but what other things should I consider doing before the snow and the ice come?
0
votes
1answer
181 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
940 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the proper way to clean a water heater?

I have heard many times that it is good to clean your 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 different ...
10
votes
3answers
7k views

How do I handle significant snow and ice dams on a 4/12 gable roof with ridge vents?

It is our first winter in a new-to-us house, that has a pretty flat roof (3/12-to-4/12 pitch), and a ridge vent along the entire top of the roof. We just had the snowiest December on record (...
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 ...
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?
3
votes
1answer
432 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
177 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 ...
20
votes
1answer
21k views

Humidity Levels

What is a healthy and safe humidity level that I should try to keep my house at?
1
vote
1answer
468 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
189 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 ...