Skip to main content

Questions tagged [maintenance]

Preventing things from becoming damaged, broken or unusable.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
31 votes
12 answers
7k 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?
26 votes
1 answer
35k views

Humidity Levels

What is a healthy and safe humidity level that I should try to keep my house at?
Sam Erde's user avatar
  • 435
25 votes
7 answers
12k 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 ...
Larry Morries's user avatar
19 votes
6 answers
33k views

How can I stop a toilet seat from rapidly loosening?

The seat on my toilet always works itself loose. It has plastic thumb-screw-style nuts that tighten on to bolts on the underside of the toilet. The left nut works itself loose over the course of a ...
Jean-Paul Calderone's user avatar
17 votes
9 answers
74k 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 ...
browly's user avatar
  • 355
16 votes
2 answers
3k views

What kind of nut is this

what is the name of this nut, I need to find a way to loosen it . From the top
Charm_quark's user avatar
16 votes
4 answers
30k 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?
Doresoom's user avatar
  • 15.8k
15 votes
6 answers
14k 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 ...
going's user avatar
  • 281
14 votes
7 answers
4k 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 ...
Tester101's user avatar
  • 132k
12 votes
3 answers
9k 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 (...
MarkD's user avatar
  • 5,125
11 votes
5 answers
2k views

What are some routine home maintenance tips?

We just built a new home, and I'm wondering what routine things need to be done to keep everything working, well maintained, and happy. I can think of a lot of things, but the problem with any ...
11 votes
4 answers
3k views

Is there a home made solution that will clean drains?

Not sure if this counts as "Home Improvement", but it's worth a shot: I'm currently in an apartment where I'm not supposed to use chemicals to clear drains, like in the sink/tub. I've cleared out ...
anonymous coward's user avatar
11 votes
7 answers
3k 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?
fryguybob's user avatar
  • 213
11 votes
6 answers
2k 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 ...
Jeff Widmer's user avatar
  • 8,222
10 votes
1 answer
3k 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 (...
Hugo's user avatar
  • 275
9 votes
4 answers
34k 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 ...
philosodad's user avatar
9 votes
1 answer
10k 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?
Michael Pryor's user avatar
8 votes
7 answers
18k 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 ...
kamuro's user avatar
  • 197
8 votes
8 answers
41k 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 ...
Rob's user avatar
  • 205
8 votes
2 answers
2k 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 ...
Kellenjb's user avatar
  • 2,070
7 votes
5 answers
26k 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 ...
aendra's user avatar
  • 201
7 votes
6 answers
15k 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?
txwikinger's user avatar
7 votes
6 answers
40k 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 ...
Larry Morries's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
2k 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 ...
WilliamKF's user avatar
  • 451
7 votes
1 answer
29k views

How does one know if a well pump is "Short Cycling" or pressure tank is water logged?

Is there any calculation that can be performed to estimate the amount of water a well water pressure tank should output between pump cycles? E.g.- I have a 40 gallon pressure tank (non bladder) with ...
MarkD's user avatar
  • 5,125
6 votes
3 answers
618 views

How do I clean a 96-gallon automated trash can?

The town provides us one of those automated trash collection 96-gallon trash cans. Ours really stinks... you do not want to be down wind from it in the summer. I have been avoiding cleaning it for ...
Jeff Widmer's user avatar
  • 8,222
6 votes
3 answers
10k 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. ...
Highly Irregular's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
4k views

Do I really need to replace the anode rod?

Whenever I look online for information relating to anode rods in a water heater, they most often say they should be replaced regularly (4-5 years). However, every single plumber I have talked to has ...
Programmer's user avatar
  • 2,050
6 votes
1 answer
13k 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 ...
glenviewjeff's user avatar
  • 1,450
5 votes
7 answers
22k 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 ...
SomeGuy's user avatar
  • 263
5 votes
2 answers
2k views

How do I fix this countertop with a permanent solution?

I've never worked with countertops before. I want to provide a permanent fix to this problem. Any suggestions?
Malik's user avatar
  • 59
5 votes
1 answer
2k views

Diagnosing food particles in dishwasher spray arm

I have an AEG F55310VIO dishwasher (manual). I noticed that the top rack wasn't cleaning well, and started doing some investigation. I was surprised to see that several of the spray arms ports were ...
Jason_L_Bens's user avatar
5 votes
5 answers
23k 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, ...
Mike Cole's user avatar
  • 341
5 votes
1 answer
211 views

Flush a gas powered water heater, not sure if it's ever been done in 15 years. Will it survive a flush?

I'm concerned that there might be seals that are bad, or corrosion keeping things waterproof. It looks great on the outside, But I don't know how efficiently it is working - I've never owned a home ...
treverian's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
456 views

What maintenance does a cedar deck require?

We just moved into a house with a very nice 16'x16' cedar screened porch. The problem is I've never had a cedar deck and am not sure what maintenance to expect or how often to do it.
Josh's user avatar
  • 153
5 votes
1 answer
2k views

How do you descale a dishwasher heating element?

I've tried something I got at Lowes (with the wax plug, you put upside down) and CLR. The CLR worked the best, but didn't really get it off and it's building up again. I've heard vinegar will work ...
Cade Roux's user avatar
  • 286
4 votes
6 answers
90k 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 ...
Alana Storm's user avatar
4 votes
5 answers
43k 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 ...
kmp's user avatar
  • 245
4 votes
2 answers
20k 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 ...
Ben Collins's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
24k views

Rust spots on water heater -- time to replace?

So I noticed today there's some rust spots showing up on the outside/bottom on the water heater. No more than a couple specs. Should I be worried?
Doug T.'s user avatar
  • 1,407
4 votes
3 answers
49k views

How should I evaluate my central A/C to see if it's working properly?

I was once told by a service tech that they evaluate how well the system is performing based on temperature difference between the the return and supply sides. On our first really warm day (80 °F+...
TomG's user avatar
  • 3,948
4 votes
1 answer
4k 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 ...
treeNinja's user avatar
  • 1,032
4 votes
2 answers
2k views

Rust on outdoor ac fan motor? Tech recommends replacement?

I had my annual ac inspection. House has two units and one runs about twice as long each day as the other because it cools much more of the house, and had its capacitor fail two years ago. Tech ...
aggieNick02's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
20k 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 ...
JoshDM's user avatar
  • 776
4 votes
3 answers
3k 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 ...
jennyfofenny's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
9k 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 ...
ntoskrnl's user avatar
  • 143
4 votes
2 answers
22k 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 ...
Larry Morries's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
419 views

Bandsaw tyre jumps off

I have a small 250W table-top bandsaw. I was doing quite a long cut the other day, and after a a while there was a sudden noise, and the tyre on the upper pulley jumped off. I put it back on again, ...
MikeB's user avatar
  • 390
4 votes
3 answers
125 views

What outdoor materials can be damaged by by ice?

I'm relatively new to this snow thing. I also have a new vinyl deck and paver stone walkway I'd like to take care of. I have a basic understanding of how water can get into things, freeze, and break ...
Doug T.'s user avatar
  • 1,407
4 votes
2 answers
9k 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?
Tester101's user avatar
  • 132k