38 votes
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How to clean a burnt wall socket?

Do not try to clean a scorched receptacle even with the power off; the heat created takes the temper out of the metal and the receptacle would not pass a withdrawal force test, this is important ...
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  • 95.7k
36 votes

In layman's terms how much pressure is 4000 psi?

4000 PSI is too much or a shitload of pressure. I would never use it on high on anything that I was cleaning at a home. Even brick work could get damaged of up close 4000 PSI. Probably the only ...
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  • 46.2k
32 votes

Avoiding dust scattering when you drill

Vacuum near the point of drilling Have someone to stand next to you with the nozzle of a (running) vacuum cleaner, and position it very carefully near the where the drill bit enters the wall. ...
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  • 2,375
30 votes

Avoiding dust scattering when you drill

Get it wet! When drilling or cutting stone, using water to cool the bit will help cut faster and smoother and prolong the life of the bit. When drilling in the wet hole, you don't need a special ...
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22 votes

Best way to clean up nails after demolition?

Since you are planning to do the teardown yourself, you could lay a tarp or sheets of plywood to make a place for nails to not get lost in the grass/dirt in the process of tearing it down - or remove ...
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  • 133k
19 votes

Why do many construction projects leave so many nails behind?

Yes it is typical, but a conscientious contractor will pick them up with a magnet or not let them drop to begin with. Sadly, from my experience, not many workers do. Cost of the nails versus the time ...
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19 votes
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Central Vacuuming: Is it worth it, and how does it compare to normal vacuuming?

I've installed several systems in new construction projects up to about 6,000 s.f., one of which was a log home. (That was interesting.) No, you don't necessarily get better performance. It's all ...
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  • 104k
19 votes

Avoiding dust scattering when you drill

In addition to the halved tennis ball trick, when drilling walls, I usually use Post-It notes. Take one sheet, fold it horizontally away from the sticky side, then stick it to the wall just below the ...
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  • 439
17 votes

How to drain a toilet bowl?

A wet-capable vacuum cleaner If you only have a dry capable vac you can buy or build an interim canister that traps the water Any canister with a wall strong enough to resist being sucked flat will ...
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  • 1,302
16 votes

In layman's terms how much pressure is 4000 psi?

224 x 10^6 Hundredweight per acre.
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16 votes
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Why do many construction projects leave so many nails behind?

There are a bunch of different ways that nails wind up on the ground, and none of them are really avoidable. They fall out of nail pouches, they'll kick out and go flying if you hit them wrong with a ...
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  • 6,825
16 votes
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How do I clean sealant/silicone from a glass mirror?

Wait until it dries and use a razor blade to scrape it off.
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  • 691
16 votes
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Removed front closet doors and hardwood below is a different color

The rest of your floor has been stained a darker color and has also weathered with exposure to air. You have a few choices of how to handle this, listed here from hardest to easiest: Refinish the ...
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  • 2,414
16 votes

How to drain a toilet bowl?

Professional plumbers, like Richard Trethewey of This Old House, use a turkey baster to remove water:
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13 votes

Avoiding dust scattering when you drill

I am using this tool (Kärcher DDC 50). You put the drill through the hole on the right, and the battery-driven vacuum not only sucks the dust into the storage container but also sucks the entire tool ...
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  • 231
13 votes
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Best way to clean up nails after demolition?

Dismantle the shed into the biggest chunks that you can move. Then do as much dismantling as possible on a driveway so that any nails will (a) be obvious and (b) be easy to sweep up afterwards.
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12 votes
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How to clean rusty grill grates?

Put them in the grill and get them HOT! Then use a wire brush and scrub the scale and rust off. After that I usually coat them with olive oil but any cooking oil will work.
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12 votes

Central Vacuuming: Is it worth it, and how does it compare to normal vacuuming?

Like anything else, can be done well or poorly. Having seen some done poorly, those are a waste of money. Short sharp turns, improperly arranged tees make keeping the system free of clogs a pain, when ...
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  • 133k
11 votes

Why do many construction projects leave so many nails behind?

It's fairly typical. Nails get dropped, nails are struck poorly and go flying. Nails are not hugely expensive (modern era - supposedly in the era that they were hand-made one at a time, folks would ...
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  • 133k
10 votes

Avoiding dust scattering when you drill

Squirt bottle Wet the wall area just as you start, then as soon as the bit is seated, use one hand to squirt a small amount of water at the hole in frequent intervals. This will assure the stuff ...
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10 votes

Avoiding dust scattering when you drill

A combination of my "vacuum near drill point" answer and @mrks' mini-vacuum Karcher device answer: You can get a (hopefully) universal vacuum cleaner collector attachment for collecting drilling dust: ...
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  • 2,375
8 votes

In layman's terms how much pressure is 4000 psi?

Take a moderately average car, such as a Honda Civic - roughly 3000 lbs (depending on options, year, etc) Balance it on a US Quarter (0.955 inch diameter, 0.716 square inches) Or: Stick to quarters....
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  • 133k
8 votes
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How to clean brush after polyurethane?

I have had trouble cleaning them with everything and had the same problem, until I found a jar large enough to put the brush in filled to the bristle level with thinner keeping it tightly sealed. (I ...
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8 votes
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How to clean a paint brush?

First I "paint out" the brush (try to paint scrap material, cardboard etc.) until the brush is too dry to paint. Then: Latex paints Assuming I have flowing tap water on site, I rinse the brush with ...
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8 votes

Avoiding dust scattering when you drill

Cut a tennis ball in half. Drill a hole in the center of one half, slide the half over the drill bit, line up the drill and bit to where the hole is to be. Slide the half ball up against the wall and ...
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  • 53.4k
8 votes
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Why does my kitten's urine clean my carpet?

Urine (human and animal) contains ammonia, paricularly if it's left for a while, e.g. if you didn't notice it at first. Ammonia is used in carpet-cleaning products. In fact it's been used for stain-...
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  • 3,794
8 votes
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How to drain a toilet bowl?

I have done this for years. I just pour a bucket of water in the toilet bowl, pour it all at once so the force of the water is swift. For getting that coral like "growth" off, I use a pumice ...
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8 votes

How to drain a toilet bowl?

You ask what you can do to push the water down. That is like pushing a wet noodle. I do it the easy way and use my shop vac (wet/dry). I clean it out first then place the correct filter in it. When ...
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  • 3,161
8 votes

Best way to clean up nails after demolition?

In addition to other answers, such as laying down a big tarp before starting the work, using a big magnet after, etc. go out after dark with a strong flashlight and sweep the area, possibly from ...
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  • 396
7 votes
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How do I remove stuck (melted?) foam from under carpet on hardwood floor?

I suppose I should post the solution we eventually came up with. We tried everything. Goo-gone. Soapy water. Various hardwood floor cleaners. Alcohol. Windex. Dry ice. Steam. Swiffer Wet Jet. ...
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