25 votes

What kind of nut is this

I find using the correct “c” spanner, in fact I would use two together to undo that as it means no hammering to possibly damage bearings etc. This method of using two nuts is used to set a limit or ...
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  • 20.6k
17 votes
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Should I run the tap while dumping boiling water?

April 13, 2016 Purpose: There is some disagreement as to whether boiling water can be poured down a residential kitchen sink without damaging the drain pipe. It might be assumed that if the pipe ...
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  • 6,064
16 votes
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What kind of nut is this

It's a spanner nut. There's a special wrench to loosen and tighten it but putting a slotted screwdriver in the groove and tapping it with a hammer usually works. it's a double nut so loosen one ...
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  • 53k
14 votes
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How can I stop a toilet seat from rapidly loosening?

Nylon is self-lubricating. Even when tight it's very slippery against itself. You'll need to increase friction. It may seem counter-intuitive, but you could apply some PTFE (Teflon) plumbing tape to ...
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  • 104k
11 votes
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Why did city utility work require me to modify my faucet aerator?

The most likely scenario is that the work on the system disturbed sediment/debris that migrated to your home water piping, plugging up your faucet aerators. Rather than the "quarter turn" you describe ...
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  • 33.4k
11 votes

How do I fix this countertop with a permanent solution?

The problem is that whoever installed this didn't screw that side of the supports into the studs or the screws were too short to go into the studs.. Over time, that support worked loose and dropped ...
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  • 53k
9 votes

What is the lifespan of pvc cement?

When installed properly, the life should be indefinite. The hot/cold should have little effect, unless those temperatures are extreme.
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  • 569
9 votes

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

Some other helpful hints (not from Heloise) 0) ALWAYS wear gloves and eye protection. (Note: if you're using one hand to hold down the material being drilled, a glove can reduce injury if the drill ...
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8 votes
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How should I evaluate my central A/C to see if it's working properly?

When the person you spoke to said to measure the "temperature difference between the return and supply sides". What they were talking about, is what's known as Delta T (of the evaporator). ...
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  • 128k
7 votes

When buying a rental home after many years of our occupancy, is a home inspection still necessary?

Yes, unless you are an inspector yourself. Inspections often catch things owners don't know about. The owner may have maintained it meticulously, but he can only fix the problems he knows about. My ...
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  • 1,665
7 votes
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Do I really need to replace the anode rod?

Most water heater tanks are steel with a thin glass lining to protect the metal from corrosion. Since the lining eventually cracks, tanks have a second line of defense against rust: a long metal “...
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  • 104k
7 votes
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Help me identify: Mold or fungus or Moss?

This is a combination of Moss (the thick rounded lumps) and lichen (the very thin plants) It is no worse for your health than having the same plants growing on your footpath or driveway or rocks. ...
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7 votes

How important is it to completely flush a water heater?

The sediment will be at the bottom. So you will get nearly all the sediment during the first gallon or two while draining. There is generally little to gain by fully draining the tank.
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6 votes
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When do tankless water heaters need to be descaled?

The manual will say something like Flushing the heat exchanger with a descaling solution if mineral build up is evident. Scale build up will shorten the life of the water heater, descale heat ...
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6 votes

Should I run the tap while dumping boiling water?

First of all, do you in fact have PVC pipes? Lots of older houses have cast iron end-to-end, so nothing at all to worry about in that case. Even if you do have PVC, I don't think there's any serious ...
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6 votes

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

Just some things I see on jobs all the time: Do not use a power drill (you want to keep mix things). You will blow out the motor in a good power drill by using it as a mixer. I see my guys use ...
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  • 46.2k
6 votes

How can I stop a toilet seat from rapidly loosening?

It is likely that the plastic nut (or bolt it screws to) is stripped. It may feel like it is tightening, but works loose because the threads are damaged. You should grab a set of replacement toilet ...
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  • 33.4k
5 votes
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How to bypass a clogged water softener?

B2 is a bypass valve. B1 and B3 are so you can remove the water softener to replace it and still have water pressure in the house. B2 (only) or B1, B3 (only) should be open at any one time. "All the ...
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  • 132k
5 votes
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How can I get my stuck sprinkler heads to go down after watering?

This usually comes after years of use where there is grit in the water. The plastic sliding surfaces get abraded and start to stick. Usually the result is that you have to replace the sprinkler as the ...
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5 votes
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Why should I replace the starter every time I replace a fluorescent tube?

Modern electronic ballast technology (T8, T5) doesn't use starters. I associate starters with old, inefficient magnetic ballast installations. I haven't had to replace a starter in years because they ...
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5 votes

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

I know it's in the comments, but I feel it's important enough to place in an answer: Never EVER throw water on a fire that is , or might be, oil or gasoline - based! If your furnace does not have an ...
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5 votes

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

Radial loads are bad. Axial loads are good. The bearings in your drill or drill press are designed to counteract the forces in line with the drill bit. A milling machine does both, and using a ...
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5 votes
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Snow blower : 0w30 or 5w30

Most engines have several weights of oil that are allowed, typically with one of them being the recommended weight. In addition, outside temperature affects which oil weights can be used. Most manuals ...
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  • 1,641
4 votes

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

as a HVAC technician. i found most failed capacitor issues was involved with blocked/dirty condensate coils, causing the compressor/fan to drew more amperage. so check first your condensate (outside ...
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4 votes

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

Pine is a poor choose for siding in the northeast, and it is far more expensive than spec grade vinyl siding. Even though pine is used often for trim, when it is used to side an entire building expect ...
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4 votes

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

Pine has been the traditional siding in the Northeastern US for several hundred years (along with cedar shingles). Painting is the standard protection. While numerous products are lower maintenance, ...
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  • 33.1k
4 votes

How much maintenance should I budget for a historic home?

As someone with a relatively newer house (1930s), and have experience in dealing with issues of an 1800s home (my grandmother's), there are a few things to consider which can dramatically affect your ...
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  • 7,134
4 votes

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

Pine will work fine if prep on the wood is done correctly. Prime all ends, the back, the front and two coats of paint on front and ends. This is usually good for 10 plus years. Pine siding has been ...
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4 votes

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

There are several independent variables to manage in a swimming pool or hot tub: pH balance halogen balance calcium hardness total dissolved solids Nearly everyone is aware of pH balance, but what ...
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  • 12.1k
4 votes

How do you drain a carburetor?

Chain saws have what is called a diaphragm carburetor as opposed to the carburetor with a float. The float bowl in those types hold gas and need to be drained and usually have a drain plug. The carb ...
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  • 31.1k

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