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Tips For a DIY-Er – Use Appliance Manuals

Tips For a DIY-Er – Use Appliance Manuals

Every DIY-er (do-it-yourselfer) should know the importance of appliance manuals. Sometimes equipment problems are not due to more than a switch not being turned on or off. You may have started the appliance inadequately. There is no need for a repair, just for information. You will find useful information in the manual on how to assemble, start and stop a device and how to use it correctly and in a safe manner. An illustrated diagram of the appliance or fixture is usually shown in the manual and all its parts are marked there along with their name and location.

You will often find a troubleshooting section in the guide. There you are taught how to find out what the cause of something not working well is. You may need help in solving certain situations, so the manufacturer’s phone number is to be found there together with a list of authorized service representatives.

Keep all manuals in the same drawer or box so that they are easy to find when needed. Being well organized saves you time and patience. You may start up a home workbook in which to note important things about your house, the appliances in it and its systems (the gas, water, electric system). You can then put the appliance and fixture use and care manuals in the sheet protectors of that notebook so that you can find all the needed information in one place.

When you misplace an use and care manual, look for a label on the device where the name of the manufacturer, the model number and the serial number are written. Then try to find the manufacturer’s website. It may be that the manual is available online on that Internet site. The probability is smaller if the device is more than 5 to 7 years old. If you do find it, download it and print it to keep it in your house. If the Internet is of no help, try to call the manufacturer when you face problems with a device.…

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Having a Shower May Not Be As Clean As You First Thought

Having a Shower May Not Be As Clean As You First Thought

It will come as a surprise to many, but new information bought to light has revealed that showering may actually be bad for your health. This information has come from a study that was carried out in America. It has been claimed by the scientists at the University of Colorado at Boulder that nearly a third of shower heads harbour ‘significant levels of mycobacterium avium’ – a pathogen linked to pulmonary disease.

Further tests carried out showed that the levels of bacteria found were more than 100 times the background levels in municipal water.

This study indicated that every time we turn on the shower, it is possible that we could be coming into contact with pathogen. The consequences of inhaling these pathogen water droplets can be quite harmful for our health. The symptoms experienced would be a persistent dry cough, tiredness and shortness of breath. However, the people behind the study have reported that people with weaker immune systems are more likely to be vulnerable to these symptoms.

Should you be worried?

For those of you who are starting to reconsider having a shower, do not act too hastily as the UK bathroom industry has responded. The UK bathroom industry has stressed that people in the UK should not be too concerned with these findings. A strong reason not to be concerned is because these tests were carried out in the US based on just 50 shower heads. As there has not been a similar study here yet we cannot get too worried. Furthermore it is quite likely that a study conducted here would produce different results as different materials are used here.

This study has been beneficial in pointing out potential health risks, and many of us can avoid these problems by keeping our shower heads clean. The concern about these findings have been far reaching as the Bathroom Manufacturers Association (BMA) said that the UK shower manufacturers have experienced an unprecedented high volume of calls from worried consumers about these findings. BMA says that consumers should not be too worried as the UK carries out rigorous tests in order to ensure that the materials used do not support the growth of microbes which allow the formation of bacteria when in contact with water.

So what can be taken from this study?

Everyday we are exposed to microbes in different ways. We would find it quite tough to avoid mycobacterium avium as it is known to occur in water, particularly in hot water supplies and aerosolised water, such as fountains. For many of us this is not particularly worrying as our bodies have a good way of defending against bacteria. For those who have weaker immune systems, they should be more careful. It is important to keep remembering that the study was just based on 50 shower heads so it is difficult to generalise how widespread this problem is. This is especially the case for us in the UK as this test was carried out in the US.

Feeling tempted to bathe the old fashioned way?

So are the experts encouraging people to ditch the shower and go back to having more traditional baths? Not really if you normally a healthy person with no specific immune system problems. If you do have a weaker immune system, some extra caution might be required.…

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Choosing a Good Contractor for Your Remodeling Project

Choosing a Good Contractor for Your Remodeling Project

Remodeling your home or upgrading it is not only beneficial in adding your personal touch and enhancing the property value but also in amending long pending jobs in your home. Although you will have all sorts of ideas of how to go about things, it is always advisable to seek the services of a professional. A general contractor will not only possess the expertise but also the necessary contacts to engage the right subs to finish the work on time and within budget.

The various aspects of a remodeling project can be quite a burden on you and your family especially if both partners are working; there are small kids or old parents to take care of, etc. Therefore, this burden is better unloaded onto an able and efficient general contractor, who can take care of the job. There are several instances where remodeling projects start to stress out family relationships or instances where contractors change orders resulting in unexpected financial burdens. Therefore, it is essential to plan out the project in detail and to hire the services of an efficient professional.

So, what are the criteria that will help you to find a good contractor? One of the most important is good judgment, the next is impeccable planning. Also consider your budget constraints. There could be several issues that you want to modify or upgrade, but look at significant ones that can go into your project. This can be done with the help of your contractor and real estate investor. Both with their professional expertise and experience can help you make the right choices for your home. Although you can consider being a part of smaller jobs, always leave the bigger and heavier tasks into the hands of professionals. This will help you save costs and frustration. Sharing your ideas with the contractor can help him make your dream home a reality.

Another factor in favor of hiring professionals to complete your project is the higher probability of finishing the job within the targeted deadline. There are instances where kitchen or bedroom remodeling was started off as DIY project and never reached completion! For contractors, it is their job and they have the expertise, experience, and necessary contacts to obtain the material and finish the job on time. Further, the finished job will have a professional touch to it. Although a team works on the project, the final decisions would be yours and you can inspect the quality and durability of the finished work before you release the payments. And all this definitely works out to be more cost-efficient than doing the project on your own.

Communication is an important factor in any business dealing. Therefore, ensure that you have daily updates about the work progress and ensure that communication is always clear and straightforward. This will prevent errors in the work and also timely completion of the project. Thus, a general contractor is good means to ensure that your remodeling project is successfully completed in a timely, economical, and efficient manner.…

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Kill Those Energy Bills With a Draft Guard

Kill Those Energy Bills With a Draft Guard

Energy is a hot topic these days, with the poor homeowner constantly up against a flood of bad news and an ever-increasing list of bills. Oil prices are never stable, are they and we never know where they are going to head next. The economy has really done damage to our delicate monthly budgets. The underlying trend for energy costs is higher and it is becoming more and more difficult to heat or cool the home through the various seasons. It would certainly add insult to injury if cool air was to seek out or frigid air come in and we should look for leaks around all apertures, treating them with a draft guard.

Miniature gaps between the floor and our doors can open quite naturally as older houses tend to settle. You can’t see these gaps with your naked eye, but they are definitely there. Unless you do something about it, expensive air will seep in or out around the clock and have a devastating effect on your utility bill. By using a good draft guard you can get rid of this issue right now.

Draft guards are also known as draft blockers and have been proven effective over the years. Conventional doorways measure 3 feet in width and the draft guards, at 42 inches are perfect for this problem. Due to their flexibility, they can be manipulated for any area.

Don’t just think that the front and back doors are the only areas of concern for you, as in a traditional home there are many places to look. In the winter, warm air rising can escape through the attic door and a draft guard here would be a great investment.

Look for leaks in all your potential areas, as in addition to those doors, the sliders to your patio area are also causes for concern. Once again, heated air in the winter and cooler in the summer could be lost if you’re not careful. In addition, your utilities will have to work overtime to maintain that great indoor temperature and this will affect their longevity.

Go to all your windows and run your hand around the edges to feel for drafts. It’s surprising, isn’t it? Draft guards can work well here as well.

Invest in draft guard products for the long-term as they are designed to last. They are made from polypropylene and filled with a great insulator, ground corn cob and they can be simply air dried if they ever get wet.

Everything helps when you’re trying to save on your monthly utility bill and you should do a comprehensive review of your home to help out. As you can generally get a bulk discount for these items, stock up on a quantity of draft guards to help you.…

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Plumbing Tools Everyone Should Have

Plumbing Tools Everyone Should Have

You may not run into plumbing issues very often, but when you do they can be a real hassle. Fortunately, most of them can actually be fixed yourself fairly easily. All it takes is a bit of knowledge and a few simple tools and you’ll soon be on your way to performing your own plumbing repairs and avoiding the potentially high costs of hiring a professional plumber.

Plunger – Arguably the most popular plumbing tool that most people have is the plunger. By using the application of force and vacuum, plungers can be used to help unclog all sorts of drains, including but not limited to toilets that most people may associate them with. Bear in mind that plungers can come in a variety of styles and sizes so you know what kind to purchase for different types of plumbing. What all plungers have in common is the general design: a rubber cup attached to what is usually a wooden shaft that serves as a handle. Sink plungers generally look like a ball that has simply been cut in half while toilet plungers are somewhat mushroom-shaped.

Pipe Wrench – While perhaps not as commonly owned, the pipe wrench is the classic plumbing tool that comes to mind for most people when they think of “plumbing”. Widely considered a must-have for any plumber, pipe wrenches allow gripping around objects of a wide variety of shapes and sizes thanks to its adjustable design. As the name suggests, they are usually used on pipes, whether securing or removing them.

Pliers – While normal pliers can be used for plumbing repairs and even be interchangeably used with wrenches in certain situations, plumbing pliers are usually highly adjustable and have an irregular clamp shape. Such a design allows for better gripping on rounded objects such as piping, naturally.

Drain Snake – Possibly the least known plumbing tool and maybe even the most intimidating, drain snakes are fairly straightforward to operate and can be very useful in solving what may appear to be major plumbing issues without enlisting professional assistance. Thanks to its rigid yet flexible design with an auger at the end, drain snakes can remove tougher clogs when plungers can’t get the job done. They can be pushed and navigated through piping with relative ease to otherwise hard-to-reach places. Like plungers, drain snakes can be useful in a variety of situations ranging from toilets to bath tub drains. While they tend to be the most expensive tool on this list, they can arguably also prove to be the best investment.

Teflon Tape – Also called thread seal tape or plumber’s tape, teflon tape is used to secure pipe leakages. They are commonly applied on the pipe’s threading to provide an effective sealing surface when connecting piping together. Think of it as the duct tape of the plumbing world.

As you can see, investing in just a few tools and learning how to use them can save you on potential costs and headaches that may come with hiring a plumber. With a little practice, many common household plumbing mishaps can quickly and easily resolved on your own.…

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For General Home Maintenance, Call a Handyman Today

For General Home Maintenance, Call a Handyman Today

Do you have a lot of odd jobs or repairs that need to be done around your house? If so, then you are not alone. Most homeowners have some odds and ends around the house that need to be taken care of but they never seem to have the time to go and fix it. In these cases it can be extremely convenient to have a handyman in Vancouver WA to take care of it for you. Handymen are usually skilled in a variety of different projects and can help with remodeling, repairs, plumbing, concrete, carpentry, landscaping, and many more. No matter what your need is, there is a handyman in Vancouver WA that can take care of it.

These professional services usually will include someone coming out to the home to evaluate the situation and see what needs to be done. The nice part about this preparatory period is the serviceman can get a good idea of how much work it will take to fix it and also how much it will cost. This is a great way to get a price estimate from the company and to also find out about how long it will take to fix it. This way you can have an accurate scope of the total costs and time it will take to get back on your feet. During this time, it is important to get a lot of evaluations from different services in the area. This way you will be able to do some price comparisons and make sure you aren’t getting ripped off.

One nice thing about a handyman is that they will have a variety of professionals at their disposal to solve your problems. This means they will usually have plumbers, decorators, and professional electricians on staff to be able to handle larger problems that are a bit more advanced. This is comforting because then you know that all of your repairs will be done correctly without having to worry about having future problems with it.…

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How Re-Piping Can Improve a Home’s Value

How Re-Piping Can Improve a Home’s Value

When you are looking at buying a new home or selling one the piping is one thing to look at. Builders use different types when piping a home. Some may use PVC, galvanized steel, or copper. The copper pipes are the better choice. PVC can freeze and break, galvanized steel pipes rust, and copper doesn’t do either of these. Either one you choose re-piping is a quality to look into before putting your current home on the market or purchasing a new one.

If the home has new piping then it can almost be guaranteed that there is no rust in the clean water lines. If the piping isn’t new you could be taking a rust bath without knowing it. The PVC piping could be getting weak and cause a water line to break. You don’t want in the middle of winter a water line bursting due to old piping. Home buyers want to move right in and not worry about immediate maintenance. It is beneficial to the new buyers to pay the extra, for a higher value home, than to begin repairs before moving in or immediately after.

When you re-pipe your home or purchasing a home that has been re-piped the fixtures are not always changed, just the pipes themselves. The value of the home goes up because there is new plumbing in what could be a twenty year old house. This gives it at least in one area a new status. There are many plumbers that specialize in re-piping. Talk to friends and look into other avenues to find someone that specializes in re-piping and have them look at your piping to see if this could benefit you in selling your home. If you are on the other end of the spectrum they could tell you if the home needs to be re-piped.

This could help you in the decision of purchasing the home. Also, you could have the sellers come down on the price he or she is asking due to the issue of needing the home re-piped. The piping could bring the value up or bring it down.…

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Home Decorating Without Splurging Much

Home Decorating Without Splurging Much

Are you always on a tight budget? It is undeniable that a lot of us really budget our finances wisely because of economic instability. We would rather be prioritizing the primary needs than having to splurge on other miscellaneous stuff such as for home repair and decoration. I know that there’s that person inside of you all eager and screaming to do home makeover. Interior designing and decorating is possible without splurging a huge amount of money. You can afford to get your house a makeover in a very prudent manner. Here are some ideas on how you can make that possible.

Choose the Right Style

If you’re going to choose the right concept for your abode, pick something that you can keep up with and maintain. You have to let your decisiveness get in so that you won’t have to totally redesign and remodel your abode afterwards. All it takes is you to have that fixed decision on what you really want to do with your abode. It’s just like looking through the vantage point wherein you have a clear picture of all the circumstances. You can go for something contemporary, Victorian, country and a whole lot more.

Pick a Color

The wall’s paint color can be demanding at times and thus requires you to spare a certain amount for it. This is also another very crucial decision to make. When you pick the color for your abode, opt for something that could go perfect in any parts of the house. White is a safe choice.

Splurge on Furniture

A superb furniture set does a lot of wonder for our abode. It turns a livid environment in to a mellowed or jazzed up one. You can also snatch different looks for your home by simply manipulating the furniture as to its placement and the way you use them as accents. Settle for versatile furniture sets which can be placed nearly everywhere at home.

Drape Around

Curtains and draperies are among the important elements of interior design and decorating. You can illuminate a murky room by putting on curtains with lively prints and colors. You can also do the opposite if you don’t want too much light from penetrating inside by using dark, heavy or woolen type of curtains. That’s definitely how draperies do the tricks for your abode.

Art Pieces

Art works aren’t really as expensive as you think. Well, it actually depends on how you shop for them. You don’t really have to buy those elegant and classy works of genius. Without really meaning to break a law on copyright and the like, you can actually make a replica of that certain masterpiece. These would surely put on some noise on a very silent wall.


Accessories are also among the very essence of interior decorating. There are so many stuffs that you can use to accessorize your abode. You can use lighting fixtures such as lamps and light bulbs. You can go for classic or contemporary ones depending on the concept of your home. There are also jars and vases that would give your home a touch of elegance.…

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Brick Cracks And House Foundation Repair

Cracks in the foundation are flaws that often are a part of the normal appearance in a structure such as a home or commercial building. Brick is a clay based block of masonry used in the foundation of construction that is quite popular and dependable. When a crack forms it is a separation of parts; consistent with breaks as an opening signifying a separation of materials which may or may not impact a home foundationally in every case. Just remember this building unit block or brick is naturally prone to expanding so do not get concerned unless the signs of a greater issue arises. This can stem from the following:

  • Home settling
  • Climate changes

Over time the signals of the necessity of repair or at least having professional eyes assess the condition originate from crumbling or breakage in areas. Another sign would be missing mortar and noticeable crumbling in base areas. Structural core damage in the interior or exterior of the home indicate the need for brick foundation crack repair. Brick is often chosen by many builders and owners alike due to the structural integrity and being known for sturdiness as it does not easily succumb to damage from elements and normal wear and tear. However corner cracks demand consideration of repairs ASAP as the stability of the home comes into question. So now how do you handle the issues that are before you?

Worry Not

First keep in mind that the foundation is the most important part of your home. It is no wonder since the entire weight of the structure rests solely on its understructure. If the cracks in the brick are hairline based there is less to worry about. An opening is considered hairline about the width of sewing thread appearing in basement walls, adjacent to windows, and door corners. This is normal and not worth stressing besides applying a fresh coat of paint to cover the hairline.

Expansion Time

If on the other hand there is a crack that you notice expanding, growing in dimensions keeps a watchful eye on its appearance. If there appears to be moisture issues or increase in separation size take care of this brick foundation crack repair armed with grout and putty knife. Directional separations are concerning to the naked eye however in most cases are nothing critical that sealant cannot rectify.

Professional Assistance Please

A structural expert should inspect the foundation of the home at some point examining the structure in detail. His/her opinion will determine whether this is a personal DIY duty or one for the professionals. Foundational openings or separations to take care of immediately or red flags are:

  • Horizontal-they pose more risk than vertical and diagonal cracks
  • Large ones bulging the foundation wall

Stabilization of foundational repair involves different applications including excavation around and within the outer wall, steel underpinning, or even utilizing lifting machinery.

Make it a point to check on the brick structure at least twice a year as a rule and if preventative measures can be taken as part of routine maintenance in a DIY basis address this immediately. In the more critical case where structure, foundation and repair are higher priority do not hesitate to call in a brick mason or other expert to take care of repairs. Your home is your sanctuary and should be sound inside and out foundationally.

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Common Electrical Complications in Your House: Harmless or Hazardous?


The harmless side of electrical common problems include:

Broken switches

Many switches are made of plastic and they break off. When you need to fix it, you can turn off the circuit breaker for the right switch. Then proceed to use a screwdriver with a flatbed top and carefully remove the faceplate. Then carefully remove the light switch and test whether the two wires are functional. If it is okay, you can disconnect and put it back together with the light switch.

Damaged cords

The first thing is to ensure safety. Unplug both ends of the burnt-out, cut or old plug, peel back the insulation and inspect each wire for damage. Cut off any affected parts of the cord and retwist them back to their desired positions. Ensure that at the back of the plug, the black connects to the gold, the white to the silver screw, the green to the green, and then closes the plug to secure the wires into place and ensure the cord is in space.

Short circuits

In many households, this is common because frequently used appliances are bound to have them. That said, to fix a short circuit in an appliance, you need to reset the breaker and if this happens to one particular appliance in the household, the appliance might be faulty and not the electrical system. For this, you need to consider a warranty or an electricals expert.

An outlet plug that is loose

Turn off the source of power to the plug and check whether the currency is still flowing into the system. Then proceed to screw it into place or add shims until it comes to. However, some problems can also be serious and harmful, which calls for the use of an All Day Electrician. Here are some:

A warm outlet or a switch

If you happen to feel the heat from a switch or a plug, it means there might be an underlying problem that can only be addressed by an electrician.

Flickering lights

If the lights in-home or business premises are flickering a lot or dimming out, it means that there is a poor connection that has led to loose or disrupted connections that cause anything from flickering to fire. You need to consult an All Day Electrician as soon as possible.

Are your breakers tripping frequently?

If your breakers are tripping more times than you can count, this is a clear sign that the circuit is being overloaded by too much electricity. With this happening, you can add a circuit or generally upgrade the entire system.

Dead power outlets

If your power outlets are dead, it means there is a poor connection or arcing, a tripped circuit breaker that is leading to excessive heat and is melting the wires. An electrician can solve the issue as soon as possible and avoid further damage.

Burning out frequently of light bulbs

If your household has to keep a stock of light bulbs because they keep blowing up, you need to call an electrician because the problem could be more than overuse. The professional will diagnose the problem and fix it.

Electrical issues in the household are common and while there are numerous channels showing how to DIY yourself out of everything, restrain from handling electricity if you don’t know about it. Call in a professional to aid in the remedy rather than take risks that could be fatal. It is better to stay safe.