Aug
01
2008
5

How to Thaw Frozen Plumbing Pipes

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  • Locate the main water cut off for the house and procure any tools that you may need to quickly turn the water off, in case you have leaks when it thaws out. But unless you suspect that you have burst pipes, don’t turn off the water yet. If possible draft an assistant for the extremely dull job of being handy to quickly turn off the water in case you get it to flow, and leaks are detected.
  • Minimize Distracting Noise – You will usually be able to hear water flowing through the pipes once it starts, and turning the radio or TV off could help you to prevent a big mess in case you have a burst pipe.
  • Open up all of the indoor faucets (sinks, bathtubs, etc) for two reasons: 1) if you can achieve just a little bit of flow through the pipes, then often the flowing water will quickly thaw out the ice remaining in the pipes. 2) To relieve pressure when flow is restored so that any leaks will flow at a slower rate to give you more time to turn off the main water valve, and thereby minimize water damage.
  • Crank up the heat. Try to get heat to the areas that are most likely to be frozen. Obviously the most likely places for the pipes to be frozen are where it is coldest – crawl spaces, unheated basements, water meter boxes, garages, etc. Be careful with space heaters and extension cords, you don’t want to burn down the house. Don’t crank up the heat and then run off to town. Keep an eye on everything just in case the water starts to flow. (more…)
  • Jul
    31
    2008
    4

    The Best Whirlpool Smooth Stove Top Cleaner

    We finally replaced our old open element range with a new Whirlpool smooth ceramic top stove model. We immediately discovered that if you spill anything on it at all that you get some really stubborn stains. The recommended product that came with the range would barely even do anything at all. So, to make a long story short all you have to do is sprinkle a small amount of automatic dishwasher detergent (great value brand from Wal-Mart gets consumer reports highest rating by the way) and a little water then gently scrub with a green scotchbrite pad and it cleans up just like new. After figuring this out I keep a spray bottle of solution (2-3 tablespoons of detergent in 12 oz water more or less) handy and cleanup is a snap.

    This same solution also works great for other tough cleaning jobs like the stainless steel exterior of the gas grill. This solution of automatic dishwasher detergent does a great job of loosening and removing stains, but it will leave the surface hazy unless you follow up with a damp rag or a glass plus type of multi purpose cleaner.

    By the way, the instructions that came with our stove say to only use the factory recommended cleaner, and a clean soft cotton cloth or some such malarky, but after several months of using my method our smooth top stove looks like new. Who knows what they are thinking at Whirlpool.

    Just in case you had any desire to know – Automatic dishwasher detergent uses enzymes which are biological catalysts to drastically speed up the chemical reaction of breaking down fats and proteins. Since the stubborn cooked on stains on your stove top are from foods containing fats and proteins, then dishwasher detergent is just the ticket. So, this isn’t just the best whirlpool stove top cleaner, also keep it in mind for all kinds of food stains including blood. As with any strong cleaner use with caution and at your own risk.

    Jul
    31
    2008
    11

    How to Fix a Toilet That Runs On

    Repairing a run on Toilet is an EASY do it yourself fix!

    Looking down at the contents of a typical toilet tank

    This is what you see when you look down into your typical toilet tank. The yellow thing at top left is the flush valve also known as a “ballcock”. The gray thing in the middle is the flapper valve. By the way, despite the rust stains in these pictures, the water in the toilet tank is completely clean. This is not a nasty job.

    Toilet supply connections

    Typical supply connections. (more…)

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