Dec
22
2008
1

Thawing Frozen Pipes and Winter Home Maintenance

The first full day of winter, and Man it’s cold.  Three days ago it was 75 degrees and this morning it’s 5.  If you’re in Minnesota I know that you’re thinking stop whining already hey, but you must admit that is an extreme change over one weekend. It catches people by surprise – “Surprise! it’s December 22, and it’s Cold!” – It probably shouldn’t but it does.

It’s a big money day for plumbers.  Anyway…

How to Thaw your Frozen Pipes – Click on the link for more information on what to do when the water doesn’t flow, and how to keep your pipes from freezing if they haven’t already.

Winter Time Home Maintenance – Maintenance is the key to avoiding expensive repairs, and keeping your home values high –  And there are some things that are best done in the Winter time.

Dec
12
2008
103

Easy Washing Machine Agitator Clutch Repair

“The agitator in my washing machine isn’t agitating!”

Fixing our broken Kenmore Elite top loading washing machine (apparently similar to Whirlpool, Roper and Inglis) turns out to be a really simple 10 minute job.  Seriously, if your agitator is slipping don’t call a repairman for this, a twelve year old could probably do it.  It’s so easy that I would recommend that if you don’t have a socket wrench and extension (the only tools required) that you buy one rather than call an appliance repair man just to change the agitator clutch.  Also, the parts were only $6.

The agitator on our washing machine stopped agitating.

The top part of the agitator on our washing machine stopped agitating.

So, my lovely wife informs me that the washing machine is broken.  (more…)

Aug
25
2008
5

Lightning Protection for TV Antennas

Thinking about turning off the cable or satellite service to save money? You aren’t alone. Times are tough and a lot of us need to trim our expenses.  You’ll probably be surprised at the amount and quality of programming that you can get over an antenna that you can install for the price of a couple of months of premium cable, especially now that on air broadcasts are going high definition. However, if you use an exterior mounted television or radio antenna you must take some simple steps to protect your TV and home from being damaged by lightning.
I do not claim to be an expert in this field, however I have gone to the trouble to find articles on the Internet by several people who are, and I have taken their advice with very good results. At the bottom of this page you will find links to several “expert” sites on this subject.

Protection for a TV antenna which is located on a roof should be at three points:

1) Ground Connections at the Antenna The antenna, mast and lead in wires (as well as control wires for the rotator or similar equipment) should have a ground routed via the shortest possible path, without sharp bends or kinks to a ground rod which is connected to the main earth ground for the home electrical system.

2) At The Entrance to the House The antenna coax should enter the house as near as possible to where the telephone or cable TV wires enter (usually very near the electrical service entrance). This is called a single point of entry. All data and control wires should be grounded at this point with the shortest most direct conductor possible to the system ground rods.

3) At The Television A high quality surge protection device that protects both the power supply and the antenna wires should be used at all televisions connected to the antenna.

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