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My helpful home tips

If it doesn't fit anywhere else, it fits here

My helpful home tips

Postby narcoleptish » Mon Sep 05, 2011 10:56 pm

Printing these could cost me a couple of easy jobs, since I often do some of this stuff for customers, but that's alright. Add your own.


1. Light bulb lubricant. Who hasn't had a bulb rust up and break off? Brand I have is Aura bulb & socket Lube in a round orange container. Lube the threads on your bulbs, especially the outdoor ones, to avoid stuck bulbs. If one does break off, turn of the switch (duh) and jam a needle nose pliers into the socket. Pull the handles apart firmly and twist. Usually works for me.

2. Stuck Garbage disposal: If it still hums, there's an allen wrench socket in the middle underneath. Find a 1/4" allen wrench and doing your best to hold the disposal steady, crank the wrench back and forth to try and dislodge the problem. Then you can reach in to look for it (kinda messy) or I use a flashlight and a little flexible grabber tool to fish out the glass or human bones or whatever. New GE's don't have this feature anymore and the manual tells you to stick a broom handle into the drain and try to pry it loose. What a bunch of crap. Probably all to save the cost of the 1/4" wrench they send with the unit. (which is often under the sink)

If there is no hum, there should be a red reset button underneath. Push it, if you then get a hum, do the above. If not, check the fuse.

3. Ethanol in gasoline is hard on small engines. Gummed up carbs seem more prevalent with ethanol gas. Stabil For Ethanol is a product you can add to your gas to cut down on the problems. Farm & Fleet has it.

4. Windex will get a stuck ring off your finger.

5. If you're getting a new kitchen floor and you have a dishwasher, make sure the flooring guys don't go over the top of the dishwasher feet with the new sub-floor or ceramic tile. I've seen this too many times and often the dishwasher can't be removed without sawzalling the dishwasher frame or cutting chunks out of the new floor. Ideally, if you have the clearance, take the dishwasher out and do the floor underneath it too.

6. If your screen door slams too hard or shuts too slow, there's a screw on the end, in the center that adjusts the speed. If the little metal tab on the closer rod that holds the door open doesn't work, try putting a nickel between it and the closer tube.

I'll think of more...
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Re: My helpful home tips

Postby fennel » Mon Sep 05, 2011 11:49 pm

narcoleptish wrote:4. Windex will get a stuck ring off your finger.
A little motherly advice will prevent it's getting stuck there in the first place.

("There are plenty of fish in the sea.")
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Re: My helpful home tips

Postby snoqueen » Tue Sep 06, 2011 9:07 am

Know where things are in your house before something goes wrong -- that's my first rule.

Shutoff for gas; individual shutoffs for individual appliances. While you're at it, be sure you have an up to date, up to code coupler between any moveable appliances and the gas supply.

Same for water, including individual shutoffs for fixtures. Don't forget shutoffs for outside hose bibs. If they are missing at least be sure you have frostproof hose bibs.

Electrical box: label the breakers so you know which one does what. If you forgot to do this and you need to shut off a particular circuit, plug a loud radio into that circuit, go down to the breaker box, and flip breakers until you hear the radio go off.

Incidentally, in a power outage a most useful thing is a headlamp with an LED bulb. Ridiculously bright, much longer battery life than older flashlights. Keep one handy where you can find it in the dark.
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Re: My helpful home tips

Postby Henry Vilas » Tue Sep 06, 2011 9:38 am

Scratches in hardwood floors and furniture can often be fixed with a walnut or pecan. Break the nut and rub it on the scratch. The nut oils will go into the scratch and be a close match to the finish of the wood, (if the scratch is not too deep). This won't work for deep gouges.
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Re: My helpful home tips

Postby jjoyce » Tue Sep 06, 2011 9:39 am

If you're like me, this video of a woman folding a fitted sheet will mess your shit up:

http://kottke.org/10/12/how-to-fold-a-fitted-sheet
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Re: My helpful home tips

Postby Michael Patrick » Tue Sep 06, 2011 9:52 am

snoqueen wrote:Same for water, including individual shutoffs for fixtures.


I can attest to the importance of this one... Our dishwasher blew a hose, and was spewing hot water all over the kitchen floor. In the pandemonium of trying to figure what the hell was going on and how to make it stop, I slipped on the floor and split open my elbow and banged my head hard enough to render me momentarily unconscious.

Thankfully my wife made a beeline to the basement and shut off the water to the whole house. Which, as it turned out, was the only way to stop the dishwasher leak because there was no individual shutoff valve. So there I was, covered in blood with no way to wash it off...

The next day we installed a cutoff.
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Re: My helpful home tips

Postby fisticuffs » Tue Sep 06, 2011 9:52 am

http://kottke.org/10/12/how-to-fold-a-fitted-sheet


That was incredible. Still though for my purposes balling it up and throwing it in the closet works just fine.
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Re: My helpful home tips

Postby mifflander » Tue Sep 06, 2011 11:18 am

Michael Patrick wrote:
snoqueen wrote:Same for water, including individual shutoffs for fixtures.


I can attest to the importance of this one... Our dishwasher blew a hose, and was spewing hot water all over the kitchen floor. In the pandemonium of trying to figure what the hell was going on and how to make it stop, I slipped on the floor and split open my elbow and banged my head hard enough to render me momentarily unconscious.

Thankfully my wife made a beeline to the basement and shut off the water to the whole house. Which, as it turned out, was the only way to stop the dishwasher leak because there was no individual shutoff valve. So there I was, covered in blood with no way to wash it off...

The next day we installed a cutoff.


Onion headline: "Dishwasher's Elaborate Murder Plot Foiled By Meddlesome Wife"
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Re: My helpful home tips

Postby Michael Patrick » Tue Sep 06, 2011 11:21 am

mifflander wrote:
Michael Patrick wrote:
snoqueen wrote:Same for water, including individual shutoffs for fixtures.


I can attest to the importance of this one... Our dishwasher blew a hose, and was spewing hot water all over the kitchen floor. In the pandemonium of trying to figure what the hell was going on and how to make it stop, I slipped on the floor and split open my elbow and banged my head hard enough to render me momentarily unconscious.

Thankfully my wife made a beeline to the basement and shut off the water to the whole house. Which, as it turned out, was the only way to stop the dishwasher leak because there was no individual shutoff valve. So there I was, covered in blood with no way to wash it off...

The next day we installed a cutoff.


Onion headline: "Dishwasher's Elaborate Murder Plot Foiled By Meddlesome Wife"


"Passersby were amazed by the unusually large amounts of blood..."
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Re: My helpful home tips

Postby Bwis53 » Tue Sep 06, 2011 11:21 am

Yeah, the sheet thing is close to the way I do it. I blame it on Germanic line up. But it does look good.

I had that same kitchen panic, when I couldn't get it to turn off under the sink or at the main valve. At that time, I called the Wheeling,IL fire department. They needed tools to budge the valves. I apologized all over the place and they were so gracious.

I'm trying to decide if I should strip my vinyl floor and wax, or if I should wax over it just once. I'm afraid that if I just wax, and it's still marked up, I'll still have to strip and wax. Anyone use those Swiffer mops? Are they any good over sponge?
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Re: My helpful home tips

Postby barney » Tue Sep 06, 2011 8:22 pm

fisticuffs wrote:
http://kottke.org/10/12/how-to-fold-a-fitted-sheet


That was incredible. Still though for my purposes balling it up and throwing it in the closet works just fine.


And if one of the biggest challenges I face in my life DOES turn out to be how to fold a fitted sheet, I think I'm doing okay...
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Re: My helpful home tips

Postby Maeve » Tue Sep 06, 2011 10:08 pm

This is for apartment-dwelling plant-lovers out there: Perennial plants keep living well in containers if brought into a basement or storage space or (if you're lucky enough to have room) in a window in your home (though then they may get super-ugly during the dark months – depressing!). Even with no light whatsoever, perennials have that will to live. Water once a month during winter. They get spindly and with no light at all turn all ghostly-looking but most bloom again so long as they're gradually exposed to light in the spring (in shade for several weeks), and so long as they're not fertilized until past the going-green transition stage. I used to go on garden-sprees every spring at the greenhouses – whee, that was fun! How I wish I owned one! -- but can't afford it anymore. However, most of my plants keep on going on with little substinance and just the slightest encouragement.

Be very careful putting herbs out that have been overwintered, however – one bitter 33-degree night kills them.
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Re: My helpful home tips

Postby Ttusker » Tue Sep 06, 2011 10:35 pm

jjoyce wrote:If you're like me, this video of a woman folding a fitted sheet will mess your shit up:

http://kottke.org/10/12/how-to-fold-a-fitted-sheet


Wow. Consider my shit messed up. I wonder if she knows where the socks I put in my dryer go....
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Re: My helpful home tips

Postby Remember_Me » Wed Sep 07, 2011 4:28 pm

Ttusker wrote:
I wonder if she knows where the socks I put in my dryer go....


Same place as mine I'm sure.

In the middle of my sloppily-ass folded sheets.
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Re: My helpful home tips

Postby Endo Rockstar » Wed Sep 07, 2011 7:33 pm

jjoyce wrote:If you're like me, this video of a woman folding a fitted sheet will mess your shit up:

http://kottke.org/10/12/how-to-fold-a-fitted-sheet


I was introduced to a very similar method about a year ago by the soon to be missus.....my mind was blown.

Image

Fast forward to the present. It was a fucking trap. Guess who's job it is to fold the damn sheets for the foreseeable future.

Thank god she bakes.

-Dan Motor
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