Thursday December 5, 2013
Here's a tip that can save you hundreds of dollars in service calls if your furnace fails to light:
Check your thermocouple and know how to replace it.
If the gas burner in your furnace does not turn on or your pilot light in an older furnace is out, you may find that the problem lies in a little device that controls the gas valve. In an older standing pilot furnace the device is called a thermocouple. In newer electronic ignition furnaces it is called a flame sensor. However they both perform the same basic function, and that is to control gas flow.
In the tutorial Replacing a Furnace Thermocouple or Electronic Flame Sensor I describe how to easily replace a furnace thermocouple in an older style standing pilot furnace or an electronic flame sensor in a newer style electronic ignition furnace.
Of course determining if the thermocouple or flame sensor is your problem is something you need to know how to do. I outline how to troubleshoot a standard furnace in Troubleshooting a Gas Furnace and how to troubleshoot an electronic furnace in Troubleshooting an Electronic Furnace.
Sunday December 1, 2013
A really useful website you should check out is called Armchairbuilder.com.
Although the site's main audience are folks looking to do construction on their new home or major renovation project, it has some easy to understand construction videos and useful tips applicable to home repair.
In my recent tutorial How to Install Ceramic Subway Wall Tiles as a Kitchen Backsplash, I show you how to set tile for use in a kitchen, going directly over a drywall substrate. However, if you were installing tile in an area that will get wet such as in a bathroom shower or tub surround, you would need to use a waterproof substrate called cement board such as Durock® as made by USG.
Armchairbuilder.com has a nice video series on Tile Backer Board Installation: Shower Remodel. I like the site because, as the video shows, it provides easy to understand useful take-away information.
You know, like mine! No, seriously!
Thursday November 28, 2013
Today is a special day when we give thanks for what we have and what it seems we tend to take for granted.
So I'd like to wish my best to you and your family this Thanksgiving.
And as a special Thanksgiving Day tip from your Home Repair guide, I'd like to suggest you pay special attention to what goes down your garbage disposal, especially avoiding potato peelings!
In the tutorial Garbage Disposal Troubleshooting I'll explain how to fix many problems you may encounter with your disposal today. I'll also give you some tips on how to avoid clogs and slow draining situations often caused by improperly putting in potato peelings or coffee grounds or eggshells.
Potato peelings should never go into your disposal. They may make it through the disposal OK, but the problem comes later on in the drain line where they become a clog forming starchy paste. Yech!
So avoid problem foods in the disposer and then feel free to grind away as you make and clean up from your holiday meal.
Wednesday November 27, 2013
Installing a ceramic tile backsplash provides you countless styles and colors from which to choose. A popular and economical backsplash tile choice is the subway tile.
Many people shy away from installing their own tile work but with detailed instruction and tips you can do this job yourself saving hundreds of dollars, gaining self-satisfaction and improving your home's property value. That is, if you do it right. And that's what I intend to show you, how to do it right!
In the tutorial How to Install Ceramic Subway Wall Tiles as a Kitchen Backsplash I provide you detailed step-by-step instructions and tons of photos on how to prepare and install ceramic subway tile as a beautiful kitchen backsplash. These instructions provide all the steps you need to get your tiles laid out, cut and adhered to the wall in preparation for the next step which is final grouting.
So take a few minutes and read this tutorial. You'll want to bookmark it as a reference for detailed steps and tips on tile installation. And if you decide to use subway tile, take some time and shop around. I compared prices at Lowes and Home Depot and found a difference of about $1 per square foot, or 25%-33% between the stores. One store offered tiles made by Dal-Tile and the other offered American Olean, both excellent manufacturers so either one was a great product choice.