This category contains questions relating to all the odd or unusual problems that occur during everyday life. These are primarily how-to's or fix it issues pertaining to household tasks.
Asked by Trisha Bode in Energy Conservation, Household Hints
What’s the easiest way to cut energy costs?
There are dozens of ways to cut energy costs on a daily basis, but here are five of the most basic: Cook with something smaller than your oven. Whenever possible, use a microwave, air fryer, or other small appliance to cook. It’s usually quicker, and the heat is focused more on what’s being cooked, thus saving energy. Replace your HVAC filters regularly, and use your vents wisely. These filters often become clogged with dirt, dust, and debris. How often you need to change your filters will depend on how much you run your heater and air conditioner, the amount of debris circulating through the rooms, and the type of filter you use, but in all cases, you should check on them every four to six weeks. Additionally, making sure your vents are closed in rooms you do not use and open and clean in rooms you do use will distribute temperature much more economically. Turn off lights and, since many electronic devices draw power even when they’re turned off, unplug appliances. These probably go without saying, but they can make a big impact on your energy bill. Replacing your incandescent light bulbs with energy efficient alternatives reduces their electricity output by 25-80 percent. Weatherize and insulate your home to save on heating and cooling expenses.
Asked in Science, Physics, Chemistry, Household Hints
What freezes faster warm water or cold water?
Asked in Home Electricity, Household Hints
When is the best time to save energy to use a washer and dryer?
Use the dryer as little as possible (hang the wash out to dry outside or inside). Use as cool and short washing cycle that will get your clothes clean enough. The power company would prefer that you use electric washers and dryers during off-peak times... in most places, late evening or very early morning would be best. Since this is also one of the coolest times of the day, it has the side benefit of putting less burden on air conditioning (or slightly reducing heating power demand).
Asked in Household Hints, DIY Projects
How do you clean up a gasoline spill on carpet?
About a month ago gasoline spilled in my car when I was bringing home a small tank full for my lawn mower. I thought I would never get the overpowering gasoline smell out, but here is what worked for me. It only took about 24 hours and the car was rid of the odor. See the steps here -"How to Eliminate Gasoline Odor in Carpet Without Using Harmful Chemicals http://www.ehow.com/how_5137947_eliminate-carpet-using-harmful-chemicals.html
Asked in Moving, Cleaning, Household Hints
How do you clean greasy stains when you remove blu-tack?
What switch type and rating is required to control five 300 Watt tungsten filament lamps on a 120 volt circuit Show calculations?
Asked in Plumbing, Waste and Recycling, Household Hints
Where is the reset button on a garbage disposal system?
Asked in Garden Weeds, Pest Control, Household Hints
What is a good brand for killing weeds?
I am trying to turn 1 light with 2 switches and i don't know how to give it powerelectricity?
Asked in Garden Insects, Pest Control, Household Hints
What repellent controls bugs?
DEET and oil of lemon eucalyptus are repellents that control bugs. The first numbers among effective non-organic controls and the second among organic treatments. Diethytoluamide (DEET) tackles arachnids such as mites and ticks, insects such as fleas and mosquitoes and worms such as leeches whereas oil of lemon eucalyptus thwarts invertebrates without the former's irritation and toxicity.
What causes rattling pipes?
Rattling pipes happen when they're not properly strapped to the framing and the water pressure is not properly setup. I would call a plumber to fix such an issue. The only way to make sure they never rattle is to one open up the wall and strap the pipes to the framing or two from a basement or an attic try to reach the area where the rattling occurs and strap the pip to the framing.
Asked in Plumbing, Household Hints
When you flush the toilet the shower water gets hot why?
Code allows your plumber to supply three fixtures using 1/2 tubing. In most bathrooms, you only have three fixtures (tub/toilet/lavatory). So most plumbers only run 1/2 pipe to supply the bathroom. Code allows this. Personally, I find this layout a little short-sighted. Anyways - when someone flushes, the toilet requires water to refill. Which means your shower is now sharing that water supply with the toilet as the toilet refills. What I love best is when you re-adjust the shower valve...then the toilet quits filling...and you scald yourself. Lots of fun there. Your problem is caused by poor plumbing (my opinion) or if you are in an older home, galvanized pipes tend to corrode from the inside which only makes the condition worse. If you like to do things yourself, carry over a 3/4 line and pull 1/2 take-offs for each fixture and the problem will be solved. In a straight : When you shower you are using both hot and cold at the same time and when you flush the toilet you are causing the homes cold water to be guided more through the toilet line including the cold water that you are using from the shower line. : If a few words, water pressure and flow are inversely related. The more flow you have, the less the water pressure. Since the toilet and shower are connected to the same water supply line, when there is flow into the toilet, it takes away from the shower. Since cold water is used to supply the toilet, it takes away from the cold water flow to the shower. With the same amount of hot water flowing, the temperature of the water in the shower will get hotter.
Asked in Plumbing, Household Hints
Why would your kitchen sink and washroom sink smell?
The drop to the trap needs to be the right size so that there is enough water pressure to clear the trap of debris. Another issue may be that the trap aka u-bend underneath the sink has no water to keep the smell out of the room by blocking the smell. If the water evaporates by any means the smell would come in. There is a reason this happens. The last plumber back pitched the drain the wrongway or not enough, so instead of water staying in the trap, it drains down, or if the room is not used alot the water evaps and the smell comes in. Try running hot water to the trap to see if the smell stops, and air out the room. There is one more thing , usually in the washroom aka laundry room has a floor drain. That drain has a trap. You need to put in water every now and then to keep it from evaporating and causing sewer smell to come in. Answer If the trap is OK, another source could be the overflow, which, depending on how it is built, can collect material which collects bacteria, which then smells. Disassembling this should make it clear (it's filled with gunk that stinks).
Asked in Home Improvement, Plumbing, Household Hints
Does a shower valve need replaced if the water in the shower is lukewarm and the water in the kitchen at the same time is hot?
For Moen, there is a part called a "posi temp" and this can be replaced to manage the hot water. You may need a specialized tool called a puller. There is an amusing You Tube with Steven Lavmoniere that shows the process to do this. Maybe. If it is a Moen or other type of single handle shower valve, try changing the cartridge first. If this doesn't work, you need a new shower valve. ANS2 - Shower valves of all types will clog up with any bits of sediment or rust in the system. This is very common. Take the valve apart and check carefully inside.
Asked in Cleaning, Household Hints, Acids and Bases
What will clean a bath tub that is old and refuses to come clean?
The process takes minimal effort, on your part, and gives amazing results for the time and effort spent. Do not try this on non-porcelain tubs. Plastic tends to be difficult to remove the paper towels from, and the bleach will begin to eat through the plastic very quickly. Step 1: Simply layer the tub with a roll of paper towel. Laying it out along the bottom and the sides would be the best idea, with a little overlap to ensure complete coverage. Then slowly pour the bleach straight from the bottle, on to the bottom layer of the paper towel. When you notice the bleach climbing the walls of the paper towel covered tub, pause to see where it ends, and make sure there is a vent or window open. Step out for a brief moment while it continues to climb, this will minimize your exposure to the bleach's caustic effects. Once you determine if more is needed continue to pour the bleach on to the dry areas until every part of the tub is saturated with the towel and bleach combination. Step 2: Once you have covered the entire tub, close the bathroom door, and occupy your self in another part of the home. Wait at least an hour to let the bleach strip the porcelain of the stains; however, do not let it go longer than 3 hours, as at that time you will find the paint being stripped as well. Put on a pair of rubber gloves and pull the paper towel from the tub. As you do, the clean shiny tub will be revealed. Continue to pull the paper towel and dispose of it properly, until the tub is empty again. Get your cup and rinse the tub on all sides, thoroughly and wipe down with the cloth, to remove the remainder of the bleach. When the process is complete, the dingy, ring around the tub, stains, and dirt will be lifted to reveal a beautiful tub. Some users have suggested using Borax 12 or Bon Ami. If the tub is very old, it may be made of cast iron and the cracked surface will be the cause of the stains. You cannot improve the look without re-enameling the tub.