Quick Fix Tips


Here are a few tips to help you around your home. These tips will help you quickly fix some of those little issues that pop up from time to time.

 

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Quick Fix Tip #1 – Sticking Closet Door

We’ve all experienced those sliding closet doors that stick and rub. Did you know there is a simple fix?All sliding closet doors hang from a horizontal metal rail. Rollers fastened to the top of the door fit into a J-shaped track above. By adjusting the roller bracket, you can raise or lower the door.

The key is to understand how your particular door’s bracket needs to be adjusted. As the illustration shows, you’ll be looking for one or more screws within a slot. Loosen the screw(s), and then tip, turn or slide the bracket to raise or lower the roller.

Often you will find that loose screws in the bracket have allowed the door to drop or tip. Inspect the clearance between the door and the bottom guide, and make sure the door’s edge is parallel to the vertical door frame. Once you’ve found the proper roller setting and clearance, the door will operate properly. (Don’t forget to tighten the screws once you’ve made the adjustment.)

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Quick Fix Tip #2 – Finding Studs

If you think “finding studs” is something gals do in a singles bar, you’ve come to the wrong column. We’re talking wall framing studs. Every once in a while, you need to locate studs in a wall, like when you want to hang something heavy or cut into a wall for access. You could use an electronic stud finder, if you have one, and you may strike it rich. But electronic stud finders are not always accurate. They also don’t work on thicker drywall or where there are obstructions on or behind the wall.To find studs or confirm the reading of a stud finder, think about how a wall is assembled. The illustration provides various clues to finding studs. First, most studs are placed 16 inches apart — so if you find one, you can find others. Studs are also found next to electrical switches and outlets, and often they surround heating return grills.

Look at the wood base trim of the wall; often you’ll find nail holes filled near the top of the trim. These nails will be driven into wood studs. Also, look for any imperfections or nail pops in the drywall surface — you can shine a flashlight over the surface at a flat angle to see little bumps or depressions. This technique reveals drywall nails or screws that will be placed into studs.

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Quick Fix Tip #3 – Plugged Drain? Here’s a Quick Fix

Yuck…your tub or bathroom sink is draining slowly AGAIN. Every time you remove the trap or use a plumbing snake, you know you’ll be dealing with a major mess. And the hair in the trap is disgusting! But you’re tired of standing in water when taking a shower.Well, next time you’re at the grocery or hardware store, pick up a drain cleaner: a flexible plastic strip with small hooks along its length. It looks like a very thin Christmas tree.Without dismantling anything, you push this thin plastic tool down the drain and pull out all that hair and junk. For some drains, it helps if you remove the stopper for better access.

Just be ready for a mess when you pull it out. Have a rag or paper towel ready to catch the junk. You should also wear rubber gloves.

After the junk is removed, run very hot water down the drain for several minutes.

If you don’t have time to go to the grocery store, you could also try this with a length of thin wire bent to form a hook on one end. This tool is not as effective, and it will take more effort to catch the hair and the junk — but it can work.

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Quick Fix Tip #4 – Stuck Patio Screen Door

Sticking, rubbing, cheap, nasty, impossible patio screen door! Well, the door takes a beating, and most patio screen doors are not the highest quality. But often there is a fix.

Most sliding patio screen doors can be unstuck with a little maintenance. First, look at the lower track. Clean it with detergent and water or even a little solvent on a rag. If the track is bent or squashed, straighten it with smooth pliers and file.

Find the rollers at the bottom of the door. Above or on the side of the rollers, you will see an adjustment screw. Use this to raise the door so it runs on the rollers rather than rubbing on the frame. You may need to lower another set of rollers located above the door, allowing the door to rise within the frame. Lubricate the rollers with silicone or a light lubricant like WD-40; don’t use other lubricants that will attract dirt.

If the door still does not operate smoothly, you may need to replace the plastic rollers in the base of the door. Or you could switch the top rollers (normally, these show little wear) with the worn bottom rollers.

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Quick Fix Tip #5 – Save Money with a Filter Change

Maintaining the filter on your air conditioning and heating equipment isn’t fun or glamorous. So why bother? Because a clean filter allows for proper air flow, and that makes the equipment run efficiently, saving you money. Also, a clean filter helps your system perform better, so your home environment will feel more comfortable.And because a dirty filter restricts air flow and can make a heating unit overheat or an A/C unit freeze up, maintaining the filter helps you avoid a service call.Filters come in various types, so take a look at your equipment. If you have a cleanable filter, note on your calendar when cleaning is due. Otherwise, buy an appropriate replacement filter to have on hand when you need it. Filters are inexpensive and should be changed or cleaned when they are visibly dirty. When you do change the filter, note the directional arrows on the side. Place the filter so that the arrows point in the direction of air flow.