The below Electrical FAQs are provided by Ace Home Improvement. To quickly navigate to the topic of choice, use the following keyboard shortcut to open your browser search bar. CTRL + F
Is it all right to replace a fuse or circuit breaker with a larger one to prevent them from blowing or tripping?
Will a three-pronged plug adapter protect me against electrical shock when I use it in a two-prong receptacle?
I've bypassed the doorbell button, and the doorbell still did not work. What's the most likely problem?
Why does the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommend that home smoke alarms be replaced after 10 years?
Like all devices with electronic components, smoke alarms have a limited effective service life. As electronic devices, smoke alarms are subject to random failures. In 10 years there is roughly a 30% probability of failure before replacement. After 15 years, the chances are better than 50/50 that your alarm has failed. That is too big a risk to take. Replacing alarms after 10 years protects against the accumulated chance of failure, but monthly testing is still your first, best means of making sure your alarm will work.
Source: NFPA 72; 2007 Edition page 72-118; Section 22.214.171.124 Paragraph 5(b)
Why do smoke alarms chirp intermittently?
The "chirp" will only be caused by issues surrounding the battery or miss-wiring. However, a homeowner may confuse the chirp with an intermittent alarm. Try and get the homeowner to be specific as to what they are hearing. A “chirp” will have a higher pitched tone and sound in equal intervals about once every minute. An intermittent alarm will be random, sound usually for several seconds and have a lower pitched tone. Any of these situations can cause unwanted chirps:
Why do I hear the low battery "chirp" if the battery is new?
Any of these situations can cause a low battery chirp:
Why can smoke alarms go into alarm when no smoke is present?
Any of these situations can cause unwanted alarms:
What Levels of CO Cause an Alarm
Underwriters Laboratories Inc. Standard UL2034 requires residential CO Alarms to sound when exposed to levels of CO and exposure times as described below. They are measured in parts per million (ppm) of CO over time (in minutes). UL2034 Required Alarm Points*:
Note* Approximately 10% COHb exposure at levels of 10% to 95% Relative Humidity (RH). The unit is designed not to alarm when exposed to a constant level of 30 ppm for 30 days.
CO Alarms are designed to alarm before there is an immediate life threat. Since you cannot see or smell CO, never assume it’s not present.
How long do CO and CO/Smoke combo alarms last?
ANSI/UL2034 specifications have changed to require all CO alarms and combination smoke/CO alarms to have an end of life feature. This is an industry wide change. This requirement went into effect for any production beginning on August 1, 2009. All BRK/First Alert carbon monoxide alarms manufactured on or after this date meet this requirement. This information is stated on the original packaging, label on the alarm and the manuals.
Basic text reads “Replace alarm 60 months after installation”. This feature is a simple counter that begins working once the unit is activated either by plugging it in, hardwiring or inserting the battery. Then after approximately 60 months of operation the unit will begin to sound 5 chirps. See the individual CO product on the BRK website and click on the ”sounds” tab to hear this alert. This silence feature can temporarily quiet the End of Life warning “chirp” for up to 2 days. You can silence the End of Life warning “chirp” by pressing the Test/Silence button. The horn will chirp, acknowledging that the End of Life feature has been activated. After approximately 2 days, the End of Life “chirp” will resume. After approximately 2-3 weeks the End of Life warning cannot be silenced
What are recommended locations for Smoke Alarms?
Installing Smoke Alarms in Single-Family Residences
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), recommends one Smoke Alarm on every floor, in every sleeping area, and in every bedroom. In new construction, the Smoke Alarms must be AC powered and interconnected. See “Agency Placement Recommendations” for details. For additional coverage, it is recommended that you install a Smoke Alarm in all rooms, halls, storage areas, finished attics, and basements, where temperatures normally remain between 40° F (4° C) and 100° F (38° C). Make sure no door or other obstruction could keep smoke from reaching the Smoke Alarms. More specifically, install Smoke Alarms:
IMPORTANT! Specific requirements for Smoke Alarm installation vary from state to state and from region to region. Check with your local Fire Department for current requirements in your area. It is recommended AC or AC/DC units be interconnected for added protection.
INSTALLING SMOKE ALARMS IN MOBILE HOMES
For minimum security install one Smoke Alarm as close to each sleeping area as possible. For more security, put one unit in each room. Many older mobile homes (especially those built before 1978) have little or no insulation. If your mobile home is not well insulated, or if you are unsure of the amount of insulation, it is important to install units on inside walls only. Smoke Alarms should be installed where temperatures normally remain between 40° F (4° C) and 100° F (38° C).
AGENCY PLACEMENT RECOMMENDATIONS
NFPA 72 (National Fire Code) Chapter 11 “For your information, the National Fire Protection Association's Standard 72 reads as follows:
11.5.1 One- and Two-Family Dwelling Units.
126.96.36.199 Smoke Detection. Where required by applicable laws, codes, or standards for the specified occupancy, approved single- and multiple-station Smoke Alarms shall be installed as follows: (1) In all sleeping rooms. Exception: Smoke Alarms shall not be required in sleeping rooms in existing one- and two-family dwelling units. (2) Outside of each separate sleeping area, in immediate vicinity of the sleeping rooms. (3) On each level of the dwelling unit, including basements. Exception: In existing one- and two family dwelling units, approved Smoke Alarms powered by batteries are permitted.
A.11.8.3 Are More Smoke Alarms Desirable? The required number of Smoke Alarms might not provide reliable early warning protection for those areas separated by a door from the areas protected by the required Smoke Alarms. For this reason, it is recommended that the householder consider the use of additional Smoke Alarms for those areas for increased protection. The additional areas include the basement, bedrooms, dining room, furnace room, utility room, and hallways not protected by the required Smoke Alarms. The installation of Smoke Alarms in kitchens, unfinished attics, or garages is not normally recommended, as these locations occasionally experience conditions that can result in improper operation.”
California State Fire Marshal (CSFM) Early warning detection is best achieved by the installation of fire detection equipment in all rooms and areas of the household as follows: A Smoke Alarm installed in each separate sleeping area (in the vicinity, but outside bedrooms), and Heat or Smoke Alarms in the living rooms, dining rooms, bedrooms, kitchens, hallways, finished attics, furnace rooms, closets, utility and storage rooms, basements, and attached garages.
Here is instruction on how to best care for your garbage disposal. Click Here.
In the below video tutorial, viewers learn how to maintain a garbage disposal. When using the garbage disposal, always run cold water before using it. Put the debris one by one. Do not stuff it all in at once. When finished, turn the disposal off and let the water run for a while to wash all the debris down the waste line. Do not grind stringy items. It is fine to grind hard food waste. This video also talks about the common problems that people encounter when using a garbage disposal. This video will benefit those viewers who have a garbage disposal and would like to learn how to properly use it.
If a garbage disposal isn't working at all, it may be because the reset button has been tripped. Find out how an overheating garbage disposal can trip the reset button with help from the president of a factory-authorized appliance service company in this free video on home appliances and garbage disposals.
Learn how to safely and properly unjam a garbage disposal
unit with this interactive video from Ace Hardware. See several methods
for removing jammed objects from the disposal and how to reset the
motor. Click Here.
If the garbage disposal won't turn on but makes a humming sound when you flip the switch, it won't do that for long. That means you have a stuck flywheel and the reset button on the unit itself or the fuse or circuit breaker in your electrical service panel will trip and turn off very quickly. The flywheel is stuck because something is lodged between it or the impeller(s) and the shredder ring.
Leaks can occur at a number of places on a garbage disposer. Let's take a look at the most common:
Slow draining of a garbage disposal can be caused by a number of problems.
The following instruction is provided by Ace to help you in replacing your furnace filter. Your filter should be changed every 60-90 days.
Inspect your gas furnace, looking for a switch to turn it on and off. If you find an on/off switch, toggle it to the other position to see if it turns on. If you do not find a switch or there is no change when the switch is flipped, your furnace is turned off at the breaker. Return the switch to its original position (if you flipped it and the furnace didn't come on.
Open your circuit breaker box if you were unable to turn the furnace on by using a switch on the furnace itself. Use the breaker listing to locate the breaker that controls your furnace; it should be in the "off" position. Turn the breaker on and return to the furnace.
Light your pilot light if your furnace doesn't use an electrical starter. Turn the pilot light's valve to the "off" position to clear any excess gas, then turn it to "pilot" to prepare to light it. Hold down the pilot button (if a red pilot button is present) or press the valve control in to release gas, then use a fireplace match or grill lighter to light it. Turn the valve to the "on" position once it has been lit.
Adjust your thermostat to the temperature that you want or switch it to a different mode if you don't wish to use your gas furnace to heat your home at the moment.
In lawn care, the best way to get rid of crabgrass is with nice thick turf and healthy soil. Kill crabgrass with tips from a professional landscape in this free video on lawn care tips.
The below FAQs are provided by Ace Home Improvement. To quickly navigate to the topic of choice, use the following keyboard shortcut to open your browser search bar. CTRL + F
Choosing the appropriate fertilizer is an important step in getting your lawn, shrubs, trees, flowers and veggies looking good. Learn about the fertilizer numbering system and see great results.
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The following instruction is provided by Ace to help you in patching a hole in your wall caused by a door knob.Go to Top of Page
This short video will show you quick and easy steps you can take right now to prevent rodents from invading your home. Click Here.
Utilizing inexpensive tools can really go a long way! See below.
Two tips you can try to unclog your sink ... BEFORE making the call to the plumber.
1. Here's a natural remedy provided by thegoodhuman.com
2. Below is a video giving additional options and instructions
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What to do if the Wrong Soap was Used
What shouldn't you flush down the toilet? Here's a list of 24 items you should never flush.
So what’s left to flush? Just toilet paper (made from 100% recycled paper, of course) and human waste – that’s it. What would you add to the list of things you should not flush down the toilet? Are you guilty of using your toilet as a trash can? It’s time to change that behavior. It’s bad for you, the planet, your utility bills, and our water supplies
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The below Plumbing FAQs are provided by Ace Home Improvement. To quickly navigate to the topic of choice, use the following keyboard shortcut to open your browser search bar. CTRL + F
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How To Replace A Sprinkler Head
How to replace a sprinkler spray head.
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Winterization is an important part of maintaining a properly running lawn sprinkler system. Where you live plays a big part in which steps you will need to follow. If you live in a region that is temperate - i.e., it either never freezes or only freezes for an hour or two at a time when it does -there are far fewer steps involved when it is time to winterize your irrigation system.
In this how-to guide to winterization, we will take a look at the steps involved in winterizing your sprinkler system in a cold climate. As a part of that, we will examine two different methods for removing the water from pipes and sprinklers: using drain valves and the blow out method. Finally, we will outline what needs to be done for those of us in more temperate climates. When you have finished reading this article,you will have the knowledge necessary to successfully winterize your lawn sprinkler system - and you'll understand why most experts agree that a sprinkler system blow out is the most recommended method to use.
Step 1 - Turn Off The Water
First things first: when the time to winterize your irrigation system rolls around, you'll need to shut off the water at the main valve before doing anything else. By necessity, the shut off valve for your sprinkler system needs to be located in a place where it can't freeze up; this should have been done when the system was originally installed.
Step 2 - Shut Down The Controller
Here'swhere things get a little less cut-and-dry. Automatic irrigation systems have a controller - or timer - that regulates when they turn on and off. Depending on what kind of controller you have, you may either choose to set it to "rain mode" or disconnect the power from it altogether.
Please note that you can always buy a more up-to-date, efficient controller or timer to save yourself a lot of time and money in the long run. www.SprinklerWarehouse.com offers the best selection and most competitive prices for lawn sprinkler system controllers on the market today.
Solid State Controllers:
A solid state controller usually have digital time displays and generallyuse up a lot less electricity and power than their mechanical counterparts. Disconnecting the power from your sprinkler system controller means having to reset all of its associated settings when spring returns - not necessarily the simplest task in the world.
Solid state controllers tend to use very little electricity, though, so leaving them on - but in "rain mode" - will not cause a major spike in your electric bill. Therefore, if you have a solid state digital controller, use the "rain mode" setting and save yourself a lot of frustration down the line.
"Rain mode" means that your controller stays on, maintaining its settings, programming and keeping the time - but the valves simply don't come on. They can save you a great deal of time when it comes to winterization.
Step 3 - Remove The Backflow Preventer And Take Care Of Risers
Next, you will need to remove the backflow preventer from your lawn sprinkler system. Once it's removed, drain all the water from it and store it someplace safe. Although you can always reinstall it once it's drained, that's usually a task best kept for the springtime.
While there's a chance that you'll be able to siphon water out of your irrigation system's risers, chances are that you'll have to pump it out.If so, a wet/dry shop vacuum is your best option; use duct tape to make the hose narrow enough to work properly.
Valves that are installed above ground should be drained of water and stored somewhere safe. Some people choose to use pipe heating cables on their backflow preventers and above ground valves. Keep in mind, though, that even when used properly such arrangements can fall victim to power outages and serious damages to your irrigation system can occur.
Removing A Backflow Preventer
As noted previously, removing your irrigation system's backflow preventer and storing it for the season is a smart move when you're completing the other steps involved in winterization. How do you remove a backflow preventer, though? With any luck, the one that you have is held in place with union connections. In this case, you'll just need to uncouple them on either end of the backflow preventer, just before the bends in the piping. Once it's removed, storing it will be simple. You can use insulation on the exposed ends of the pipe to keep them safe from harm -and to keep critters and debris from inadvertently getting in.
Ifyou don't have union connections in place, though, you're in for a little bit more work. The people who have the biggest trouble removing their backflow preventers are the ones whose system doesn't use union connections. In this case, you'll have to cut the backflow preventer out manually. It's definitely more work, but the good news is that once that's done, it's done. When spring rolls back around, you can reinstall the backflow preventer for your irrigation system using union connections; the next time you need to winterize your lawn sprinkler system, it will be considerably easier.
Step 4 - Removing Water From The Pipes And Sprinklers
Now comes the most important step of the winterization process: removing all of the water from the system's pipes and sprinklers so that it doesn't freeze, expand and burst everything. There are a few different ways of approaching the problem: using a shop vacuum to suck all of the water out (a very time-consuming and aggravating process), draining the water out via the system's drain valves or using air to blow all of the water out (also known as a sprinkler system blow out). Since using a shop vac is so inefficient, we will only take closer looks at how to use the drain valve method or the blow out sprinkler system method.
The Blow Out Method
Although we will be outlining how a sprinkler system blow out works, it is best to have a professional perform this kind of work for you. In fact, hiring a professional to conduct winterization work is the best way to go, if possible.
Connecting The Air Compressor To The Backflow Preventer Riser
If you've never connected an air compressor to the backflow preventer riser on your irrigation system before, it's important to learn. Otherwise, winterization via blowing out the system will be impossible. Most of the time, you just need to look for a hose tap, quick coupler or hose bib that is after your irrigation shutoff valve and backflow preventer. You can connect your air compressor hose to this for the easiest, most straightforward time. If there is no tap or other convenient option present, install a tee fitting just past the main line. Then put a threaded metal nipple and cap on the extra leg; you can use this as a connection to the air hose. You'll want to use a metal nipple and cap because the pipe can get very hot at the point of the connection due to the speed at which the air is being blown.
Connecting the compressor air hose to the nipple and cap end of the tee fitting isn't always a cut and dry procedure; it usually requires a bit of ingenuity, and the precise size fitting that you will need to connect the compressor hose to the tee fitting depends on the model of air compressor you're using and other variables. It's safe to assume that a standard fitting won't do the job; a bit of trial and error is usually necessary. Once the right fitting is found, though, it's as simple as screwing the air compressor hose onto the tee fitting. The threads from the tee fitting should fit with the threads on the metal nipple - that will be your ultimate goal, anyway.Otherwise,another way of going about this process is unscrewing one of the test cocks and threading a male air hose fitting onto it. Simply attach the female end of the air hose to the male end of the line and you'll be good to go. A bit of trial and error is something necessary when the time to winterize rolls around, so don't be surprised if you have to make several trips to the hardware store to get everything working the right way. Be sure to organize all of the equipment and tools that you use to make the process easier next year.
Winterization For More Temperate Climates
The best news about how to winterize your irrigation system in a temperate climate is that the water does not need to be drained from underground pipes. It simply doesn't get cold enough to freeze that deep down in such climates. That means that you can avoid performing a sprinkler system blow out, having to use drain valves or using a shop vac to suction the water out.
As easy as it may be to winterize a lawn sprinkler system in a temperate climate, there are still steps that must be followed. The water supply must still be shut off (as outlined in section one) and you will also need to shut down the timer or controlleras well. As mentioned before, the timer may be set to "rain mode," especially if it is a solid state, digital display controller. Doing this can save you a great deal of timeand means that you won't have to reprogram the entire thing when spring rolls back around.
Gear-driven rotor sprinklers that are above ground must be drained, or the water can freeze, expand and damage them. If the water doesn't drain out on its own, a drain valve will need to be installed on the sprinkler supply line. Otherwise, you can remove the rotors and shake them out thoroughly; in that case, you should then store them for safekeeping until spring.
Above-ground piping will need to be insulated properly to ensure that it survives the colder time of year. Self-sticking foam insulating tape works the best for this kind of application. Similarly, foam insulating tubes work very well for this purpose.
A Note About Backflow Preventers
Whether you live in a temperate or a cold climate, you can save yourself a lot of hassle - and make winterization much easier- by insulating your irrigation system's backflow preventer. In cold climates, occasional late and early season freezes occur and can damage your equipment. Using a small amount of self-sticking foam insulating tape - without blocking the drain outlets or the air vents - should be sufficient. Otherwise, try using some R-11 fiberglass insulation. Wrap it around the backflow preventer, then use duct tape to secure a plastic bag around the whole thing. Don't secure it too tightly - just tight enough to keep it from blowing off.
The Drain Valve Method - Only if the blow out method is absolutely not a possibility.
In order to explain the process more clearly, we will highlight the pertinent facts and steps involved in using the drain valve method to drain the water from your lawn sprinkler system in small, easy to grasp sections below.
This video will show viewers how to fix a garage door that won’t open.
How to fix a Garage Door that won't close
This video will show viewers on how to maintain a garage door opener.
How to maintain your Garage Door Opener
This video will help viewers on how to program their garage door opener remote and keypad. First identify your learn button on your garage door motor. Simply push and release the learn button on your garage door motor then do the same thing on your remote control. After that the light bulb will flash once to confirm the test is complete. The same thing if you want to program your keypad, press learn button from the motor then enter the code to your keypad then you will see a flashing light to confirm it’s done.
How to program your Garage Door opener
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Once a month soak metal filters in hot soapy water and for stubborn build ups add a degreaser or small amount of ammonia to the water. Charcoal filters for non-ducted applications cannot be cleaned so replace every 3-4 months to ensure peak performance.
This will give viewers tips on how to keep their microwave clean. If your microwave is messy after reheating food simply get a bowl with water filled halfway and lemon juice squeezed into it. After that put it in the microwave and turn it on for 5 minutes. This will make the mess easier to wipe. When 5 minutes is done, just get get the bowl out and using a microfiber cloth clean the dirt inside the microwave including the plate. Just a precaution don’t clean it while it’s still hot but do it while it’s still warm to make it more easier. The exterior of the microwave can also be cleaned using the lemony water. Just a little dip in the solution and wipe the exterior gently.
How to clean your Microwave
Change the direction of your ceiling fan to create an upward draft that re-distributes warm air from the ceiling.
How to reverse Ceiling Fans for Winter
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This video will show viewers how to save money and prevent fire by cleaning the lint in the dryers.
How to clean Dryer Lint
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Vacuum internal parts of air conditioners. Remove units from windows or wrap the outside box with an approved tarp or plastic air conditioner cover to prevent rusting of vital parts.
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This well help viewers with leaking refrigerator's. Click here
If your refrigerator is difficult to close and you're having high electric bills here's a way to change that all. Click here
This video will show viewers how to remove stains in their carpet. First step is to get a spray bottle and some hot water. Put in a couple of drops of dish detergent then shake it up until it mixes well with the water. Get yourself a white cotton towel, spray the solution on the stained area of the carpet, let it sit for while then gently rub it in until the stain comes off. After that get a vacuum to remove the moisture and solution to avoid getting some dirt from your shoes.
How to remove stains in your carpet
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Here's a step by step instruction for a torn Carpet. Click here
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Here's another way of fixing a damaged carpet. Click here
How to work a Fireplace Damper
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Gas Fireplace operation
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Pull leaves and debris from gutters and downspouts. Re-attach gutters that have pulled away from the house. Run a hose on the roof and check for proper drainage. If leaks exist, dry the area and use caulking or epoxy to seal the leak.
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How to clean gutters and downsprouts
Inspect caulking and replace if deteriorating. Scrape out all of the eroding caulk and re-caulk needed area.
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How to caulk Windows for winter
Inspect your driveway for cracks. Clean out and repair any damage with driveway filler, then coat with a commercial sealer. Sealing the driveway now will help extend the life of the asphalt through the winter and beyond.
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How to seal Driveway
To build a durable fence that will last for years to come, pay special attention to the materials you use. Select treated lumber approved for ground contact and use weather-resistant galvanized nails and exterior screws.Go to Top of Page
This tutorial will show viewers on how to repair and maintain fading, blistering and cracking paints.
Troubleshooting exterior paint problems
This is a video showing how to test a fire extinguisher.
How to test a Fire Extinguisher
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