Fix-It Tips: December

Fix-It Tips: December: How to troubleshoot and repair or replace - by the Fix-It Club.The Fix-It Club offers simple instructions for common household repairs. Here are ten more household repair and maintenance tips, including how to take your refrigerator’s temperature without a thermometer and when to buy your water heater a jacket or blanket. If you’d like the latest Fix-It Tips, give us your e-mail address (at the top of this page) and Join the Fix-It Club! It’s free!

Fix-It Tip #1

Before the rainy season begins in earnest, visually inspect your home’s gutters. Also take a look at the ground under the gutters. A stain or washed-away dirt or gravel may indicate a leak in the gutter above it.

Fix-It Tip #2

Most problems with small cooking appliances such as waffle irons and electric skillets are caused by improper cleanup after use. Grease or food can lodge in places they shouldn’t be and damage electrical components. Thoroughly clean the unit after each use and save yourself a repair.

Fix-It Tip #3

Here’s an easy way to check the temperature of your refrigerator: ice cream in the freezer should be firm but not hard and juice in the refrigerator should be cold but not icy. Modern refrigerators have controls (often near the light) that you can adjust for optimum food storage.

Fix-It Tip #4

If your electric water heater or gas water heater feels warm to the touch, consider getting it a blanket or jacket to make it more efficient. They are easy to install and can save you money on fuel. Measure your tank and look on its label for its capacity (30-gallon, 40 gallon, etc.).

Fix-It Tip #5

Winter is a good time to make sure that your spring and summer tools and appliances are in good repair. Inspect and fix garden tools, riding lawn mower, and central air conditioners.

Fix-It Tip #6

Want to save some time? Use the Search box on the top of each page and at the end of each Fix-It Guide to search for specific things on or on the web. Or peruse the list of over 175 Fix-It Guides. It’s easy!

Fix-It Tip #7

Electrical emergencies can happen in minutes. If you don’t already know where it is, locate your home’s electrical service panel and become familiar with it before you need it. Also make sure you turn off any electrical circuits on which you are working. Safety pays!

Fix-It Tip #8

Check online for any owners’ manual you need. They’re full of information, including parts numbers.

Fix-It Tip #9

If your small kitchen appliances repeatedly trip a circuit breaker or blow a fuse, make sure they’re not on the same circuit as your refrigerator or freezer. A refrigerator or freezer often requires it’s own 15 amp circuit. The extra load of a heating appliance can trip the breaker or fuse.

Fix-It Tip #10

Temporarily quiet a dripping faucet by turning off water to the faucet (shut-offs are usually located under a sink). Or deaden the irritating sound of the drip by positioning a cloth or sponge under it. Repair it as soon as possible to save water.

–Dan & Judy Ramsey

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