Fix-It Tips: March

Fix-It Tips: March: How to troubleshoot and repair or replace - by the Fix-It Club.In this difficult economic time, repairing household things that break makes even more sense. And it’s relatively easy to do — if you know how. That’s what the Fix-It Club is all about: Common Repairs Made Easy! So here are ten more Fix-It Tips to help you repair stuff and save money.

Fix-It Tip #1

Here’s what recommend for your Basic Fix-It Kit:

  • A good quality 8- or 16-ounce curved-claw hammer for installing and removing nails
  • An adjustable wrench (6, 8, or 10 inches long) for tightening and loosening bolts
  • A set of screwdrivers or a combination screwdriver with assorted tips (standard and Phillips) for tightening and loosening screws 
  • Adjustable pliers (6, 8, 10, or 12 inches long) for holding or turning things
  • Optional: A basic multimeter or continuity tester for testing electrical voltage, current, and resistance

From Tools.

Fix-It Tip #2

How can you safely get rid of dirty fuel left over from cleaning a small engine? The best way is to buy an approved fuel container and mark it “Recycle” for dumping fuel, oil, and other petroleum waste products. Once full, take it to a hazardous waste station in your area (call your recycler for details). Make sure the container is sealed and kept away from other combustibles and heat sources. From Small Engine Repair.

Fix-It Tip #3

A toilet tank’s water level should be 1/2 to 1 inch below the top of the overflow pipe. A low water level results in an incomplete flush. If the level is too high, the water will drain into the overflow pipe and the toilet will run continuously. See Toilet Repair for specifics on how to adjust toilet water level.

Fix-It Tip #4

Want immediate access to all 180+ Fix-It Guides? Read our e-book: Common Repairs Made Easy! by Dan & Judy Ramsey and the Fix-It Club. Lots of practical and money-saving instructions on how to fix things that break.

Fix-It Tip #5

Lubricants decrease friction between moving parts, and are a vital part of fixing things. Many lubricants are petroleum based. Thin lubricants are called oils and thicker lubricants are greases. The Repair Mechanical Things Fix-It Guide lists the most popular household lubricants and what they can be used on.

Fix-It Tip #6

At least once a week, wipe your cell phone clean with a soft cloth slightly dampened in a mild household cleaner . Alternately, carefully spray the unit with a disinfectant to reduce germs. Make sure you don’t get the mouth or ear holes wet. From Cellular Telephone.

Fix-It Tip #7

Having problems with your computer printer? Keep any software that comes with your printer because it will include drivers as well as diagnostic tools. Alternately, most manufacturers offer software tools online. From Computer Printer.

Fix-It Tip #8

If you’re buying a new electrical wall switch that will get lots of use, spend a little more and buy one that is labeled “commercial” or “spec-rated.” Internal parts are sturdier and will stand up to use longer–and safer. From Electrical Switch Repair.

Fix-It Tip #9

To minimize problems with your heating furnace, take time each month to check the air filter and clean or replace it if necessary. Once a year, clean the blower blades, lubricate the blower motor, and inspect the belt. From Gas Furnace Repair.

Fix-It Tip #10

Keep a wide selection of glues and adhesives in your fix-it toolbox for emergency repairs. If the containers are small, also keep the packaging because it will have instructions in a larger typeface than that appearing on the adhesive container. From Toy Repair.

–Dan & Judy Ramsey

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