The obi wan kenobi of DIY

Mastering home DIY is a challenge. A significant part of what makes it difficult is that how many of us want to spend time at home tinkering with things? There’s also the fact that if you don’t know what you’re doing and mess up, you’re going to have to live with the results.


Still, there is something satisfying about knowing that if something breaks, you know how to fix it. Even if you can’t, there’s some comfort in understanding when a job truly requires a professional.


Though, in my case, the thing that was hardest for me to get was how there were so many little things I didn’t understand. Some things are obvious, but there are other details that aren’t so apparent.


To help others along the path of mastering their home DIY, I’ll be leaving some bits of wisdom here.


Don’t ignore a leaking toilet. That water can not only make your bills go up but also cause permanent damage. There’s also a chance it can wear away at your toilet’s inner workings.


Do you want to know if your toilet has a leak? Put some red food colouring in the tank. If the water in the bowl has turned pink after an hour, there’s a leak. In most cases, that means you need to replace the flapper.


Replacing the flapper is easy. You need to buy the new flapper and shut off the water flow into the toilet. Remove the tank lid and flush the toilet, to empty it of its contents. Remove the flush chain and slide the old flapper off. Slide the new one into place and reconnect everything.


Most of them time, a worn out washer causes a leaky faucet. These pieces of rubber are placed inside the faucet handles, and they wear out quick.


One thing I had to learn the hard way was to check the washing machine for leaks regularly. I didn’t think to do this a lot, mainly because I didn’t think of maintaining it much period. As it turns out, leaky washing machines are a major problem.


You should be checking for leaks on these appliances annually. If they’re made of plastic, a replacement every three years is advisable. If the metal ends of the water lines are rusty, get replacements.


You know, I had a water heater blow up on me once. It wasn’t a big explosion or anything, but it was scary. Ever since then, I’ve been bordering on paranoid in making sure my water heater is well-maintained.


Once a year, drain the water tank of the heater. While the tank drained, do a little cleaning. The sediment may not look like much, but it does damage if you leave it alone.


Oils, fats, and other things accumulate and form what sewage personnel call “fatbergs.” These are the main causes for clogs because they’re poured down drains and can sometimes turn solid in the pipes. To avoid them clustering together, pour hot water down the drain along with some dishwashing liquid.


The soap helps break down the fats and oils, while the water keeps it moving.


Do you have a bathtub? They’re awesome for relaxation. Just be sure to put a hair strainer in the drain, because hair clogging that is a headache.

Did you know soft drinks – particularly Coca-Cola – can do just as good a job of eating through a clog as drain cleaner can?


Listerine is also remarkably useful when you need to clean stains off the floor. Just be sure not to use it on sensitive materials, like marble or some types of wood. This use makes perfect sense since Listerine used to be used as a floor cleaner before they started selling it as a mouth wash.


Of course, if you don’t want to risk something in your home, you don’t need to pretend to be a master. Hiring professionals, like, can be a good idea if you’re still climbing the path to home DIY mastery, my young grasshopper.




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