Monday, April 18, 2011

How to Keep Aging Water Heater Alive

Fig.1 25-Year 
old water heater
By Gary Boutin 

Supplies and Tools:
Alligator Vice Grips® pliers  
Garden hose 
Slip joint pliers Ladder

My customer had a water heater that is 25 years old. She wanted the water heater to survive a few more months, so she could save up the money to replace it. The secret that every plumber knows is removing one gallon of water from their water heater every month will lengthen the life of the unit by more than five years. The problem is that by the time we go to work, fight traffic, and bring our kids to all their sporting events, there is little time to do more work on maintaining the house. Today most water heaters cost over $600 and that is with only a five year warranty. Below are the steps to remove the sediments from your water heater and extend its life and save a bundle of money.

 
This post shows the eleven steps to Keep an Aging Water Heater Alive.

Step 1: The first step in monthly maintenance would be to turn off the cold water valve stopping flow into the water heater. Above Fig.1 shows the twenty five year old water heater. 
Step 2: A 4-foot ladder is needed to reach the valve can be over 6 feet high and close to the wall. 
Step 3: Usually located on the right side (in the U.S.) of the water tank, turn the gate valve until its closed. Some water valves have a ball valve and have a handle which is pulled down to turn the water off. But because this water heater had not been maintained for over 5 years, more water was required to flush the sediments. Therefore, I left the water valve open to thoroughly flush this system.
Step 4: Next is to find the drain spigot near the bottom of the water heater. Fig.2 shows the spigot attached to the appliance with a brass cap. The cap is a good idea if the unit is leaking.
Fig.2 Spigot cover
Step 5: This spigot has no handle, this is the norm on most new water heaters. Older water heater had a spigot with a handle. The top picture shows the cap on the spigot. Fig.3 shows the use slip joint pliers or alligator vice grips were used to remove the cap.
Fig.3 Removal
Step 6: Fig.4 shows once the brass cap is removed the water started dripping out the spigot. The valve was bad and the cap blocked the flow of water. On a newer water heater the valve would be good and there would be no metal cap. The bottom picture shows the water going into a plastic bag until the hose is screwed into the spigot.
Fig.4 Cap removed
Step 7: Fig.5 shows to screw a garden hose on the spigot.
Fig.5 Hose
Step 8: Fig.6 shows the next a garden hose drains the sediments. Be sure to place the far end of the hose out of the building. Fig.7 shows the water draining on the driveway or if you have a garden these sediments are beneficial for your plants.
Fig.6 Water
Fig.7 
Driveway water


Step 9: Fig.8 shows the flow of water is seen in coming out of the hose. Look at the water, if it is cloudy, then the sediments are coming out of the water heater. 
Step 10: The maintenance is working, so continue the procedure until the water draining out is clear. 
Step 11:This process may take several hours depending on the size of the water heater. This procedure will save hundreds of dollars and needless expense replacing this expensive appliance.



Update: DIY Advisor has New blogs check them today:

  • Cookie Alert: European Union laws requires that you know that this blog uses cookies. If you are concerned about this please click here to see how Google uses this information.

Note: The DIY Advisor assumes no liability for omissions, errors or the outcome of any jobs. The reader must always exercise reasonable caution, follow current codes and regulations that may apply, and is urged to consult with a licensed contractor if in doubt about any steps on these posts. All names were changed to protect client's privacy. DIY Advisor. Reproduction of site content including photos without permission prohibited. All rights reserved. © Copyright 2011-

Friday, April 8, 2011

How to Install Washing Machine Hookup Wall Port

This is a Laundry port
Fig.1 Laundry Port
By Gary Boutin

Supplies and Tools:
Channel® locks pliers
Teflon® tape  
Washing machine Port
 
Most new homes have a room specifically for the use of laundry appliances and this is the location of the washing machine hook ups. The installation is similar even if you have a home with the washing machine in the garage or on the porch. There will be a place where you find an electrical outlet, a cold and a hot water spigot and a drain line, and that will be the location for laundry appliances.

This post shows the the six steps below to install your washing machine port.

Step 1:  First the washing machine needs to be near the hookup ports. Above fig.1 shows the photo shows the washing machine port in the wall. The port consists of two spigots, usually one with a red handle meaning hot hose and a blue meaning cold hose. There is also the drain for the washing machine to empty itself, the hole is usually on the left side. The drain line is  usually a black pipe which measures 1 1/2 inches in diameter. The pipe can be made of ABS plastic or metal.If you are unsure what hose to use, look at the back of the washing machine and the hot and cold are stamped into the back. Some washing machine have a red mark on the hot water side, others have both colors.
Step 2: Now apply Teflon® tape to both the hot and the cold spigot threads, the tape is thin and is enough to assure that the washing machine hose threads are sealed preventing water leakage. Fig.2 shows there is no port in the wall, apply the Teflon® tape over both the hot and cold water spigots threads. Usually the left spigot is the hot and the right spigot is the cold. In some older homes the plumbing may be reversed, and a bucket needs to be placed under the water spigot to make sure the hot water is correctly placed on the washing machine.

Place the white seal tape on the threads of hot and cold water
Fig. 2 Teflon tape
Step 3: Fig.3 shows to start hooking up the washing machine hoses. The use of  Channel® lock pliers are used to tighten the hose threads onto the spigot threadsIn this picture the hot side spigot threads is tightened to the hose coupling.
Use Channel Locks pliers to tighten the hot water hose to the washer
 Fig.3
Channel® lock pliers

Step 4: Fig.4 shows the cold side, just repeat the procedure for the hot side and the hose coupling will be finished.
The cold line is marked not to confuse the two hoses
Fig.4 Marking cold hose
Step 5: Wait, we are not finished. We still need to hook up the drain line, it's a rubber hose about 1 1/2 inches in diameter with a bend at the end.  The bend fits inside the hole that is provided within the washing machine port.  If the washing port is not in your home, a black pipe is often what will be used to drain the washing machine. Fig.5 shows the black pipe on the left side of the hot water spigot is the drain hose. Don't forget to plug the electrical cord into the socket to power the washing machine.
Both the cold and hot water hoses are installed
Fig.5 Laundry 
ports ready to use
Step 6: Fig.6 shows the washing machine all ready for use. See how easy that was, or you can call a handyman to the job. But with these instructions you are armed with the steps needed just in case the handyman or technician misses a step you can help him/her work out the details. 
Remember to place the large black rubber tube into the port so the washer can drain
Fig.6 Moving 
appliance backwards
 

Update: DIY Advisor has New blogs check them today:

  • Cookie Alert: European Union laws requires that you know that this blog uses cookies. If you are concerned about this please click here to see how Google uses this information.

Note: The DIY Advisor assumes no liability for omissions, errors or the outcome of any jobs. The reader must always exercise reasonable caution, follow current codes and regulations that may apply, and is urged to consult with a licensed contractor if in doubt about any steps on these posts. All names were changed to protect client's privacy. DIY Advisor. Reproduction of site content including photos without permission prohibited. All rights reserved. © Copyright 2011-

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

How to Install Air Gap Cover

This cover lets the dishwasher breathe and keep the kitchen safe
Fig.1 Cover
By Gary Boutin 

Supplies and Tools:
Air gap cover

One of the easiest jobs working for my customer was to replace an air gap cover. The air gap cover is a decorative cover that hides the air gap exhaust pipe above the sink. The air gap usually is located on the right side of the sink. If the air gap get clogged, than the discharge from the dishwasher goes into the sink. This customer had a new dishwasher installed and wanted the air gap cover replaced, but the plumber that installed the dishwasher never replaced the air gap and as the plumber was leaving he stated to my customer, "Just get a new cover."

What is An Air Gap? This post shows the three steps on how to replace an air gap cover.

Fortunately for my customer the steps to remove the air gap cover are simple.
Step 1: Fig.1 shows the old air gap cover that needs to be pulled off.
Step 2: Next go to your local hardware store and purchase a new air gap cover. 
Step 3: Once home, unwrap the cover and push it over the plastic white air gap. That's all there is to it. Some dishwashers have no air gap, and you can tell because they smell of sewage. The air gap allows air into the dishwasher and functions to relieve the dishwasher of its excess water. Air gaps can take thirty minutes to install, it all depends if the existing discharge hose from the dishwasher, the rubber hoses to the garbage disposal and clamps are in good shape. The purpose of an air gap is to prevent back flow of dishwasher water into the drinking water and the air gap provides a stop gap measure for dumping the excess wash water into the sink.

Air gap covers come in chrome, satin and white. If you like bold colors, air gap covers can be painted in any color. It really doesn't matter what color the air gap cover is, what matters is that the air gap works.





Update: DIY Advisor has New blogs check them today:

  • Cookie Alert: European Union laws requires that you know that this blog uses cookies. If you are concerned about this please click here to see how Google uses this information.

Note: The DIY Advisor assumes no liability for omissions, errors or the outcome of any jobs. The reader must always exercise reasonable caution, follow current codes and regulations that may apply, and is urged to consult with a licensed contractor if in doubt about any steps on these posts. All names were changed to protect client's privacy. DIY Advisor. Reproduction of site content including photos without permission prohibited. All rights reserved. © Copyright 2011-

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Bathroom Limestone - Part 2 of 3 - Durock® Cement Board Installation

Installing the Durock backerboard
Fig.1 Gary
By Gary Boutin 

Supplies and Tools:
Durock® backerboard 1/2-inch thick
Durock® tile backer tape
Durock® 1-5/8-inch steel wood screws
Gloves
Knee pads
Painter's scraper Safety glasses
Square notch trowel 11/4-inch by 1/4-inch
Thin-set mortar
Water

This job was located in the City of Pomona, a 5-multi-level condominium in a beautiful rural setting with mature oak trees and a well-established community. 

In this installation the client had the sub-floor removed and replaced with Oriented Strand Boards (OSB). The post shows the fourteen steps to install the Durock Backerboard. 

Step 1: Before tiling the bathroom, the plan was to install backerboard foundation for the tile. 
Step 2: Carl is helping me attach the Durock® backerboard inside the bathroom. 
Step 3: We wore protective gloves and knee pads during the installation. Backerboard, once cut, is very sharp and gloves must be used to protect your hands. 
Step 4: Once the sub-floor was replaced we knew that the floor was stable and ready for the backerboard installation. 
Step 5: Two sheets of backerboard were purchased for this bathroom. The backerboard came with an instruction sheet. 
Step 6: Above right a painter's scraper was used to score the backerboard. Then the board broke away just like sheetrock, only thicker and heavier. 
Step 7: Fig.1 shows the trowel line spreading the thin-set and then the application of the backerboard on top of the thin-set. We cut a hole for the toilet flange.
Step 8: We installed the backerboard on top of the new sub-floor. 
Step 9: Fig.2 shows two sheets of 1/2" backerboard purchased for the bathroom.
Gary is filling the edges between the bakerboard (cement) for the tile
Fig.2 Backerboard
Step 10: Fig.3 shows a gap between both backerboard panels and thin-set was used to glue the board to the sub-floor.  
Gary applying thin-set to the edges
Fig.3 Thin-set
Step 11: Fig.4 shows the Durock® 1-5/8" steel wood screws that were screwed every twelve inches.
These are special Durock 1 5/8 steel wood screws
Fig.4 Special wood screws
Step 12: Durock® Tile Backer Tape was used to fuse the two backer boards in place. 
Step 13: Fig.5 and fig.6 shows Carl measuring and drilling 1-5/8" steel wood screws into the backerboard and wood joists.
Carl is laying the backer tape on the seams
Fig.5 Carl laying backer tape
Carl is installing 1 5/8 metal screws into the backerboard
Fig.6 Carl drilling

Both Carl and I are strong and in good shape which is needed to move the backerboard in place. One board was placed easily on the first half of the bathroom, while the other board needed to be cut for the toilet flange.

Bathroom Limestone Tiling:

Update: DIY Advisor has New blogs check them today:

  • Cookie Alert: European Union laws requires that you know that this blog uses cookies. If you are concerned about this please click here to see how Google uses this information.

Note: The DIY Advisor assumes no liability for omissions, errors or the outcome of any jobs. The reader must always exercise reasonable caution, follow current codes and regulations that may apply, and is urged to consult with a licensed contractor if in doubt about any steps on these posts. All names were changed to protect client's privacy. DIY Advisor. Reproduction of site content including photos without permission prohibited. All rights reserved. © Copyright 2011-

How to Replace Bathtub Diverter Spout Tile

Handyman removing tub spout with channel lock pliers
Fig.1 Gary
By Gary Boutin

Supplies and Tools:
Channel locks® pliers
Caulking white silicone
Diverter instructions
Electric drill
Pencil or permanent market
Shoe Booties (protects bath)
Shower tile
Spring clamps 4 inch
Teflon tape(white)
Tile adhesive
Tile hole saw kit
Tile scraper 1/4 inch gaps

Dr. Valvus called me from an advertisement from a Bing advertisement campaign. He was related to the late Dr. Valvus who invented the valve. Dr. Valvus wanted his shower tile repaired after a local plumber worked on the shower spout.

This post shows the eighteen steps on how to drill a hole in a shower tile, and how to replace a missing diverter valve.  

Step 1: A local plumber repaired the shower mixing valve but would not repair the damages or the diverter valve and stated that the doctor should get a handyman to finish the job. Plumbers do not repair tile or wall damages, they just can not make enough money to cover their time and cost. 
Step 2: Fig.1 shows the Handyman removing the diverter spout with a pair of Channel locks
®
pliers
, now twist off the diverter spout away from the wall. 
Step 3: Fig.2 shows the diverter valve has been removed and only the pipe is left.
This shower/tub is missing the tile by the water pipe
Fig.2 Tub with missing tile
Step 4: Fig.3 shows are Channel locks® pliers that were used for this job. The handyman is wearing shoe booties on his shoes to protect the tub sides.
Channel locks® pliers
Fig.3
Channel Locks pliers

Step 5: The next step is to cut the hole in the tile. From your local hardware store, or a plumbers store purchase a tile hole saw kit, make sure that the hole saw is the same diameter has the water spout. This kit comes with a tile hole saw and a base.   
Step 6: Fig.4 shows the tile hole saw is being drawn with a pencil on the backside of the shower tile
.
This Tile Hole Saw Kit is used to cut the tile for the water pipe
Fig.4 Circular tile cutter
Step 7: Fig.5 shows the circle drawn in pencil.
Use a pencil to trace the cut in the tile
Fig.5 Tile to be used
Step 8: Fig.6 shows the base is placed on top of the tile. In this example the hole needs to be position as the left upper side of the tile, not an easy cut.

The tile cutter base allows the tile to be cut without damaging the tile
Fig.6 Circular base 
for water pipe
Step 9: Fig.7 shows the drill drilling the into the backside of the tile. In this example an electric drill was used.
The use of an electric drill provide constant power to cut the tile
Fig.7 Drilling tile hole
Step 10: Fig.8 shows the hole from the tile saw, the cut has been made. Dr. Valvus had to help me steady the drill and the clamps so the drill hole saw would cut straight.
This hole saw has diamond on it tip to cut this tile
Fig.8 Hole Cut
Step 11: Fig.9 shows the orange tabs are the spring clamps that held the base of the tile hole saw. Two sets of 4 inch spring clamps were used to do this project.
The Hole tile Base is gray and the Orange tip is a spring clamp on the tile
Fig.9 Removing the base
Step 12: Fig.10 shows the hole in the tile and on the new spout the plumber placed into the shower. The end piece is not new, its the piece between the spout and the valve that needed to be replaced, this picture does not show that part.
Tile is on the water pipe
Fig.10 Fitting the copper pipe 
around the newly cut tile
Step 13: Fig.11 shows the hole in the tile ready to be applied to the shower wall.
Ready to be applied to shower wall
Fig.11 Hole cut
Step 14: Fig.12 shows Teflon tape is being applied on the new copper pipe threads. This Teflon tape came with the diverter package.
White tape is being applied to the threads of the water pipe
Fig.12 Teflon the end
Step 15: Fig.13 shows the instructions on how to install a diverter on a spout pipe.
Hole Saw Directions
Fig.13 Direction
Step 16: Fig.14 shows the tile adhesive being mix to place behind the new tile to glue to the shower wall. I used a tile scraper with 1/4 inch gaps to allow the adhesive on the tile.
Grout is being mixed for the wall
Fig.14 Tile grout
Step 17: Fig.15 shows the tube grout being applied to the edges of the tile.
After the grout the caulking is for the metal pipe
Fig.15 Applying caulking


Step 18: Fig.16 shows the new wall tile and the new tub diverter valve. Now Dr. Valvus can enjoy his new shower in his new home.
The job is done and the tub spout and tile is like new
Fig.16 Job finished new 
tile with new fixtures

Update: DIY Advisor has New blogs check them today:

  • Cookie Alert: European Union laws requires that you know that this blog uses cookies. If you are concerned about this please click here to see how Google uses this information.

Note: The DIY Advisor assumes no liability for omissions, errors or the outcome of any jobs. The reader must always exercise reasonable caution, follow current codes and regulations that may apply, and is urged to consult with a licensed contractor if in doubt about any steps on these posts. All names were changed to protect client's privacy. DIY Advisor. Reproduction of site content including photos without permission prohibited. All rights reserved. © Copyright 2011-

How to Hang Heavy Paintings or Pictures

By Gary Boutin

Supplies and Tools: 
50 lb. Bulldog Pro Sturdy Picture Hanger 

Sometime the most beautiful pictures or paintings are the heavy ones, used to be these pictures were difficult to install. Now the hardware companies are listening to their consumers. Today's kits come in all different pictures weights. 

This post describes the six steps to use 50 lb. Bulldog Pro Sturdy Picture Hangers.

Step 1: Purchase at your local hardware store and find the 50 lb. Bulldog Pro Sturdy Picture Hanger which will safely hang pictures that weigh up to 50 pounds. These kits have their own nails.
Step 2: Now decide where you want to hang your picture and measure out the space and mark the spot(s) where you will place your picture hanger with a pencil. Use two hangers if the picture weighs more than 50 pounds.
Step 3: Place the hook on the wall with the nails holes upward and the hook on the bottom.
Step 4: Now place the nails into the top part of the hook just below your marked spot on the wall.
Step 5: If you need another hook just repeat number 3 and 4 to hand the other side of the wall.
Step 6: Now it’s time to hang your picture on the wall.



Update: DIY Advisor has New blogs check them today:

  • Cookie Alert: European Union laws requires that you know that this blog uses cookies. If you are concerned about this please click here to see how Google uses this information.

Note: The DIY Advisor assumes no liability for omissions, errors or the outcome of any jobs. The reader must always exercise reasonable caution, follow current codes and regulations that may apply, and is urged to consult with a licensed contractor if in doubt about any steps on these posts. All names were changed to protect client's privacy. DIY Advisor. Reproduction of site content including photos without permission prohibited. All rights reserved. © Copyright 2011-

Friday, April 1, 2011

How to Install Plastic Toilet Seat Installation with Stainless Steel Bolts

These are neoprene plastic toilet nut
Fig.1 Nut
By Gary Boutin 

Supplies and Tools: 
Toilet seat with metal bolts
Washer
Neoprene nut

Mr. Lefty wanted a new toilet seat placed on her new toilet.

This post shows the seven steps to installing plastic toilet seat.

Step 1: Fig.1 shows the neoprene bolts used underneath the toilet seat.
Step 2: Fig.2 shows the toilet bowl without the seat. There are two holes for each side of the toilet seat.
This toilet has no toilet seat
Fig.2 Toilet
Step 3: Fig.3 shows the metal bolt and washer that will go into the neoprene nut.

Some toilet seats come with stainless steel screws
Fig.3 Metal bolt
Step 4: Fig.4 shows the flat tip screwdriver driving the metal bolt into the neoprene nut.
Use a large flat tip screwdriver to get a good hold on the metal screws
Fig.4 Screwdriver

Step 5: Fig.5 shows both metal bolt and washer that have been tightened and ready to close the cover.
For this toilet there are two stainless steel bolt, washer and nuts
Fig.5 Covers opened
Step 6: Fig.6 shows the cover beginning to close to finish the job.
Step 7: Fig.7 shows the cover closed and the job is finished.
This toilet has a closeable screw cap that can be opened for maintenance
Fig.6 Cover closing
This toilet seat has closeable caps to keep it flush with the toilet
Fig.7 Seat cover closed

How to replace and install a plastic toilet seat
  1. If you want to use the same toilet seat as before, take the seat with you to the store. Otherwise measure the bowl.
  2. There are two types of toilet bowls: Round or Oblong. 
  3. Round seats are 16 inches from front-to-back, and oblong are 18 inches from front-to-back.
  4. Use a large flat-head screwdriver to pry open the plastic covers.
  5. Next use the screw driver to unscrew the large plastic bolts holding the old seat in place.  
  6. The plastic bolt must be held from underneath with your fingers as the screwdriver turns the screw loose.
  7. Now remove both the seat and the lid to the trash can.  It's not recyclable.
  8. Now that the seat is gone, this is a good time to clean the area where the bolts were.
  9. Now take the new seat out of the box and remove the plastic around it. If the seat doesn't look the same as the old seat, READ THE INSTRUCTIONS.
Otherwise in reverse order place the new seat on top the the bowl and re-assemble the seat to the bowl.  Re-attach the plastic nut to the plastic bolt, tighten with a large flat-head screwdriver.  Once tight, close the bolt lids.
Update: DIY Advisor has New blogs check them today:

  • Cookie Alert: European Union laws requires that you know that this blog uses cookies. If you are concerned about this please click here to see how Google uses this information.

Note: The DIY Advisor assumes no liability for omissions, errors or the outcome of any jobs. The reader must always exercise reasonable caution, follow current codes and regulations that may apply, and is urged to consult with a licensed contractor if in doubt about any steps on these posts. All names were changed to protect client's privacy. DIY Advisor. Reproduction of site content including photos without permission prohibited. All rights reserved. © Copyright 2011-