HVAC | Electrical | Plumbing

How to Solder Copper Pipe

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Soldering copper pipe, commonly referred to as “sweating” pipe, is a job any homeowner can do. As with any home improvement or DIY project, it is important to understand the basic skills before starting. After a little planning and ensuring that you have the right tools on hand, soldering copper pipe should be simple. Join our host, Jeff Wilson, as we learn the basic skills required to make one of the most common connections in plumbing.

Maintenance Tips: Dryers

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Dryers remove moisture by blowing hot air over wet, tumbling clothes. The hot, moisture-laden air is exhausted outside the home through a dryer vent duct. According to the Study of Life Expectancy of Home Components, which was prepared in 2007 by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), the average life expectancy of a clothes dryer (gas or electric) is 13 years. Dryers are a fairly simple appliance with a long life expectancy as compared to other appliances, but present both personal and property hazards. Timely dryer maintenance will reduce potential problems and ensure it is functioning as excepted.

Maintenance Tips: Washing Machines

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According to the Study of Life Expectancy of Home Components, which was prepared in 2007 by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), the average life expectancy of a washing machine is 10 years. While washing machines are not made to last forever, performing simple maintenance will help to ensure they last as long or longer than expected, and will actually reduce the likelihood that your washing machine will be the cause of significant water damage to your home.

Set The Mood: Install A Dimmer Switch

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Three recessed ceiling light fixtures flood the fireplace in our family room. Sometime after we moved in, the dimmer switch that controls the lights stopped functioning properly. It turned the lights on and off, but did not dim them. We were not concerned with our inability to dim the lights and affect the mood of the room because the light bulbs' brightness at that time was not an issue. Recently, we started replacing our incandascent light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL). The CFL bulbs we purchased have a higher lumen output than the incandescents, resulting in a brighter light. It was now time to solve our dimming problem.

Let There Be Light: Installing Lighting Fixtures

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In a recent survey conducted by the Foundation of the Fabricators and Manufacturers Association, 60% of the 1,000 people surveyed stated that they avoided installing light fixtures.  Homeowners surveyed also avoided unclogging a drain and replacing a window pane, among other things.  To see all of the projects homeowners avoided, read Survey Says: Homeowners Avoid Simple Repairs.  Over the next few months, the At Home channel will provide how-to articles covering all projects on the list.  Our main goal is to show how easy the repairs actually are and that homeowners can do the work themselves.

DIY Recall

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Oxmoor House voluntarily recalled nearly 1,000,000 home improvement books purchased at home improvement stores and bookstores nationwide between January 1975 and December 2009.  The recall was prompted due to faulty wiring diagrams and technical instructions which could possibly lead to shock or fire hazards.

Shower Rise

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Problems can occur with any type of renovation project.  Prior to installing our new three piece acrylic bathtub and surround, we determined that the existing locations of both the shower arm and tub spout were too low.  While we had hoped to keep the existing plumbing intact, we realized that we would need to redo the rough plumbing to relocate the shower arm and tub spout.

Since our house already had copper plumbing pipes, we decided to replace the existing tub and shower pipes with copper, rather than PEX or CPVC.  Even though I have done some plumbing in the past, I had reservations about soldering the copper piping and fittings.

Futuristic Receptacle

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One action that most inhabitants of developed countries take for granted every day is the ability to plug an electrical cord into an outlet and power up any kind of device, from a lamp to a washing machine to a laptop. While we could go on for days debating the status and future of the world’s energy sources and demand, this post is simply about what you plug that cord into.

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