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6 Best Ways to Close Off a Fireplace Family Handyman

Offer Details: Close Off Fireplaces with a Chimney Cap Damper. A chimney cap damper seals a fireplace from the top. This style of damper is very secure; some even come with a rubber seal. “If you have a top closing cap damper, they are more efficient than bottom closing dampers,” explains Blaken. “Those would be the easiest, most temporary solutions.”.

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How To Buy Land: A Step-by-Step Guide the Family …

Offer Details: If a municipal water supply isn’t available on the property, you may have to install a well or other off-grid water system. Trucking in water is another option that can be costly and inconvenient. Sewer. If a municipal sewer connection isn’t available, a septic tank will need to be installed before any construction is done. Electricity.

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How to Install Cabinets Like a Pro — The Family Handyman

Offer Details: Take your time on this step—nobody likes to have eggs roll off a slanted countertop. 10 / 18. Family Handyman. Measure the Gap. Measure the gap between the wall and the end cabinets at the top and bottom. Add 1/16 in. to each measurement and draw a cutting line on the backside of a filler strip.

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How to Install an In Line Cord Switch (DIY) Family …

Offer Details: Make turning lamps on and off easier by installing an in-line cord switch. We'll show you how to add the switch so you don't have to reach under the lampshade to flip on the light. The installation is fast, simple and doesn't require any special tools. Tools Required. 4-in-1 screwdriver;

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Office Chair Repair (DIY) The Family Handyman

Offer Details: Lift off the bearing, washers and rubber bumper and keep the parts together for reuse. Remove the telescoping trim bezel (Photo 2). Then grab your pipe wrench and helper and remove the cylinder (Photo 3). If it won’t budge, soak it with rust penetrant and tap with a …

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How to Adjust a Mechanical Thermostat: How to Calibrate

Offer Details: If the furnace is cycling on and off too often, move the lever away from the “longer” setting by one calibration mark. If the room temperature is either too hot or too cold for long periods, move the lever closer to the “longer” setting by one calibration mark. Let the furnace run for two to three hours and, if necessary, repeat the

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Things You Should Never Do With Power Strips Family …

Offer Details: Never Put a Power Strip Under a Rug. As electricity moves, the electrons can generate heat. Normally, this isn’t a problem, but if you put your power strip under a rug or in a tightly enclosed space, it can create a fire hazard. In addition, if you step on it or any attached power cables, you can damage them, which can create a shock and/or

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9 Things You Should Never Do to Your Chain Saw

Offer Details: A chain that’s too loose can come off the bar, creating an unsafe condition while you’re cutting. A overly loose or tight chain also wears out the drive sprocket and causes rapid chain and bar wear. To determine if your chain is properly tensioned, pull up on the chain. The drive links should still be in the bar groove.

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Car Care: How to Store Your Classic Car or Sports Car (DIY)

Offer Details: Then shut off the engine and stuff steel wool and a bright reminder flag into the air filter box intake duct (the duct coming into the air filter box, not the one going to the throttle body). Finally, plug the exhaust system as shown. Step 5: Protect the battery.

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How to Turn Off Water To House and Prevent Damage (Guide)

Offer Details: How to Shut Off Water Supply Valves. If you can’t shut off the main water supply because you have an automatic sprinkler system or someone watering the plants while you’re gone, shut off the valves to the most common sources of water damage such as dishwashers, icemakers and washing machines, in case a hose cracks or lets go. Individual shutoff valves or “stops” are installed on the

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How to Properly Wax a Car (DIY) Family Handyman

Offer Details: Let the wax in the hard-to-reach areas dry, then buff off the excess with a clean microfiber cloth or shop towel. Step 6. Remove Wax Dust. Use a fresh tack cloth on the vehicle's surfaces to collect the wax dust generated by the buffing process.

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How to Use Cheap Electrical Testers and Voltage Detectors

Offer Details: Turn the power off at the main panel. Remove the cover plate. Push the tester nose close to one, then the other, of the two switch wire terminals to see if either wire is still hot. If there are no live wires, unscrew the switch, pull it out and test all other wires in the …

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Would You Turn Off Your Lights for Migrating Birds

Offer Details: Turn off exterior house lights and downshield exterior lighting to eliminate lights that can be seen from above. Turn off spotlights and floodlights. Turn off or minimize interior, lobby and atrium lights. Close curtains in the morning before leaving for work. Install window coverings on rooms where nighttime light is needed.

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This Is What That Switch By Your Furnace Is For The

Offer Details: Step 2. Make sure the furnace switch or circuit breaker is in the ON position. If the switch is ON and your furnace is still on the fritz, skip to Step 3. If the switch was OFF position, turn it ON, then OFF and ON again. Wait for the furnace to reset. (This could take up to five minutes).

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How to Test an Alternator with One Tool (DIY) Family

Offer Details: With the engine off, battery voltage should be between 12.5 and 12.8 volts. If it's below that, charge the battery with a battery charger before you conduct the test again. Then start the engine and check for increased voltage readings. If you see higher readings, chances are the alternator is good.

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Soldering Tips (DIY)

Offer Details: If the flux burns, the solder will ball up and roll off the pipe instead of sticking as it should. MAPP Gas vs. Propane. A propane torch is the traditional weapon of choice for weekend plumbers. It works fine for most jobs and it’s cheap: You can get a 14-oz. disposable bottle of propane and a torch for about $20.

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How to Choose and Install a Motion Sensor Light (DIY

Offer Details: Shut off the Electricity. Turn off the power to the fixture at the main panel, then test the wires to make sure the current is off. Rub one lead of a voltage tester against the ground wire and rub the other lead first against the hot wire (black), then the neutral wire (white).; If the tester lights up in …

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How to Remove Mold and Mildew From Clothes Family Handyman

Offer Details: Mold stains can develop on clothes from exposure to water or improper storage, and they can be tough to remove. With the right product, however, you can get rid of mold stains on all kinds of fabrics — even delicates. Read on for three methods, using different products, to eliminate mold and mildew on clothes.

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Step Ladder Safety Basics The Family Handyman

Offer Details: If you feel dizzy or off-balance, have been drinking alcohol, or are compromised in any way by age or health, do not climb a ladder. Wait until you feel better, or enlist the help of someone who is better able to safely climb the ladder. Touch Three Spots. When you climb the steps of the ladder, keep three points of contact at all times. Do not

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How to Remove Wallpaper

Offer Details: Pull Off the Facing. Do this step without using any water to begin the old wallpaper removal process. Pro tip: The point is to remove the top layer of paper and leave the backing on the wall. That way, the backing will easily soak up water, making the rest of the wallpaper removal faster and easier.

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Using a Diagnostic Car Code Reader (DIY) Family Handyman

Offer Details: Photo 1: Plug in. Plug your car code reader into the diagnostic link connector under the dash (engine off). Then start the vehicle and follow the auto code reading procedure in the instruction manual. Nothing can knock your day off track faster than a “Check Engine” light popping up on your dash.

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Wireless Electrical Switch: Battery-Free, Finger Powered

Offer Details: Click the switch on or off and it instantly sends a signal to the receiver in the fixture. Putting in a switch for an overhead fan, switching an outlet, or converting a two-way switch to a three-way switch can be a nightmare if you have to fish new wire through old walls and floors.

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How to Get Rid of Mold on Bathroom Walls Family Handyman

Offer Details: Turn off your furnace and air conditioner and cover ducts and doors to contain spores. Keep your wet/dry vacuum outside when you vacuum. Bathroom Mold Prevention and Remediation. After you learn how to remove mold, you’ll want to prevent mold in the future. The key to stopping most mold is to control dampness.

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How to Paint a Door (DIY) Family Handyman

Offer Details: Minimize air movement for less airborne dust and slower drying. Close doors and windows. Turn off forced-air heating or cooling. Don't rely on overhead lighting; you may even want to turn it off. Pro tip: Position a work light four to five feet above the floor. This low …

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How to Safely & Easily Do DIY Work Alone

Offer Details: With this hang-it-high extension pole, you can hang objects in high, hard-to- reach areas. Attach a spring clamp to the end of an ABS or PVC (plastic) drain pipe, and use the end of the clamp as a hook to lift items on or off a hook or nail. — readers Joseph and Debra Wronkowski. Next, check out these additional 45 hugely helpful handy hints!

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The Best Insect Repellents for Your Deck and Patio The

Offer Details: Off Mosquito Lamp. Light the Off Mosquito Lamp 10 minutes before you’re ready to go outside, and the diffuser will repel mosquitoes in a 10-ft. x 10-ft. area — perfect for porches and decks. You’ll enjoy up to six hours of bug-fighting power.

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Remote Control Devices for Electrical Outlets and

Offer Details: The space-age convenience of remote control is now available in an easy-to-install technology called Z-Wave. This new system will wirelessly switch on or off any combination of lights or outlets from a portable remote or with a control panel by your bedside table, workstation, kitchen countertop or …

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Breaker Box Safety: How to Connect a New Circuit (DIY

Offer Details: Strip off 5/8-inch of insulation from the white and black wires and insert them into the AFCI terminals. Tighten until snug. Step 10. Ground and Pigtail go to the Neutral Bus. On a main panel, you connect the ground wire from the new cable and the neutral (white) pigtail from the AFCI to the neutral bus.

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How to Remove a Door (DIY) Family Handyman

Offer Details: Photo 2: Tap the pin up. Tap the pin up until it’s loose enough to pull out. Photo 3: Remove the door. Open the door partway and pull it to the side so it drops off the hinges. Photo 4: Remount the door. Replace the door on the hinges, using a pry bar if necessary to get the hinge leaves to fit together. Laying new carpet, stripping or

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Plumbing Valve Basics (DIY) Family Handyman

Offer Details: Water ball valve. Ball valves use a stainless steel ball to control water flow. There are three basic valve styles, making this a classic case of good, better and best (described in order as follows). All three can be used for water, oil or airflow control if the casting has ‘WOG’ stamped on it. Stop valves are closed by screwing a rubber

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Install a Wireless Light Switch (DIY) Family Handyman

Offer Details: Turn off the power before you install the receiver/relay. Connect the relay to the fixture and the house wiring (see Photo 1). Then turn the power back on and follow the receiver/relay programming instructions. Test the light switch. Turn off the power one last time so you can safely tuck the receiver/relay into the electrical box and finish

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Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Use Your Car’s Air Conditioner

Offer Details: Scrape Off Old Stickers While all of your national and state park stickers may call to mind great memories, they can be a visual hazard as they accumulate. The high-quality stickers will pull off if you can get under a corner and carefully pull them free at a 90-degree angle. Others will leave a gummy residue and require a bit more attention.

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Installing a Remote Motion Detector for Lighting (DIY)

Offer Details: Strip off 12 in. of the cable’s sheath and feed wires into the box. If two or three cables enter a box, label wires with masking tape and a marker to avoid confusion. Once you’ve determined how you’ll wire the system, run the electrical cable between the junction boxes (Photos 3 and 4).

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How to Avoid Window Condensation in Winter Family Handyman

Offer Details: Part 1 – Reduce indoor humidity. Since cold air tends to be drier, many people in colder climates run a humidifier to make the air more comfortable. And this is fine, but too much humidity is a bad thing. If condensation is forming on your windows, it also could be forming inside of your walls, causing mold or other problems.

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How to Wire a Light Socket (DIY) Family Handyman

Offer Details: The threaded socket is the neutral. So when the switch is off, all “hot” parts of the lamp are well protected. And when the switch is on, only the tab at the bottom of the socket is “hot.” But if the wiring is reversed and the power goes to the threaded socket, the threaded socket is always hot, whether the switch is on or off. There

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How to Remove Hot Air from a Room: Home Air Cooling Tips

Offer Details: Energy Star-qualified models use 25 percent less energy than models made before late 2000. Check with your utility for energy rebates. Some units provide both cooling and heating. Prices range from $400 for cooling a 400- to 700-sq.-ft. room to $700 or so for cooling/heating a 1,000- sq.-ft. space. Step 5.

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How to Chalk Paint Cabinets (DIY) Family Handyman

Offer Details: Professional painters still lean toward applying a primer coat, however, when working with white or off-white chalk paint. Without a primer, light colors may require several coats or may allow tannins (a plant-based chemical, also found in red wine, that can stain natural or synthetic fibers) to bleed through the paint.

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How to Use CPVC Pipe Plastic Plumbing (DIY) Family Handyman

Offer Details: Turn off the water supply, then cut your pipes where you’d like to tie in. For the mechanical fitting shown, we removed 1-1/2 in. of pipe, then had to spread the gap to get the fitting in place. If your situation doesn’t allow this, you can solder a copper tee with a male adapter and run a …

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The 10 Most Common National Electric Code Violations

Offer Details: Trouble is, once friends and family hear that you’re good at electrical work, requests to help with theirs may start coming. This is a code violation in most places. Working on your own electrical system is fine, but only licensed electricians can work on someone else’s. 2 / 10. Family Handyman.

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Electric vs. Hydronic Radiant Heat Systems (DIY)

Offer Details: Electric systems have three components: heat cable, a thermostat and a temperature sensor (Figure A below). The thermostat is connected to the home’s power supply and turns the heat on and off according to the floor’s (not the room’s) temperature. A sensor installed in the floor along with the cable tells the thermostat how warm the floor is.

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Tile Layout for Tubs and Showers (DIY) Family Handyman

Offer Details: Screw a straight board to the level line and stack tile on the board. When you’ve completed tiling above the board and the tiles are held firmly, remove the board and cut the first row of tile to fit. Leave a 1/8-in. space between the tub and the tile to allow installation of a flexible bead of caulk.

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Pocket Door Repair (DIY) Family Handyman

Offer Details: Pry off the door stops with a stiff putty knife. Remove the pocket door. Sometimes the hardest part is getting the door out of the pocket or off the track. Pull out a door that’s stuck in the pocket by alternately pulling the top and bottom edges. Remove a door from a J-track by following the instructions in Photo 5, but instead of pulling

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How to Heat a Garage (DIY) Family Handyman

Offer Details: A basic rule of thumb for forced-air heaters is 45,000 Btu to heat a two- to 2-1/2 car garage, and a 60,000 Btu garage heater for a three-car garage. The makers of low-intensity infrared tube heaters say that 30,000 Btu can heat a two to 2-1/2 car garage, and suggest 50,000 for a three-car garage. Check with a local heating pro or the heater

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How to Repair a Noisy Outdoor Faucet (DIY)

Offer Details: First, turn off the water to the faucet. Then use a wrench to remove the retaining nut that’s attached to the sill cock (Photo 1). Slide the handle and stem assembly out of the sill cock. Remove the screw at the end of the stem (Photo 2) and remove the washer. Buy a new …

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How To Clean An Air Conditioning Condenser (DIY) Family

Offer Details: Step 1. Cut the Power. Disconnect the service at the AC condenser by pulling the plug connector in the power box, or flip the AC breaker switch off in your main breaker panel. Family Handyman. Step 2. Remove the Screws. Use a cordless drill or screwdriver with a socket to remove the screws. Pro tip: Have a container to put the screws in.

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3 Easy Furnace Repairs (DIY)

Offer Details: Flip the furnace power switch to off and wait for at least five minutes. Then turn on the power and let the furnace restart. Photo 3: Test the high-limit switch. Disconnect the wires going to the high-limit switch and connect a continuity tester to the switch terminals. If the test light doesn’t glow, the switch is bad.

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