Sunday, July 27, 2008

Don't sip the tapwater dunce

So this post isn't going to be completely related to the "How to be a Handyman" niche. But then again it will slightly relate to a handyman's knowledge because it has to do with the very same water that some of you might drink, "tap water". Tap water is what you use to bathe in and wash your dishes with, not to drink. The cities of the United States deem water consumable and verify that tap water is safe to drink. Everyone knows that tap water isn't good for you to drink but the cities of the United Stated deem it to be.

Note: If you own a house that has a water supply ran from a well this article does not effect you, but please read on for more information.

I for one would never drink water straight from the tap but I have been a huge fan of refilling my ice trays with tap water, and I have also installed ice makers in a couple of places that I have stayed in the past. Well guess what, the ice in you're ice tray is tap water and more then likely, if your ice maker doesn't have a filter on it then it is also tap water. After seeing these pictures below you will understand why I had made this post about the subject.

Recently around my neck in the woods I had a buddy who is a plumber that had to fix a water leak under the ground for a certain apartment complex. The water leak was pretty bad and it was wasting about 100 gallons of water every ten minutes, that being 5 ft under ground with lots of concrete holding back the full potential of the water leak. My buddy the plumber found the underground leak and dug up the concrete to get to it with the help of some heavy duty machinery. He had found the leak and he removed the 30 year old galvanized pipe and replaced it with a new pipe. The pipe was about 3 foot long that was busted with a hole in it. Here is a couple pictures of the busted ass pipe.

Click any image to enlarge

Now the above images are pictures of what the inside of 30 year old galvanized pipes might look like. Now I am not saying that every city in the United States has potable water piping that looks like this but hey that is for you to critique.

This is what I use at my home now though, I have a shower head that has a purifier on it, my faucets have a purifier on them, and I only buy bagged ice from the store now. So it's your choice, the cities of the United States clean these pipes out and test the water but if you want to trust if this water is potable after looking at these images is up to you. You just read my opinion. To sum up this whole article this Handyman says, don't sip the tap water dunce.

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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Install a Range Hood

Tampa Bay Handyman here again to explain and show you how to install a range hood. Range hoods are extremely easy to install, the only thing you really have to worry about is securing the power to the range hood. That is the number one safety issue in this Handyman How-to. Secure the power no matter what. While range hoods are very simple to install, I would recommend 2 people to do this installation for the beginner, if you are an experienced handyman you shouldn't need to read this tutorial at all and could simply do it yourself. But this blog post is dedicated to those who have never installed range hoods before so lets get started.

Click any image to enlargen

Look at this old piece of junk Range Hood, this thing is crap, it has to be over 20 years old and I have no idea how this thing still works. I mean this range hood is just filthy disgusting I cant even bare to look at this filth. Ewww..

So before we get started on this replacement of the range hood the very first step we are going to take, very first thing we are going to do before even touching the old range hood is secure the power to the range hood!!!!!!!! Flip the breaker off, have a voltage meter in hand to confirm the power is off, sure you can run the fan on the old range hood and flip breakers until the fan turns off, but nothing tells you the voltage is dead better than a voltage meter.

To make sure there is no power besides the light and fan for the range hood wont turn on is to take off the electrical access panel which is usually secured by one or two screws. Hold your volt tester up to the line to tell if there is power coming to it or not. No power? Good lets get to the next step.

You have the electric panel box type thingy off so now just unhook the wires, they should be connected by wire nuts or electric tape, or in some cases the quick wire connections, for the purpose of this tutorial it will be wire nuts, and the ground (the bare wire) will be secured by a metal screw.

Note: Most electrical inlets have a secure connection by a washer type nut that secures the wire casing to the appliance, in this tutorial there is not a picture of this. If you have questions or concerns just leave a comment.

The range hood will be secured by usually four screws, for the purpose of this tutorial they are going to be mounted upwards, so just simply locate the screws mounting the range hood to the cabinet and unscrew with a drill or screwdriver.

After you demount the screws you can simply just pull the old range hood down if it didn't fall already.

Now you can start setting up your new range hood, in this picture there is a hole that I will need to punch out in order to run the electric wires through, the hole can be punched out by wiggling a screwdriver back and for until the metal breaks, or a hammer and chisel would suffice.

Now this next step is easier done with 2 people, run the electrical wires through the back where you punched the hole out at, once you have the wires ran through secure the range hood to the cabinet with some screws, in this case I will be using four, the range hood had came with them.

Now just simply connect the wires together by using wire nuts. Remember, white goes to white, black goes to black, and the bare wire goes to ground.

Once you have all the wires connected you can put the electrical cover back on. Next lets install a couple range queens on the range hood. Range queens are a safety feature, if your stove catches on fire the range queen will detect it then it will put the fire out with Co2, they can only be used once so make sure that you replace one if one is used. Range queens also do go bad, so make sure to check the expiration date that's located on the range queen.

Once you install the range queens your done !

This is the finishing install. You will notice that there is a gap on both sides, this is because the range hood I installed was only 24 inches and I really needed a 30 inch range hood. I still installed it though because I had to get the apartment ready to rent. If your doing this for your own home please make sure you take an accurate measurement be purchasing range hoods. Hope this tutorial "Install a Range Hood" was helpful to those who viewed it, leave the T.B. Handyman a comment if you have any questions or need help.

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Saturday, July 19, 2008

How to install a dishwasher (illustrated)

Tampa Bay Handyman is back again to show you how to install a dishwasher. The dishwasher I am going to be installing will be a GE type model, and I will be connecting the electric by means of "hot wiring". Most newer homes and apartment have a direct plug in connection for the electric so more than likely you wont have to follow my last few steps in hooking up the electric. Below is a picture of where we are going to put the new dishwasher.

You're going to need two types of hoses, a supply hose and a drain hose as shown below, there are many different types of supply and drain hoses that could be used to install the dishwasher but these are the ones that I am going to be using.

Here is a snapshot of the dishwasher that I am going to be showing you how to install.

WARNING ! Before you even start doing anything make certain that the hot water is turned off to the supply and that the breaker to the dishwasher is secured. These 2 steps are very crucial when removing the old dishwasher failure check these two steps could flood your house or shock the crap out of you or even cause death. Electricity is no joke use extreme caution.

First thing that I am going to due is flip the dishwasher upside down and remove the wooden crate that it was delivered with. I am going to do this by loosening up all of the feet, then I'm going to toss the crate and tighten all the feet back down. Depending on how high the counter top is to your dishwasher will determine how high or low the feet will need to be adjusted.

Next there should be a 90 degree fitting that comes with the dishwasher supply hose that must be attached to the bottom of the dishwasher. Since this connection is going to be metal to metal with out any rubber washers or anything I am going to wrap some teflon tape around the threads to help prevent any possible leaks.

Next I am going to attach the 90 degree brass coupling as shown in the picture below.

Then once I got that good and tight I will hook up the dishwasher supply line to the 90.

Then hook up the drain line, this one is going to be secured into place by use of a clamp that came with the drain hose.

One last thing I'm going to do before I flip the dishwasher over is I'm gonna take the cover off thats on the bottom of the dishwasher. It's held on with 2-4 screws.

Okay we now have the drain line and the supply line hooked up to the dishwasher. Next step is we are going to feed these hoses under the sink. If your installing a dishwasher you might have to drill some holes to run the hoses under the sink, if your just replacing a dishwasher then you could just use the old holes.

Once you have the hoses ran you can start hooking them up. In this situation I am going to be hooking the drain hose up to the garbage disposal, I will be securing it with th clamp shown.

*Note - Not shown but the dishwasher drain hose should be mounted above the garbage disposal to prevent sink water going into dishwasher.

Next step is to hook up the supply line to the how water supply valve, making sure to tighten it down good with a wrench or pair of channel locks.

Now we still have the cover off and both hoses are fully hooked up so next thing we do is push the dishwasher in. Making sure you don't push the electric supply behind it. Now we can hook up the electric, the black wire to black, the white to white, the green wire is the ground and should be secured to a metal screw that's on the dishwasher. Connect the black wires and the white wires with wire nuts.

Adjust the feet on the dishwasher to your desire liking. Then secure the dishwasher to the counter top with a couple 1" or half inch screws, don't use too long of screws you don't want the screw to be poking out of the top of the counter top.

Now we can turn the power to the dishwasher back on and turn the hot water supply valve back on. You're going to want to run a full cycle and watch under the sink and the dishwasher for any signs of leaks. Once you are comfortable that there aren't any leaks you can put the bottom cover back on. If you have any questions or concerns about how to install a dishwasher just leave me a comment.

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Sunday, July 13, 2008

How To Change the Direction your Refrigerator Door Swings

Handyman here again and in this do it yourself walk through I am going to be showing you how to reverse the direction your refrigerator door swings. If you have a small kitchen like I do and the refrigerator door doesn't swing the direction you want it to its very easy to change, by no means do you have to be an expert handyman to do this as long as you have the right tools this should take about 30 minutes to an hour even for the beginner. If you have a drill with the right bits and you have done this a couple times it should take about five to ten minutes. But now why would you want to change the direction your refrigerator door swings? Take the picture below for example, this is my fridge in the kitchen and it has a left side swing.

The left side swing for this set up is good for me because I am constantly grabbing beers and the direction that it swings is perfect for me, I don't have to walk all the way into the kitchen I can easily open up the refrigerator door, grab my beer, and be on my way until 5 minutes later until I need another one.

But however this swing isn't good for when my girlfriend is in the kitchen trying to cook dinner, because shes constantly getting stuff out of the fridge and freezer and she has to walk around every time that she needs to get something out. So I decided to change the direction the refrigerator door swings to make it easier for her, I will suffer the extra 1 second it takes me to get a beer out, oh well.

This particular refrigerator is a new GE model, although you may need different bits for different brands every refrigerator is the same principle for changing the direction of the door swings. This GE refrigerator uses Phillips screws for the handles and No.20 star head bits for the 3 hinges.

First thing I do is grab my drill and put a Phillips head bit on, because I am going to remove the refrigerator handles first. You can also do this with a screwdriver but I know that its gonna save me time if I use a drill. On this GE refrigerator there is 1 screw on top of the freezer, and 2 below the freezer. 2 screws on top of the refrigerator handle, and 1 screw in the middle. I am going to disassemble the handles 1st because I wanna try and limit the amount of heat that is let inside why I'm doing the refrigerator door direction switch.

Once I have all of the screws loose I can easily just pull the refrigerator handle off.

Once you have the handles off you want to remove all of the screws that are on the side you want the hinges to be on or the same side that the handles were on. There should be a couple screws in the middle, a couple on top, and a couple at the bottom. Remember all we are doing here is taking the hinges from one side and placing them on the other side. Most modern refrigerators have screws on both sides for the very option of reversing the refrigerator swing.

Now we have open holes on the side we want the swing to be to screw the hinges into. Next step is to start unscrewing the hinge thats on top of the freezer. Once all of the screws are loose you should be able to lift the freezer door off of the middle hinge.

Set the freezer door to the side somewhere. After you have the freezer door off start unscrewing the screws that are holding the bottom hinge on. You might need a longer attachment in some cases so you can get a good torque on the screw.

Once you have the bottom hinge loose you can remove the refrigerator door then set it to the side for now. Please dont mind my ugly mug in this pic, another bad hair day.

Now you unscrew the screws that are mounting the middle hinge and once you have it loose simply move it over to the other side of the fridge and mount it. On this GE model it looks like you might have to flip the hinge rods but you don't, it doesn't matter, just mount it on the other side. Only mount one screw at first and dont screw it in all of the way, for the reason that we will have play with the middle hinge which we will need.

Secure the bottom hinge fully. Then set the refrigerator door on the bottom hinge and work the middle hinge into the hole, once its in you can continue to secure the middle hinge fully. Now back to the freezer door, on this GE model the bottom of the freezer door has an attachment that helps it stay on the middle hinge, just simply move it to the other side of the door.

Set the freezer door on the middle hinge then take the top hinge and attach it.

Now just simply re-attach the handles to the refrigerator and freezer doors !

Thats it ! I'm done, now whenever my girlfriend cooks she can easily access all the stuff she needs from the refrigerator and freezer !

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