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Boaz

Is your fridge running ?

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 This is no joke, is your fridge running ? More than normal ... all the time ... not as cold as it used to be ? When was the last time you vacumed your fridge ? You have haven't you ? 

 

 No ? Then keep reading this spring cleaning post is for you (and about as off topic as one can get). I would like to introduce you to the dark side of your fridge, the underbelly of a place of light and goodness you go to almost every day for a lighted selection of food and drink ... but hiding a dark secret, a secret that will ask, nay, demand the intervention of the wondrous invention ... the vacume cleaner! That right boys and girls your trusty vacume is your friend and I will show you how to use this wonder of scientific ingenuity to save the day!

 

 Step one, if you dare, is to look at your fridge radiator, just like a car a fridge has a radiator for heat exchange,and if it is clogged you effective heat exchange is reduced till your freon fails or the pump or cooling fan fail ... the death of you fridge. But fear not gentle reader, their is hope, with our trusty friend the vacume we can clear the overburdened radiator and return our fridge to full power, warp factor cool ...

 

 If your lucky your radiator is on the back of your fridge and easy to find brush/vacume clean ... others are under or behind a panel on back bottom of fridge with the pump and fan ... also good things to vacume clean to avoid heat build up.

 

Note the before and after ... and please accept my apologies if dirty pictures offend you ...

 

 As you can see (if you squint enough to see the dim pic) a dark place revealed ... and clensed with the power of vacume and a long thin brush ... what once ear a marathon fridge running all day long is now a loafer, hardly working at all to stay frosty ... 

 

 Fell free to add your own horror stories and narrow excapes ... life hacks or life hatches ... spring is in the air and in my step so aping forward and don't forget to mix in the worst puns you can come up with ...

 

 A chuckle a day is ... better than being hit on the shin with a tire iron !

FridgeBefore.jpg

FidgeAfter.jpg

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I actually do this, just not nearly as often as I should. It's amazing how much nasty fuzz builds up in a home, specially on various appliances.

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I do it about every six months, even though mine doesn't build up anywhere near that level of dust.  Then again, I should probably replace the tiny apartment sized one we have because I want to fit more than three days worth of food into it... 

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Yeah, probably an entire cat worth of hair under mine.   Time to change the air filters on the furnace too. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Doug's Workshop said:

Don't forget to drain your water heater as well.

Just did that tonight . . . .

 

If you haven't done it in a while, or if you live in an area with hard water, or both, be prepared to spend a few hours doing it. I did it about 6 months ago, and I was in a "both" situation and it took me almost 8 hours, not counting the vinegar soak. The stock drain valves on water heaters these days aren't full aperture ball valves, so they clog up with the first solid piece of hard water deposit. And then you've got to fish a piece of wire up the drain valve to break it or push it out of the way to get things moving again. But the whole point of flushing a water tank is to get rid of that stuff, so you've got to keep doing it over and over until you get the tank totally empty and when you give it a blast of water from the inlet it flows out without any hard water deposits coming with it.

 

Dumping a couple gallons of apple cider vinegar in there when it's almost totally empty of water and then letting it sit for a minimum of 6 hours will help break down the hard water deposits, but even that can only go so far. Next time I do it I'm cutting the crappy plastic valve out of the thing and replacing it with a custom built, full aperture drain valve. It's out of warranty now anyways, so I may as well replace the drain valve with one that actually works.

 

Oh, and don't forget to check your anode rod! You should check it at least once every few years as well, possibly even every year if you have water issues. That anode rod helps keep your water tank from rusting out by rusting before the tank does.

Edited by Unruly
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Awsome advise for the water heater ... back flushing it every few years can not be understated ... 

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This isn't really a maintenance tip as it is a tip to save time and energy when dealing with other maintenance issues. 

 

If your house is like many, the labeling in the electrical panel isn't all that helpful. So if you need to make sure an outlet or light fixture is off, you often spend time figuring out which breaker it is.

If you have to do that, before you put the outlet or switch plate back together, grab a sharpie and write the breaker information there. 

That way if you need to know again, you can (usually) take the cover off, and see the info there without deciphering whether or not the lousy handwriting in the breaker box means West or Wash or Whatever. 

 

 

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11 minutes ago, kristof65 said:

This isn't really a maintenance tip as it is a tip to save time and energy when dealing with other maintenance issues. 

 

If your house is like many, the labeling in the electrical panel isn't all that helpful. So if you need to make sure an outlet or light fixture is off, you often spend time figuring out which breaker it is.

If you have to do that, before you put the outlet or switch plate back together, grab a sharpie and write the breaker information there. 

That way if you need to know again, you can (usually) take the cover off, and see the info there without deciphering whether or not the lousy handwriting in the breaker box means West or Wash or Whatever. 

 

 

 

Bonus points if you hand write this, and then go one step further and print it on a nice, neat and tidy sheet of paper, so the next person looking at the panel can decipher it, since they're probably in a rush to turn something off....

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1 hour ago, Unruly said:

 

If you haven't done it in a while, or if you live in an area with hard water, or both, be prepared to spend a few hours doing it.

 

I'm more prepared to spend money for someone else to do it.  Basic home maintenance I can handle. Something that takes hours is a job for someone else. 

 

28 minutes ago, kristof65 said:

 

If your house is like many, the labeling in the electrical panel isn't all that helpful. So if you need to make sure an outlet or light fixture is off, you often spend time figuring out which breaker it is.

 

 

When we had the kitchen remodeled and extra breakers installed so I could operate more than one appliance, everything got clearly labeled.  Too many electronics in the house to have someone randomly flipping switches and asking "Was that the right one?"

 

 

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1 hour ago, Boaz said:

Awsome advise for the water heater ... back flushing it every few years can not be understated ... 

 

Every few years? More like every year, minimum. If you've got really hard water, every 6 months isn't a bad idea. Because the way hard water is, heating it actively causes the calcium and junk to precipitate out into that nice, fine sand.

 

1 hour ago, Inarah said:

 

I'm more prepared to spend money for someone else to do it.  Basic home maintenance I can handle. Something that takes hours is a job for someone else. 

 

You really don't want to pay someone to do it, especially if it's going to take as long as mine did. Could you imagine an hourly rate on a plumber for 8 hours? It would probably be almost as expensive as just buying a new water heater. It's a simple process, but the factory drain plugs are basically built to clog up. Especially once you get about half of the tank emptied, because that seems to be when the hard water deposits really start to stir up and start finally coming out.

 

If you don't have a lot of buildup, or if you get lucky and the drain doesn't clog with the buildup you do have, it takes about an hour to do. And most of that time is taken up by waiting. Even without clogs it will take a full 40 gallon tank about 15 minutes to drain with a stock valve. Then when it's fully drained you turn the water inlet on and off a few times, letting the water pressure blast any deposits into the drain, and you repeat that until you stop seeing the sandy grit. Then you close the drain, turn the water inlet back on, let it fill, and then you're good to go again.

 

Mine only took me forever to do because I have hard water and hadn't drained the tank in at least 2 years. Technically, I hadn't drained it properly since it was installed 7 years prior, so I had a lot of buildup. If I were to drain it again today, it would probably take me about 2 hours at most, and that's simply because the drain sucks...

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Hm... 

Flushing the water heater isn't something we do here in Norway. But then again, hard water isn't an issue, either.

Fuse box.

Never just assume that because flipping the breaker and seeing the light go out in a room that everything in that room is OFF. Always check with a voltmeter before messing with an outlet.

If you're the least bit uncertain, flip the main intake breaker.  

 

Automatic breakers, voltage filters and Ground-fault interruptors;

(All the stuff typically found in a modern fusebox)

These need to be flipped once every year or you risk that they get sticky.

Ground faults can kill, so keep that interruptor working!

 

It does NOT hurt to add a floorplan to the papers in the fusebox. Mark all the outlets and such on it and write in fuse numbers.

If anything is 'weird', write it down, also.  

 

What worries me is that I really need to de-ice my freezer...  

Yeah, should have done that in the winter time.  

 

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 If you hook an exit hose to the inlet side of your water heater and a water hose to the exit side you can back flush without using the lil drain valve at the bottom of the tank ...  once most the gunk flushed out draining is much faster.

 

P.S. it's not just for hard water ... all kinds of things in water can start to grow, you don't want to know what's come out of some of the water heaters I have swapped out over the years ... would make for a hole chapter of a monster manual.

Edited by Boaz
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Not much will grow in a tank that's at 75 degrees Celsius(167 F) or higher all the time.

That even kills the Legionella bacteria.

 

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