How to Clean Refrigerator Coils

refrigerator coils

Some would argue that a refrigerator is the important appliance in a home. A refrigerator is definitely an appliance that needs to be running at its’ best with maximum efficiency. You can ensure this with refrigerator repair. Another way that you can help to guarantee a refrigerator runs smooth is by cleaning the refrigerator’s condenser coils. Visit here to learn more about How a Refrigerator Works.

The condenser coils are what contain the refrigerant that cools the air that the refrigerator needs to keep things cold. These coils are usually located either on the back of the machine or on the bottom depending on the refrigerator that you have. They are also exposed which allows them to get dirty and this dirt will make it so that the fridge has to work harder to work. This is a job that should be done once or twice a year by your or a professional service depending on your home.

TIPS FOR CLEANING REFRIGERATOR COILS

Here are some simplified instructions for getting the job done:

CUT THE POWER

This is something that you have to do before any type of repair or a maintenance This is a quick job that will only take about 15 minutes so as long as no one opens the door for an extended period of time while it is unplugged, nothing in the fridge will go bad.

LOCATE COILS

If they are in the bottom of the fridge, they are going to be behind a toe-grill and if they are on the back they are easy enough to see. If you have a fridge where they are on the back, you will need to pull it out away from the wall. They are wrapped in a u-shape formation that will form a grid.

USE A VACUUM

Use a mask to make sure that you are not inhaling any of the dust that may be stirred up from the process. Vacuum away as much of the loose dust and particles that you can and if the coils are in the bottom of the fridge, make sure to vacuum off the toe-grill as well.

USE CONDENSER COIL BRUSH

You can find one of these brushes at most do-it-yourself or hardware store for about 10 bucks. They are usually a little more than 2 feet long with short bristles and it is shaped like a cylinder. The shape allows you to get in between the grid portions for a thorough cleaning. Twist the brush and get it into all the coils and use the vacuum to get rid of all the dust that you get loose with the brush. For fridges with coils on the back, you can use the brush with one hand and the vacuum in the other, but you will likely have to alternate the two if the coils are in the bottom.

FINISH UP

Vacuum up any remaining dirt or dust and replace everything to how it was (the toe-grill if the coils are in the bottom or pushing the fridge back in place if they were on the back). Plug the fridge back in and the coils are clean.

How to Replace a Broken Toilet

bathroom toilet

There are two different options for replacing the toilet; you can call in a professional plumber or you can do it yourself. Toilets are a sturdy fixture, but they are going to need to be replaced every few years. If you decide that the time has come to replace the toilet and you want to do it yourself, Bill Cable, owner of Akron Plumbers, offers some tips on getting it done efficiently and effectively.

TURN OFF THE WATER

You will need to shut off the main water supply line and flush the toilet in order to get the bulk of the water out of the toilet. Then you can use a sponge and a bucket to get out as much as you can. Then you are going to have to disconnect the water supply from the bottom of the tank on the back of the toilet and loosen the bolts that hold it to the floor.

TAKE OUT THE WAX SEAL

You will need to cut the caulk away that is around the toilet where it meets the floor and then rock it back and forth in order to make sure that it is all the way loose. Toilets are fairly heavy, so you will likely need help in getting the old one out of the way (and when it comes time to bring the new one in). The wax seal can then be removed with a putty knife. Remember to stuff an old towel or rag in the hole to keep the nasty sewer smell from coming up into the bathroom.

CAULK THE NEW TOILET

Caulking the new toilet helps in filling in any gaps that may be present in the toilet bowl and makes the installation much easier and neater. A big leak in the wax ring will seep through a poor bead of caulk, so take your time to do it right. You will need to clean the floor with rubbing alcohol and then apply a bead of caulk around the base of the new toilet.

INSTALL NEW WAX RING

Now is the time to take out the towel that you put in the whole so that you can insert the new wax ring in between the bolts and then put the new toilet in place. You will want a friend’s help in guiding the toilet in place. Many people want to press the bowl down, but you should allow the weight of the bowl to do that for you.

You will then lay down a coat of plumber’s grease on the spud washer (or petroleum jelly if you don’t have any grease) on the spud washer before putting the tank on. Line the tank up properly with the mounting bolts before setting it on the toilet bowl.

TIGHTEN THE BOLTS

Be careful during this step not to overtighten the bolts because it could cause damage to the tank. Place the washer onto the bolts and make it hand tight and then finish tightening it up with a screwdriver.

FINAL TOUCHES

You can now put the mounting bolts back in and then check to make sure that the toilet is sitting level. Once you are confident that everything looks good, you can hook all the water lines back up and turn the water on so that the tank can fill back up. Before using the toilet, do a test flush to make sure that everything is working properly and that there are no visible leaks.

How to Repair a Screen Door

repair screen door

The most recent versions of screen doors are made of an aluminum frame and a fiberglass screen. Fiberglass is a cheaper material that is easy to tear. However, it is also very easy to purchase a new screen and replace it on your own. All of the necessary materials and tools can be found at a hardware store near your home.

For this project you will need to purchase a replacement screen, spline and a spline installation tool.

“To complete this home repair project, you will want to buy a new fiberglass screen, spline for the screen and a spline installation tool,” says Craig Reynolds, owner of Handyman Providence.

HOW TO REMOVE A TORN SCREEN DOOR

To remove the screen from the door track, simply lift it from the track until the rollers are free from the track. Then, pull from the bottom until the screen clears out from the top of the door frame.

STEP 1: HANDLE

You should remove the handle from the door so there is nothing blocking access to the torn screen. You could consider replacing a broken handle during this point of the repair project.

STEP 2: AWL

You will sometimes discover a separate amount of spline on both sides of the door frame. You can try an awl to catch a section of a piece of the spline and try to lift it. Be careful of the spline. A broken spline cannot be reused.

STEP 3: SPLINE REMOVAL

You can use your hand to pull the screen spline up from the frame and remove it from the frame. Continue this until all of the spline is removed.

STEP 4: ROLLER REMOVAL

You can use a screwdriver to lift the rollers and remove them from the door edge. This part could require a spring clip in order to release or loosen the assembly.

STEP 5: SPLINE INSTALLATION

You can now use a knife or a sharp scissors to cut sections of new spline that will fit nicely into the grooves on the door frame. The diameter needs to be the same size as the old spline from before.

STEP 6: ALIGNMENT

Set the replacement piece of screen on top of the doorframe. Then line up an edge of the new piece with the outer edge of the frame so you know the screen fits the frame correctly.

STEP 7: CONVEX TOOL

The convex roller tool helps to push the screen into the grooves along the doorframe.

STEP 8: CONCAVE TOOL

The concave tool is similar to the convex tool and also helps to press or push the spline into the doorframe grooves. You need to do this gently with minimal pressure and at an angle so that the new screen does not tear.

STEP 9: PULL TIGHTLY

STEP 10: TRIM EXCESS

Trim the excess material with a sharp knife. Place the tip of the knife where the spline and the edge of the frame meet before cutting.

Step 11: ROLLER INSTALLATION

You can now install the new roller assembly and slide it into the door frame edge and then snap the roller into its groove.

STEP 12: PANEL REPLACEMENT

The screen can now be placed into the door track but it needs to shut tight in the door jam. Continue to adjust the position of the screen and screws until the fit is secure.

STEP 13: LATCH REPLACEMENT

You might need to replace the door latch if damaged. You can screw in a new door latch to the jamb of the door.

How to Remove Old Carpet

tear out carpet

You purchased new carpet? That’s awesome! We recommend hiring an installer for that. BUT we recommend removing the old carpet yourself. You’ll save some money and it’s a good workout. Trust us!

Here is how a homeowner can remove old carpet quick and easy:

BEFORE YOU BEGIN!

First, remove all doors from the hinges and relocate them if the door swings into the room where you are tearing out carpet. If the door swings into a hallway or an adjacent room you can leave it in place. You should also remove everything from the room. This means furniture, tables, odds and ends. Everything! Then locate all of the tools you need and strap on some safety gear – including gloves, dust mask and knee pads. Trust us. You will want knee pads for this DIY project.

PULL! PULL! PULL!

Let’s get started. You should fold the carpet into strips and then cut along the strips. This will make it much easier to remove the carpet piece by piece from the room and from your home. The garbage men will appreciate this too. You can tape the fold over so the roll remains in place.

To detach the old carpet from tack strips on the floor and along the wall, grab a corner of the carpet with a pliers and pull. Nothing fancy. Just pull. Then pull with your bare hands for more leverage. Pull along the entire wall of the room. Then cut the carpet into manageable strips. Use a sharp blade for this for both safety reasons and ease. Don’t slice into the wall, the floor beneath or your hands!

Pull back the carpet into more strips. And more strips. And more strips. Cut carpet where it attaches to other strips of carpet. These are transition pieces. Leave metal transition pieces in place. There is a chance the installer can reuse them and you can save more money in the process.

Are you removing carpet from stairs? OK. Start at the top of the stairwell and remove the metal nosing at the top. Then you can pull the carpet off the stairs from the top to the bottom. Wear gloves for this for safety and to prevent staples from pinching. You will either remove the carpet in small sections or one singular strip depending on how the old carpet was installed. Once all of the carpet is removed from the stairs, it is time to remove all of the staples from the steps beneath.

You will also be tearing out the padding beneath the carpet. Cut the pad into strips the same way as you cut the carpet into strips. The pad will be glued into place if the floor beneath is concrete. In this case you will need to remove the glue from the floor too. This requires a floor scraper tool. You can buy a nice floor scraper for around $20-30 at most hardware stores. Trust us. It is worth the $$$. Scrapers come with very sharp blades and very blunt blades. You can decide which you prefer. We find both work fine.

The least fun part of this entire project is the staples. There will be hundreds and hundreds of staples on the particleboard or plywood floor beneath the old carpet and pad. You will want a pair of pliers at a minimum. But even that will take hours. Don’t even attempt to do this with your hands. You will burst into tears. The best tool is to use a floor scraper with a sharp blade. The blade removes or cuts the staples from the floor. Just be careful not to dig the blade into the floor itself for fear of permanent damage.

We recommend leaving the old tack strip. That is, unless the old tack strip is rotten or rusted. You don’t want any type of rot in your home and rust can actually bleed into the carpet above which would be a bummer for the new carpet being installed. You can also wait for the installer. He can then determine which tack strip is reusable and which needs to be replaced. Tack strip is cheap so if he does need to install it the cost won’t be too significant. In the long run, the cost savings of installing tack strip on your own is minimal. Might just be best left for a professional.

WHAT TOOLS DO YOU NEED?

Here are the tools you need to remove old carpet from your home. Be sure to have all of the tools below before starting the project. Thanks for reading!

  • Dust mask
  • Knee pads
  • Locking pliers
  • Pry bar
  • Safety glasses
  • Utility knife