How To

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GFCI Outlets Safety First

The way a Ground Fault Circuit interrupters (GFCI's) work is by sensing when current traveling through the hot wire is not returning via the neutral conductor. This prevents humans from conducting current to the ground.

The National Electrical Code NEC-NFPA  requires the installations of GFCI outlets to any electrical power sources located inside a 36" radius of any water source, also any exterior outlets, including the ones on your garage.

GFCI outlets and circuit breakers like those pictured here are inexpensive, simple to install.




Programmable Thermostats

Programmable thermostats are popular due to their energy saving benefits and your home improved comfort.
If you’re looking to cut back expenses, you will usually see the return on your programmable thermostat investment within one year.
Programmable thermostats can be set to adjust the temperature of a home according to a user's schedule.
By allowing the occupant to program a specific schedule, the programmable thermostats turn off the HVAC (heating/ventilating/and air-conditioning) systems when they are not needed. This way, the home is only conditioned when it needs to be and the energy consumption of the home is reduced.



Toilet Wax Rings

A wax ring seals the toilet to the drainage system. Over a time period of ten years or more they get brittle. If a toilet becomes loose on the floor, the wax seal can be broken. When they leak they can create a lot of floor/ sub floor damage which is not often noticed until it’s too late. Wax rings look like a donut and cost about $1. They should be changed periodically (and if a toilet is loose).


How to replace old windows

Remove the Old Window Sash Replacement windows are 'made-to-order' in ¼" increments. Make sure you get precise opening and window measurements before removing the old window sash. Many windows in older homes (built before 1978) are painted with lead based paint; when removing old windows take proper precautions to minimize exposure to lead dust.

Weather-Proof the Frame Next, it’s a good idea to set the new unit temporarily in place to test for the window. Polyurethane sealant is then placed around the existing window frame for weather-proofing.

Install the New Window

The new window is installed by setting the bottom in first and tilting the top into place. Shims are inserted until the unit is centered and setting plumb and square.
The window is then secured in place by screwing it firmly into solid wood. After applying low pressure insulating foam between the new and old window frame as well as a high quality exterior seal.


Stop Plumbing Leaks with Ball-Type Shutoff Valves

Ball valves installed to shut off the water to faucets and toilets are more reliably than standard valves and cost only a little more.

Garbage Disposals

Located under the sink in-line with the drain, disposals consist of a motor-driven grinding device which grinds up and disposes of food scraps or leftovers safely down the drain and flushes them into them into the into the sewer system.

Disposals work best when using cold water because potential grease congeals, getting chopped up and washed away in small manageable pieces.A garbage disposal  also eliminate the odors from organic waste decaying in the trash can and helps reduce the amount of trash that gets sent to a landfill.One note of caution when considering a garbage disposal: some sewer systems place limitations on the use of garbage disposals, and septic systems must be sized to handle them.


Trouble with your toilet?  How a toilet works

When handle is pressed, the attached lever lifts the flapper by a chain. This opens the flush valve and releases the water through the rim into the toilet bowl, where gravity siphons the existing bowl water down the trap. Once the tank is empty, the flapper drops back onto the flush valve drain seat and the fill valve opens to release new water into the tank. A fill valve float rises with the water until the preset refill level is reach.

Did you know?  In just one year, a single faulty toilet can leak enough water to fill a backyard swimming pool.
Handyhome Chicago can solve your toilet troubles by replacing your tired, old fashioned tank components with durable more modern repair parts. No more wasted water and no more late night noise.  







How to fix loose out-lets  

Electrical switches and outlets that move around because the box is too recessed can be a safety problem.
Outlet shims offer a quick and inexpensive solution





Top 10 Electrical wiring mistakes

  1. Connections made outside electrical boxes 
  2. Wires cut too short
  3. Overfilled Electrical boxes
  4. Reversed hot and neutral wires
  5. GFCI wired backward
  6. Electrical boxes recessed behind the wall surface
  7. Plastic-sheathed cable left unprotected
  8. Poor support for outlets and switches
  9. Three-slot receptacle installed without a ground wire
  10. Cable installed without a clamp