Sunday, January 23, 2022

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Home Maintenance Tips

Greetings everyone and thank you for your continued following. This week I will focus solely on DIY projects you can safely undertake yourself, and others you should not do. Many people think there are no projects you cannot do yourself. There certainly are!


December can be a great time to get a deal new 2021 model year appliances. As the 2022 models arrive there are still 2021 models available. You will also find deals on out of season items such as window A/C units and outdoor grills at discounts of as much as 30%.

Dishwashers: Dishwashers are where many people make a big mistake before they even get the new unit home. They fail to measure the size of their space.

Remove the old unit and measure depth, width and height. Then buy a unit that is slightly smaller (less than ½ inch all the way around) to ensure you have fewer problems during the installation. This will allow you the wiggle room you need.

Note: most dishwashers are 24 inches wide. Some apartment or rolling units are 18 inches wide. Most rolling dishwashers can be adapted for under-counter installation.

Disconnect the power to the unit before doing any work. The dishwasher should have its own circuit breaker per universal wiring codes. If this is not the case, STOP and call an electrician to get the unit wired on a dedicated circuit.

Once you have the old unit completely out and you are ready to install the new unit, clean the opening and inspect for any mouse holes. Seal these with spray foam. If the flooring is rotted out, stop and replace the subflooring in that area as well as any affected drywall.

This will only be an issue if you had leaks. If you had leaks, you are most likely already aware of the fact. If you do not know how to replace the subfloor STOP and call a trusted contractor.

Check your inlet hoses and drain hoses for any breaks or weak spots. I would recommend replacing your drain hose no matter what as they can get grease and food build up in them. The drain hose should be connected to your disposal or the drain under your kitchen sink. As long as your supply lines are not broken, they should be fine without replacement. If your supply lines are copper and sweated in STOP and call a licensed plumber.

Disconnect the power lines to the unit. Install the power lines on the new unit and make sure you replace the wiring cover.

Connect the supply and drain lines. Use the adjustable feet as needed level the unit. Turn on the water supply and check for leaks. Once level and not leaking, carefully move the unit back into the hole. Once in, open the door and check to ensure the unit is still level. Replace any molding needed and you should be ready for a test run.

Stoves: There are three types of stoves most homeowners will encounter: electric, propane and natural gas.

It is my opinion, and not everyone will agree with me, that all propane and natural gas units should be installed by a licensed pipe fitter only. This will ensure that if there ever is a problem such as a leak or, God forbid, an explosion, your homeowners’ policy will not be voided due to pipefitting work done by you or a handyman.

Electric Stoves/Ranges: As with any appliance, the first step is to measure the opening (width, depth, height) to ensure you get a new unit that fits the opening. Also, know the kind of plug you have in the back: a three-wire with ground, or a four-wire with ground.

Once you have the new unit, disconnect the power at the breaker box. Then unplug the old pig tail cord from the wall and deep clean the opening of all dirt and grease.

The next step is to remove the pig tail from the old stove, and install a new pigtail on the new unit, provided it has the same connections. If they differ, STOP. You will need to have your outlet replaced by an electrician.

Once you have the wires connected, put the rear plate back on and level the unit with the adjustable feet as needed. Push the unit into the opening. Check for level one more time, as long as the unit is still level you are done.

In a home older than twenty years, always figure the cost of a tradesman into your budget. If all goes well, you have money left over for other projects. I recommend planning on $300 for electrical and plumbing work, plus the cost of the unit itself, and up to $300 for subflooring. Never assume everything is fine and just do it.

 Reputable contractors usually allow two to three weeks lead-time due to backlogs, so plan ahead. Never pay a contractor up front for the job.

Below is a list of recommended contractors. There are guys I know personally and trust.

Anytime Heating and Cooling

Licensed pipefitters and electrical for appliances

Timber Lake SD 605-206-0481

Eagle Butte Plumbing and Heating

Licensed plumbers and pipefitters

Eagle Butte SD 605-964-3162

Allied Plumbing and Heating

Licensed pipefitters, plumbers, electricians and general contractor

Pierre SD 605- 494-2001

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