Saturday, September 18, 2021

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Home Repair and Maintenance

Greetings everyone, I hope all of you are doing well. Thank you again for following. I hope this column is useful for you.

This week I will cover some home and RV tips. Fall is coming soon so it’s time to winterize recreational equipment. I will also cover and recap some easy home projects.

Home Maintenance

Check for toilet leaks

This is a good time to check for toilet leaks. This is a basic simple task. 

1. Remove the lid on the tank.

2. Lift up the lid and seat.

3. Add 4 to 6 drops of food grade dye to the water in the tank and mix with a spoon.

4. Wait ten minutes.

If you see dyed water in the bowl, adjust the bulb or the ratchet adjustment on the fill valve until you don’t hear any water running. If you still see dye in the bowl, replace the flapper. It just snaps on and off. Make sure nothing is stopping the flapper from closing such as a toy or excess flush handle chain.

If you see water anywhere outside the toilet, call a licensed plumber to make repairs such as replacing the wax seal unless you are sure you can do it yourself.

Changing out a wax ring takes time, patience, and a strong back. Once the toilet is removed you may find water damage beyond your knowledge and skill level. I do not recommend this for a beginner. Call a plumber. If there are no floor issues to repair, they can make the repair in less than 30 minutes. If flooring or other work is required, they can keep the toilet going until you get estimates for repairs.

Check for leaks under the sink

It’s better to find leaks early and avoid costly cabinet, flooring and dry wall repairs. If it’s a repair you are not comfortable with, call a plumber. Check sinks four times per year.

The fix can be as simple as tightening a drain connection or applying new caulking around the back splash. Hoses can be easy to replace or a pain depending on the cabinetry. Usually there is not much space to work in.

Some sinks are plastic and can be cut easily by accident. If your sink is plastic, you may be able to fix it with spray-on sealer like flex seal or fiberglass repair kits. Check if they say safe for plastic basins on the label.

RV maintenance

RVs and trailers require annual and semi-annual maintenance. Here is a basic checklist:

Keep tires inflated and covered from the sun when not in use.

Grease wheel bearings annually or as recommended in your manual.

Run your RV around the block once every two months to avoid damage to the bearings from sitting; or park using built in jacks to take weight off the axles.

Check chains, cables and harnesses for loose or worn wires four times a year and repair or replace as needed. The rule of thumb is that wires and lights will last about 10 years before wires and light covers become brittle and break.

Make sure all running lights work as well as turn signals, brake lights and tail lamps.

Keep water and waste tanks clean and dry in winter and when not in use. Most tanks can be cleaned with kits provided by your RV retailer. If you RV in winter, only empty your tanks while camping. When not in use add a special septic-safe antifreeze good down to -30 degrees to avoid cracked tanks.

Drain all water lines if not in use in winter and use the proper pump kits for winterizing them. Insulate all water lines, dry or not, and empty the hot water tank. Be sure it’s off first.

Check for mouse activity and seal any holes and set traps until they are gone. Clean out appliances and add a box of baking soda to the fridge.

Seal all metal and fiberglass seams as recommended by the manufacturer.

Remove propane tanks and batteries when not in use to prevent theft, fire and vandalism. Keep the battery charged on a maintenance charger.

Make sure all windows and doors are closed and have a good seal.

Keep the RV level using the jacks that came. Water will run off as it’s designed to and won’t pool on the roof or in window channels.

Cover the RV with an approved RV cover. It’s a big job and covers are not cheap, but it’s easier and cheaper than losing the RV to damage from the elements.

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