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Home Repair and Maintenance

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We are going to be getting the two doors that go through our knee wall and go to our crawl space, weather stripped for zero air flow. In the meantime I made a couple draft stoppers. They are made of fabric and filled with sand. I bought 1 yard of the fabric on clearance for $2. I cut the fabric into four 8 inch wide pieces. I double layered them so I had two 8 inch by 45 inch bouble thickness pieces. I folded each over, and sewed along the edge and bottom so I had a tube. I turned the tube inside out. I already had sand out in my garage, so I filled up both tubes with sand and sewed up the ends. I laid them at the bottoms of the two doors to block out the cold air flowing out from under them.
I also bought some weather stripping and sealed around the door leading to our basement utility room. This morning I felt cold air coming through in a couple spots. When I turned the light on in the utility room, I could see light around the door in a couple spots, and under the door as well. So after placing weather stripping around the door, I could still see light around the top of the door. I noticed the trim along the top wasn’t lined up well with the side trim. Using a pry bar, I pulled the top trim down a little bit, and banged it inward. With a couple finishing nails to hold it in place, the top is now sealed well. I will look into a solution to seal the bottom of the door tomorrow. Maybe a sweep of some sort.

Today I went to grab a garbage bag from under the kitchen sink. I was trying to figure out why the plastic bag was a little wet. I start feeling around under there, and found the bottom of the garbage disposal unit seemed to be damp. I tried running water into it, and then turned it on. Water started streaming out of the bottom of the disposer. Huh. I started thinking that it would need to be replaced. I removed the unit from the sink. I was surprised to find the disposer was a septic unit, and had a little squirt bottle that will spray stuff into the drain when the disposer is used. Huh… We have been in the house almost 5 years, and didn’t realize there was a little bottle that should have been replaced. I saw on Home Depot’s web site that this was a $200 unit. I started thinking that the leak might just be a seal or something. I removed the plastic shell, and couldn’t find a leak at first, but then I found it. There was a hole punctured through the side of the metal. Apparently something had been in the unit when it was running and put a hole into the side. I guess the unit would need to be replaced. We went to Home Depot, and looked at the units. I decided that we really didn’t need the septic type unit as the bottle has probably been empty for since we moved in, and probably longer. We decided to get the 3/4 HP model since that was the same power as the one we had. We brought the unit home, and in about an hour I had the new disposer installed. It was pretty easy. I have installed one before, but this one was a little different. The drain from our dishwasher goes into the disposer, so I had to knock out a little plug in the unit. I was going to use plumber’s putty, but a webpage I found suggested silicone. And then the guy at Home Depot also suggested silicone, so I ended up using silicone to seal the drain collar part to the bottom of the sink. I will let it cure over night. A website with great pictures and instructions can be found here.




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