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Home Repair and Maintenance


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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February 2006
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