Wednesday, April 29, 2020

2020 Best Ways to Save Money by DIY Home Fixes


How to save money by DIY Home Fixes?

Nowadays the costs of labors are expensive. If your daily objective is to save money at the end of each day, you must not rely on the expertise of other people whenever something has broken down in your home.


Save money by DIY home fixes

Although, there are jobs at home that must be left to professionals like electrical installations, and maintenance, etc., there are fixes that you must learn with regards to keeping all of your home facilities to fully function 24/7. That is if you do want to save money long term.

Home repairs that we should know doing by ourselves to save money

1. Unclogging clogged sink


Save money by DIY unclogging sink
Learning to unclog your sink saves you a lot of money in the cost of labor for the plumber.


This is my favorite DIY. That's because my kitchen sink always gets clogged - about thrice a year.

Basically, all you need to do is to open the hole of your drain pipe under your sink. Once you do that all dirt that clogging your sink will be thrown out through that opening.

Of course, you will need to clean that up. You will open the faucet and water will flow out of the pipe trashing dirt down onto the basin which you would have put on the floor before you start.

Now that's for layman's term explanation. We will get into details. That's next.

First, let me tell you that:

  • we skip working on the sink,
  • we will not use toilet plunger

Not because it's for the toilet, but pounding your sink with a plunger will weaken it and ultimately damage it.

We're clearing our sink off obstructions that are clogging it. So we will get down to the bottom of it.

And believe me. This is the most reliable, lasting way for a fully functioning kitchen sink.

Besides, once you mastered it, you'll like doing it again. But you have to wait for the time when your sink gets clogged again.

What you need

You will need:

  1. a basin
  2. a wrench or a vise grip

#2 above depends on the cap of your cleanout plug.

Optionally, you will need:

  1. hot water
  2. vinegar
  3. baking soda

But that depends on the level of grease on the drain. I don't use these because my sink only gets clogged by rice, eggshells, coffee grounds, etc.

Instructions

  1. Put a basin on the floor below the sink's drain pipe.
  2. Look for the cleanout plug of your drain.
  3. Open the cleanout plug cap using either a vise grip or wrench.
  4. At this point, all water and dirt will flush out through the hole of the cleanout plug.
  5. Begin the cleaning now. Use hand globe and clean the inside while water is running.
  6. If you think grease clung to the trap, use hot water and the combination of vinegar and baking soda after which you're done.
  7. Put the cap back and enjoy using your sink again — unclogged.
Cleanout plug location

It is usually found on the trap. The trap is the U or J shaped pipe, which is the lowest part of the whole drain pipe. The cleanout plug is located at the bottom of either U-bend pipe or J-bend pipe.

Opening direction for upside-down cleanout plug
“Since the cap is upside-down, to open it while looking down at it from above, the turn should be clockwise. If you lie on your back and looking up at the cap while opening it, turn it counter-clockwise.”

For the guide on using vise grip, go to LINK.

2. Fixing clogged toilet


Unclogged toilet such as this symbolizes tidiness and cleanliness.
The main reason that we must have know-how on how to unclogged sink is that it symbolizes and reflects our character in cleanliness.


First things first, wear a pair of arm length rubber gloves. A clogged toilet has blockage level from easy to hard. For all you know, a bucket will be enough to unclog your toilet.

First level solution

  • Pour three full buckets of water into the toilet bowl one after another.

The drop of water each time must be sudden and abrupt so that the pressure would be enough to send the obstructions down the drains.

Second level solution

If you suspect that an object is accidentally dropped into the toilet bowl:

  • Go fish that object out by using your hand groping for whatever that object might be.

You can skip this if you can't. Go to next level solution.

Third level solution

If those mentioned above don't work, use an extremely sturdy plunger.

Don't use a cheap small ordinary plunger as they don't work most of the time in these situations.

My recommendation is a heavy duty plunger that flanged at the bottom. This makes for increased pressure needed to clear the obstruction.

How to properly use the plunger?
  1. The bowl's hole must be completely covered by the suction cup of the plunger
  2. The plunger must be totally submerged in water.
  3. Push down the plunger slowly then pull it quickly.
  4. Repeat and then pump it robustly always making sure you're using water and not air in every plunging.
  5. Add water if necessary.

Fourth level solution

If the plunger doesn't do the trick, it's time to use the toilet auger or plumbing snake, available at any home supply retailer.

Instructions

  1. Holding by the handle, insert auger head into the toilet bowl's hole.
  2. Push down to "snake" the auger through the trap and down the siphon.
  3. Push further until you hit the blockage or until it can no longer move.
  4. Now crank the handle while pushing down again. This allows for breaking up of obstruction causing the clog.
  5. The water should start draining slowly.
  6. You need to spend extra time doing this as auger head should reach the point where it reaches as far as it can go.

This should not fail unless there's a big hard object in the bowl's drain that really stuck and no amount of pressure can clear it.

In that case, the toilet bowl should be uninstalled. And this is the time to leave the job to the plumber.

But don't worry, this is a very isolated case, and as I have said earlier a bucket could be enough solution.

And with the plunger and auger, used properly, a clogged toilet is no match to you. Make them handy anytime.

3. Replacing door lock


Deadbolt lock helps protect homes. So, it saves money to replace them when not working properly.
The main door of our household protects our safety. If signs of malfunctioning begin to show up, we must ready to replace them ourselves.


This is a major concern for those who have already experienced their main door lock failed.

Once it happens, which it does, there's nothing you can do but call a locksmith. And you know what that means - expenses.

Early warnings

You know there are tell-tail signs that your lock will fail. Once you see those, don't think twice. Replace your lock immediately.

  • One of the warnings is either it's hard to turn your key, or...
  • it goes all the way around so quickly as if it doesn't hit a piece inside that supposedly will trigger a mechanism which opens the latch.

If you experience one of those, go and replace the lock.

Get a lock model with the same dimensions as yours. Although door locks and bolts are standard in size, fittings, mechanism, etc., there are quite differences when it comes to installation with other models.

Read my article LINK so that you know what to avoid in buying a door lock for replacing your knob and deadbolt locks.

Before you buy

Here are what to do before you buy lock replacement:

  • Get the brand name of your existing lock.
  • It is usually embossed in the faceplate which is on the door side where latch passes through.
  • You can also check out the deadbolt's outside cylinder where the key is inserted.
  • Your first order of business now is to look for that same model or brand.

Here's a tip. Major home improvement stores carry different brands. If you don't find your brand at the initial store, go to the next. Don't listen to the sales crew pushing for their brand. You'll end up buying a hard-to-install unit.

Instructions

It's easy to replace both deadbolt and door knob locks. Remember how each part is removed because you'll only reverse the procedure when it's time to install the new lock set.

  1. Loosen the screws of the knob which are located in the interior knob. You'll need a Philips screwdriver.
  2. Make sure the door is open while doing the replacement or you might trap yourself in the house. Use your hand to remove screws altogether.
  3. Pull the interior knob followed by removing the exterior knob.
  4. Unscrew the faceplate and hold the protruded tip of latch or bolt and take out that middle section.
  5. You must remember the exact way the old latch was positioned. If not you might insert the new one in reverse. And you'll do it again.
  6. Remember, the keyhole is at the outside.
How to install the new lock set?
  1. Just reverse the steps you've done in removing the old one.
  2. Insert the latch set first. Screw the faceplate tight.
  3. Put the outside knob into the hole.
  4. Holding the outside knob with your other hand, put the inside knob into the hole inside with the other hand.
  5. Set the screws by your hand then tighten with a screwdriver.
  6. Follow the same procedure in replacing the deadbolt lock.

4. Installing floating shelves


Shelf board is an excellent material to maximize space in your home.
This is a shelf board. It is what you need to maximize space overhead in your home. And installing it yourself saves you a lot of money.


You can do a carpentry job with the right tools. Maximizing space is the ultimate way of making your home more comfortable and uncluttered.

Instead of hiring a carpenter, train yourself in installing floating shelves on walls.

By doing this, you can avoid buying finished shelves. You'll save a lot - in carpentry and storage furnishings.

You only need to buy yourself a power drill.

If you think about it, the power drill is not an expense but one of the best ways to save money. LINK that to post How to Save Money in 2020...

You can do a lot of home fixes with a power drill. Twenty years from now, your power drill will still work.

With a power drill:

  • You can create a lot of floating shelves quite easily.
  • You can get more organized, like in your storage room, you can install floating shelves for categorized items.
  • Get an item in a flash because different types of stuff are not stacked up.

Imagine vertical floating shelves up to the ceiling. Yes, a set of vertical floating shelves will work like a charm.

Ultimately, the floating shelves are a wonder in any area of your home.

For a comprehensive guide on how to use the power drill in installing floating shelves, read How To Use Electrical Drill For Home Improvement?

5. Fixing a broken electrical plug


Electric plug
Once an electric plug of an appliance gets broken, that unit deemed useless unless the plug gets repaired immediately. DIY — doing it yourself — saves you time and money.


There are times when an electrical plug gets busted. Once it happens, an appliance to which the cord of the plug that's broken is connected can never be used.

Broken plug results in useless appliances

An appliance with a burnt or broken plug becomes worthless, but certainly not trash, because it can be fixed.

Example
When my microwave oven suddenly permeated a burning smell after it turned off seconds before the time I set, its plug became burned and broken.

You wouldn't plug it again for safety. You know, in that situation, it's already broken.

What would you do?

For average persons, here are what they'll do:

  • They will take it to the electronic & appliance service center.
  • They'll spend gas or cab fare and, of course, both service and labor fees.
  • You add to the equation the time involved and the energy exerted in doing all of those.

It's really costly. Considering your time and energy cost money.

Now compare that to only about 12 minutes fixing that plug by yourself.

Will you do it? Of course, you will. Here's how you do it.

How to fix a broken or burnt electrical plug?

Safety first

To avoid your replacement plug getting burned again, buy a heavy-duty one.

The cause of ignition in electrical plugs is always a short circuit.

  • Get a HEAVY DUTY PLUG RATED 1000 WATTS & ABOVE.

Electricity can kill you.

  • DO NOT cut a hot wire.
  • Make sure to unplug cords that you will be working on.

This is a general rule as it is obvious that you're working today on an unplugged cord.

  • In connecting the (two) exposed wires to the screws in the plug, make sure that no wire is touching the other.
  • Each wire should only be touching the screw it is attaching to.
Instructions

Our plug is two-pronged, which is the usual plug in the Philippines.

  1. Cut off the damaged or broken plug from the cord.
  2. Strip away about an inch of rubber insulation of the wire. Make the cut all the way around.
  3. Make sure you do not cut the internal wires inside. Be careful not doing that.
  4. Pull off the cut insulation. You now see the two internal wires.
  5. Strip each of the small wires, exposing only the metal parts which actually strands of wire.
  6. Open the housing of your replacement plug. You're going to connect each of the stripped small wires to the screws in the opened plug.
  7. Basically, it's just a matter of loosening and tightening the screws inside the plug.
  8. But now, you're going to place each wire under a screw head before tightening it.
  9. Twist each wire before attaching it to the screw for a tight hold.
  10. Avoid crossing the wires, and again wire strands from black insulation must not touch a wire strand from white insulation.
  11. Same with the wire from white — must not touch the wire from black.
  12. Each wire should only be touching the screw it is attaching to. Otherwise, the plug will ignite and damage again if not catches on fire. So pay attention to that.
  13. Loosen the screws, tuck the wires around the bottom of the screw heads then tighten them.
  14. Important: If your replacement plug is polarized, the black wire must go to brown or yellowish (bronze) screw. The white wire must go to nickel or stainless colored (silver) screw.
  15. Double check if each wire is securely away from each other. Especially the wires under the screw heads.
  16. Make sure when you close the housing of the plug, wires won't move and touch wire in the other screw.
  17. Remember that you will hold the plug every time you use the appliance it is connected to. So make sure they are intact.
  18. Once done, close the housing, and you're done.

Do you have DIY fix at home? Let us know about it & let's help one another in saving money. Share your thoughts in readers' comments section below.

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Vernie Mallorca is an entrepreneur and blogger with years of experience in selling to institutional accounts. He gradually shifted to blogging when he found out that it is his calling to write timely and helpful articles online that can help others to save money, make money, and secure their future by handling their income smartly. In this blog, he shares both managing your finances, however small it is and valuable information on running a small business.

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