This morning on The Today Show with my girls Kathie Lee and Hoda we answered viewer questions in another segment of Ask Lou. There is only so much time on TV when it comes to giving advice so here is more information on what we talked about.
Replacing a Light Fixture
Whenever you are working with electricity you need to have a healthy respect for the potential harm that may occur. Always turn off the breaker to the fixture you are going to be working on. Use an electrical tester to confirm that the power is off. Then remove the screws that are holding the fixture in place. We showed wall scones that are usually held in place by one center nut or two screws. Once those are off you gently pull the fixture out from the wall. You will see two wires, again typically a white wire and a colored wire. The white is the neutral and the colored wire is the hot. Unscrew the wire nuts that are twisted to keep the wires together and then the fixture will be free. Your new fixture will also have two wires and those will get attached with the wire nuts to the wires coming out of the electrical box. The white to the white and the colored wire to the colored wire. Then carefully place the new fixture back on the wall and attach it. Turn the breaker back on and then test the light. This is general information and in no way a definitive step by step – only a general look at what it takes. Again, if this sounds like too much then please hire a licensed qualified electrician to do the work.
Cleaning Your Dryer Vent
This is something that needs to be done at least twice a year. The build up of lint in a dryer can cause a fire. Unplug the dryer and then remove the hose from the back of the unit. Use a flexible brush and vacuum to remove all the lint from behind the machine and in the hose itself. You also need to clear the lint from the vent that is on the outside of the house. Try and reach as far into the vent pipe as possible. Before you reattach everything consider a safety device called Lint Alert. This plugs into the receptacle and then you plug the dryer into it. There is a sensor you place in the vent pipe and if the airflow gets reduced an alarm will sound to remind you to clean it all out.
Getting More Power Out of Your Shower
90% of the time the reason your shower is not strong enough is because the shower head has so much calcium build up that the water just won’t flow through it. You can either take yours down and soak it in a good cleaner like CLR or Lime-A-Way or replace the shower head all together. The trick is to use some painter’s tape around the head and shower arm before you grab it with a pair of slip joint pliers. Also when you put the shower head back on make sure you use some thread tape so it won’t leak after it’s screwed it back on.
Fixing a Burn Mark in Your Carpeting
This is a fix that really works and it starts with a product called Tear Mender. This is like a sewing machine in a bottle and it works on any porous material like denim, cotton and even carpet threads. Cut some threads from an area you will not see. Apply some Tear Mender to the damaged area and then carefully place the loose threads. In a few minutes it will bond. Run your hand over the area to even it out and you will not see the damage again!