Tips on How to Fix Things Around the Home


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Electrical Tips

As the old jokes goes. My Grandpa gave his life for electricity. He got the chair!

No really. Electricity can kill you. My disclaimer on this website. If you are not an experienced electrician, do not attempt any electical work yourself. Call a qualified electrician.

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Warning: Always turn off the circuit breaker or remove the fuse on the place you are working. Use a multi-meter to check the hot wire before you do any work on it.

Electrical repairs on this site are some simple things that many homeowners can do on their own. Getting a good set of home repair books is very helpful. Alway read the directions when installing any new light fixture or ceiling fan.


Many older homes have fuse boxes. Always keep a good supply of all kinds of fuses that your home uses. Be sure and turn off the main breaker fuse before changing fuses.

Usually the stove, air conditioner, furnace, and dryer are on 220 circuits, and the fuses are marked 40 or 50 amp. Lights and recepticles are usually on 110 circuits and are 15 and 20 amp fuses.

Never place a fuse of higher amperage into a ciruit. A 40 amp fuse in 15 amp socket is a recipe for disaster. Again, if you do not know what you are doing, call an electrician.

Circuit Breakers:

These are simple to operate. When a fuse blows, the breaker moves to the right or the middle. To reset, turn switch all the way to the right, and then back to the left. If it blows again, go unplug everything on the circuit, and see what the problem might be. Call an electrcian if you need to.

Ceiling Fans:

Installing a ceiling fan can be very frustrating. Always make sure the circuit breaker or fuse is removed before you begin. Check with a multi-meter to make sure the wire is not hot.

Purchasing a cheap fan will cost you more in the long run. Wobbly fans with weak motors are a waste of time and money.

Hunter Fans and other name brand fans will usually last the life of your home.

You should check to see if there is proper bracing for the installation of the fan. If the attic is accessable above the fan, you can add wood bracing or purchase metal bracing from a home improvement store.

If your fan is going on a first floor location, you might have to remove the sheet rock and plaster board to give your fan a good foundation. Installing a fan on a electrical box that is not securely fastened will give you a lot of trouble down the road.

When purchasing a fan, I look for one that is easy to install. If the fan sits in a round recepticle, that allows the fan to be placed in the recepticle while you wire it, that is the easiest kind of installation. Holding a fan in the air while you try and wire it, requires more than two hands.

Wiring a fan with a light kit is a little more tricky. Be sure and read the directions. If you have a black wire, (hot wire), a white wire (neutral) and a bare copy wire (ground), you should have a pretty simple installation. If there is a red wire in the box, it is usally a hot wire going directly to the switch. Be sure and consult an electrician if you do not know what you are doing.

Tightening the screws on the fan blades is critical. This should be done at least twice a year, to keep fan safe.

I cannot emphasize how important it is to be careful. Always test the circuit with a multi-meter before working on it. Always have someone else nearby in case of an accident.

Always remember that if you are shocked, and someone else touches you, then they will get shocked also. Make sure the person with you knows how to turn off the circuit breaker or the fuse box.

If you are too ugly for mouth to mouth resuscitation, be very careful. That person watching you get shocked will just watch you die.

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