yvi: XKCD comic: "You're flying! How" "Python!" (Python - Flying)
[personal profile] yvi
Third verse, same as the first two:

Over the next few days, I will be trying to post one entry per day where people can share general tips and tricks they think could be valuable to others. No matter how basic they are or how few people you think would profit from them. Just think about how you do things and share this with others.



This entry is all about Do-it-yourself, home and car maintenance
jadey: greyscale a woman's face (ani difranco) eyes upward  (Default)
[personal profile] jadey
The radiator pipes in my sixth-floor apartment have, sometime in the last half hour, started making a very odd noise. Not clanging, but a strangled wooshing noise like water is trapped in them or having a hard time making it through. I live in a very cold city (it's been hovering around -20 Celcius for weeks now, even during sunny afternoons) and I have already gotten the building-wide notices from the building manager about keeping our thermostats over at least 18 degrees to prevent freezing and bursting in the pipes. I've done this, but I also noticed that the pipes are currently stone cold, and at least as recently as 3pm this afternoon they were warmish (had occasion to check while on the phone with my mother). It's Christmas Eve so I really don't want to call anyone if it's just a normal radiator thing and I suspect I won't get hold of anyone anyway, but I'm really nervous about this weird noise.

I tried turning my thermostat up, and the noise got worse. I turned it back down again to just 20, and now there is still a distinct noise of water, but it's not strangled at least. Does anyone with more familiarity with this type of heating system in this type of climate know if this kind of behaviour presages doom? Possibly of the pipes-bursting variety?

Coincidentally, I've actually had people in my flat three times in the last month to inspect the valves (again, building-wide inspection), including by the building manager herself just yesterday! At least, that's what the notices said - I was never actually home. I'm hoping that if there was an obvious problem, someone would have noticed...

Help!


UPDATE: Sucked up my pride and called the supervisor who was miraculously available. It turns out that there had been a leak elsewhere in the building and everything was turned off, and the noise was actually them finally refilling the pipes! So complete false alarm, and thank you to everyone who offered advice.
martyna: Eggs, eggshells,... (oeufs)
[personal profile] martyna
It's quite a time since I asked my boyfriend to clean the oven and at the time he said he had/knew a super-foam-cleaner (or something like this) and would do it in a whiz, but when I asked him a couple of days ago, he wasn't able to recall neither the promise nor the product.
We've never used the oven much and back at home mum basically kept it tidy and there wasn't such a mess as is here now, especially since we tried out some recipes recently. (And today's has really spilt over. *wince*) I've done some surface cleaning over the time, but what I'm looking is a real cleaning.
How do you do it? Is there any special product you use? (If you're in France and can name the shop, even better!) Or maybe you make a product yourself? Does heating lemon in water (as in microwaves) help at least a bit? Not at all? Help me? *feels helpless*
puzzlement: (Default)
[personal profile] puzzlement
I hope home maintainence 101 is on-topic enough here: I couldn't find a sister community that looked more suitable.

My overall situation: I live with a partner and our baby in an apartment on which we are mortgagers. We've had it for some years. We live in a metropolitan area of Australia.

We need to get some fairly elementary electrical work done and I have no idea how to commission it!I feel like everyone else received a "how to be an adult" book that included this and I just missed out totally. Some of my friends have renovated! More than once!

The work we need done is twofold: we need a powerpoint fixed and we need our bathroom exhaust fan replaced. Just to head off one suggestion at the pass: this is a small building, and does not employ a full time manager or similar, or have a service that organises tradespeople for residents. Under strata title in Australia they maintain the common areas including common walls, we maintain the interior. Also, in Australia licensed electricians have to do electrical work, you can't maintain your own wiring. (And even if it was legal, I'm not competent.)

I can figure out the powerpoint: I go to the phonebook (online), find random electricians in the area and get them to come out. Only one question about that:

(a) is it normal to ask for a couple of quotes on the work, or should I just get whoever agrees to turn up first to do the work? Should I get them to quote, say, an hourly rate on the phone?

Now for the exhaust fan:

(b) do I need to go out and buy a replacement fan myself? I can't imagine that electricians do your shopping for you! But then:

(c) do I get the electrician to come in, tell me what to buy and then have them come back to install it? Or will they turn up and tell me I should have bought it before wasting their time?

(d) do fan units come in a limited range of sizes? I'm not keen on needing to hire a second person to change the hole in the ceiling for us.

(c) is most of the reason I haven't just done it already. I really dislike being in those "you should have known that..." situations.

Edited to add: my difficulty in getting recommendations due to not having a social network in the area comes up in comments. I'm not really looking for input into how to build one though, more in the answers to these questions in the post.

Edited Nov 2010: My final thoughts in comments.

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