Archives: January 2013

A fix it yourself video showing you how to change the on/off switch on a washing machine

Not a common fault but failure of the on/off switch on a washing machine can happen.  Checkout this useful guide showing you how to fix it yourself or watch the video below.  See Here

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Darling, When Are You Going to Fit Me a Shower?

Fitting a replacement shower cubicle in an existing bathroom is a relatively easy job, although one that will require some DIY experience.  For completely new installations some professional help may be needed as there will be more complex plumbing and electrical fitting to be done; the latter in particular should be done by an expert to ensure the new shower is fitted to current safety standards.  For a simple replacement and upgrade however, it’s normally possible to complete the work needed to create a better bathroom.

Tools and Ingredients

Time, while not exactly a tool, it’s an essential ingredient.  For a basic replacement it will take a couple of days at the most, with some time set to one side to allow mortar and sealants to dry before using the new shower cubicle.  In addition you’ll need standard DIY tools including a claw hammer, set of wood chisels, a spirit level, tape measure, pipe wrench, hack saw, sealant gun and screw drivers.  A cordless drill will also be needed and a jigsaw (borrowed if necessary) will normally come in handy.

Foundations and Access

The shower tray will be the first part of the shower to install.  This needs to be installed following the manufacturer’s instructions and should be level to ensure that water will drain correctly.  Once the shower tray is fixed in place you’ll find that you can’t access the plumbing beneath and this is where careful planning and an access hatch will come in very useful indeed! The access hatch will need to be cut to the side of the tray using a jigsaw and it will need to be suitable to give access to the waste water outlet, which should be within easy reach.  Once the shower tray has been fitted you can replace the flooring that you have cut to create the hatch permanently or (a better solution) fit batons around the inner edge of the hole and screw the cut-out floor to this which will then provide an easy access space for the future, should any problem arise with the waste outlet.

Setting the Tray

Before fitting the shower tray spread a thin coating of diluted PVA over the area that will be covered by the tray – one to five PVA to water should be strong enough.  Next, spread a strong mortar to fit the tray to the floor.  This should be thinly spread – strong enough to hold the tray securely but not so deep as to make a thick, visible layer of mortar.  Once the tray is in place ensure that it’s completely level, adjusting as necessary and then leave to dry for twenty-four hours.

Water, Panels and Piping

Attach the outlet pipe to the outlet in the tray using the access hatch, ensure every joint is screwed in place correctly and that the joints are water tight and leak proof (a bucket of water comes in handy here).  Make adjustments as necessary and once you are sure that all is watertight, apply a layer of sealant in a continuous line around the base of the shower tray.  The shower panels and door should come supplied with necessary fixings and, in most cases, you’ll only need one panel and one door; assuming that the shower is placed in the corner of the room.  The fittings should include channels to fit directly to the wall into which the panels can slotted; some drilling will be required and a cordless drill is better used in the bathroom to avoid the often deadly combination of trailing wires and water filled sinks, toilets and baths.  Ensure channels are straight using a spirit level before screwing firmly to the wall and fit panels according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Additional Plumbing Tips

Although not an entry level DIY project, fitting a shower in an existing bathroom in which the necessary water and electrical connections are easily available is relatively straightforward.  If it’s necessary to run additional water pipes consider using the modern plastic versions.  Designed to make life easier than traditional copper piping (to which they can be added to extend a system) they are easy to manoeuvre into difficult spaces and to fit around corners, avoiding the need for additional tools, pipe cutters and soldering gear.  Joints are push fit, also making life much easier – and less leaky!

Better bathrooms are not hard to achieve and if you have moderate level DIY skills a shower tray and cubicle should prove to be a simple job.

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A useful guide and video showing you how to change a door hinge on a tumble dryer

A common problem on a tumble dryer is the failure of a door hinge,  this is a job that can be carried out by most people with a bit of DIY knowledge so hopefully this will help. Read more…

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Solutions to fabric softener issues in the washing machine

Can you imagine a situation where you are washing clothes without a washing machine? Whatever do you think will be the fate of the dirty laundry that is sitting in your laundry room waiting to be tackled and suddenly you find that something is wrong with the machine and it just refuses to work! Sounds nightmarish and you think you will throw a fit if a problem does not fix itself, but let us tell you that more often than not, the problem is not so much with the machine, but with the way in which end up handling it. In fact with a household appliance like a washing machine, we tend to take it for granted and do not take care to clean it as it is supposed to be at regular intervals.

Your poor machine may function to the best of its abilities in its first few years, but later there may be some issues cropping up here and there. One such common problem that people are likely to encounter after some years of the washing machine have passed by is that of a problem with the fabric softener. But before we tell you about how you can solve the problem without hitting the panic button, let us take some time to explain to you how exactly does a fabric softener dispenser do and the way it helps in the washing machine. This will help you get a better perspective of the problem with the fabric softener if any.

The function of a fabric softener

You will have noticed that most front load or even a top load machine these days has a fabric conditioner dispenser. In a front load washing machine you will find a drawer like the soap drawer that houses the fabric conditioner in the machine. In top load machines the dispenser is to be found in the top right hand corner of the washing machine, just underneath the lid. This is a dispenser that is meant to put the softener inside the machine once the wash cycle has reached its final stages. The fabric softener is used so that the clothes that are being washed in the machine remain soft and the cling that is caused by the static electricity in the clothes gets visibly reduced. While there are many brands that can be used in various machines, there are some brands that are obviously most reputed and work well across all machines. However it is a good idea to check with the instruction manual that the manufacturer has provided you with, in order to see if there is any particular brand of fabric softener that is recommended for your washing machine.

The fabric softener contains some surfactants that have some qualities of lubrication in them. These lubricants are have particles that are positively charged and coat your clothes with a film that is essentially waxy in nature. As a result the clothes lose the static electricity and become softer and fluffier.

Once you have used a fabric conditioner you will find that the clothes that are being washed inside your machine have lost the scratchy feel that comes only with the use of detergent and are much softer to touch. Not to mention, the use of a fabric softener makes your clothes smell nicer too. There are various kinds of fabric softeners that you will find in the market in tablet form or powder form, but the liquid fabric softeners are the most popularly used by people around the world. It is also fair to say that liquid fabric softeners have the best results on the clothes that are being washed in the machine as well.

Issues caused by a fabric softener

However after some repeated use, you may encounter some fabric softener issues while washing your clothes. For instance you may find that the fabric softener is refusing to drain from the dispenser. The most common reason why this happens is because you may have used too much of the liquid that is concentrated in its form. Just diluting the softener with a little bit of water before usage can solve your problem immediately. The other reason why the fabric softener may not be dispensing from its position is because the drum is overloaded. We do understand the temptation of getting your dirty clothes washed all at once instead of doing your laundry in small loads, but this is a practice that only harms your machine over a prolonged period of time. As for the fabric softener, it practically gets trapped between the overstuffed clothes and does not get the chance to mix well with the water while the machine is in its rinse cycle. It is important for you to remember that all times that you are doing your laundry, the clothes must have enough space to revolve inside the drum so that the washing cycle takes place effectively. If your washing machine is not overloaded, and you are still facing an issue with the fabric softener, the reason may be that the dispenser itself is clogged and unable to pass the softener through to the clothes inside the machine. Needless to say, in such a case, the dispenser ought to be cleaned thoroughly before further use, to get rid of this problem. In order to clean the dispenser you will need to remove it from the drawer where it is placed. By making good use of an old toothbrush or a sponge clean out the dispenser thoroughly. Make sure you are using warm water, because it has better results. Before you put the dispenser back into the drawer of the machine, you should also pass water through it to see that none of the clogs are remaining in the dispenser.

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A useful guide showing how to change the door seal on a tumble dryer

Over a period of time the door seal on your tumble dryer is likely to perish or split,  if this happens you will need to replace the seal to ensure the tumble dryer can operate properly again.  For a step by step guide click here

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Tumble dryer thermostat removal and replacement tips and advice!

An important part of your tumble dryer which often needs replacing,  there is a good chance that you can fix it yourself so take a look at the video that has been created to help you undertake this job.  view a break down of the job here

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Learn how to change a tumble dryer belt yourself!

If your tumble dryer has stopped spinning then the chances are your belt could have snapped,  do not worry with a little time and a guide you can undertake this work without calling upon a service engineer.  See here

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