3 Solutions to 3 Pesky Problems

From on March 18, 2009 in Tools and Tips

Is the old tree stump out back becoming an eyesore? Have you heard your bedroom door squeak so many times you almost don’t hear it anymore? You may be surprised at how easy the solutions to these common complaints may be. Here are some quick tips to try before you call the plumber. pullingtree.JPG

Getting Rid of the Tree Stump

To liberate your lawn from those annoying tree stumps, first determine the size of your project. If the tree remains are extremely large, you’re better off calling the professionals. Thankfully most stump removal projects are small and can be completed with just a good shovel and a “Utility Bar.”

Start by cutting branches down to about four feet, you’ll need this for the leverage. Then use your spade to dig a trench around the stump. The further away you dig from the base of the stump, the easier it will be. Once the roots are exposed, use the utility bar to cut through the roots. This heavy flat blade will eventually do the work, no matter how big the task. Sooner or later you’ll be able to pry the clump loose and remove the tree or bush stump. For an easy to follow procedure, check out what these professional landscapers recommend: http://www.freeplants.com/tree-stump-removal-instructions.htm


Fix a Leaky Faucet

The constant drip from the kitchen or the lavatory is not only annoying, but it wastes water—25 drops per minute may consume one gallon a day. But before you can solve the problem, determine what kind of faucet you have. Here are some easy tips to identify what type of fixture you have.

Compression, diaphragm, and disc faucets always have double handles. If the spout is dripping, check the stem washer. First, remove the trim cap, work down to the handle screw and then remove the packing nut to get to the stem. The seat washer is located below the stem. Simply change out this washer and that should stop the leak. If that fails, then replacing the packing in the stem will usually fix the drip.

Option two is the single lever spouts. They come in two varieties. A cartridge faucet, which often needs their O-rings replaced, followed by the rotating-ball faucet. This single lever tap is a mainstay in the kitchen. It relies on a lone handle to control both the hot and cold water. For more solutions to this pesky problem, I recommend this link: http:// thisoldhouse.com/toh/article/0,,193895,00.html.

Fix a Squeaky Door

This may be one of the easiest fixes of them all. You’ll need a flat head screw driver, a hammer, and some lithium grease. To fix the squeak, remove the hinge pin on the door hinge. Coat it with grease and then tap it back into place. Test your work by gently swinging the door back-and-forth. You may find that there is more than one squeaky hinge. For more home improvement ideas check out more of our Tools & Tips.