Category archive - Appliances

A Blender Blunder

A Blender Blunder

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Seeing as big companies make them, appliances can often seem as much more complicated as devices than they really are to Westchester homeowners. This is as true of blenders as any other appliance, and fixing a busted blender is surprisingly an easier task than you would expect.

There is three typical causes for blender malfunction: motors that become burnt-out, blades that get clogged, or an interruption has occurred in your electrical connection. The first two causes are easy to diagnose and fix, but in the case of diagnosing an electrical interruption, you will need a voltmeter and a contact sprat solvent, which are handy tools to have in your Westchester home regardless.

To test the blender’s electrical, disconnect the electrical cord and turn the blender switch on. Set the voltmeter on the RX1 scale and carefully place the meter’s two probes onto the two metal prongs of the plug. While watching the meter’s readings, test out each of the blender’s switches, one at a time and note the markings.

Low readings indicate a normal switch that is functioning perfectly. What you want to look out for is an infinity reading on the meter, which is indicative of an electrical defect. To investigate further, you will need to expose the screws that hold the switch housing cover in place. While the device is still unplugged, remove the plastic faceplate that covers the housing and, subsequently, the screws that attach the plate to the housing.

Now that the mechanism is exposed, use the contact spray solvent to clean the contacts, openings and terminals at the rear of the switch block. After you have cleaned out the mechanism, plug it back in and test the switches again. This usually fixes the mechanism, but if the blender continues to not work, unplug it again and find the fuse, which is usually located at the end of a wire lead coming from a terminal connected to the power cord.

With your voltmeter still set to RX1, clip the probes ends to the two lead wires or terminals. If the reading is high again, disconnect the probes and look on the metal cap of the fuse to find the size and write it down, as it will need to be replaced. This will almost certainly fix a purely electrical issue but if the issue is with the blades, that’s another story. While the machine is still unplugged, carefully try turning the blade shaft. Debris will usually be very easy to see and easy enough to dispose of but in rare cases, you may have to replace the coupling.

If none of this works, you more than likely have a burnt-out motor, which will require you replacement, but considering the cost, you will likely just want to buy a new blender for your Westchester home. Otherwise, replace all screws and plates, and get some ice, tequila and margarita mix, and whip yourself up a congratulatory drink.


Wiping Out Weak Water Pressure

Wiping Out Weak Water Pressure

A common yet often ignored problem, low water pressure in a kitchen faucet is caused by a myriad of issues. On occasion, low water pressure will need the experience of a professional, but even in those cases, identifying the problem will help greatly in getting the repair finished quickly.

There are several ways to determine why your kitchen faucet has low water pressure. First, if you have recently remodeled or done any construction that has included new water fixtures, the issue is likely low delivery and can be fixed by upgrading your main pipe. In the case of a single clogged spout, you can simply unscrew the spout on the troublesome faucet and check the aerator for build-up. On the other hand, if you’re having pressure issues throughout the house, consider adding a supplemental booster pump to the main line. These are all moderately easy fixes.

In the case that the low pressure is only occurring in the kitchen, the problem is equally easy to work on. You’ll likely find a screen at the end of the faucet spout where the water comes out. Unscrew the spout by hand and check for any build-up; this is much like dealing with a clog. Remove apparent blockage is a no-brainer but you might also find sediment, which takes a bit more time. You must first unscrew the aerator, take it apart, and soak all the individual parts in a mixture of warm water and vinegar. If the crud won’t budge, get thee to a hardware or department store and get a commercial calcium remover and soak the parts in that. In either case, after the build-up is removed, dry the spout, reassemble and reattach the aerator to the faucet before testing.

Here’s where things get interesting. Sometimes, the faucet’s cartridge, which allows water to pass through the spout, can malfunction and cause low pressure. If this is the case, you must remove the faucet head, find and unscrew the screw under the faucet spout, and lift off the faucet head. You should see the cartridge right there and it should be open. If not, remove the housing and clean everything of debris or calcium build-up. Replace the thin housing and faucet head before testing the solution.

The worst-case scenario is build-up in the faucet piping. With galvanized piping, the issue is likely build-up from age and sediment. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can diagnose this by unscrewing the riser from the basement and then back up the fitting in the basement to ensure the attached pipe or fitting does not break. Put a bucket below it and have a friend or family member turn the water on to check the flow and pressure of the removed pipe. If it’s not good, you’ll want to look into getting your entire home re-piped (sorry!), as this is an issue far beyond cleaners. If everything seems good, you likely just need one of the prior fixes. Thank your lucky stars.


New Appliances Need Expertise

New Appliances Need Expertise

Buying a new appliance can be a very satisfying experience: getting rid of a creaky washing machine, an out of date fridge or an ancient stove and replacing it with a shiny new one is a great feeling! However, many homeowners are wary of the cost of purchasing and installing new appliances. For many people in Westchester, appliance installation is seen as an unnecessary expense; why spend money on professional installation if you can easily do it yourself? The answer to this question is that appliance installation is not as easy as it seems!

Although you may think that appliance installation can be accomplished quickly and with minimal hassle, there are lots of things that can go wrong as the result of even minor mistakes. Appliances that use water, such as dishwashers, washing machines and some refrigerators, can cause severe water damage if they are not properly installed. Even minor leaks can cause major damage before they are finally detected. Professionals are trained to be attentive to the little details that homeowners might not notice, even if they are being extra careful.

Appliances that use gas, such as stoves and gas dryers, can be particularly dangerous if not installed correctly. An ill-fitting or improperly placed gas line has the potential to leak, leading not only to expensive energy loss, but also to potential fires and explosions.

For optimal safety, function and long-term cost savings, it’s a much smarter option to have your appliances professionally installed. Compared to the potential hassle and expense of dealing with an improperly installed appliance, paying an expert to give your appliance a proper installation will make you happier in the long run. After all, the whole point of buying a brand new appliance is to have something that works perfectly and predictably – not something that will cause you more headaches! Do yourself a favor, and have your appliances professionally installed.


Keeping the Cold Out

Keeping the Cold Out

So, you already cleaned the gutters and got the backyard ready for the impending coolness and frost. Your focus has switched from keeping the cold in to keeping it out, and you now want a warm home to host holiday parties and take comfort in the middle of snowstorms. And as in summer, there are a few things you can do to make this transition easier on yourself, your family and your bills.

You know how it’s harder to get hot water in the winter? There are a plethora of possible reasons but exposed pipes in colder parts of the home are often the true culprit. Wrap insulation around your exposed hot water pipes to give this a quick fix. Bonus: This small investment will show off many dividends when your energy bills start lessening. There are also special blankets that can be purchased to insulate your hot water tank from the cold air.

Many people think roofing and exterior siding work is the most expensive home improvement costs, but actually, it’s the replacement and repair of your HVAC system. So, it’s important not only to check it but do minor upgrades, such as switching out air filters and calling an HVAC professional to do a check-up once a year. And even if you do have to replace the system, many gas and electrical companies offer discounts to homeowners who switch over to a more eco-friendly system. You can also have a humidifier installed in your HVAC system to ensure the air in your home isn’t too dry.

For those with a bit extra money going into fall, installation of a programmable thermostat helps energy bills plummet and allows you to keep your home comfortable while you’re there and use minimal energy when you’re not. An energy audit is also a way to help you find the ways in which you are losing energy and heat. Specialists who perform energy audits can locate leaky air drafts in a myriad of spaces you might not. Most drafts can be sealed up with caulk, weather-stripping, duct tape, foam gaskets, or spray sealant. No matter what you choose to do, however, doing even just a little will help you combat the cold seasons and keep your bills down, saving money to help with Xmas shopping.


Light Fixtures to Light Up Your Life

Light Fixtures to Light Up Your Life

Being a rather huge movie buff, the importance of lighting has always been something I’ve taken an interest in, especially in homes. The type of light fixtures you put in each of your rooms is integral to the mood of that room and the overall personality (and style) of your home. Whether it happens to be recessed, chandelier, wall sconces, pendant, or soffit, it says something about what use you want to get out of the room and what atmosphere you want it to capture. And, like most things, both of these facets can change rather quickly, so if you’re looking to get more ambitious with your DIY home repairs, it’s a good starting place for electrical work.

For tools, you merely need the new light fixture, wire cutters, a flathead screwdriver and something to stand on (depending on where they are placed and/or your height). Get to your power supply and shut down power to that part of the house, as to ensure no one gets zapped or worse. If there are decorative glass covers surrounding the light bulbs, remove them along with the light bulbs and only then unscrew the old fixture – there should be easy-to-spot screws holding it to the wall and the electrical box. In some cases – it’s more common in older fixtures – you will also have to unscrew mounting brackets that are helping to hold the fixture in place.

Take special care to notice how the wires are connected to your old fixture: they will like be either connected with the screws on the existing fixture or there will be wires coming out of the fixture that are directly connected to the wires in the electrical box. Have a pen and paper handy to write things like this down and when you disconnect the wires, also note color or size of the wires so you can easily attach the new fixture.

Once you have the information down and your old fixture has been set aside (or has found its new home in the garbage can), it’s time to connect the new fixture. If it connects with the screw, the black screw should go with the brass screw while the white screw should be connected to the silver screw; the ground wire (green or copper) will connect to final screw, which is usually colored green. As for direct wire connections, use the wire nuts provided with your fixture and just connect colors correspondingly (black to black etc.). Screws will be provided with the fixture to mount the new fixture in the designated spot and then all you have to do is flip on the power to test.

If there’s a problem, or if electrical work is (understandably) the one area of home improvement you’d rather leave to the professionals, it’s best to find a trusted electrician to check it out/do the work. Otherwise, this should make it easier if you ever want to change the lighting in your living/entertainment room in time for movie night.


Ice Cold and Fresh

Ice Cold and Fresh

Having access to cold, fresh drinking water is a wonderful thing, especially during the sweltering summer months. When you’re thirsty, there’s nothing like pouring yourself a cold, tall glass of refreshing water to quench your thirst and revive your spirits. For homeowners in Westchester, refrigerator waterline installation is a great way to enjoy fresh, cold water – right from your own fridge!

For homeowners in Westchester, refrigerator waterline installation can help you to enjoy the benefits of drinking plenty of water. Staying properly hydrated is essential to maintaining good health, and can allow you to exercise, work and accomplish all of your daily tasks with more energy and effectiveness. Drinking plenty of water also insures that you will feel your best all day. The convenience of being able to get ice cold water right from your fridge can encourage you to drink more because it is easily accessible and always available.

If you want to enjoy the freshest, most delicious water possible in your home in Westchester, refrigerator waterline installation is the way to go. Having a waterline installed when you buy a new fridge can save you the time and expense of having one installed later. Although some homeowners reason that they can do without a water line, having one installed can actually save you money in the long run. Getting water right from your fridge can save you the expense of purchasing costly bottled water or filtration systems. Whereas filters have to be replaced every few weeks, and the cost of buying bottled water quickly adds up, getting water from your fridge is no more expensive than getting it from the tap. Using a qualified plumber to install your refrigerator waterline insures that that the job will be done right, with minimal mess and maximum cost savings and efficiency. If you’re ready to enjoy the health benefits – and the budget benefits– of getting refreshingly chilled water right from your fridge, refrigerator waterline installation is for you!


Who wants to do the dishes

Who wants to do the dishes

Household chores are divided up amongst family members in every home. Mom and Dad get the tougher jobs, while the kids get to be in charge of keeping their rooms clean (which in reality never happens… Hey cleaning lady!). Having every family member pitch in to keep the house running is a key element that most households follow, sticking to it as if it is the foundation upon which their houses stand.

But, of course there is always that one chore that no one wants to do, and that lucky winner is none other than washing the dishes after a meal. Who wants to be bothered to stand on their feet and scrub away at dishes that other people have just eaten off of? Plus, you usually end up getting a little wet from an uncalled for splash or two that lands on you from the soap and water, making the act of washing dishes a tedious and annoying job.

Keep your clothes dry and never have to solicit your family members to do the dishes ever again when you have a Westchester dishwasher installation in your home. Having a professional install a brand new dishwasher in your home is like a golden ticket into this new world where you never again will have the dreaded chore of washing the dishes after any meal. Sign me up for that golden ticket!

After you have a Westchester dishwasher installation, your meals will become more enjoyable as you won’t be fretting about the dishes that will be sitting in the sink waiting to be washed after the meal. A new dishwasher will make your life easier from the start, since you won’t even have to install the dishwasher yourself. Once you choose your dishwasher of choice it’s clear skies ahead. A professional will install your dishwasher for you, meaning that selecting a dishwasher was your last ‘chore’ in the realm of doing the dishes.

Westchester dishwasher installation will take away one big and annoying chore from your list, so what are you waiting for? Downsize your chore list and arrange a Westchester dishwasher installation today!


Meal Prep, Literally

Meal Prep, Literally

As every enthusiastic home cook knows, the kitchen is the heart of the home, and the stove is the heart of the kitchen. A good stove makes it possible to whip up everything from hearty home-cooked breakfasts to multi-course gourmet feasts, and everything in between. When your stove works well, cooking feels smooth and effortless. When your stove leaves a lot to be desired, however, choreographing meals becomes much more difficult, and cooking can begin to feel like a chore. If this is the case in the kitchen of your home in Westchester, stove installation could be just what you need to bring your kitchen up to snuff and improve your cooking experience.

For homeowners in Westchester, stove installation can be a big deal. Particularly if cooking is an important part of your life, you’ll want to select the best possible stove, one that will give you precision and predictability along with stunning good looks. For most cooks, a good stove has to be gas. Unlike electric stoves, which can be installed with a minimum of fuss, gas stoves require a lot of attention and care during installation.

For some residents of Westchester, stove installation might seem like a good candidate for a DIY project. After all, you’ve just dropped a chunk of change on the best stove money can buy – why not save money on the installation? However, making sure your gas stove is installed properly will save time and hassle in the long run, as well as insuring your safety. Installing a gas stove is a difficult, and potentially dangerous, process, requiring you to remove old connections and get rid of useless elements of your old stove. More importantly, the gas line must be completely turned off during installation, and the new connections must be absolutely secure. Professional technicians have the tools and experience to install your stove correctly. And when it comes to the safety of you and your family – not to mention the optimal function of your beautiful new stove – it pays to get the job done right the first time!


Dedicated 30 Amp Line

Dedicated 30 Amp Line

Gone are the days of hauling baskets of sopping wet clothes to the laundry line and hanging them out to dry in the sun. For one thing, expansive backyards are becoming more rare as people live in denser urban environments. The main reason for this change, however, is that, no matter how idyllic a clothesline hung with shirts gently fluttering in the breeze may seem, most people are not interested in the extra labor that line-drying clothes represents! Modern homeowners lucky enough to have the convenience of a dryer in their home don’t want to go back to the days of lugging heavy loads of clothing outdoors and hanging them on the line, only to go back out and haul them in again once they’re dry. Not to mention the inconvenience of trying to dry clothes when it’s raining or freezing outside! However, modern clothes dryers do present some challenges of their own. For homeowners in Westchester, dedicated electrical lines may be needed to power a dryer.

Most homes are equipped with outlets designed to carry up to 15 amps for sustained periods of time. A dryer, however, can draw up to 30 amps during operation. This means that operating a dryer using an ordinary outlet can overload your electrical circuits and cause a short. No one wants to be left without power, but that’s just what can happen if you try to run a high-powered appliance like a dryer off of an electrical line that isn’t equipped to carry such high amperage. If you’re a homeowner in Westchester, a dedicated electrical line for your dryer could be a sensible update for your home.

Fortunately for residents of Westchester, dedicated electrical lines can be easily installed by a trained professional. Licensed electricians have the tools and expertise to quickly and safely install a dedicated line for your dryer, so you can enjoy warm, dry clothes any time, without having to worry about being left in the dark!


New Appliances Deserve an Expert Installation

New Appliances Deserve an Expert Installation

Buying a new appliance can be a very satisfying experience: getting rid of a creaky washing machine, an out of date fridge or an ancient stove and replacing it with a shiny new one is a great feeling! However, many homeowners are wary of the cost of purchasing and installing new appliances. For many people in Westchester, appliance installation is seen as an unnecessary expense; why spend money on professional installation if you can easily do it yourself? The answer to this question is that appliance installation is not as easy as it seems!

Although you may think that appliance installation can be accomplished quickly and with minimal hassle, there are lots of things that can go wrong as the result of even minor mistakes. Appliances that use water, such as dishwashers, washing machines and some refrigerators, can cause severe water damage if they are not properly installed. Even minor leaks can cause major damage before they are finally detected. Professionals are trained to be attentive to the little details that homeowners might not notice, even if they are being extra careful.

Appliances that use gas, such as stoves and gas dryers, can be particularly dangerous if not installed correctly. An ill-fitting or improperly placed gas line has the potential to leak, leading not only to expensive energy loss, but also to potential fires and explosions.

For optimal safety, function and long-term cost savings, it’s a much smarter option to have your appliances professionally installed. Compared to the potential hassle and expense of dealing with an improperly installed appliance, paying an expert to give your appliance a proper installation will make you happier in the long run. After all, the whole point of buying a brand new appliance is to have something that works perfectly and predictably – not something that will cause you more headaches! Do yourself a favor, and have your appliances professionally installed.