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For DIY advice at your fingertips, lay your hands on an IPad 2!

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Posted by PC World at 10:40 on 08 Jun 2011
Category: 
Shopping

It had thousands of shoppers lining up for days outside Apple stores on its release but many of us who aren’t tech-enthusiasts were left wondering - what’s the big deal about the IPad 2? Is it all hype and no help? Tablet technology experts, PC World, give Problem Solved the lowdown …

How to strip wallpaper video

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Posted by James Mace at 15:19 on 11 May 2010
Category: 
Hints & Tips

Did some advice on how to strip wallpaper? This handy video includes advice from an actual painter and decorator.

Bank holiday DIY projects inspired by desire to increase house value

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Posted by James Mace at 17:51 on 30 Apr 2010
Category: 
News & Updates

There will be a surge in DIY projects this bank holiday weekend, and the main reason behind these projects is that Britons wish to add value to their properties.

Jace Tyrrell, spokesperson for the New West End Company, explained that the current surge in DIY improvements is because consumers want to "invest and hopefully make some money when the property prices come back".

Don't let DIY threaten your relationship

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Posted by Ivy Lamb at 11:32 on 21 Apr 2010
Category: 
News & Updates

DIY is a popular weekend activity, especially when people are looking to save money or think they can’t find a reliable tradesman. DIY can be great when all goes according to plan, but watch out: DIY disasters can strain the peace between couples.

Many people take on more than they can manage when planning DIY, which leads to big messes that can strain a relationship more than couples anticipate.

Neutrals with bright accents are the latest trend in paint colours

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Posted by Ivy Lamb at 15:53 on 15 Apr 2010
Category: 
News & Updates

The latest trend in home design is neutral colours paired with splashes of bright, bold colours according to David Shepherd, brand manager at Dulux. Speaking at The Gadget Show Live 2010, Shepard said that the addition of some bright accents to bright, neutral colours adds personality.

Easter weekend DIY accidents lead to spike in insurance claims

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Posted by Ivy Lamb at 14:13 on 15 Apr 2010
Category: 
News & Updates

Home Insurance expert Swinton has shown that safety warnings for DIY’ers are justified. Over Easter weekend, there was a spike in DIY accidents which led to a further increase in home insurance claims, Swinton reports. They say that this rise is down to people trying to fit too much into just a few days.

Builder's fatal accident leads to renewed warnings for DIY'ers

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Posted by Ivy Lamb at 14:24 on 08 Apr 2010
Category: 
News & Updates

A 42-year-old Auckland builder died working under his Avondale home on Monday morning. Investigators say they are still trying to piece together what happened.

The dead man had gone under his house to investigate electrical problems, and Labour Department investigators have been called in by police to see if there were any problems with the wiring at the house, and to help determine what led to the man's death.

How to build your own BBQ

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Posted by Ivy Lamb at 10:24 on 07 Apr 2010
Category: 
Hints & Tips

A BBQ can be a great addition to your garden, and a great way to entertain during the summer months. After all, who doesn’t love a nice steak or burger fresh from the BBQ?

Faulty hire tools a danger to consumers

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Posted by Ivy Lamb at 13:08 on 26 Mar 2010
Category: 
News & Updates

If you're doing a spot of DIY and decide to hire some tools for the job, be careful. A study by Which? showed that many hire companies have faulty tools which could be dangerous to the consumer.

The consumers advocacy company hired 26 tools form various hire firms, which included high street names and large DIY chains. The tools were independently tested for electrical and mechanical defects according to British standards and all companies except HSS failed for one or more reasons.

How to Tile Around Corners video

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Posted by James Mace at 16:46 on 09 Mar 2010
Category: 
Hints & Tips

Doing your own tiling can be a great way to save money when renovating a kitchen or bathroom. But what happens when you get to those tricky corners? We've included a handy video below about how to tile around corners. Scroll below to see other DIY videos and links to other useful resources.

Free tickets for the Homebuilding & Renovating Show

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Posted by James Mace at 14:55 on 05 Mar 2010
Category: 
News & Updates

The Homebuilding & Renovating show is Britain's number one self build show and takes place at the NEC Birmingham from 18-21 March 2010. ProblemSolved is offering it's readers complimentary tickets (usually £10) for the event.

Carlisle train station given an unconventional new DIY makeover

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Posted by James Mace at 17:17 on 04 Mar 2010
Category: 
News & Updates

A train station in Carlisle has been given an exciting new DIY makeover in preparation for the filming of a new television advert.  The station's bridge has received a stripy-coloured makeover, while one of the platforms has been transformed with turquoise paint, purple wallpaper and lampshades hanging from the ceiling.

Train station photo stripes

How to Remove a Radiator for Decorating video

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Posted by James Mace at 15:57 on 02 Mar 2010
Category: 
News & Updates

If you're looking to decorate a room, it can be a tricky job to paint around a radiator. To get that perfect finish, you really need to remove the radiator from the wall. Here's a video about how to remove a radiator if you're decorating. If you need any further advice see the links below the video or search through our hints & tips section for more advice.

DIY tips for those unfinished jobs around the house

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Posted by James Mace at 15:32 on 02 Mar 2010
Category: 
Hints & Tips

Research by B&Q in 2009 found that over 66% of homeowners have unfinished jobs around the house, and the things that stop us doing these jobs are time, cost and know-how. In response to this, B&Q have come up with a number of DIY tips to make 2010 the year that these jobs are completed. Click here to see more hints and tips on ProblemSolved.

How to Paint a Wall video

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Posted by James Mace at 10:56 on 19 Feb 2010
Category: 
Hints & Tips

I know that it might seem like one of the simplest diy projects, but painting a wall to get a professional looking finish can be harder than you think. So here's a handy video on How to Paint a Wall that includes some great hints and tips from a professional painter and decorator. Scroll below the video to see other diy advice videos.

How to Fit a Mortice Lock video

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Posted by James Mace at 17:26 on 12 Feb 2010
Category: 
Hints & Tips

Want to know how to fit a mortice lock in a door? Watch this handy video on how to fit a mortice lock. Scroll down for more diy advice videos.

Source: YouTube

How to fit a dimmer switch video

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Posted by James Mace at 11:48 on 20 Jan 2010
Category: 
Hints & Tips

Installing a dimmer switch shouldn't be a big job. Watch this handy video to find out how to fit a dimmer switch. Remember to take care when fitting a dimmer switch, and if in doubt call in a professional handyman.

How to Mix Plaster video

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Posted by James Mace at 17:26 on 26 Oct 2009
Category: 
Hints & Tips

Having problems mixing plaster? It can be a really easy procedure, just watch this handy video to get some useful tips. For more articles about how to mix plaster, scroll down to click on the links.

How to Remove a Damaged Screw video

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Posted by James Mace at 14:40 on 23 Oct 2009
Category: 
Hints & Tips

Do you have a damaged screw that you've been trying to remove that just won't budge? If you need a few tips you can watch this handy video about how to remove a damaged screw. If you're still stuck, there are some additional resources that have been included below.

How to Fit a Mortice Lock video

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Posted by James Mace at 16:43 on 20 Oct 2009
Category: 
Hints & Tips

If you need to add some additional security to your doors, you should consider adding a mortice lock. This video contains a step by step guide about how to fit a mortice lock. If you need some more advice, why not get in touch with a locksmith on ProblemSolved from your local area.

 

How to Test for Rust in your Radiator video

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Posted by James Mace at 15:55 on 20 Oct 2009
Category: 
Hints & Tips

Does your radiator have rust on the outside? If it does, then it's very likely that it is far more rusty on the inside! It's advisable to test for this. So watch this video below about how to test if you have rust in your radiator. If you're still having problems with your radiator, why not search for a local plumber on ProblemSolved.

How to Install a Wet Room video

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Posted by James Mace at 15:03 on 27 Jul 2009
Category: 
Hints & Tips

Fancy transforming your bathroom into a wet room? Watch this handy diy advice video about how to install a wet room.

Source: YouTube

Watch other DIY advice videos:

Summer outdoor challenge to better your property

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Posted by James Mace at 11:53 on 23 Jul 2009
Category: 
News & Updates

Website of the Week: lets-do-diy.com

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Posted by James Mace at 14:36 on 16 Jul 2009
Category: 
Website of the week

Lets-do-diy.com is a fantastic resource for all you budding diyers out there.

Whether it's a DIY garden project or home DIY, lets-do-diy.com provides free Do-It-Yourself advice to enhance and improve your home with over 180 illustrated DIY projects covering a wide range of work.

There's also a thriving Ask An Expert forum, where you can post your diy related queries. To find out more, visit www.lets-do-diy.com.

How to Draughtproof a Window video

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Posted by James Mace at 10:06 on 30 Jun 2009
Category: 
Hints & Tips

Do you have a draughty window that's getting on your nerves? Watch this step-by-step video about how to fix the problem.

Watch other DIY advice videos:

How to Repair Damaged Plasterboard video

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Posted by James Mace at 14:28 on 26 Jun 2009
Category: 
Hints & Tips

Have you got damaged plasterboard? Watch this step by step video about how to repair plaster and plasterboard.

Source: YouTube

Watch other DIY advice videos:

How to Set up a Water Butt Video

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Posted by James Mace at 15:18 on 11 Jun 2009
Category: 
Hints & Tips

Want to know how to save water and the environment by installing a water butt in your garden? Watch this handy diy video to see how to set one up.

Source: YouTube



How to Reset a Miniature Circuit Breaker Video

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Posted by James Mace at 17:39 on 01 Jun 2009
Category: 
News & Updates

Have you been left in the dark? Watch this step-by-step guide about How to Reset a Miniature Circuit Breaker.

Source: YouTube

How to Re-do Grouting Video

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Posted by James Mace at 14:47 on 28 May 2009
Category: 
Hints & Tips

Has your grouting seen better days? Watch this handy video on how to re-do your grouting.

Source: YouTube

How to Unblock a Sink Video

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Posted by James Mace at 16:34 on 08 May 2009
Category: 
Hints & Tips

Having problems with your sink? Watch this video to see how to unblock it.

Source: YouTube



How to Fit a Window Lock Video

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Posted by James Mace at 16:31 on 08 May 2009
Category: 
Hints & Tips

Want to know how to fit a window lock? Watch this handy video.

Source: YouTube

How To Replace A Tap Washer Video

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Posted by James Mace at 11:20 on 01 Apr 2009
Category: 
Hints & Tips

Dripping taps waste around 90 litres of water a week. Luckily, it's a simple fix and if you've got one of those old fashioned "Stem" taps, all you need to do is change the washer. Watch this video to see how it's done.

How to Tile a Bathroom Wall video

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Posted by James Mace at 18:34 on 22 Jan 2009
Category: 
Hints & Tips

Is your bathroom looking tired and old fashioned? Adding new tiles is easy and can be a cheap way of giving the room a quick facelift. Take a look at these two videos of how to tile your bathroom wall.

Part 1:

Tricks of the Trade: Decorator

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Posted by James Mace at 15:19 on 19 Jan 2009
Category: 
Hints & Tips

Want to know some Tricks of the Trade from professionals in the know? These tips are all related to painting and decorating and have been supplied by Prestige Services.

How to Hang a Door video

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Posted by James Mace at 11:39 on 14 Jan 2009
Category: 
Hints & Tips

Having trouble hanging a door? Check out this how to hang a door video.

How to Replace a Kitchen Worktop video

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Posted by James Mace at 11:03 on 13 Jan 2009
Category: 
Hints & Tips

Want to know How to Replace a Kitchen Worktop? These two videos should help:

Part 1:

Part 2:

How to Fix a Broken Tile Video

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Posted by James Mace at 10:32 on 09 Jan 2009
Category: 
Hints & Tips

Want to know how to fix a broken tile? Follow this step by step video guide.

Source: YouTube, 2009

How to Fix a Dripping Tap Video

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Posted by James Mace at 15:18 on 08 Jan 2009
Category: 
Hints & Tips

Having problems with a dripping tap? Watch this step by step video guide.

Source: YouTube, 2009

Temporary repair of a roof tile

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Posted by James Mace at 10:17 on 06 Aug 2008
Category: 
Hints & Tips

It is advisable to check you roof regularly for broken tiles or slates. If you find one, it’s a good idea to make a temporary replacement to prevent a leak from happening. This is only a temporary measure however, and a replacement should be found as soon as possible. Below are four simple steps to help you make a temporary repair of a roof tile.

o Ladder with stand-off bracket
o Roof ladder
o Scissors
o Wire brush
o Flashing strip primer





Taking out a broken pane of glass

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Posted by James Mace at 15:51 on 08 Jul 2008
Category: 
Hints & Tips

Before tackling this job, spread newspaper around the floor to make clearing up afterwards easier. Also, wear a pair of sturdy shoes.

1. If the pane is smashed, remove pieces still stuck in the window by gripping and loosening them. Wear protective gloves and goggles.

2. To remove the old putty, use a chisel or glaziers hacking knife and hammer. Remember to take out any panel pins using a pair of pincers.

3. Brush away any dust and seal wood with primer.

Tools:

Protective gloves
Safety goggles
Hammer
Pincers




Installing a new pane of glass

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Posted by James Mace at 15:49 on 08 Jul 2008
Category: 
Hints & Tips

1. Knead the putty until it is soft and pliable. Take a small ball (palm sized) and squeeze a continuous band into the rebate, using your thumb to press it in place. Make sure that it is roughly 3mm thick all around the window.

2. Put some gloves on and then sit the new pane in place, gently pushing it into position. Exert pressure around the edge of the glass, not in the middle, and allow the glass to squeeze the putty until you have a 2mm bed of putty behind the glass.

3. Gently tap the glass in place using glazing panel pins at 200mm intervals with a small hammer.

Call for VAT reduction on home improvement

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Posted by James Mace at 09:49 on 01 Jul 2008
Category: 
News & Updates

With the cost of DIY soaring, many homeowners would be forgiven for not attempting renovation work. There is hope though, with the European commission declaring its support for the idea of lowering VAT on home renovation work.

The current proposals suggest that the rate should be lowered from the standard 17.5 per cent to 5 per cent.

Top ten projects to add value to your home

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Posted by James Mace at 18:05 on 30 Jun 2008
Category: 
News & Updates

I know that we’ve been harping on about this for months now, but it really does seem that people are looking to improve rather than move from their homes.

With house prices predicted to fall by up to 35 per cent in the next two years, home improvement is once again high on the list of priorities for the homeowner, as they attempt to sit tight and wait it out.

So what advice is out there for those looking to invest in a spot of renovation on their property?

Planning on a spot of DIY this weekend?

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Posted by James Mace at 17:32 on 20 Jun 2008
Category: 
Shopping

With rain and more rain forecast for this weekend, now could be the perfect time to get all of those jobs that need doing around the house out of the way.

But have you got all the right tools for the job?

Replacing a radiator

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Posted by James Mace at 17:05 on 11 Jun 2008
Category: 
Hints & Tips

Below are four simple steps explaining how to replace a radiator. Before you begin however, make sure that you have the following equipment:

• 2 adjustable spanners
• radiator bleed key
• bucket
• drain tray
• large allen key
• pipe and cable detector






Fixing a dropped door

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Posted by Cara Verdi at 10:42 on 30 Nov 2007
Category: 
Hints & Tips

Tools and Material
Screwdriver, matchsticks, wood adhesive, mallet, wood chisel.

1. Firstly check to see if any of the hinge screws are loose. If so tighten them up.
2. If the screws will not tighten, you will need to plug the existing screw holes for reinsertion of the old screws.
3. With a screwdriver, remove the old screws from the hinge which will not tighten and put to one side.
4. Fold the metal hinge part back on to itself to expose the screw holes on the bare wood behind (either the door or doorframe).





Fixing a spluttering tap

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Posted by Cara Verdi at 13:32 on 21 Nov 2007
Category: 
Hints & Tips

A spluttering tap may not be the worst plumbing situation to arise but it is annoying, especially when coupled with clanging pipework and spitting water. Luckily, resolving the issue is just as simply as the problem. With a few basic things you can find in the garden shed and an extra pair of hands to help, free flowing water can be a quick 10 minutes away. 

Before starting:

How to fix a squeaky floorboard

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Posted by Cara Verdi at 14:11 on 20 Nov 2007
Category: 
Hints & Tips

It’s not fun to walk around your house, and be able to hear every moment due to a few central positioned squeaky floorboards. Easy to repair as long as you don’t have carpet (sorry), creaking floorboards generally occur when some of the fixing nails worked them selves loose from the joist below causing the board itself to become loose. To ease the squeak and be able to stealthily move around your home when needed, just follow the simple guide below.

Tools and Materials:

• Pincers
• Pencil


Tracing an electrical fault

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Posted by Cara Verdi at 13:51 on 16 Nov 2007
Category: 
Hints & Tips

Sometimes in the home you will come across electrical appliances or lights which aren’t working due to an electrical fault, through finding exactly where this fault has occurred can be a bit of a challenge. As with all things there are a number of reasons why a fault can occurring so to shed some light on the problem (mind the pun) follow the below links to try and trace the electrical fault, and then deal with the problem.

Click here if a plug-in appliance doesn’t work.

Tracing an electrical fault - All circuits are dead

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Posted by Cara Verdi at 13:39 on 16 Nov 2007
Category: 
Hints & Tips

N.B. Before proceeding with any electrical work in your property, click here to read about the current regulations regarding electrical work completed in the home.

1. If the circuits of your home are protected by an RCD (residual current device) within the consumer unit, check to see if it has tripped. If so reset it.

Tracing an electrical fault - A plug-in appliance doesn’t work

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Posted by Cara Verdi at 12:49 on 16 Nov 2007
Category: 
Hints & Tips

N.B. Before proceeding with any electrical work in your property, click here to read about the current regulations regarding electrical work completed in the home.

1. For a plug-in light appliance try changing the light bulb first. If this doesn’t work proceed to step 2.

Tracing an electrical fault - A presumed dead circuit

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Posted by Cara Verdi at 12:46 on 16 Nov 2007
Category: 
Hints & Tips

A dead circuit can often be caused by over loading the circuit with too many appliances or too many light fixtures.

N.B. Before proceeding with any electrical work in your property, click here to read about the current regulations regarding electrical work completed in the home.

1. Turn off all the lights and unplug all appliances on the affected circuit.

Resetting a circuit in a consumer unit

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Posted by Problem Solved at 12:34 on 16 Nov 2007
Category: 
Hints & Tips

A consumer unit may need resetting due to a power surge through one of the property’s circuits.

N.B. Before proceeding with any electrical work in your property, click here to read about the current regulations regarding electrical work completed in the home.

Before trying to reset this circuit, check to see if any of the appliances on the circuit are causing it to trip. Unplug all appliances and check to see if they work on a circuit which still has power.

What is a fuse?

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Posted by Problem Solved at 15:34 on 13 Nov 2007
Category: 
Hints & Tips

A fuse protects a circuit from the damage of excessive current overload which can generate overheating within the circuit and lead to the start of a fire. Know as current protection devices, fuses contain a metal wire which melts when there is too much current flow. This separation of the wire breaks the circuit connection, thus protecting the rest of the circuit. The wire in a fuse can either be exposed in the fuse carrier or contained within a cartridge in the fuse carrier as commonly seen in plugs.

How to change a fuse in a consumer unit with wire fuses

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Posted by Problem Solved at 15:20 on 13 Nov 2007
Category: 
Hints & Tips

N.B. Before proceeding with any electrical work in your property, click here to read about the current regulations regarding electrical work completed in the home.

Tools and Materials:

A torch, screwdriver, wire cutters, correct amperage fuse wire.

1. Locate the consumer unit which is usually situated near the electricity meter.

How to change a fuse in a consumer unit with cartridge fuses

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Posted by Problem Solved at 14:52 on 13 Nov 2007
Category: 
Hints & Tips

N.B. Before proceeding with any electrical work in your property, click here to read about the current regulations regarding electrical work completed in the home.

Tools and Materials:

A torch, fuse tester, screwdriver, correct fuse rating cartridge.

How to reset a fuse in a consumer unit with MCBs (Miniature Circuit Breakers)

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Posted by Problem Solved at 13:11 on 13 Nov 2007
Category: 
Hints & Tips

N.B. Before proceeding with any electrical work in your property, click here to read about the current regulations regarding electrical work completed in the home.

Tools and Materials:

A torch

1. Locate the consumer unit which is usually situated near the electricity meter.

A guide to fuse ratings in the home

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Posted by Cara Verdi at 12:09 on 13 Nov 2007
Category: 
Hints & Tips

Handy for all home owners, below is a brief guide to fuse ratings, their amperages and typical uses.

N.B.

What is a Continuity tester?

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Posted by Problem Solved at 10:31 on 13 Nov 2007
Category: 
Hints & Tips

A simple battery powered tool, a continuity tester is used to check whether a circuit is continuous.

N. B. You should always use a continuity tester on a DEAD circuit i.e. with the power switched off.

To use a continuity tester, test the questioned circuit through the neutral cable cores (click to read more about cable cores colours) by touching the individual probes of the tester to each core simultaneously.

What is a Socket tester?

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Posted by Problem Solved at 09:57 on 13 Nov 2007
Category: 
Hints & Tips

A socket tester is a handy device for quickly checking the connections of a socket. It has three pins which plug into the socket and three neon lights on the face of the tester. These neon lights light up in different combinations to indicate whether or not there is a fault in the connections of the socket and if so where it is situated.

Need a socket tester? Try these useful DIY supply sites below:

• Maplin.co.uk

To change or not to change? What electrical work can I do in my home?

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Posted by Cara Verdi at 16:41 on 12 Nov 2007
Category: 
News & Updates

I know this is old news to electricians, but to anyone else planning to do odd DIY electrical jobs in the home, you should be aware of the electrical regulations put in place by the Building Regulations for England & Wales Jan 2005.

In the simplest format, the regulations states there are certain basic electrics you can do in your home, and more often than not, ones you can’t. The latter requires a qualified electrician.

Insulating a loft with blanket insulation (fibreglass/mineral)

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Posted by Cara Verdi at 12:21 on 24 Oct 2007
Category: 
Hints & Tips

Did you know up to 25% of heat in an un-insulate house is lost through the roof? By laying down insulation in the loft you could save as much as 20% off your energy bills, and it’s really easy to do. So just follow the simple steps below and look forward to a having a cosy warm home for this and many other winter seasons to come.

Preparation:

• Firstly you will need to measure the area of your loft in square metres to calculate how much insulation is required.

Replacing a damaged socket face plate

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Posted by Cara Verdi at 09:51 on 22 Oct 2007
Category: 
Hints & Tips

Before you even reach for those trusty wire cutters, make sure you understand the rules on the installation and maintenance of electrics in your home according to the Building Regulations for England and Wales. To find out more about these regulations, click here to read my blog; to change or not to change? What electrical work can I do in my home?

Replacing a socket

A damaged socket may need replacing due to:

Not knowing how is costing Brits £26* billion a year!

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Posted by Cara Verdi at 16:03 on 19 Oct 2007
Category: 
News & Updates

It seems some of the simplest household tasks are costing Brits up to £26* billion a year according to a recent survey compiled by Yahoo!

Fixing a squeaky floorboard

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Posted by Cara Verdi at 13:38 on 19 Oct 2007
Category: 
Hints & Tips

It’s not fun to walk around your house and be able to hear every moment due to a few central positioned squeaky floorboards. Easy to repair as long as you don’t have carpet (sorry), creaking floorboards generally occur when some of the fixing nails worked them selves loose from the joist below causing the board itself to become loose. To ease the squeak and be able to stealthily move around your home when needed, just follow the simple guide below and hopefully those late night nags will just slip under the radar from now on.

Cable core colours

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Posted by Cara Verdi at 15:47 on 09 Oct 2007
Category: 
Hints & Tips

Something handy for all home owners, here’s a quick summary of what cable colours you can find in your home:

The IEE published Amendments No2. to BS 7671:2001 (the IEE Wiring Regulations) on the 31st March 2004 specifying new cable core colours for all new fixed wiring in electrical installations in the UK. These colours are referred to as ‘harmonised’ colours as they are closely related to the electrical practices performed in mainland Europe.

Unblocking a Sink

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Posted by Cara Verdi at 15:58 on 28 Sep 2007
Category: 
Hints & Tips

Tools list:

• Newspaper
• Cloth or kitchen towel
• Plunger
• Wrench
• Approx. 30cm length of thick wire
• Household bleach or disinfectant

Firstly, try to dislodge the blockage with some vigorous action with a plunger:

N.B. Before starting, place newspaper on the floor under and around the sink just in case of unforeseen spillage!

1. Block the overflow of the sink by stuffing it with some wet kitchen towel or a damp cloth to prevent any loss of pressure when you start plunging.






Bleeding radiators

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Posted by Cara Verdi at 09:32 on 19 Sep 2007
Category: 
Hints & Tips

Bleeding radiators releases trapped air from your central heating allowing better and more efficient radiation of heat through out your home.

Tools list:

• Radiator bleed key or flat head screw driver