You've got everything planned for Thanksgiving. The bird is brining. The potatoes are mashed. But is your house really up to the task? Preparing to host a large group for dinner can be taxing for your home’s plumbing, electrical system and more. So save yourself some embarrassment — or worse, catastrophe — by following these tips from Homework handyman service owner Jim Engler.
A stinky or clogged garbage disposal can put a damper on any occasion. Drop in some ice, lemon juice and baking soda, let sit a few minutes and then flush with water. But Engler warns the most important thing to consider is what not to put down there. “Anything you peel, throw in the garbage,” he says, noting eggshells, potatoes and cabbage are best thrown away. “There aren’t blades in there — just paddles to chop up soft stuff.”
If you’re running the microwave, toaster oven, coffee maker, fridge and Crock-Pot all at once, one more thing might be the straw that breaks the breaker’s back. Try divvying up appliances by putting them on different circuits, and if you do blow a breaker, make sure you unplug the items before turning the circuit back on. “If you have a faulty microwave or a mixer, it’s just going to trip again,” says Engler.
Mineral deposits can collect in your sink faucets’ aerators (the little netlike screens in the spout that help regulate water flow), which can cause them to slow to a drip. This means once you finally get all the kids to wash up for dinner, they might miss the salad course or saying grace. “You can unscrew them right off the faucet and flush them out really good,” Engler says. “Before you put it back on, turn on the faucet to make sure you get a good stream and that the issue isn’t somewhere else.”
Up a creak
It isn’t Halloween anymore, so these creaky doors have gone from being a charming bit of character to an embarrassing interruption of conversation or — gasp — the football game. Engler says spraying WD-40 or Zer0 Pool & Spa Lubricant (seriously, he swears by it) on the affected door hinges should do the trick. “Then move the door back and forth to try and get the lubricants down in it.”