A few fix-it tips

Here are some simple tips Karen Dale Dustman shares in her home fix-it book:

When making plumbing repairs never throw away the old parts until you're positive you've found suitable replacements.

To check a toilet for a faulty flapper or ball stopper (a common cause of "running"), pour a dash of food coloring in the tank. Don't flush the toilet for several hours, then check to see if the colored water has migrated into the bowl.

Never put chemical drain cleaners down your garbage disposal since this can damage seals and other parts.

Before laying self-adhesive vinyl floor tiles, set them in the sun or a warm place for an hour or so. This ensures better adhesion.

Keep a mish-mash of nails, screws, washers, and other spare parts in your repair kit. They can quickly be dumped from a can and sifted.

Purchase an electrical tester. It's "a priceless investment in your own safety and peace of mind."

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