Home - Preventive Maintenance

Joined
Sep 26, 2017
Messages
1,414
Location
Under the Hood
Like a vehicle, checking appliances around the house can be an eye-opener.
I pretty much check everything around the house at least yearly.

Paper Shredder - Opened it up after 23 years and the motor/gears were covered in paper dust.
Gave it a good cleaning and greased the gears.
I was unaware the cutters needed oiling.
OK, it's now, on the yearly schedule.

Shop Vac - Opened it up yesterday to check over and noticed the bag filter had a two-inch tare.
Fortunately, I also had the drum filter which caught any escaped dirt (so no harm to motor).

Everything else has been checked over yearly and I have made a lot of improvements and gained a lot of knowledge of how things work.

Anybody here ever take something apart to find the unexpected because of neglected or (during regular) maintenance?
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jan 3, 2006
Messages
1,768
Location
Ohio
Shortly after I moved into my current house, I realized I could hear a steady trickle of water going into the sump during the spring thaw, but never heard the sump pump run. Turns out there was a reason; the screw that held the cord for the tilt switch rusted out, so the tilt switch was floating freee and never turning the pump on. When I got the panel out of the floor of the closet to actually see the sump and pump, it was like a sewer in there because it had been stagnant for a long time. What a horrible smell! Ran a hose from the sink and ran the pump to flush the nastiness out of there, and zip-tied the cord back onto the pump.

I guess checking the sump pump and making sure it works is somewhat routine. Glad the basement didn't flood, but I'll never forget that smell...
 
Joined
Feb 11, 2022
Messages
11
Shortly after I moved into my current house, I realized I could hear a steady trickle of water going into the sump during the spring thaw, but never heard the sump pump run. Turns out there was a reason; the screw that held the cord for the tilt switch rusted out, so the tilt switch was floating freee and never turning the pump on. When I got the panel out of the floor of the closet to actually see the sump and pump, it was like a sewer in there because it had been stagnant for a long time. What a horrible smell! Ran a hose from the sink and ran the pump to flush the nastiness out of there, and zip-tied the cord back onto the pump.

I guess checking the sump pump and making sure it works is somewhat routine. Glad the basement didn't flood, but I'll never forget that smell...
I've had enough sump pump issues in my home (always at the worst possible time) that my maintenance routine is just to switch out the pump and switch every two years, regardless of how they're performing. I use a Sharpie to write the install date on that silly warning sticker on the cord. When I'm in the basement, I take a glance every once in a while to remind myself of when I need to switch it out again.

I look at this like replacing a furnace during spring or fall and doing it on my schedule versus having to respond to a crisis. I'm sure I'll spend a few dollars more over the course of my lifetime of home ownership, but a little bit more predictability in my schedule is worth something to me.
 
Joined
Sep 6, 2007
Messages
2,152
Location
TX, USA
For us in the south with Air Conditioning, the AC Coil outside needs washing at least once a year or may be 2 if there are cottonwood trees in the area.
The condensation drain needs to be maintained otherwise it clogs.

Anybody with water heater, it must be drained once per year and replace the sacrificial anode every 5-7 years.
 
  • Like
Reactions: hrv
Joined
May 12, 2003
Messages
7,819
Location
Oklahoma
Periodically snake my sewer lines through the clean outs. Degrease over hood and filter. Flush out AC condenser. Put used lemons in garbage disposer. Run the hot water tank until it's totally cold. Spray deck, fence and north side of home that is bricked, with water sealer at least once every 2 years. Lube up front door hinges. Shut down main power, and then turn circuit breakers off and on a couple of times. Lube garage door wheels and springs. Make sure I have outside faucet rubber seals available all the time. Drain and refill hottub once a year. Hose down gutters.
 
Joined
Jul 1, 2013
Messages
2,709
Location
Ottumwa, Iowa
Dryer vent line. Cleaning behind the refrigerator and oven. Degreasing the oven hood vent filter.
The fridge is one that needs attention often. Ours froze up because the kids kept not getting the door all the way shut. We thawed it and I cleaned out the condenser. Found out the fan was full of my wife’s hair and wouldn’t turn free. Had to take the motor apart and clean and oil the bearings to get it working again.
 
Joined
Jan 22, 2011
Messages
7,614
Use your newly serviced shop vac and a coil brush to clean your fridge coils and vacuum the lint from your dryer.
 
Joined
Aug 15, 2020
Messages
588
Location
Atlanta, GA
During summer the drain flies and Argentine ants are a thing in my condo complex and afflict all of us.

Drain flies: Took a couple years but have knocked them down about 90% using Green Gobbler drain sticks and enzyme drain treatments to dissolve all the organic sludge they feed and breed on. Thinking next year might be the magic year they don't happen. Have a Zevo sticky trap to catch the few that remain and it has been working wonders. Even if you don't have drain flies the enzyme drain treatments are great and help prevent buildup.

Argentine ants: Hot topic around here as everyone gets them during the summer. I started Terro bait traps 3 years back and problem is pretty much resolved. Neighbors are so A.D.D. they think its going to work overnight and give up quickly - yeah it took me about 2 summers of keeping the traps out but now on year 3 I have not had to use a single trap. The neighbors who want instant results are still dealing with ants despite me telling them multiple times how the Terro traps works.
 

JC1

Joined
Nov 29, 2008
Messages
6,735
Location
Oshawa, Ontario Canada
There are so many little things to do. I cleaned my dryer vents lines this year. I put a secondary box to trap the lint (watch too much Mike Holmes).

In my furnace I need to open it up and clean that flame rod and also recrimp part of the duct work (it's stopping the furnace filter from seating properly). Vacuum that out as well and clean the humidifier.

I need to check all the caulking as well before fall gets here.
 

MasterSolenoid

Thread starter
Joined
Sep 26, 2017
Messages
1,414
Location
Under the Hood
I guess checking the sump pump and making sure it works is somewhat routine. Glad the basement didn't flood, but I'll never forget that smell...

Sump Pump Improvements I made are.

1) Extra sump pump all set to go in

2) Sump Pump Alarm (I have two) - One I made out of pressure switch, other sits on floor

3) LED Night Light to visually see I have power to that outlet

 
Last edited:
Joined
Apr 28, 2020
Messages
699
Location
North Dakota
My pump doesn't kick on every year, it has run twice in the last 5 years. I've got a water alarm that sends my phone a push notification when the level in the pit is rising to almost the point of kicking the pump on, so that I can head outside and hook up the hose. Works pretty well.
 
Joined
Jun 10, 2002
Messages
3,796
Location
Chattanooga, TN
Add descale the tankless hot water heater to the list. I do mine every year, easy enough . I just finished spray foaming around house where the siding meets the foundation, there is a gap under the siding and mice and bugs can get into crawl space via the gaps. Messy job. Once and done though.
 
Top