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Whole-House Surge Suppressors or Do you need protection?



That's why you, and all your high-tech electronics, should be ready to handle nasty power spikes from unexpected blackouts, storms and lightning strikes. Today, there are two key strategies for protecting computers, data and valuable electronics. The first is surge-suppression, and most computers use this type of interface between costly hardware and the power source. The second is an uninterruptible power source -- a dedicated battery backup that kicks in when there's a sudden power loss, so you can save work and shut down properly. Recently whole-house surge suppressors were introduced. Wired directly into a home's main electrical panel, they protect outlets throughout the house. And models like Surgebreaker Plus (by square D) cost only about $360. Want optimum protection? Consider all three.

Mid-Winter Furnace Tune-up


An ounce of prevention beats a pound of cure, and a chilly wait for an expensive repairman. Here are a few things that'll help. First change the filter. During heating season, do this monthly and -- to save money -- don't buy them one at a time. Buy a whole case, and save money two ways -- on the price and on your energy bills.  Turn off the power, vacuum the blower compartment, check tension and condition of the blower fan belt and lubricate fan-motor oil ports with a few drops of lightweight electric motor oil (do not over-oil or use automotive oil -- both practices are bad).

Bathroom Exhaust Fans


Do you run your bathroom fan long enough to complete the job that it's there for removing all moisture or providing a complete exchange of room air)? Few realize how long a bathroom exhaust fan needs to run after a steamy hot shower or a long relaxing bubble bath.   it takes about 20 minutes to remove all moisture.  If you don't think it's important, you will change your mind when the wallpaper starts peeling and grout lines turn dark from  mildew.

Tub / Shower Diverter Valves


Got a tub shower faucet that dribbles and steals water pressure from the shower? There are two types of shower diverter valve: a tub spout diverter with a gate valve on a plunger shaft in the spout that's held in the up position (for showers) by water pressure. When the shower's turned off, it drops and reopens the tub spout. To remove for repair, unscrew the tub spout from the threaded water pipe. The other type works by rotating so the valve body opens to either the tub spout or shower pipe. To remove it, unscrew the stem nut and pull out the diverter assembly. Tub diverter spouts and assemblies cost less than $15 at plumbing supply stores. Because there are different types and sizes, take the old one with you for a perfect match