2013-04-08 / Columns

The Super Handyman

Keep Your Mower In Great Shape For Spring
by Al Carrell and Kelly Carrell

If you were smart, your mower is tuned up and ready for another season on the lawn. If not, you’ll want to do a little maintenance before even trying to fire it up.

A bad spark plug can cause your mower to run rough or not at all. It wastes gas and causes emission problems, and it can prevent the mower from running at peak efficiency and power. Remove the old spark plug. Take it to the hardware store or auto supply, and buy a new one. Set it aside to put in later after you have tended to some other details.

-Drain the gas tank and oil into containers that you can take to the recycling center or hazardous-waste disposal site in your area.

-Put fresh oil into the mower.

-Refill your gas can with fresh fuel and add gas stabilizer to the can. This will keep the fuel in the can fresher longer. Go ahead and add gas to your mower.

-Clean the air filter. Replace it if it looks really bad. These usually are inexpensive and easy to replace.

-Spray linkage with WD-40.

-Replace or sharpen the mower blade.

Now you can install the spark plug.

Your mower should be ready to go now. If you still are having problems with it, then you probably will need to take it to the pros for further cleaning and adjustments. Remember this next year, and take proper care of your mower BEFORE it sits in the garage or shed throughout winter. Fuel stored in the mower usually is the cause of most of the problems and can be avoided by running it out before storage. Good luck!

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Q: We love the new carpet that we installed. It’s just beautiful. We are now having troubles with some of the doors opening and closing. They are dragging against the ground. How do we adjust or trim them down? – Y.R.

A: The doors that are now too long need to be removed and trimmed down. Clamp a straightedge to the bottom of the door along the cutting line. Use a circular saw to do the trimming. Sand the bottom and edges smooth, and paint to match the rest of the door.

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Has your water pressure dropped off through the years, especially your hot water? It’s actually a very common problem. Many times this is due to a buildup of mineral deposits in your plumbing system. There’s a little trick you can play with a dime on your pipes to clear out some of these deposits. We’ve written the steps down so that you can try this yourself. We got a lot of feedback from our readers and they all tell us it has done wonders for their water-pressure problems. Just send your request for “Better Water Pressure for Only Ten Cents” along with a self-addressed, stamped envelope to “The Super Handyman,” here at the newspaper, and we’ll get the directions out to you right away. This information also is available to you directly on our website, so take a look at www.thesuperhandyman.com. There also is a lot of other super information there for you to see, as well as some of our favorite tips and hints. Give this little trick a try and, with any luck at all, you’ll improve your water pressure, and you’ll even get your dime back!

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Got a question or a handy tip? Visit our website at www.thesuperhandyman.com. Those of general interest will be used in future columns.

(c) 2013 Cowles Syndicate, Inc.

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