Does a Gas Water Heater Ever Need to be Drained?

This is a type of gas water heater

This is a type of gas water heater

Question:  Fellow blogger, Funny About Money, asked, does a gas water heater ever need to be drained?

Answer:  Yes, it is always good to drain a gas water heater once every few years, just so sediment doesn’t build up in the tank.Tanks are made of steel and along with water, sediment corrodes steel.

If you have an electric water heater, then those need to be drained every year, otherwise the heating element literally dissolves.

How do you drain a gas water heater? First, shut the breaker off to the water heater and shut the house gas supply off. You then drain it by opening the valve at the bottom of the unit or releasing the safety valve on the upper side of the unit.

Photo credit: wikipedia

How Often You Need to Wash Your Car

Dude, you don't need to wash that every weekend

Dude, you don’t need to wash that every weekend

Sometimes you see dudes with their muscle cars washing and waxing them every weekend like their life depends on it. They’re hoping to get chicks with a radical looking car. But even for sweet rides, washing them all the time isn’t necessary.

Why You Need to Wash Your Car
The only reason you really need to wash your car is if you live in a place that puts a lot of salt on the roads in the wintertime. If you’re living in the South, this isn’t you. If you live in the North, this is you.

Salt kills cars. Frequent cleaning gets that salt off so that your car doesn’t crud up and die.

This car has so much salt on it that this sheep thing is licking the salt off!

This car has so much salt on it that this sheep thing is licking the salt off

When you wash your car to get the salt off, don’t forget the undercarriage.

Car Wash or Hand Wash?
HAND WASH. I can’t emphasize that enough. Car washes do this terrible thing where the water comes at your car under high pressures. This forces water into places on your car that it shouldn’t be in normally. It forces water into cracks and crevices, which exacerbates (yeah, I pulled out a big word) them and makes them become bigger problems, faster.

Oh and don’t forget, it’s cheaper to wash your car by hand anyway.

How Often to Wash Your Car

Rain is often a good enough car wash

Rain is often a good enough car wash

When its not the wintertime, I don’t wash my truck that often because, who cares? I’m not trying to impress anyone. I usually wash my truck about once per month to get excess bugs, dirt, and grit off. And truth, God usually washes my car. Letting the rain do its thing is often good enough for the function of your car.

In the wintertime, depending on how often they salt the roads and how often you drive, you should be washing your car once every week or two to get that salt off.

Got a question about car or home maintenance, how to fix something, what a certain tool is, why contractors act some way, or something else blue collar? Ask in the comments below and maybe I’ll answer it for you if you’re lucky. So you gotta ask yourself, do you feel lucky?

Photo credits: Dude washing car, salty car, flickr user Dale Mastin

8 Tips From an Ex-Felon to Protect Your Home From Burglars

RespiratorI wasn’t exactly a model citizen in my youth. Truth be told, I’m an ex-felon. My biggest crimes were breaking into cars and stealing stuff inside. In fact, I had an article awhile back with tips to avoid getting your car stolen from my own experiences as a thief.

My buddies and I also spent some time as home burglars. Although I’ve served my time, I wanted to put together a list of some things that you can do to protect your home. They are things that made my buddies and I move on to the next house every time. I know this doesn’t make up for my crimes and a lot of people had angry-a*s words to throw my way after my article with tips to protect your car, but I think it’s still worth it to help out some people.

What robbers don't know and will never test is that my guard dog can be overcome with a hug and a kiss.

What robbers don’t know and will never test is that my guard dog can be overcome with a hug and a kiss.

So here they are, 8 things that you can do to protect your home from burglars.

  1. Get a dog. Honest to God, it is so true. I highly recommend adopting a dog from a local shelter because if a burglar hears a dog bark, he’s going to the next house — guaranteed. When my buddies and me were into swiping stuff from people’s garages, if we heard a dog, we’d move on. My current dog is 25 pounds and has a loud bark.
  2. If you’re concerned about night burglary, then solar-powered motion lights work great. A little expensive, but definitely cheaper than having an electric one installed by me.
  3. This is obvious, but lock all of your doors with a deadbolt. Even better? Lock them all on the top and bottom, too.
  4. Homes are more likely to get broken into while you and your neighbors are at work. So a dog works pretty good for this, but also…Go on Ebay and buy some “This house is protected by Brinks” signs. They come on a pole that you stick in your front yard near your door. This created enough question in my buddy and my’s minds that we always just moved on to another house that was clear of any possible security systems.

I saw a sign once by someone’s front door that said, “This home protected by the 2nd Amendment” and there was a picture of a gun. I never saw a sign like that in my garage-thieving days — I’m not sure how well they work or not. And I don’t advocate anything using guns.2nd-Amendment security

5. Of course, you can always actually buy a home security system too, if you’ve got the money.

Although I never broke into people’s homes, I did my fair share of garage stealing. Garages are easy targets because people often leave them open, unattended. In the case of attached garages, an open garage allows easy access to your home, too:

6. Close your garage door when you’re not in there.
7. Garage doors that lock are a good idea. Lock the door on the top and bottom.
8. The motion sensor lights for home protection is great for outside your garage too. Put them on each corner above your garage and make sure that they’re high enough so that a burglar can’t take out the bulbs (we used to take out motion sensor light bulbs all the time because people mounted them so low).

Someone mentioned bars on basement windows to me as a way to protect homes from burglars. I don’t support that though. They may protect against burglars, but they also trap you in your home in the case of fire. People have actually died this way in fires. There are some bars for basement windows that you can escape from. They are expensive though, and still hard to get out of, especially if you’re panicking, like most people do in a fire.

Do you have questions about contractors, construction projects, renovations, basic home or car maintenance, or other blue collar stuff? Ask in the comments below and I may answer your question in my next article!

Photo credit: 2nd amendment sign