Simple solution to common problems

First Common Problem - Doorbells
Don't be afraid to try to repair the doorbell. All of its parts are low voltage-12 to 24 volts-and can't really hurt you. However, you should not attempt to repair or replace the transformer for the unit, which will be located in the basement or near the main power panel. It converts a 110-volt supply to 12 or 24 volts. Most often, the chime unit consists of an electromagnetic plunger that strikes a chime when activated-one sliding movement (and one chime) for the rear door and two movements for the front door's double chime. Some door chimes consist of a low- voltage buzzer or a vibrating hammer on a bell. Others have huge chimes and complicated parts best left to a service company. If the doorbell thumps or hums when you press the button, you need to clean the chime and plunger. If pressing the button doesn't trigger any sound, the button itself is probably at fault. The doorbell button is the most common source of problems because of its exposure to weather. For a button that's flush with the wood trim, slip a screwdriver or putty knife under the edge to pry the button out of its hole. If the button is screwed to the frame, remove the screws. Now you can see the low- voltage wires. If they are loose or broken, this could be why the doorbell isn't working. If the wires look okay, disconnect their ends and touch them together to complete the circuit. If the doorbell rings now, you have found the problem, a bad button. You can easily replace the button with a matching button from the hardware store. If the doorbell does not ring when you manually complete the circuit, the problem is in the chime or transformer. Check the chime: remove the cover, and take a peek at the chime. Make sure it is level. Vacuum away any dust. You will see a round plunger that needs to move freely in the magnet surrounding it. Look for broken parts or damaged brackets. After you have checked these items, the next step would be to use a voltmeter to analyze the transformer and wiring. This is a task you may wish to leave to a professional because it involves working with 110-volt power. Or, for about $20, you can buy a new battery-operated chime/button set that needs no wires. The button is mounted anywhere within 100 feet of the chime. This is a great option when wires are damaged.

Second Common Problem - Wobbling Ceiling Fan
When properly installed and balanced, a ceiling fan should not wobble excessively. Make sure your fan has been mounted properly; there should be an electric box or special bracing to support the fan's weight and movement. You may be able to stop the wobble by switching blade positions and balancing the fan. Contact the manufacturer of your fan for specific instructions, and ask if a balancing kit is available. Typical balancing instructions:

1. Check that the fan is properly installed and that the blades are securely attached.
2. Run the fan on high speed (set to downdraft) and observe the wobble. Stop the fan; switch positions of two adjacent blades. If this improves the balance of the fan, leave it as is and use balancing weights.
3. With the fan stationary, attach the manufacturer's balancing clip on the leading edge of one blade, halfway between the outer tip of the blade and the attachment bracket. (A balancing clip, available from most fan manufacturers, is a small plastic weight that firmly clips to the blade.)
4. Run the fan on high speed, set to downdraft, and observe the wobble. Stop the fan; move the clip to the next blade. Again run the fan and observe the wobble. Repeat this for all fan blades.
5. Move the clip back to the blade where you noticed the least wobble. This time, attach the clip to the leading edge of the blade near the blade bracket. Run the fan and observe the wobble. Stop the fan and move the clip outward toward the end of the blade in small increments until you find the position where the fan runs best.
6. Attach a permanent balancing weight on the blade next to the clip. (Weights are often self-stick lead strips provided by the fan manufacturer.)
7. Remove the clip and run the fan. If the wobble was not completely corrected, you may be able to further improve the balance by repeating the above steps and removing the fan.

I hope that you find this information helpful.
If you know of anyone thinking about buying a home please let me know so I can help them.
Thank you.
Lonnie Snyder
Keller Williams Realty Southeast Sound
Phone: 206-406-2710
Lonnie Snyder is a full time real estate agent and REALTOR® with Keller Williams Realty specializing in Residential Real Estate for buyers and sellers in Washington’s Kent, Renton, Newcastle and South Bellevue.

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