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Back You are here: Home Columns Weekly Columns Hardware Tips Hardware Tip of the Week: Drilling into Ceramic Tile and Washing Machine Tune-Up

Hardware Tip of the Week: Drilling into Ceramic Tile and Washing Machine Tune-Up

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Drilling: Planning to drill holes in ceramic tile to install a towel bar, shelf or paper holder? If so, you need to know how to drill straight and true, so you won't be slip-sliding away.
To do it right you need two things:
1. A special carbide tip drill bit -- the kind used for masonry. Regular drill bits can't penetrate the hard fire-glazed surface.
2. Something to keep the drill bit in place until it begins cutting through, rather than slipping around on the slick surface. The answer? -- a roll of masking tape.
Use two strips to make an X, place it over your mark and drill right through it. At first it'll grind as you cut through the glaze.
Then it will go more easily through the ceramic back and real easily through the softer wall behind it. Ease up toward the end to avoid pushing out the backside of the drywall or backerboard.
The cleaner the hole -- both through and inside -- the better your hollow-wall fasteners will grip and hold.
Washing Machine:
If your washing machine starts acting up filling slowly or maybe not at all here’s what to do before you call a repairman or decide to go shopping  for a new one.
Probably over the years it’s filled slower and slower but you didn’t notice. Now that it’s stopped completely that you notice and you’re concerned.
First take a minute to check  things out. Is the water turned on?
Or did someone turn it off? If that’s okay, turn the water off and inspect both hoses running to the machine. Unscrew each one and check the small screen filters in the hose end fittings.
Often they slowly clog up until they will not let any water pass through.
Clean them, replace and reattach the hoses, turn on the water and you may be surprised to find that it now fills and works just fine.
Bonus Tip: Finding a Leak
Leak: Are your water bills rising suspiciously even
though you’re not using more water?
Here’s how to track down a leak that’s robbing you blind. First, start with the usual suspects.
You know who they are: dripping faucets, running toilets and your every day petty water thieves.
If that’s not it and you can’t find any tell-tale puddles or wet spots on floors or ceilings below (signaling a leaking pipe or connection) then it’s time to step-up your investigation (with some sneaky surveillance techniques).
To determine if there’s a leak in the line coming into your house turn off the water where it enters your home. Note the reading on the water meter and then go off to work, shopping or whatever.
Later, when you come home check it again. If the meter reading has changed you’ve found the leak.
If it hasn’t you’ve still got a mystery on your hands that may take a plumber to solve.
Bonus Tip: Grilling
Grilling: Think you know barbecue grilling? Got all the answers for tasty outdoor cooking? Maybe not! Today you'll learn grilling secrets of the gurus and a few new tricks we'll bet you'll use.
First, do you keep a plant atomizer handy? Maybe you do (filled with water to douse flare-ups), but grilling gurus fill it with apple juice instead! It makes a "sweet" smoke and gives meats a rich and appealing mahogany color.
Try it! Using one of those "pricey" basting brushes to apply barbecue sauce and other stuff?
Grilling pros use a good paint brush instead; it works better, lasts longer, and costs less. Then there's the cast iron skillet.
Think it's for cooking in? No way! Putting it on top of meats helps them cook faster and brown better (with nice "sear" marks to boot!) Finally, always turn meats with tongs instead of stabbing them with a fork (which lets all the tasty juices run out.)
Of course, you knew all that, didn't you? Now go ahead and run out for some apple juice and an atomizer; we won't tell!
And, run into Island True Value Tackle & Hardware for your propane refill.
And that’s the tip of the week from Island True Value Tackle and Hardware.