Andrew Lupton

Recent Articles and Blog Posts

Upgrading an old water valve

Valves are piled in the plumbing aisle, but which water stopper is best for your cottage job? Replace an old one with the same type, and you could miss out on a more reliable upgrade. Take a closer look at what’s inside your...

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How to fix a wobbly ceiling fan

Tighten: Rebalancing a wobbly ceiling fan is a trial-and-error process, with many trips up the ladder. Cut the power and check the fan’s electrical box—if it’s not tight, it’s the likely suspect. If it’s secure, tighten...

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How to solder copper pipe

There’s no reason an average Joe Plumber can’t match a pro in the art of soldering copper pipe. Those new to the task tend to over-apply the solder, coating pipe in unsightly silver gobs and telltale trickle marks. To improve...

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Modular docks: one piece at a time

When the old all-wood dock dies, consider replacing it with a more flexible solution. The two common types of modular kit docks, floating and pipe, solve a big closing-up challenge: making sure the dock is safe for winter. If...

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New solar heating

When the back bedroom, the bunkie, or the cottage workshop needs a little warming up, but a small plug-in electrical heater isn’t enough (or your cottage is off-grid), and a woodstove is more heating power than you need, is...

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7 electric-heater safety tips

The Consumer Products Safety Commission, a US government agency, estimates that from 2005 to 2007 portable electric heaters were involved in about 1,100 fires each year. Some safety tips: Choose a heater that shuts off...

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5 basic trailer tips

Constable David Hobson and his colleagues at the OPP often trade war stories about highway trailer mishaps: an ungreased wheel bearing so hot with friction it disintegrated at 120 km/h; the nylon cord on a trailer full of...

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5 steps for easy spark plug maintenance

Only a few inches long and a few dollars each, these workhorses pulse dozens of times every second in a small engine’s combustion chamber. Though humble enough, the simple spark plug can offer unrivalled insight into the...

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