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Water Heater Maintenance

July 2nd, 2014 • DIY HomeNo Comments »

Proper water heater maintenance is easy to forget to do.  Your water heater sits tucked away in a basement or closet.  Most people usually find out they have a problem when there is no hot water.  But with a little planned maintenance, you can prevent issues and extend the life of your water heater.  I was recently doing some work on my water heater, and so I figured I would write a quick post about it.

Things that can help your water heater live a long happy life:

-Flush your water heater each year.

-Check the anode rod when you flush the water heater. *

-Replace the anode rod if it is heavily deteriorated.*

*Quick tip: Use an impact wrench with a 1-1/16″ socket to loosen the anode rod if you are having trouble removing it.

Another common issue that is often easy to fix is a pilot light that won’t stay lit.  There is a device called a thermocouple that controls the flow of gas to the pilot light and burner.  The thermocouple is heated by the pilot light.  If the thermocouple is cold (pilot light not lit), it is supposed to shut off the gas.   If it is hot (pilot light lit), it is supposed to allow the gas to flow.  When these go bad, they fail safe to the off position and shut off the gas.  They are usually easy to replace and you can get a new one at most hardware stores.

-Daniel

 

Is Google Down?

May 5th, 2014 • Tech TipsNo Comments »

If you ever find yourself in a situation where you are questioning whether or not a Google service is experiencing trouble, there is a quick and easy way to check.   Google calls it the “Apps Status Dashboard”, as it is meant for users of Google Apps.  Anyone can access it, and anyone who uses Google services (such as Gmail, Google Calander, Google Drive, etc.) will find it useful in the event of a service outage.  It conveniently displays the current status of each Google service, as well as the history from the last seven days.  When an outage is reported, there will be an orange or red circle in that services row which can be clicked on for more details and updates on the issue.

http://www.google.com/appsstatus

-Daniel

Hard Drive Reliability

May 29th, 2013 • Server StuffNo Comments »

Just a word to the wise.  If you have a home file server or NAS, use enterprise class hard drives, such as Seagate constellation or WD RE drives.  Normal desktop drives aren’t meant to run 24/7 like the enterprise class drives.  They are a little more expensive, but the added reliability will be worth it in the long run.

-Daniel