Whether you are looking to replace a water heater or are wondering how to fix a socket on a lamp, Lou Manfredini is here to help. The TODAY contributor and host of “House Smarts” stopped by Studio 1A to answer viewer-submitted questions.
How can I replace a worn-out socket on a lamp without being electrocuted?
“This is one of the easiest things to do,” Lou said. "You can rewire a lamp for less than $15."
You can pick up spare sockets and a lamp cord at the hardware store. To install it, unplug the lamp. Take the cover off of the spare socket and notice the gold and silver screws. Your lamp cord will have a ribbed side. Take that side and attach it to the gold screw. Take the non-ribbed side of the cord and attach it to the silver screw. Put the cover back on and attach to the lamp.
During the winter, my dryer and microwave are freezing. You can feel a cold breeze coming from both when you open the doors. How can I fix this?
When you have an exhaust fan in an appliance, the metal on the fan actually draws the cold air in. To fix this, Lou recommends picking up the Backdraft Damper from Tamarack Technologies. The product has a sock that will trap the cold air, but the sock won't hinder your appliance's performance.
I want to replace my 8-year-old water thank as it started producing rusty water. Is there an economic advantage to installing an on-demand water heater instead?
The average life of a tank water heater is about 7 years and has a rod that can decay and rust the water. That rod can be replaced if you don't want to buy a new water heater, but Lou loves on-demand or tankless water heaters. They can often provide hot water for continuous use (including showers). They cost more upfront, but will last up to 20 years.
This story was originally published on March 13 at 11:40 a.m.