Put Splash Pans Under Washers and Water Heaters to Catch Leaks
Once upon a time, water heaters and clothes washers always sat on concrete floors near drains, where spills and leaks wouldn’t hurt anything. Now they often sit on framed wood floors, sometimes on the second floor, where spills, overflows, broken hoses or slow drips can cause stains, rot and other potentially expensive water damage. For about $20, you can buy special pans at home centers and appliance dealers that catch slow leaks and mild overflows to prevent any kind of catastrophe during the holidays. Some have drain holes where you can connect a tube that leads to a floor drain. They won’t stop burst water lines or massive overflows, but they’re cheap insurance against water damage caused by minor spills and leaks.
And if your washing machine does start to leak, here’s how to fix the most common problems yourself.
Install surge protectors to protect your microprocessors and prevent data loss
Computer chips are sensitive and highly vulnerable to momentary power surges, especially powerful ones induced by lightning. When you’re adding additional items that need power, like Christmas lights, during the holidays, make sure your other electronics are protected. Losing a $1,000 computer is bad enough, but losing photos, music and other irreplaceable stuff on your hard drive is often much worse. Insulate your valuable microprocessors from this danger by plugging them into a surge protector. Better surge protectors ($40 and up) will have the following ratings printed somewhere on the box: meets UL 1449 or IEEE 587; clamps at 330 volts or lower; can absorb at least 100 joules of energy or more; and handles telephone lines and video cables as well.