Hello there and welcome to our monthly feature of all kinds of tips.
We at the business desk are pleased to bring you our monthly feature of a
plethora of tips that cover a wide range of topics.
All of our tips are designed to help you save time, cut down on your
research, and help you get ahead.
So go ahead and read on.
This week we bring you our monthly tips.
It’s what we do for a living! We help you to help yourself!
From the business desk team at http://www.sterlingcreations.com.
Follow us on Twitter @accessibleworld
Helpful tips for September 2017
In this issue:
Articles of the day
From the pages of Donna’s travel diary
Courtesy of the research team at http://www.sterlingcreations.ca
What can you freeze?
Here are some suggestions:
You should not try to freeze cucumbers, tomatoes, or lettuce.
You can freeze nuts and cheese.
In the case of cheese, wrap in parchment paper and then wrap this in foil.
A home remedy for a tooth ache?
Place a baby aspirin on a small cotton ball
Then place on the tooth that pains.
Another home remedy but this time for an upset stomach?
Mix a few drops of bitters into a glass of luke warm water.
Drink glass of mixture after each visit to the washroom.
Okay then, which type of lettuce absorbs salad dressing the best?
Answer: It is Romain lettuce.
About coconut oil:
It does not burn on high heat.
Alcohol does not freeze.
The difference between red onions and white onions?
The red onion has a much sweeter taste.
Articles of the day
Chosen by the Business Desk team
A Dan Thompson contribution
Fixing Toilets That Do Not Shut Off Properly
From the perspective of a blind person
I found this article quite useful when faced with having to fix our toilet.
So maybe someone else may be needing some guidance. Have a grate day.
Over time, toilets may leak small amounts of water from the tank into the
toilet bowl causing more water to be added. This not only uses water
needlessly, but can be startling if it occurs during the night when you may
be awakened by the sound of the tank being refilled. Usually this is caused
by one of three problems which can easily be fixed. The water level in the
tank may be at or above the top of the overflow pipe; the flapper or stopper
ball that closes off the outlet at the bottom of the tank may be defective;
or the fill valve may need replacing. This guide does not address repairs
that occur when water leaks onto the floor from the tank or at the floor
level. If there is interest, a future guide could address these problems.
Any of the problems of water leaking from the tank into the toilet bowl can
be repaired by someone with little or no vision by having the right tools,
correct replacement parts, and following these steps.
Tools you may need:
. Straight or philips screw drivers
. Channel lock pliers
. 8-inch or 10-inch adjustable wrench
Parts you may need depending on the cause of the leakage
. Replacement flapper
. Replacement fill valve
Steps to adjust the water level in the tank
You can tell by touch if the water level is above or near to the top end of
the overflow pipe. If this is the case, water is probably trickling down the
overflow pipe and down into the toilet bowl. The amount of water in a toilet
tank is usually adjusted in one of two ways. Older style fill valves have a
threaded rod about 6 or 8 inches long which is attached near the top of the
fill valve. A plastic or metal cylindrical float is attached to the end of
the rod. The float is about 2.5 inches in diameter and 3.5 inches long and
is rounded on each end. As the water level in the tanks raises, the float
and attached rod gradually closes the fill valve until it is totally turned
off. If the water level is above the overflow pipe, the valve can not
totally shut off. If there is a water level adjustment screw on the top of
the fill valve, you can lower the level of the water by turning it. If there
is no adjustment mechanism or you can’t find it, you can adjust the water
level by slightly bending the float rod down with your hands thus forcing
the valve to close with the water at a lower level.
Tip: Before bending the rod, make sure the rod and float are hand tightened
so that they will not rotate thereby eliminating the effectiveness of the
bend in the rod. If it is difficult to bend the rod while it is inside the
tank, you can unscrew the rod from the valve, bend the rod and then replace
it. Be sure when you reinstall the rod and float that the bend you have just
made has slightly lowered the float.
Tip: You may want to bend the float rod down a bit and then make another
bend so that the float is not pointed downward but is relatively parallel to
the surface of the water.
Newer style fill valves have a plastic float that slides up and down the
outside of the fill valve. This float is attached to a connector rod which
gradually turns the fill valve off. If the water level is too high, water
can run into the overflow tube. The float can be adjusted by setting the top
stop by adjusting a pinch clamp on the rod. This is quite easily done and
doesn’t require any tools.
Either of these adjustments take very little time and can solve the problem.
Steps to replace the flapper or stopper ball
The opening at the bottom of the tank is closed off allowing the tank to
fill with water with one of two different designs. A “flapper” or “stopper
ball” is attached to the flush lever. When the flush lever is raised the
flapper or stopper ball is pulled up allowing water to flow from the tank
into the toilet bowl. The stopper ball looks like a round rubber ball with a
hole in the bottom and a threaded insert at the top. The top of the ball is
attached to a threaded rod which is linked to the flush lever arm which,
when raised pulls the stopper ball away from the opening in the bottom of
the tank allowing water to flow into the toilet bowl. As the water flows out
of the tank, the ball is drawn down and closes off the opening at the bottom
of the tank. If the ball has developed cracks as can happen over time, it
will not properly seal off the opening and water may trickle down into the
Tip: If the flapper or stopper ball has developed cracks, you can often
detect these by examining the bottom of the stopper ball or flapper. Very
often you can feel the cracks or tell that the material (plastic or rubber)
has hardened thus preventing it from properly sealing the opening. The
flapper or stopper ball may also warp because of the effects of chlorine in
the water which may not be detectable by touch. Sometimes you can tell if
you raise and lower the flapper or stopper ball and let it drop. If it does
not fall properly into the outlet, it may need to be replaced.
Tip: It is a good idea to take the flapper from your toilet to the hardware
store or building supply outlet so that you can get the correct replacement.
Each brand has slight but important differences.
When the water levels drops low enough, the fill valve will open and the
tank will refill. The flapper serves the same purpose but is usually
attached to tabs on the fill valve tube. The flapper is attached with a
plastic or metal chain to the flush lever arm. As with the stopper ball, the
plastic flapper may have deteriorated over time and may not seal off the
opening properly. Replacing the flapper or stopper ball is not difficult to
do, usually does not require any tools, and often solves the problem.
Tip: When replacing the flapper or stopper ball, be sure that the opening
where they drop into is clear of debris or accumulated slime as this may
prevent a good seal.
Tip: After replacing the flapper or stopper ball, you may need to slightly
bend the flush lever arm to make sure it is lifting the flapper or stopper
ball straight up. You may also need to adjust the length of the chain that
connects the flapper with the flush arm.
Steps to replace a defective fill valve
You can sometimes tell if the fill valve is defective by lowering and
raising the float thus turning the water on and off. If it does not turn off
quickly when the float is raised, the washer inside the valve may have
deteriorated. To replace a defective fill valve you must first turn the
water supply off. Most often there is a shut off valve on the water supply
line just where it comes out of the wall just below the tank. If there is no
shut off valve or it does not totally shut off the water as can happen if
the shut off valve was installed some time ago, you will have to turn off
the water where the supply line comes into your house or apartment.
With newer fill valves, you can easily unscrew the valve assembly from where
it attaches at the inside bottom of the tank by grasping the top of the fill
valve and turning it counterclockwise. The replacement valve can be screwed
into the threaded fitting at the bottom of the tank and hand tightened.
Tip: Be sure that the replacement valve is the correct height for the size
of the toilet tank.
In many cases, you will need to detach the water supply line just below the
bottom of the tank by loosening the connecter nut on the supply line with a
channel lock pliers or adjustable wrench.
Tip: Some water supply lines are flexible and can easily be pulled away from
the threaded end of the fill valve. Older installations may have a copper or
brass connector line that can be slightly bent allowing it to be moved away
from the fill valve line. Sometimes in doing so, the tube will be bent
creating a “kink” in the tube. Moving it may also loosen the connection with
the tube where it attaches to the shut off valve. You may want or need to
replace the copper or brass line with a flexible line of the correct
diameter which will be easy to install and less likely to leak.
Before removing the locking nut that holds the fill valve in place, you
should remove as much water from the bottom of the tank as you can because
when you remove the fill valve assembly, any water will run out of the tank
onto the floor. To remove the hexagonal nut that secures the valve to the
tank, turn it counterclockwise. Once this nut is removed, you can reach
inside the tank and lift the valve and float assembly out of the tank. If
you are replacing a valve that has a float attached to the shut off valve
with a threaded rod as described above, you will most likely replace it with
a newer style valve that has the shut off float that slide up and down the
fill valve as described above. As mentioned before, be sure that the
replacement valve is the correct height for the size of the tank. Tighten
the nut below the tank being sure that the gaskets that seals off the
opening inside and below the tank are in place. Then, reattach the water
supply line and turn the water back on.
Tip: If you do not replace the water supply line from the valve to the tank,
be sure the old washer or gasket has not deteriorated as this will cause it
Tip: Once the water line has been reattached, check for leaks. Usually,
small leaks can be fixed by slightly tightening the appropriate locking nut.
Following these steps should fix any small leakage of water from the tank
into the toilet bowl and reduce your water bill.
Contributed by Dan Thompson
Simple tips to keep things beautiful and working Well Around the House
By Mary Hunt
FABULOUS FIXTURES. So you splurged on some really beautiful-dare I?say
expensive-sink fixtures for your kitchen or bathroom. Here’s a fabulous way
to keep them looking
beautiful for many years to come.
Once a month or so, wipe the faucets down with a rag that you havesprayed
with a wax-based furniture polish. This will keep mineral deposits from
building up and staining or
pitting the surface of even the most exquisite fixtures.
DUCT TAPE REPAIR. Got a shower curtain with a ripped ring hole that makes it
sag? Don’t throw it out quite yet. Instead, get out the duct tape and cover
the entire hole on
both sides. Using a hole punch or craft knife, re-create the ring hole. Now
it’s stronger than new. But maybe not so attractive. Not to worry. These
tape comes in loads of colors and even patterns. You may even want to
reinforce the entire top strip of the vinyl curtain with a bright color or
design and redo all of the
holes while you’re at it, not just the torn one.
BLOW-DRYER LONGEVITY. The intake area of a blow-dryer does more than
draw in air to cool the heating element. It also sucks in dust, hair,
makeup, hair spray, powder and anything else around it. That’s hard on the
motor and can cause it to
overheat and burn out. To keep your blow-dryer working for years, make sure
to vacuum the holes at the back of the dryer every time you vacuum the floor
in that room.
AUTOMATIC POTATO WASHER. When you have to wash a lot of potatoes (like
for Thanksgiving, which will be here soon), just put them in your
don’t add soap! Set it on a short wash cycle and “air dry.” The clean
potatoes can go right into the oven or pot.
HAPPY MOUSE. If you use a rollerball computer mouse-one that has a ball that
you can see when you turn the mouse upside down-then you need to clean the
inner workings at least
every month to keep it working smoothly. Otherwise, you’ll be paying for
replacements more frequently. Here’s how to clean it:
1) Unplug the mouse and turn it over. You will see the tracking ball as well
as a round ring that holds it in place. 2) Remove the ring by pressing down
and rotating it
counterclockwise until you can lift it off. 3) Flip the mouse over so that
the ball drops out. Wash the ball with warm tap water and mild soap, then
thoroughly dry it with a
4) Before replacing the ball and ring, look for three small
rollers (each about 1/16th-inch wide) inside the mouse cavity where the ball
sits. They will likely be covered with built-up dirt. Use cotton swabs or a
toothpick to scrape
off the dirt. Gently knock the still-open cavity down into the palm of your
hand to get rid of loose particles.
5) Replace the ball and ring cover.
From the pages of Donna’s travel diary
A memorable road trip
In early May of 2015 I and my friend Sue went on the road to Ottawa. Sue
had kindly agreed to drive me to Ottawa from Toronto to attend a function on
This was a great opportunity for me to have a relaxing trip as I had
previously been traveling a lot for the previous two weeks criss-crossing
Canada on business. It was also an opportunity for me to get to know Sue a
bit better but it also gave Sue an opportunity to interact with a blind
person more closely.
Things worked out really well for us both. I could not have asked for a
better traveling companion. Sue explained things to me at every turn. She
described my surroundings to me in great detail and took the additional time
to tell me where things were.
Her guiding techniques were super and she had no difficulty navigating with
me through crowds and around the buffet tables. She also fitted in
effortlessly when it came to socializing with other blind persons.
I was truly grateful for her help and companionship and we both learned a
lot from each other. The function on Parliament Hill went off without a
hitch for me.
I’m Donna J. Jodhan enjoying my travels.
To learn more about me, visit
On your next trip you could enrich your down time with some of my audio
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From recipes to apps, and from mystery moment to tips for entrepreneur and
Available for download at www.donnajodhan.com/takeanother5.html
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