Tips for Washer Problems / Ceiling Fan Support / What Causes Dark Lines on a Drywall Ceiling?

In Miscellaneous, Q&A on August 21, 2012 at 10:04 am

Please pass along my blog to all your family and friends. I’d really appreciate it!

Today’s home repair tip may help you come clean.

If your clothes washing machine isn’t filling with water rapidly, it may be that its supply hose is kinked, the supply valves are not fully open or the filter screen washers may be clogged. The solution to the first two is obvious, but the last problem is a tiny bit more involved.

The first step to cleaning the screens is to unplug the washer and pull it away from the wall to gain access to the water-inlet mixing valve on the machines back where the hoses screw into the washer. Next, turn both the hot and cold water inlet valves off and unscrew the hoses from the mixing valve. A little water may leak out, so keep a towel and a bucket handy. Using a thin blade screwdriver or needle nose pliers, carefully remove the filter from each valve inlet. Clean each screen under running water with an old toothbrush. Re-install the screens with the rounded part of the screen facing you. Before reattaching the hoses to the inlet-mixing valve, unscrew the hoses from the hot and cold supply valves, and check for screens at this end. If you find screens there, clean or replace them if damaged.

Finally, before you replace those rubber hoses, throw them away and install steel braided hoses that are less resistant to bursting, flooding your house and bursting your bubble.

Ceiling Fan Support

We can all use a little extra support now and then but so do those ceiling fans as well.

Conventional ceiling outlet boxes should never be used as sole support of a paddle fan, no matter how securely the box is mounted. There have been documented failures because regular boxes are not designed for rotating fan loads. Read that as the fan falling down and hitting you on the noggin.

To install a paddle fan there are two options: The first is to replace the ceiling box with one of similar size that is specifically listed and marked as acceptable for fan support. Several designs are available in electrical supply houses and home centers for these installations. This method will probably be necessary if the existing box is mounted between the framing members.

The other option is to avoid using the box as the primary support. This approach may be practical if the box is secured through the back to the heavy horizontal cleat or framing member. First, attach the fan bracket to the box then using additional screws of sufficient size and length, secure the bracket directly to a cross member.

I hope I have a lot more fans by sharing this information.


I have a friend who has dark linear shadow lines on the ceiling. Do you know what is causing this? Does the shadow know?


If you have dark lines on the drywall ceiling below an attic, you’ll find it’s no coincidence that they run not only parallel with the ceiling joists, but directly beneath each joist.

Now, although you may have insulation between the joists in the attic floor, the tops of the joists are exposed to the low winter temperatures in the attic. Since the wood joists are not effective insulators, they act as thermal bridges. Consequently, the temperature at the underside of the joists (at the drywall ceiling) is lower that the adjacent sections of the ceiling that is covered with insulation batts. Because of the lower temperature below the joists, condensation (however slight) tends to form along those areas. Over time, the moisture traps dust and also results in mildew growth, which shows up as shadow lines. To prevent this from recurring, wash the ceiling with a mixture of T.S.P. and bleach. Rinse, let dry and then repaint if needed but use a paint containing a mildewcide. Next, install insulation batts over the exposed ceiling joists. Ideally, the insulation should fill the spaces between the joists and cover the tops of the joists as well. This last layer of batts should be installed perpendicular to the joists. However you install the insulation, make sure to use a type that does not have foil or a kraft-paper vapor barrier. And be sure additional insulation does not cover soffit vents or recessed light housings (unless the housings are IC type rated for direct contact with insulation.)


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