How I accidentally fixed the garage door

My garage door wouldn’t go down. You know the drill–you push the button, the door goes down for a few seconds, then reverses course, and maybe your opener blinks at you a few times. Not all garage door openers do the blinky thing though.

The reason is simple. The safety sensors couldn’t see each other, so they assumed something, or worse yet, someone, was in the way, in danger of being hit by the door, and made the opener reverse course. As annoying as a door is that won’t close, a door that mashes stuff is a lot worse.

My sensors couldn’t see each other because we’d moved some stuff around and, I guess we bumped one of them. Read more

Install an outlet for an above range microwave

We have a house with an above range microwave, but no nearby outlet to plug it into. The previous owners simply ran an extension cord. While I’m not 100% positive this is illegal to do in my locality, the safety is questionable and it certainly goes against the manufacturer’s recommendations. My home inspector wanted me to install an outlet. Here’s how to install an outlet for an above range microwave.

Better yet, I did it over the drywall without tearing into any walls, and spending less than $20.

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No, using an emergency fund to pay off credit card debt isn’t a good idea

It seems like I’ve been finding a lot of financial questions online lately. I guess that’s good–it means people are thinking. The best question I’ve found this week is whether you should use your emergency fund to pay off credit card debt.

Mathematically, it makes sense to do so. But one thing I remember hearing time and time again as we were paying off massive quantities of debt was not to empty bank accounts in order to do it. The reason for it was simple: Life is unpredictable. Read more

What you should know about your first credit card

Lifehacker asked what a first-time credit card owner needs to know. As someone who first got a credit card at the age of 20 and is still reaping the benefits of using one correctly from the start, I have some advice to give on that.

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LED bulb garage door opener interference

While installing a new garage door opener, I found a curious statement in the manual: Don’t use LED bulbs. Why can’t you use LED bulbs in a garage door opener? Six words: LED bulb garage door opener interference. Read more