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My annual trek to the National Hardware Show in Las Vegas gives me an opportunity to focus on new home products that would be useful for my readers. While there are plenty of things on display at the show that I have seen before, there are always a few innovative products that stand out each year.
If you have a "running toilet" problem and have to jiggle the handle or take the water closet lid off to push down the flapper to stop the water flow, the HydroStop Flapper Alternative from MJSI Inc., (815) 741-9768, www.gomjsi.com, should fix the problem for good. The HydroStop replaces the toilet's rubber flapper with a sturdy tower that drops onto the flush valve opening when flushed to create a better seal and eliminate the possibility of leaks.
The HydroStop also features patented S.T.O.P. technology (safe toilet overflow protection) that helps prevent bowl overflows in the event of a clog by simply lifting up on the handle, which closes the flush valve.
If your home was built prior to 1978, there is a good chance that lead paint was used on the walls. The 3M Co. was highlighting its Lead Check Swabs, www.leadcheck.com, which provide an easy and effective way to check whether your home has lead before you embark on any improvements. By simply using a swab on your drywall or plaster walls and ceilings, or wood or ferrous metal surfaces, the swab will turn either pink or red depending on the amount of lead present in the surface.
If you have ever done a painting project in your home, there is a good chance you have used FrogTape multisurface painterstape by ShurTech Brands, (877) FROGTAPE, www.frogtape.com. At the show, the company was introducing its newest product line, the FrogTape Delicate Surface, with a low adhesion that can be used on fresh paint to help with your faux finishing project. It is also usable on wallpaper and freshly primed wallboard.
As the focus for most Michigan homeowners turns to outdoor projects and activities this time of year, I found three products that can be very useful this summer:
The Deck Keeper from LTL Home Products, (800) 360-1585, www.ltlhomeproducts.com, is a great way to keep your outdoor furniture, umbrella, planters or barbecue grill secure on your deck on a windy day. The Deck Keeper features a plastic anchor that slides between your deck boards and an eyelet for attaching a bungee cord that can be used to secure your outdoor items. The company also markets a Dock Keeper for use on your boat dock.
A Michigan-made product, The Handler, (800) 313-0473, www.thehandler.net, is a multi-head yard tool set that allows you to attach a digging shovel, leaf and garden rakes and a push broom to one durable handle. The multiple tool heads snap onto the handle easily, and The Handler set takes up less space in the garage than four individual yard tools. The Handler also comes with wall mounts for hanging the set on the garage wall.
The Boomerope, (403) 472-6541, www.boomerope.com, is a rope-threading tool that enables you to thread a line or rope around a pole, tree or other sturdy support system without having to climb a ladder. You can then use these support lines to hang tarps over a picnic table at the campground, hang a birdhouse or thread lines for backyard party decorations or lighting.
Just a reminder that many of these products are new to the market and may not be available at your local hardware store. I recommend going to the company websites I have listed to find a retailer in your area.
If you would like to suggest a question for this column, email email@example.com. If you want to talk to Glenn Haege personally, call his “Handyman Show” on WJR-AM (760) at (866) ASK GLENN, (866) 275-4536, between noon and 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. “The Handyman Show” can be heard on more than 130 radio stations nationwide.
Note: This article was accurate at the date of publication. However, information contained in it may have changed.
If you plan to use the information contained herein for any purpose, verification of its continued accuracy is your responsibility.