QUESTION: I have had a hot water recirculating pump installed in my home for 13 years. When it was installed, I wanted the fast hot water delivery for the kitchen so I could run the dishwater with the shortest wait.
But I have always had the same problem: I cannot get cold water to run from the kitchen faucet when the recirculating pump runs. It is also difficult to run cold water for the garbage disposal while doing dishes. The bathrooms don’t have this issue; cold is cold and hot is hot. Can this be corrected?
ANSWER: I feel pretty safe in saying that yes, this problem can be corrected, although it’s problematic to diagnose without seeing what is going on. But the extent of the corrections that are needed have to be determined by a licensed plumber after review and inspection of the supply and distribution piping in the cabinet under your sink. Some crossed lines may need to be reversed.
Q: I have a ceiling fan that keeps wobbling. I have used weights on the blades to try to balance it, but it still wobbles. How do I fix the problem?
A: Most of the time, it’s because the mounting bracket or the screws on the blades are loose. Get up there with a screwdriver and tighten up everything you can see. This loosening up process often occurs because of the movement of the blades and the slight vibration they cause.
Q: My wife wants to fill in our sunken living room to raise it to the level of the rest of the house. So, we’re interviewing contractors. If we do fill it in, I’m wondering how they will keep the concrete moist enough to set properly. And what will the moisture from the concrete do to our wallboard? We also have a sliding glass door that’s at the current floor level; what do I do about that?
A: Workers won’t water the concrete; it will have all the moisture it needs to set properly. The drywall should be cut back to the level of the new concrete. While drywall may absorb some moisture, it will evaporate without doing damage. As for the door, the standard size of a sliding glass door is 80 inches tall; so, you will be about 4.5 inches short in the framed opening. But you don’t want to install a shorter than average custom-made door. You just need to raise the structural beam above the door to get the opening to the proper height.
Q: I put new stucco on the outside of my manufactured house two years ago along with installing new windows. But the house seemed colder this winter than when I had the old siding. Is that normal?
A: In the long run, the process should give you more thermal stability. You will probably be a lot cooler in the summer time. Perhaps the recent cold spell was part of the problem this winter.
Q: I have wooden fascia trim on the windows of my adobe house and there is a lot of peeling paint on the wood along with rough ridges. After I clean it up and sand it, should I use a latex paint or do I need to use an oil-based primer first?
A: Stick to using 100 percent acrylic paint of the highest quality. Proper surface preparation is critical to a long lasting paint job. So make sure that all the old loose paint and dust is thoroughly removed first.