Expensive Ken: My home wants a brand new water heater. Mine is about 12 years outdated, and I appear to keep in mind that you advocate changing a 40 gallon with a 50. Is that proper? — Charles
Reply: I feel it’s a good suggestion. You’ll solely pay about $100 extra for the bigger measurement; it’s value it to have that further provide of scorching water if you happen to’re doing two issues directly, like having a shower and maybe washing a load of garments.
However why substitute it in any respect proper now? I don’t consider in throwing away a wonderfully working water heater till it truly decides to surrender the ghost. Twelve years outdated is decidedly not historical for any name-brand water heater. So I’d wait till the tank begins dribbling out of the underside earlier than you substitute. You’ll nonetheless be capable of get scorching water for just a few days, however the puddle below the tank will inform you it’s time to buy round for a brand new one.
Expensive Ken: I’ve cussed appliqués caught to my bathe flooring. I’ve tried WD-40, Goof Off and bleach. Another concepts? — Diane
Reply: Why not strive warmth? Wave a hair dryer set on low over the stick-ons (don’t linger in a single spot too lengthy, otherwise you danger cracking the bathe base). They may most likely launch after some time. For no matter residue is left, strive a bit of Goo Gone model solvent.
Expensive Ken: I need to replace my wiring. I’ve two exterior retailers. Can I exploit simply a type of as GFI retailers or do I want two? — Gary
Reply: When you can determine which method they’re fed — that’s, which outlet is “upstream” (closest to the panel) — you possibly can insert a GFI into its opening, and wire the second to the load facet of the brand new one. That method you’ll have safety for each. How are you going to determine all this out? You’ll need to disconnect the wires to every one and see which one is “scorching.” It’s pretty difficult and a bit of harmful, so if you happen to’re in any respect uncomfortable round stay wires, please name an electrician.
GFI (floor fault) retailers weren’t required in new houses till about 1974, after which solely round toilet sinks, within the storage and on exterior areas — together with backyard sheds. Steadily, we added kitchen and bar sinks plus the laundry and sump pumps to the record. So if you happen to don’t have these security gadgets controlling the retailers round all these “moist” areas, it’s a good suggestion to put in them now. It’s fairly low-cost safety; you should purchase them in a three-pack for round $10 every.
Expensive Ken: I’ve heard you discuss utilizing a complete home fan plus central A/C. Do you run them each on the similar time? — Alan
Reply: Not until you wish to waste cash. Right here’s probably the most cost-efficient method to make use of them each. Monitor the skin temperature within the night. When it will get decrease than the setting in your thermostat, then begin your entire home fan. That method, the home will likely be saved at or under your temperature desire with out operating that costly compressor. As well as, the attic will then be cooled down from its daytime excessive. Bear in mind, the entire home fan solely has to run for 20 minutes or so to get the job accomplished.
One precaution. The entire home fan pulls a whole bunch of cubic toes of air per minute into the home. But when the openings aren’t adequate, it would search to tug it down by means of the water heater, which may suck fumes into the residing house. So present loads of incoming air for the fan to flow into — the patio and entrance doorways plus the home windows in different rooms you need to quiet down
Expensive Ken: You had stated you had a home made every day bathe cleansing recipe. Might you repeat it? — Ellen
Reply: This was an entry into our Tip of the Week contest on the radio present. A listener makes use of a sprig bottle crammed with water and a few liquid dishwasher detergent plus that rinse agent you place within the dispenser within the door. It performs the identical wetting agent duties because the expensive every day sprays you purchase on the grocery retailer, however at primarily no price. He was a bit of uncertain of the proportions; simply “a squirt and a splash” sort of factor. So that you’ll need to experiment. I’d begin with ½ teaspoon of every in a big spray bottle. Let me know the way it works.
Expensive Ken: Our deck faces southwest and I’m having an issue maintaining it wanting good. Stains simply don’t final that lengthy, so I’m considering of a grey carpet over it. What do you suppose? — Mel
Reply: I’m in opposition to it. Carpeting absorbs and holds moisture nearly yr round. Which means the wooden beneath it by no means has an opportunity to “breathe” and dry out. That may prematurely age your deck boards and the joists beneath. Even redwood has a tough time surviving these moist circumstances, and it, too, will ultimately begin to deteriorate.
Plan on utilizing a very good oil- or water-based stain (not a water sealer) every spring. Select a tinted model, not clear. Each third or fourth yr you’ll need to strip off the end with one of many deck brightening chemical substances earlier than you recoat.
Alternatively, you might set up one of many composite (plastic) deck programs. They’re pretty expensive, however just about upkeep–free and include warranties of 20 years or extra. Prior to installing the brand new boards, apply some Ice and Water Defend tar paper to the highest of every joist to get rid of that perpetual moist spot that additionally results in rotted wooden.
Lastly, it’s a good suggestion to make use of pump sprayer on the underside of your deck each few years to guard those self same joists from water dripping by means of the deck boards.
Ken Moon is a house inspector within the Pikes Peak area. His call-in radio present airs at four p.m. Saturdays on KRDO, FM 105.5 and AM 1240. Go to aroundthehouse.com