A garbage disposer is never supposed to run at the same time as a dishwasher
Dear Glenn: My house is about 3 years old. My kitchen sink would fill with water about half way when my dishwasher was draining and I would turn on my garbage disposer to take the water down. Now when we use the dishwasher, it does not drain at all. Could you please help?
Dear Gary: A garbage disposer is never supposed to run at the same time as the dishwasher. You may well have plugged the dishwasher drain. It's time to call a plumber.
Remove drips from your pavers
Dear Glenn: We had pavers installed on three small patios this spring and there are a lot of efflorescence and drips on the pavers. The paver installer insists that "Mother Nature" will take care of it, do you have a better solution?
Jean, Bellingham, WA
Dear Jean: Your best bet would be to use a good paver stripper. If you are happy with the results after stripping, reseal.
Removing stains from concrete
Dear Glenn: A contractor patched an area in the upper basement wall of our condo with cement when fixing a leaking pipe. He left a 2-by-3-foot black stain on the floor below. It is the same color as the cement patch. We are trying to sell the condo, but the stain turns prospective buyers off. Any ideas?
Donn, Shelby Township
Dear Donn: The solution depends upon what made the black stain. Call the contractor and find out what he used. If it has a tar or asphalt base, a product such as Prosoco, (800) 255-4255, www.prosoco.com, Sure Klean Asphalt & Tar Remover could work. If the stain is not oil-based, PROSOCO Sure Klean Heavy Duty Concrete Cleaner could do the job. Your best bet would be to go to J.C. Cornillie, (586) 293-1500, as soon as you get the product information from the contractor. Tell the folks at the desk what product the contractor used, and they will be able to select the proper cleaner.
If that doesn't work, you can have the stain ground off the concrete, but that should be your last alternative. Cornillie should also be able to recommend a contractor that would do the grinding, if necessary.
Remove calcium and lime deposits from your bathroom glass sliding door
Dear Glenn: What is the best way to remove calcium and lime deposits from my bathroom glass sliding doors that are around my shower? I have tried CLR (Calcium, Lime and Rust Remover), ZEP, The Works, Kaboom, Shower Tub and tile Cleaner, 409 and Windex. None of these cleaners take off the milky white from the glass.
Victor, El Paso, Texas
Dear Victor: I am sorry you worked so hard. Unfortunately, calcium and lime deposits are very abrasive and the "film" you describe is actually a mass of fine scratches. The only fix is replacement.
Wet insulation and drywall have to be removed
Dear Glenn: Two weeks ago, the water line in my upstairs bathroom came loose and water flooded my upstairs bathroom. The water ran down the outside walls of my living room (downstairs) and into the basement. The walls are insulated. Do I need to have the drywall and insulation removed?
Dear Barbara: You are correct. Wet insulation and drywall have to be removed or you will have a strong probability of mold damage.
Sealing the ducts will help put the cold where it is supposed to be
Dear Glenn: We just finished our lower level walkout basement. We have one high-efficiency furnace for a 2,600 square-foot house, excluding the lower level. It is freezing when the air conditioning is on, and very, very cold when the heat is on.
We would like to use the rooms, but the temperatures are too extreme. Is there a company we can call to help us with the temperature in the lower level? Do we need to get a new furnace for the lower level, even though all the ductwork is already in place?
Dear Marlene: I'd maximize the basement insulation, seal the ducts and rim joists and install a direct-vent fireplace. Robert Carey, Infrared Services of Michigan, (810) 329-9033, www.ismichigan. com, has a new division that specializes in sealing ducts and insulating rim joists. Sealing the ducts will help put the cold where it is supposed to be and stop it from leaking into the basement. Also, ask if he can insulate the ductwork.
Aladdin Fireplace Design Center, (248) 475-0667, can show you how a direct-vent fireplace will heat and dry out the humid basement air while adding charm and ambiance to the basement.
Michigan hasn't banned TSP
Dear Glenn: In a recent column, you recommended trisodium phosphate (TSP) to a reader. It is my understanding that this product has been banned. I recently purchased a TSP substitute by Savogran that contains no phosphorus.
-- Jim, Seattle
Dear Jim: TSP has been banned in six states. That leaves 44 states, including Michigan, where it is not banned. Unfortunately, TSP without phosphate does not do as good a cleaning job. If TSP is unavailable, you would be better off getting something like Krud Kutter, (800) 466-7126, www.krudkutter.com, or a specialized cleaner for your specific cleaning job.
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