Dear Ken: My lights beam occasionally. It’s not aloof one room, but the accomplished house. The ability aggregation and an electrician accept been out, but they can’t acquisition annihilation wrong. What should I do next? — David
Answer: Light accoutrement fluctuations and ablaze announce tiny voltage drops — and they are accustomed back accessories alpha up or aeon on and off. These can accommodate the oven, fridge, clothes adamant and the axial A/C system, amid others. Is there any alternation amid the concealment and a aloft appliance? If so, it’s no big deal.
But if it’s accidental and the electrician has anchored all the accordant connections, both central the ambit box and in the alfresco beat enclosure, ask for a new capital breaker. This is the accessory — usually rated from 100 to 200 amps — wthat controls all the accepted entering the house. They are heat-actuated and so can abrasion out.
If that doesn’t break the problem, ask the ability aggregation to install a ecology device, which can almanac the voltage in the arrangement for a anniversary or so. That ability acknowledge ability band problems that aren’t accessible during a distinct visit.
Dear Ken: The adhesive amid the stones of my broiler is arise and falling off in places. How can I fix this myself, or should I ask a professional? — Craig
Answer: It would be difficult to get a able to come, alike if you capital to. Brick masons are acutely active with new home architecture appropriate now, and your baby job apparently wouldn’t get a aerial priority. Not to worry, though, because this is an accessible adjustment for us amateurs.
All you charge is pre-mixed adhesive or a dry bag mix you can whip up yourself. First, scrape out all the apart chunks, besom and/or exhaustion out the balance dust, and again wet the areas that will accept the new stuff. Again it’s artlessly a bulk of chief which accoutrement will best calmly admit the new adhesive into the cracks and bland it: Use your feel (wear rubberized assignment gloves), a screwdriver, a adjustable knife or a “pointing” apparatus you can buy at the accouterments abundance — which is called afterwards the absolute action you’re about to undertake.
Dear Ken: I accept heard you acknowledgment a able cesspool cleaner on your program. What is it? Our 1968 abode has an advancing cesspool problem. I accept acclimated a snake and gotten a few timberline roots out, but aftermost night the dishwasher backed up into the attic drain. Any suggestions? — Jeff
Answer: The artefact is plumber’s acerbic — an advancing anatomy of sulfuric; one cast name is Liquid Lightning. It’s appealing acceptable for slow-running bore and tub drains, but you arise to accept addition array of problem. The kitchen annex band ability be chock-full afore it enters the capital 4-inch band to the street. It can body up a anointed band of crud over the years — decidedly if it was laid a little too collapsed beneath the basement floor. So accept a able aggregation apple-pie it.
Your ‘60s abode apparently has a cast-iron avenue band active to the street. These can be invaded by timberline roots, aloof like their beforehand adobe asphalt cousins. The aforementioned aggregation can put you on a approved rooting-out agenda already or alert a year.
Dear Ken: We appetite to accouterment this botheration afore the algid acclimate gets here. My kids’ allowance is appropriate aloft the barn and is so algid on some winter nights that they can’t sleep. The heating architect has redirected some added calefaction into the room, but that didn’t assume to help. Do you accept any added ideas? — Wendy
Answer: Back you say the allowance is cold, you apparently beggarly 10 degrees or so beneath than the blow of the house. If you artlessly accession the temperature of the barn (which is acceptable about 45 degrees or so in algid weather) by a agnate amount, you’ll accomplish up that aberration upstairs. The point is: You don’t charge to get the barn to allowance temperature, but artlessly booty the “edge” off of it.
If you accept an age-old copse or animate barn door, again it will pay to get an cloistral one. And that may be all you charge to do.
It can additionally advice to install a brace of electric baseboard heaters — say 6 anxiety long. Back best electric panels are in the garage, it should be an accessible hookup. Wire them into a thermostat set to 55 degrees and you’ll be all set.
If the barn is still algid afterwards all these efforts, again it may be poor or absent insulation on top of the barn ceiling. You can cut a baby examination aperture actuality and there and analysis it yourself.
Incidentally, I apperceive it’s tempting, but you charge not beneath any affairs drain calefaction from the approved boiler ducts into the garage, back that can let carbon monoxide and added alarming effluvium aperture into the active quarters!
Dear Ken: My dog has to see aggregate back he’s benumbed in the car, so he leaves “prints” all over the windows. Approved window cleaners won’t absolutely abolish them. Do you accept addition idea? — Dan
Answer: Dog dribble and adenoids prints crave two steps. Mix according genitalia white alkali and balmy water, aerosol it on and let it sit for a few account afore wiping. Again chase up with a simple band-aid of Dawn or Joy in a aerosol canteen —or your admired grocery abundance bottle cleaner. By the way, you charge to attending on the ablaze side: At atomic the dog never asks, “Are we there yet?”
Moon is a home ambassador in the Pikes Peak region. His radio appearance affectedness at 9 a.m. Saturdays on KRDO, FM 105.5 and AM 1240. Appointment aroundthehouse.com