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A Way to Keep the Old Refrigerator Door Shut

March 21, 1992|JOHN MORELL

Question: I have an old latch-door refrigerator in the garage that still works great for storing extra food that won't fit in my kitchen refrigerator. Since my grandchildren have been coming over, I've put a big chain around the refrigerator and padlocked it to keep them from getting inside. Is there an easier way to make it safe and keep the door closed?



Answer: "It's a good thing you're concerned about keeping that door locked," says Tom Houlihan of Orange County Appliance Parts in Garden Grove. "Although these old refrigerators aren't around much anymore, they can be very dangerous to children. There are no specific locks you can get, but you can take the pin out of the latch to render it useless, then install a simple magnet latch to the frame and door that will keep it sealed. If a child should get inside, he or she could easily push the door open."

Q: We're going to be painting two bedrooms in our home, and we've been told that using painting pads rather than rollers and brushes will produce a more even, cleaner job. Is that the case?


Santa Ana

A: "I always say you're better off using a brush and roller," says Joe Ragsdale of Color Center in La Mirada. "The pads are a little too slow. The paint has a tendency to dry at the edges of a line and you end up getting lap marks. On small jobs, the pads generally do a good job, but when you have a wall or any other large surface, you'll see a better job done with rollers and brushes. Even with edges, you're better off with a brush, since a pad won't give you the contour that a brush will."

Q: I'm looking to buy a few of those motion sensors to install on my outdoor floodlights for security. However, some of my neighbors who have them complain that they never seem to work as they should. Are these effective? Or should I wait a few years until the manufacturers perfect them?


Lake Forest

A: "These aren't actually motion sensors; they're heat sensors," says Ed Steenbergen of Martenet Hardware in Anaheim. "They're activated by heat from the body or a car. The problems you've seen with them may have been because they're not adjusted or installed properly. You can make them sensitive enough to go off when someone gets within a few feet of your house or when they step off the sidewalk into your yard."

Q: I've got some plaster "blisters" around the wall outside my shower. What's causing these?


Costa Mesa

A: "It sounds like moisture from the shower is getting underneath the paint and causing the plaster to separate from the paint, causing the paint to peel and bubble," says Mark Bolton of Dickenson Lumber & Hardware in La Habra. "This often happens when the paint is old. It can also occur in newer homes with wallboard, with the moisture getting in behind the paper that covers the wallboard. To repair it, the bubble has to be cut out or sanded down, patched with a wallboard or plaster patch, then repainted."

Q: To install a tub enclosure, I'm going to have to drill through ceramic tile. Should I put a piece of tape over the point where I'll be drilling to keep it from shattering?


Mission Viejo

A: "You might as well use a diamond-tip drill bit made exclusively for drilling through glass and ceramics," says Richard Dittberner of Ganahl Lumber Co. in Anaheim. "This kind of tip is so sharp, you generally don't need to prepare anything for it."

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