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INSIDE & OUT | A HELPING HAND

Washer Leak Likely Linked to Old Pump

May 11, 1996|JOHN MORELL | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Q We have a 7-year-old Kenmore washing machine that leaks water periodically. After it's on for a few minutes, I find the area in front of the washer is damp. I assume this is because of a leaking hose, but could it be anything else?

K.K.

Buena Park

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A It's probably not a leaky hose, says Gary Kuhn of Appliance Parts Center in Laguna Niguel. A bad hose would leak all the time, as would a bad tub seal. In this type of washer, there's a pump that bolts directly to the washer that has a tendency to develop a slow leak around the shaft. Of course, check the hose and tub, but in all likelihood you're going to have to replace the pump.

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Q Over the past two months, I've noticed the lightbulbs in my house seem to be burning out more quickly than normal. What could be the cause?

W.V.

Newport Beach

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A There are a few things to look at, says Kathy McNally of McNally Electric Supply in Los Alamitos. If you changed several of your lightbulbs a year ago, it's probably normal that you're seeing them all burn out now. The problem could also be that these old bulbs were bought in one batch and they could be defective.

This could also be an indication of high voltage entering your house, in which case you'll need to ask your electric company to check on the problem. Bulbs are rated for voltages of 115, 120 and 130. A 130-volt bulb will have more life, but will give you less illumination.

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Q The 5-year-old ceiling fan in our bedroom makes a clicking noise when it's turned up high, but nothing appears to be hitting the blades when they're turning. What could this be?

H.N.

Yorba Linda

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A Sometimes the chain inside the motor can hang down and it might hit a screw or a piece of metal, which can cause the noise, says Bob Owenby of A-1 Fans in Anaheim. Because of the vibration caused inside of the fan, it's also not uncommon to see screws loosen and get struck by moving parts in the motor. You'll need to remove the housing and take a look or have it checked by a technician.

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Q We're thinking of extending our concrete patio another three feet into the backyard. Our concern is that we want the old and new concrete to match. Can this be done?

G.K.

Costa Mesa

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A When you have old and new concrete, even if they're from the same mix, you're not going to be able to blend them together, says Bill Sink of Angelus Quarries in Santa Ana. You might be able to make it all look similar, however. If your present patio is darker, you may be able to find a darker mix for it, or if it's lighter, a lighter mix might suit you. Or, you can always paint both surfaces so they match.

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