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Inside & Out | A HELPING HAND

Want Hot Water Faster? Try Tapping These Ideas

August 10, 1996|JOHN MORELL | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

We have a problem getting hot water from the water heater in the back of our mobile home to the kitchen sink up front. We've heard that instant hot water units can be placed under a sink. Do those work for mobile homes?

L.F.

Westminster

A. You have two options, says plumber Steve Jameson of Placentia. The first is to install a recirculating pump, which will keep hot water circulating throughout the lines so that you won't have to wait long after turning on the tap for hot water.

The other option is to use an instant hot water unit. These are generally used to heat water for tea or cooking, not for cleaning use because the temperature of the water is so high and the flow from the faucet is somewhat low.

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Q. The air from my central air conditioner is cool, but it doesn't seem to be blowing out as hard as it used to. I've noticed the same problem with the furnace this past winter. What could be causing this?

L.L.

Brea

A. There are lots of possible reasons, says Scott Blanke of Central Plumbing & Heating Supply in La Habra.

A workman in the attic could have knocked a duct loose or put a hole in it that is allowing cool air to escape. Also, over time, dirt can collect on the inside of the ducts and can impede the airflow. The fan could be malfunctioning as well. You may need a professional to check the system and find the problem, Blanke says.

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Q. We have a golden retriever that we kept in our backyard during his first year. He would continually scratch the back porch door, to the point where he dug into the grain of the wood. Now that his scratching isn't a problem, how do we repair the door?

J.I.

Laguna Niguel

A. Sand the area around the damage to remove any loose paint, says Pete Gorman of Rancho Lumber in Westminster.

Use a good putty knife to fill in the holes with Spackle. After it's dry, sand and prime it before applying the finish coat. Some people install a piece of sheet metal to the area to protect the door.

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Q. The house we recently bought has a ceramic tile floor in the kitchen that's about 20 years old. The color of the tile is fine with us, but it has lost its glazing. Can tiles be reglazed while they're in place?

S.E.

Tustin

A. Glazing can be done only in the factory where the tiles are made, says Ken Bendle of California Wholesale Tile in Anaheim.

What you may be seeing is a dull finish on the tiles that could have occurred from poor or incorrect maintenance. Check with a tile shop about some professional cleaning supplies and try giving the tiles a good scrubbing. With the right touch they could look like new.

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Q. Last year we had cultured faux marble counter tops installed in our bathrooms, and although they still look great they don't feel great. Hair spray has collected on the surface, and we haven't been able to remove it with soap and sponge. I'm reluctant to use abrasives since I don't want to damage the top. What else can I try?

W.E.

Huntington Beach

A. Most hardware stores that carry bathroom vanities carry a product, such as Gel Gloss, that cleans and polishes faux marble, says Frank Eckert of Arrow True Value Hardware in Orange. Look for stone cleaners and make sure that they're recommended for cultured or synthetic marble and that they're not abrasive.

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