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Inside & Out | A HELPING HAND

There's No Need to Get Abrasive

November 09, 1996|JOHN MORELL | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Q. I'm having a hard time cleaning my glass shower door. Hard-water stains have built up on the glass, and although I've tried both bleach and lime remover, it doesn't get completely clean. Any ideas?

L.E.

Garden Grove

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A. The first thing to do is stop using abrasive cleaners such as lime removers, bleach and window cleaners with ammonia, says Katy Jackson of Maley's Glass in Anaheim. These can damage your shower frame, especially if it's made of anodized aluminum and/or plastic.

Most glass shops carry specialized products for removing scale and deposits that aren't harmful to shower frames. A good tip is to keep a squeegee inside the shower and, after each shower, wipe the glass off to prevent deposits from building up.

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Q. I'm interested in wallpapering the ceiling of my dining room, but is there a way to do it without breaking my back and making the patterns run crooked?

L.L.

Costa Mesa

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A. The first thing to do is apply a wallpaper sealer to the surface of the ceiling, says Gene Teramura of Dutch Boy Home Decorating Center in Santa Ana. This will give the paper a better surface to stick on, which is especially helpful when putting paper on the ceiling.

If the paper has a pattern, ideally you want it to run in line with your eyesight as you walk into the room, rather than crossing. Otherwise, apply wallpaper to the ceiling as you would to the wall.

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Q. I have a 13-year-old furnace/air conditioning unit on the roof of my house, and when I turned the furnace on for the first time last week, nothing happened. The thermostat clicked, but the fan never turned on. However, when I turned the fan switch on the thermostat from auto to on, the fan did blow warm air. Is this a problem with the thermostat or up in the unit?

E.D.

Fullerton

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A. With this type of unit, which combines the air conditioner and furnace, there may be a problem in the fan, says Tom Houlihan of Orange County Appliance Parts in Garden Grove.

There's a heat-actuated sensor in the furnace unit that causes it to delay until the furnace is heated up. This prevents the cool air from running through the house while the furnace heats up. If the fan isn't coming on in the automatic mode, check the fan switch in the unit to make sure it's running properly.

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Q. We have a screened-in patio in our backyard that we'd like to use during the cool mornings we're having. I'd like to put in some type of heater. Are propane or gas heaters efficient?

B.B.

Tustin

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A. Because of the clearances required, you shouldn't use a gas-powered heater in an enclosed space such as a screened-in patio, says Peter Eichelberg of Yorba Linda Patio & Hearth. There are many electric radiant heaters on the market that you can move from one space to another, and they're probably your best bet.

Depending on the construction of your patio, it may be possible to install a wood-burning stove, which might look better than two or three space heaters.

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Q. When you open the door to our bathroom, the toilet is behind the door, and next to the toilet is a large vanity. We're thinking of replacing the vanity with a pedestal sink and then turning the toilet so that it faces the sink. How big a job is this?

T.I.

Huntington Beach

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A If your pipes are in the right place, you won't have to get into the wall and move them, says Ron Albright of Albright Plumbing & Heating Supply in Los Alamitos.

You'll want hot and cold pipes not only to be functional but also to look good, because they'll be exposed without a vanity. You can move the toilet but not much. City building codes specify how far the toilet can be from the waste line, and you'll need to comply with them.

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