Q: We installed a new bathroom faucet, and we've been having a problem with the connection under the sink.
On the cold-water fitting, where the line meets the connection at the faucet, there's a constant drip when the water is on. I've removed that line and put it back on again several times, but the drip continues.
San Juan Capistrano
A: It may be necessary to remove the line and replace it, says Ron Albright of Albright Plumbing & Heating Supply in Los Alamitos.
When these lines have been in place for a long time, the rubber gaskets inside can harden and may not seal well on the new connection.
You may have an easier time with a newer flexible line, and since you don't usually replace faucets often, it's usually a good idea to replace the lines at the same time to ensure a good, dry connection.
Q: We recently bought a small home that has dark blue ceramic tile on one of the kitchen walls. We'd like to change this to a neutral color but can't afford to have new tile installed.
Can the tile can be painted? It's in an area where it's not going to get a lot of use.
A: Ceramic tile and paint do not mix, says Gloria Richey of Tile Importers in Anaheim.
Ceramic tile is designed with a very smooth, kiln-dried surface to make it impervious to things such as paint. At best, you'd need to sand the tile surface to make it porous, then use some type of epoxy enamel paint. Still, you'd run the risk of it chipping or flaking off.
If you want to change the look of the tile inexpensively, you might want to try a grout colorant. This changes the color of the grout to make it lighter or darker, and it could give you a new perspective on the tile.
Q: Our fireplace has glass doors covering the opening. When we lit our first fire of the season last week and closed the doors, I noticed a crack in the corner of one of the doors about 2 inches long.
I didn't close the doors because I was afraid the increased heat might make the crack bigger.
Is it difficult to replace the glass on these types of doors?
A: Replacing these types of doors is usually pretty routine, says Bill Nacca of Fireplace & Patio Trends in Orange.
The old one is pulled out of the frame, and a new one slides in. Find out why it cracked. Fireplace doors are supposed to be made of tempered glass, which will not crack like regular glass.
Nacca suggests having the doors checked to make sure they're safe, in addition to replacing the bad one.
\o7 If you have a question about your home or garden, A Helping Hand will help you find the answer. Send questions to John Morell, Home Design, The Times Orange County, 1375 Sunflower Ave., Costa Mesa, CA 92626.\f7