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Discussing Remotes Possibilities for Garage


Question: Our garage-door opener is old but still in good working condition. However, the remote controls no longer work. Can old remotes be repaired or replaced, or do I have to buy a new opener?



Answer: If your opener is no longer made, it is possible to find universal remotes, says Roger Emard of Emard Door & Gate Service in Anaheim.

Most garage-door dealers have them, and they can be adjusted to match the frequency of your system. One advantage is they can be upgraded to match your new opener when you do replace your old one. These cost a little more than a standard remote, about $85 to $100, but are less expensive than replacing the entire opener.

Q: I had a new garbage disposal installed two years ago. When the dishwasher drains, water cascades out of the little outlet that sits on the sink. A plumber made adjustments to the outlet, and that cut the overflow down, but over time it's gotten worse. What could be causing this?


Buena Park

A: It sounds as though the line that leads from the disposal to that air gap is either clogged or kinked, says Scott Blanke of Central Plumbing & Heating in La Habra.

Or the air gap, which can be moved up or down, is out of adjustment. It's a fairly common problem that could be remedied by looking under the sink to make sure the line isn't bent or that something's not crimping it.

If it looks OK and the problem is still there, you may need to remove it or have a professional do the job and readjust the air gap.

Q: Over the holidays, melted candle wax was dropped on my new, forest green carpeting. The wax solidified and stuck to the carpeting. I tried removing it with hot water but that didn't work. Any ideas?


La Habra

A: Because the carpet is fairly new, you can contact the dealer or the manufacturer to find out if there's a recommended method for removing wax, says Gidon Adlon of Bob's Shades, Linoleum and Carpeting in Orange.

The problem is that the hot wax probably burned the carpet fibers before cooling and attaching to them. If you get the wax off, you may still have a permanent stain from the burning.

If using very hot water hasn't worked, you could try using a blow dryer to soften the wax enough to pull it up, but be careful not to allow the surrounding carpet to get so hot it burns as well.

If you have a carpet remnant stored away, you could experiment on it by dropping some hot wax on a spot and then trying to remove it with a solvent such as paint thinner. If it comes up successfully and the solvent doesn't stain the carpeting, you could try it on bigger

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.

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