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INSIDE & OUT | A HELPING HAND

There's No Need to Wait Till Summer to Plane Swollen Doors

ALSO: * More Efficient Lightbulbs; * Screening Off Garbage Disposals

March 07, 1998|JOHN MORELL | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Q My neighbors and I are all having the same problem. With the recent rains, our front doors have been sticking in their jambs and are hard to open and close. Is it a good idea to plane them now or should we wait until everything dries out this summer?

W.E.

Tustin

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A It's fine to go ahead and correct the problem now as long as you know that the door will be shrinking as the weather dries out, says Gene Teramura of California Decorating Center in Santa Ana.

Plane and sand the sticking areas and then coat them with a good-quality oil-based primer sealer. There are two areas to keep in mind though. First, remember that the doorjamb can also swell and be a cause for the sticking. Also, don't forget the bottom of the door.

You can seal the door bottom without removing the door from the hinges by opening it all the way, sanding it and applying a sealer using a paint pad.

*

Q I've seen a lot of new lightbulbs with a designation that says they produce, say, 100 watts of light and use just 75 watts. Do these really produce the same amount of light as a higher-wattage bulb? Are they a good value?

N.T.

Yorba Linda

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A The bulbs being manufactured now are designed to reflect more light than older bulbs, which is why they can look like a higher-wattage bulb, says Maris Vanags of Uni-Lite in Anaheim.

In recessed lights, older bulbs sent light sideways, which was lost in the canister. The newer bulbs reflect that light downward into the room. It's a more efficient way for a bulb to work.

When shopping for lightbulbs, remember that wattage is the amount of electricity the bulb uses, and lumens is the amount of light it produces. When you're looking for bulb that will produce more light, look for the highest lumen number on the package, along with the lowest wattage for energy efficiency.

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Q It seems that I'm always having to fish a spoon or a piece of plastic from my garbage disposal. Is there any kind of screen I can buy that will cover this area when it's not in use?

T.L.

Santa Ana

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A Disposals come with a rubber plug that seals off the opening, says Ron Albright of Albright Plumbing & Heating Supply in Los Alamitos. These are designed for when you need to fill that portion of the sink with water, such as when you wash dishes by hand.

Check your local plumbing supply store for screens that fit some of the popular brands of disposals. These fit at the bottom and they prevent cutlery, loose jewelry and other items from slipping down there.

*

Helping Hand Note: In response to a question last month regarding sliding closet doors that rolled roughly, C.L. of Irvine wrote to suggest checking the top of the door as well. "The top of the door has rubber spacers that keep it from rattling around in the top guidance track. As the spacers dry out and stick to the sides, this produces problems as it rolls along the bottom. It can be cured easily with some silicone spray on the spacers and inside the top track."

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