Question: I have a medicine cabinet with a door that won’t stay shut. The magnet on the door comes off and attaches to the magnet on the cabinet. I’ve tried several types of super glues, but short of replacing the cabinet, is there anything I can do?
Answer: “It sounds like it’s an old cabinet, and if it is, it may be worth replacing. They’re not expensive or hard to install,” says Larry Hohenstein of Amco Builders & Plumbing Supply in Costa Mesa. “If you want to give it one last try, use a good 5-minute epoxy cement on the door magnet, and let it set for at least an hour before seeing if it holds.”
Q: My 10-year-old garage-door opener often reverses itself when opening, particularly when the weather is cool and moist. I have adjusted the closing force as far as possible. Should I attempt to re-balance the door, or is there some other adjustment I can make?
A: “Try lubricating the door hardware. You should always lubricate the hardware four times a year. If that doesn’t work, you may need to have the door properly re-balanced, which you should probably have a professional do,” says Meagan Heberden of Emard Door & Gate Service in Anaheim.
“Garage-door installers have the special tools needed to make balancing adjustments, and we often get called out to help people who tried to do it themselves and made their problem worse. They will also be able to tell if there’s a short in the opener unit that’s causing the problem.”
Q: I’ve got a cover for my pool that helps keep it warm, but is there anything else I can do that will let me swim during winter and keep my gas heating bill down?
A: “A good solar cover is really the most inexpensive way to go, but it’s not going to save you tons of money,” says Blake Bailey of Orange Pool Supply and Service in Orange. “If you’re willing to make a little investment, you could look into solar panels. These fit on your roof and the water is pushed through them by the filter pump, so you’re heating the water and expending only a little more energy.”
Q: I’ve become interested in those compact fluorescent bulbs. However, I can’t find bulbs and adapters small enough to fit my table lamps. Have they introduced a “universal” adapter for them yet?
A: “There’s not a universal adapter, but they come in enough sizes so that you should find a bulb that will work,” says Cathy McNally of McNally Electric in Los Alamitos. “The problem is that the smaller the bulb, the lower the wattage.
“Table lamps often present special problems because their harps, which are the two wires that connect the shade to the lamp, are too small or narrow for the adapter and/or the bulb. You can replace a harp for one that will take a compact fluorescent. Or you can try removing the harp, installing the bulb, and replacing the harp to see if it will fit around it.”
Q: We have an old radio from the 1950s that works fine, except that its old plug doesn’t seem to fit well in the outlets in our new condo. It slips out easily; both prongs are the old-fashioned kind that are the same size. Is it OK to bend them out a little to make them stay in?
A: “You might try using a grounding adapter plug, which usually holds pretty tight, and it will allow you to ground the radio,” says Brian Costello of Essco Wholesale Electric Supply in Anaheim. “If you hear a hum or buzz when it’s on, that could be because it’s poorly grounded and this will fix it, once you connect the grounding tab to the outlet. Otherwise, you may have to change the plug. I wouldn’t suggest bending the plug; you’ll probably end up wearing out both it and the outlet.”