The Guru of How-To

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Larry Ubell answers your home repair questions! Call us at 212-433-9692 (212-433-WNYC) or leave a comment below.


Larry Ubell

Comments [32]

j. Shields from Nyack, NY

At the end of today's show the Guru gave an email address that listeners could use to ask a question. Could you email me that address?


The Lopate Show responds:
You can contact Larry Ubell at this email address:

Nov. 12 2008 06:01 PM
Dorothy Klein from Chatham, NJ

Another guess for the fire proof enclosure.
An Assembly

Nov. 12 2008 02:09 PM
Michael G from Lyndhurst, NJ

Fireproof Vault?

Nov. 12 2008 01:56 PM
dd from nyc

last guess... firebox

Nov. 12 2008 01:56 PM
B Marx from Downtown

Then that leaves insulation.

Nov. 12 2008 01:54 PM
Barbara Res from new jersey


Nov. 12 2008 01:53 PM
Susan from New York

What is a GWB fire partition

Nov. 12 2008 01:52 PM
Barbara from new jersey

the wrapping around the insulation is called an encapsulant or encapsulation
cant get through on the phone

Nov. 12 2008 01:51 PM
Charles from New Jersey

Is it a fire-stop?

Nov. 12 2008 01:50 PM
stu in nyc

we live on the 8th floor of a 9 floor apartment bldg. we installed a new hand held shower head (Pollenex) earlier in the year, but there semmed to be a lack of pressure. so we bought a new one (Waterpik), which allows us to remove the flow regulator. it works great, but only when the bracket is at a 180 degree angle. if I move the bracket so the shower aims at a different angle, there's a leak from where the bracket meets the pipe. the instructions say to tighten the bracket by hand - tightening too much makes it leak more no matter what the angle. the manufacturer is sending me anew bracket, but this sounds fishy. what do you think?

Nov. 12 2008 01:50 PM
bob from CT

It is an ENCASEMENT!!!

I can't get thru to answer the trivia Q!

Nov. 12 2008 01:48 PM
nopivnick from Manhattan

Re: the woman living in the high rise with a single shower valve complaining about gradual rise in temperature.

The valves have a safety device which limits how much the 'hot' half of the valve opens up. Her's is set too low. What's happening is it's taking a while for the hot line to push out the water which is already in the line and not as hot as the water in the boiler.

Nov. 12 2008 01:46 PM
Amelia from Brooklyn

I live in a loft, where each apartment has its own hot water heater. A friend said that I could save on my electric bill in the winter by insulating the heater. Is this worth doing, and if so what can I use to insulate it?

Nov. 12 2008 01:45 PM
Robin M from Queens

Is it a truss?

Nov. 12 2008 01:44 PM
Ellen from New York, NY

How can I stop a neighbor's cigarette smoke from seeping into my apartment?

I live in a brownstone. Both my upstairs and downstairs neighbors


Ellen in Manhattan

Nov. 12 2008 01:44 PM
Sainted_Mother from New York, NY

And the space under your nose is called a "philtrum" (mythical definition: the fingerprint of your guardian angel on your lips, before you're born, so that you never speak of the wonders of heaven ...) ... see ...

Nov. 12 2008 01:44 PM
dd from nyc

or perhaps it's "furring"

Nov. 12 2008 01:42 PM
Richard E from long island/nyc

the answer is a beam dump?

Nov. 12 2008 01:40 PM
Fran from queens

Moisture has been accumulating between the double pane of my storm windows. They look dirty and I'm worried about mold building up. I live in a coop and the windows were replaced before we bought our apt. Other neighbors have the same problem, but the company has since gone out of business. Can't afford to replace all the windows that are affected (4 out of 8). Any way to have them repaired?

Nov. 12 2008 01:40 PM
Sainted_Mother from New York, NY

It's called a "HAT CHANNEL" ... see this reference ...

... I think that's it.

I can't call in.

Nov. 12 2008 01:39 PM
Matt from Bushwick

I live in an apartment that a fan was never put in in the bathroom. I think it's a state law (or building code) that there has to be one, but am not sure where to check.

There was a severe mold problem in the bathroom. My roommate (who's on the lease) has never complained to the landlord. This is a 7-year problem. I recently moved in and would like to know where to start and who to talk to - and also - is mold that bad of a problem?

Nov. 12 2008 01:39 PM
Doug from Park Slope

In the winter I have cold air coming into the kitchen through the oven and the oven vents. How do I figure out where the cold air is entering, and how can I insulate this without blocking the oven ventilation?


Nov. 12 2008 01:38 PM
Richard E from long island/nyc

Beam Dump!

Nov. 12 2008 01:38 PM
B Marx from Downtown

What is a "fire rating"

Nov. 12 2008 01:38 PM
evelyn from Newark, NJ

What is wrong with this Larry-Person? First he tortures us with his stupid quiz FOREVER and now he 'pulls' the quiz without giving us whatever he deems the right answer? This is not fair. I want to hear the answer he deems correct!

Nov. 12 2008 01:35 PM
Paige from Brooklyn, NY

I am a gardener. Several of my clients have irrigation systems which are blown out and shut off for the winter. Is it ALSO necessary to shut off water to the spigot on the outside of the house??

Nov. 12 2008 01:34 PM
Wayne from Harlem

Is it a "Finished Enclosure"?

Nov. 12 2008 01:34 PM
jeremy from brooklyn

Part under the nose above the lip is called the philtrum

Nov. 12 2008 01:33 PM
julie cowan from Chicago

Your question about the box:
Is it a soffit?
thanks, julie

Nov. 12 2008 01:33 PM
dd from nyc

isn't it just cladding around beams?

Nov. 12 2008 01:33 PM
allison from washington heights

what can be done about a shower where the temperature changes drastically from boiling to freezing by itself? thanks.

Nov. 12 2008 01:33 PM
Eric from NYC

I live in an 80 year old plaster-lathe walled coop apartment. What is the easiest & fastest way to run a dedicated AC outlet from a new circuit-breaker panel in the kitchen to a bedroom on the opposite side of the apartment?

Nov. 12 2008 01:05 PM

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