The Gurus of How-To

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Larry Ubell and Al Ubell, the Gurus of How-To, answers your questions about home repair. Call 212-433-9692 with your questions or leave a comment.


Al Ubell and Larry Ubell

Comments [19]

Tracy from Brooklyn

My sister just installed split AC units in her house. There are also pipes installed to lead the water from the room units down to the ground outside the house. Her house shares common driveway with the next door neighbor and the neighbor complains that the pipe shouldn't be installed that way that the water just drops onto the ground (because his cat will come to drink the water and cause it sick). I want to know is it illegal to install the pipe that way or the outfall of the pipes should be hide somewhere in the drain? Does anyone know anything about it?

Jul. 07 2010 02:06 PM

We have a weekend house with an outdoor shower that runs on the same line as the outdoor hose. When I turned on the water for the hose, water ran out of the shower pipes through a small hole in the exposed plumbing. other than cutting into the pipes, how can I repair this problem so I can water my flowers without water running in the shower? (btw - your male screener promised that there would be no problem with getting on the air with my question...)

Jul. 07 2010 01:59 PM
Jaynab Rose from norwalk ct

Could the person trying to match exiting wood flooring remove the flooring from a closet, and replace the closet flooring with new. Who cares if the closet flooring does not match?

Jul. 07 2010 01:56 PM
Katie from Englewood, NJ

My refrigerator keeps freezing when it's cold outside. It's about 8 or 9 years old and I cleaned it out to fix the problem. It's still freezing do I need to buy a new refrigerator?
Thank you

Jul. 07 2010 01:53 PM
Ron from Bronx, NY

I live in an apartment that has a dirty 30 year old rug. Should I get professionals to take it up and out?

Jul. 07 2010 01:51 PM
david from brooklyn

i did an experiment last summer, where one month i had the A/C on a timer set to go on an hour before i got home, and the other month i left it on all the time. both months had similar temps, and i saved $$ on my electric bill in the second month! i assume that means i used less power.

Jul. 07 2010 01:43 PM

My A/C unit puts out air that smells a little bit mildew-y. How can I safely clean it?

Jul. 07 2010 01:42 PM

I have vornado fans that really really help - I just cool the apt and turn on the fans. They really do work. Why would I want to spew that nasty heat outside for no good reason?

I turned off my microwave and even my wifi! Anything I could.

Jul. 07 2010 01:41 PM
Liz from East Village

I just moved into a new apartment and want to put up wall-mounted shelves for my laptop computer, printer, winter clothes, etc. How do I know if my walls have studs to which I need to attach the shelves? Can I just anchor some screws in the wall to hold the shelves?

Jul. 07 2010 01:41 PM
Eva from NYC

Every time we turn on our living room A/C, I smell mold/mildew. I've checked the filter and it looks clean and fine and I can't see anything on the outside or just inside the vent. Is it possible that there's mold deep inside and if so, how do I get it out?

Jul. 07 2010 01:41 PM

get a heavy duty timer for the a/c and set it for about 30 minutes before you get home

Jul. 07 2010 01:40 PM
Rachel from Sunset Park, Brooklyn

We have a sky light over the stairway in our brownstone. My husband found vents in the sky light. During the winter he put insulation to close up the openings. Was this ok to do? I thought I heard the Ubell's say this was not a good thing to do. Could please comment and explain why?

Jul. 07 2010 01:36 PM
Barry Holden from Sag Harbor

Its called a furniture bolt!

Jul. 07 2010 01:34 PM
John from Manhattan

Hanger bolt!

Jul. 07 2010 01:34 PM
ann from NYC

I second the portable AC question. We have a room whose only window is a fire escape. How do the portable AC's work?

Jul. 07 2010 01:31 PM

I live in a 3 story carraige house here in Queens. It's all loft space. The 1st fl is a garage whose cieling is drywalled. The 2nd Fl and basement are exposed rafters. Do I need to drywall these to get my C of O?

Jul. 07 2010 01:29 PM
Danielle Jensen from upper west side

Please solve disagreement between my husband and me:he says it is normal for window ACs to drip;I say they are not installed correctly if they are dripping(which some in our apt. building do ALOT) otherwise there would be wet sidewalks all over the city.Also could you explain again how to wash a window AC. Thanks.

Jul. 07 2010 01:23 PM

Our bedroom closets have old metal sliding doors with many layers of paint whcih make them heavy and hard to slide. It seems that replacing these doors would entail breaking the frame wall around the doors and also having to replace the slides. The slides of course are built into the floor which it seems would then have to be replaced. Are these ligitimate problems or is it not really such a big job ?

Jul. 07 2010 12:24 PM
Richard from Sparta, NJ

Portable Air conditioners -

We've been searching for a portable air conditioner with an excellent rating. Do you know of any?

Jul. 07 2010 09:58 AM

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