Things tall people never consider: "I recently had a front-loading washer and dryer installed in my family room. Initially I thought the pedestals were an excellent idea; however, I discovered that the detergent/bleach dispenser was at eye level for me - I'm 5 feet, 2 inches tall. This is a safety issue for petite women and for any children in the household who would be using the washer."
Remember the mice in the dishwasher problem? An acquaintance who moved to the Pittsburgh area e-mailed me about her experience with Mickey, et al:
"Mice got into my dishwasher through the hole in my cabinet wall created by the dishwasher plumbing. (My dishwasher is set under the counter next to an undercounter cabinet.)
"Seeking a warm winter home, the mice climbed five flights up through the apartment building and entered my domain through the tiny spaces left when the round pipe was inserted through a rectangular hole.
"Best cure is to seal around the pipe so that there are no more tiny spaces.
"That curly copper 'nesting' wire (that is not what it is called, but it is what it looks like) may discourage the mice, but it might not keep them out completely."
Any port in the storm. Kathy had a mouse living in her clothes washer.
"When it overflowed, the repairman assumed that the tube that senses when the tub is filled was cut, broken, or torn (turned out it was gnawed on), and he took apart the top plate around the dials. It was there we found the culprit in his nest.
"The sensing tube was replaced, and a few traps set up in the laundry room put the problem to rest.
"I had inadvertently attracted the mouse with a self-feeding cat dish for dry food that I discontinued using. Now my cats are fed twice a day and no food is left lying around anywhere."
To prevent mice in the dishwasher, she suggests rinsing dishes thoroughly before being put inside.
"I've been told that's better for the dishwasher," she said.
Sewer gas odors. A regularly asked question about what causes them brings another possible source.
"I had a similar experience; it turned out to be coming from the electric hot water heater.
"The house had well water with a water softener to remove significant calcium and iron content. When I switched from extra coarse softener salt to a standard grade, the odor started. I checked the owner's manual for the heater and it stated that odors can occur with certain mineral compositions.
"I switched back to the extra coarse grade, and the problem was solved. Changing the softener salt type on an existing system may work, like it did for me."
Something new is due. Beginning this month, we will begin featuring videos of how-to projects, from planning to buying materials to installation.
In addition, there will be menus of sites to search, recent articles I've written, and step-by-step "cheat sheets" in the event you'd like to try it yourself.
The videos will be added every month and archived so you will be able to click and watch 24/7.
If you have ideas of projects you'd like to see and are willing to ask your question on camera (or not), e-mail me.
Questions? E-mail Alan J. Heavens at firstname.lastname@example.org or write him at The Inquirer, Box 8263, Philadelphia 19101. Volume prohibits individual replies. He is the author of "Remodeling on the Money" (Kaplan Publishing).