A reader recently asked for advice about a frozen water line in the door of his refrigerator. Reader Kim Jacob of Feasterville, Pa., offered this:
“I had the same problem with my GE refrigerator. In my case, the line was frozen after only a year.
“This must be a design issue because the GE technician who came to my house told me he sees it all the time. He had some expensive fixes for me, but also suggested that I open the door for about an hour or two and use a hair dryer up and down the door. It worked like a charm.
“He also told me to turn off the water supply to the fridge when we are away for more than a week.
“We have had no problems since.”
We had a regular, electric-powered fan in our previous home and the idea of the solar fan appealed to me. However, all the solar fans I saw were lacking a feature that the man who installed our electric fan said was very important: a firestat, to detect unusually high heat and shut off the fan in case of a fire.
That seems like a very necessary safety feature and I was surprised that I couldn’t find a solar fan that offered it.
A quick check on the Internet found one by Ventamatic at bvc.com/solarvent.html. A firestat (which Google tried to search as “fire station”) will shut system operations down when it senses that the temperature has gone above a preset level.
More reader advice, from Dick McCormick, concerning the cause and resolution of a bathroom odor:
“I had a similar odor that I traced to a clogged bathroom vent pipe that exits through the roof over the bathroom. Each time the toilet flushed, a gurgling sound emitted from the tub drain.
“The clogged vent resulted in the water seal in the trap being drawn out with the flush (hence the gurgling sound), leaving an empty tub trap. The resulting loss of a water seal allowed sewer gas to enter the bathroom through the tub trap.
“In my case, the clog was a collection of rust particles and scale that had accumulated over many years having flaked off from the inside of the two-inch steel vent pipe wall.
“This eventually formed a solid plug in a 90-degree ‘L’ under the bathroom floor. Clearing this plug solved the problem.
“Another cause for a clogged vent is the accumulation of nesting materials in the vent where it protrudes above the roof.
“In any event, a clear and functioning vent is essential in plumbing systems to provide proper drainage and flushing of utilities.”