Summer’s on the way out, but unfortunately, our problems are not going anywhere.  Clogged & slow drains, doors off hinges, sagging ceilings, overloaded circuits are forever in our playbook.  We must do these things even if the tenant in not paying the rent.  I will try to help out with these things, to save time and money.

First call actually came from a tenant whose landlord said he was too busy to get there for a few weeks!  The top hinge on the apartment entry door was so loose that the tenant had to lift it up by the knob to get it to close.  He said he tried tightening the screws but that did not work.

Mac says:  Several solutions are possible.  The first one is the easiest.  Remove one screw and see how long is it.  Replace it with one that is the same thickness, but is much longer. If that screw can be tightened so you can’t tighten it anymore,  replace the others with the same length as the new one.  If a really long screw does not do the trick, you can stick a slender dowel or skewer stick in the screw holes as far as it will go, then replace the screws.  If you have it, place some wood glue or Elmers glue on the stick.  If you can wait, let the glue dry and put the screws back in.  If that gives up from the weight of the door, and it appears to be hollow beyond the door frame, you can replace the screws with some toggle or molly bolts.

Latham has an electrical issue.

My new tenant who moved in a month ago keeps tripping breakers.  He has an air conditioner big enough to cool Colonie Center and keeps telling me he is not running anything else in that room.  I don’t think that is true because it does not happen every day that he runs the A/C.  The building is about 40 years old.  I am not sure how many outlets are on that circuit as I have only had the building for about 5 years.

Mac says:  If the A/C is on the same circuit as the refrig or a freezer, that could be a problem.  When those things startup, they draw extra current.  If that happens when the A/C starts up, that would do it.  Also, a microwave could do it.  You can figure what’s on the same circuit.  Just get someone else with a cell phone to help.  Just get one person in the basement by the breaker box and one upstairs in the apartment.  Turn off one breaker at a time and see what goes out.  Tell the person in the basement to mark on the breaker box what each breaker controls.  Then you can see what’ on the breaker that controls the A/C.  You may wind up having an electrician run a new circuit for the A/C unit.  It is best to have a home run (Separate) circuit for major appliances. (Refrig, microwave, dishwasher etc)  In fact, if and when you get an electrician, have him check to see if additional new circuits are needed in the whole building.

Selkirk has another electrical question.

One of my tenants has a new girlfriend.  None of my business, you say. Anyway, that’s what I said.  He then explained he wanted a dimmer switch in his dining room.  He said the bright light was not “sexy” enough!  I said, just put in some smaller bulbs.  He said that would not do since he needed brighter light when he works in there, (He works from home)  I said OK but then I realized with these new energy-saving bulbs, a regular dimmer might not work.

What do you think?  I think you are right. Be sure you tell the clerk at the store what you want.  Also, ask if there is a dimmer that works with both old and new bulbs.

Check those gutters and drains, more rain is predicted.

Call 518-463-4310 or email: