Removing Tub Decals / Wrap the H20 Tank- Save Money / Fixing a Wobbling Ceiling Fan

In Hot Water Tanks, Painting Tips, Q&A on September 4, 2012 at 3:12 pm

Please pass along my blog to all your family and friends. I’d really appreciate it!


I have tried, but still cannot remove the dirty and worn non-skid decals from the bottom of my bathtub. How do I remove those bathtub appliqués if they won’t come off?


For those of you not as “sophisticated” as I am, we’re talking about removing those rubber bathtub decals. Most of the time, you can’t even get your fingernail under the edge to try and pull them loose. Well, don’t fret, put a piece of paper towel over each appliqué and soak the paper towel with mineral spirits. After twenty minutes they should loosen up. That also should have made the adhesive easy to remove. If not, try one of those super removers like Goof-Off® from W.M. Barr and Company or Goo-Gone® from Magic American Corp. Those are just a couple of the products that should help you come clean in the tub. They’re also available at any hardware or drug store.

If that doesn’t work, try using Un-Do® by Un-Do Products, Inc. It is the best sticker and tape remover I’ve ever seen. It’s also available at home and hardware stores as well as Wal-Mart and Bed Bath & Beyond.


I have a ceiling fan that vibrates and shakes. Does this mean I have to replace it?


Maybe so, but understand there are several reasons why a ceiling fan wobbles when operating. The fan blades could be out of balance, out of track or warped. The wobble could also be caused by the air turbulence that results from the blades being closer than six inches from one side of a sloped cathedral ceiling or ceiling beam.

You can check to see if the fan blades are out of balance by clipping a spring-type clothespin half way between the tip and the blade iron on the leading edge of one blade. Turn the fan on to the LOW speed and see if the weight stops the wobble. Try each blade to determine if it needs more weight. If the clothespin stops the wobble, it should be replaced with thin adhesive-backed lead weighted tape, which is available through the fan manufacturer’s service center.

Check to see if one or more blades are out of track. Using a yardstick, measure the distance from the ceiling to the tip of each blade. The distance should be equal for each blade. If it isn’t, contact the nearest manufacturer’s service center about correction or warranty replacement. If the blades are not out of track, try swapping blades to correct the problem. Switch the position of two adjacent blades while leaving the other two in their original positions. While the blades are off of the fan, lay them on a flat surface to see if they are warped. If so, then replace the blades. Now as for me being warped, that’s a different story.


Awhile back you mentioned that for about ten dollars I could save five to ten percent of my water heating utility costs. That sounds like easy money, but what is the catch?


There’s no catch. The 40 to 50 gallon tank of your water heater is like a hot water radiator that continually gives off and wastes heat. You can reduce this energy cost in two ways. First, lower the water temperature to 120-degrees. Unfortunately, the temperature setting knobs on most water heaters just aren’t calibrated in degrees. If you have the owners manual you can look up the temperature settings otherwise, use a meat thermometer and run hot water onto it. The point which the temperature stops rising is your hot water heater setting.

Second, cover your gas water heater with a special blanket. Buy a fiberglass blanket to wrap around your water heater. To do it safely, follow the directions that come with the blanket and it’s especially important not to do insulate the top of the water heater, do not cover the air intakes for gas burners, leave the controls and all valves exposed and do not cover any warning labels.

The only exception is some high-efficiency electric water heaters do not need extra insulation. Adding it can void the guarantee so check the owner’s manual. What are you planning on buying with the money you will save? New car? Jewelry? Present for me?





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