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Q:I am trying to remove my old laminate countertops. After popping loose a couple of screws, the countertop tilts up easily, but the backsplash portion seems very solid. Are these types of backsplashes usually glued to the
wall? What’s the best way to remove it?
A:The backsplash may indeed be glued to the wall. Many laminate countertops also come with the back- splash pre-attached at the factory, which means they want to go in—and come out—as one single piece.
First, cut the caulk line around the perimeter of the backsplash, so when it pulls away it will not damage the
rest of the wall. Remove any screws or fasteners that hold the backsplash and top to the counter or wall. Then,
use a reciprocating saw to cut the
countertop at the sink opening. Pry
the countertop away from the counter,
and then pry the backsplash away
from the wall separately.
Q:The drain pump on my air- conditioner condenser is
leaking onto the floor. Is there any way
to fix this without replacing the pump?
A:Most of these condensate pumps have a switch to cut
off the mechanism if the pump fails.
If the pump is leaking, then it may
have a bad switch. If it’s more than
three years old, it may best to replace
the whole unit (roughly $40 to $50).
Because these pumps always hold
some amount of water, they tend to
collect mold and algae, which can
gum up the plumbing. You’ll probably
need to disconnect the pump’s power
supply, then remove and disassemble
the pump and clean it free of any
algae gunk or debris. There’s usually
only a couple of screws that hold the
pump in place. Also, clean out the
drain from the pan to the pump, and
blow out the exit drain line by wrapping it to the end of a garden hose
with some duct tape. Once the blockage is completely removed from the
system, it should operate properly. EHT