Home & Garden

Handyman: Does your ice maker stink?

Q: Our relatively new refrigerator, which was unplugged to be moved into a new place, now has a horrid smell in the water/ice maker. We have emptied the ice maker and filled pitchers of water to see whether there is anything in the line, but the smell won’t go away. Our plumber said once you get that smell, you can’t get ever rid of it.

A: I don’t think it is permanent. Did you drain any water before moving the refrigerator? Perhaps some water dropped to the overflow tray at the bottom. If you drained the water and it stayed in the overflow tray, it would smell to high heaven. You could try draining the unit and emptying the tray and then cleaning the tray with bleach, but I think it is wiser to call your appliance store, especially since the refrigerator is relatively new, for an answer.

Pipes make noises

Q: We have an older home with forced hot water radiator heat. The furnace is about 10 years old. Last winter we started hearing cracks. It seems to happen as the heat goes up after being cold for a while. Some of them can be rather loud – they sound kind of like cracking of the knuckles. Is this harmful to the system? The cellar does not have insulation in the ceiling where the pipes are.

A: The copper pipes are expanding and contracting when the heat comes on, and when it cools itself down. Sometimes the pops and clangs can be loud enough to crack pipes, but usually they are quiet, like a slow tick, tick, tick.

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