Q: What can I do to convince my wife that the very plush, carpeted, blue toilet-seat cover she bought is not, shall we say, appropriate...

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Q: What can I do to convince my wife that the very plush, carpeted, blue toilet-seat cover she bought is not, shall we say, appropriate?

Yeah sure, the color matches the towels, the candles and the drapes. But not being able to stand the lid up fully is really a pain!

A: Funny you should use the term “standing up” — therein lies the problem. Men should not take this sitting down!

Would a man ever install a carpeted toilet-seat cover? Not on your life. Men understand that the seat needs to stand up and stay up.

(Confession time: My wife has managed to install a faded purple lid cover that matches the rug and the towels. And as all married men know, you can be right, or you can be happy. At the moment, I choose happy.)

I see thrones with this affliction routinely, and so many times, the lid literally will flop back down as a result of the angle with the tank.

Ultimately, this makes that toilet a target for rebel activity.

A message to all female decorators: Using a seat cover that prevents the lid from staying fully opened will facilitate behavior you do not want, or will make some poor slob of a guy swallow his pride and, dare I say, sit down, or find a bush in the back yard or, in the most desperate of circumstances, do the “one-knee-one-hand-lid-dance.”

Dangerous activities, all!

Worse yet, a lot of these lids are precariously balanced in the vertical position. This brings its own set of risks and rewards that truly needs no further elaboration.

Bottom line: Unless you are highly skilled in “the dance,” there would be nothing worse than having her beautiful blue toilet seat cover turn green when it falls forward at a critical time.

Q: I have some recurring moisture on top of the plastic in the middle of my crawl space, maybe a half-inch deep and 6 inches square. This moisture is right in the middle of the house, not below the plastic, only above.

There doesn’t seem to be a groundwater or foundation leak. There are plumbing pipes in the area, a few air vents from the furnace and a metal dryer-vent pipe.

The house was built in 1992, is fully insulated and ventilated beneath and is rather large and tall. I have never seen condensation on any of the framing materials.

I have run all the plumbing in the house and checked all the pipes (and around the pipes where they come through the floor) for leaks and cannot come up with any plausible explanation. I’m not worried about flooding, but it is puzzling. Any ideas?

A: Obviously the first thing that comes to mind is a passive-aggressive man trying to regain his dignity in the crawl space. Putting that thought out of our minds for the moment, let’s concentrate on three things: the dryer-vent pipe, children’s mischief and an external sprinkler system.

The vent pipe can leak condensation at its low point, particularly when it’s partially plugged with lint.

Could children with a hose or squirt guns spray water through your vents?

Sprinkler systems sometimes also shoot water through vents, with the water nearest the perimeter evaporating first.

The last possibility would be animals, but I think the smell would make that obvious. Look hard at the dryer-vent pipe.

Darrell Hay is a local home inspector and manages several rental properties. Readers may send questions to dhay@seattletimes.com or call 206-464-8514. Sorry, no personal replies. More columns can be found at www.seattletimes.com/columnists.