Homeownership comes with the responsibility of caring for your home. A little regular care and maintenance, such as having your plumbing, heating and air conditioning checked annually, can prevent most major household repairs. Although it’s best to call an expert when you are in over your head, there are many common household repairs that are easy enough for homeowners to tackle.
Clogged drain. If you experience a clogged drain, pull out and clean the sink stopper. If you still have a clog, shut off the water supply under the sink. Avoid using chemicals to clear the clog since they are harmful to the pipes and rarely effective. Call a plumber if nothing seems to work.
Electrical failure. An electrical failure could result from a blown fuse or circuit breaker. Find your fuse box which is often located in the garage, basement, or on the exterior of your home. Switch the tripped circuit breaker back to the “on” position, or replace the blown fuse. Prior to replacing a fuse, unplug anything that is attached to that circuit and cut the main power. Remove the blown fuse and replace it with the exact same rated amp fuse. If you still don’t have power after following these steps, call an electrician.
Leaky faucet. Leaky faucets require immediate attention. Not only are they annoying, but they waste quite a bit of water. To fix a leaky faucet, shut off the water underneath the sink. Remove the faucet handle by loosening the screw at the top of it. Use an adjustable wrench to loosen the packing nut and remove the stem. Find a screw with a washer at the bottom of the stem. Purchase a new washer at any hardware store. Once the washer is replaced, tighten everything back up. Turn the water back on and the drip should be gone.
Broken garbage disposal. Always use cold water when grinding food to move it through the drain lines. Fats and grease solidify in cold water making them easier to be flushed through the lines, whereas hot water causes fats and grease to accumulate in the drain line. Do not place non-food items in the disposal. Try grinding ice occasionally to clean away deposits and odors.
Although many repairs can be tackled by the homeowner, there will be times when hiring an expert is unavoidable. Consider preparing a list of phone numbers of plumbers and electricians. Ask friends and neighbors for referrals.