Home fixes

If you run into plumbing or electrical hitches in and around your home, here are a few points to keep in mind:

  • Turn off the water to a faulty fixture by using the shutoff valves located under or behind the unit.
  • If you notice a leak in the bath or shower, turn off the water at the fixture and arrange for a repair service. Do not use the shower or bath until it has been fixed.
  • If there is a leak in the water heater, use the shutoff valve on top of the heater to turn off the water and arrange to drain the water heater.
  • If you notice water spots on your walls or ceilings, try to trace the leaks to one location (toilet, sink or tub) and turn off the water to that fixture. Arrange for service through a third party provider.
  • If a power outage occurs, inspect circuit breakers, including the main breaker. If a breaker appears damaged, arrange for service. If the breakers are not damaged, turn them all off and back on again, one at a time.
  • If there is no power to an electrical outlet, check if it is connected to a wall switch that may have not been turned on before you inspect the circuit breakers. Reset any that may have turned off.
  • If a hanging light fixture does not work, you probably have a broken connection along a circuit. Check to see if wall switches, circuit breakers and the bulb has been installed properly.
  • If you have a stuck window, use a putty or plastic knife to gently score the edges and prise the window open. Once open, apply a thin layer of paraffin wax around the edges.
  • If you’re getting an odour around your home after a long break, the drain pipes may have dried up. Try pouring water down the drains.
  • Indoor plants may release an odour if left unattended for long periods. Inspect your plants and prune any rotting parts if necessary.
  • To fix a dripping tap, simply unscrew the bolt beneath the handle and replace the worn washer with a new one before screwing the bolt back on. Remember to turn off the main valve first.
  • Exhaust fans that spin too slowly are likely to be caused by a buildup of dust and moisture. Clean the fans periodically to ensure optimal performance.
  • Clean the railings of any sliding doors occasionally with a toothbrush and then vacuum to remove accumulated grime.
  • Clean mildew spots with a three percent solution of hydrogen peroxide for a quick fix.
  • If you need to increase the flow pressure of your taps, fit them with aerators – they save water too. Simply unscrew the spout, and screw the aerator onto the tap.