In some areas of the country, calling a repair person to come to your house requires a payment akin to an Uptown Pokies jackpot prize – and that’s before the repair person ever lifts a finger to fix the problem! Many people, however, just assume that they won’t be able to fix the problem and make the call even before they try their hand at the job.
Problems that involve things like gas and electricity definitely require a professional for safety reasons but there are many other types of home repairs that you can do yourself.
If your garbage disposal is humming there’s probably something stuck in the drain which has jammed the blades. When the motor runs but the blades don’t rotate, you hear the motor humming.
You want to fix this before the disposal’s motor burns out. First, never stick your hand down into the grinding chamber. People have lost fingers that way.
Start by turning the power to the garbage disposal off. Shut off the breaker that controls the unit and turn off the wall switch that controls the disposal. If there’s a manual plug, unplug it. Then, insert the offset wrench into the flywheel turning hole located at the bottom of the unit. (you should have gotten the offset wrench as part of the disposal unit package). Turn the wrench clockwise to dislodge the stuck flywheel or impeller. Once the flywheel turns freely, you’ll know that it’s free.
You can also try using pliers or a wooden object such as a spoon handle to reach down into the unit through the drain opening and free the stuck flywheel. Using a flashlight to guide you may be helpful.
Once the flywheel is free you can turn the power back on. Then, press the red “reset” button” on the bottom of the unit, run water through the disposal and turn the on-off switch on for a few seconds. Do this on-off action a few times so that the flywheel spins and any dislodged debris is washed down the drain.
If your weather stripping is damaged, or if you don’t have weather stripping at all, you could be spending an unfortunate amount of money on keeping your house at the right temperature. Weather stripping helps keep your house warm in the winter and cool in the summer by helping to keep the outside air outside and the inside air inside.
Not every home has weather stripping installed and even homes with weather stripping must replace the strips periodically for effective use.
You can install/replace weather stripping easily with a caulk gun, rags, safety glasses, a pry bar, a tape measure, a utility knife and scissors. You’ll also need a solvent cleaner, silicone caulk and silicone rubber weather stripping.
Measure to see how large the gap is between the door and the frame. Then choose the right size tubing based on the size of the gap. The diameters may be different at different points so make sure that you have enough of the right size seal for the different gap widths.
Insert the seals as needed and silicone them into place.
Smelly Washing Machine
You would probably expect that the last appliance to start smelling in your house would be the washing machine but, surprisingly, it’s not uncommon for a washing machine to start to smell. Washing machines can get mildew and then all your clothes smell like mildew too!
This is actually a fairly easy problem to fix….you can run a cleaning cycle or a regular cycle with bleach and hot water on extra rinse.
To prevent mildew in the future it’s advisable to always leave the door to your washing machine open between washes.
There are very few homeowners who can say that they’ve never had a clogged drain. Regardless of your drain covers and other efforts to prevent stuffed drains, they occur.
If you have a clogged drain, the easiest solution to try involves water, baking soda and vinegar. There are a number of variations on this method but the most common involves pouring a cup of hot water down the drain and then following that with ½ a cup of baking soda, ¼ cup table salt and 1 cup of heated vinegar. Cover the drain with a plug as it bubbles and sizzles. Let it sit for 15 minutes and then check to see whether it’s still plugged.
If that solution doesn’t work you may have to unscrew the drain pipe below the sink to manually scoop the gunk out of the pipes. But you’ve got this! Remember how much you’d have to pay a plumber to do the same thing!
There are a million and one reasons that a refrigerator doesn’t keep your food cold but before you pick up your telephone to call a repair person, try cleaning the coils that may have gotten covered with dirt or dust.
Vacuuming the fan is another easy fix-it that can often solve the problem of a malfunctioning fridge. Finally, check that the circuit board is working — sometimes a connecting wire got disconnected and can be easily put back into place.