No matter if you bought it or you’re renting, your home is one of your biggest investments which is reason enough to take good care of it. That means regular repairs and maintenance, which can take quite a chunk out of any homeowners budget in case of professional labor. Luckily, there are a lot of problems you can take care of yourself.
Since you can waste 3 liters of water per day just with one Leaking faucet and the waste of overall leakings can reach 20,000 liters annually, we’ll start with this essential fix. No matter if your tap is leaking or you have a leaking pipe under the bathroom or kitchen sink, everything starts with turning off the water at the shut-off valve. Keep in mind that many leaking issues can be prevented if you have proper valves in your home. To fix the tap, first, you need to unscrew the tap handle in order to remove the packing nut. After that, you need to unscrew and take out the valve stem so you can access the washer. Now all that’s left to do is to replace the washer and reassemble the tap.
To fix the pipes, place the bucket underneath them and simply twist off the Compression Nut - probably some nasty stuff will fall right into the bucket. If you see that the compression nut is broken or loose, that’s probably the cause of leaking so you’ll need to replace it. A worn-out washer can also be the cause, which is also solved by simple replacement. And sometimes you’ll just have to rinse out a P-trap (the curved pipe). After dealing with one of these three possible issues, simply screw the pipe back into the wall and turn the water on again.
Clogs & Jams
Toilet drains might seem disgusting, but unclogging them is fairly simple - it usually takes up to 8 good downward thrusts with a toilet plunger. Just make sure there’s enough water inside so the head of the plunger will be submerged. If you’re dealing with a major clog you’ll have to trade the plunger for an auger - run its end into the toilet until it reaches the clog, then start turning the crank. All it takes to pull the clog out is a good grip.
While toilet clogs may seem disgusting, jammed garbage disposals can seem pretty scary with their bad noises and hidden blades. But once you cut the power to the unit, you can place an Allen wrench in the hex socket in the center of the bottom of the unit. By rotating it you will adjust the flywheel inside, loosening any jammed objects inside. After that, you can remove anything that might be clogging the unit near the top with pliers. Then simply restore the power and test the disposal to make sure the jam is gone.
Cracks & Holes
We want to point out we’re talking about cracks and wholes that are just an eyesore - bigger holes and horizontal cracks may indicate structural problems which require a professional touch. But some simple holes and cracks in drywall, such as those from screws or nails, can be fixed easily and cheaply. First, you need to remove the debris with the vacuum cleaner and wipe down the wall. Then press some spackle into the Hole with a putty knife and let it dry. The last step is to sand it down with fine-grain sandpaper until it’s nice and flat. Depending on the number of holes, their proximity and the color of your walls, you may need to finish with a new coat of paint.
Light & Heat
Electrical work can be dangerous, but replacing a light switch is something you can do without risk. Just make sure you use a voltage tester to check that there’s definitely no electricity in the wires even after you’ve turned off the power. After you take off the faceplate, unscrew the switch. Then just connect the wires to a new switch matching them in the same color and screw all of it back.
When it comes to heat loss, you can deal with the draft by weatherstripping around your windows and doors and some simple caulking. That way you’ll definitely save on your AC bills in the summer.
There are obviously plenty of issues in your home you’re perfectly capable of fixing yourself. Some of them will simply improve the overall appeal, but with some, you’ll also save on your utility bills.
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