Some household repairs are so simple even professionals feel guilty charging you for them. If you experience any of these plumbing or appliance problems, don’t call a professional at the first sign of trouble, do it yourself and save!
Problem: Low water pressure at a faucet
Repair: Clean or replace the aerator. The small metal screen at the business end of your faucet can get clogged with debris and minerals. Remove the tip of the faucet (you may need a wrench) and either clean the screen or replace the entire part. Watch this video to see how it’s done!
Problem: Leaking valve
Repair: Tightening the valve stem. If you see water collecting somewhere it shouldn’t be, check the nearest valve before you call a plumber. If the valve is wet or dripping, take a wrench and turn the packing nut about an eighth of a turn. If that doesn’t stop the leak, shut off the main water valve, remove the handle and nut, and add to or replace the packing material—here’s a quick video.
Problem: Refrigerator too warm
Repair: Check the temperature dial and cooling coils. First, try turning the dial to a cooler setting—it could have been accidentally bumped or moved by curious children. If that doesn’t help, check the cooling coils behind the unit for pet hair or dust, as caking is common. Simply remove the protective grille and vacuum the coils.
Problem: Electrical outlet doesn’t work
Repair: Reset GFCI electrical outlets. Ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets have an internal circuit breaker and are usually around potentially wet locations like bathrooms. Device plugs can accidentally trip these outlets, so make sure to push the “TEST” then “RESET” buttons on the outlet before calling for help.
Problem: Heater is cold
Repair: Check furnace filter and air vents. A common cause of insufficient heat (or cooled air) is a plugged furnace filter. Inexpensive woven fiberglass filters need to be changed at least once a month, while quality pleated filters last three months. Also make sure the cold air return and floor vents aren’t blocked by furniture or area rugs.