Never touched a hammer in your life? If you’re not so handy, you may be tempted to call in for help at the slightest breakdown. But a lot of common household repairs are easier to fix than you think. Save money on repairs by learning how to remedy simple issues and equip yourself with the tools necessary ahead of time. Here are three common household problems and how to fix them on your own.
BLOCKED GARBAGE DISPOSAL
If you flick on the garbage disposal and the unit simply makes a humming sound with no movement, this is a sign that an object is clogging the unit. Disconnect the power to the disposal at the circuit breaker. Shine a flashlight into the disposal and use pliers or tongs to remove the incriminating item. If this doesn’t work, head under your sink with the flashlight and insert a hex key into the hole at the bottom of the unit. This lets you rotate the flywheel inside the disposal which should loosen up the blockage.
Changes in weather, especially humidity and rainy periods, can cause doors or doorframes to swell and become difficult to close. Make a note of where the tight spots are around the frame. If they’re located along the top of the door or handle edge, you can use a carpenter’s plane to remove a thin slice of the door without having to take it off of its hinges. Use an angled cut so that you don’t splinter the wood or veneer.
While they may be unpleasant to fix, clogs are relatively easy to loosen with a few simple household items. If there isn’t water in the sink already, fill it halfway. Use a damp rag or cloth to block the overflow hole then use a cup plunger to push down firmly over the drain. You should feel a bit of pressure or resistance and hopefully some loosening after a few plunges. If this doesn’t loosen the clog, it may have moved further down into the sink’s P-trap. Place a bucket under the sink to catch any spills and loosen the U-shaped pipe underneath. You should then be able to locate and remove the clog. After the clog is cleared, run hot water for a few minutes to flush out the system.