Last week we discussed a few easy repairs a tenant can do that will help them quickly get on with the more important things in life – rather than twiddling your thumbs waiting for the landlord’s repairman to show up. This week, we will show you three more easy repairs a tenant can tackle and how to do them.
Repair #3 Cut the Potato
The light burns out. No problem. This is a repair a tenant can make. You balance yourself on the kitchen chair, grab the light bulb and it breaks away in your hand leaving the screw-in part right there in the light socket. Don’t go grab your pliers unless you want to be shocked back into reality. Instead, go to the kitchen and cut a potato in half. Place the flat end against the light socket and turn. Ta-da, you are a first rate repairman.
Repair #4 Clean the Flapper
Let’s return to your pesky toilet. So, it is now flushing fine but you always hear water running. Since someone, and that someone probably being you, is paying the water bill, it is important to get this taken care of. For some reason, people tend to be afraid of the toilet tank. As if they lift off the porcelain lid some evil genie that takes care of the potty will escape. Don’t worry, you can handle it.
Carefully lift off the lid and set it down flat. At the bottom of the tank is your culprit – the flapper. It is a round rubber disk that sits on top of the hole that leads to the bowl of the toilet. Over time, the rubber can get sort of slimy and not sit good on the hole. Simply take an old rag and wipe the underside of the flapper. Relax, there is only clean water on this side. While you are back there, check the chain that connect the handle to the flapper. There should be enough so that when the handle is not in use, the flapper can easily sit over the hole. When you push down the handle, the chain should lift up the flapper high. The chain is adjustable if you need to.
Repair #5 Use an Old Toothbrush
If your faucets are not pouring with gusto, here’s a little trick to restore the water pressure. Minerals and sediment can be found in the tap water – even treated water. These can easily become trapped in the faucet screen interrupting the flow. All you need to do is to remove the debris and all will be well.
On the faucet, where the water pours out, you will be able to unscrew the filter assembly. Inside you will find one or two rubber washers (make sure you keep track of those) and one or two small metal screens. Take your old toothbrush and clean off the screen. If the sediment remains stuck, try removing the screen and running it under water. Once the screen is clean, put everything back in the order and direction that was there originally and twist it back on. Presto, a new faucet.
Congratulations, you just became your landlords fix-it person. See, there are some repairs a tenant can do. Not only will they thank you, but you will not have to put your life on hold or grit your teeth until it is repaired. If you find, however, that the repair item is above your skill level, will cost you money or simply take too long, please by all means call the contact in your lease agreement. We want to keep your unit in the best shape possible so that you are content and comfortable and will continue to stay.