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Quick fixes and repair tips

Quick fixes and repair tips

Calling a technician out to fix something in your home is costly and time consuming, says Orlando property management professional, Oliver Overton-Morgan. To help avoid this extra time and expense, there is some simple troubleshooting you can do before calling out a professional.

 
Here are some common quick fixes and minor repairs you can do to help prevent delays and extra costs due to minor maintenance and breakdowns in your home.
 
 

Garbage Disposal troubleshooting

 

Never put your hand in the hopper (down the drain into the disposal). That being said, follow these tips for simple disposal fixes:
 
Disposal Will Not Turn On (no noise)
• If your garbage disposal is not running, first, check to see whether it will turn freely with a service wrench. The wrench is silver colored, and shaped like a little crank, about four inches long and you can purchase one at most hardware stores. If it will not turn freely with a service wrench, the disposal is probably jammed.
• Check to see if the reset button is popped out. Most garbage disposals have a red or black pop out button on the underside  which you can press back in to reset it.
• If your disposal is hard wired, check if the breaker or fuse has tripped at the main breaker box in the house. Reset this breakers by turning it off and then back on.
• If your disposal has a cord, make sure it is plugged in correctly.
 
Disposal makes an unusual noise or there is waste stuck inside
•If your garbage disposal is making a clicking machine-gun, metallic or rattling sound, there may be something stuck inside. First turn off the disposal at the switch and at the main breaker. Shine in a flashlight and remove the item using tongs or pliers. 
 
Check out this website for further information and how-to videos: http://www.insinkerator.com/en-US/Service-Support/Disposer-Support/Pages/Default.aspx.
 
 
 
 

A/C is not working or cooling

 
When the air conditioning system is not cooling or does not turn on, begin your troubleshooting at the thermostat. Ensure that the thermostat is set to “cool” and that it is set lower than actual room temperature. This is to ensure that there really is a problem! It may seem silly but that is the first thing a repairman will check and you will normally still be charged a service call even if that is the only problem.
 
Is there air coming out of the floor/ceiling vents?
• If there is not, check to see if the fan on the outside unit is running. If the fan on the outside unit is not running, check to make sure that the breakers are on. The breaker for the outside unit is usually next to the unit on the wall. There are secondary breakers in the main breaker box for the house. Reset all these breakers by turning them off and then back on.
• If resetting the breakers does not work, continue the troubleshooting below.
 
Is the fan on the outside unit blowing out hot air?
• If the interior unit is not running but the outside fan is, try resetting the breaker for the outside unit.
• If this does not work and the interior unit is still not running, then shut the power off to the unit and contact us for repair. Shutting off the outside unit will prevent damage to the compressor preventing expensive and lengthy repairs.
 
Is there a water leak around the inside unit, or ice on the lines connecting the indoor and outdoor units?
• If the system is running but you find a water leak around the interior unit or ice on the lines, the inside unit may have frozen up so you will need to turn the setting on the thermostat to “fan” instead of “cool”. After a hour or two, the ice should have melted and you can continue your air conditioner troubleshooting.
• Turn the “cool” setting back on and let it run for about five minutes. Now feel the larger copper line at the outdoor unit. This should be cold and have condensation on it. If it is not cold or if frost is forming on the line, it is probably a Freon problem so contact us for repair.
 
Is the unit providing some cooling but not enough?
• If the interior unit and the outside unit both run but the cooling effect is not adequate, you should make sure first that all the windows and doors remain closed. During hot weather, opening doors or windows can let out a lot of cool air and make the system work overtime to maintain a cool temperature.
• If this is not the case and the system just seems to be working constantly, then check the air flow from the vents. If it is very low, the unit inside may be frozen up so you will need to turn the setting on the thermostat to “fan” instead of “cool”. After a hour or two, the ice should have melted and you can continue your air conditioner troubleshooting.
• Turn the “cool” setting back on and let it run for about five minutes. Now feel the larger copper line at the outdoor unit. This should be cold and have condensation on it. If it is not cold or if frost is forming on the line, it is probably a Freon problem so contact us for repair.
 
 
 
 

My Toilet keeps Running!

 
This is a very common and annoying plumbing problem that can quickly cost you money. Luckily a running toilet is also easy to fix on your own. Before you run to the hardware store to buy parts follow these steps to find the source of the problem.
 
• Check the overflow tube. If you can see water going into the overflow then you know that the fill valve is not shutting off all the way and needs to be replaced.
 
• If the overflow is not the problem, you’ll want to check the flapper chain next. If the flapper chain is too long or too short it could be the source of the problem. If the chain is too short, the flapper can’t go down completely to seal the opening of the tank. A chain that is too long could get caught under the flapper and hold it up, again preventing a good seal. A simple adjustment will fix the problem.
 
• The third possibility is the flapper itself. As the flapper gets old it could get hard or warped which could prevent a good seal. Even a slight imperfection could be causing the toilet to run. Luckily the flapper is an inexpensive part that can be easily replaced. The first thing to do is to turn the water to the toilet off. To drain the toilet tank simply flush the toilet after the water is turned off. Now you need to remove the old toilet flapper. To do this, first unhinge the chain from the toilet handle rod. Next pull each side, or ear, of the flapper out to unhook it from the flush valve.
The most common toilet configuration has the flapper attached by the ears on the sides of the flush valve. If this is how your toilet is built you will need to cut off the ring on the back of the flapper.
If your fill valve doesn’t have the side hooks for the flapper you will need to use the ring to slide the flapper into place.
Put the new flapper into place and hook each ear onto the flush valve.
Connect the flapper chain onto the toilet handle rod. Make any necessary adjustments to the chain. It needs to be long enough to allow the flapper to sit firmly in place but not so long that it gets caught under the flapper as the water rushes out.
Turn the water back on and test by flushing a couple of times.
 
 
 
 

The Alarm System keeps sounding off

 
If your home has a security system installed but you are not using it, or do not have it activated, you might find that it start beeping or sounding off unexpectedly. This can often occur after a power cut because it “resets” the system. The best way to resolve this is to completely disconnect the system, and it operate on low voltage so you can do it easily and safely yourself. 
 
• Somewhere near the main control box, (usually a metal grey or tan colored box located in the master bedroom closet or laundry room), there is a large transformer plug plugged into a regular receptacle. They are typically tan in color. It may even have a small screw that holds it in place (will be installed in place of the screw that normally holds the cover plate on). Unplug this transformer plug and you are halfway there (no wire cutting needed). 
 
• Next, you will need to open the main control box and disconnect the backup battery that is usually there. This is usually a metal box, approx 12″wide x 14″ high x 3″ deep, and it is usually in a garage or a closet. Most are either tan, gray, or white in color. There may be One or two screws holding it closed. Open the box and disconnect one lead of the backup battery. This will kill all power to the system and now you will have no more issues with the alarm system.
 
The second option, instead of disconnecting the alarm system, is to contact a security provider and activate the system. This would be at an additional cost to you but we recommend this if within your budget for obvious safety reasons.
 
 

Miscellaneous Issues


A/C Filters
Please replace your a/c filter each month (or clean if it is a washable unit), and use a good quality filter than you cannot see through. If you have pets or several members in your household we recommend replacing your filter more often to maintain quality air inside your home. 

 

Smoke Detectors
If you find that one of more of the smoke detectors are beeping, please replace the batteries first. They are usually just telling you that the backup batteries are running low on power. Most smoke detectors have 9volt rectangular shape batteries. 

 
 

Bathroom and Kitchen Caulking
Clean your bathrooms and kitchen caulking regularly, by using Lysol or another similar cleaning product to keep it looking best and mildew-free. 

 

Rent Credits for Repairs
We don’t normally provide a credit or rent reduction for repairs that you do as a Resident. If you are planning on making any alterations at your own cost such as painting or landscaping, please contact us first so we can obtain prior approval from the landlord. Please keep in mind that you and the landlord’s “styles” may not match.

 

 

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