When you took your wedding vows, you knew you would be alone when your hubby gets deployed. But now that he’s deployed, it got you wondering. What would you do if a door knob gets loose? Do you call a repairman when the toilet won’t stop running? Here are some quick fixes for minor house dilemmas.
Stopping a Drippy Faucet
Look under the sink and check out what kind of pipes you have. If they are made of PVC, they will expand and contract depending on the water temperature. They will get loose.
Grab an old towel and wrap it around the pipe. Tighten the compression nut attached to the P-trap. This is the U-shaped pipe that directs water outside your house. As you tighten, twist to the right (think of that old saw, righty-tight, lefty-loosey.) This will save your bacon – along with a repair bill. Don’t tighten it too much. If your pipes are made of copper, you’ll need a pipe wrench to tighten here.
When the Toilet Doesn’t Work Right
If your toilet has begun to run, this wastes a lot of water. Here, you have more than one fix option. Take the lid off the toilet tank and see what you have in the water there. You should have either a float arm, metered fill valve or a float cup.
If your toilet has a float cup, compress the little clip and slide it up. This raises the water level in the tank. Sliding it down lowers the level.
If your toilet has a float arm, it’s connected to a large, black float ball. With both hands, g-e-n-t-l-y bend the float arm down. The float ball will be lowered and the water level will increase.
If your toilet has a fill valve, use a flathead screwdriver and turn the screw on the fill valve to the right. The water level will raise up.
Securing Locks and Door Knobs
A misaligned door latch means the door won’t close or open correctly. To fix a latch that doesn’t catch and allow the door to stay shut, the bolt might not be lined up with the strike plate. Take a large metal file – the kind repairmen use – and begin filing the strike plate’s inside edge to make the opening bigger.
If the latch doesn’t reach the strike plate, remove the plate and add a shim (or a slender piece of wood) or even another strike plate and screw it back into the door frame.
Tighten a loose door knob by loosening the setscrew on the neck of the door knob. Grip and turn the knob clockwise until it is snug again. Using a screwdriver, tighten the screw until the head meets the flat spindle part.
When to Call a Professional
If you truly don’t have any repair skills for any water-related repairs, call a plumber. If your home has an electrical problem, don’t try to fix it yourself. Call an electrician. If you’re repairing an appliance that relies on gas, call a plumber or gas fitter. Getting on a two-story ladder to clean out the gutters should also be done by a professional.
The bottomline – if the process is too complicated, best to call a professional than risk getting hurt. But hey, it doesn’t hurt to learn! Make sure watch Mr. Repair Man and ask for quick fix tips that you can apply next time.