Home fixes

If you run into plumbing or electrical hitches in and around your home, here are a few points to keep in mind.

  • Use the shutoff valves under or behind the sink to turn off water to a faulty fixture.
  • If you notice a leak in the bath or shower, stop using it, turn off the water at the fixture and arrange for a repair service.
  • If there is a leak in the water heater, use the shutoff valve on top of the heater to turn off the water before draining the unit.
  • If you notice water spots, try to trace the leaks to one location (toilet, sink or tub) and turn off the water to that fixture. Arrange for service through a third party provider.
  • If a power outage occurs, inspect all circuit breakers. If a breaker is damaged, arrange for service. If they’re not damaged, turn them all off and back on again, one at a time.
  • If there is no power to an outlet, check if it is connected to a wall switch that has not been turned on before you inspect the circuit breakers. Reset any that may have turned off.
  • If a hanging light fixture does not work, a connection along the circuit may be broken. Check if wall switches, circuit breakers and the bulb has been installed properly.
  • If you have a stuck window, use a putty or plastic knife to gently score the edges and prise the window open. Once open, apply a thin layer of paraffin wax around the edges.
  • If you’re getting an odour around your home after a vacation, the drain pipes may have dried up. Try pouring water down the drains.
  • Indoor plants may release an odour if left unattended for long periods. Inspect your plants and prune any rotting parts if necessary.
  • A buildup of dust and moisture can cause exhaust fan to spin slowly. Clean the fans periodically to ensure optimal performance.
  • Clean the railings of any sliding doors occasionally with a toothbrush and then vacuum to remove accumulated grime.
  • Clean mildew spots with a three percent solution of hydrogen peroxide for a quick fix.
  • If you need to increase the flow pressure of your taps, fit them with aerators – they save water too. Simply unscrew the spout, and screw the aerator onto the tap.