Repair It Yourself

super simple home repair jobsEasy does it! A DIY home repair guide solves seven common problems — and saves you money rather than hiring a plumber or a carpenter.

Now of course these are all pretty simple jobs. Depending on your skill level and how “handy” you truly are will also have an effect on the outcome of each of these easy fix-its you can do around your own home.

And if you’re unable to do the job, then it might be time to either ask for help or hire a handyman, or woman.

And for the really big jobs, a licensed contractor or a builder like Icon Building Group might just be necessary.

THE PROBLEM:  LEAKY FAUCET

Probable cause:  Worn out or displaced gasket

What to do: 

1.  Cut off the water supply from the leaky faucet by shutting off the angle valve nearest it. If there is no angle valve, turn off the main valve that controls your water supply.

2.  Pry off the knob on top of the faucet with a screwdriver. Remove the screw under the knob.

3.  Using a vice grip, a wrench, or a pair of pliers, turn the valve stem counterclockwise until it is loose enough to be lifted out of the faucet casing.

4.  Replace the O-shaped gasket at the bottom of the valve.

5.  Reassemble the valve with the new gasket in place. Replace the screw on top if it has become rusty.

6.  Place the valve back into the faucet casing. Turn the stem clockwise to tighten.

7.  Put the knob back in place.

8.  Turn on the water supply and check the water flow.

THE PROBLEM:  DRIPPING PIPE JOINTS

Probable cause:  Wear and tear

What to do:

1.  Buy two cans of epoxy structural adhesive.

2.  Shut off the water supply.

3.  Follow instructions on the can:  Mix about two tablespoons each of the adhesive from both cans in a disposable tray. Apply the mixture around the leaking joints, packing it carefully against the pipe to make sure no air is trapped. Smoothen out. A tip:  Wet your fingers so the mixture doesn’t stick to them.

4.  Let dry for two to three hours.

5.  If you can’t keep the faucet off long enough to completely dry the adhesive, reduce the water pressure. This same procedure may be used to seal leaks in roof gutters and downspouts.

THE PROBLEM:  LOOSE CABINET HINGES

Probable cause:  Loose screws, or screw holes that have become too big.

What to do: 

1.  Remove all screws holding the loose hinge in place. Insert a matchstick (about as long as the screws you removed) into each hole that has become too big.  You may dip the matchstick in wood glue before putting it into the hole to make the fit more durable.

2.  Position the hinge correctly over the holes. Put in the screws.  If any of the screws still won’t stay in place or are still loose, insert one or two more matchsticks before replacing the screws.

3.  Work on one hinge at a time.

 

THE PROBLEM: STUCK DRAWERS

Probable cause: If a kitchen drawer on roller slides won’t slide out smoothly, it could be that the slides are misaligned because of some loose screws.

What to do:

Simply tighten all screws. If the screw holes have become too loose, use the same procedure in the problem above (loose cabinet hinges).

If one or both rollers in the slide is broken, buy a new pair of slides. Measure the slides and buy replacements. Remove the old slide and screw the new ones into place.

 

THE PROBLEM:  BROKEN TILE ON THE SINK OR KITCHEN COUNTER

Probable cause: Wear and tear

What to do:

1.  Use a concrete nail and hammer to remove the broken tile and the dried cement under it.

2.  Buy a replacement tile.

3.  Mix equal amounts of pure cement and water in a disposable tray. Prepare about 1/2 cup cement for each 4×4 tile, or about 1 cup cement for each 8×8 tile.

4.  Wet the tile thoroughly.

5.  Scoop the cement mixture on the back of the tile, then carefully put it in the prepared space. Tamp it down to level with the other tiles. Let dry for an hour.

6.  Before cement completely hardens, use the tip of a nail to scrape a groove in the spaces between tiles for grout.

7.  Mix equal parts water and grout, about two tablespoons for each tile.

8.  Place grout mixture between tiles. Wipe away excess with a wet sponge. Do not wet the area for at least 12 hours. Polish with a clean piece of cloth.

 

THE PROBLEM:  CLOGGED SINK DRAIN

Probable cause:  Foodstuff or other materials stuck in the P-trap. The P-trap is a drainpipe under the sink with a “U” on it; This contraption keeps water in the pipe. The water acts like a seal in the drain, keeping wastewater odor from seeping into your house.

What to do: 

1.  Unscrew the cap at the bottom of the “U” in the P-trap. Have a pail underneath to catch water.

2.  Pour water onto the sink to flush out any objects clogging up the drain. Wrap tape around the thread of the opening, or use an epoxy mixture (see instructions in “Dripping pipe joints”) on the inside of the cap to ensure a tight seal.

3.  Screw the cap back in place.

4.  Avoid clogged drains by keeping the sink strainer in place.

 

THE PROBLEM: CLOGGED FLOOR DRAIN

Probable cause:  Foodstuff and waste matter stuck in the drain.

What to do: 

1.  Remove floor drain cover or strainer.

2.  Use a toilet plunger to push the clog down the drain or to suction it out.

3.  If the plunger doesn’t do the trick, use any one-inch pipe measuring two feet in length to suck out the water a small amount at a time. Put one end of the pipe into the drain as far as it will go. Cover the top end with your thumb or palm. A small amount of water from the drain will move into the pipe.

4.  Without removing your hand from the top end of the pipe, pull it out of the drain and release the water into a pail. Repeat 10 to 15 times. Whatever is clogging the drain will come up with the water.

So there you go. A couple of easy fixes.

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