You can save a lot of money by staying on top of your home maintenance, but unfortunately accidents will happen. When something gets broken or blocked, the first reaction is usually to call in a professional to fix it, but this can also cost you a lot of money. While there are some repair jobs that should be left to the experts, you can save the money by fixing the small repairs yourself. All you need is a basic toolbox, and a little patience.
Unblock the sink
Don’t use a chemical unblocker; they are abrasive and can damage your skin. Instead, use a solution of baking soda and vinegar to try and unblock your sink. The two ingredients react together to push the blockage out. If this doesn’t work, use a plunger to clear the blockage. It just requires a bit of elbow grease and patience.
Clearing the blockage by hand should be a last resort, but it is doable. Plastic traps are easy enough to remove, but metal ones may require some tools and muscle power. Once the pipe is removed, you can push out the blockage.
Don’t leave this job until the last minute, because those wasted drops of water add up to your bill. Not to mention, this job is so easy to do by yourself that waiting to do it just makes no sense. The only reason for a repair not to work is if the taps are old, in which case you should run to the nearest Tap Warehouse for an upgrade. Before you get to that point, however, just try this quick repair yourself.
Start by turning off your water supply, and then use a flathead screwdriver to remove any decorative parts of the tap. Underneath each knob, there is a screw that secures the handle to the stem. Unscrew, then gently remove the handle with your flat-head. Loosen it using WD40 or other penetrating oil, and then you will be able to take the faucet handle off the stem. Use your wrench to loosen the packing nut. From there you should notice the stem. Remove that as well. Depending on the faucet, some stems pop right off, while others twist off from the valve. Check the removed parts for any damage. If everything is intact at this point, inspect the O-ring and washer inside the valve seat—they could be the reason for your leak. Remove the washer and put a replacement inside the seat.
First, make sure the circuit breaker is turned off. Using a flathead screwdriver, remove the faceplate covering the switch, then use a voltage tester to make doubly sure the circuit is not active. Next, use a phillips head screwdriver to pull the switch off the wall. You will see two wires still attached to the light switch. Disconnect the wires, one at a time, and attach them to the corresponding location on the new switch. Now, simply put everything back together.