Now that Google and YouTube are able to serve us up with detailed instructions on how to solve almost any problem or task, and also diagnose a problem from a list of symptoms, many people are getting more used to reacting to problems quickly, rather than preventing them, to begin with. It is always worth learning how to carry out some of the most basic home maintenance tasks anyway, after all, even in today’s world you never know when you might be stuck without the internet or hit by an unexpected blackout.
Here are some common home maintenance problems that anyone can solve, as long as they know how.
Peeling Exterior Paint
This is most often a sign that moisture is accumulating under the paint. Check for any overhead leaks, as well as exterior walls which regularly come into contact with steam from a bathroom. The earlier you address this problem, the better. If left too long, it will develop into rot and you will be facing some pretty expensive repairs.
If you can identify the problem early then you simply need to scrape off the loose paint, prime the bare patches, and then repaint only those sections. If the problem is caused by steam coming from a bathroom, then consider having a new ventilation system installed.
Lighting a Water Heater
There are some scenarios where you might have to light a water heater yourself, such as after having a new unit installed, restarting the gas after it has been shut off for maintenance, or those times when the thing just seems to inexplicably shut off!
Your water heater will be lit in one of three ways. First is the standing pilot, which is lit electronically using an electronic pilot. All Things HVAC have a great guide to teach anyone how to light a water heater with electronic pilot. If your heater uses a manually lit standing pilot, as many older heaters do, then there will be no status light, nor a simple ignition switch. For this type of heater, you should contact either the manufacturer or an HVAC company and ask them what to do.
The newest heaters will use an electronic ignition without a pilot light. This type of heater doesn’t have a constant pilot light ignited like the other varieties do. Instead, they only fire when water needs to be heated. If you are having problems with this type of heater then it is probably due to a fault with the gas control valve. Contact the manufacturer for more information.
Rotten Egg Smell When Running Water
If you notice a foul, egg-like smell when you run water from a tap, then this is an indication of bacteria in the plumbing. These bacteria produce hydrogen-sulfide gas, which is what you can smell. A quick test you can do is to fill a glass with hot water, take it away from the sink, and give it a smell. If the odor is no longer present, then this indicates the bacteria are present in the pipes.
Disinfect your drain shouldn’t cost more than a dollar or two. You need to buy some 3% hydrogen peroxide down your sink to kill the bacteria.
Learning how to fix and maintain your home as much as possible is a worthwhile skill, but for more tips and advice, check out this article.