Even if you don’t consider yourself a pro when it comes to DIY skills, you may well be able to save hundreds of dollars in home repairs a year. Every single repair listed below takes minutes to fix.
Better? You don’t need expensive tools or professional expertise. You just need to know what to do if the worst case scenario comes true and you find yourself facing a balky dishwasher or sliding shower doors that stop working.
Home repair problems, from clogged dishwashers to stuck sliding door tracks, may seem overwhelming (yes, I do know how terrible it can be to find a dishwasher churning water all over the floor) but can often be solved very quickly.
Will these solutions work in every case? Of course not. But with luck you’ll solve the problem and get on with your life. Here are four home repairs that you might find amazingly easy to handle:
1. Your dishwasher won’t drain. There can be a whole host of reasons why a dishwasher goes bonkers and spills water all over your floors. One of the more common issues occurs right after you’ve installed a new garbage disposal.
There is a simple piece called the knockout plug which is often overlooked. True to its name, this plug needs to be knocked out during installation of a disposal so that the dishwasher’s drain hose can be hooked up and work properly.
Forget this step and your dishwasher is practically guaranteed to spew out water on everything but your dishes! I found this out the hard way but could have solved the problem in less than five minutes if I’d known to check that very important plug. A kind plumber gave me the info over the phone.
Since then, we had another disposal installed recently and I asked the installer if the knockout plug had been removed. Sure enough, he’d nearly left before checking that vital detail.
The knockout plug is easily visible on your garbage disposal. Wonder where it is? If you don’t see a hose going from your dishwasher to your disposal, odds are the knockout plug is still in place. Take a hammer and screwdriver and gently tap it out. Hook up the drain hose to the drainage hole left in your disposal. Mission accomplished!
2. Your garage door opener won’t work and can’t be used to open or close your garage door. You know the garage door isn’t broken because the wall button still works. If you replace the batteries in your garage door opener and it still doesn’t work most of the time, you might be tempted to get a new opener. Before doing that, consider whether the weather has been unusually hot or cold lately.
If so, try putting your garage door opener in your purse or pants pocket whenever you leave your car. Believe it or not, this could be all you need to do to solve the problem. That’s because extreme weather conditions can affect battery effectiveness in some openers. After mine stopped working, I simply left it in a small purse compartment instead of inside my car. Once my opener was no longer exposed to scorching hot or freezing cold temperatures, it worked like a charm.
3. Your bathroom or shower doors stop sliding properly. You struggle to get rid of lime deposits which add to the problem. Sure, there are plenty of products “guaranteed” to get rid of hard water stains and lime deposits and I’ve tried every one I could find. Even so, I had to work up a sweat to remove those pesky deposits. It was only when I thought outside the box that I found a quick solution to this very annoying problem.
In a moment of desperation, I reached for the dishwasher powder which kept our dishes and cutlery spot free. I made a quick paste by adding water to the spot remover powder. By applying that mixture to the sliding door tracks, the lime and hard water deposits seemed to practically dissolve before my eyes!
I prefer a product called Lemi Shine but you might find an equally effective powder. Just be sure it is meant to remove hard water spots and deposits from dishware.
After the hard water debris dissolved, I used a toothpick to dig out any leftover material left in those difficult to reach sliding track corners. Once the deposits were gone, I made sure to spray the sliding door tracks weekly with my homemade solution (you can make an even stronger mix by combining vinegar with the dishwasher spot remover).
A little WD-40 applied to the track will helped keep deposits at bay. After I discovered this simple home repair, I winced to think of the hours I’d spent battling those lime deposits.
4. The bathroom towel holder falls off the wall and you can’t get the brackets to stay in place. The most common issue here is that the screws holding the brackets in place are stripped. This means they’ll remain loose no matter how hard you try to tighten them. A screwdriver won’t get those screws to stay in place.
But before you go out and get an entirely new bathroom towel holder, try a simple trick first. In my case, I made a paste from torn pieces of paper towels and a super glue specifically made for wood, walls, metals, and other materials.I used an old knife to gently ease the paste into the bracket hole.
Then I held the towel bar and bracket in place. Within ten minutes, I tentatively took my hand away from the towel bar and it stayed on the wall. To be on the safe side, I wedged a pole under the bracket. The pole helped keep the bracket tightly in place till the glue and paper mixture had hardened. It has been a year now and our towel holder has handled even the most water-soaked towels with ease.
Okay, you’ve got possible solutions to four common home problems. So next time you’re faced with a balky garage door opener – or even the disheartening sight of water pouring out from a dishwasher – take a breath and try the easiest option before calling a specialist to come to the rescue.