Common Issues & Troubleshooting Tips.
Are your drains clogged? Use a common plunger to create a seal over your drain and attempt to push and blocks through the pipes. Be careful not to overuse corrosive drain cleaning chemicals, which could damage your pipes.
If your toilet won't flush properly, the first step is to use your plunger to push the blockage through the system. Do not flush the toilet multiple times or you may flood your bathroom.
If your handle isn't working, lift the cover of your toilet to make sure the chain is connected properly.
Electrical OutageIf your property loses power, ask your neighbors if you're the only home affected. Power outages sometimes occur during stormy weather or because of nearby construction. If you're the only home impacted, call the utility company for information.
Hot Water Heater IssuesIf you don't have hot water, you need to check that your hot water heater is working properly. Check the thermostat and make sure the water temperature is at the right setting. You should also verify that the tank is not in vacation mode. Try to reset the tank and wait 15 to 20 minutes before testing the water temperature.
If your heater or air conditioner isn't working properly, check your thermostat to make sure the settings haven't been tampered with accidentally. Many modern thermostats allow you to reset the entire HVAC system with a few clicks.
You may also want to call your utility company to make sure there are no problems with your account.
My maintenance issue is an emergency!Have an emergency problem? Call 911 in life and death circumstances.
I lost power or need to reset the circuit breaker
A circuit breaker provides protection by stopping the flow of electricity if an overload or fault occurs. When an electrical fault occurs or the load on your circuit becomes too great, the breaker on that circuit trips and interrupts the flow of current to that circuit. A tripped circuit breaker is still sometimes referred to as a "blown fuse" in reference to the older technology that circuit breakers replaced. If your home uses an actual fuse and not a circuit breaker. Before electricity can be restored, the circuit breaker must be reset. However, even before you do that, you must take steps to ensure that it is safe to do so. Turn off or unplug all of the devices that are plugged into the circuit. Make certain no dangerous condition exists before restoring power. A Circuit Breaker which has been tripped will either be in the middle or "OFF" position. Locate the tripped circuit breaker and reset it by pushing it all the way to the "OFF" position and then back to the "ON" position. Often when you can't cannot reset the circuit breaker, it is because it must be turned all the way to the "Off" position first.
Electricity should now be restored to the circuit. If the circuit breaker trips again before you have turned anything on or plugged anything in, please submit a maintenance request to First Rate Property Management immediately.
If no circuit breakers were tripped and you still do not have power at an outlet, the circuit is probably on a GFC
How to Test a Smoke Detector
If the smoke alarm or carbon monoxide (CO) alarm does not work, check the following:
First, replace the batteries. Tenants are responsible for the replacement of batteries.
If a new battery does not work, submit a maintenance request. It is important to replace batteries and NOT disconnect the smoke alarm or CO alarm.
Normally the alarm will emit a beeping sound when the batteries are not working or losing their charge.
Test your smoke and CO alarms every thirty days. If the alarm is not working after replacing the batteries, submit a maintenance request immediately. Do not disconnect or remove a smoke or CO alarm.
My air conditioning is not working
Before calling in your problem or making a work order request, please check the below possible options:
- Check ALL circuit breakers. If a circuit breaker overloads, it will trip off the circuit breaker. A tripped circuit breaker is often difficult to see, and it would appear that it is not tripped. Therefore, yli> must turn the breaker all the way off and then turn the breaker all the way on. If you do not turn the circuit breaker all the way off, it does not reset itself to correct the problem.
- Inform us if something is displayed in the thermostat (if it doesn´t show anything maybe it's the batteries, just change them and see if the problem gets solved).
- And, please let us know if the unit is working but not cooling (air flowing from the vents) and when was the last time you changed the filters.
If after checking the above and you still do not have air conditioning, please submit a Service request
How to Maintain a Residential Natural Gas Furnace
- Turn off the electrical power to your furnace at the switch that should be located on or near the furnace.
- Locate the filter access.
- Open the filter access and remove the filter.
- If you haven't done this already, look on the filter for the size and write the filter size and type on the furnace or near the filter access using a permanent marker.
- Change your furnace filter every three months if you use a pleated or polyester filter; every month if it is a fiberglass filter; every month if there is smoking or pets inside the home regardless of the type of filter you use.
- If your filter is located inside the blower compartment of the furnace take the time to vacuum out any dust and dirt that may have accumulated using a brush attachment. Take care not to damage any wiring inside of this compartment.
- Place the old filter into a plastic bag to prevent dust from getting back into your home and dispose of it in a trash can, do not put it into your recycle can.
- Put the new filter into the filter compartment, making sure to remove all packaging materials from the filter.
- Close the filter access and make sure all fasteners, clips or screws used to keep the access closed are put back into place.
- Turn the power switch or circuit breaker on.
- If your furnace doesn't come on you can test it to make sure it comes back on by turning up the temperature setting on your thermostat control.
- If you turned up the thermostat be sure to return it to its original setting.
What to do if you smell gas in your home?
As household boilers, gas fires, most central heating systems and many ovens are fuelled by gas, leaks do sometimes occur. So just in case your home does suffer a gas leak, follow these safety guidelines on what to do if you smell something whiffy…
Use your nose
Your nose is your personal gas alarm. Domestic gas doesn’t actually have a smell, energy providers add it to the supply to enable you to sniff a gas leak out straight away. So always be aware of the smell of gas.
Got a blocked nose? Lost your sense of smell? You’ll still be able to tell if there’s a gas leak in your home. Physical symptoms can include: dizziness, fatigue, nausea, headaches and irregular breathing.
So, if you find this happening to you when you’re inside but not out, you could have a gas leak.
Don’t be a bright spark
Don’t operate any electrical switches or create any flames, this includes flicking on a light switch and making sure you’ve turned off the cooker – and don’t even think about lighting a cigarette indoors!
Ventilate the property
Open windows and external door immediately to allow the gas to dissipate as quickly as possible.
Turn off gas at the meter
Not sure where the meter is? Then make it a priority to find out. Call your gas supplier if you need help locating it.
Call for professional help
Don’t attempt to sort the problem out yourself. Call for suitably qualified help immediately. Phone the National Gas Emergency Service on 0800 111 999.
Evacuate if necessary
If you have an unventilated basement or cellar that has a strong smell of gas, evacuate everyone from the building immediately. If the smell is overpowering in other areas of your home, you may also want to wait for help outside – but only after implementing the preceding safety measures.
Tell the neighbors
Let your neighbors know if you think they may be affected by the leak – it’s better to be safe than sorry!
Wait for the all clear
If you’ve evacuated the premises, don’t let anyone (apart from the person sent to repair the leak, of course) back into the property. Wait to be given the all clear before going back inside.
- Use your nose
What if I don’t have hot water?
- Check that a fuse hasn't blown or that the circuit breaker hasn't tripped. Replace with the appropriate fuse or reset the circuit breaker.
- Some properties also have Hydronic Furnaces. This means the heat comes from the hot water in your water heater. To be sure the hot water is getting to the furnace check the water valves going from your water heater to the furnace. They both need to be on (turned the same direction as the pipe). Sometimes the hot water valve is turned off in the summertime in order for the A/C to work at the highest efficiency. Properties with these systems include those at Garverdale, Tottenham, Wilson, Cloverbrook and Cloverfield. If you live at any of these properties please be sure to check your valves.
- Check to see if the pilot light is on. If it is not you can follow the directions on the water heater to re light the pilot light.
If the electricity does not work in part of the house
- Check for Ground Fault Circuit Interrupt (GFCI) outlets, which are usually located in the garage, patio, kitchen, or the bathroom. Reset tripped GFCI outlets by pushing the small button in the middle of the outlet.
- Check the circuit breakers to see if any have been tripped.
- If the circuit breakers continually keep going off: Check to see if too many appliances running at the same time (irons, microwave, toaster, curling iron, computers, printer, blow dryers, etc.) are causing an overload.
Checking for a blown fuse
If you have an older home, you may have fuses as opposed to circuit breakers. Located inside or outside of your home is a fuse box that contains a fuse for each of your home's circuits. A fuse provides protection for each of your circuits. When an electrical short occurs or the load on your circuit becomes too great, the fuse on that circuit burns out and breaks the circuit; this is what is referred to as a "blown fuse". If your home uses circuit breakers instead of fuses, click here.
Before electricity can be restored, the fuse must be replaced with a new fuse. However, even before you replace the fuse, you must take steps to ensure that it is safe to do so:
- Turn off or unplug all of the devices that are plugged into the circuit. Make certain that no dangerous condition exists before restoring power.
- Replace the fuse with a fuse that is of the proper rating for the circuit. For instance, if the circuit is rated for 15 amps, use a 15-amp fuse. Never use anything other than a fuse of proper rating.
- When removing or inserting a new fuse, NEVER touch the metal parts of the fuse. If your fuse box is equipped with a master switch to cut power to the fuse box, cut the main power prior to replacing the fuse.
Electricity should now be restored to the circuit. If the fuse blows again before you have turned anything on or plugged anything in, submit a maintenance request to First Rate Property Management right away.
If the fuse blows after plugging in or turning on a device, that device may have a short or may be placing too much of a load on the circuit.
If no fuses were blown and you still do not have power at an outlet, make certain that the switch, if any, that controls the outlet is turned on. If you can find no problem, the outlet, switch, wiring or some other component may be at fault. Also, the outlet may be on a GFCI branch circuit. Refer to the guide for checking a GFCI circuit.
How to Fix a Garbage Disposal
Locate your garbage disposal's operating manual, if you can. It can instruct you on recommended garbage disposal repairs and give you a diagram of the disposal before you take anything apart.
Find the hex wrench that came with the disposal. This tool is usually kept near the disposal for small repairs.
- A hex wrench is a small, thin metal tool. It has 6 sides and it tightens the mounting bolts on the disposal. It is often referred to as a hex key and is used for bike repairs and furniture construction.
Turn off the garbage disposal using the circuit breaker. Occasionally, wall switches are not properly connected, so there should be no chance that power can get to the impellers.
Hold a flashlight above the garbage disposal. Attempt to see down the disposal and find the cause of the clog.
Remove the drain cover, or rubber catch, if possible.
Stick a hex wrench or wooden spoon handle into the disposal. Rock it from side to side between the impellers to try to loosen any caught food.
- If you find some hard object, such as a bone, try to grasp it with tongs and pull it up. It is preferable to forcing it down the hoses.
- If you believe it is still clogged, leave the power off. You will need to go underneath the sink and remove the hoses that attach to the disposal. You can clear the impellers with the hex wrench from below.
Turn on the water. Turn on the disposal. See if the disposal appears to be running better.