6 Vital Skills For Surviving Homeownership

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It’s all fun and games until a pipe springs a leak or the toilet backs up. Sure, owning a home is quite the accomplishment and it’s nothing to take lightly, but there are a few skills you must possess in order to survive a few common household emergencies. Since most houses don’t come with an owner’s manual, here are the answers to some of the questions you’re inevitably going to have:

  1. Fixing A Leaky Faucet: most of the time, leaky faucets are due to worn out or failed washers inside a handle. In order to replace the washer, you’ll need to turn off the water supply valve, take the handle apart, remove the screw and pull off the handle. Then use a wrench to disassemble the stem and line up the parts in order so you remember how to replace them. Swap out the broken or worn out pieces and return the parts as they were when you began the project.

  2. Locating A Stud: whether you’re hanging a shelf, a picture or anything else that needs to be screwed into the wall, you’re going to need to be able to find the studs. Keep in mind that most studs are placed 16 inches apart from one another so once you find one, you can easily find the rest.

  3. Unclogging A Sink: step away from the chemicals! We repeat, step away from the chemicals! A full stoppage usually requires removing the drain stem and putting a plunger to work. If that doesn’t work, you’ll need to use a drain snake.

  4. Dealing With The Scent of Gas: gas leaks can create a combustible atmosphere in 10 seconds or less, so if you smell gas, do not turn on the lights, use your cell phone, or light any type of flame. Check all of the knobs on the stove and the oven and if that doesn’t do the trick, call the gas utility or fire department right away.

  5. Knowing How To Turn Off The Water: this will come in handy if you ever experience a burst pipe or any other type of leak. You should be able to locate your main water shutoff valve so you can save your home from a major disaster.

  6. Stopping an Overflowing Toilet: we’ve all had the “you know what” scared out of us when a toilet backs up and water continues to flow into the bowl. In order to stop an overflowing toilet, remove the tank cover, grab the float and pull it close to the valve. That should leave you with enough time to reach down and shut off the water valves behind the bowl.

Need help taking care of any of the above? That’s what we’re here for! Call on the friendly staff at Uptown Plumbing, Heating & Cooling and we’ll help you solve these problems right away.