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When something breaks inside your house it can seem like the end of the world. At the moment, all the impending outcomes flash before your eyes. Being late to work because you’re trying to fiddle with the now broken appliance. Or totally missing work because the repairman can only come during your important office meeting on Tuesday.
I’m so happy I work at home.
However, many conflicts can be avoided if you take the time to fix the problem yourself. With a little guidance, you can save some time and money with these helpful DIY home improvement repairs.
Unclogging the Garbage Disposal
The garbage disposal helps with kitchen cleanup, but every once in a while it can become clogged. If this happens, there are a few home improvement tips you can try before calling a REAL home improvement professional.
Our disposal becomes clogged way too often. I think my grandfather thinks it’s a trash compactor!
- The first step with a lot of home improvement projects is to turn off all electricity associated with it. Flipping the switch off may seem good enough, but to be extra safe cut off the breaker to the kitchen. Better safe than sorry!
- Assess the disposal with your eyes. If you see something viably sticking out, like a spoon, grab a pair of tongs and remove it. Heavy-duty pliers can be used if the item is stubborn and isn’t budging
- After you remove the item completely — turn on the disposal and see if it runs smoothly. If it does not, or there was nothing visibly stuck — grab a longer object to stick into the disposal and feel around. The whole idea is to never put your hand or fingers into the disposal. Try to locate the blades with your longer object and push them loose.
- Push the blades into moving back and forth — remove the object from the disposal and turn it on to see if it works. If it does not, check the bottom of your disposal and see if there is a small screw. If there is a small screw, you can get a wrench and twist the screw back and forth. Many garbage disposals have this screw as a built-in fix for when the disposal gets clogged. Turning it should get the blades moving freely again. We use this a lot.
Fixing a Clogged Drain is a Must Know Home Improvement Repair!
Everybody has to deal with a clogged drain at some point in their life. So get this home improvement repair under your belt early on!
Whether it is a drain in the bathtub or the sink, here are a few steps to take before pumping in the chemicals.
- Fill up the sink with hot water and soap. Then let the water slowly drain.
- Run the water briefly to see if the drain is no longer clogged. If the water is not going down smoothly, turn it off quickly. Now it’s time to try and remove the problem deeper down inside the drain.
- If it is a bathtub drain, remove any metal stopper in the way. Find a wire hanger and bend it so it is narrow enough to fit down the drain while still having a hook at the end. Lower the hanger into the drain and try to pull out any gunk. Oftentimes bathtub and shower drains are clogged by hair. If there is any hair take the time to remove it all with the hanger. Once everything is removed, run the water again to check the status of the drain.
- If the drain is a part of a sink, get a wrench or a pair of pliers and prepare to unscrew the attachments on the pipe beneath the sink. Loosening these attachments will break the pipe into separate pieces. After taking these pieces apart, thoroughly clean them and attach them back together. Once everything is tightened — turn on the sink to see if the drain is working properly again.
- Removing the main clogged portion of the drain should do the trick, but if it does not, it may be time for chemicals. Research the best options online and consider using more natural products to help maintain the quality of your piping.
Sometimes there is just too much damage done to your house appliances for you to be able to DIY home improvement repairs. If at any time during your “do it yourself” agenda you feel as if you are unaware of what to do next or fear you may be making it worse, do not hesitate to call a professional.
Can’t figure out how to tarp a leaking roof? Other DIY home repair remedies are just a google search away.
Krystle Cook – the creator of Home Jobs by MOM – put her psychology degree on a shelf and dived into a pile of diapers and dishes instead. She is a wife and mother to two rambunctious boys, sweating it out in her Texas hometown. She loves cooking, DIY home projects, and family fun activities.