Many city dwellers believe themselves to be independent and self-reliant. After all, they’ve managed to survive in a concrete jungle for so long. Once they encounter a clogged toilet or broken lock however, their first impulse would often be to call the landlord or the repairman.
Instead of spending money on fixing these problems or waiting for the landlord to get back to you, consider fixing it yourself. Here are three home repair scenarios you can easily remedy:
- Unclogging the toilet
Toilets tend to clog easily after flushing too much waste. To save yourself the embarrassment of calling the plumber, consider buying a high quality plunger. You can find these heavy duty rubber plungers at Amazon or Home Depot for less than $10.
Pouring a mixture of hot water, 1 cup baking soda and 2 cups vinegar into the toilet will make it easier to unclog the toilet. Let this homemade drain cleaner soak for a few minutes to loosen up the blockage and clear away any built-up dirt.
If a combination of the drain cleaner and plunger doesn’t work, you can make a DIY drain stick using a wire coat hanger. Unravel and straighten the hanger, leaving the end curved to form a hook. Attach a rag at the hooked end securely and stick the hanger down the toilet. Twist and push the hanger until you clear away the obstruction. Once the water begins to drain, flush the toilet to make sure it’s working well.
- Unlocking a broken lock
If you’ve ever accidentally locked the bathroom door or forgot the key to your apartment, you don’t have to wait around for a locksmith. Locks are alarmingly easy to manipulate.
Privacy doors used in bathrooms, for instance, can be opened with just a flat head screwdriver. Just slide in a screwdriver small enough to fit the hole in the knob, gently push back the locking mechanism, and work the knob.
For entry or interior doors however, you will need more sophisticated tools. Thankfully, you can buy lock picking tools online for less than $12. To open a locked door, you need a tension wrench and a rake pick.
First, insert the tension wrench at the bottom of the keyhole and work the rake pick into the gap left above. Wriggle the rake pick up and down as well as in and out. Do this a couple of times, as this motion will set the pins one by one. Once you hear a click, then viola! You’ve picked your first lock.
- Replacing Furnace & AC Filters
Do you have a noisy air vent? Then your HVAC system may be working inefficiently. Dirty filters are often the reason HVAC systems work harder and make a humming noise. By replacing these filters every six months, you can stop the constant humming sound and save money on your heating and cooling costs.
The first step to replacing your HVAC filter is by checking its size. You can find the correct air filter size by turning off your heating or cooling system and manually measuring the filter. Once you have a new filter, unlatch the register’s cover grille and swing it out of the way. Remove the old filter and clean any dust or grime left over using a damp rug.
Position your new air filter properly by making sure the airflow arrows point toward the ductwork. Put back the cover grille and latch it securely.
By taking the time to learn a few home repair skills, you can be self-reliant, save money and give yourself a true sense of accomplishment.