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Maintenance FAQ

QuestionAnswer
How to turn off main water supplyIf you have a catastrophic water leak in your house, you will need to turn the water off in the basement. The water meter is usually by the front wall attached to a pipe coming out of the wall. There should be a shut-off valve should be either right before or after the meter - turn the handle clockwise to shut off the water.
Poor Water FlowCleaning clogged faucet aerators and sink sprayers help faucets function like new. Mineral deposits and sediment can slow the water flow. When a faucet has a weak or intermittent flow, the problem is often with the aerator. Aerators contain a fine wire screen that mixes water with air to provide an even flow. Over time this screen can become clogged with mineral deposits or debris, reducing the amount of water coming through. To solve the problem, unscrew the aerator from the end of the faucet, and soak it overnight in a cup of white vinegar. The acid in the vinegar will dissolve any deposits and make the aerator as good as new.
Tub/ShowerThe biggest problems with tubs and showers are hair clogs. Try to clean the drain area if you see hair building up to prevent a clog. If you notice a faucet leak call immediately. If your showerhead has poor water pressure, you can unscrew it and flush it out under the sink to clean out built up sediments. Use a good shower curtain to prevent water damage around the outside of the tub. If you notice any caulking or grout that is deteriorating around the tub/shower area, please contact the office immediately, so that we can minimize water intrusion.
Clogged ToiletsThere is not much that can go wrong with toilets. They do require new parts, but not very often. The main concern is foreign objects getting stuck in them. Do not flush feminine products or any other large items down the toilet. If a stoppage occurs because of this reason, the tenant will be charged for all costs to repair. If you notice any discoloration in the flooring around the toilet or if it seems to be rocking at the base, the wax seal may be broken or deteriorating and you must contact the office immediately. If our plumber determines that a clogged toilet was caused by the resident, then very possibly the resident will have to pay the plumber's bill. If you think you've caused the problem and want to avoid this situation, you can try to unclog the toilet yourself.
Carpets & Floor CareDirt, not normal wear and tear is the single largest contributor to the demise of carpets. Be sure to vacuum on a regular basis. If you do stain the carpet, work immediately to remove it as much as possible. The longer a stain stays embedded in the carpet the harder it will be to remove later on. There are many household products that are effective in stain removal, you can look up many of these systems on the internet under carpet stain removal. Never clean the carpet without testing a very small portion of your cleaning compound on an out of the way piece of carpet to ensure discoloration will not happen. Be very careful when moving large objects and furniture across linoleum and hardwood floors. Use a dolly for large appliances and furniture pieces or slide a rag or sock over the legs of furniture when moving across flooring. Never clean hardwood floors with solvents you are not sure of.
RoofsIf you notice any stains forming on your ceiling or wall area contact the office immediately. If a large leak occurs causing a bubbling effect in the ceiling material, make a small puncture in the bubble with a knife and place a bucket under the leak immediately. Never hesitate in informing us of a leak.
No heat for systems using electric heatBefore calling in your problem or making a work order request, please check the below possible options. 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. Check that your thermostat is on, heat is selected, and set at a temperature that would call for heat (not too low) Check that there is nothing obstructing the airflow from the heater or heater vents Electric furnaces, not baseboards or cadet heaters, often have a light switch right next to the furnace which turns the furnace off. Because this switch is identical to a light switch, it gets turned off by mistake. Simply check any nearby switches. If they don't turn lights on and off, they may be turning the furnace on or off. After checking the above and you still do not have heat, please submit an online maintenance request.
My air conditioning is not workingIf your A/C stops working, especially after a quick power outage or storm, then it could well be the breaker switch, not the A/C. Please check the breaker first. See "Reset Circuit Breakers" below. If your unit is not working and you have submitted a maintenance request, please turn off the unit completely. The reason is that the majority of time, the coils have frozen up and when the technician gets there, he won't be able to do anything until the coils thaw out. This means 2 trips for the HVAC technician, and a longer wait for you.
How do I change my A/C - furnace filtersHow to change an in-furnace filter
My garbage disposal is jammedWhat To Do if Your Garbage Disposal is Not Grinding: 90% of garbage disposals that appear not to be working just need to be reset. There is usually a red or black reset button on the garbage disposal motor underneath your sink. Just push to reset. Give it a push-start. Most garbage disposals have a hole underneath that allows you to hand-crank it free once it's been jammed. To crank it, use either an Alan wrench or a garbage disposal tool that you can pick up at most hardware stores. This should free up most non-serious jams.
I lost power to the bathroom, kitchen, or outsideA GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) outlet is a device that adds a greater level of safety by reducing the risk of electric shock in locations such as bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms and outdoors. A GFCI outlet may be wired in a branch circuit, which means other outlets and electrical devices may share the same circuit and breaker (or fuse). When a properly wired GFCI trips, the other devices down the line from it will also lose power. Note that devices on the circuit that come before the GFCI are not protected and are not affected when the GFCI is tripped. If you have an outlet that doesn't work, and the breaker is not tripped, look for a GFCI outlet which may have tripped. The non-working outlet may be down line from a GFCI outlet. Note that the affected outlets may not be located near the GFCI outlet, they may be several rooms away or even on a different floor. Pressing the "Reset" will restore the circuit.. If the outlet doesn't reset, what ever appliance that is causing it to trip, may still be unplugged. If after unplugging everything, checking the circuit breaker or fuse, and resetting the GFCI does not work, please submit a maintenance request to First Rate Property Management right away.
I lost power or need to reset the circuit breakerReset Circuit Breakers If you have been using an electrical outlet and it stops working, then you may need to reset a “tripped” circuit breaker. This happens many times when you are using appliances that may cause a temporary overload on the system such as a hair dryer or portable heater. Please click here for instructions on resetting a tripped 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. 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 Liberty Management immediately. If no circuit breakers were tripped and you still do not have power at an outlet, the circuit is probably on a GFCI.