Quick Fixes for Top 7 Home Problems

A suburban home.

Troubleshooting common household problems is a skill every homeowner should master. From getting rid of odd smells to repairing the little annoying things like broken doorbells, knowing how to fix those things will save you a great deal of time and money in the long-run. Here is a quick guide on how to fix 7 of the most common household problems.

Toilet Woes

A toilet.

Of all the possible problems that might arise, having a broken toilet in the house is always going to be a big problem. While there are many reasons why toilets break down, the most commonly sought after culprit is a worn out flush arm. Replace the part by lifting off the lid and unhooking the chain. Use a wrench to take off the nut that attaches the flush arm to the toilet. Remove the handle and take it with you when you purchase the replacement. Install the new part by reversing everything you just did, or just follow the instructions that came with the new arm.

Smelly Washers

Clothes next to a washing machine.

A stinky washer is a common problem for homeowners. The best way to combat this musty stank is to remove wet clothes as soon as possible. You should also open the washer door to air it out in-between loads. Once a month, wash the outer rim of the washer with a mixture of white vinegar and water. Then run a cleaning cycle on the hottest setting, filling the washer with baking soda before it runs. If that does not get rid of the smell, then check the drain pump and clean it out per the manual.

Busted Doorbell

A woman presses a doorbell.

The reason most doorbells stop working is due to a faulty button. To test it, simply remove the button and connect the wires together. If the doorbell works then you know the button is bad. If the doorbell fails to chime, then the wiring could be bad, something might be wrong with the transformer, or it simply might need for you to put fresh batteries in the chime unit. Either way, it is sometimes much easier for a homeowner to replace the entire unit than it is to try and troubleshoot it any further.

Noisy Bathroom Fan

An updated bathroom.

Nobody likes a noisy bathroom fan. Fortunately, fixing a rattling fan is a lot easier than you might think. More often than not, the cause of a noisy fan is discovered to be a loose cover. You can fix this by slightly bending the brackets that hold the cover in place. Before you put the cover back on, take the time to inspect, and clean out the fan. Removing dust and debris will make it run better and increase its longevity.

Stinky Garbage Disposal

A woman pours baking soda into a garbage disposal.

If cleaning the sink does not eradicate a bad smell then the culprit is most likely going to be the garbage disposal. To freshen up your garbage disposal, simply dump a few cups of ice down the sink. With the water running, turn on the disposal. The ice should get rid of any debris on the blades. Next, pour a mixture of vinegar and baking soda down the disposal and wash everything down with some water. Lastly, cut up a lemon and run it through the disposal to give it a nice fresh, lemony smell.

Door Woes

The front door of a home.

Doors can create many headaches for some unlucky homeowners. If you are dealing with a squeaky door and do not have any oil-based commercial lubricants on-hand there are a number of other household items that make great lubricants for use on metal surfaces. This includes cooking oil, a bar of soap, petroleum jelly, or some wax from a paraffin candle. Just remove each hinge pin and coat it with your lubricant of choice. For doors that are loose when they're closed, you'll need to tweak the latch plate to tighten things up. To do this, you simply bend the tab that is connected to the latch in the direction of the stop until the door closes tightly enough.

Repair Loose Chairs

Colorful chairs outside.

It's never any fun to find yourself sitting on a loose chair. You can easily fix these potential safety hazards with a little bit of epoxy and a few wood clamps. Start by removing the stretchers, or the pieces that go between each leg, and cleaning off any glue that remains on them. An old knife works especially well for this application. Once all of the old glue has been removed, coat each end with a slow-curing epoxy. Reinstall the stretchers and clamp everything together. Clean any extra epoxy off of the chair with some vinegar. Remove the clamps once the epoxy is dry and the chair should be as sturdy as it ever was.