Although many repairs require the specialized knowledge of a professional, there are some you can do yourself with a little education, a great home repair reference book, and a sense of adventure. The do-it-yourself approach can also save you a lot of time and money. Here are the solutions to three other common problems:
Problem #6: The garbage disposal isn’t working.
Solution: Before declaring the death of your garbage disposal, first check the circuit breaker or fuse, and reset or replace it if necessary. Also, press the reset button located at the bottom of the disposal unit. If all else fails call a plumber. It’s usually cheaper to buy a new garbage disposal — you can buy one for as little as $54 — than to fix it. However, it is best not to try to replace one on your own, but ask a professional for help.
Problem #7: You smell gas.
Solution: If you smell gas in your home (a distinctive odor reminiscent of rotten eggs), New England Gas Company suggests that you immediately open all doors and windows and go to your nearest neighbor’s home to call the fire department. Do not try to call from your home, turn on/off a light switch, or operate any electrical device. The slightest spark could ignite the gas.
Problem #8: Your dishwasher squeals when it runs.
Solution: When it comes to repairing major appliances, Eicher recommends calling an appliance repairperson because of the complicated electrical work that can be involved. He says to plan on spending at least $75 for a service call. Before hiring a professional, always check your warranty. If your appliance is still under warranty, you will need to use a factory-authorized service professional so you don’t void your warranty.
Written by Dawn Pick Benson