Four easy home fixes you can DIY

Everyone has to deal with broken household appliances at some point. You might encounter a bad refrigerator, a faulty remote, and sometimes, a pesky dishwasher that won’t start. 

With broken appliances, you have two options; you either get someone to fix it (and spend some money), or you roll up your sleeves and fix it yourself. 

Here are some easy home fixes you can try and save money.

1) Fixing a dishwasher that won’t start

There’s a mountain of dishes waiting by the sink, and the dishwasher suddenly won’t do what you bought it for. Before you start doing those dishes yourself, check if your dishwasher has any power. A tripped breaker might be the culprit here. To ensure that’s not the case:

  • You first need to check your home’s electrical panel. If you find a tripped breaker, check around the kitchen to see if other appliances are off.
  • If they’re off, unplug small appliances and then try resetting the breaker (for shared-load circuits). If you don’t use a shared-load circuit, no unplugging is necessary. Simply reset the breaker. 

If power isn’t the problem, you need to check if the door is latching properly. If the door isn’t shutting, your dishwasher won’t start. 

Check to see if any utensils or dishes are getting in the way of the door. If that’s the problem, that’s pretty easy to fix-just get them out. 

Another thing to look out for is the delay timer. If you’ve set it by mistake, all you need to do is press cancel

If you’ve done all the things and your dishwasher still won’t start, it might be a problem with the electrical connection or something else that you’re probably not qualified to repair. In that case, it’s time to call a professional repairman. 

2) Your refrigerator won’t work 

There are a number of refrigerator failures you might encounter. But if you’re a pet owner and the refrigerator suddenly stops working, your furry friends might be responsible.

Check the coils for tuffs of pet hair. If you’re not sure what the “coils” are, they’re the black tube-and-wire grid that cools the fluid in the compressor. 

Your pets might have shed a lot of hair around that area. A heap of hair will cause the compressor to overheat and trigger the overload switch. But how do you clean out the hair? Here’s how to do it:

  • First things first, you can get to the coils by opening the grille at the bottom of the refrigerator. 
  • You need to have a coil cleaning brush. If you don’t have one, they’re not hard to find. You can get them at home centers. 
  • Push the coil cleaning brush into the coils, pull it back and vacuum to your satisfaction. 
  • If your fridge comes with coils at the back, pull and adjust your fridge until you can comfortably brush off the pet hair and dirt on the coils. 

3) Leaking whole house water filter 

Your whole house filter might be leaking for several reasons. A damaged O-ring, a crack in the fittings, a loose canister or plain old wear and tear. 

If your whole house filter system is leaking, your mission will be to find out the cause of  the leak. There are many reasons why it could be leaking and different fixes for each scenario. 

It might be a bit difficult to find the root of the problem if a lot of water is gushing out, but it’s not an impossible task. You can likely find the cause without running down to the plumber. 

The most common cause of a leaking whole house water filter is the filter housing, so if you’re looking for a place to start, you should look right there. 

Here’s how you can inspect the filter housing: 

  • You first need to turn off the main water supply. Don’t remove the filter housing without turning off the main water supply, unless you want to turn your basement or garage into a little swimming pool. 
  • After turning off the water supply, you’re going to have to depressurize the whole house filter. You do this by opening some faucets around the house to drain all the water. When the supply is all drained out with the water flowing in trickles, you turn off the taps. 
  • Whole house filters come with pressure release buttons at the side. Press down these buttons to release pressure from inside the housings. If your filter comes with a shutoff or bypass valve, turn it on to avoid water damages. 
  • The next step is to twist the housings. You’ll need a specific wrench to do this and it’s usually included in the package. Once the housing is loose, unscrew it from the cap with your hands. 
  • There should be a bucket or a tub under the housing to prevent a big spill. 
  • With the housing open, you can inspect carefully and check for cracks on the thread. 

There are other reasons why your whole house filter could be leaking and different ways to tackle each problem. 

4)  Fixing a faulty TV remote

A broken TV remote can be frustrating. You can’t lazily change the channel while lying on the couch. You have to stand up a lot, or worse, watch awful shows. 

If your TV remote stops working, you first need to check if the batteries are at fault. Sometimes, you put the batteries in the compartment and forget about them for the next two years. If you don’t remember the last time you changed batteries, it’s time to get new ones. 

If old batteries aren’t the problem, check if they are properly fixed in the compartment and if there are items blocking the sensor between your remote and the TV. 

There might also be a bit of corrosion when you remove the battery cover and batteries. To take care of this, put on protective gloves and wipe the corrosive surface with a damp cloth. You can moisten the cloth with a small amount of white vinegar. 

If your remote still doesn’t work, there might be some circuit and wiring issues that you’re not qualified to handle. That’s as much as you can do. And anyway, remotes are fairly cheap. You can easily get a replacement instead of calling someone over for repairs. 

Cable companies, satellite TV providers, and third-party parts sellers are great places to start. You can also check with the manufacturer. So the next time your TV remote goes completely bad, you should be thinking about calling one of these guys.