Maintenance Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Garbage Disposal Dos & Don’ts – Proper OperationA: If your kitchen has a garbage disposal, you know how easy it makes mealtime clean up. But what you may not realize is that your disposal comes with some pretty important rules. Watch this helpful video, How to properly use your garbage disposal, to understand what can be put into a disposal and what can not be put into a disposal.
Here are some of the most vital points:
Insert food slowly. Stuffing it all into your disposal at once can cause clogs and shorten the life of your system.
Grind hard materials. Many people think food like small chicken bones or small fruit pits are a no-no, but they can actually help clean the walls of the disposal.
Use cold water for at least 20 seconds. This will solidify grease so that it can be ground up. Also, make sure that all food particles are washed completely down the drain.
Keep it clean. One good way to eliminate drain smells is by grinding citrus fruit peels. You can also add a few drops of dish soap and let the disposal run for a few minutes.
Use hot water. This will make grease liquefy and build up, which can clog the drain.
Grind fibrous or expandable foods. Do not put things like celery stalks, corn silk and onionskins into a disposal because they can tangle up the disposal blades. Foods like pasta and rice can clog it.
Turn off the motor too quickly. You’ll want to make sure all food particles are completely ground. Once done, continue to run the water for at least 15 seconds to flush out particles.
Wash coffee grounds down the drain. While they won’t harm the disposal itself, they can clog pipes and drains.
Forget to use it. Lack of use can cause rusting and corrosion, which can lead to premature system replacement.
Q: General Smoke detector information.A: Some people think smoke detectors will also detect carbon monoxide, this is false. Most properties do not have a combination smoke/carbon monoxide detector. They are usually clearly labeled if they detect carbon monoxide as well as smoke/fire.
A tenant is responsible for maintaining smoke detectors, test them at least once a year, preferably more often. Change the battery once a year.
Smoke detectors have 2 alarms each indicate separate issues.
- Beep/chirp approximately 2-3 times every 5 minutes most of the time means the battery needs changed. If that doesn’t fix it, it may have lost power to the unit or have a loose connection. If you unplug the detector from the ceiling/wall, it will probably continue making noise because there is a back-up battery in most of them. If you take the battery out it still has enough power stored internally to beep 4-5 more times.
- Beeping/chirping non-stop and continuously means there is smoke/fire inside the home or it is a false alarm.
Reasons for a false alarm:
- Most false alarms (chirping non-stop) are caused by dust in the sensor area of the detector. – Fixed by blowing out with compressed air or vacuum.
- Some smoke detectors have an expiration (10 years for example & usually labeled on back of unit) and after that time period they start having false alarms. – Fixed by replacing expired detectors.
- Very rarely, false alarms are caused by drastic temp./weather changes, like an attic being 120 degrees and house at 75. – Fixed by pushing the silence button (if it has one) and after a short time it will reset and hopefully not falsely go off again.
- Very rarely, false alarms are caused by air blowing directly on the detector (open window, ceiling fan blowing upward instead of downward, etc.). – Fixed by re-directing air movement away from detector.
- Very rarely, false alarms are caused by a defective detector. – Fixed by replacing detector.
Q: How do I change my air conditioning filters? Also known as furnace filtersA: Take a look at this helpful video, How do I change my furnace filters?
Q: How to turn off the main water supply.A: Take a look at the video, How to turn off main water supply.
Look for the shutoff valve outside around the perimeter of the home. It will typically be located where the water pipe enters the house and it could be connected to the water faucet where you can attach a hose. It can sometimes be located on the wall behind bushes or in the ground. Find the water meter and you’ll locate the main shutoff nearby.
There will be a shut-off valve that could look like one of these examples:
In older homes, the main water shut-off may be under a large heavy metal lid near the street. For more information, click here.
Q: How to unclog my drain.A:
Do not use Drano or similar products which can damage the drain pipes!
Take a look at the video, How to unclog my drain.
Q: I lost power or I need to reset the circuit breaker.A: 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. If your home uses an actual fuse and not a circuit breaker.
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 Salefish Properties immediately.
If no circuit breakers were tripped and you still do not have power at an outlet, the circuit is probably on a GFCI. See Item #2 below.
Q: I lost power to the bathroom, kitchen, or outside.A: A 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 Salefish Properties.
Checking for a blown fuse.
If you have an older home, you may have fuses as opposed to circuit breakers. Located inside or outside of your home is a fuse box that contains a fuse for each of your home’s circuits. A fuse provides protection for each of your circuits. When an electrical short occurs or the load on your circuit becomes too great, the fuse on that circuit burns out and breaks the circuit; this is what is referred to as a “blown fuse”. If your home uses circuit breakers instead of fuses, Click Here.
Before electricity can be restored, the fuse must be replaced with a new fuse. However, even before you replace the fuse, 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 that no dangerous condition exists before restoring power.
Replace the fuse with a fuse that is of the proper rating for the circuit. For instance, if the circuit is rated for 15 amps, use a 15 amp fuse. Never use anything other than a fuse of proper rating.
When removing or inserting a new fuse, NEVER touch the metal parts of the fuse. If your fuse box is equipped with a master switch to cut power to the fuse box, cut the main power prior to replacing the fuse.
Electricity should now be restored to the circuit. If the fuse blows again before you have turned anything on or plugged anything in, submit a maintenance request to First Rate Property Management right away.
If the fuse blows after plugging in or turning on a device, that device may have a short or may be placing too much of a load on the circuit.
If no fuses were blown and you still do not have power at an outlet, make certain that the switch, if any, that controls the outlet is turned on. If you can find no problem, the outlet, switch, wiring or some other component may be at fault. Also, the outlet may be on a GFCI branch circuit. Refer to the guide for checking a GFCI circuit.
Q: I put the wrong soap in the dishwasher-now what?A: Take a look at ACME’s “How To” information, I put the wrong soap in the dishwasher-now what?
Q: My Air Conditioning Isn’t Working – No A/C.A: Before contacting our office, please review the following:
- Is the filter dirty? If so, replace immediately. Dirty filters are the cause of 95% of all heating and A/C issues. Your lease requires you to maintain your air filters, if you submit a request for maintenance and your filters are found to be dirty, you likely will be billed for all charges. To avoid inconveniences of having no A/C or no heat, keep spare filters handy and replace them monthly. Salefish Properties requires you to change your filters. Check the video, How do I change my furnace filters?
- Check to see if the circuit breaker hasn’t tripped. Reset the circuit breaker if necessary. If the a/c system is not working also be sure to check the breaker outside next to the outdoor (condensing) unit.
- Do not store anything in the a/c closet or block the door way. The air conditioning system needs fresh air to flow to the air handler which is located inside thehome, usually where the filter is replaced.
- Inside the house or around most interior (air handler) systems there is something similar to a light switch. This operates the power to the blower. Be sure this switch is on before completing the online maintenance request. You will be charged for a service visit if the heating/cooling company has to flip this switch.
- Check that your thermostat is on, set to cold, and the fan set to auto. Do NOT set your thermostat below 70 degrees on hot days. This will cause your A/C to be overworked and it will ice up and blow warm air. During the summer months it is best to leave your A/C set to 78 or 79 degrees all day to maintain a consistent temperature and to dehumidify (dry out) the air inside the home on humid or muggy days. If you turn your A/C on when temperatures have already reached above the high 80′s inside, most likely your home will not cool to the desired temperature for several hours.
- Check your outdoor unit. If the copper or metal pipes/tubes going from the unit into the home have ice on them your unit is overworked and/or may need freon. Please submit a maintenance requests stating your unit is iced up. The A/C technician can not perform any services while the unit is in this condition. To thaw out the ice, turn your thermostat off and the fan on (if that is an option on your thermostat). This will circulate air to thaw out your A/C and can take up to 4 hours.
- Some properties also have Overflow switches installed on the inside unit. When the drain pipe gets clogged, the air conditioning system will stop or just blow warm air. Please contact the office right away, you’re a/c will not work again until the drain pipe is cleared.
- If you hear a dripping sound or see a large amount of water collecting on the floor, turn off the a/c immediately and contact the office right away. This usually means that an Overflow switch is not installed and the drain pipe is clogged. Clean up the water immediately so it does not damage the flooring or baseboards.
If after checking the above and you still have no A/C, please submit a maintenance request. Within the request, please identify the outcome of the above steps so the technician can come better prepared. Usually the first hot days of summer, air conditioning technicians get booked up quickly. We will get to you as soon as possible.
Q: My garbage disposal stopped working – what do I do now?A: Watch this helpful video, How to unjam my garbage disposal, for tips on getting the disposal to start working again.
Q: Trouble shooting your dishwasher.A:
Excerpts from ACMEHowTo.com.
Dishwasher does not work – no sound, water or lights
- Check for a blown fuse or tripped circuit breaker
- Check that the dishwasher is plugged in securely
- Check the door latch
Too many soap suds Wrong type of dishwashing liquid was used, see ACMEHowTo.com Dishwasher does not start but motor hums
- Submit a maintenance request to Salefish Properties
Dishwasher does not fill with water or it drains while filling
- Check that the water supply is turned on. The valve may be located under the sink.
- Check the door latch
- If problem continues, submit a Maintenance Request to Salefish Properties
Water does not drain from the dishwasher
- Clean the drain or basket located inside the bottom of the dishwasher
- Re-run an entire cycle, if problem continues clean the drain with a mixture of vinegar and baking soda as seen in this video.
- If you have a brand new dishwasher or garbage disposal, check the knock out plug on the garbage disposal.
Dishwasher is leaking water or soap leaks around the door
- Check your garbage disposal to make sure the drain is not clogged.
- Make certain that your detergent is intended for dishwashers. Do not use liquid dish soap.
- If problem continues, submit a Maintenance Request to Salefish Properties.
Door does not close or latch properly
- Check for obstructions
- Check the door latch
Dishwasher cycle does not complete
- Let the dishwasher complete the cycle wherever it is at, then re-start a new cycle and it should clear itself.
Detergent cup does not open
- Check and clean the detergent cup for obstructions
Dishes are not cleaned adequately
- Try product Glisten Dishwasher Cleaner
- Clean the drain screen
- Spray off dishes before using the dishwasher
- Run several cycles with no soap to clean out soap residue.
- Refill Rinse Agent compartment with Jet Dry