There’s a great feeling of independence when you move into your first apartment–you’re finally on your own! That feeling usually lasts until something goes wrong–a toilet overflows, the sink clogs, or any of a million little things that you’re not sure you can handle. Guess what–you CAN manage small fixes, and keep that independent streak going.
There are thousands of rental homes in the Boulder, Colorado area, and here are some of the most common problems renters face, along with easy fixes for each.
Changing Light Bulbs
- When you swap out the bulb, turn off the switch so you don’t burn your hands, and gently unscrew it counterclockwise. Take the bulb with you to the hardware store so you get the right size for the socket. Screw it back in, flip the switch, and voila–you are officially a handy person!
- If you are using an incandescent bulb make sure the wattage does not exceed 60 watts.
- If you are not sure, please call us. We are here to help!
Turning Off Water When the Toilet Overflows
- Yes, it’s kind of yucky, but the sooner the water source is stopped, the sooner the waterfall ends. There’s a valve on the wall behind the toilet. There’s a handle about 6 inches off the floor; turn it clockwise until it won’t turn anymore and the water shuts off. That will contain the damage until a plumber can get there.
- DO NOT put chemicals down an overflowing toilet– call maintenance. While you wait, clean up the floor as best you can with towels.
- A side note–toilets are wonderful things, but they are not to be confused with a trash compactor. The only things you should ever flush are what nature intended and some toilet paper.
If your toilet is sensitive, switch to a paper designed for septic tanks–it biodegrades better.
Replace Smoke Detector Batteries
- If the smoke detector is chirping, then it is time for you to change the batteries. Batteries need to be changed every 6 to 12 months.
- Most smoke detectors require a 9v battery. You can pick one just about anywhere. It is a rectangular battery, about the size of a box of matches.
- Once the battery compartment is open, pull out the battery, pop the new one in, and hit the test button to ensure it’s connected properly.
- If you are not sure how to do this, or you are unable to reach the smoke detector safely please call. We are here to help!
Resetting the Circuit Breaker
- When the power goes out in a part of your house, chances are it’s a circuit breaker. When you find the tripped breaker, turn off everything that is powered by that particular switch before you turn it back on. The breaker box is found behind a gray utility panel, probably in the laundry room, kitchen, or bathroom
- The tripped breaker (the one serving where the power is out) flips itself when it trips. It’s going to be the one that’s facing the other direction from the other switches. It may not flip all the way. Flip the switch all the way OFF. After a few seconds, move it to the ON position. If that doesn’t restore power, try flipping it again.
- If that doesn’t bring back the electricity, it’s time to call maintenance and get an electrician to figure out the problem. DO NOT try to be your own electrician. The risks are just too high.
- If you have no power anywhere in your unit more than likely this is a local power outage and Xcel energy is working on it. Be safe do not use candles, please use a flashlight if needed.
- You may want to check Xcel’s website for any power outages in your area.
When to Call Maintenance
- Call if you or the apartment is at risk. Plumbing, electrical, and gas failures are the most dangerous for you and your house; you should call maintenance whenever you smell gas, there’s a power failure or a plumbing issue.
- There’s a difference between routine and emergency maintenance issues. The above issues are emergencies, but a leaky faucet, squeaky dishwasher, blocked parking space are not. Don’t ignore the little things, though–they can easily escalate to an emergency.
At Boulder Property Management, our maintenance team is available 24/7, so your emergency doesn’t have to wait until Monday morning. We really do prefer repairing things ASAP-not only to limit damage, but so you can get your life back to normal as quickly as possible. If you are experiencing a maintenance emergency, contact Boulder Property Management maintenance 24/7 via phone or email.
During The Day: Call 303-473-9559, then Press #3 and you will reach the maintenance department.
After Hours: Call 303-473-9559, then Press #2 for EMERGENCY or Press #3 for a non-emergency issue.