Home Repairs In The Time Of COVID-19

Spending extra time at home? The House Whisperer shares a few tips on how you easily fix some your home repairs. He discusses plumbing, fixing your electrical system, and more.

Use your time efficiently, eventually we won't have all this extra free time. Dean suggests we make the most of it.

Electrical and Lighting:

What to do when you pop a breaker?

- Reset the breaker

- Move the load to another circuit (modern kitchens have two receptacle circuits and dedicated circuits)

• MYSTERY outages - Why the hell is this outlet not working?

- Popping a GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter)

- Popping an AFCI (Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter)

Replacing switches and receptacles yourself

- power off

- photograph existing connection

- label wires

- follow stripping guiltiness on new switch/receptacle

What to do with ungrounded receptacles?

- if old enough run ground wire to metal box and use conduit system

- replace any receptacle with GFCI


Clogged drain

• the right plunger

- the combo plunger - NO

- bellows plunger - YES - even minis available for sinks

- Johnny Jolt Power Plunger - awesome - looks like a water cannon

Before renting a snake or calling plumber

- check for hair build up under sink stopper - disposable hair clog removers - $3

- remove p-trap

Running toilet

• float set too high

• replace old flapper - does black come off on your hand?

Listen to Dean explain it below:



- usually at the top - check hinge butts and replace screws with longer screws into framing or door rail

- sand or plane door edge

Not latching

• again - check hinges

• lipstick strike plate test

• file strike plate

• move strike plate - chopsticks or toothpicks and super glue

• sliding door or screen door dragging

• clean out the track

• lubricate the rollers

• adjust door height and angle by adjusting roller height

• squeaks

• dry graphite, silicone, white plumbers grease, garage door lube

• possibly the hinge barrels aren’t aligned and need straightening (usually the top hinge)


• clear tape - Gorilla tape or packing tape (not a fan of masking tape because of moist weather)

• heavy cardboard wrapped in plastic

Garbage disposal

• allen wrench to force open the blades

• reset the motor cut-off

Drywall nail pop

• use drywall screws above and below

• set nail

• patch

Floor squeaks

• can you get at it from underneath?

• pull back carpeting and look for rows of nails

• floor squeak screw kit

Chirping Smoke Detector

• replace battery

• replace with new detector if over 10 years

Fence repair

• know which component is actually the problem

Cracked caulking

• remove the old first!

• less is more - do layers

• get a caulking tool

• use a drip free caulking gun

• caulk remover

Broken sprinkler head

• is it a faulty head a broken riser or a broken pipe?

• pvc repairs must be clean and dry

• use primer and glue or Oatey Fusion all in one

• attach new heads with flex offset risers

• you should probably convert some sprinklers to drip systems

Burnt out landscape light

• it might be the bulb if conventional

• if LED it’s likely the connection

• re-pinch or splice with waterproof wire nuts


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