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NMS West Hills
NMS West Hills

3 Beginner-Level Repairs Every Renter Should Know How to Make

3 Beginner-Level Repairs Every Renter Should Know How to Make

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If you’ve never lived on your own before, moving into a new apartment can be equal parts exciting and overwhelming. Part of living on your own means learning how to take care of your apartment and performing regular maintenance to ensure the systems in your home are working properly.  


Most luxury high-rise apartments in San Fernando Valley have a system in place to handle regular maintenance requests like beeping smoke detectors, water leaks, clogged toilets, electrical work, and leaky faucets. But knowing how to do some of the most basic home repairs can save you time and be quite the confidence boost!  


Here are three beginner-level repairs every renter should know how to do: 


Unclog A Toilet 

It happens to everyone. A clogged toilet can be an inconvenience that you don’t necessarily want someone from the maintenance team to come over to address. If you want to try and fix this problem on your own, follow these steps: 


  • Use a bucket or cup to manually remove some of the water so that when you put the plunger in, it doesn’t overflow.  

  • Slowly lower the plunger into the toilet, making sure to let the air in the plunger escape. 

  • Create a seal with the plunger at the opening of the toilet 

  • Plunge the toilet by using a straight up and down motion. This will force the water down through the opening and into the pipes and push the blockage down.  

  • Once the blockage is removed, you will see the water in the bowl start to come down.  


If you don’t have a plunger, you can also unclog a toilet with a little bit of soap and hot water.  


  • Manually remove some of the water, then lubricate the bowl with a little bit of dish soap or shampoo (but only a little bit.)  

  • Heat a gallon of water to very hot but not boiling. If the water is too hot, it could crack your toilet bowl.  

  • Pour the water into the bowl, and let it sit for 20 minutes.  

  • Next, flush the toilet. If it works, you did it right! If it starts to overflow, quickly turn off the water valve behind the toilet and try again.   


Fix The Dryer 

If your apartment has a washer and dryer, or you're sharing one with suitemates, you may run into a situation where your clothes aren't drying properly. Before calling the maintenance team, there are a few things you can do to rectify the situation that doesn't include any electrical work.  


A few things you can do before calling maintenance include:  


  • Cleaning out the dryer vent. If it gets filled with lint the air won’t circulate properly and clothes won’t dry The dryer vent is filled with lint and needs to be cleaned 

  • Look behind the dryer. Sometimes the vent hose gets kinked or pinched and restricts airflow  

  • Check to make sure the dryer is balanced. If it’s not, it could prevent the hot air from moving through the dryer correctly.  


You may be able to troubleshoot your dryer problems on your own, but if these steps don’t work, it’s best to file a maintenance request and let the pros handle this expensive appliance.  


Replace The AC Filter  

Replacing the air filter in your apartment should be part of your regular home maintenance routine. Replacing the filters every 1-3 months will improve air circulation throughout the apartment and reduce the dust that is in the air. Dirty air filters can aggravate your allergies and other respiratory systems.  


Smaller apartments may have one single central air return register, while bigger apartments could have multiple. The register is usually located in an open area like a hallway ceiling. Remove the register grill and the air filter will be right behind it. 

Here’s how to remove an old air filter and replace it with a new one:  


  • To access the filter, you’ll need to take off the vent cover. You might need a screwdriver.  

  • Have a trash bag nearby so you can take the dirty filter out and put it right in the trash 

  • Look for the directional arrows on the air filter. This will show you which way the new filter needs to be inserted. 

  • As long as you have the right size, the filter should slide right into place.  

  • Replace the vent cover  


The maintenance team in your apartment may have a schedule for changing out the air filters in individual apartments, but it’s always nice knowing you can do it on your own.  


Bottom Line 

Knowing how to take care of basic maintenance issues in your apartment is an important part of living on your own. Knowing how to do some of these things reduces the amount of time you're waiting on a maintenance technician to come out to your apartment to fix them.  


High-end apartments like NMS West Hills have a professional maintenance team that is on-site and ready to help with everything from routine to emergency maintenance, But it never hurts to know how to handle some of these common issues on your own.  


Learn more about what it would be like to live in NMS West Hills here  

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