7 Tips to Avoid Needless (and Embarrassing) Calls for Repair

It can happen to the best of us. We discover that something isn’t working and we jump to the conclusion that it isn’t working. We feel that feeling in the pit of our stomach as we think, “well how much is THIS going to cost?” And maybe we wonder if the item somehow knows that we just got a bonus and is figuring out how to spend the money FOR us.

But is it REALLY broken?

Here are some tips (from our real life archive of repair calls to fix things that weren’t really broken) to help you avoid unnecessary expenses.

1. Check the Batteries.

Even if it was just working yesterday, if it has batteries, make sure they’re fresh. We got a call from a client who thought that their thermostat needed to be replaced and after replacing the battery it worked just fine.

2. Be sure which one is broken.

If the light won’t turn on, it could be one of several things, but the first thing to test is the light bulb. Try the bulb in another fixture. If the bulb doesn’t work (or if it’s a three way, has one or two settings burned out), replace the bulb in the original fixture. If it does work, return the bulb to its original location, make sure it’s screwed in all the way and test again. If it still doesn’t work it could be the fixture, or…

3. Make sure it’s plugged in.

Sometimes things get unplugged for whatever reason. Before calling the repairman to fix any appliance make sure it’s connected to power. And if it is…

4. Make sure the circuit breaker hasn’t been tripped.

One thing that’s important to know is where your breakers are, which plugs they affect and how to reset one properly. We’ve gone out on numerous calls where either the homeowner didn’t know where the breaker was OR they thought they had reset it, and it wasn’t done correctly. If you’re not sure, ASK! We are happy to show you how.

5. So your garbage disposal isn’t working?

Did you know they have a reset switch? If you’re not sure where (or if) your model has one, Google is a great resource for finding that out. But before you flip that switch – Make sure there’s nothing clogged inside. Spoons, rags, etc., can trip the switch. So have a look and make sure it’s clear. If you have to reach in and get something out, remember safety first. Be sure the switch is in the OFF position and the no one turns it on while performing this operation.

6. Dryer not drying?

Check the lint trap and make sure the vent is not clogged with lint. This is a major cause of house fires, so add cleaning the vent to your list of regular and important home maintenance items.

7. Above All, Safety First

These days, we use our homes for so much more than originally imagined. When older homes were built, some of the appliances that are used in our kitchen, living room or garage were just a fantasy or thought too expensive for the average homeowner. In addition, we use rooms intended for sleep for home offices. If your circuit breaker keeps flipping, chances are you are overloading it. We’ve heard horror stories about people who get annoyed with having to reset it over and over again – and tape the breakers so they won’t flip! This is incredibly dangerous. Don’t be that person.

The Fix-It Professionals is a team of professionals working together to make your environment functional, beautiful and FIXED. John is the licensed electrician and fix-it guy who helps busy, professional women fix their homes & offices, making their environments be exactly as they wish them to be.

The Fix-It Professionals also help the commercial world, assisting Realtor and property managers with everyday fix-it jobs that contractors won’t fix. Let’s face it, most contractors won’t enter the building or office unless it’s a larger job. Not us, we are proud to help you with your everyday fix-it needs. You can find us at