Emergency Repair Tips

What you can do

This guide is intended to help you help us.  We encourage you to call us (970) 297-2847, with the repair, but if you need to know how to do something, the list below is for the most common type of repair calls we receive.


CO AND SMOKE DETECTORS

  • When you are hearing the alarms go off, DO NOT disregard the Alarms…they are there to save your life in the event of a FIRE or CARBON MONOXIDE LEAK.  Middel Realty has received several calls over the last
    couple of weeks and has noticed a trend in the dates of some First Alert Carbon / Smoke detectors.  The units in the middle of the upstairs hallway are the ONLY CO DETECTOR in the home.  If you hear your alarms going
    off, there is a reason.  The most common reason is that the Unit is old and is stating to the occupants that the unit needs to be replaced.  
  • 3 BEEPS
    • When you hear 3 beeps, within about a second-Beep..BEEP..BEEP…you will know that the unit making the beeps is faulty and needing replacement.  Typically, this will happen at O’Dark thirty in the morning and
      you will be afraid.  If you fear that there may be a leak, you can contact 9-1-1 and ask for a firetruck to be dispatched and have the home searched for traceable levels of CO.
    • Please call Middel Realty and we will come out and replace the unit.  If you can PLEASE call us in the morning rather than at Midnight or 4Am, that will be greatly appreciated. We are on call 24/7 however we
      might not be able to arrive until later on in the morning if we don’t have any extra alarms in stock.

      • In the last 10 years, Middel Realty has responded to 100’s of alarm calls, and never found a leak in the furnace heat exchanger or faulty hot water heater.  There is always a first, but take solace in the fact
        that we do a ton of Preventative Maintenance and that you home is safe.
  • You can have directions for all the BEEP alarms by reading the PDF about the First Alert CO Alarms and First Alert Smoke Alarms (view documentation)

 

From the Manufacturer

IF YOU SUSPECT A PROBLEM

Smoke Alarms may not operate properly because of dead, missing or weak batteries, a build-up of dirt, dust or grease on the Smoke Alarm cover, or installation in an improper location. Clean the Smoke Alarm as described in “Regular Maintenance,” and install a fresh battery, then test the Smoke Alarm again. If it fails to test properly when you use the Test/Silence button, or if the problem persists, replace the Smoke Alarm immediately. If you hear a “chirp” once a minute, replace the battery.  If you experience frequent non-emergency alarms (like those caused by cooking smoke), try relocating the Smoke Alarm. If the alarm sounds when no smoke is visible, try cleaning or  relocating the Smoke Alarm. The cover may be dirty. If the alarm does not sound during testing, make sure it is receiving AC power from the household current.  Always discharge the branch circuit before servicing an AC or AC/DC Smoke Alarm. First, turn off the AC power at the circuit breaker or fuse box. Next, remove the battery from Smoke Alarms with battery back-up. Finally, press and hold the test button for 5-10 seconds to discharge the branch circuit.


WATER FLOWING INTO CRAWL SPACE

  • Most likely, it is winter and the spigot on the outside of the house has been damaged by freezing temperatures.
  • Turn the water off for the whole house to stop the water.

BASEMENT HOMES

    • The water shut off valve will most likely be in the corner with the furnace.  You will see two valves.  One above the water meter and the other below the meter.  Either one will turn it off.

NO BASEMENT HOMES

    • These valves may or may not be located outside the crawl space.  Most likely the water valve will be in the crawl space.  You can turn it off there.  Look for the water meter by the crawl space entrance near the foundation wall.

HOT WATER HEATER

  • LEAKING

    • “Is the water coming from the water heater, or is the water coming from the pipes leading into the hot water heater?”
  • WATER IS COMING FROM THE PIPES

    • BASEMENT HOMES

      • The whole house water shut off valve will most likely be in the corner with the furnace.  You will see two valves.  One above the water meter and the other below the meter.  Either one will turn it off.
    • NO BASEMENT HOMES

      • These valves may or may not be located outside the crawl space.  Most likely the water valve will be in the crawl space.  You can turn it off there.  Look for the water meter by the crawl space entrance near the foundation wall.
    • If the water is coming from the water heater, there will be a valve above the right side of the top of the water heater.  This will close off the water supply to the water heater.
    • The valve will be either flat and parallel to the pipe OR will be a circular knob that needs to be turned clockwise to turn the water off.
    • If you cannot find this valve, look for the main water shut off.
    • BASEMENT HOMES

      • The water shut off valve will most likely be in the corner with the furnace.  You will see two valves.  One above the water meter and the other below the meter.  Either one will turn it off.
    • NO BASEMENT HOMES

      • These valves may or may not be located outside the crawl space.  Most likely the water valve will be in the crawl space.  You can turn it off there.  Look for the water meter by the crawl space entrance near the foundation wall.
      • Once you turn this valve off, the water should stop leaking from the from the water heater.  TURNING THE VALVE OFF HERE IS IDEAL BECAUSE THE HOUSE WILL HAVE COLD WATER….(NO HOT WATER THOUGH).
      • If the water is still draining, hook up a hose to the base of the water heater and point the hose towards the drain in the unfinished area.  Open the water spigot and let the water drain out.
      • If the water is going everywhere, grab some old towels and make a dam around the drain to help corral it into the drain.
  • PILOT LIGHT

    • “Do you see a little square red button or a red top that looks like it belongs on a gas BBQ grill?” If so, this is called your Ignition Button.
    • Follow the Silver Gas Supply line to the Black Pipe where there should be a valve.
    • If the Answer is “NO”, you will want to look for a LONG match or an electronic lighter with a long stem on it.
    • Remove the front cover.  This is the piece of metal that covers the base of the water heater and should be at the base of the water heater.
    • On the hot water heater dial, there should be a little button to push that can only be pushed when the dial is in the correct position.
    • Push down and HOLD this button for 5 to 10 seconds, make sure that the match is lit or you have your lighter handy.  In the front part by the gas pipes running into the water heater base, there is a little open ended channel pipe pointing towards the center of the water heater is where you direct the flame from your flame source.
    • The pilot light is hard to see if and when it turns on.  Keep a sharp eye out and a keen ear to hear it light.
    • HOLD the button down for about 30 to 45 seconds longer to ensure that the heat sensor warms up.  IF YOU DO NOT HOLD THE BUTTON DOWN LONG ENOUGH, THE SENSOR WILL TURN THE GAS OFF.  IF THIS HAPPENS REPEAT THE SAME STEPS WHILE HOLDING THE BUTTON DOWN LONGER AGAIN.
    • Replace front cover and turn the dial to A, B, C or HOT.  This is the thermostat and will govern how hot you want the water to be.
    • Turn dial to “Pilot”
    • Follow the Silver Gas Supply line to the Black Pipe where there should be a valve.
    • Make sure the Valve is Parallel to the Black Pipe
    • On the hot water heater dial, there should be a little button to push that can only be pushed when the dial is in the correct position.
    • Remove the front cover if applicable.  This is the piece of metal that covers the base of the water heater and should be at the base of the water heater.
    • Push down and HOLD this button for 5 to 10 Seconds, THEN start to press the ignition button repeatedly until you see the pilot light come back on.
    • The pilot light is hard to see if and when it turns on.  Keep a sharp eye out and a keen ear to hear it light.
    • HOLD the button down for about 30 to 45 seconds longer to ensure that the heat sensor warms up.  IF YOU DO NOT HOLD THE BUTTON DOWN LONG ENOUGH, THE SENSOR WILL TURN THE GAS OFF.  IF THIS HAPPENS REPEAT THE SAME STEPS WHILE HOLDING THE BUTTON DOWN LONGER AGAIN.
    • Replace front cover and turn the dial to A, B, C or HOT.  This is the thermostat and will govern how hot you want the water to be.

TOILET

  • OVERFLOWING

    • Behind the toilet on the floor there is a Chrome Stand Pipe.
    • On the pipe, there is an oblong shaped valve.
    • Turn the valve clockwise until you feel the valve shut.  DO NOT OVER TIGHTEN.
    • Make sure to wipe up the water before it stains the floor or leaks, causing more harm.
  • BACKED UP

    • You can try to plunge the toilet, but if you can wait for Middel Realty, we prefer to snake it.  Plunging may only push the obstruction further down the pipe causing more damage.
    • If the reason it is clogged is due to fecal matter ONLY, plunging is a good idea.  Place the plunger over the center of the toilet in the water and gently but forcefully push on the handle.
  • CONSTANT RUNNING

    • If you are worried, you can turn off the water to the toilet.
  • HOW TO TURN OFF

    • Behind the toilet on the floor there is a Chrome Stand Pipe
    • On the pipe, there is an oblong shaped valve.
    • Turn the valve clockwise until you feel the valve shut.  DO NOT OVER TIGHTEN.
    • Make sure to wipe up the water before it stains the floor or leaks, causing more harm.
    • Most likely, the flapper is warped, dirty or there is an obstruction preventing the flapper from sealing shut.
    • Clean the flapper with your finger and if it continues to run, Middel Realty will be out to replace the flapper.
  • LEAKING FROM BASE

    • DO NOT USE THE TOILET, PERIOD.
    • TURN OFF WATER TO TOILET
    • Behind the toilet on the floor there is a Chrome Stand Pipe
    • On the pipe, there is an oblong shaped valve.
    • Turn the valve clockwise until you feel the valve shut.  DO NOT OVER TIGHTEN.
    • Make sure to wipe up the water before it stains the floor or leaks, causing more harm.

SINK

  • DRIPPING FAUCET

    • There is not much you can do without the assistance of Middel Realty replacing the bushings in the faucet.  If it is an annoyance, you can turn the water off.
  • WATER IN CABINET

    • “Do you notice the water dripping when you use the faucet or when you use the sprayer nozzle?”
    • If it is coming from the nozzle, do not use the sprayer until Middel Realty can come out and replace the line.
    • If the water is coming from faucet or the sink, TURN THE WATER OFF.
    • In the back along the wall, there are two water lines with oblong shaped handles.
    • Turn the valve(s) clockwise until you feel the valve shut.  DO NOT OVER TIGHTEN.
    • Make sure to wipe up the water before it stains the floor or leaks, causing more harm.

BROKEN WATER PIPE

  • At the base of the toilet, there is a valve to turn the valve clockwise until you feel the valve shut.  DO NOT OVER TIGHTEN.
  • Make sure to wipe up the water before it stains the floor or leaks, causing more harm.
  • If the water is leaking at a point before the valve, you MUST TURN THE WATER OFF TO THE HOUSE.
  • BASEMENT HOMES

    • The water shut off valve will most likely be in the corner with the furnace.  You will see two valves.  One above the water meter and the other below the meter.  Either one will turn it off.
  • NO BASEMENT HOMES

    • These valves may or may not be located outside the crawl space.  Most likely the water valve will be in the crawl space.  You can turn it off there.  Look for the water meter by the crawl space entrance near the foundation wall.

DISHWASHER

  • WATER RUNNING

    • Next to the cold water valve under the sink, there is a second valve for the dishwasher.
    • Turn the valve clockwise until you feel the valve shut.  DO NOT OVER TIGHTEN.
    • DO NOT USE THE DISHWASHER until Middel Realty can take a look at it

AIR CONDITIONER

  • FROZEN

    • Go to the thermostat and turn the “Fan Switch” to “ON”
    • After turning the Fan Switch to ON, turn the AC Switch to OFF.
    • Wait several hours for the AC to thaw.  If you MUST have your AC, then every few hours turn the AC Switch ON, and an hour later, TURN IT OFF.
    • If you repeat steps 2 and 3 over the next few days, Middel Realty will get our AC crew out there to take a look.
  • WATER IS DRIPPING FROM WHITE PIPE

    • This is NORMAL and make sure that the condensation pipe is pointed toward the drain.

ELECTRICAL OUTLETS

  • BATHROOM

    • Check the GFI
      • The GFI will either be in the same room or in the garage.
      • Push the RESET BUTTON and this should fix the issue.
  • KITCHEN

    • Check the GFI
      • The GFI will either be in the same room or in the garage.
      • Push the RESET BUTTON and this should fix the issue.

GARBAGE DISPOSAL

  • First make sure that the electrical switch is in the off position.
  • “What was the last thing that you put down the disposal?” Is there any obstruction?
  • If the disposal is jammed, then you need to grab an allan wrench and, at the base of the disposal, there is a hole.  Place the wrench in the hole and turn it clockwise.
  • Check to see if the RED BUTTON is in the OFF Position at the base of the disposal.  This button is the fuse for the disposal and, if loose, it has been tripped.  Push it upward and then turn on the disposal at the outlet.

REFRIGERATOR

  • NOT KEEPING FOOD COLD

    • Remove the food from the back of the freezer and turn the dial in the back to cool.  This will help direct the coolness towards the fridge and freezer.
    • Call Middel Realty (if it is after 6PM, we will be most likely be there in the morning). Middel Realty will be to your home ASAP.
    • Do your best to not open the door to the freezer or fridge.  This will help to keep it cool longer.
    • If worse comes to worse, the air outside may be cooler than the temperature inside the fridge.  Move the food in paper bags outside where it is cool.  This typically only works in the winter.

FURNACE

  • PILOT LIGHT

    • Remove Front Cover
    • Are there little tabs at the top of the furnace?
    • If there are little tabs on top that look like they fit a Flat Head Screw Driver, turn both so that the Flat Crease is horizontal to the floor.
    • Push against the top cover of the furnace and at the same time push upward.
    • Grab a long match or long stem lighter
    • Look for a button that says “Pilot”
    • Push and HOLD the button while placing the lighter in the center of the furnace
    • While the pilot light is still on, keep holding the “Pilot Light Button” for 30 seconds.
    • If you DO NOT hold the button down long enough, the heat sensor will turn off the gas to the pilot light.  You will have to start the process over again.
    • Place the front cover back on the SAME WAY that you took it off.
    • Make sure that the lower cover is not lose because this will prevent the blower from turning on.  The blower is what allows the air to circulate through the house.
  • FRONT COVERS

    • “Have you changed the filter recently?”
    • Here is how you remove the front cover
    • Remove Front Cover
    • Are there little tabs at the top of the furnace?
    • If there are little tabs on top that look like they fit a Flat Head Screw Driver, turn both so that the Flat Crease is horizontal to the floor.
    • Push against the top cover of the furnace and at the same time push upward.
    • Place the front cover back on the SAME WAY that you took them off.
    • Make sure that the lower cover is not loose because this will prevent the blower from turning on.  The blower is what allows the air to circulate through the house.