Helpful Tips for Possible Maintenance Issues

ToiletsHelpful tips for possible maintenance issues

  • If your toilet is stopped-up or backed up, insert a plunger into toilet at a slight angle, covering the drain.  Hold onto the plunger handle with both hands and slowly, but forcefully, plunge the drain. If the first attempt does not succeed, try again.  Contact management only if the clog cannot be removed.
    • CLICK HERE to with this helpful video from About.com on how to use a plunger to unclog a toilet,
  • If your toilet is constantly running, turn the water valve off and contact management.  The water valve is below the tank.  Turn the water shut off valve to the right to shut the water off and contact management.  This will potentially save 1000s of gallons of water until the repair is made.
  • If your toilet is constantly cutting on/off, or if water is constantly running to the tank, please turn the water valve off and contact management.
  • If, when you flush your toilet, the tank does not fill up quickly (meaning within 1 minute), please contact management.
  • If you notice water dripping from the the bottom of the tank, it is likely that the tank bolts/seals have gotten old and need to be replaced.  Please lay a towel on the floor behind the toilet. underneath the tank to catch any water dripping from the tank.  Turn the water shut off valve to the ‘off’ position, flush the toilet and hold the flush handle all the way down until all of the water drains out of the tank and then contact management.
    • CLICK HERE to watch this helpful video from About.com on how to locate a shut off the water supply to the toilet.
  • NOTE: Keep the toilet, drains and waste pipes clear of food, grease, hair, debris, paper towels and feminine hygiene products.

Sinks

  • If your kitchen or bathroom sink faucet is dripping, please contact management to repair the dripping faucet.
  • If there is a constant stream of water coming from your sink faucet, or if you are unable to completely shut the water off by turning the knob on the sink, please turn the water valve off and contact management.  There are two water valves below the sink: hot and cold (hot on the left; cold on the right).  Turn the water shut off valve for the temperature of water that is coming out of the faucet.  To shut the water off, turn the water shut off valve to the right.
  • If you notice water coming from the drain pipe under your sink, please place a large, deep bowl or a bucket under the leak and contact management.  If the leak has caused some standing water, please soak the water up with a towel to dry the affected area to avoid any water damage.
  • CLICK HERE to watch a helpful video from About.com on how to locate and shut off the water supply to the bathroom faucet.

Bathtub/Shower

  • If your bathtub faucet is dripping, it may be due to the diverter.  The diverter is either the middle of three knobs or if you have a single fixture, a small pin that is pulled out to divert the water.  If the diverter is still closed, trapped water can trickle out through the faucet slowly over a few hours.  Opening the diverter will release the the water through the faucet. 
  • If there is a constant stream of water or drip coming from the bathroom faucet, or you cannot completely shut the water off by turning the knob and the issue is not due to water trapped in the diverter, please contact management to repair the dripping faucet.
  • If you suddenly notice that the water pressure coming from your shower head is much slower than usual, please contact management.  It might be simply some minerals have built up in the shower head, causing the water to come out slower than usual.

Ceilings

  • If you notice any water spots or water starting to drip from your bathroom or kitchen ceiling, please contact management immediately and contact the tenants in the apartment above yours to let them know there is a plumbing leak.  They will need to discontinue the use of the fixture they were using that caused the water leak until it is repaired.
  • If you notice a leak in the ceiling and there is no apartment above yours, please contact management immediately.

Drains

  • Each apartment at King & Queen Apartments is issued a basket strainer for the kitchen sink and a drain catcher for the bathtub drain. Using these drain screens in the kitchen sink and tub drain significantly helps to keep the drains free of hair and other debris.
    • The Danco bathtub hair catcher fits into the bathtub drain and has built in Microban antimicrobial protection.  To use the hair catcher,
      1. Drop into drain,
      2. To empty, use finger,
      3. Lift to remove from drain.
    • Instructions on how to install the Danco bathtub hair catcher can be found here.Helpful tips for possible maintenance issues
  • Avoid letting food, hair, and excess soap get down the drains. Clogged drains caused by hair, grease, food, soap or foreign objects are the tenant’s responsibility.

    Tenant will be billed for the service call if any foreign objects are found to have clogged any drain. The following items should not be put down any sink drain:

    • Pasta & rice products
    • Fats and greases
    • Bones and fruit pies
    • Fibrous food waste (i.e. celery, banana or potato peels, and onions)
    • General food items (i.e. food scraps, corn, peas, and other small vegetables)
    • Non-food waste items
    • Feminine hygiene products
    • Toilet paper or paper towels
  • Hard chemical drain cleaners like Drano or Liquid Plumber are very powerful and dangerous chemicals that can cause severe personal injury, especially if an obstruction is in the drain.  Please do not use chemical drain clog removers in an attempt to unclog any drain or toilet as they may solidify in and cause damage to the pipes, for which the tenant would be responsible.  An excellent drain cleaning / clearing solution recipe is 1 cup salt, 1 cup baking soda, 1 cup vinegar, followed by eight cups boiling water. We recommend performing this treatment monthly to avoid build-up. 
  • If you notice your tub or sink drain starting to drain slowly, contact management promptly before it worsens.
  • NOTE: Keep the toilet, drains and waste pipes clear of food, grease, hair, debris, paper towels and feminine hygiene products.

Electric Range (and Oven)

  • All of the ranges (and ovens) at King & Queen Apartments are powered by electricity.  When a newer oven is turned on, it is possible that a faint, plastic smell may emit from the oven.  This is completely normal.
  • If experiencing a spark from an electrical stove, do not attempt to operate it and contact management.
  • If your oven is not heating up, it is typically the issue is due to a non-functional heating element.  The best way to check this is with an oven thermometer.  Contact management.
  • If you find that a range top burner is not heating up, or does not heat up consistently, it may not be plugged in all of the way.  If the contacts to the burner is not fully inserted into the receptacle located on the other side (inside) the opening of the drip pan, the burner will not function properly.First, make sure that the burner in question is not turned on, and the dial on the range top is in the “off” position.  Then, gently push the burner into the opening of the drip pan.  Test the element by turning the dial to that burner in the “on position” to see if the burner begins to heat up.  If this does not correct the problem, contact management.

Heating

The apartments are on a central heating system/boiler and each apartment is equipped with a new heating units that were installed in 2014.   The heating system is typically turned on in mid-October and is typically on through mid-March.

Helpful tips for possible maintenance issues

    1. Set the SYSTEM to “HEAT”,
    2. Turn the FAN setting to “AUTO”,
    3. Adjust the thermostat to the desired or “set point” temperature setting (pressing the up or down arrows).

The current temperature, as well as, the set point temperature setting is displayed on the digital display.  When the set point temperature is set above the actual temperature, the fan to the heating unit will cut on to raise the temperature to the desired temperature setting.  Once the set point temperature has been reached, the fan will cut off.

Keep all windows and doors fully closed during cold or wet weather.

  • If there is no heat in your apartment during the cold months, first check to see if the thermostat has been adjusted and the switch is set on “HEAT”.  The heating unit should begin blowing heat into the apartment.
  • If the heating unit is working, but not blowing hot air, contact management.
  • If the thermostat is set on “HEAT”, the set temperature has been adjusted and the heating unit is not blowing hot air into your apartment, contact management.

In the colder months (typically from mid-October to mid-March):

  • Keep the temperature setting above 50 degrees to help prevent the pipes from freezing.
  • Remove air-conditioners from windows to prevent heat from escaping.
  • Keep all windows and doors fully closed during cold or wet weather.

Electrical Service

Each apartment is equipped with an electrical breaker box with combination Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters (AFCIs) and Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (AFCIs).  Upon moving into the apartment unit, familiarize yourself with the location of the electric panel box (it is located in the walk-in closet).

Electrical Service & Outages

  • *NOTE* During the summer of 2016, all of the apartment units at King & Queen Apartments will be upgraded to breaker boxes.
  • The electrical service box in your apartment contains circuit breakers (in a breaker box).  The circuit breakers in each breaker box are combination Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters (AFCI) and Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI).
    • Breakers: a breaker is a switch that controls a specific electrical circuit.
    • When the circuit is overloaded, the breaker may “trip”.  When this happens, the switch that completes the circuit switches to the “off” position (the switch is pointing to the outside of the box),  the circuit is no longer complete and the power goes out.  To fix a “tripped” breaker, first look to see if there was anything that may have overloaded the circuit (i.e. multiple appliances such as an air-conditioning unit, hair dryer, curling iron,etc. running on the same circuit),  Unplug or turn off these these appliances so they will not come on again when the breaker is switched back on.  Then find the switch that has “tripped” and push it back toward the center of the breaker box until it clicks back into position.  The power to that circuit should now be restored.  If you have tried everything listed above, contact management via the King & Queen Apartments Online Maintenance Request Form.
  • The living room and bedroom are on 15 amp circuits. Each apartment has a two (2) dedicated circuits with a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI).  These are located over the kitchen counter top and on the wall in the bathroom.  Many of the electrical outlets along the wall are controlled by the light switch located by the front door and bedroom door.
  • *PLEASE NOTE* A 15 amp circuit can be easily overloaded if multiple electric devices are used at the same time (i.e. a blow dryer and air-conditioner running on the same 15 amp circuit).  Overloading a circuit can cause a circuit breaker to “trip”, or “flip”.  Please see the information below on how to fix such an issue.  If this problem occurs, do not continue to overload the circuit as the same issue will continue to happen.  instead, do not use two appliances or devices at the same time thereby overloading the 15 amp circuit.
  • If the power goes out in your apartment unit, first check to see if the entire apartment building or complex is without power.
  • If power is out in the entire complex or block, chances are that the power company already knows about it, but it is good idea to call Dominion Virginia Power to report a power outage at 1-866-DOM-HELP (1-866-366-4357).
  • If the power outage is specific to your apartment unit, check to see if it is out entirely.  First check to see if the kitchen appliances are still working.
    • If the kitchen appliances do not have power, contact management.
    • If the appliances are still working and there is no power in either the living room or bedroom, first check the light switch on the wall by the front door and/or the switch by the bedroom door.  Turn the switch up, to the “on” position.   The light switches control wall outlets in their corresponding rooms.
    • If flipping the light switch does not fix the problem, a breaker may have “tripped”. Helpful tips for possible maintenance issues
    • If a GFCI button has “tripped” or popped, press the reset button back in.
      • CLICK HERE to watch a from Leviton Manufacturing about testing and resetting a GFCI.  If you continue to experience a problem, check to see how many electrical components are plugged into that wall outlet as it may be overloaded.   Please be aware that putting several appliances that draw a lot of power (hair dryer, curling iron, etc. ) on the same circuit can cause it to either trip a GFCI or, possibly, flip a breaker.  If problems continue to persist, please contact management.
      • CLICK HERE to watch a video showing a GCFI being reset in an apartment at King & Queen Apartments.
    • Breakers: a breaker is a switch that controls a specific electrical circuit.
      • When the circuit is overloaded, the breaker may “trip”.  When this happens, the switch that completes the circuit switches to the “off” position (the switch is pointing to the outside of the box),  the circuit is no longer complete and the power goes out.  To fix a “tripped” breaker, first look to see if there was anything that may have overloaded the circuit (i.e. multiple appliances such as an air-conditioning unit, hair dryer, curling iron,etc. running on the same circuit),  Unplug or turn off these these appliances so they will not come on again when the breaker is switched back on.  Then find the switch that has “tripped” and push it back toward the center of the breaker box until it clicks back into position.  The power to that circuit should now be restored.  If you have tried everything listed above, contact management or call the emergency number should your refrigerator be on the circuit without power.
  • If these solutions do not work, contact management.
  • If experiencing any arch or spark from a receptacle, do not continue to use it and contact the management immediately.

NOTE: some of the electrical outlets are controlled by the light switch located by the front door and bedroom door.

We hope this information has provided helpful tips for possible maintenance issues that might be found in an apartment at King & Queen Apartments.  The hope is that the information provided will allow you, the tenant, to troubleshoot the issue and to correct it yourself.