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5 Things Every Homeowner Needs to Know How to Do

As a homeowner, there are certain things you must know how to do. While you may or may not have to leverage some of these skills, you can rest easy at night knowing you can handle anything your home throws at you. That’s invaluable peace of mind that no phonebook of service providers can give you. Without further ado, here are the five things every homeowner absolutely must be able to do.

1. Replace Door Locks

replacing door locks

One of the first things you need to do after moving into a new home is replace the door locks. While you may trust the previous homeowners – and they may have told you that they handed over all of the keys – you never know who has access to the home. For example, they may have forgotten to collect a key they loaned the neighbor five years ago.

Regardless of the situation, being able to change out your door locks is a good skill to have. It’s a pretty simple task, but you have to know what you’re doing. For reference, here’s a simple tutorial on the process.

2. Locate and Operate Main Water Cutoff

Water damage is the absolute worst. And while you may not be able to prevent a burst pipe, overflowing appliance, or random leak, you can turn off the water to prevent further damage.

While you may know where the individual shutoff valves are to toilets and sinks, did you know that your home has a main water supply valve? This valve is typically located where the main water supply line enters the home and looks similar to the type of faucet that turns a garden hose on and off. All you have to do is turn this knob to the right and it should shut off the water for your entire home.

3. Change Air Filters

Your air filters are probably something you rarely think about, but they have a direct and significant impact on the quality of the air in your home. Every few months, you should make it a habit to clean out and/or replace these filters. It’s simple and cheap to do, but easy to forget. Most homes will have one filter on each floor, but it’s possible that you have fewer or more, depending on the square footage and number of rooms.

4. Deal with Clogged Toilets

Oh, the joys of clogged or overflowing toilets. These situations are unpredictable and can cause some pretty serious water damage if you aren’t careful. The quickest solution is to obviously turn off the water supply, but sometimes you can’t get this done fast enough.

Another option is to lift off the lid on the back of the tank and pull the floating device up. Often, an overflowing toilet is simply the result of a floater that’s stuck in place.

5. Operate Circuit Breakers

One of the simplest skills you need is the ability to locate and work with your home’s circuit breaker. Otherwise you’ll end up calling the electrician for issues that can be fixed with a simple flip of a switch. When a light switch or electrical outlet stops working, find your electrical service panel (typically in a closet, basement, or garage) and locate the tripped breaker (the switch that’s in a different position than the rest).

Turn the switch completely off and then completely on. This should fix your problem. If the breaker continues to trip, you may have a short. This is when you should call an electrician.

Become an Informed Homeowner

While this is by no means a complete list of all the skills you need to be a safe and responsible homeowner, it’s a good place to start. Learn how to do these things and you’ll be well ahead of many of your peers who simply call an emergency hotline when something goes wrong.