Maintenance FAQs

Maintenance FAQs
Annapolis
1. I lost power or need to reset the circuit breaker
A circuit breaker provides protection by stopping the flow of electricity if an overload or fault occurs. When an electrical fault occurs or the load on your circuit becomes too great, the breaker on that circuit trips and interrupts the flow of current to that circuit. A tripped circuit breaker is still sometimes referred to as a “blown fuse” in reference to the older technology that circuit breakers replaced. If your home uses an actual fuse and not a circuit breaker, click here for information on fuse boxes.

Before electricity can be restored, the circuit breaker must be reset. However, even before you do that, you must take steps to ensure that it is safe to do so. Turn off or unplug all of the devices that are plugged into the circuit. Make certain no dangerous condition exists before restoring power. A Circuit Breaker which has been tripped will either be in the middle or “OFF” position. Locate the tripped circuit breaker and reset it by pushing it all the way to the “OFF” position and then back to the “ON” position. Often when you can’t cannot reset the circuit breaker, it is because it must be turned all the way to the “Off” position first.

Electricity should now be restored to the circuit. If the circuit breaker trips again before you have turned anything on or plugged anything in, please submit a maintenance request to First Rate Property Management immediately.

If no circuit breakers were tripped and you still do not have power at an outlet, the circuit is probably on a GFCI. Please see FAQ #2 “I lost power to the kitchen, bathroom, or outside”

2. I lost power to the bathroom, kitchen, or outside

A GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) outlet is a device that adds a greater level of safety by reducing the risk of electric shock in locations such as bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms and outdoors.

A GFCI outlet may be wired in a branch circuit, which means other outlets and electrical devices may share the same circuit and breaker (or fuse). When a properly wired GFCI trips, the other devices down the line from it will also lose power. Note that devices on the circuit that come before the GFCI are not protected and are not affected when the GFCI is tripped.

If you have an outlet that doesn’t work, and the breaker is not tripped, look for a GFCI outlet which may have tripped. The non-working outlet may be down line from a GFCI outlet. Note that the affected outlets may not be located near the GFCI outlet, they may be several rooms away or even on a different floor. Pressing the “Reset” will restore the circuit. If the outlet doesn’t reset, then whichever appliance that is causing it to trip, may still be plugged in. If after unplugging everything, checking the circuit breaker or fuse, and resetting the GFCI does not work, please submit a maintenance request to First Rate Property Management right away.

For more information regarding GFCI outlets Click here.

3. Checking for a blown fuse
If you have an older home, you may have fuses as opposed to circuit breakers. Located inside or outside of your home is a fuse box that contains a fuse for each of your home’s circuits. A fuse provides protection for each of your circuits. When an electrical short occurs or the load on your circuit becomes too great, the fuse on that circuit burns out and breaks the circuit; this is what is referred to as a “blown fuse”. If your home uses circuit breakers instead of fuses, refer to FAQ #1 “I lost power or need to reset the circuit breaker”.
Before electricity can be restored, the fuse must be replaced with a new fuse. However, even before you replace the fuse, you must take steps to ensure that it is safe to do so:

  • Turn off or unplug all of the devices that are plugged into the circuit. Make certain that no dangerous condition exists before restoring power.
  • Replace the fuse with a fuse that is of the proper rating for the circuit. For instance, if the circuit is rated for 15 amps, use a 15-amp fuse. Never use anything other than a fuse of proper rating.
  • When removing or inserting a new fuse, NEVER touch the metal parts of the fuse. If your fuse box is equipped with a master switch to cut power to the fuse box, cut the main power prior to replacing the fuse.

Electricity should now be restored to the circuit. If the fuse blows again before you have turned anything on or plugged anything in, submit a maintenance request to Annapolis Property Services right away.

If the fuse blows after plugging in or turning on a device, that device may have a short or may be placing too much of a load on the circuit.

If no fuses were blown and you still do not have power at an outlet, make certain that the switch, if any, that controls the outlet is turned on. If you can find no problem, the outlet, switch, wiring or some other component may be at fault. Also, the outlet may be on a GFCI branch circuit. Please see FAQ #2 “I lost power to the kitchen, bathroom, or outside” for information on GFCI outlets and how to reset them.

4. How to unjam my garbage disposal
If you turn on your garbage disposal and it doesn’t sound like the blades are spinning or it makes no sound at all, it could be jammed and/or need resetting. Here are some troubleshooting tips: 

To Reset your Disposal (no sound):

  1. First, make sure the disposal switch has been turned off. Locate the button on the bottom of the disposal (reset button) and press. Turn switch back to “on”.
  2. Should nothing happen, check your breakers and make sure none of them are tripped. 
  3. If it turns on but the blades are not spinning, it could be jammed. See below. If there is still no sound, please submit a maintenance request.

To Unjam your Disposal: 

  1. Make sure the disposal is off. Take a hex/allen wrench and insert it in the bottom center of the disposal and turn to manually rotate the blades. 
  2. Turn disposal back on to see if the blades are now spinning smoothly.
  3. If you hear a grinding sound, there may be an item stuck in the disposal. Turn disposal back off and use a flash light to inspect and retrieve the object. Test disposal again. 

 If you need any additional information on how to reset or unjam your disposal click here

5. How to properly use your garbage disposal
6. What do I do if I smell gas in the house?
  1. Evacuate everyone from the home immediately then call BGE at 800-685-0123.
  2. Call our Emergency line at 410-878-6539

For more information on Gas Safety, click here: How to Recognize a Gas Leak

7. How do I light the pilot on a gas fireplace?

UNCOVER THE FIREPLACE CONTROLS

You will often find the fireplace controls on the floor of the fireplace. They may be located behind a metal grate or plate. Simply lower or raise the cover over the controls for access.

LOCATE THE IGNITION BUTTON

The next step and how to light a gas fireplace is to find the ignition button. Many new gas log units come with an ignition button. If you don’t have one of these buttons, you may need to light the log with matches once the pilot light is lit.

FIND THE CONTROL KNOB

The knob containing the words “On”, “Off”, and “Pilot” will be the control knob. If the knob is not turned off, then turn it to the “Off” position. Then, wait for just a few minutes before proceeding to light the pilot light.

LIGHT THE PILOT LIGHT

The next very important step in how to light a gas fireplace is to light the pilot light. You can do this by turning the knob to the Pilot position. Press and continue to press down on the control knob while UD press the ignition switch one time per second. Once the pilot is lit, cease from pressing the ignition switch. Continue to press the control knob 30 seconds. Then, gradually disengage from the control knob.

If the process does not result in the pilot light igniting, repeat the process after a few minutes. It may take some time for gas to reenter the fireplace if it’s been a while since this occurred. If you still cannot get the pilot light to ignite, contact your gas company.

WITH A SUSTAINED PILOT LIGHT, TURN THE CONTROL KNOB TO THE “ON” POSITION

The final step to lighting the fireplace is too turn the main burner on via either a switch located at the fireplace, installed remote control system, or thermostat.

External Link: How do I light pilot light on gas fireplace?

8. What if I don’t have hot water?
  1. Check that a fuse hasn’t blown or that the circuit breaker hasn’t tripped. Replace with the appropriate fuse or reset the circuit breaker. See FAQ #1 and #3 for assistance with circuit breakers and fuses. 
  2. Some properties also have Hydronic Furnaces. This means the heat comes from the hot water in your water heater. To be sure the hot water is getting to the furnace check the water valves going from your water heater to the furnace. They both need to be on (turned the same direction as the pipe). Sometimes the hot water valve is turned off in the summertime in order for the A/C to work at the highest efficiency. Properties with these systems include those at Garverdale, Tottenham, Wilson, Cloverbrook and Cloverfield. If you live at any of these properties please be sure to check your valves.
  3. Check to see if the pilot light is on. If it is not you can follow the directions on the water heater to re light the pilot light.
9. How do I change my furnace filters?
  1. To change your home air filter, you’ll first need to turn off your furnace. This will help protect your HVAC system from loose debris or a loose filter fitting escaping into the duct. 
  2. Find and Locate Your Furnace Filter. Most air filters are located in either the blower compartment of the furnace (remove the furnace cover, typicall by lifting up), or built into the metal ductwork before the blower fan. **Some of these systems come with filters that can be hosed off or rinsed in the sink or bathtub. Others use fiberglass filters that can’t be reused. These filters are easily found at hardware, home improvement and even grocery stores. 
  3. Determine the Size of Your Home Air Filter. You can typically find this information by partially removing the existing filter and look for it’s dimensions, usually printed on the cardboard filter frame. If you cannot locate the measurement, use a measuring tape or ruler to measure the dimensions for heights, width and thickness.
  4. Remove and Dispose of the Existing (old) Air Filter. Before you remove your existing air filter, note the arrow on the filter frame that shows the correct air flow direction. You will want to install the new filter in the same direction as the old one. The “air-flow direction arrow” printed on the new filter should be pointed towards your furnace (or more specifically; arrow pointed towards your furnace fan unit).
  5. Insert the New Air Filter. Again, note the arrow on the old filter frame that shows the correct air flow direction. Remove the old filter and insert the new one so that the airflow direction remains the same. Home air filters are designed to filter air from one direction, so that as they load up with dirt, they will not collapse or fall apart. It’s that simple.
  6. Return furnace to “on” position. Make sure you turn the thermostat in the “on” position once you have replaced the filter. With your fresh filter, you are now ready to use your furnace again!

For more information on changing your furnace filter, click here: How to Change Your Home Furnace Air Filter

10. My air conditioning is not working
Before calling in your problem or making a work order request, please check the below possible options:

  1. Check that a fuse hasn’t blown or that the circuit breaker hasn’t tripped. Replace with the appropriate fuse or reset the circuit breaker.
  2. Check the furnace filter. If the filter is dirty it needs to be replaced.
  3. Check the thermostat. Make sure the batteries are good and that temperature isn’t set too low if the inside temp is high inside.
  4. Check the outside unit to make sure the fan blades are moving and that the unit is not iced over.
  5. Some AC units have a light switch right next to the furnace which turns the furnace and AC off. Because this switch is identical to a light switch, it gets turned off by mistake. Simply check any nearby switches. If they don’t turn lights on and off, they may be turning the furnace and or AC on or off.

If after checking the above and you still do not have air conditioning, please submit an on-line maintenance request.

11. No heat for systems using electric heat
Before calling in your problem or making a work order request, please check the below possible options:

  1. Check that a fuse hasn’t blown or that the circuit breaker hasn’t tripped. Replace with the appropriate fuse or reset the circuit breaker.
  2. Check that your thermostat is on, heat is selected, and set at a temperature that would call for heat (not too low)
  3. Check that there is nothing obstructing the airflow from the heater or heater vents
  4. Electric furnaces, not baseboards or cadet heaters, often have a light switch right next to the furnace which turns the furnace off. Because this switch is identical to a light switch, it gets turned off by mistake. Simply check any nearby switches. If they don’t turn lights on and off, they may be turning the furnace on or off.

If after checking the above and you still do not have heat, please submit an on-line maintenance request. Within the request, please annotate the condition of your furnace filters and the status of any steady or blinking red lights.

12. No heat for systems using gas heat
Before calling in your problem or making a work order request, please check the below possible options:

  1. Check that a fuse hasn’t blown or that the circuit breaker hasn’t tripped. Replace with the appropriate fuse or reset the circuit breaker.
  2. In or around most furnaces there is what looks like a light switch. This operates the power to the furnace. Be sure this switch is on before completing the on-line maintenance request. You will be charged for the heating company to flip this switch.
  3. Check that your thermostat is on, heat is selected, and is set at a temperature that would call for heat (not too low).
  4. Verify that your gas service is in your name or has not been disconnected for non-payment or other issues.
  5. Can you hear any fans or blower running? If no noise at all, the problem must be one of the items above.
  6. Is there a window with a blinking or steady red light? If so, please explain what you are seeing if you submit a work order request.
  7. Are your furnace filters dirty? If so, replace immediately. Dirty filters are the cause of 95% of all heating issues. If your lease requires you to maintain your furnace filters and you submit a request for maintenance and your filters are found to be dirty, you likely will be billed for all charges. To avoid inconveniences of not having A/C or no heat, keep spare filters handy and replace them at a minimum of once every three months.
  8. Some properties also have Hydronic Furnaces. This means the heat comes from the hot water in your water heater. To be sure the hot water is getting to the furnace check the water valves going from your water heater to the furnace. They both need to be on (turned the same direction as the pipe). Sometimes the hot water valve is turned off in the summertime in order for the A/C to work at the highest efficiency. Properties with these systems include those at Garverdale, Tottenham, Wilson, Cloverbrook and Cloverfield. If you live at any of these properties please be sure to check your valves. Also check the temperature on the water heater and make sure it is not set to a low setting.

If after checking the above and you still do not have heat, please submit an on-line maintenance request. Within the request, please annotate the condition of your furnace filters and the status of any steady or blinking red lights.

13. How to patch a door knob hole in a wall
External Link: How to patch a door knob hole in a wall
14. How to unclog my drain
External Link: How to unclog my drain
15. Troubleshooting your dishwasher
SymptomPossible Solutions
Dishwasher does not work – no sound, water or lights
Dishwasher does not start but motor hums
Dishwasher does not fill with water or it drains while filling
Water does not drain from the dishwasher
  • Clean the drain
  • Re-run an entire cycle and see if problem continues
Dishwasher is leaking water or soap leaks around the door
  • Check your garbage disposal to make sure the drain is not clogged.
  • Make certain that your detergent is intended for dishwashers. Do not use liquid dish soap.
  • If problem continues, submit a maintenance request to First Rate Property Management.
Dishwashers not cleaning properly
  • Get cleaning agent product from WL May called Glisten
Door does not close or latch properly
Dishwasher cycle does not complete
  • Let the dishwasher complete the cycle wherever it is at, then re-start a new cycle and it should clear itself.
Detergent cup does not open
  • Check and clean the detergent cup for obstructions
Dishes are not cleaned adequately
  • Clean the drain screen
  • Spray off dishes before using the dishwasher
  • Run several cycles with no soap to clean out soap residue.
16. How to turn off main water supply
17. Testing smoke detector / maintenance
18. Smoke detector FAQs
All properties have smoke detectors. Properties with gas burning appliances, a fireplace, or an attached garage should have a CO/Smoke combo.
They are usually clearly labeled if they detect carbon monoxide as well as smoke/fire.

Smoke detectors have 2 alarms that mean different things:

  • Beep/chirp approximately 2-3 times every 5 minutes most of the time means the battery needs changed. If that doesn’t fix it, it may have lost power to the unit or have a loose connection. If you unplug the detector from the ceiling/wall, it will probably continue making noise because there is a back-up battery in most of them. If you take the battery out it still has enough power stored internally to beep 4-5 more times.
  • Beeping/chirping non-stop means there is smoke/fire or it’s a false alarm.

See below for false alarms:

  • Most false alarms (chirping non-stop) are caused by dust in the sensor area of the detector. – Fixed by blowing out with compressed air or vacuum.
  • Some smoke detectors have an expiration (10yrs for example & usually labeled on back of unit) and after that time period they start having false alarms. – Fixed by replacing expired detectors.
  • Very rarely, false alarms are caused by drastic temp./weather changes, such as attic being 120 degrees and house at 75. – Fixed by pushing the silence button (if it has one) and after a short time it will reset and hopefully not falsely go off again.
  • Very rarely, false alarms are caused by air blowing directly on the detector (open window, ceiling fan blowing upward instead of downward, etc.). – Fixed by re-directing air movement away from detector.
  • Very rarely, false alarms are caused by a defective detector. – Fixed by replacing detector.
19. I put the wrong soap in the dishwasher -- now what?
20. Dryer Issues?
Here are some common problems that could lead to a dryer not heating up — and simple ways to fix them.

Reasons Your Dryer Won’t Heat

  1. Blocked venting
  2. Improper or no electric or gas supply to the dryer
  3. Clogged lint screen
  4. Uneven loads
  5. Washer leaving clothes too wet

1. Blocked venting

This is the most common cause of a dryer not heating. To check if your venting is clogged, start a timed dry on high heat. Go to the exhaust vent outside and use your hand to verify that the air is very warm and exiting at a decent flow. If there’s little airflow, your venting likely needs to be cleaned or replaced. If the temperature’s too low, there may be an operational issue with the dryer, which should be checked by an authorized service technician.

2. Improper or no electric or gas supply

Is there a proper electrical or gas supply to the dryer? Dryers get their electricity from a 240-volt circuit supplied by two 120-volt lines. If only one of the lines is working, the dryer will run but not heat up. With gas, the appliance won’t heat if your gas is off. Both issues should be checked by a professional.

3. Clogged lint screen

If your lint screen is plugged up or dirty, it will reduce airflow and prevent clothes from drying. Remove as much excess lint as you can and soak the lint screen in hot water and dish soap. If needed, use a soft toothbrush to scrub the screen clean.

4. Uneven loads

What type of load are you drying? If you mixed large and small items, that might be the problem. Washing and drying similar items together is imperative to proper performance. This is especially true on an auto dry cycle. Putting things like towels and sheets together can cause the dryer to heat at a lower level and sometimes even shut off, thinking the items are dry. The smaller or lighter clothes will be dry, but the larger, heavier items will still be damp.

5. Washer leaving clothes too wet

The dryer might not even be to blame — the issue could be with the washer. If your washing machine isn’t draining completely or isn’t spinning enough water out of the clothes, it will be harder for the dryer to do its job.

Bottom line: It’s a good idea to prevent these types of issues before they cause the need for a professional repair. Dryers are the number-one cause of house fires, so making sure yours is in tip-top shape is vital.

21. Refrigerator Issues?
If your refrigerator is not working correctly, please visit this website for troubleshooting: http://www.repairclinic.com/Refrigerator-Troubleshooting
22. Garage Issues?
If your garage door isn’t closing all the way, you may have a problem with the aligning of the sensors at the bottom corners of the garage door. This may occur if anyone has accidentally bumped into them. For a video of how to properly align your garage door, go to this link:  How to Adjust Your Garage Door 
23. Frozen Pipes?
 Tips to help prevent frozen pipes within a property:

  • Open cabinet doors under all sinks to allow heat to get to the pipes
  • Leave a cold water faucet on slow drip as running water does not freeze as quickly and this will also help prevent burst pipes if the line does freeze
  • Make sure any vents or openings under the house are closed

If a pipe is frozen the biggest danger is a burst pipe which will then cause flooding when it thaws.  If the line is frozen please shut off the water supply to that pipe and try to expose heat to the frozen area. If you are unable to access the pipe or are unsure of what to do please shut off the water and submit a maintenance request via Property Meld. We will then send a plumber to assist.

All exterior water pipes and hose bibs should have the water supply to them shut off, or freeze covers installed on all exterior faucets for winter months

link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_WPsK5O0hKQ

 

 

 

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Annapolis Property Services
914 Forest Drive, Suite 101 Annapolis MD 21403
(410) 695-6151 Start Price $1500
Annapolis Property Services
914 Forest Drive, Suite 101 Annapolis MD 21403
(410) 695-6151 sales@annapolispropertyservices.com

Annapolis Property Services LLC. | 914 Forest Drive,Suite 101, Annapolis MD 21403
Ph: (410) 695-6151 Email: sales@annapolispropertyservices.com

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