ORA Home Warranty - Fix-It Tips.
ORA Home Warranty - Fix-It Tips.
ORA Home Warranty - Fix-It Tips.


ORA presents these Fix It Tips to help you maintain your home.

Some Work Should Be Left To The Professionals.

(Click Subject Below To View)
Heat Will Not Turn On:

• Check the circuit breaker box to see if you need to reset the breaker to the furnace. If your unit has been installed in the past 15 years you may have a furnace power shutoff switch mount on or near the side of the furnace.

• Check the thermostat to make sure it is on the heat or auto setting and not in the off position.

• Lastly, the pilot light could be out and your local gas company will usually relight it for free.

Furnace Cycles On & Off Frequently:

• Check the furnace filter, it may be dirty and need replacing.

• Make sure all your floor and return registers have nothing closer that
18 inches to the registers. If an item is restricting air flow from the registers relocate it.

Fan Will Not Shut Off:

• Make sure the thermostat setting is not on the FAN setting, if so, turn it OFF.

• Some furnaces have a “summer switch” for fan only operation to circulate air in the summer time. This switch can usually be found on the side of the furnace, just turn it to OFF.

Energy Saving Tips:

• Change your furnace air filter on a regular basis if you have forced air heat.

• Use the warmth of the sun and open the blinds and curtains.

• Prior to heating season make sure all door and window weather stripping is in good condition.

• Keep all chimney flues closed when not using fireplace.

• Dress a little warmer and reduce the thermostat a few degrees.

• Install a digital thermostat to have different temperature settings for times when you don’t need the home to be as warm. For example; lower temperature for nighttime or when your home is vacated for a period of time.

• Close registers in rooms that are not being used, but never close more than one forth of your registers in your home because it could harm your furnace.

Air Conditioning
(Some of the same tips under Furnace will apply to
air conditioning such as power supply issues)
Air Conditioning Not Cooling As Good As Usual:

• Check your furnace air filter at the minimum once a month and replace if dirty.

• Make sure your condensing unit outside your home isn’t clogged with yard debris and if it is have it cleaned by a professional or try very gently to spray it out with a garden hose, but be careful not to blast it with too much water pressure as you could damage the condenser.

• Lastly, your air conditioning unit may be low on freon. Call your home warranty company so they can get a service contractor out to check.

Energy Saving Tips:

• Change your furnace air filter on a regular bases if you have forced air a/c.

• Keep curtains and blinds closed when temperatures are at their highest.

• Use exhaust fans and ceiling fans when cooking to remove extra heat and circulate the cool air throughout the home.

• Keep all chimney flues closed when not using fireplace.

• Close registers in rooms that are not being used, but never close more than one fourth of your registers in your home because it could harm your air conditioning system.

• Install a digital thermostat, see this “energy savings tip under Furnace”.

Outlet Or Light Switch Not Working:

• Replace the light switch or outlet with a new one. Simple to replace and your local hardware store representative can give you pointers. Cost of a new light switch or outlet is generally less than $10.00. Before you work on anything electrical shut off the circuit breaker that is feeding that outlet power. Find your circuit breaker box, flip the breaker that pertains to your switch or outlet to the off position.

No Power To GFI Outlet:

• GFI are special outlet plugs used in kitchens and bathrooms or any area where there is a water source within usually 10 foot of an outlet. They are designed to pop an internal breaker at a much lower voltage (saves lives) than the circuit breaker in you circuit box. The GFI breaker may pop while using household appliances. Just look at the plug outlet and if it is a GFI there will be a RED reset button: if it appears to be popped out push it back in to reset. If that didn’t work, then check the circuit breaker in your circuit breaker box to see if the breaker that sends power to that outlet needs reset. If that didn’t work, restore the power to the outlet you my need to call your home warranty company.

Rusty Colored Water From Faucets:

• If the rusty water is only coming from the hot water faucet and not the cold then look at having the hot water heater flushed out.

• If rusty water is coming out from both hot and cold water faucets you may have rust or corrosion problems. Most home warranty plans do not cover rust and corrosion but, you will still need to have a plumber look at the situation.

Water “Hammering Noise" In Pipes:

• This is usually caused from air being trapped in your water pipes. To fix this problem you must first shut off the water valve where the main water line comes into your home. Secondly open all faucets both hot and cold until all the water has drained out. Next leaving all faucets open turn on the main water valve so that the water can push out the air in the line. Lastly, close all open faucets one at a time and the hammering should be gone.

Slow Drains/Stoppage:

• If you have a slow drain try pouring ½ cup of salt followed by 2 cups of boiling vinegar, then flush with hot and cold water.

• To clear stoppage try using a funnel to pour ½ cup of baking soda followed by 1 cup vinegar. When foaming subsides, flush with hot tap water. Wait 5 minutes, and flush with cold water. This technique also washes away odor-causing bacteria.

• To maintain healthy drains run hot water down them monthly. To get rid of odors run hot water, add 3 tablespoons of baking soda and run hot water long enough to wash baking soda into the drain then, turn off hot water let mixture sit for 15 minutes and flush out with more hot water.

• If you have multiple clogged drains it may be the main line…call a plumber.

Toilets Not Flushing Well:

• A good old fashion toilet plunger usually is all you will need for many flushing and clogging problems.

Toilets Runs After Flushing:

• LOW WATER LEVEL IN THE TANK Look at the water level once you’ve taken the toilet tank lid off. If water is almost all gone then it means the flapper at the bottom of the tank could be the problem. The flapper is the item that is attached to the flushing lever by a small chain (make sure the chain is connected) so when you flush the toilet the lever pulls the flapper out of the hole it is seated in. This lets the water rush out of the tank to flush the waste in the bowl. Once the water has escaped the tank the flapper drops back into the hole to plug (seal) it so the tank can fill with water again. The water in the tank is clean tap water so reach into the tank and make sure the flapper is operating and seating correctly in the tank. If it just won’t seal the tank well enough for the tank to re-fill the flapper, it's probably bad. Replacing with a new one is inexpensive and very easy. Near the floor and behind the toilet there should be a water shut off valve. Turn it clockwise until the water is shut-off and take out the old flapper. Take with you to match it up to a new flapper at the local hardware store. Once you’ve replace the old flapper with new turn the water shut off valve counter clockwise all the way so the water is on. The toilet tank should fill up to normal levels and the running should stop, if it doesn’t you may need to call your Home Warranty Company.

• HIGH WATER LEVEL IN THE TANK Look at the water level once you’ve taken the toilet tank lid off. If water level is high, but toilet still has a running sound, then you may have too high of a water level in the tank. Usually on most toilets there is a water drain located near the center of the tank. It looks like a plastic tube that is standing up in the tank, you will see that the water should be at or near the top of this drain tube. If water is running down this drain tube as you watch it, then your water level is too high. The water level should be just below the opening of the top of the drain tube. To adjust the water level lower on most toilets look at the round floating item which is called the ball cock. Basically it is a round plastic ball connected to a long copper arm. Using both hands to support the copper arm, gently bend the copper arm downward to lower the water level. A little bend goes a long way just a slight bend is all you need. Now flush the toilet and see if the toilet tank stops running and the water level is just below the tank drain (you may have to adjust level a couple times to get it right). If problems still exist you may want to call your Home Warranty Company.

Pool Pump Not Circulating The Water:

• Usually this is due to low water level in the pool and it could be letting air into the system causing the pump to shut off. Add water and re-prime the system by removing the pump lid and adding a few gallons of water into the pump basket. Put lid back on and open the valve that is located under the pressure gage that is on top of the filter. Turn on your equipment and when water starts spraying out of the open valve, close the valve. Should be all set, but check to make sure the system is building pressure again, gauge should have moved once system turned on.

Pool/Spa Water Not Clean:

• Clean or replace filters as per manufactures recommendations.

Pool/Spa Equipment And Or Lights Not Working:

• Check circuit breaker box to see if breaker to the pool/spa had popped, if so reset the breaker by moving the switch to off and then to on position.

• There may also be GFI breaker on some pool/spa equipment, reset it by pushing the button back inward, the outward position is the off position.

Pool Heater Not Heating:

• Check to see if the filter is dirty. Flow restrictions will cause lower water pressure which in turn will cause the heaters pressure switch to shut off the heater.

Pool Maintenance:

• Always clean pool weekly.

• Get floating debris out with a net skimmer.

• Maintain proper water levels to insure the pool filtration system can work properly.

• Change pool filters as per factory recommendations.

• Clean pool walls and floors with scrub brush to remove sediment build-up.

• Take pool water samples to local pool supply for a chemical level check to insure your chemical levels are correct. Green colored pool water is a sign that your pool has a chemical imbalance.

Garbage Disposal
(Always Use Cold Water When Using The Disposal)
Disposal Not Coming On:

• Some disposals have reset buttons on them, look under sink where the disposal is mounted and push button inward to reset if needed.

• If that didn’t work then look at your circuit breaker box and find the circuit that controls the power to the disposal. Reset it if needed.

When I Turn Disposal On It Makes A Humming Or Buzzing Sound:

• Turn off all power to the disposal, usually you can unplug it from under your sink. Look into the disposal from the sink with a flash light, something has probably jammed the disposal. If you can see it and your hand is small enough carefully reach into the disposal and remove the item. If you can’t do that, then look at the bottom of your disposal from under the sink. Most models have a jam nut located on the bottom center of your disposal. It is basically a Allen wrench nut so you must find the proper size allen wrench, some disposals come with the allen wrench in the box and most installers tape it or lay it in the cabinet. If you can’t find one, they are inexpensive and any hardware store will have one. Once you have the allen wrench stick it in the fitting and turn the nut clockwise and counter clockwise til the jamming is freed. Turn on the power to the disposal, run cold water and start the disposal.

Disposal Cleaning Tips:

• To clean the disposal of residue build up, drop some ice cubes into the disposal, run cold water into disposal and turn on the disposal.

• To sanitize the disposal pour 3 tablespoons of borax down the drain and let sit for 1 hour. Then turn on cold water to flush it out. Do this a couple times a month.

• To freshen up the disposal grind up some left over orange or lemon peels then flush with cold water.

Cooktop/Oven Range
Gas Burner Flames Not Burning Evenly:

• Take burner grill off and use a toothpick, toothbrush or pipe cleaner to clean out the orfices (holes where the flames come out of).

Electric Burners Not Heating Properly:

• Make sure the burner is plugged in all the way and if that doesn’t work unplug the burner and take to hardware store to match up for a new one. These burners are inexpensive and very easy to replace.

Oven Will Not Turn On:

• Electric units check the circuit breaker and reset if needed. Also make sure your oven is not set to time bake. Ovens set to time bake will not work if there is no time entered, enter time or reset to bake or broil.

Oven Not Heating To Desired Temperature:

• Your thermostat calibration may be off and usually the manufacturer can assist you via phone call or their website as to re-calibrating your thermostat.

Water Leak From Door:

• After your dishwasher runs its cycle, check to see if water is standing in the bottom of your dishwasher, if so you could have a drainage problem. If you are using liquid dishwasher soap switch to powder. Liquid soap can be hard on the dishwasher door seals and also can build up residue. Clean the door seals with soft scrub soap and then put 1 cup of undiluted white vinegar in the bottom of the dishwasher and run it empty for the full cycle. This will remove the soap residue from the liquid soap.

Inside Of Dishwasher Rusty:

• Dump a packet of unsweetened lemonade into soap dispenser drawer and run the washer through the hot cycle.

Dishes Not Clean And Soap Not Totally Dissolved:

• Increase temperature at hot water heater and before running the dishwasher, run your kitchen sink hot water until hot water comes out of it then start the dishwasher.

Deodorize Dishwasher:

• Pour ½ box of baking soda into bottom of empty dishwasher and run it through the rinse cycle.

Garage Door Opener
Garage Door Won't Come Down At All:

• Make sure there is nothing that is obstructing the path of the door. Most newer garage doors have electric eye sensors, one on each side of the garage door track and they are located near the ground level. If anything obstructs the sensor's eye to eye contact, the door will not operate.

Garage Door Comes Down And Almost Closes But Goes Back Up:

• Take a broom and brush off any debris such as cob webs from the bottom of the garage door seal and make sure no cob webs or debris has built-up around the lenses of the electric eye sensors.

Garage Door Still Not Working:

• If none of the above tips worked, push the garage door opener button and immediately look at the garage door eye sensors. If they are blinking then you may have misaligned eye sensors. Usually the mounting materials used to mount the eye sensors can be adjusted by simply gently bending one of the mounting brackets to desired position. If bending is not an option then, adjust by loosening the proper screws or bolts and moving the eye sensor slightly until blinking lights stop or, on some units until light turns green then, retighten screws or bolts.

Power To Garage Door Seems To Be Off:

• You may have a reset button on the door opener that will need resetting and if that doesn’t work look at your circuit breaker box to see if it needs reset.

Roof Maintenance

• Every change of season or after heavy storm inspect the roof overhangs, attic and house ceilings for signs of leakage.
• Try to inspect roof from it’s edge via ladder, try not to walk on the roof but, if you do be very careful.
• Never walk on the roof if temperatures are extremely hot or cold to prevent shingle damage.
• Check roof flashing around the chimney, roof vents, walls, and valleys for possible leak areas.
• Always make sure all gutters are free of debris, backup of water, snow, and ice can lead to roof damage.

Gutter and Downspouts Maintenance

• Keep all gutters and downspouts clear of leaves and debris.
• Make sure all gutters are sloping downward towards the downspouts.
• Make sure all splash blocks and downspout extensions are in there proper place and they should carry the water at least 5 feet from the structures foundation.
• Make all repairs when necessary, gutter and downspout repairs are inexpensive and generally easy to do.

Fireplace Maintenance
(Always Inspect Fireplace Prior
To Start Of New Season!)

• Make sure there are no signs of “fire clay” (mortar) that has fallen out of place, if
so get it repaired before use.
• Take your flashlight and look up the chimney flue for soot build-up deposits. If
heavy soot deposits are evident, call a professional chimney cleaner.
• Make sure the damper works properly, opens and closes as it should.

Entry Door
Inspect Weather Stripping:

• Inspect around all entry doors for air leaks or defects at beginning of each season. Easy tip for finding leaks is to wait until dark outside and turn off lights inside the house where the door to be inspected is. Have someone go outside with a flashlight and slowly shine the light all the way around the door. The other person inside the house is in the dark looking for beams of light coming through the gaps in the weather stripping. Where there is light there will be air leaking through it.

Sticking Door:

• Check the hinges on the door and frame for loose screws that may need tightening.
• Also look for rub marks on the door framing, sand if needed and touch it up with stain or paint as needed.

Squeaky Door Hinges:

• Usually adding some lubricant is all that is needed. Just pop out one door hinge
pin at a time, wipe it clean and then completely coat it with a thin layer of petroleum jelly. Replace the hinge pin and repeat for the next ones, squeaks should be gone.

Sticky Glue Around The Edges of Your Exterior Door Windows:

• Remove the nasty dirt trapping glue with some mineral spirits on a cloth and just
wipe it away then, rinse off with soap and water.

Inspect Window:

• Inspect window weather stripping, window seals and window glass for signs of air leakage, moisture problems, peeling paint, or weathered caulking and glaze.

Ice And Moisture Problems On Inside Of Windows:

• This is usually a sign of to much humidity in your homes air. Lower the setting on
your home humidifier if you have one or buy a dehumidifier. Table top digital humidity gauges are inexpensive and nice to have so you can monitor your home humidity level, try to keep it below 30%.

Windows Are Hard To Open And Close:

• Lubricate the window sashes with some petroleum jelly. If that doesn’t work, window my need the attention of a window specialist.

Cleaning Very Dirty Windows:

• Use 1 tablespoon of household ammonia and 3 tablespoons of denatured alcohol or vinegar to 1 quart of water. Forget about using paper towels to wipe dry, crumbled up newspaper works even better and is much cheaper.

Kitchen And Bathroom Cabinets

• Never use abrasive cleaners on your wood cabinets. Plastic cabinets can be cleaned with a detergent solution.
• Wood surfaces should be cleaned with wood cleaning product and waxed with
wood wax or linseed oil.

Squeaky Cabinet Doors:

• A quick and handy fix for that is to use your non stick cooking spray and spray
it on the cabinet hinges but, have a paper towel handy to catch the drips.


• Always use washable paints which generally are higher gloss paints in kitchens,
bathrooms, utility rooms, and garages.
• Never paint over dirty or wet surfaces.
• Repair all cracks, nail pops, picture nail holes with spackle, sand smooth and remove all dirt and dust from surface.
• If painting over any enamel, varnished or glossy surface always sand to take away the glossiness for better adherence.
• Don’t feel like taping all those door handles and hinges. Completely coat them in a thin layer of petroleum jelly, paint can’t stick to it then, wipe it away when finished.

ORA Home Warranty - Fix-It Tips.
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