How To Fix Toilets, Sinks, & Other Problems

There are many easy home hacks that you can utilize with whatever predicament you’re currently having. Below are ways to fix toilets, sinks and other problems in your home.

You all know I live in an apartment and they have maintenance come fix things for you. But I often just fix things myself if it is a simple fix. And many household problems truly are easy fixes.

I just hate to call someone in to fix something that, had I looked it up, I could have fixed myself. Maintenance men who have a lot of orders might not get to you for awhile.

And if you own your home, you have to call in a company on your own to fix it. And then PAY for it!

How To Fix An Overflowing Toilet:

There could be a few reasons why the water is rising in your toilet: the drain is clogged or the floater isn’t set properly.

Turn off the water supply to your toilet. There should be a supply line located on the bottom side of your toilet bowl with a valve attached to it. Turn the valve clockwise, which will stop the water from flowing.

Or you could remove the cover of the tank and lift the floating ball high enough that the water stops running. Then use a bucket to remove the water at the brim of your toilet bowl (don’t pour it into the sink).

Use a plunger to clear the pipe. Once the water level goes down, pour the water back in and flush.

How To Fix A Clogged Drain:

Clogged pipes can turn into quite a mess. Below are some fixes for that.

The Plunger: Plungers can be used for more than unclogging toilets. Partially fill your sink with water, then create a vacuum over the drain with your plunger. Start plunging up and down several times.

Make sure if you have a double sink that you plug up the other drain with a wet rag while you plunge.

Baking Soda and Vinegar: Pour 1/4 cup of baking soda down the clogged drain, and follow that up with about 1 cup of white vinegar.

Let the mixture sit for 20-30 minutes, which should be enough time to clear out the blockage. Then flush the pipes with water to make sure it’s fixed.

Coat Hanger: If you know something is obstructing your drain, place a wire coat hanger with a small hooked end down into the drain. This should pull up anything that’s clogging your sink.

Fixing A Clogged Toilet Without A Plunger:

How exactly do you unclog a toilet without a plunger?

The technique below works for toilets that are not overflowing, since you’ll need to add liquid to the bowl.

STEP 1: Squirt generous amounts of dish soap or shampoo into the clogged toilet.

STEP 2: Add a gallon of very hot (but not boiling) water to the bowl.

STEP 3: Wait a few minutes. The water should break up the toilet paper, and the soap should help it slide down the pipe.

You may need to repeat steps 1 and 2, or unravel a wire hanger and use that to gently push the debris down the pipe.

How To Fix Squeaky Door Hinges:

Try applying a household lubricant to the hinges while moving the door back and forth to work in the lubricant. Or you can try rubbing the hinges with petroleum jelly or even some coconut oil.

If neither of these options works, lift the hinge pins halfway and lubricate them more with your chosen lubricant. 

Use a cloth or paper towel to clean excess drips on your floor.

Squeaky Floorboards:

Wooden or laminate floorboards sometimes become squeaky. For a quick fix, put some baby powder into the joints of the floorboards that are rubbing against each other.

How To Fix A Beeping Smoke Alarm:

First thing is to make sure there’s not really a fire.

Once you have ruled that out, you can check to see if the continuous beeping is because the battery is low.

If so, replace the battery and screw the smoke detector back onto the wall. Should your smoke alarm be connected via wires, it might just be plugged in incorrectly.

If your detector still won’t stop beeping, call in someone to take a look at it.

If you’re like me and can’t bear the noise and the pets go berserk, knock the darned thing down with a broom to stop the noise till you can get someone in to fix it.

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17 Comments

  1. Even your bathroom is lovely! Your decorating style is just amazing – cute & so cozy. You provide me with so much inspiration and hope to make my little house more of a home that reflects me and makes me happy!

  2. A plumber friend once told me the best way to keep all drains running smoothly is to put boiling hot water down the sink and commode once a month. It helps dissolve any build up that might be occurring and keeps things running smoothly! Thanks so much for the other tips! Love and hugs!

  3. The smoke alarms do expire & then nothing, not even a new battery, will stop its beep. It does stop eventually as mine did, getting weaker on the way. There’s an expiration date on back. Time for a new alarm. At least they’re pretty cheap.

  4. One of my alarms would NOT stop beeping, even after I got on a stool & took it down to put in a new battery. (No need for a broom here, at six feet tall & ceilings so low I can put all five fingers of both hands at once on the ceiling.)

    I looked on back of it to see that it had actually outlived its expiration date. Yes, they need to be replaced eventually. It finally stopped beeping, in the trash.

  5. Good suggestions.

    re that pouring hot water (not boiling) down a toilet, etc…Do make sure it is not too hot. Once cracked a toilet doing that. Mine was not boiling, but guess it was too hot.

    Another idea for squeaky hinges….I have heard often that take a bar of soap and rub on. Apparently the soap bar bits will make it “hinge” smoothly and stop squeaking.

  6. The batteries in the smoke detectors in my apartment always start to chirp in the middle of the night. There is actually a reason for this that I found on the internet once. Even though I do a complete battery refresh on Labor Day weekend, there is always one that doesn’t make it til then. So I keep a few extra batteries on hand so I can get some sleep. Your bathroom is so cute!

  7. Lol on the smoke alarm. I had to do this recently myself. Knock it down or go crazy. Feels good to be able to handle small household problems & saves money too !!

  8. thank you, my friend, for helping us all to live well!

    I was laughing about the smoke alarm 😉 I had that problem with one in the house in NJ buuut it was on the ceiling – yeahhh, just a few holes for the handyman to patch ;-

  9. Thanks for those suggestions.I think it can be very satisfying to fix problems on your own for free or at little cost! Over the years I have learned how to do a lot of things in my home. Youtube videos can be really helpful too.

  10. Good morning Brenda,

    I hope that you, Charlie and Ivy have had a relaxing weekend.

    I love these tips! I have not tried the dish soap and hot water tip for the toilet, that is very interesting. I have tried the hot water, baking soda and vinegar to unclog a shower drain and it worked great!

    I hope that you have some delicious Mexican food today to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. Have a great day!

  11. It can be very satisfying to fix small problems around the house on your own. Over the years I have learned to fix many things with a basic tool kit, inexpensive supplies, and sometimes the help of Youtube videos. Several years ago I found wood rot around a window outside while I was painting, and I learned how to fix it by watching a Youtube video!
    Thanks for the tips, Brenda!

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