More than 450,000 students are preparing to head off to university this week – many are living away from home for the first time. If you are one of them, you will be thinking about what clothes to pack and which freshers’ nights to go to, but you should also remember to pick up some simple homecare skills before you fly the nest!
Simple DIY and home maintenance skills are not hard to come by, and by having them under your belt it will ready you for action when the sink blocks, when the electricity cuts out or your boiler decides to have a tantrum.
Rightio is advising students to prepare for this new and independent living.
“Students are faced with learning how to live within a budget, how to cook, and make new friends,” said Chris Carswell, Managing Director at Rightio.
“What they often forget to prepare themselves with is some fast DIY fixes around their new accommodation. Some teenagers have never changed a light bulb, let alone unblocked a drain or reset a tripped switch.
“It’s not only avoiding hassle of call outs, but it saves money by avoiding maintenance call-out costs.”
Rightio’s engineers receive regular requests to attend simple jobs that could be avoided – from boilers that won’t light to flooded kitchens and bathrooms.
“We’ve prepared a quick checklist which students can ready themselves with to gain peace of mind for dealing with those annoying jobs around the home.”
Rightio’s 5 point what to do checklist
1. The boiler goes – It could be the pilot light; instructions are usually kept with the boiler manual
2. The lights have gone out in one room and not another – Find out where your fuse box is when you move in and learn what each of the switches are for – that way you’ll not have to stumble around in the dark if the lights trip
3. Change a fuse? – Before you change anything, take a photo on your phone so you remember the order of the fuses (phones can come in handy for more than Twitter, Facebook and Snapchat). If you haven’t done that, remember:
The brown (previously red) plug wire goes to live (L).
The blue (previously black) plug wire goes to neutral (N).
The green and yellow (previously green) wire goes to earth (E)
4. Radiator is cold at the top and hot at the bottom – It may need bleeding, follow these simple steps:
Turn the central heating and hot water off
Place a towel under the radiator to soak up any water that might drain out
Find the square bleed screw at the top, side or back of the radiator
Insert the bleed key and turn it anti-clockwise (don’t turn more than twice because this will remove the screw) until you hear a hissing sound
Hold this and wait until the sound stops and water begins to drain out of the screw
You can now retighten the screw but don’t make it too tight
5. Use basic tools for repairs? – A screwdriver can come in handy more times than you might think, always keep one in a kitchen drawer.