Maintenance Troubleshooting

Always ask a few questions and encourage tenants to try these videos and easy-fix steps before we open a Work Order.
Below is a list of common items that often need troubleshooting/repair. Expand the list for the item/appliance in question and attempt to troubleshoot with the caller. Different issues will require different degrees of troubleshooting. There are also templates to use in email correspondence or as a guide on the phone. Remember to always send them the YouTube link if there is one for that category. On the topic of YouTube videos, please also watch each video so you’ll have a better chance of helping out each customer. If there is something covered in the video that isn't in the list, don’t be afraid to go off script in an attempt to be more helpful! Most importantly, you want to know what you are talking about.
REMEMBER: Our goal is to help RESOLVE the issue. We don’t want to dispatch a vendor if we can avoid it. Do everything you can to help them out first before you resort to opening a work order and sending someone out. 
Click the box to open instructions
This one is a tougher one to troubleshoot. Often times it requires a professional to diagnose and repair. Before contacting a vendor, please go over these steps with the customer:
  1. Did you test the breaker?
  2. Is the power coming on at all?
  3. Is the filter clean/obstructed?
  4. Will the main fan turn on?

General Troubleshooting

  1. If applicable, did you reset the GFCI switch on the outlet?
  2. Did you check the breaker?
  3. Is it the whole house, or just one area?
    1. Look for "popped" GFCI switch, reset it if necessary.
  4. Test outlets, plug something in
  5. Could it possibly be a neighborhood wide outage?
  6. Provide this link:

Lights/outlets/appliances not working

Most likely a GFCI outlet has been tripped somewhere in the house. Please take the following troubleshooting steps to see if this can be easily fixed.

First, be sure all light bulbs in the affected lights are not burned out. If they are, please replace them. 

Next, please press and hold each reset button on each GFCI outlet in the kitchen, nearby bathrooms and anywhere else for a couple seconds each. Then turn off the corresponding breakers for this area of the house and wait 30 seconds before turning it back on. If this does not solve the issue, please reopen this task or create a new one and we will dispatch a contractor.

Thank You,
Maintenance Department

Bathroom light/outlets don’t work

Before we dispatch a contractor, please try these steps:

Please press and hold the reset button on EACH GFCI outlet in the bathroom for a couple seconds each.  (Check to be sure there aren't any hidden in medicine cabinets or under sinks).  Then turn off the corresponding breakers for this area of the house and wait 30 seconds before turning it back on.

If these steps do not correct the issue, please create a new request and we will dispatch a contractor.

Thank You,
Maintenance Department
  1. Toilet is running
    1. Provide this link:
  2. Backed-up toilet
    1. Is it plunged?
    2. Are there any obstructions?
    3. Provide this link:
  3. Leaking toilet
    1. Turn off valve at base/wall
    2. Is the toilet loose at the base or not secure?
    3. Provide this link:
  4. Leaking underneath the sink
    1. Tighten any loose bolts
    2. Check under garbage disposal
    3. Provide this link:
  5. Dripping faucet
    1. Provide this link:
  6. Leak in the drip system/sprinkler
    1. Turn off water at sprinkler valve
    2. Provide this link:

Garbage disposal not working

  1. Have you tried to reset switch underneath the disposal?
  2. Provide this link:
  3. Send them the "How to use a garbage disposal correctly" instructions below.

Email or phone template

Thanks for reporting the issue with your garbage disposal.  Sometimes, they need to be reset. If the disposal does not start working after you've exhausted all other efforts, please send us another request through the online system and we will have a contractor contact you to arrange access.

Please refer to the following steps:

2. This seems obvious, but please check to be sure it is plugged in.  Often, over time, the plug becomes slightly loose.
3. If the unit does not turn on, locate the reset button under the unit and press and hold it for a few seconds.
4. If that doesn't work, try resetting the appropriate breaker in the main breaker panel.
5. Still no luck? Try watching this YouTube video:
6. If the unit still isn’t working, please reopen this request and we will have a contractor contact you to arrange access.

Thank You,
Maintenance Department

How to use a garbage disposal correctly

Garbage Disposal Do’s

Garbage Disposal Don’ts

The most important rule of thumb: Don’t Put Anything In The Garbage Disposal That Is Not Biodegradable Food. A garbage disposal is not a trash can; it is for food scraps only. Non food items can damage both blades and the motor. When in doubt, throw it out!
  1. Check sensors; are they properly aligned? Any obstruction/blocked scanner?
  2. Will it open manually?
  3. Check batteries in openers
  4. Provide this link:
  1. Out of salt?
  2. Check filter if it has one
  3. Provide this link:
  1. Coils clean?
  2. Provide this link:
Click the box to open instructions

Hot water heater not working

The first thing we want to determine is what type of unit is this:

If it is electric, there will be an electrical line that runs into the top of the unit. On this style of unit, there are two oval shaped access panels. These will be vertically aligned. The one you would want to access is the top panel. There will be two screws, remove these and the panel cover. Once this is removed, you will see a red circular button that says "RESET". Push this button.  If the unit is activated, you will feel a slight vibration when you place your hand on the tank. This will be the heating elements activating.  If this fails, check your breaker panel to ensure none are tripped or in half trip mode.

If this is a gas unit, the pilot may have gone out. If this is the case, the pilot will need to be lit.  If so, the instructions for doing it will be labeled right on the pilot.

After taking these steps, if the pilot light is now lit, let the water heater work for three to four hours before testing the water.  If, at that time, the water is still not getting warm, reopen this task, describe the steps you took, tell us what type of hot water heater it is (gas or electric) and we will dispatch a contractor.

Thank You,
Maintenance Department

Hot water is too hot

This is a simple fix that you can do yourself. Please follow the directions below:   

1. Turn off the water heater using the correct breaker to be sure there is no power going to the hot water heater before you begin.   
2. Use a screwdriver to remove the panel on the side (top and/or bottom) to uncover the temperature setting.   
3. The temperature control will either have temperature settings shown in degrees or it might just say hot - cold. Move the temperature setting to a cooler setting.   
4. Replace the cover and screw closed.   
5. Turn the breaker for the hot water heater back on.   
6. Wait at least 3 to 4 hours before testing the hot water temperature.   

Here is a link to a simple YouTube video on the process.   

Please open a new task if you have any other issues.   

Thank You, 
Maintenance Department

Leaking water

  1. Identify location of the leak and shut off water source.
  2. Provide this link:

Water shutoff valve not turning

Water shut off valves often get stuck or difficult to turn.  Please use a household lubricant (like WD40) to loosen a tight valve.  Follow directions on the packaging of the lubrication.  This will usually loosen the valve enough for you to get it moving again.

If these steps do not correct the issue, please create a new request and we will dispatch a contractor.

Maintenance Department
It sounds as though the pilot light for the oven has blown out. This would be your responsibility to relight. It is very simple and easy to do. If there is a manual for your oven, please refer to it for instructions. If not, you can search online for a manual for that model or simply search for general instructions on how to light the pilot light of an oven.

If you prefer to have a contractor out to perform this, it will be at your cost.

We are now closing this task. If, after attempting to light the pilot light, you experience any other issues, please feel free to reopen this task or create a new one.

Thank You,
Maintenance Department