Imagine coming home from a long day at work, only to realize your heating isn’t working, there is no power to the fuse box, or the refrigerator’s broken and all your food is about to go to waste. Is there an app for that?

No matter how much time you spend browsing the iTunes or Google Play store, there will be no instant solution to the issue you are experiencing. Oh no, you’ll have to roll up your sleeves and fix it yourself, as more often than not, certain things cannot wait for a professional (who’s never on time, by the way).

To be ready to cope with any emergency that comes your way, or even learn a couple of tricks and handle most home improvement projects you had planned, check out several DIY projects that can be done with a basic toolbox every homeowner possesses.

Broken Light Switch

It is advisable to leave major electrical emergencies to professionals, however, when it comes to light switches, they are easy to repair, even if you don’t consider yourself as skillful. If one or more of them are malfunctioning, turn off the circuit breaker and take a flathead screwdriver to remove the covering. Next, take philips head to remove the switch from the wall. You will see two wires connected to screws on the switch that you’ll have to disconnect and attach to a new switch.

Leaky Pipes

Be it in the kitchen or bathroom, leaky pipes occur more often than we would want them to, and they tend to involve a worn out washer or a broken compression nut that is sealing it. In order to fix it, first turn the water off; but to find out where to do that, you’ll have to follow the pipes, since sometimes the valve can be right next to the sink, or in the basement.  Then place a bucket or washbowl underneath the pipe and twist off the compression unit. Once the washer is replaced, you can screw it back and turn the water on.

Clogged Drain

In most cases, homeowners reach for (ineffective) harsh chemicals, when a small plunger and a drain snake can fix an issue in a matter of minutes. After you remove the primary clog, put a cup of baking soda in the drain, pour four glasses of boiling water and chase with a cup of vinegar. You’ll create a chemical reaction which will leave the drain smelling fresh.

Malfunctioning Refrigerator

A refrigerator is an electrical device which works around the clock, meaning regular maintenance is a must. Commonly, issues are related to dirty coils, so you need to pull the fridge out and unplug while you work around it. Locate the coils, which are usually underneath or on the back of the fridge, and vacuum them with a coil cleaning brush available at any local hardware store. For more serious repairs, you will have to consult a professional who will help you choose whether to get a new one, or invest in a repair.   

Not Quite Ready Yet…

Naturally, it is impossible to learn how to cope with electrical emergency that comes your way simply by reading an article; you’ll need to get some face-to-face professional advice and do some practical work. But where?

Visit local hardware store. Most hardware stores provide classes which are designed to help young homeowners get comfortable with handling minor fixes around their home.

Volunteer to help. The fastest way to get some practical experience is to assist your friend or neighbor with their home improvement project. You’ll get the chance to go hands-on with the tools you’ll use in the future and, ideally, you’ll have a more experienced partner by your side who will teach you a couple of tricks.

Ask for help. Until you are completely comfortable with working around electricity on your own, you can always get in touch with a local professional who will not only be there to help you with the task in hand, but will be your teacher as well.

Google it. If you’re not so much of an electrician but more of an IT guy, then you know all secrets the Internet holds. Whatever issue you enter in search bar, you are bound to find someone who has filmed a YouTube video explaining in detail how they did it, or you might even stumble upon a how-to guide by a reputable hardware store or a professional.  

In the end, keep in mind there will always be certain projects you shouldn’t tackle, due to your inexperience and lack of proper equipment. Know when to acknowledge you are in over your head and need a pair of reliable hands to take over.