Saved on plumbing and AC service call bills

5 Replies

Recently I picked up a "Power Plunger" (Item#99644) for $5.95 on sale and a 25' drain cleaner (Item#66262) on sale for $11.99 at Harbor Freight.  These two items were recommended to me by another investor as good to have on hand items.  About two weeks later I had a tenant contact me and tell me that the shower was stopped up at a house.  I started to call a plumber and just send them out but thought I'd go try the Power Plunger first after what I had been told about it and the reviews I read.  I was glad that I went and tried it.  One pump and the clog was cleared and all has been fine ever since.  Took literally less than ten seconds total.  I'm sure that I saved a $100+ plumbing bill with this tool.   I have't tried the '25 foot drain cleaner yet.  This Power Plunger tool should be on a landlord's must have list to try before paying for a plumber.

Then a couple days later I had a tenant call and say that the electric had gone on and off several times in the neighborhood and now the AC was running but not cooling.  This was on a Saturday afternoon so I called the answering service for my AC company and waited for a callback.  In the meantime I looked on Google and found the following reset instructions.  I relayed these instructions to the tenants and 30 minutes later the AC was cooling again and all has been fine since.  This time I saved an AC service call.  Thought I'd share these tips with everyone.

Five Simple Steps to Resetting Your Air Conditioner

  1. Turn the system off at the thermostat. This will stop the thermostat from calling for cooling until you have reset both the external and internal breakers.
  2. Find the breaker box in your home and flip the breaker for the a/c to the “off” position.
  3. Flip the breaker for the a/c back on.
  4. Now, wait 30 minutes. During this time, the internal breaker in your air conditioner will reset. During the 30 minutes, keep the thermostat in the “off” position. The internal breaker cannot reset if the thermostat is calling for cooling.
  5. After 30 minutes, turn the thermostat back to “cool,” and the air conditioner should turn back on.

Some good tips here.

One thing to also look at is that the breaker tripped for a reason (but may also be related to the outage), so it would be good to follow up.  It could be almost anything ranging from a weak breaker, a short, high amp pull from the compressor due to dirty condenser coils, high amp pull from the compressor because it is going bad, absence of a 3 or 5 minute relay so the unit cycles to early, etc.

Air Conditioners are the devices which require regular care and maintenance and if taken precautions properly can make one's life very comfortable. These small tips can help a lot in sustaining the life of ACs. Thanks for sharing as it was really helpful.

Alot of times with a clogged shower drain there is just hair in the drain. Remove the stopper and use a long pair of tweezers to get the hair out problem solved. With ac units sometimes in the summer months they freeze up do to moisture in the air. You simply have to turn it off allow the ice to melt then turn it back on. If you tenant calls back about the power it could be a bad capacitor it's simple to fix I can talk you through it if that happens again. Let me know

@Larry P. I just have to thank you for this post. Literally within a week after your post I used BOTH of the tips successfully!

The tenant tried to get Rotorooter to unclog a drain. They thought it was the sewer line, wanted $450. It was just the sink drain. The $12 Harbour Freight snake took care of it. Another tenant called about the AC. I had her do that reset technique with success. 

Thanks for sharing heck with the power plunger. It mostly comes to handy with dealing with drainage pipes.

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