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Maintenance

Before you call or submit a maintenance request...

AIR CONDITIONERS
It is important that you clean your air conditioner filter on a 3 monthly basis. This ensures that your air conditioner will continue to perform in peak condition and to maintain pure air quality for the occupants of the property.

SYNTHETIC FILTERS
To clean your filter, remove it from the air conditioner and clean with mild detergent and luke warm water. Ensure that you thoroughly rinse and dry the filter before replacing it in the unit. If the filter is not synthetic, please contact our office for further information and cleaning instruction.

PLUMBING

It is extremely important that you do not pour fats/oils and other food scraps down the drains. Over a long period of time this will cause problems with the drains, septic system. It will result in an inconvenience to you as the tenant with drains backing up and not draining away properly. It is also detrimental to the environment. Do not flush sanitary products, disposable nappies or nappy wipes down the toilet. These items do not break down and cause obstructions in the drainage system. If these items are flushed and cause a blockage you will be held responsible for the cost of the repair.

HOT WATER SERVICE

How to recognise abnormal operation of your hot water service:

Pressure and temperature relief valve running
It is normal for these valves to allow a small quantity of water to escape during the heating cycle and the unit expands and contracts. The amount of discharge will depend on hot water usage. As a guide, if it discharges more than 20 litres of water in 24 hours, please contact your Property Manager.

No hot water
Check that a hot water outlet is not open eg. the shower is running or tap left on. Carefully review your family’s water Carefully review your family’s water consumption. Have you used all the hot water? On average (depending on length), a 250 litre hot water service should provide 6 showers. Did you wash in hot water? If you are quite sure that you could not have consumed all the hot water, check your meter box. Has the isolation switch tripped? Most hot water services have a heating element and a thermostat. If you have not consumed your hot water, it is possible that the element or thermostat is faulty and requires replacement. Please contact our office and we will arrange for a plumber to attend to the replacement/repair of your hot water service.

LIGHTS OR POWER POINTS NOT WORKING
No power to the property or no lights or no power points working? Firstly check the metre box. In most cases the problem will be that a fuse or safety switch has tripped. This usually happens if you have a faulty appliance or if you have too many appliances switched on at the same time. Take special note of any switches that are in the off position. You will need to turn all switches to the off position, leave them off for a few minutes and then turn them all on again. Turn each appliance on, one at a time. If the safety switch trips when you turn on the toaster, kettle etc. then it is likely that particular appliance is faulty or has just become faulty. Keep in mind that it can sometimes be the fridge or other major appliances that have recently become faulty.

In an old home, you may have the old style fuses that should not be fixed by the tenants. Have a look at the fuses and see if you can see the wire broken on any of the fuses. If an electrician is called to the property and the fault is with one of your appliances or simply to reset the Safety Switch then you will be charged for the service fee.

BATHROOM OR KITCHEN SINK BLOCKED
Try using some Draino to clear the blockage. You could also try pouring boiling water down the sink to free up old soap or hair or try the same with the kitchen sink to remove old food from the kitchen waste. Ensure that no foreign objects have found their way into the pipes or incinerator. Items that can cause problems are: disposable nappies; sanitary napkins; and teaspoons. Blockages caused by foreign objects are the tenant’s responsibility.

GARAGE REMOTE CONTROL NOT WORKING

Check the battery in the remote as this is the most common cause. Otherwise, check that the combination in the remote is the same as the combination on the panel in the garage. This is not always possible depending on the type of remote. If there has been a power outage you will be unable to open the automatic door unless you activate the manual release mechanism. This may need re-setting once the power has been restored in order to re-activate the automatic process. Check that the lever in the garage (generally next to the control box) is on auto. If it is on manual the remote control will not work. However, you should be able to manually operate the garage door.

KEYS AND LOCKS
If you have locked yourself out, you are responsible for gaining access to the property and will need to call a locksmith. All lost keys are the responsibility of the tenant. If a lock has to be re-keyed then you must supply your Property Manager with a key.

STOVE ELEMENT NOT WORKING
Check the connections to make sure it is not loose or dirty. Sometimes pulling the element out, cleaning it and putting it back in again is all you need to do to fix the problem.

OVEN NOT WORKING

Check that you have not accidentally put the automatic timer on. If the oven is on automatic then generally you will have no power to the oven and one or two stove elements will not be working. Turn the automatic setting off and the oven should work – if not then contact your Property Manager.

SEPTIC SYSTEMS
All septic systems are a living process. They rely on bacteria to break down and digest the effluent, so a healthy septic has lots of healthy bacteria. If you use strong cleaning products such as the ones listed below, you will reduce or completely destroy the bacteria in your system.

This will result in:
• Strong odours;
• Untreated effluent pooling on the grounds surface;
• Creating a possible health hazard for you and others;
• Shorten the life of any pump associated with your system.
In the case of a soakage system, complete shut down of the soakage trench causes effluent to back up to the house and very costly replacements.

Cleaners that should NEVER be used in any type of septic system (in order of most harmful):
• Nappy San
• Milton Sterilizing Solution
• Any antibacterial solution (Pine-o-Clean, Spray & Wipe, Dettol)
• Exit mould or anything else remotely similar
• Ajax powders or any chlorine based product
• Blue toilet products – any brand
• Paints & thinners
• Sanitary items, plastic, cigarette butts etc.

REMEMBER – EVERY DRAIN IN AND AROUND YOUR HOME IS CONNECTED TO THE SEPTIC SYSTEM and all products used will end up in the same place regardless of which drain you utilise! Read the labels on the cleaning products as any product that will harm you will harm the bacteria in your septic system.

MOULD AND MILDEW
About mould
From time to time some householders raise the question of mould and mildew in a household or residential rental accommodation. The following information has been prepared from available technical and other literature.

Three conditions have to be present for the growth of mould; mould spores, a surface with sufficient food source to maintain life and a source of moisture. Mould spores are in the air everywhere. Any thought of excluding them from a household can be forgotten. There is nearly always a source of foodstuff, cooking fumes, or even dust can be sufficient. These conditions are invariably present in all households.There remains the third condition, and that is moisture within a household that comes directly or indirectly from the people who live in it. Washing, cooking and drying operations are obvious sources of moisture but moisture also comes from the inhabitants themselves.

Prevention
To prevent moisture build-up from the interior of accommodation, it is desirable to have a balance between adequate heating and ventilation. The interior temperature should ideally be maintained between about 18° to 22° for comfort, with about 1 and a half air volume changes per hour with more in bathrooms and kitchens. This air movement will keep the relative humidity at a manageable level. This ventilation can be achieved by leaving windows open a centimetre or two depending on the outside air movement and the amount of cross ventilation.

The rule is, ventilate little and often, rather than in short vigorous bursts. Window glass is a good guide, if it starts to show more than a minimum of condensation, the windows should be open a little further.Remember, increase ventilation so that the moisture generated is not retained within the household. This may require a bit of willpower during the winter months, when every instinct calls for the house to be sealed against escaping heat, but if you fail to follow these basic rules, you are going to get mould.

Control
• Ensure there is ventilation in all rooms at all times. Keep internal doors open.
• Vent clothes dryers directly outside where possible.
• Use an extraction fan in the shower.
• Cupboard heaters can help in wardrobes if mildew is likely to occur.
• Do not put damp clothes or shoes in a wardrobe.
• Insulate ceilings of existing homes and ensure new homes are insulated as required by the building codes.
• Clean wallpaper with a damp cloth and household bleach (1 part bleach and 4 parts water). Test a small hidden patch first to make sure the bleach does not affect the colour. If it does, try a fungicide from a paint shop.
• Never paint over mildew. Gloss-painted surfaces can be wiped down with household bleach as above. Matt finish paint can be wiped down with fungicide.
• Do not use abrasive cleaners.
• The removal and containment of mould and mildew is the tenant’s responsibility.