Fault Finding


Teething troubles

When you first move in you may experience a few teething troubles. Because we, as agent and landlord, do not live in the property, not all faults are apparent to us upon inspection. Most problems are easily solved, while others will need the landlords attention. Below is a brief list of the things you may be able to resolve quickly for yourselves.

The Washer, Dryer or Dishwasher Does Not Work Is it turned on? If your washer/dryer or dishwasher is not working, check that the switch above the worktop is not switched off. If it is switched on it is always worth turning it off, leaving it for a couple of minutes and turning it on again. Do you have an Ariston washer/dyer? To re-set an Ariston washing machine:

1. Switch off the machine at the socket and disconnect the plug.

2. Position the dial to any of the main cycle 'dots' at the beginning of a cycle (not in between).

3. Leave unplugged for 60 seconds.

4. Put the plug back in the socket and switch on again.

If the problem persists, email your landlord / agent with a description of the problem and the make and model of the machine. Your landlord agent will probably then instruct an engineer to attend.

The Hot Water and/or Heating Does Not Work


Turn the thermostat up or on (usually clockwise if a round dial or if digital via an arrow (found in the downstairs or upstairs hallways or in the lounge)). Increase and decreasse to detect a barely audible click (this is the ambient room temperature). Ensure this is above room temperatre to ensure the heating comes on. Below the set room temperature, the heating automatically cuts out.

Heating controls

Ensure the hot water/heating control box is switched on either for water, heating or both - an iluminated orange light (where provided) normally indicates on. This is probably in your upstairs hallway, kitchen, utility cupboard, airing cupboard or landing. For location of heating control box see your landlord or agent.

Each house has its own separate web site enabling you to find all controls. Boiler power switchEnsure the boiler power switch is turned on. This is likely to be located in the hall, landing or kitchen close to the control box. Surprisingly this is not usually on the boiler but on a nearby wall and often looks very similar to a light switch.

Boiler Pressure (Combination Boilers)Ensure that there is sufficient pressure on the boiler pressure guage. How to check: The pressre guage is located on the boiler. The boiler is usually situated in the kitchen and within a wall unit. If the boiler is located in the loft call your landlord to repressurise.

On the boiler (combination boilers only) there is a pressure guage. On the guage you will see a green "fan" - an area which looks like a quarter circle within a semi-circle. If the indicating needle is within the fan the boiler pressure is set. If the indicater is low and not within the fan then the boiler needs repressurising.

Please do not do this yourselves unless you are competant. To do this locate the two iso-valves (taps with black plastic lever handles) usually under the boiler and not immediately apparent.

Read this next text very carefully before you start before proceeding further:

Turn each of the two valve levers so that the levers are "in-line" with the pipe to which they are attached one at a time this will open the water supply to fill the system. Whilst opening the second valve (to complete the water connection) you must simultaneously observing the greeen fan and the position of the needle - the needle will move as the water fills the system incresing the needle position. The presure will increase very quickly - a few seconds only. When the pressure is midway in the fan, turn off the first of the two iso valves. Check the needle is still in the correct position and then turn off the second valve. If you overpressurise the boiler it will not work! So you must monitor the presure guage closely whilst adjusting the two valves.

On the boiler is a reset buton or dial. press (or turn and release} this dial and the green light on the boiler will illuminate, the (orange?) light will go out and the audible sound of the pump and water circulation as well as the gas ignighting, will confirm the heating / water system is operating properly.

Gas/power cut

Check with you neighbours as to whether they are experiencing a similar problem just in case there is a power or gas cut in your area.

The Phone/Broadband is not working

Fault in the areaThere may be a fault in your area. To find out go to BT Business, type in your phone number and you should be able to find out whether there is a problem in your area. If this is the case, you can report it from this page.

Draining and Blockages

Toilets usually become blocked by flushing tampons, sanitary towels, face wipes, cotton beds and the like. In order to avoid blockages, please do not do this. If you have already tried solutions suggested in fault finding, please contact your landlord agent who will arrange a plumber to attend.

Baths, showers and sinks usually become blocked with hair, fat and food. Try to be very careful not to allow these things go down the drain. Usually chemical drain-hole and plug-unblockers will solve unblock the drains, purchased from supermarkets and Wilkinsons. There are various products - carefully follow manufacturers instructions to avoid acid burns!

The Shower is Not Working

The shower does not turn onCheck the power to the shower is on - either a switch or a pull string near the shower. If any of the switches are down on the fuse box put them back up (unless they flip down again in which case do not force it to remain on - there is a problem and experts will be called in to resolve it).

For an amusing scenario see: What a shower!

Water is not coming out of the shower head properlyDe-scale the shower head (de-scaler can be purchased from most supermarkets). If there are rubber nozzles on the end of the shower head simply press these with you thumb to break-up the scale, enabling the water to pass through the nozzle holes. Regularly de scale your shower head. Prolonged use with blocked nozzles will damage your shower unit.

The shower temperature does not stay constant Descale the shower head.

The water pressure is affected by blocked shower heads preventing the hot and cold to mix properly. If having tried all these option it still does not work use the back up-shower provided in most houses.

Partial or Complete Power Failure

ELECTRIC UK POWER NETWORKS: 0800 783 8866 Electricity

Go to the fuse box (normally under the stairs), if any of the switches are down for off, push them back up for on. If these trip switches repeatedly go off there is a fault, please report it immediately and use an alternative if you have one.

GAS: TRANSCO: 0800 111 999.

Check with your neighbours to see if there is a problem in the locality of your house. If it is your house only the problem is isolated to your property, call your landlord for help:


Mould build up in bathrooms/bedroomsWe occasionally receive reports of leaks and damp when it transpires following inspection it is condensation. Condensation is usually caused by steam from bathrooms, drying washing indoors, not using the extractor fan whilst cooking, not opening windows and so on. Try to make sure your house is well ventilated.

Should you find a build-up of pink or black mould, purchase Dettol Mould and Mildew Remover and spray it on.

The Vacuum Cleaner Does Not Work.

Is the vacuum bag full? If it is full replace the bag. Is the hose blocked? Disconnect the hose from the cylinder and push a broom handle or the like down the hose to dislodge anything in it. Bottled-water-tops regularly block hoses. Switch off unscrew the hose from the cleaner and temporarily swop the hose placing the hand-held end in the cleaner suction hole (i.e. changing the direction can dislodge the blockage). If you continue to use the vacuum cleaner with a blocked hose it could overheat and burn-out the motor. The cable if coiled is likely to get very hot if opperating with a blocked hose. Is the filter dirty? Remove excess dust from the filter (preferably outside the house as this is very dusty!). This will immediately improve suction. The filter is the large white circular disc found in the top of the cleaner just above the bag compartment.

Plug-in Appliances Do Not Work

Plug-in appliancesIf you have any appliance (e.g. kettle, hairdryer/straighteners) and it does not work whilst plugged in, the fuse in the plug probably needs changing, rather than a problem with the socket itself.

Pests Ants

Black ants are harmless, but if you want rid of them use ant powder from any supermarket. Place powder wherever the ants appear to be entering the house. Ants like anything sweet so ensure work surfaces are clean and free of sugar or preserves to prevent their return.

Rodents If you do not want them do not invite them in! Leaving your rubbish outside the house and not contained in a wheelie bin is an invitation to a banquet. Also be conscious that an innocent saucer of milk or food for a stray cat or hedgehog will also be appreciated by RATS! Contact Canterbury City Council 01227 862 202 By e-mail:pests@canterbury.gov.uk

Maggots and Flies Flies lay eggs in wheelie bins, the rubbish is a source of nutrition for the larvae and then maggots grow into more flies. Now you know why the City Council insist upon you closing your bin lids! During the summer flies come in through open windows and doors. If you do not want flies in your house and maggots in your bins do not invite them in by leaving food out and bin lids open.

Wasps and Bees To keep wasps out the house try to ensure that you keep work surfaces and floors clean. If a wasp or bees nest appears outside your window under the eaves, keep your window closed and call your landlord or Cantebury City Council. The removal of the nest is a job for a professional so do not attempt this yourself! Contact Canterbury City Council 01227 862 202 By e-mail:pests@canterbury.gov.uk

Fleas and Bed Bugs Fleas come in a variety of descriptions and include those that bite and survive on your blood or your dead skin. Body hygiene and clean bedding is recommended. Pets attract fleas (which is why landlords and agents prohibit most pets). They live in carpets and fabrics. Occasionally you may come across something you have not seen or heard of before. If this is an infestation, report it to Canterbury City Council. If you are able to provide a specimen it will be sent to a lab for analysis and then reported if it is a problem. Do not simply ignore it.