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Do it yourself

Five repair jobs you can fix in minutes

Some repairs are quick and easy to do. Instead of waiting, you may be able to fix your problem in minutes. See below for advice and guidance.

Want to make some DIY improvements to your home? Read this.

How to change your bathroom or kitchen light

Changing your light fittings is something you have to sort out yourself as part of your tenancy agreement, but it’s easy to do. We’ll even give you replacement lights for free.

How to change a light in your kitchen:

  • Make sure the power to the light is switched off. You can just turn it off using the switch on the wall, but for extra safety you may want to switch your lights off on your electricity consumer unit.
  • Let the light cool down then use both hands to gently turn the tube until it stops. It only turns in one direction. Once it stops, you can slide the tube downwards out of the fitting.
  • Fit the new light by lining up the two prongs on either side of the tube with the slots in the fitting. Lift it through the slots, then turn it until it locks into place.

How to change a light in your bathroom:

  • Make sure the power to the light is switched off. You can just turn it off using the switch on the wall, but for extra safety you may want to turn your lights off on your electricity consumer unit.
  • Let the light cool down then remove the cover. Depending on the model, either:
    • Push the sides of the cover to release it. Keep it supported so it doesn’t fall, or
    • Gently push the cover inward, into the mounting, and then slide it to one side, or
    • Undo the two screws to release the cover. Keep it supported so it doesn’t fall.
  • Hold the centre of the light and pull it out of the fitting.
  • Fit the new light by simply pushing it into the fitting so that the pins go in. Put the cover back on.
How to fix a cold radiator

If your heating is on but your radiator feels cold at the top, it’s more than likely got trapped air in it and just needs bleeding with a radiator key. You can buy one from any DIY shop.

Don't bleed a radiator if you have a combination boiler - please order a repair instead.

To Bleed a Radiator:

  • Turn off the heating system before bleeding.
  • Place the key over the bleed valve (the small square nut at the top end of the radiator) and hold a cloth around it to catch any water.

Radiator Bleed ValveA bleed valve

  • Gently turn the key anti-clockwise until you hear a hiss – this is the trapped air in the radiator being released.
  • When water starts to come through, turn the key back clockwise to shut the valve off.

If the whole radiator is cold, check that the temperature valve isn’t closed. You turn it anti-clockwise to open it.

Temperature Valve

A temperature valve

If more than one radiator is cold, the whole heating system may need to be checked by a plumber, so please order a repair.

What to do if your electricity goes off

If you have a pre-payment meter, the first thing to do is check to make sure that you've definitely got credit. It may simply be that your power's gone off because you haven't topped it up.

If you don't have a pre-payment meter, or you do and you're in credit, you can normally just turn your electricity back on again at your consumer unit. Usually, this is near your meter.

Electricity Consumer Unit

An electricity consumer unit

Your unit will have either switches or fuses.

If it’s got switches:

  • Just look for whichever one has switched downwards (like the final two switches in the picture above) and flick it back up. This will turn your electricity back on.
  • If the switch keeps flicking down, it means that there’s a fault with something you’ve got plugged in somewhere in your home.
  • Underneath the switch, it should tell you whereabouts the problem is. To find out what’s causing it, just unplug everything where the problem is, flick the switch back on, and plug each item in one-by-one until the electricity goes off again.
  • Once you know which item is the problem, leave it unplugged and get it fixed by an electrician.

If it’s got fuses:

Watch this short video to see how to change a fuse:

How to fix a blocked toilet/sink/bath

To unblock a toilet:

  • If it’s full of water, scoop some out. 
  • Push your toilet brush or plunger to the bottom of the toilet and quickly pump it up and down about 10 times. (Don’t use plungers with a metal disk as these can crack the toilet bowl.)
  • You may need to keep doing this a lot before the toilet flushes normally. If there is no improvement after several attempts, order a repair.

To unblock a sink or bath:

  • Scoop out most of the water.
  • Hold a rag firmly over the overflow opening and place a plunger over the drain hole. Quickly pump it up and down.
  • You may need to keep doing this a lot before the blockage goes. If there is no improvement after several attempts, order a repair.
What to do if your boiler and central heating isn’t working

If your boiler isn’t working, it could be for a number of reasons. Before contacting us, it’s worth checking three things first that may solve the problem:

  • Check the power switch to the boiler hasn’t been turned off. It’s easy to catch it and switch it off by accident.
  • Check your thermostat to make sure it hasn’t accidentally been turned down.
  • If you have a pre-payment meter, check to make sure that you've definitely got credit. It may simply be that your power's gone off because you haven't topped it up. (See where to get credit for your Switch 2 meter if you have one.)

If the cause of the problem is none of the above, and you don't smell gas, please order a repair.

If you smell gas, please call the National Grid immediately on 0800 111 999.