At some point, every homeowner encounters a loose, broken, pitted, or just plain ugly toilet flush handle that's crying out for replacement. Swapping in a new one can cost as little as $4 to $10, depending on whether it mounts on the front or side of the toilet tank.
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- The Cheapest, Fastest Fixes for 10 Everyday Home Headaches
The Cheapest, Fastest Fixes for 10 Everyday Home Headaches
Replace a Flush Handle
Put in a New Toilet Fill Valve
If a toilet runs constantly, fills slowly, or flushes weakly, the culprit may be a faulty fill valve. A leaky tank not only wastes water and adds to the water bill, but it can lead to bigger problems if not addressed promptly. It makes sense to tackle this repair as soon as possible—particularly as a fill valve costs just about $8 and is simple to replace.
Fix an Ice Maker Hose
Now that summer temps have started to rise, ice consumption is bound to go up too. It's practically the worst time for a ice maker water line to break. Fortunately, a sweaty homeowner can cool things down in a jiffy by replacing the water line connector hose with a flexible burst- and kink-resistant universal model (under $10) that fits most leading brands of ice makers.
Related: 7 Tricks for Keeping Cool Without AC
Change a Faucet Washer
The cause of a dripping faucet is usually a worn-out rubber washer that is no longer able to keep water from leaking from the faucet. It's fairly simple to unscrew and remove the faucet handle so you can replace the washer—which costs less than $3—and again enjoy the sounds of silence.
Replace a Supply Line Faucet Connector Hose
Leaks can cause puddles in the least noticeable places, but that's all the more reason to deal with them quickly. Constant moisture under a sink, for instance, can lead to mold, rot, and warping wood. No worry—an under-sink faucet hose isn't tough to replace: Simply shut off the water valve and unscrew each end of the hose. A new supply line faucet connector up to 20 inches long costs less than $7 and is easy to attach.
Recaulk a Sink or Backsplash
Dry, cracked caulking can start to break off in tiny pieces or larger chunks, leaving countertops and tile backsplashes vulnerable to water damage. Armed with a $3 caulk gun, about $6 worth of caulking, and a little technique, a competent homeowner can remove the old caulk and apply a new bead like a pro.
Change to LED Bulbs
Buying a new light bulb can be a confusing exercise these days, particularly if you're trying to make the most cost-effective choice. Some of the most popular options today are LED bulbs, which offer extended life and cost less than $10 for a four-pack of 60-watt bulbs. One side benefit of this bright decision is the potential it offers for saving money on your electric bill.
Replace a Cracked Wall Plate
Over time, uneven walls or over-tightened screws can cause a switch plate or outlet cover to crack. Once a plate has cracked, it’s not worth trying to repair it—you'll never be satisfied with the results, and a new switch plate is pretty cheap. A single toggle- or rocker-type wall plate retails for less than $3, and a double-switch wall plate in either style goes for about $5.
Install a New Sprinkler Head
Sprinkler heads are subject to daily use and can fall victim to lawn mowers, clumsy gardeners, and errant cars. The next time you're confronted with a broken sprinkler head, rest easy knowing that just under $3 will get you the pop-up version, and the professional-grade type will set you back about $10. Either one is simple to install, so you'll have that sprinkler spraying water on your thirsty lawn again in no time.
Related: 7 Remedies to Rescue a Dying Lawn
Upgrade the Doorbell
A doorbell may get used many times a day, and all that repeated pushing can cause the lighted plastic button to break. A serviceable replacement costs just about $7. A little cash and a few minutes' work will have you—and your visitors—hearing those familiar chimes once more.