Repairs Troubleshooting – What should you do first


The first thing is don’t panic, the following may be able to help you!

Before reporting a repair there may be a simple answer as to why you are having problems. Here are some common issues and what you should do first before you ring the office.


This could be due to a local power cut.

You could ask your neighbours if they too have lost power and this would indicate a local power cut. This is not something that we could deal with.

If you are on a prepay meter.

Please ensure that your credit has not run out.

If you have just topped-up your meter, make sure that the credit has taken and that the meter does not need to be re-set.

If your consumer unit (fuse box) keeps tripping out

Consumer unit/fuse box

This is a Consumer unit

This could be a faulty appliance.

The best way to deal with this is by switching off all your electrical items at the plug socket plus the lights and the immersion heater if you have one. Then begin turning them back on one at a time. If the electric trips out as you switch on a particular appliance there is most likely to be a fault in the appliance. Don’t forget your fridge and cooker. If you report a fault and we do find it is caused by an item of electrical equipment belonging to you, you will be charged for cost.


Does the boiler sound like it is running?

Pressure indicator on a gas combi boiler

Pressure indicator on a gas combi boiler

Before reporting no heating or hot water please make sure that you have credit on your meters if applicable or a supply of oil. If you have recently run out of credit and the supply of gas has been stopped, your boiler may need to be reset

Check the pressure on your boiler (if it is a combination boiler). If the pressure is below 1 bar, re-pressurise your boiler to between 1 and 2. If the pressure keeps dropping, please contact us to let us know.

Do you have hot water but no heating?

Check your thermostat has not been turned down and therefore the heating is just not kicking in.

Do you have heating but no hot water?

Is there no hot water from all of the hot taps or just one? If there is none from just one tap – the tap is faulty and needs to be reported.


Blockages – Tenants are responsible for blocked pipes within the home.

A outside drain blocked in the street

These blockages can be caused by the inappropriate disposable of items in the toilet such as toilet / wet wipes and cotton wool buds in the sink/bath drains. Also a buildup of hair or cooking fat can cause a blockage.

If you have more than one toilet/sink failing to drain there is a possibility that the outside drain is blocked.

This can be checked by lifting the inspection cover which is normally located in your front or rear garden. If this is clear the blockage is likely to be within the house and is down to you to deal with in the first instance.

If the outside drain chamber in your garden is full, the problem will lie in the outside drainage system and should be reported to your water supplier as it is their responsibility.

The contact numbers to report a blocked drain are:

Wessex Water 0345 600 4600

South West Water 0344 3462020

If the outside drain is clear, it is an internal blockage.

To clear an internal blockage you could try using a sink plunger.

You could pour boiling water down your kitchen sink if you think it may be blocked with cooking fat. There are also cleaning products available specifically for clearing sinks. Unfortunately the best way of clearing a blocked toilet is normally by hand and wearing rubber gloves. 

Is your toilet leaking?

Pipe isolator valve on a toilet

This is a pipe isolator valve.

If you have a leaking toilet cistern it can normally be isolated by operating a valve which is on the pipe that feeds the water into the cistern. This can simply be turned with a flat screwdriver. If you have two toilets in your home we will not consider the repair of a toilet to be an urgent repair as long as the other toilet is working. If you have one toilet we will treat it as urgent but it can still be flushed by using a bucket of water.

Please make sure that before you report a leaking toilet it isn’t just a little sprinkle from a tinkle or condensation forming and dripping from the cold pipes or the outside of the toilet cistern.

Is there a leak from your bath?

A broken seal on the corner of a bath

An example of a failed seal on a bath / shower tray.

We get a lot of reports about leaky baths. Nine out of ten times the bath is not leaking, it is normally one of the following reasons –

  • Children have had a bath and splashed
  • The bath has overflowed
  • The shower curtain has not been pulled round correctly
  • Someone has stepped out of the bath with wet feet

In the first instance mop up any excess water so the floor is dry and after a few hours of not using the bath or shower return to see if the floor is wet.

It may be that a seal around the bath has failed – Please report this to us as it will leak every time you shower


I have locked myself out of my home / I’ve lost my keys

Unfortunately, we do not hold any keys for your home. Furthermore, you are responsible if you lock yourself out and therefore it is up to you to call a locksmith at your own expense.

In case of the odd occasion where this could happen, it is always worth keeping a spare key with a trusted friend or member of your family.

My door / window is stiff to open

If your door and windows locks are difficult to open, please first spray a lubricant such as WD40 or similar into all the locks and hinges to ease the mechanisms.

We also recommend that you regularly lubricate the locks and hinges every couple of months to ensure that they continue to operate smoothly.   

The glass on my door / in my window has smashed

We will need information from you explaining how the glass on your door/ window smashed – we have heard it all so please be honest.

If someone has purposefully broken your door/window glass you will need to obtain a crime reference number.

If the damage was caused by a rogue stone being flicked up by a lawn mower or strimmer for example, please clear away any broken and loose glass carefully and report it to us. You will be recharged for any damage whether accidental or not if you do not have a crime number.

I can’t see through my window as it is misty 

Condensation on a window

This is more than likely to be condensation and this is mostly visible first thing in the morning or if you have been washing, cooking or drying washing inside.

In some cases, the glass we fit to our newer windows is so energy efficient that you can even experience condensation on the outside of the window.

If you do have misty windows, wait until both sides of the window are dry and if there is still a ‘misting’ issue and it seems to be between the panes of glass, please contact us to report it.


My smoke alarm is beeping                                 

Smoke alarm on a ceiling

A person removing the cover of a smoke alarm

Changing the batteries in a smoke alarm

Placing new batteries in the smoke alarm   

All our properties are fitted with smoke alarms. In most cases each alarm contains a battery. When the battery is low the alarm will “beep” or “chirp” every thirty seconds. It is your responsibility to replace the battery. The battery required is a lithium 9 volt battery (the square one). We recommend that you use a good quality battery and always keep a spare on hand.

On occasion tenants have caused damage to alarms in order to silence them.

Any tenant who causes damage to their alarms will charged for the replacement and any damage to fittings.

The below instructions are a guide as to how to replace the battery. If you are unsure about how to do this perhaps you could ask a neighbour or friend to assist. You may also be able to view video instructions from the internet.

Remove the cover or body. Gently pry the cover open or unclip the body of the detector from its base with a slight twisting or sliding motion. Inside, you will find a battery.

Replace the battery. Unclip the old battery from its holder. Most detectors utilize a 9-volt battery—use a brand new lithium 9-volt battery as a replacement. Be sure the male and female terminals are properly oriented and connect soundly with the base.

Close the cover or replace the body. Snap the cover shut or lock the body of the smoke detector back into its base.

Test the detector. Press the test button on the surface of the detector to make sure the battery is working. When the button is pressed, the detector should beep or chirp.

Some alarms have an expiry date printed on the body. If your alarm is out of date please contact us and we will replace it.     


My CO2 alarm is beeping                                                           

CO2 Alarm example             

If you have a CO2 alarm fitted it will have a limited life span. The batteries are sealed and cannot be replaced. They should last up to seven years. If your alarm has not been replaced within this time and starts to beep or chirp (normally once per minute), it has probably come to the end of its life. Please contact us and we will arrange a replacement.    



We do not routinely fit showers in our properties, however where we fit gas combi-boilers we do give tenants the option of having an electric shower as a backup to ensure they can have a hot wash should the boiler ever fail.  The shower is gifted to the tenant and any future maintenance or repairs to the shower are the tenant’s responsibility. If you wish to fit your own shower you must request permission before any work is done. Tiles must be fitted to protect the walls and an appropriate shower screen/curtain to protect the floor. If you move into a house with a shower already fitted the maintenance and repair will be your responsibility. 

If you have a shower that IS the responsibility of Falcon – you will know it is ours – but if you are in any doubt, please contact us to find out.