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Your Questions About Small Appliance Repair Training

Paul asks…

My microwave is making weird noises when i turn it on, do u what is the solution to this?

well as the question says, do u know how to fix it or what could be the cause of it, and also would it be safe to open it up and fix it?

James Conley answers:

Unless you have training in appliance repair – do not open the microwave and attempt to fix anything yourself, let alone try and use the microwave afterwards. If you’re having a high pitch squealing noise, it could be from friction created by the spin plate that rotates when the microwave is in use. You can normally solve this by removing the spin plate and washing both it and the bottom of the microwave where it sits. If you’re having a low grumble that gets progressively louder as you use the microwave – something electronic and expensive is about to give. You have two choices – seek out a small appliance repair company in your area and get a quote on how much it is to repair, but chances are that it’s going to cost you about the same as buying a new microwave. Best bet – buy a new microwave. Go to WalMart!

Sandy asks…

What is a renter obligated to do?

I was looking into renting out houses but ive heard so many stories of how its more of a pain then its worth and i was wondering as a landlord what would i b obligated to do and how can i keep ppl from tearing up my house

James Conley answers:

It is a gamble. You have people who tear up the house, won’t pay the rent, etc, etc. The deposit rarely covers the damage, then you have to take them to small claims court. During repairs, the house is sitting vacant, costing you in rental income.
Take lots of pictures of how the place looked when it was rented, for proof if they cause damage (take “after” photos if you have to take them to court, from the same angles), date-stamped is preferable. Do a move-in and move-out inspection with them and have them sign it (list condition and contents, such as appliances, window treatments, etc.). Reserve the right to make routine inspection visits, to see how they are keeping the place up.
Make sure they know whether they must perform lawn care and snow removal, or if that is provided (that should be in the lease, as well). I let them mow their own grass, and shovel their own snow. Check references, especially former landlords and employer. Don’t trust their best friend’s recommendation. You want to make sure their former landlords had no problems with them, and that they tend to stay gainfully employed.
You are obligated to keep the place up to code and habitable. A home inspector can check it out for you. You must pay property taxes and insurance (suggest renter’s insurance to them, as you are not responsible for contents, and spell that out in the lease). If the water leaks or the furnace goes out in the middle of the night, it is your responsibility to fix it or get a repairman there in a timely manner, and you have to foot the bill.
It is a good idea to have a contract with a pest control company, to treat the home regularly (just factor the expense into the rent). When people move into your home, they sometimes bring critters with them. Don’t let the critters get a foothold in your house. Treatment just before move-in, and immediately after they move out, is a good idea.
Whether or not to allow pets, or limit which kinds, is a personal decision, but I don’t allow dogs or cats. I like dogs, and own cats myself, but I know other people’s pets may not be properly trained on bathroom habits. Not worth ruining my floors. Cats may damage woodwork if they aren’t properly trained to use a scratching post. Again, not worth it.
If you take these steps, there is still no guarantee that you will be happy with your tenants. You need to have a pretty thick skin if they come whining about not being able to pay the rent due to their car breaking down, or whatever. On the rare occasion, if they have been very good about paying on time, that’s one thing. If it gets to be a habit, you may have to start charging late fees, and threaten that they are in danger of eviction. Too many people mistake kindness for weakness. Don’t let it go on too long. If they won’t pay on time, every time, evict. You just have to go to court, it’s not hard, but do keep good records to show the judge. The court is usually on the property-owner’s side, in these matters.
These are the important things I have learned, from being in the rental business most of my life. My parents had rentals, I took it over when I grew up, and I have a real estate license. That isn’t necessary to be a landlord, but I wanted to be able to buy and sell, also.
Hope this helps. Good luck!

Mandy asks…

I want to become a plumber and I’m wondering what courses in high school they really look for?

James Conley answers:

Plumbers install and repair gas, water and waste systems for commercial, industrial and residential clients. They also install residential plumbing fixtures and appliances in new homes and during renovations. This is a well-paid construction field that is not currently attracting many young workers, due to frequently strenuous working conditions.

Complete high school, taking courses in math, science, shop and, if possible, vocational courses, such as blueprint reading and plumbing. Also talk to your counselor about vocational resources in your area and other classes you can take to better prepare you for your choice of career.

Consider spending a day with a local plumber to get an idea of what the work is really like.

Consider attending a trade school. A major benefit is the school’s job-placement service for qualified students.

Decide whether your goal is to join the local plumber’s union. If so, apply for a four-year apprenticeship, which involves approximately 2,000 hours of on-the-job training and at least 216 hours of classroom work. But be aware that only 1 out of 20 applicants is accepted to the program.

Check out smaller plumbing, heating and air conditioning contractors for any available apprenticeships or assistant positions. Your pay may be minimal, but you will receive on-the-job training if you demonstrate an ability to work intelligently.

Investigate licensing requirements for plumbers in your area,
and make sure you will be able to pass any written licensing exams.

Remember that construction-related projects are only temporary jobs. However, an established service company should be able to keep its plumbers employed regularly and provide opportunities for advancement.

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