Troubleshooting Tips

TROUBLE SHOOTING TIPS for EMERGENCY and NON-EMERGENCY ITEMS

Please attempt these trouble shooting tips prior contacting our Emergency Contacts

Heating

No heat (furnace breakdown)

Follow these steps to determine the cause of no heat in your home:

  • Make sure the furnace switch is “on”.
  • Check your circuit breaker panel for tripped breakers.
  • Check the gas valve is turned on.
  • Make sure that a dirty furnace filter is not blocking the flow of air.
  • Check that the neutralizer is not obstructed. This is located at the base of the furnace and has a drain tube attached.
  • Review the operating procedures in your furnace manual.
  • Make sure the thermostat is set to a higher temperature than the room temperature.
  • Make sure that the air registers are open so that warm air can enter your rooms.
  • Inspect exterior vent for blockage.  Clean any ice or snow away from the intake vent of your furnace.
  • Turn furnace switch “off” for approx. 10 seconds to allow the system to reset & then turn the switch back “on”.

If the above trouble shooting tips do not solve the problem call Thornridge Homes or the Heating Contractor on the Emergency Contacts list.

A room is cold - house not heating properly
  • Thoroughly clean or replace your furnace filter to allow proper airflow.
  • Balance your heating system by adjusting air grills and dampers to direct airflow to colder rooms.
  • Leave room doors open, particularly those without a cold air return vent.
  • Ensure furniture and draperies are not covering heat registers.
  • A heat balance may be required. This process regulates air flow throughout the home by adjusting the dampers located inside the floor registers and the main damper in the main furnace plenum. You can attempt balancing the system yourself however; we do recommend the services of a professional.
HRV (Heat Recovery Ventilator) unit not working
  • Check the controls on the main floor to see if lights are lit indicating the unit is on.
  • Check filters inside unit to ensure they are clean.
  • Check that the unit is plugged in.
  • Check your circuit panel for tripped breakers.

Plumbing

No plumbing supply or major plumbing leak
  • In the case of a major leak and gushing water turn off the main water supply to your home.
  • Check to see if you can figure out the location or cause of the leak.

Once the water is shut off call Thornridge Homes or the Plumber noted on the Emergency Contacts list..

Dry up any water from the leak to prevent water damage.

Toilet is blocked
  • Low flush toilets may require multiple flushing.
  • Use a plunger to force minor obstructions past the toilet trap.
  • Run a clean out auger or ‘snake' down drainpipe to break up obstructions or to hook onto and pull out objects.
  • Thornridge Homes will inspect a toilet blockage while under warranty. Contact Customer Care to have the blockage checked to ensure it is not resulting from construction debris. Any blockage found to be a result of homeowner misuse or improper maintenance is excluded from the warranty.
Hammer sound occurs when shutting off faucet

Turn faucet off in a more gentle motion.

If problem persists, turn off main water valve and drain system from lowest point of the house, eg; Laundry tub in the basement.

Sound throughout the house when exterior hose bibs are turned on
The backflow preventer needs replacing.
Toilet appears not to flush properly
In order to preserve water consumption, the industry is required to install low flush toilets. A good tip is to hold down the lever for a few extra moments when flushing.
Toilet runs on
Lift tank lid and inspect that the chain or cord to the valve flapper has not come loose.
Ticking sounds coming from walls
This is created from copper water pipes or drain pipes which expand and contract when heating up or cooling down. This is a common occurrence.
Leak in plumbing water lines (plastic pipes)
All sinks and toilets have shut-off valves.
  • Turn off water valve where necessary.
If the above is not effective, follow the recommended procedure:
  • Cold water line leak – Shut off main valve located by water meter in basement.
  • Hot water line leak – Shut off valve at hot water tank.
Leak in plumbing drain lines
Discontinue use of that particular fixture until repaired.
No hot water (hot water tank not working)
Are you missing hot water in an isolated area or through-out your entire home? If it is isolated, then it is not a problem with your hot water tank.
  • Check to see if the shut off valves to the fixture lacking hot water are fully open.
If the above tip does not work, call Thornridge Homes or our Plumber noted on the list of emergency contact numbers. If your hot water is missing through-out the home:
  • Check the circuit breaker.
  • Check to see if the unit is plugged in.
  • Check if the gas valve is on.
  • Check the temperature setting on your hot water tank.
If the above trouble shooting tips do not work, please call your water tank rental supplier for service.

Electrical

No hydro (no power at the electrical panel)
Follow these steps to determine the cause of the power cut and to restore the power to the circuit:
  • First determine if you have a complete power failure by checking to see if neighbors have the same problem, if they do, notify your hydro supplier.
If you have an isolated issue please try the following:
  • Check the breakers at the electrical panel.  A tripped breaker toggle will have shifted position in relation to the others: It may be found in the middle position, with a red dot or other mark visible on the breaker; however, some breakers simply switch to “OFF”.
  • If a problem is related to a receptacle with a ground fault circuit interrupter, try pressing the “reset” button on the outlet before checking the breaker panel (one outlet on the circuit will have the “reset button”.
  • Before resetting the breaker, ensure that the circuit is not overloaded.  If there were numerous lighting fixtures or appliances in operation on the circuit when the breaker tripped, or even just a few appliances with high power demand, turn some off.
  • To reset the breaker, move it first – if it is in the middle position to “OFF”, then back in the opposite direction to the position marked “ON” (you will hear a click).  Wait a few seconds to see if it trips again.
  • If the breaker trips again, there is likely a short circuit.  First check all electrical cords for frayed wires or loose connections and disconnect any appliances where you spot a problem.  If the breaker trips again, the problem is probably in the house wiring rather than in an appliance.
If the above trouble shooting tips do not work call Thornridge Homes or the Electrician noted on the Emergency Service List.
There is no power to the bathroom plugs (GFI plugs)
  • Reset the ground fault interrupter (G.F.I.) in any one of your bathrooms at the electrical outlet (see photo below for location of reset button).
  • Reset breaker in electrical panel.
There is no power to the exterior plugs (GFI plugs)
The G.F.I. receptacle may be tripped.
  • Reset the ground fault interrupter, the reset button is located on the receptacle itself.
The receptacle with the reset button can be found either in garage, by the front porch or at the rear of your home.
  • Check breaker on main electrical panel.
Only half of an electrical outlet has power
Controlled plugs may have been designated in some rooms throughout your home. In such a case, half of the outlet is connected to a switch on the wall.
  • Using an illuminated lamp or radio, plug it into the outlet that is not working, flip the wall switches to determine corresponding switch and outlet.
Plugs are difficult to plug into
This is normal due to the nature of the receptacles installed.  Receptacles are “tamper resistant” for the safety of children as per the requirements of the Electrical Safety Authority.  Ensure all plug prongs are being inserted at the same time, and insert with some force.
The exterior light bulbs are not working
  • Exterior bulbs are subject to temperature fluctuations and may require frequent replacements.
  • Replace exterior bulbs with exterior grade bulbs.
  • Reset breaker in electrical panel.
Light fixture is not working
  • If light is on a 3-way switch, try both switches.
  • Replace light bulb.
  • Check the breaker on the electrical panel.
Soffit plug is not working
Soffit Plug operates from a switch generally located in the front hall or inside the front hall closet.
  • Check to ensure item being plugged in is working by trying it in a different plug.
  • Plug the item into the soffit plug and try turning the wall switch on.
  • Check the breaker on the electrical panel.
Plug and switches do not work
  • Check breakers on the electrical panel.

Basements

Moisture around perimeter walls
More often than not, this is caused from condensation. Running a dehumidifier will alleviate this situation.
Water has penetrated into the basement
  • Check foundation walls for cracks (inside and out).
  • Inspect that outside grading is sloping away from the wall.
  • Ensure down-pipe spout is diverting water away from foundation.
  • Inspect irrigation system. Water should not be directed against the building.
  • If the area water has entered is near a basement window, check the window for caulking.
Cracks on basement floor
This is very normal as concrete shrinks. Cracks can be short or long, sometimes spanning the entire length or width of a basement. Cracks should not exceed 4mm in width.
Cold cellar does not cool in summer
This is normal.
  • Keep door open to allow cooler air to enter into room.
  • Inspect air vent for blockage.

Other General Items

There is condensation on my windows
This is a common occurrence and is important to manage as part of homeowner maintenance.
  • Run the fans in your home - the primary exhaust fan located in the main bathroom, the furnace fan, stove hood fan and bathroom fans to remove moist air.
  • Open windows for natural air circulation (weather permitting).
  • Run your HRV unit (if applicable) on high (weather permitting).
  • Open blinds and curtains during the day.
  • Remove interior window screens during winter months for air to flow freely against windows.
  • Leave inside room doors open for better circulation.
  • Avoid blocking cold air vents with furniture.
  • Check the relative humidity level in your home and if necessary run a dehumidifier (especially over the first year of occupancy).
  • Ensure the dryer vent is fastened properly to exterior vent.
  • If you have a humidifier, lower or turn off your humidifier.
My fireplace is not working
  • Ensure the fireplace pilot light is on.
  • Ensure that the circuit breaker and wall switch are on.
  • Ensure that the gas supply valve is open.
  • Review the operating instructions in the fireplace manual provided to you.
My roof is leaking during a rainfall
  • Remove all personal belongings in the area where the water is penetrating, and try to minimize damage to the area by wiping up any wet flooring and placing a bucket in the area to catch the water.
  • If your drywall is bubbling as a result please make a small hole in the surface to allow the water to drain into a bucket.
  • If the water is coming in from an electrical fixture/outlet or near an electrical fixture, we suggest you turn off the breaker to the specific electrical fixture.
Hardwood floor creaks
This is common when humidity is too low.
  • Check humidity levels in rooms where hardwood is laid.
  • Install a humidifier if necessary.
  • Monitor humidity level to ensure it is maintained within the normal range.
There are insects inside my home
  • Insects can invariably gain entry through an open door, window or vent.
  • Treat with appropriate pesticide or contact a professional to eradicate.