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UTILITIES

Instructions for DC, MD, VA

HANDLING

MAINTENANCE

Expedited maintenance request management

HANDLING MAINTENANCE

In order to provide expedited service, WashingtonTenants handles all maintenance requests via its tenant portal. The first step to submit a maintenance request is to understand the gravity of the situation. Based on the instructions below you can determine if the request will be handled by WashingtonTenants or by you. 

Once that has been determined, all maintenance requests must be submitted by logging into the tenant portal and getting approved by the property owner. 

Lastly, please use caution when handling any maintenance issues yourself. If you're unsure then please consult us or a professional. 

PRACTICE

AREAS

WHAT CONSTITUTES AN EMERGENCY? 

Emergency
 

  • Lack of heat in the winter (below 55 degrees inside for more than 12 hours)

  • Broken or actively leaking pipes

  • Major water leaks and/or roof leaks (major meaning more than a minor drip)

  • Gas leaks

  • Any major sewer backups

  • Non-working toilet in a unit having only one bathroom

  • Any other condition which affects life, safety or is necessary to preserve the condition of the property

Non-Emergency

 

  • Appliance failures

  • No air conditioning (even in the summer)

  • Frozen pipes (if they are not leaking)

  • Drain clogs for tubs, toilets, etc. (If water or sewage is actively backing up into the unit, it is considered an emergency)

  • General maintenance items: broken windows, carpentry issues, etc.

  • Partial power outages (Less than 50% of the unit’s power is out)

  • No hot water (if the issue persists for more than 12 hours, it is considered an emergency)

EXAMPLE MAINTENANCE ISSUES & CHECKS

General Power Problems: Make sure that the fuses for the utility box are all on. Sometimes they can be flipped to the “off” position due to a power over-load, so make sure they are all in the “on” position. You can also reset the breaker by flipping it to the “off” position, and then flipping it to the “on” position right after.

 

Garbage Disposal: Many garbage disposals come with a “reset” button on the underside of the appliance. Hitting the “reset” button will clear up the problem in 90% of the cases. If the reset button does not work, you can also try using an Allen-wrench (one usually comes with the disposal, and can usually be found in a near-by drawer, or below the sink. If you put the wrench in the middle of the disposal under the sink, you can turn the rotor and free-up anything that might be causing the disposal to malfunction. And as always, make sure the breaker is on for the disposal.

 

Stove/Oven: If your stove is powered by gas, make sure that the gas is turned on to the house before concluding that it’s “broken”. Also, some stoves require a pilot light to be lit if there was a disruption in the flow of gas to the stove.

 

Heat: Make sure that your thermostat is programmed correctly, and has fresh batteries in it. Also check to make sure the furnace pilot light is on. If the pilot light is not lit, first determine if gas is flowing into the unit. If it is, then follow the instructions on the side of the furnace to relight the pilot light. If you are unsure of how to do this, and the instructions on the furnace do not help, there are many resources that will walk you through the process online. Also make sure that the vents for the air are all open throughout the house. If you do not feel comfortable doing this, please submit a maintenance request for assistance.

 

Clogs: Clogs should always first be tackled by using a plunger. If that does not work, you should try a pipe-clearing solution such as Drano. If both of these do not work, please submit a maintenance request.

 

Frozen Pipes: Some properties are prone to having pipes freeze during very cold temperatures. There are a few things you can do to avoid this from happening: Keep all the faucets in the house running at a trickle while the temperature is still a threat (both hot and cold water). If a sink has a cabinet below it, open up the cabinet doors so the warm air from the house can flow around the pipes ad help keep them warm. Also make sure that all water supplies that go to the outside of the house are shut off and properly drained.

 

Toilet Problems: We are happy to come out and repair a toilet that constantly runs, or is leaking. Before we could out, please make sure that the toilet is not just leaking because the ball in the tank is stuck. This happens every once in a while, and all that is required to fix it is to take the lid off the tank and lift the arm up a little bit. This will push the valve closed and stop the toilet from trying to refill.
 

If your toilet is whistling (yes, they can do that) it is usually caused by water rushing into the pipes for the toilet too quickly. To fix this, all you need to do is close the water valve at the back of the toilet (it is usually an oval-shaped knob). Once the valve is closed, reopen it slowly, as you flush the toilet. It should be opened enough to let water in, but not enough that it continues to whistle. If this does not fix the problem, we can come take a look.


If you were able to fix the problem yourself, please go to your open maintenance requests in your portal and cancel the request you just submitted.

UTILITY RELATED EMERGENCIES

GAS:

If you smell gas walk outside property and call the gas company immediately

Washington Gas (703-750-1000).

If you cannot get through to Washington Gas, call them back again. If you still can’t get through, call a plumber

 

ELECTRIC:

Please get in touch with your electric company directly

Electricity PEPCO (DC & MD) 202-833-7500.

Dominion Power (VA) 888-667-3000.

 

PIPE BURST:

If you can find the water shut-off valve in the property, turn water off (this is a small knob or handle and is usually found inside the basement on the wall. It might also be behind an access panel). If this can be found, shut off water supply and then turn on hot and cold faucets throughout house. Once this is done, call a plumber.

 

You will be able to find the location of the water shut-off panel by looking through the information in your tenant portal. If you cannot find the shut off valve and there is water coming into the house, contact plumber. If plumber is not able to make it out and there is water flowing into the house, call fire department to shut off water.

 

For any emergency that might cause immediate danger such as fire, call 911.

PRACTICE

AREAS

GET IN TOUCH

For any general inquiries, please fill in the following contact form:

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