Housing and Residence Life

Self Help Maintenance

Our self help maintenance covers those minor maintenance items that you can do for yourself or enlist the aid of your RA to help you get it fixed. If you have a maintenance emergency, contact Fix My Home 812-468-2176 immediately. A maintenance emergency is any condition that can or has the potential to do harm to a person or to property. If you call and it is not an emergency, staff will direct you to complete a Fix My Home work order online.

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Plumbing

If you have a clogged drain in sinks, tubs, or toilets, plunge hard several times with your plunger. To unclog sink drains, create a seal by placing a cup over the drain on the opposite side of the double sink before plunging. If the toilet overflows or runs all the time, shut off the water supply behind the toilet tank. Clean-up of the water is the resident’s responsibility. No sanitary items or paper towels should be flushed down the toilet.

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Showers

There are two types of shower diverters. One is the type most of us are familiar with: to operate, pull the knob to operate the shower. Some units have a diverter on the tip of the faucet that pulls down. If you notice that water pressure has dropped in only one faucet in the apartment, you may need to clean the aerator at the tip of the faucet.

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Garbage Disposal

Always turn the water on before engaging the disposal. DO NOT put solid objects in it (i.e., bones, flatware, aquarium gravel, or heavy potato peelings). If there is an odor coming from the disposal, turn on the water then turn on the disposal and add one cup of ice and one-half cup of vinegar.

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Water Heater Closet

If you notice a foul smell in the bedroom coming from the water heater, the drain trap may be dry. Pour a couple of pitchers of hot water down the drain near the water heater; this should eliminate the odor in a few hours. A small amount of bleach may be added if the odor persists.

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Electrical

In the apartments, the top outlet in the living room is wired to work with the light switch by the front door. The light switch has to be in the on position for the outlet to work. If the outlet in the bathroom next to the sink does not work, the ground fault breaker may need to be reset. To do this, push the red button.

If you suspect that a breaker may have tripped, do not try to reset the breaker. Your RA or AC can help you. If they are not available, call Fix My Home 812-468-2176 to report the problem.

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Heating and Air Conditioning (HVAC)

There are two types of HVAC units used in the campus apartments. O’Daniel North, O’Daniel South, and the McDonald West apartments have through-the-wall units. The controls are located on each unit. The McDonald East apartments use forced-air heat and air conditioning and the unit is operated by a thermostat located on the apartment wall. The residence halls use a central system for the entire building; each suite is controlled by a thermostat located in the common room of the suite. 

Residence Halls
A chill water system is what supplies cooling to residence hall rooms. During the winter when the temperature is below 50 degrees, the cooling system is shut down. This can cause the temperature in suites to rise due to no cold water. If a suite gets too warm, residents may need to open a window to let some cool air in. If the suite is too cold, residents should send in a work order to have it checked. 

When leaving for 24 hours or more during winter or cold weather, make sure that the thermostat is set to 65 degrees and when leaving for 24 hours or more during warm weather, make sure that the thermostat is set to 75 degrees.

McDonald West, O'Daniel North, O'Daniel South
Don't set the air conditioner to the lowest cool setting and allow to operate for extended periods of time. This will cause condensation to form on the walls around the unit promoting the growth of mildew and mold. The newer Friedrich units have a temperature operating range between 68-85. If you set the tstat below 68 or higher than 85 it will automatically quit operating after it reaches the set temperature. There must be 18” clearance around the entire unit in order for it to function properly.

It is normal for the heat element to burn off any dust that has settled on it during the summer. You could notice some smoke coming out of the unit, and it may even set off the smoke detector on the ceiling. DO NOT pull the smoke detector from the ceiling. The smoke should only last for about 15 minutes. If sparks or smoke continues to be expelled from the unit for a long period of time, or if you have a concern, turn the unit off and contact your RA or AC. Another method is to do a burn-off once a week, allowing the heat element to run for five minutes. You then should experience no problems when you turn it on for normal usage in the fall or winter. 

When leaving for 24 hours or more during winter or cold weather, make sure that the heat is ON and that the thermostat is set to 65 degrees or low, depending on the HVAC unit in the apartment. When leaving for 24 hours or more during warm weather, make sure that the air conditioning is ON and that the thermostat is set to 75 degrees or low, depending on the HVAC unit in the apartment.

McDonald East
When leaving for 24 hours or more during winter or cold weather, make sure that the heat is ON and that the thermostat is set to 65 degrees. When leaving for 24 hours or more during warm weather, make sure that the air conditioning is ON and that the thermostat is set to 75 degrees.

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Staff Entering Your Apartment or Suite

USI maintenance staff will enter apartments and residence hall rooms in the absence of residents in order to conduct routine maintenance, repairs, and respond to emergencies.

The facility team may enter an apartment or suite to perform a check out inspection or to take readings on the health of your room. (B.7 Health and Safety Checks in the Student Rights and Responsibilities: A Code of Student Behavior).

Staff will attempt to contact residents and will knock on doors prior to entering. All staff will have proper identification. (B.3.2 Maintenance in the Student Rights and Responsibilities: A Code of Student Behavior).

Contact

Housing and Residence Life

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