Household Problems Vocabulary 

Household problems mean the problems we have related to the house we live in. 

In our houses we face with different types of problems everyday, for example, let's say you want to wash your clothes in the morning but you have a problem with the washing machine, you cannot start it. How would you describe this problem? or do you know how to tell someone when there is no water comes out of your tap?

Can you talk about the problems in your house easily? There are some words and expressions you can use to talk about these problems. 

Let's learn some household problems vocabulary and next time when you have problem with your washing machine, your fridge or electricity in the house, you can talk about the problem and even ask for help.

Useful Expressions to Talk about Household Problems

1. The washing machine broke down.

It is the weekend, and you are getting ready for a new workweek. You need to wash your white shirt for the week ahead. You put the shirt in the machine and press the start button but it won’t start. There is a problem with your washing machine, you cannot use it. In this situation you say the washing machine broke down.

There are two other expressions that you can use when you have a problem with a machine in your house, you can say:

The oven fan isn't working. (It is not functioning at all.)

The TV isn't working properly. (It is functioning but not very well.)

The fridge is broken.

Let’s have a look at the example sentences:

  • The washing machine broke down last night, I will wash my shirt by hand.
  • My fridge is broken. All the food in it spoiled and the kitchen smells so bad.
  • My dishwasher isn't working properly. Can you please help me wash the dishes by hand?

2. The electricity was cut off.  

You can use this expression when the electricity supply to your house is stopped.

Let’s say you were alone in the house and you were watching a horror movie. Then suddenly the TV stopped and everywhere was dark. What happened? Don't worry, the electricity was cut off and most probably it will be back on soon.

There are two other expressions you can use in this situation. You can say:

The power went out.

There was a power-cut in my area.

Let's have a look at the example sentences:

  • Last weekend, there was a power-cut in my area. The room was all dark, so, I  lit a candle and read a book.
  • I was working on my pc and the power went out. Now I need to write everything from the beginning.

Even though you can use all of these phrases, The electricity was cut off does not sound so natural. In the US it is more common to say, The power went out or there was a power-cut in my area.


3. The water supply has been cut off. 

Sometimes you get up and want to take a shower to get ready before you leave home for work, you get into the bathroom, turn on the tap and… Water is not coming out of the shower head. How do you feel?

When you cut something off you stop the supply of water, electricity, gas, etc. When the water supply is cut off, the water does not come from the taps and you do not have water in the house. You are not the one who cuts off the water, authorities cut off the water, so you should use passive. 

In this situation, you say, the water supply has been cut off or the water has been cut off. (Notice that we don't say the water has cut off, we use the passive and say the water has been cut off.)

Let's have a look at some example sentences:

  • I can’t wash my hands because the water has been cut off.
  • Last night she wanted to take a shower but her water supply was cut off.

4. The toilet is clogged.

This is really bad. Especially if you are a guest in a friend’s house, or a colleague invites you over for a dinner. Can you imagine?

You want to flush but the toilet doesn’t work properly. The water doesn't go down the drain. It is blocked. Sometimes, it can be really disgusting. So, what can you do? If there is no other way to unclog it, the best thing to do is to call a plumber.

You can also use the adjective clogged for your sink, for example you are washing vegetables in your kitchen sink but the water does not go down the drain. In this situation you can say, the kitchen sink is clogged or the sink is clogged.

Let's have a look at the example sentences:

  • She poured the oil down the sink and now it is clogged.
  • Can you call the plumber? The toilet is clogged again.

5.The roof is leaking.

When the roof leaks, the water comes out of the ceiling. This can happen especially in autumn or winter when it rains a lot. If your roof is damaged and there are cracks, then the roof leaks and raindrops may enter the house.

In this situation you can say, the roof is leaking.

Let's have a look at the example sentences:

  • The paint on the walls is damaged and there is a musty smell in the room because the roof is constantly leaking in winter.

6. The light bulb is burnt out.

When you enter a room in the evening and turn on the light switch, there is light in the room and it is not dark anymore even if it is the evening or night time. But sometimes you turn the switch on and the light won't turn on, you need to change the light bulb.

In this situation you can say, the light bulb is burnt out. 

Let's have a look at the examples sentences:

  • You should always turn the electricity off when the light bulb is burnt out and you need to change it.

7.The light is flickering.

The verb flicker means to move unsteadily.

When a light flickers, it fluctuates and makes short and quick movements. It does not shine all the time, it comes and goes quickly, it flashes like a candle light when the window is open and the wind comes through it. 

The reason why the a light flickers can be a loose bulb in its socket, you may need to screw the bulb more tightly into its socket.

In this situation you say, the light is flickering.

Let's have a look at the example sentences:

  • My bathroom light is flickering. I'll ask Alan to fix it when he comes home.