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I'm in desperate need of assistance. I'm a tenant living in a rented apartment and one end of the towel bar just fell out of its socket!

Can anyone tell me how, if possible, I can fix it myself without telling my landlord? Or in the worst case scenario that I have to call someone, can you tell me who I should call?

I'm sorry but I'm new to all of this so I don't even know who to call to come fix it if I can't fix it myself. You are supposed to call an electrician for electrical stuff and a plumber for your plumbing but who should you call for something like this? Any help would be truly appreciated.

If it is possible to fix it myself, could you help by giving me detailed instructions on how to do so including any materials I might need to buy. I've attached pictures since I don't know how to describe it like what screws it uses and such.

Click any photo for full size

pic of towel rack 2 pic of towel rack 3

pic of towel rack 4 pic of towel rack 5

pic of towel rack 6 pic of towel rack 8

pic of towel rack 9 pic of towel rack 10

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Nice clear pictures! –  Ecnerwal Apr 1 at 18:30

2 Answers 2

I agree that the best solution here is tell your landlord, provided you have a reasonable one. What does your lease say about routine maintenance? Chances are if you weren't doing chinups on it, you shouldn't be charged.

However, if you've had a previous experience with this landlord in which they've proved to be unreasonable, you could attempt to fix it yourself.

To do this, find a short length of steel rod with an outer diameter the same as the inside diameter of the sheared pin. Test fit to make sure it all fits together. Mix up some JB Weld, coat the steel rod, and then slide it into the sleeve on the wall, then press the other side on over it. Try to avoid getting any of the epoxy compound on the end of the rod near the wall, as doing so may end up bonding it to the wall rather than just the bracket.

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Keep in mind many a landlord would rather be told, than have a bad DIY repair made. I'd rather be told, than have a tenant make an amateur repair that may fail if a future tenant grabs the bar to arrest a fall. –  Bryce Apr 1 at 18:58
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This is a good idea on how to fix this broken bracket. I would like to suggest that it may be a good idea to first remove the bracket shoulder from the wall and pre-glue (with the JB-Weld) the metal rod into the shoulder piece. Then as a second step glue the shoulder back onto the towel rack bar. Note that it is possible that there may be a small set screw from the under side of the towel bar rack bar that permits removing the broken off shaft from inside the chrome bar piece. If so it will be way easier to glue up with these pieces free unto themselves. –  Michael Karas Apr 1 at 19:01
    
Excellent suggestion, @MichaelKaras. –  Doresoom Apr 1 at 19:27
    
@Bryce: It's a towel bar, not a handrail specifically designed to arrest falls. For the intended purpose, the "DIY fix" I suggested should be every bit as strong, if not stronger than the original hardware, which has already failed. –  Doresoom Apr 1 at 19:28
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The type of break makes me think the metal bar in there was just brittle pot metal. Depending on the type of bar used in the repair, the shoulder area of that towel rack could indeed wind up stronger than it was before. –  iLikeDirt Apr 1 at 20:14

Sad to say, the pot-metal piece attached to the wall broke, and it's likely hard to find the right replacement part.

The proper person to call in a case like this is your landlord. If it broke without unreasonable force, you should not be charged. The landlord owns the property and has the right to choose the time and manner of repair (she/he may not want a first timer to make the repair, for example). Your landlord may have a stock of the exact towel bar and thus have factory new parts.

Else the proper profession is 'handyman'.

An epoxy repair is possible here, but is tricky and may not hold. This answer from @Doresoom gives an excellent method to make such a repair: http://diy.stackexchange.com/a/40608/5960

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