Common Plumbing Problems a Renter May Overlook
That an Owner Might Not
Common plumbing problems a renter may overlook can cause more damage down the road for the renter or the landlord. You can recognize and fix simple plumbing matters, communicate with the landlord, know your rights as a renter and decrease utility expenses.
Being Able to Do Simple Fixes
Even if you’re a renter with a landlord, it’s good to know how to deal with and fix several of the more usual plumbing problems. One is handling some basic things with a toilet. Some of the typical toilet problems are clogged and leaking toilets. It’s a valuable suggestion to keep a plunger in your bathroom. Knowing exactly how to plunge a toilet can be a big help and keep a plumbing issue from becoming a major emergency. It’s also good to know how to turn off the water valve to the toilet.
A clogged toilet is among the most frequent plumbing issues in an apartment or townhouse. Clogs can happen for multiple reasons. It could be blocked with too much toilet paper or other material in the pipes. It could be damaged sewer lines. A clogged toilet can turn into a big backup, a flooded bathroom and a much bigger, nastier mess. A huge problem can be a mess in your apartment or condo and ones next to or under it, too.
Usually, a plunger is all that’s needed to unclog it. Plunge the toilet repeatedly to see if the suction from the plunging displaces the clog. If this doesn’t work, you might try a drain snake or auger if you have one.
Sinks in bathrooms or kitchens can become clogged by all types of materials and messes. Sink drains can become blocked if oil or various other substances accumulate. In bathrooms, soap deposit, hair as well as bathing products can obstruct the drain or pipes. You can try a commercial drain cleaner to see if this will liquify and remove the obstruction. Many cleansers are effective. However, make sure to follow safety instructions when using a product, especially if it contains chemicals. Using a plunger on a sink drain may work in breaking up a clog. Only use a plunger made for sink drains, though, not a toilet-sized plunger.
Filter the Drains
You can use straining or filtering parts over your sink, shower or tub drains. These simple devices stop hair, food and paper from running down the drain and building up in the drain or pipes. Never dump fats, oils, grease, rice, pasta and coarse material such as corn husks down a drain. These things expand, bloat, clump and tangle inside tight spaces and create clogs.
Plumbing pipes can ice over and freeze during the winter. When this takes place, pipes can leak or burst, causing severe floods and damage. Water service to a whole building or complex can be disrupted. Frozen pipes need to be addressed as soon as possible. If they’re thawed quickly, damage can be avoided. Frozen pipes should be defrosted gradually. Don’t apply fire to the pipes. Instead, use hot air from hair dryer or warm water to the outside of the pipe.
Suggestions for preventing frozen pipes before they freeze include:
- Open cabinet doors under sinks so warmer air can reach the pipes.
- Keep a little stream of water running to let water flow continue.
- Apply heating tape to pipes to prevent freezing.
- Insulate pipes, especially in areas that do not get heat from a heating system, such as in crawlspaces or garages.
Dripping or Leaking Fixtures
Dripping faucets are one of the most usual plumbing issues for renters. Tiny leaks can lead to the loss of gallons of water in time, increasing your water bill. A hidden leak can result in damage to flooring, wall surfaces, cabinets and furniture. A dripping faucet sometimes can be handled by tightening the connections or putting thread tape on it. If you notice a suddenly higher water bill, this could be coming due to a hidden leak.
Decrease Your Water Bill
If you’re a renter who’s paying the utility bills, including hot water, you can save money by setting the water heater to a lower temperature. Water heaters should be set to 120 degrees, which is considered the industry standard. Changing the temperature is possible to do yourself or with the help of a landlord or technician. If you’re paying the water bill, now you might not overlook common plumbing problems just because you’re a renter.
Knowing Your Rights
As a renter, it’s important to know your legal rights. Landlords are required to maintain structures and each unit in a proper, safe state. They must guarantee that the residence is structurally sound, give hot and cold water, guarantee that the roofing is not leaking, and keep all pipes, electrical work and furnaces in a safe, functioning and operating state.
Communicate With the Property Owner
You should be able to talk or communicate with your landlord, including about the specific contractual agreement and responsibilities for each party in the lease contract. You need to understand who will address and fix any plumbing problems. What are the renter’s obligations? What are the landlord’s duties? As a tenant, know about appropriate home appliance usage and maintenance for longevity. Recognizing particular points like how to use a garbage disposal as just one example, can amount to saving you and your property owner time and money. It is always recommended to obtain these as well as any other arrangements in official documents and then refer back to them when an issue arises.
South End Plumbing specializes in emergency plumbing services and detecting problems, so remember, we are just a click away. We also specialize in leak detection – give us a call! South End Plumbing is one of the only companies that will give you a free estimate. Call us at 704-919-1722 or fill out the form online to schedule a visit.