Plumbing Basics: 8 Signs There's a Plumbing Emergency InYour Apartment
Can you fix it yourself, or should you call someone? Here are some plumbing basics to be aware of when living in an apartment. Know when there's an emergency.
One of the perks of renting an apartment is knowing you have a landlord to take care of any issues. But sometimes the problem is an easy fix, so how do you know when to tackle it yourself?
Even when renting, knowing plumbing basics can not only help you spot an emergency should it arise, it can help you prevent one altogether. Using easy tips and tricks can keep the plumbing in your apartment in tip-top shape.
Let’s look at 8 signs there’s a plumbing emergency in your apartment and what you can do to prevent them.
1. Burst Pipe
It doesn’t take a plumbing expert to realize a burst pipe is the very definition of a plumbing emergency. While old, worn pipes may cause the break, frozen pipes are a common cause.
To prevent a frozen pipe from bursting and flooding your apartment, apply some plumbing basics to keep your pipes warm. Open cabinet doors to allow more warm air to flow towards your pipes. And keep a small, steady stream of water flowing from your faucets.
If a burst pipe does happen, keep your faucets on to empty water from the tap. Turn off the main water valve if you have one in your apartment, then call in the professionals to fix the issue.
2. Leaky Faucet
A leaky faucet may seem more of an annoyance than a problem. Yet, think of that as money going down the drain and you’ll quickly see where the problem lies.
Most leaky faucets are an easy DIY fix. Replacing the internal rubber washer usually does the trick. Rubber washers will tend to wear out and break down over time.
If that doesn’t work, try tightening the faucet connections. Or apply thread tape, creating a barrier that stops leaks.
If, after your best efforts, the faucet continues to leak, that’s the time to call in an expert. You may have a plumbing issue going on that you can’t see.
3. Bad Odors Coming from Drains
No matter how many times you burn a candle or clean your drains, you can’t seem to get rid of that awful smell.
Actually, you should drop the drain cleaner and pick up your phone. Foul odors coming from your drains is a major sign of a plumbing emergency only experts, like this company, should handle.
The smell could range from a musty odor to a sewage smell. In any case, the cause could be a couple of different issues only a professional will be able to diagnosis.
It could be a sign of a sewer back up. Don’t wait for the sewer to back up into your apartment before you call someone in. It could corrode your pipes.
4. Weak Toilet Flush
When your toilet is slow to flush, it’s a sign there’s a clog somewhere down the line. So don’t simply ignore the problem. If you do, the toilet may back up, causing a mess in your apartment and the apartment below you.
Plumbing basics would be to take care of the clog yourself with a plunger. Plunging uses repeated pressure to try and dislodge the clogged drain.
If that doesn’t work, you may need to use a “snake” or auger to run down the pipe and move the clog.
To help prevent clogged toilets in the first place, only flush items down the toilet that’s safe. And don’t flush everything all at once.
5. Increasing Water Bill
Your water bill keeps going up every month, yet you haven’t been using any more water than you normally do. How can this be?
A high water bill with no explanation could be a sign you have a hidden leak somewhere. Not only is this wreaking havoc on your utility bill, but it could also be causing water damage somewhere in your apartment.
First, call out the water company to make sure there isn’t something wrong with your meter. If everything checks out ok, you’ll want a plumber to come out to investigate.
6. Clogged Drain
Hair, grease, food, and soap residue are all enemies of your drains. Over time they build up, forming a clog that will prevent water from draining properly.
Use plumbing basics to prevent clogs from forming. You can do this by only pouring substances that go safely through pipes down the drain. And use drain covers to catch things such as hair before they make it down the drain.
If your drains do get clogged, you can try plunging the clog-free. Though only use plungers made for sink use, not the toilet. Or try a commercial drain cleaner to dissolve and remove the source of the clog.
7. Standing Water
Nothing can ruin the day faster than walking in to find a puddle of water near the dishwasher, under the sink, or anywhere else there shouldn’t be standing water. It’s a sign you have a plumbing leak.
First thing is to identify where the leak is coming from. If you can, shut off the water to that area until the fix is complete. If not, place a bucket or something to catch the water to prevent any damage to your apartment.
If you can’t figure out where the water is coming from, turn off all water and call out a plumber.
8. Lack of Water Pressure
Is your water pressure not as strong as it used to be? Slow, trickling water where you used to have a steady stream could be a sign of a couple of different issues.
First, try cleaning the faucet or showerhead. Many times mineral build-up is to blame. A store-bought mineral remover will dissolve anything clogging up your fixtures.
If the water pressure is an issue throughout your entire apartment, it could be a problem with your water supply line. Call out a plumber to find out what is causing it.
Knowing Plumbing Basics Can Help in a Plumbing Emergency
Don’t let your apartment plumbing leave you feeling underwater. By knowing these plumbing basics, you can keep your home dry and your water free-flowing.
Need more apartment living advice? Check out the other articles on our blog!