Plumbing Tips That Every Renter Should Know

stainless steel faucet on white ceramic sink

It is estimated that 44 million houses are rented in the US, accounting for 34% of the total households in the country. However, despite how common renting is, it cannot be denied that there are a lot of challenges that renters can face. Rental apartments are often small, so people often have to think of ways to make their living space look bigger. Plumbing issues like water leaks are also among the most common issues that renters face, and this can be a major cause of stress and a disruption of your daily tasks. If you are renting an apartment, here are some things that you can do to keep your plumbing system in good working order and what to do in case a plumbing issue arises.

Understand Your Plumbing System

Home plumbing is quite straightforward. The moment that you move into your new apartment, one of the things that you need to do is to find the main water valve and the individual shut-offs. The main water valve is typically located close to the meter, so it is relatively easier to find. On the other hand, individual shut-off valves are placed near the fixtures they are connected to. 

In case of a burst pipe, turning off the main water valve will ensure that you keep your entire apartment from flooding. Meanwhile, in case of smaller leaks, you don’t need to turn off your entire water supply. Simply locate where the leak is and turn the individual shut-off valve connected to that pipe so you can do some repairs. Once you understand how your plumbing system works, you can make dozens of home fixes which can save you time and money.

Know When (and When Not To) DIY

As a renter, you don’t want to have to be calling your landlord for every concern that you face. When it comes to minor plumbing issues, you’d be surprised to know that there are many tasks you can fix on your own. You can save a lot of money by clearing clogged drains, repairing minor leaks under your sinks, or even fixing toilet issues. 

As such, as a renter, you would need to have the most basic plumbing tools. These may include an adjustable wrench, needle nose pliers, and a couple of screwdrivers. Of course, a plunger should also be a staple in your home. However, there are also plumbing issues that you need to leave to experts. For more persistent leaks, especially those that lead to flooding, frozen pipes, and bad smells coming from your plumbing system, you might have to contact your landlord. Attempting to fix these issues on your own might only complicate the issue.

Take Care of Your Drainage

It’s no secret that maintenance is the best way to avoid potential plumbing issues. As such, the importance of taking care of your drainage system cannot be understated. One thing that you need to remember is to avoid flushing grease down the sink as this can solidify and clog your drain. Another way to keep your drainage system in good working condition is to use strainers in your sinks and shower. These strainers will catch any unnecessary material that might flow down into your drains. 

When it comes to cleaning your drainage, the first thing that often comes to mind is to use liquid drain cleaners. However, you need to be mindful of the chemicals that you flush down the drain. Aside from being harmful to your health, harsh chemical cleaners may also compromise the integrity of your pipes. Experts suggest using a mixture of dishwashing liquid and white vinegar instead.

Report Any Issue Immediately

When it comes to renting, maintaining open communication with your landlord is important. While reporting issues might be daunting and unpleasant, your landlord would ultimately thank you for doing so instead of letting it escalate into a much bigger problem. In fact, one of the key responsibilities of renters is the timely reporting of any maintenance issues

You can check your contract if there is a process that you need to follow. For smaller rental apartments, you can typically contact the landlord directly; on the other hand, larger rental properties do have property managers that you can contact in case of concerns. Make use of these channels in case you encounter any plumbing concerns. Not only will these ensure that your plumbing system is kept in good working condition, but this will also avoid any bigger concern in the future.

When it comes to plumbing, maintenance is key. As a renter, you can save a lot of money by taking care of your plumbing and drainage systems as well as knowing what to do in case any issue arises. Remember, if your plumbing system is in good working condition, you can carry on with your daily tasks with ease. 

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