Renting an apartment is often cheaper than buying a traditional home, and it can give you a lot more flexibility. But there are a few downsides that come with an apartment, and one of the biggest is plumbing problems.
Apartments share their plumbing with a lot of other units. Because of this, they get more use, and more use leads to more wear, tear, and damage. However, as long as you stay prepared, you won’t have to experience any major plumbing trouble.
We’ve put together this guide to show you some common plumbing issues in apartments and tell you how to fix them. So let’s get started!
1. Toilets That Never Seem to Stop Clogging
We aren’t talking about the occasional toilet clog (that’s unavoidable). We’re talking about toilets that never seem to flush without clogging.
Most of the time, you can get rid of the blockage with a normal toilet plunger, but if your toilet clogs often, there may be a problem further down in your pipes. This is something you won’t be able to get rid of on your own.
Get in touch with your landlord if you find yourself dealing with clogs several times a week. They’ll be able to send a professional plumber to your apartment with the proper tools to clear out the pipes.
2. Drains That Refuse to Drain
Does your sink fill up with water every time you rinse off a dish? That means there’s a blockage somewhere inside the pipes.
Start by letting the sink (or bathtub) drain completely—this may take an hour or two if the clog is bad. Then pour a drain cleaner down the drain (following the instructions on the package). This should clear up any hair, food, or other debris blocking the pipe and get things flowing again.
If your sink or tub won’t drain at all, you may need to use a sink plunger to break up the clog. If that still doesn’t work, give the plumber a call.
3. Frozen Pipes
If you live in an area that gets cold weather and snow, you might wake up in the morning to find your pipes frozen. You won’t be able to get any water out of your sinks or showerheads until the ice thaws, which can take several hours.
The best way to deal with frozen pipes is to keep them from freezing in the first place. Leave the faucets on (as low as possible) so they can drip while you sleep. Since the water will be continuously moving, it won’t get cold enough to freeze.
If your pipes do freeze, though, you can use a hairdryer or warm water to melt the ice.
4. Leaky Fixtures
If you find water puddling under your sink, odds are you have a fixture leak. But don’t worry. These are quick and easy to fix (no tools or experience required).
Turn on the faucet and take a look at the pipes under the sink to see where the water is coming from. Then use your hands to tighten the connection. Turn on the water again to make sure that solved the problem.
You may have a small hole or crack in the pipe itself. In this case, you can use a sealant to patch up the damage. Make sure you follow the instructions on the package and let it dry completely before using the faucet again.
Since even small leaks can cause serious water damage and waste a lot of money, though, you may want to go ahead and install new pipes instead. Tell your landlord about the leak so they can find you a professional skilled at replacing plumbing.
5. Faucets That Don’t Stop Dripping
Drip. Drip. Drip.
Not only can that sound disrupt your sleep and keep you up for hours, but it can also wash a lot of money down the drain. A single leaky faucet that drops one drip per minute can use over 34 extra gallons of water every year!
You can usually fix this problem by replacing the internal rubber washer. A new washer will seal the faucet so no water can escape, which will prevent dripping.
6. Low Water Pressure
It’s not uncommon to have low water pressure if you live in an apartment, and you may not be able to fix this problem yourself. But what you can do is check if you have low water pressure for both hot and cold water.
If the low water pressure stays the same for both temperatures, try replacing the aerators on your faucets and showerheads. If the water pressure fixes itself when the water is hot or cold, you should bring it up with your landlord. A professional plumber will have to take a look to diagnose and fix the issue.
7. Water That Comes out Dirty
Your water should come out clean and clear. If you notice any discoloration in your water, don’t drink it! You should also avoid using it to take a bath or wash your dishes.
Dirty or rusty water can be dangerous. Tell your landlord right away so they can hire the right help to get your water back to normal.
Making the Best of Common Plumbing Issues in Apartments
If you don’t live in a traditional house, you should be prepared for these common plumbing issues in apartments. But that doesn’t mean you have to live with them.
If you follow the tips in this guide, you can keep the water clean and the plumbing functional the entire time you live there.
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