Do you dread the thought of being unprepared for plumbing issues in your new rental home? Stress no more, because these essential plumbing tips will help you stay one step ahead and be ready for anything life throws at you. From preventative measures to emergency repairs, these must-know tips are essential for first time renters. So let’s get started!
Know Your Building’s Plumbing System
As a first-time renter, understanding your building’s plumbing system is essential before you move into your new space. This knowledge can save you from numerous headaches and costly repairs in the future. To ensure you understand the plumbing fundamentals, here are a few tips to get you started:
- Find out who owns and manages your building’s plumbing system. Generally, this will be managed by the apartment complex or property management company, but there may also be individual owners who need to be contacted if there are any problems. Inquire about any agreement or contracts that may have been signed by prior tenants in order to understand your responsibilities when it comes to plumbing maintenance and repair costs.
- Inspect the basics of your unit’s plumbing system before moving in, such as checking the toilets, sinks, showerheads and bathtubs for any visible signs of leaks or blockages. The hot water heater should also be tested to make sure it’s working properly and not leaking. Also investigate whether there are in-unit water shutoffs for each of these different fixtures that can be used when necessary during repairs or maintenance work.
- Familiarize yourself with how your rental unit’s plumbing system is connected to the larger building infrastructure so that you understand where potential problems may arise from if an issue does arise. Ask about what types of preventative measures can be taken by you as a tenant to help reduce the risk of these issues occurring in the future and know how quickly repairs should be addressed if they do happen.
- Read through any manuals related to performing basic maintenance tasks on certain plumbing items like toilets or sinks that may have been provided by prior tenants before anyone vacated their units so that they will remain functioning properly while being used by all renters in residence at time steps at all times.
Learn How to Turn Off the Water
If an emergency or plumbing problem arises in your rental home, you will need to know how to turn off the water at the main source so that a plumber can start repairs. It’s important to have this knowledge even if you have no intention of doing any plumbing work yourself.
The location of your main water shut-off valve may very depending on the layout of your home, but it can generally be found near where water enters the house. In many cases, this is located near your outdoor spigot or hose bib. The main shut-off valve will be a wheel or lever-type handle used to completely turn off the incoming water supply. Turning it clockwise will shut off the water while counter clockwise will open it up again.
If you’re having any difficulty finding or using the shut off valve, you should contact to a licensed plumber who can help show and explain exactly how everything works.
Don’t Pour Grease or Oil Down the Drain
One of the most important plumbing tips every renter should know is not to pour grease or oil down your kitchen drain. Grease can cool and solidify in your pipes and cause a blockage. Stores sell drain cleaning liquids that contain caustic chemicals that may damage pipes, so it’s best to avoid these as well.
The best way to dispose of fats, oils and greases (FOG) is to let them cool, solidify, then scrape them into a container with a lid and dispose of them in the trash. The FOG will go out with all other waste from your home on collection day, rather than clog up your pipes or the sewer system.
If you thought that an old sink full of hot water was the solution for finally getting rid of cooking grease – think again! This can actually make things worse by emulsifying the grease into minute particles which will travel further down your drains rather than sticking to them. If you do find yourself in need of unclogging a drain due to grease buildup, seek professional help as soon as possible before more damage is done.
Know What Can and Cannot Be Flushed Down the Toilet
Knowing what can and cannot be flushed down toilets is an important plumbing tip that all renters should know. Improper items flushed down the toilet can cause serious damage to the sewer lines in your home, resulting in expensive repairs and potential health risks.
These items should never be flushed down the toilet:
- Cotton balls, dental floss, and other hygiene products
- Baby wipes, makeup wipes, or paper towels
- Disposable diaper liners
- Fats, oils, grease or foods of any kind
- Cigarette butts
- Kitty litter
These items should also not be put in sinks or tubs as they can create a clog or blockage. The only items recommended for flushing down the toilet are human waste and toilet paper. If you are unsure whether something can go down your toilet or drainpipe ask your rental property manager for advice.
Use Drain Strainers to Prevent Clogs
It is important for renters to take preventative measures to ensure that their sink and shower drains stay free from clogs. Drain strainers are an easy and inexpensive way to do just that. These devices are inserted into the drain of your sink, bathtub, or shower and then trap things such as hair, soap scum, bits of food, and other debris before they can reach the plumbing pipes beneath your home. Most strainers sold today come equipped with a catch basket that you can remove easily in order to clean it out when needed.
To further protect your plumbing system from clogs, don’t pour grease or other food particles down the drain as this could lead to a clog. Additionally, make sure not to place foreign objects such as toys or jewelry inside the drain in order to prevent them from getting stuck in the pipes.
Be Careful With Chemical Drain Cleaners
One of the most important plumbing tips for first time renters to remember is to be cautious when using chemical drain cleaners. These chemical solutions may seem like a quick fix for clogged drains, but in reality, they can cause more damage. Chemical drain cleaners are highly corrosive and can damage metal pipes over time. They also emit noxious fumes that can be hazardous to your health. In addition, these chemicals are only a temporary fix; built-up debris and other blockages can only be cleared by a professional plumber.
It’s also important to make sure you use the right type of chemical cleaner. For example, if you have PVC pipes in your home, you should use an alkaline cleaner rather than an acid-based one – alkaline cleaners are less corrosive and safer on all types of pipework. Additionally, it’s important to never mix two different types of drain cleaners together as this could create a serious safety hazard and potential pipe damage.
When dealing with plumbing problems, it’s always best to call a professional who can properly assess the problem and offer the quickest option for resolution. DIY drain cleaning is often not advisable given the safety risks involved so first time renters should exercise caution before attempting any corrections themselves!
Know How to Turn Off the Power to the Garbage Disposal
When it comes to plumbing, knowing how to turn off the power to your garbage disposal is an important skill for all first-time renters. If your garbage disposal stops working, this gives you the chance to attempt repairs before calling a professional.
However, before you can start troubleshooting the issue, it’s important that you know where and how to turn off the power to the garbage disposal. If the power is left on while attempting repairs, there’s a danger of electric shock and damage to the unit itself.
If your garbage disposal has a reset button on its base, you can press this button before starting repairs as it will shut off all electricity going into the disposer and make it safe for repair. Most garburator units have an overload protector switch located nearby with two buttons: one is a “trip” or “off” button that shuts down just that one unit when pressed; while pressing both will shut down all electricity going into any nearby garburator units. For extra safety when repairing your unit, manually unplug its power cord or trip your circuit breaker located in the main electrical panel box of your home beforehand.
Regularly Clean the Showerhead and Faucets
Cleaning the showerhead and faucets regularly is an easy way to ensure your plumbing doesn’t suffer any wear and tear due to a buildup of grime or clogs. Doing this simple maintenance task can help you avoid costly repairs or replacements. Your first step should be to turn off the water supply leading to the faucet that you want to clean. This is usually done by a small knob on the side of the fixtures. Once it’s off, place a towel over the drain so that small parts don’t accidentally fall in.
When cleaning your showerhead, there are various methods you can use, such as soaking it in vinegar overnight or using a commercial cleaning solution specifically designed for bathroom fixtures. For faucets, some elbow grease may be necessary if there are mineral deposits around them; using mild soap and a damp cloth should get rid of most dirt and grime easily.
It’s also important to make sure all pieces are tightly reassembled after cleaning; loose parts can lead to leaks and other problems that could have been avoided with just a little bit of maintenance!
Know Where Your Main Water Shutoff Valve is Located
One of the most important plumbing tips for first time renters is to familiarize yourself with where your main water shutoff valve is located. The main water shutoff valve usually looks like a wheel and is usually located either outside or near the front door of the house or apartment, near the street. It controls when and how much water can to turn on in your home, so it’s important to know who this is and how to open it in order to shut down any water flowing through your pipes. This will come in handy if there’s a plumbing emergency as it should stem most minor leaks.
Knowing where your main water shutoff valve is located also means you can easily find it if something happens and you need to quickly turn off all of the water in the house or apartment:
- It usually looks like a wheel.
- It is usually located either outside or near the front door of the house or apartment, near the street.
- It controls when and how much water can to turn on in your home.
- It should stem most minor leaks.
Contact Your Landlord or a Professional Plumber
If you are a first time renter, plumbing is probably the last thing on your mind. However, it is important to understand some basic tips and tricks to make sure your plumbing systems remain functioning when you move into a new space. If you suddenly have a plumbing issue, the first thing to do is contact your landlord or property manager. They should provide you with the contact information for a professional plumber that they prefer to use. An experienced plumber will be able to help resolve any problems quickly and efficiently so that you do not incur any more damage or disruption than necessary.
If possible, familiarize yourself with what type of pipes and appliances are in the home before contacting a plumber. Knowing this kind of details can save time and money when getting plumbing repairs done. In addition, it is recommended that all renters inspect their homes periodically for signs of leaking pipes or other issues with the plumbing system such as low water pressure or clogged drains. Paying close attention can help avoid more extensive damage if left unchecked for too long.
Though plumbing may not seem like a crucial item on your list when renting an apartment, taking care of plumbing basics prevent major headaches down the road due to costly repairs and replacements.
As a first time renter, taking care of basic plumbing issues and maintenance can be a daunting task. However, with the right tools and knowledge, many common repairs and tasks can be handled with relative ease. Keep in mind the following tips to help you successfully navigate any message plumbing problem that may arise:
- Have the right supplies on hand, such as plungers and wrenches.
- Troubleshoot potential causes for any issue before trying to repair it.
- Know when it’s better to call in a professional for help. Plumbing problems can be complex and may require specialized equipment or expertise.
- Make sure your home is covered by renters insurance in case of future incidents or accidents involving plumbing.
By following these simple tips, you’ll have the know-how to tackle any basic plumbing task and take great pride in showing off your new home to friends, family, or potential tenants!
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the most important plumbing tips to know as a first time renter?
As a first time renter, the most important plumbing tips you should know are to always make sure your sink and bathtub stoppers are working properly and make sure all of your plumbing fixtures are in good working order. Additionally, it is also important to know how to turn off the main water supply in case of an emergency.
What should I do if I have a plumbing emergency?
If you have a plumbing emergency, the first step is to turn off the main water supply. After that, contact a plumber for further assistance. Make sure to have the contact information of a trusted plumber handy, so you can contact them in case of an emergency.
What should I do to keep my plumbing in good condition?
To keep your plumbing in good condition, make sure to regularly inspect and clean the fixtures, check for any leaks, and make sure that there are no clogs. Additionally, it is also important to be aware of the maintenance schedule of your plumbing system and have it serviced regularly by a professional.
Andrew Lee is the founder of My Plumber. He has been in the industry for over 20 years and has extensive experience in all aspects of plumbing. He also enjoys sharing his knowledge with others and has written several articles and given talks on plumbing.