No matter what, it seems that at some point in our lives we will eventually be faced with a plumbing problem. Most people don’t even think about plumbing until they are homeowners. However, what about renters?  Moving into an apartment is an exciting time — whether you’re still in college or just recently graduated — there is so much going on that plumbing is not on your list of priorities. The truth is, whether you live in an apartment tower or a traditional  courtyard building, plumbing is something you will have to deal with sooner or later. And, problems like leaky fixtures and clogged drains need to be serviced immediately to prevent costly damages that most apartment buildings won’t cover. Plus, apartment management has enough things to do — the time taken to wait for their help could allow for more damage to occur!

As Southern California’s premier plumbing and rooter company, we sometimes handle plumbing repairs in apartments and other rental properties throughout the area. To benefit you, we put together a brief guide covering common apartment plumbing problems and how to fix them before matters become worse.

Apartment Plumbing

Before we dive into common plumbing issues apartment units face, it’s beneficial to have a good understanding of how the plumbing system operates.The plumbing in an apartment building definitely has its workload. Rental property plumbing performs similar to a single-family home system would, supplying fresh water and channeling wastewater away. However, due to the multiple units the property has, the pipes, fittings, and fixtures have to be able to handle heavy, continuous use and alternating pressure that develops from multiple units. If one thing goes with one room’s plumbing, it could affect the neighboring rooms as well.

Common Apartment Plumbing Issues

As we mentioned earlier, plumbing issues in apartments need to be taken care of quickly.  Not only do you want as little water damage as possible in your own unit, you also don’t want to surprise your neighbors with a flooded apartment. Whether you’re living in an apartment now or are planning on moving into a rental property in the future, check out a few common plumbing problems that can happen in apartments, and our professional advice on how to handle them.

Clogged Toilet

Ah, yes! — The stereotype of all plumbing issues. Although it may be over said, a clogged toilet is every renter’s nightmare! Eventually, the paper and waste will accumulate, causing your toilet to clog. You try flushing thinking it will help, but it only fills with more water. Stop the flushing, and get your toilet working properly by following this method:

  • Find a plunger that seals around the bottom of the toilet bowl.
  • Work the plunger firmly (but gently), as if you are pushing air into the pipe.
  • Continue pushing air into the drain until the clog is loosened, flushing multiple times after to ensure the clog is cleared.

If this method doesn’t solve your problem after continuous clogging, be sure to inform your leasing manager and contact a professional plumbing service if necessary.

Aggravating Faucet Leaks

There’s nothing more annoying than a leaking faucet, especially if it keeps you awake at night. Even the smallest leaks can add up to pricey water bills over time. And, the leaking water can soak into walls and floors causing expensive water damage. Save your money, easily eliminate aggravating faucet leaks by following these tips:

  • Pinpoint the source of the leak, and turn off the water supply beneath the sink.
  • To stop dripping water from a worn-out aerator by unscrewing it and replacing it with a new one.
  • If you’re dealing with a base leak, remove the spout assembly and replace it’s O-ring.
  • By disassembling the faucet you can find and replace worn-out washers and cartridges.

Slow Draining or Clogged Drains

Sometimes renters will experience that their drains are draining water very slowly, or not at all. Water may sit in tubs and sinks for a longer-than-normal time. Clogged drains don’t really seem like a big problem until standing water makes tubs and sinks difficult to use. In most cases, clogged drains are caused by the buildup of hair, soap scum, and grease. Do not worry, though. You can easily clear a clogged drain using either of the following methods:

  • Break up the clog with a sink plunger, which is specifically designed for kitchen and bathroom drains
  • Use a liquid drain cleaner. Be careful to follow the directions, giving it enough time to effectively unclog the drain

Frozen Pipes

If you are renting in Southern California, there’s a pretty good chance you will never have to worry about the pipes under the sink freezing. However, if you live in a colder climate, frozen pipes are one of the most damaging problems. When freezing temperatures are present, the water in the pipes will expand, eventually leading to a pipe burst. This is something that nobody wishes for, so if your pipes freeze, be sure to thaw them out using the following steps.

  • Turn on several sink faucets in the unit so that you can verify when the pipes thaw.
  • Slowly thaw out pipes using a hairdryer on a low-heat setting.
  • Wrap frozen pipes in rags soaked in warm water, changing them every half hour.

If your pipes aren’t thawing, and no water is coming out of the faucets, or you are dealing with a burst pipe, contact a plumbing professional.

Complete Plumbing and Rooter Preventative Tips

Common plumbing issues in apartments can be prevented by taking the proper precautions. Check out some tips that may be beneficial in preventing hassle from occurring.

  • Set your water heater at 120°F

    • 120°F is a standard temperature that will ensure your water temperature is not too hot or cold.
  • Purchase strainers for kitchen and bathroom sinks, as well as tubs. Strainers can catch hair, food, and other debris that can cause clogs
  • Be aware of what goes down sink, tub, and toilet drains.

Professional Southern California Plumbing

Most plumbing problems can easily be fixed yourself or by rental properties maintenance provider. However, when you need professional help and are looking for a Southern California plumbing company, look no further than Complete Plumbing and Rooter. From drain cleanings to toilet repairs, our knowledgeable staff can handle any plumbing problem. Contact us today!