As a landlord, you have a responsibility to your tenants and the other way around. Rental homes require a lot of maintenance to assure they remain fit to live in. Plumbing issues seem to happen more than any other maintenance problem in a rental property. Even though some problems will require professional attention, acting quickly on your own to take care of smaller issues can often save you time and money. Because of that, It is important to have the best lease term and deposit refunds.
Here some tips on how you can avoid plumbing disasters.
Have a Plunger:
Providing appropriate plumbing tools will help the tenant to achieve the lease requirements to handle minor problems themselves. Provide them with two tools:
- Dome Plunger is a dome-shaped sink plunger should be in the kitchen or bathroom sink cabinet.
- Bell Plunger is a bell-shaped toilet plunger should be in the bathroom.
In theory, most of the tenants should be able to fix a clogged toilet on their own, especially if you leave them a plunger. If a renter calls you with a stubborn clog, have them try waiting 10 minutes for the toilet’s water level to lower before taking action. After 10 minutes, have them make sure to cover the hole completely with the plunger’s suction cup, making a good seal before plunging firmly and slowly.
If that doesn’t work, the next step is to use a drain snake. Put the wire down the drain until you can feel the clog on the other end, then turn the snake clockwise so that the clog catches on the end of the snake. After that, you can pull out the clog.
Protect Your Drains:
Purchase a strainer to protect the drains in your sinks and shower tubs. Strainers will catch extra food, hairs, or other debris that cause build-up and clog your pipes. Make sure not to put these things down the drain:
- Oil, grease or fat
- Coffee grounds
- Cotton balls or paper towels
Faucet leaks generally happen for one of two reasons.
- The nuts at the base of the faucet are loose and simply need to be tightened with a wrench.
- The small, circular washer in the faucet has gotten worn out and needs to be replaced.
To make this repair you need to turn off the water by turning the handles that are found underneath the sink. Remove the faucet handle by taking out the screws that are holding the handle in. When the handle is off, you will be able to find the old washer. Simply replace it with a new one, which can be purchased for a few cents at your local hardware store.
Every time you finish a plumbing project, you should check for leaks by running water through the system, then opening and closing all valves and drains. Even a professional plumber can miss a small leak and need to reseal a connection.
Water Pressure Issues:
Before even thinking of taking extreme actions to solve a water pressure issue, you should confirm that the limited pressure you’re experiencing can’t be attributed to any of the issues such as clogged shower heads, faucets, etc.. If none of these issues is to blame, use a water pressure gauge to appraise the issue.
Normal water pressure is 60 psi. If your pressure is lower than that, ask your local water utility to check their water meters for any issues. You can also check your home’s main water valve to make sure it isn’t partially closed.
Clogged Shower heads:
A clogged shower head is a very common problem with a super easy fix. Start by using a toothpick to remove some of the clogs that were made in the holes of the shower head. Then submerge the shower head in white vinegar.
There are a couple of ways of doing it:
- Remove the fixture and put it in a bowl of vinegar.
- If the fixture is difficult to remove, fill a sturdy plastic bag with vinegar and put the bag around the head and tie it on with a rubber band.
In either case, leave it in the vinegar at least for a couple of hours or overnight. The vinegar will dissolve minerals and your problem should be solved.
Call a Pro:
No matter how careful you are, the clogs may still occur. While the responsibility of plumbing maintenance is the tenants’ job, in the case of an emergency the landlord should be called to take action.
Emergency plumbing situations are those that require disassembly of the pipes and it is best to leave it to pros. Many landlords either have a committed maintenance pro, or they maintain a relationship with a local plumber.
Generally speaking, it is the responsibility of the tenant to keep the place clean and in working order during the term of the lease, but it is the responsibility of the landlord to make sure the property is safe and fit for a tenant to live in. Thus, if you are renting a property and there is a major plumbing problem that is not your fault, the responsibility belongs to your landlord.