10 Common Plumbing Repairs in Apartments

common plumbing repairs

Apartment living can be fun and exciting. However, while some benefits of living in an apartment building include lower rent and zero mowing of the lawn, you will quickly realize that plumbing in apartments can be a significant drawback. With each apartment using hundreds of gallons of water per day, plumbing issues are one thing you may not be able to avoid.

Whether renting an apartment, managing an apartment, or owning one, having a reliable plumbing company in Massapequa, NY, is absolutely necessary. If you are getting ready to move into your first apartment or you’ve recently moved to one, here are ten common plumbing repairs in apartments that you should be aware of. After all, the more you know about plumbing issues, the better prepared you will be to handle them once they arise, or give us a call at 516-613-2847 to speak with an Aquamanz Plumbing & Heating plumber.

1. Bathroom Flooding and Ceiling Damage

One of the most common plumbing concerns in apartments is flooding and ceiling damage. A flooded bathroom is bad enough, but one flooded floor in an apartment building can cause severe ceiling damage for the apartment on the floor below. 

While most flooding occurs due to clogged drains in the bathroom, flooding can also show up around large appliances that contain water supply pipes, such as dishwashers and washing machines.

Even though landlords are responsible for properly maintaining their plumbing systems, if your negligence as a tenant causes the flood, you could be liable for any damage. Make sure you keep an eye out for potential overflow, secure any hose attachments to your appliances, and immediately call an experienced plumber at the first sign of possible flooding. 

2. Frequently Clogged Drains

Clogged drains are a regular occurrence in apartments due to hair, food particles, dirt, and other debris.

Because the accumulation of hair is the top reason pipes clog, you may want to get a hair catcher for your drain. These small devices fit over your shower drain to catch hair and avoid common plumbing repairs to clean blocked pipes.

The kitchen sink is another area that is susceptible to clogs. Avoid pouring oil, grease, coffee grounds, and other foods or heavy liquids to keep this drain from clogging. You can also use a strainer to prevent food particles from falling down the sink drain. 

3. Clogged Toilets

One of the main reasons toilets clog is because there is an accumulation of toilet paper or other materials in the pipe. However, broken sewer lines can also be the culprit. When toilets are clogged, they cause water backup that can create a bit of a mess in the bathroom and subsequently in someone else’s ceiling. 

While a clogged toilet can be an easy fix with a plunger, let your landlord know if your toilet is clogging too often since it can be a sign of a more significant plumbing issue. As an added precaution, never flush anything other than toilet paper down the toilet. If a plunger doesn’t work, try using a drain auger to break up the clog. When all else fails, call a plumber to help.

4. Leaking Water Heater Tanks 

Even though each apartment unit usually has its own water heater, if one of them leaks, it can cause significant damage to the whole building. For example, if you notice your hot water supply or water pressure decreasing, you could leak your water heater.

Leaking could be a sign that it is time to replace the water heater entirely, so it is important that you contact a plumber. They can help explain the severity of the problem to your landlord and assist in the replacement. 

5. Faucet Leaks 

Leaky faucets are common problem repairs in apartment buildings. Even a small leak can waste a significant amount of water and money. In addition, leaks that are not easily visible can be the most dangerous ones, as they can end up causing damage to floors, cabinets, and walls.

A quick and easy way a plumber can repair a leaky faucet is to replace the worn-out internal rubber washer. Another way to fix a leaky faucet is to tighten the pipe connections or apply thread tape to create a barrier that prevents the water from leaking.

6. Rusty or Dirty Water 

You may have rusty pipes if your water has a brownish tint and starts to develop a metallic taste. If the dirty water is only coming from one sink, your plumber can quickly fix the problem by coming in and replacing the dirty pipe or cleaning it. However, if you notice the brown water coming from more than one sink in your apartment, it may be a sign of a more severe problem.

You must contact your landlord immediately so an experienced plumber can get to the root of the problem. Rusty pipes can lead to water contamination, which can present a significant health hazard, so it is very important to fix this issue immediately. 

7. Frozen Pipes

If you live in an area that experiences very cold winters, frozen pipes can be a very serious problem. When the water in your pipes freezes, it expands, creating added pressure on your pipes. This pressure can cause cracks or bursts that will lead to water damage.

Most apartment buildings have insulated pipes to prevent this from happening. However, it is still a good idea to contact your landlord when you expect the weather to drop significantly and devise a plan to prevent your pipes from freezing.

There are some things you can do to prevent your pipes from freezing:

  • Try leaving your cabinet doors open so the warm air from your furnace or weather can reach the pipes.
  • Increase the water flow by letting a small stream of water run constantly.
  • Apply heating tape to your pipes.

If you experience frozen pipes, your best course of action is to call a plumber who can thaw them out safely and repair the crack or replace the pipe.

8. Novice Plumbers Making Things Worse

Many people believe they don’t need a plumber to fix minor issues like a dripping faucet or running toilet. After all, you can find many YouTube videos that make common plumbing repairs look deceptively simple. But more often than not, what ends up happening is that a simple fix becomes a huge mess.

Whenever you have a leak or running toilet, let your landlord know and call a plumber, no matter how simple the fix may seem. If you have a constantly running toilet, consider replacing it together. 

9. Poor Maintenance 

Apartment buildings should undergo regular maintenance on pipes, water heaters, and water tanks should take place. Suppose a qualified plumber is not checking your building’s internal plumbing on a regular basis. In that case, it can lead to corroded pipes, unnecessary blockages, and other issues that you could have avoided in the first place.

Even though you can take several steps to prevent significant problems, communicate with your landlord or building manager to ensure that they’re scheduling proper upkeep and maintenance.

10. Neglected Safety Valves

Safety valves are an essential part of any apartment building’s plumbing system that control the water supply and drainage to each apartment. Because safety valves play such an important role in a building’s plumbing system, a plumber should check them on a regular basis to ensure they are working correctly.

You may experience slow drains and low water pressure without safety valve maintenance.

How to Deal with Apartment Plumbing Issues

Common plumbing repairs can be expensive, especially when the issue gets out of control. Before calling a plumber, make sure you have checked for leaks, unclogged your drains, and plunged your toilet. You can prevent most of these common plumbing issues by taking a few precautions on a daily basis:

  • Be careful not to let things that will damage your pipes fall into your sink.
  • Use a hair trapper in the shower every day to prevent hair from going down the drain and creating a clogged pipe.
  • Regularly check for leaky faucets and be prepared in case an extra cold winter is underway.

These are just a few things you can do in your apartment to prevent the hassle of costly repairs. If you live in an apartment, you should speak to your landlord and consult an experienced plumber to find the best way to keep your pipes clean and in good condition.

Call the Plumbing Experts Today!

If you are struggling with leaky pipes or plumbing issues in your apartment or want to get a jump start on preventing them, Aquamanz Plumbing & Heating can take care of it. Our professional plumbers service all major brands and offer a wide range of pricing to suit all budgets. Call us at (516) 613-2812 to schedule service, or check out these top questions for plumbers so you can be prepared to get the information you need and the best advice for preventing the most common plumbing repairs.