Common Plumbing Issues and Fixes That Every Landlord Should Know
If you are a landlord, one of the last things you want to deal with is plumbing issues in one of your rental properties. However, these scenarios pop up from time to time and must be handled quickly and accordingly. Otherwise, you may end up with more damages within your rental than you bargained for. So, what are the most common plumbing issues for landlords to face in a rental home?
As you can imagine, no rental property is perfect all the time. Whether it’s simple maintenance, renovations, or more extensive problems, landlords are sure to face an inconvenience like plumbing issues at some point. That said, when these situations do pop up, it’s important for investors to know the warning signs and get plumbing issues fixed immediately. So, let’s go over some of the most common plumbing issues for landlords to handle in a rental home.
Tenants should be able to unclog toilets by themselves, especially if you provide them with a plunger. No landlord wants to deal with a tenant’s dirty business (literally), so if a tenant calls you to report a clogged toilet, advise them to wait around ten minutes or until the water level completely lowers. Then, instruct your tenant to plunge it, completely covering the hole with the suction cup before giving it a firm plunge.
If this doesn’t work, you may need to purchase a drain snake. This is relatively cheap and can be bought at any hardware or home improvement store. To unclog stubborn toilets with a drain snake, simply slide it down the drain until you feel the clog. Next, turn the drain snake clockwise to allow it to hook to the object that is causing the clog. Pull it out slowly and voila! You have an unclogged toilet.
Slow Draining Sink
Most people who own homes or live in rentals have experienced a clogged sink before. While it’s typically not a huge issue, if the problem goes unresolved for too long, it can be detrimental to a rental home’s overall health. That said, if you have clogged drains in your rental property, don’t wait to get them fixed. Instead, thoroughly clean out debris from the drain, and take apart any pieces that may contain debris so you can clean those as well.
You could also clear the clogging substance using chemical drain cleaners, but be extremely careful when using them! Certain chemical drain cleaners are harmful to the skin and eyes and may damage household materials such as wood, aluminum, and fiberglass. You can also find recipes online for safer alternatives that can be DIY-ed using common kitchen ingredients such as vinegar and baking soda.
Leaky faucets may not seem like that big of a deal, as it’s a fairly common plumbing issue in homes. However, this minor issue can result in a large water bill, so it’s best to get it fixed immediately. Luckily, this issue is quite simple to fix and doesn’t require much hard labor. In fact, most of the time, all you need to do is shut off the water valve and replace the small washer found on the faucet handle.
After that, your sink should be all set to go. That said, if that simple fix doesn’t solve the leaky faucet, there may be an issue with the nuts at the base of the faucet. In this case, you’ll just want to tighten them with a wrench, and it should be good to go.
Water Pressure Issues
One of the worst plumbing issues to deal with is water pressure. Tenants will often complain that the water pressure is low, making it difficult to shower, do dishes, and do other household tasks. The first step to fixing a water pressure problem is to look for clogged drains or faucets throughout the rental. If that’s not the underlying issue, then you should use a water pressure gauge to see what’s going on.
If your water pressure reads below 60 psi, which is the standard, then it’s time to contact your water company. Similarly, you should check your home’s main water valve to see if it’s partially closed. If it is, then your pressure issue should be a quick fix. If not, you may have to seek help from plumbing professionals.
Another prevalent plumbing issue that landlords often face is leaking pipes. Unfortunately, fixing a leaky pipe takes a little more work than unclogging a drain. If the leak is serious enough and goes unnoticed, it may flood your property. That said, if you notice a leaking pipe, it’s time to repair it immediately. You can follow these simple steps to fix the pipe yourself or call a maintenance professional for help:
Turn off the overall water supply.
Clean the area that’s leaking and dry it thoroughly.
Cover the leaky pipe area with epoxy and then add rubber to seal it.
Tighten the pipe around both sides of the rubber.
Let the solution sit for at least an hour before turning the water back on.
Running toilets may be a common plumbing issue, but they are not taken lightly. With a toilet constantly running, the water bill can quickly become outrageous. So, if your tenant reports that their toilet is constantly running, it’s time to fix it fast. Luckily, it’s a fairly easy fix. Typically, all you have to do is replace the flapper valve. Oftentimes, the flapper becomes worn and refuses to seal properly.
To fix this issue, you should purchase a new flapper, which you can get for around $20 at your local hardware store. Most of the time, the flapper will come with instructions on how to replace it. However, if the instructions aren’t helpful, you can always turn to YouTube for a trusty tutorial.
What Should Tenants Do When there’s a Plumbing Emergency?
Unfortunately, landlords have to count on tenants to report any plumbing issues within the rental home. Sometimes, this means that they aren’t reported or taken care of right away, which can lead to damage within the rental. That said, it’s essential to clearly state maintenance protocols in your lease agreement so that someone can take care of them promptly.
So, how should tenants typically handle a plumbing issue? Here are a few steps to take as soon as an issue arises within your rental.
Identify the Plumbing Problem
Contact Your Landlord Immediately
Clean Up Any Water Puddles or Leaks
Refrain from Running Water Until it’s Fixed
Wait for Maintenance to Come and Fix the Problem
Tenants may be able to solve plumbing issues on their own sometimes. However, if the problem is too out of hand, it’s crucial to call in a professional maintenance team for assistance. Otherwise, you may end up with more damage than you started with.
How Landlords Can Quickly Take Care of Plumbing Issues
Some landlords don’t live near their rental properties or aren’t available to come and fix plumbing issues at any time of the day. So, how can landlords take care of maintenance issues quickly and efficiently? Luckily, you don’t have to be present for your plumbing problems to get fixed.
The first step to finding a reputable maintenance company is finding a top-notch rental property team. With a trusted team by your side, you don’t have to worry about calling maintenance for every tenant concern. Overland Management offers comprehensive leasing services, including handling maintenance requests. Our team of professionals can also help you with other aspects of your rental business, such as:
Monthly Rent Collection
Lead Paint Law Compliance
Monthly and Annual Financial Statements
Whether you own one rental property or 100, Overland Management is here to provide you with knowledgeable and experienced representation for your rental business. Contact us today to learn more about our full-service property management.