Plumbing Tips for Renters

Many renters live in blissful ignorance of their rental home’s plumbing system. Still, unless your landlord lives next door and responds to all phone calls within milliseconds, knowing a thing or two about the plumbing in your rental home could save you a lot of trouble and expense in the event of a plumbing emergency. Some types of plumbing problems are so urgent that they must be dealt with immediately. Having the ability to prevent these problems or stop them when they start can save your home from a flood.

Know Where the Shutoff Is

For the sake of convenience, nearly every plumbing fixture in your home has a shutoff valve. Depending on the fixture, the shutoff valve may appear as a handle on the wall near the floor (for toilets and sinks), or in a nearby access panel (bathtubs and showers). Some shutoff valves are accessed from the basement beneath the fixture, or from within the crawl space of your home.

Learn to recognize shutoff valves when you see them. If you can’t find the shutoff valve for a specific fixture, use the main shutoff valve for the home. Usually this is found near the perimeter of the home, sometimes inside and sometimes outside. Hint: Find the main shutoff valve before you’re having an emergency. If you can’t find it, ask your landlord to show you.

Treat Your Plumbing With Respect

You may not own your rental home, but you can save yourself a lot of headache by treating your home’s plumbing with respect. Follow these tips:

  • Use filters over drain openings. Using filters over drains prevents hair, food, wedding rings and other objects from going down the drain in your sink.
  • Avoid flushing fat and grease down the drain. Grease solidifies when it cools, which can lead to clogs in your home’s plumbing.
  • Leave the water trickling on nights when temperatures drop. If your home’s plumbing freezes on a cold winter night, your pipes could freeze and then burst. You may not be responsible for the damage, but the cleanup will still be an inconvenience. You can prevent this from happening by leaving the water running at a slow trickle overnight when temperatures drop. If you’re not sure how cold is too cold for your home’s plumbing, pay attention to weather reports on cold winter nights. Nightly news reporters will often warn area residents about hard freezes.

Own A Plunger

Chances are you won’t need a lot of specialized plumbing tools as a renter, but a plunger will come in handy. The best toilet plungers are the kind with an extended cup that sits inside the bottom of the bowl. To plunge your toilet, place the cup of the plunger in the bottom of the bowl so that the cup is covered with water. If the water in the toilet is low, flush the toilet to cover the cup of the plunger. Next, pump the plunger up and down quickly to force water back and forth inside the pipe. Do this several times until the toilet is unclogged.

Contact Terry’s Plumbing

At Terry’s Plumbing, we sell basic plumbing supplies and help area residents fix their plumbing, and we have a 24 hour emergency phone number for people in need of help. Contact us today to learn more about our line of products or to find out about our emergency plumbing help.