If you’re a renter for your current living situation, being knowledgeable about certain basic home areas is a good quality to have. It puts you in the good graces of your landlord, and can help you avoid issues that would otherwise have forced you to bother them.
One of the primary areas here is plumbing. At Expert Plumbing, we offer plumbing repair services to both renters and homeowners alike. Here are a few basic tips for your plumbing as a renter, both before and during your rental experience, including a few specific to the colder winter period we’re just entering currently.
Take a Tour
Before you agree to any rental agreement, you should be taking a full tour of the unit. If plumbing items aren’t on your list here, add them now – your landlord should have knowledge of and be able to show you each of the following:
- Main shutoff valve: This is the valve you’d shut off first in case of a major water emergency. Make sure it works, and ask the landlord to tag it specifically.
- Individual shutoffs: All toilets and sinks have their own shutoff valves, and you should know where these are as well.
- Questions: Ask your landlord about the plumbing, including previous issues and whether there are any pipes prone to freezing.
There are a few prevention tactics you can take against plumbing issues as a renter:
- Set the water heater to 120 Fahrenheit, the industry standard.
- Stay away from liquid drain cleaner where possible, as this can damage pipes.
- Use the garbage disposal and toilet drains properly – only small food scraps down the disposal (never grease or oil), and only waste or toilet tissue down the toilet drain.
- Buy strainers for your sinks and shower drains to block hair and other debris from causing a clog.
A few specific areas to consider during the winter as a renter:
- Turn off all outside water sources, and disconnect hoses.
- Set the thermostat between 55 and 60 degrees when you’re gone for long periods – this will keep things just warm enough to avoid pipes freezing, but will also lower your energy bill.
- Have the landlord show you where the outdoor shutoff valve is.
- Open cabinets or doors that have pipes behind them to allow warm air circulation and prevent frozen pipes.
For more on maintaining plumbing as a renter, or to find out about any of our plumbing services, speak to the pros at Expert Plumbing today.