plumbing tips for renters

Plumbing Tips for Renters

There are many advantages to renting a home or apartment – eliminating the risk of losing your home value, flexibility to move when the lease is up, as well as lower maintenance costs.  If you’re a first time renter of an apartment or house, congratulations!  This is an exciting time for you.  However, before you throw that housewarming party, there are things you should know about your plumbing system that can help you avoid problems down the road.  Keep our plumbing tips for renters below  handy!

Take a Tour

When you are scouting out a new place to live, it’s always a good idea to walk the home with the landlord or property manager.  When you walk the home, be sure to:

  • Ask where the main water shut off valve is located for the house and make sure the valve works as old valves can break easily. It’s also a good idea to have your landlord tag the valve so that you can locate it if ever an emergency arises.
  • Locate and inspect the shut off valves for individual items such as sinks and toilets. When leaks or overflows occur, you have the ability to shut the water off to an individual item rather than to the whole house.
  • Ask questions. Find out if there have been any sewer related issues in the past or if there have been any repairs to breaks in the line.  Are there any pipes that are prone to freezing?  If so, make sure to find out which ones.  Make sure there aren’t any general plumbing issues that you should be aware of.

Be Proactive and Prevent the Hassle

In most cases, the landlord or property managers will be responsible for any repairs needed prior to move in, but there are some things you can do as the renter to prevent issues from occurring.

  • Buy Strainers. Strainers for your sink and shower drains can help catch food, hair, or other debris from building up and clogging pipes.
  • Make sure your water heater temperature is set at 120° This temperature is the industry standard and will ensure that the water temperature in your home is not scolding hot or freezing cold.
  • Be aware of what can and cannot be flushed down your toilet. It’s also good to have a plunger handy to dislodge any small clogs that may occur.
  • Stay away from liquid drain cleaners! These drain cleaners contain harmful chemicals that can damage pipes.
  • Make sure you properly use your garbage disposal.

Prepare for the Winter

Most often than not in Texas, we have two days of winter and we’re done.  Okay, we have a little bit more winter than that.  Thankfully, though, it’s rare for our winters to have a lot of nights where we are in freeze warnings or freeze advisories, but they do happen.  Here’s what you can do to prepare for those freezing winter temperatures.

  • Turn off the outside water and disconnect any hoses from the faucets to prevent pipes from freezing.
  • When you are away from the house, set your thermostat between 55°F-60°F to save energy. This will also help to keep your home at a reasonable temperature to avoid pipes from freezing. If you’re able, turn your water heater to low or vacation mode.
  • Open cabinets or doors to allow warm air to hit pipes that are on exterior walls. This helps to prevent pipes from freezing.

With these tips in mind, you’ll have a successful lease term when it comes to the plumbing in your home!  When you are responsible for plumbing repairs, be sure to contact the experts at Medlock Services.  Our plumbers can help with leaky pipes, water heater issues, and so much more!