One of the quirks that comes with renting is that all maintenance work on the property is the responsibility of the landlord. While this does have its upsides (like not paying out of pocket if you need a team of 24-hour plumbers), it also means that you’re very limited in the type of work you can do yourself.
However, just because you’re renting a house instead of buying one doesn’t give you an excuse to not know these simple plumbing hacks!
No matter how long (or short) you plan on staying, it’s still a good idea to know some household plumbing basics.
While you might not be allowed to fix the pipes yourself (which you shouldn’t even be doing if you own the house!), using these simple tricks can save you from a bunch of pain in maintaining clean and clog-free pipes.
Find out where the shutoff valves are
When you notice a leak or other water problem, the first thing you’ll need to do is shut off your water.
Fortunately, most water-using fixtures include shutoff valves. These valves control the flow of water to each water-using fixture. And while their design might vary, they can be found located just before the water supply tubes that feed your taps and toilets.
Turn them and you can stop the flow of water to the affected fixture without cutting off the rest of your home’s water supply!
Located throughout your rented property will be a variety of valves that control the flow of water throughout the house. It’s important that you know where all these valves are located. Try looking under sinks and near water supply tubes.
Main shut off valve
We once had a client call us in a panic that their bathtub tap would not turn off.
Their daughter was the only one at home and had no idea what to do or where the main shut off valve was, resulting in a lot of wasted water and damage.
It’s also a good idea to find out where the main shut off valve is as early as possible.
For most houses, the main shutoff valve can be found close to the street where the water mains are.
If it’s not there, check near your hot water system.
Once you find the right valve, cutting the water is easy – it’s just another tap, after all!
Strainers and drainers can save you a bunch of pain!
Kitchen sinks are like magnets for pipe blockages.
Why? Because too many people just let everything wash down the drain. Grease, grime, soap, food scraps… you name it – it’s going down the drain.
With the amount of waste that ends up in the kitchen sink (rather than the bin), is it any wonder kitchen sinks are some of the most problematic water fixtures in the house?
If you want to prevent the drains and pipes in your rented home from clogging, we strongly recommend buying a strainer to go over your drain. Strainers and drainers protect your drain by filtering any sediment that might enter your pipes.
And the best part is they’re cheap – protecting your kitchen sink from clogging can set you back just a few dollars. It’s a small act that can make a big impact on your home’s plumbing system.
Inspect pipes and hoses
If you ask us, one of the first things you should do when inspecting a property is to look under the sinks for leaks and play with the taps.
And just because you’re renting doesn’t mean you can neglect this vital step!
Testing out the pipes in your home for any broken and leaking pipes as well as blocked drains can save you a major headache down the line.
While your landlord might claim all the pipes are in order, it doesn’t hurt to double-check… especially if they haven’t lived in the house for a while! (Or worse, if the previous tenant did not report any potential plumbing hazards.)
Check the temperature of your hot water unit
A non-functioning hot water unit is indeed frustrating; a real thorn in the side of your daily routine.
Common hot water problems include:
- Water coming out too hot
- No hot water at all!
- Low water pressure
- Running out of hot water faster than usual
- Rusty or brown water
All these simple indicators, while mostly harmless, are signs that you need your hot water unit checked.
Tell your landlord about the problems you’re experiencing – it’s their responsibility to get these issues inspected and fixed!
Are you a property manager seeking a reliable 24-hour plumber?
Just because you don’t own the house doesn’t mean you can get away with treating its plumbing like garbage.
Being a good tenant means caring for your rental just as you would your own home.
And that includes good habits and knowledge of basic plumbing care.
Watermaster Plumbing Solutions is the plumber of choice for real estate agents and property managers across Melbourne and Bayside. From residential homes to high-rise commercial buildings (including Melbourne’s Eureka Tower!) we provide complete plumbing maintenance to all types of properties – including rentals.
If you are a real estate agent or property manager seeking a reliable, qualified, and trusted team, you can’t go past the crew at Watermaster.