In today’s housing market, many Canadians have no other choice but to rent an apartment. They are more affordable and allow tenants to save up some money to hopefully one day buy a home.

Unfortunately, since so many renters are desperate for an apartment, they sometimes have no other choice but to pick a building managed by inadequate superintendents, landlords, and staff. This means that if you have a problem in your suite, then it could take a while for the management to rectify the situation, even if it entails some plumbing.

So, what’s the solution? Perhaps it is time to do it yourself!

Plumbing can be a bit tricky for the average person because they fear amplifying the problem or doing something wrong that creates thousands of dollars worth of damage. However, let’s face it: most of us, particularly in apartments, won’t have immense problems with the pipes, just some tiny setbacks to overcome.

In other words, you have the common sense to fix it yourself.

Here are five basic plumbing tips when your apartment building fails:

1. Where Are the Water Valves in Your Suite?

There was an incident a few years ago of a tenant whose dishwasher kept running, and running, and running for hours on end. It eventually became so bad that the tenant had to use a bucket to get rid of the accumulated water in the dishwasher. This would have been avoided if the tenant knew where the water valve was – plus, the tenant would have gotten some sleep.

It is important to locate the water valves, either in the kitchen or in the bathroom.

Should a plumbing problem arise, you can merely shut off the water, inspect the problems, and not worry if your landlord comes right away.

2. Have the Basic Tools Ready

How many apartment dwellers lack the tools to fix a small problem like a clogged toilet?

For whatever reason, tenants don’t have a plunger, a bucket, or a wrench. These are essential, even if you don’t plan to repair every plumbing mishap in the apartment.

Simply put: be sure you have the rudimentary arsenal of tools in your midst.

3. Look Inside Your Toilet

Toilet not flushing? Water not rising in the tank? Is the water yellow? Perhaps it is time you opened the lid on your toilet and looked inside.

For the most part, the reason why your toilet isn’t flushing is because the chain is broken. You can either replace it or just reconnected it to the flush lever. Moreover, if there is an overflow of water, you will likely need to slide the rod or move the adjustment screw.

These are minor chores to perform, but it diminishes the frustration and anxiety of twiddling your thumbs waiting for the superintendent.

4. Use Tape Until Landlord Arrives

Bathroom or kitchen drips can be irksome. The drips, even minuscule ones, keep you up at night. You have informed the landlord of this problem, but he has yet to respond.

One remedy is to utilize either Teflon tape or thread sealing tape and wrap it around the pipes.

It’s that simple.

5. Apply Some Preventative Measures

Want to avoid plumbing issues altogether? You should implement some preventative measures.

Here are a few ideas to consider:

  • Only flush toilet paper down the toilet.
  • Be conscious of what goes down the drain.
  • Don’t be aggressive with your faucets.
  • Regularly clean your bathroom and kitchen.
  • Perform regular inspections of your apartment plumbing.

By adopting these concepts, you can ensure that you won’t need to be like the tenant we mentioned earlier. If all else fails, contact a professional plumber for their assistance.

Plumbing can be a real headache for everyone – apartment dwellers or homeowners. No matter what we do, plumbing problems can still arise. But they can be minimized if you have the proper tools, if you have taken the correct preventative steps, and applied a bit of common sense.