Anyone who has ever lived in an apartment building has probably noticed that there are some significant differences between the plumbing of a single family home and that of an apartment. While there are several components of the system that are unique to the unit, there is also one centralized system that connects each individual system together.
It’s important that all components of the centralized system are working as intended in order for your unit’s plumbing to function properly.
Kitchen Sink Flooding
The kitchen sink often provides valuable insight into the overall health of your plumbing system as it is often one of the first things affected by plumbing issues. For example, if your sink begins to fill with water while not in use, it is a sign of a serious problem that should be addressed as soon as possible. No matter how little the volume of this flooding, it represents a major clog in the sewer line that must be inspected and removed in order to prevent further trouble. If left unattended, flooding may cause damage to your apartment or even the apartment below you!
Before you rush out and call the landlord or plumber, there are a few things you can do to help troubleshoot the problem. First, establish whether it’s a problem with the unit’s sewer line or the building’s main sewer line. To do this, watch for your sink filling with water even when no other plumbing in your apartment is being used.
If, for example, you hear your neighbor’s begin to run the shower and notice water begin to fill your sink, contact the building manager straight away as that is indicative of an issue with the main sewage line. If this does not happen and your sink only fills when something in your unit is using or draining water, the problem is likely localized to your unit.
Low Water Pressure
A common problem in apartments, low water pressure often occurs due to clogged aerators. To correct this problem, first check if both the hot and cold water are affected. If so, remove, clean, and replace aerators and your water pressure should improve. If only the hot or only the cold water is affected, contact your local plumber immediately as it may be a sign of a leak!
Drains or Tubs that Drain Slowly
Slow drainage is often caused by dirt, debris, and hair clogging the pipe and drain. The debris will need to be removed in order to make the drain operate efficiently. Using a drain snake or needle-nose pliers, remove debris from tub and sink drains and then use chemical cleaners to break down and wash away deeper clogs. Experts recommend cleaning drains regularly to prevent the formation of serious clogs which may be more difficult to remove.