How to Avoid Common Plumbing Problems in Multi-Family Complexes

While all plumbing systems are fundamentally the same, a single backed-up sink in a condo complex can cause all kinds of problems for not only one family, but for many residents in the same multifamily housing system. As a homeowner or manager of any multifamily housing complex, it is important to take precautions that can help prevent such issues and keep the residents comfortable and the building in good condition.

Common Plumbing Issues in Condos

Plumbing issues that are common in any other type of building, are equally common in condos and apartment buildings. There are plugged drains, backed-up toilets, and water hammering. However, the fundamental difference is the fact that in an apartment building, it causes problems for several (or all) other residents, and not only for the affected condo.

Clogged Drains

A clogged kitchen sink in one apartment can cause several of the other sinks along the line to also back up. A major backup may even cause flooding in a lower unit, which is why it is important to address it immediately at the first signs.

Dirty Water

Older buildings often experience dirty water, especially in urban communities. Plumbing pipes and connections start deteriorating the moment they are installed, and after many years, corrosion causes them to break down, leading to dirty water. Regular inspection will help ensure that water lines are not contaminated due to collapsed sewage lines.

Broken Main Line

If you have had a sudden increase in your water bill, it could well be caused by a broken mainline. Along with this, you may not unexplained standing water and unusual smells. In addition to increasing your costs, residents' health may be at risk; such a problem should be remedied right away.

Preventing Plumbing Issues in Condos

Here at Anta Plumbing, we recommend a proactive approach to plumbing problems. When we speak to condo owners, we recommend that they take preventative measures to alleviate stress and unnecessary costs wasted on repairs.

While the offending resident may know that he or she caused a clog, other residents affected by the issue may blame you, the property manager, for somehow failing. Here's what you can do to avoid clogs:

1. Remove garbage disposals. Residents may like the convenience of garbage disposal, but most of them will probably abuse it by sending large quantities of food and unsuitable materials down the disposal, resulting in clogs.

2. Install drain screens. Drain screens may not prevent all debris from entering the drain, but it will help reduce debris significantly. It is a simple step that is easy to tackle on your own.

3. Schedule regular plumbing inspections. By scheduling an annual plumbing inspection, you can be informed about any signs of wear and tear, and be kept abreast of any potential issues. Knowing what to expect gives you an opportunity to take preventative actions to avoid potential issues. Besides, it is much cheaper than repairing a line break.

Despite your best efforts, problems may still crop up. When that happens, it is important to act fast before your residents become disgruntled. A filtration system is a handy way to keep residents healthy with clean water.

While mainline leaks don't affect residents directly, it does cause your water bills to increase rapidly. If you manage a multi-family complex and want to know more about avoiding plumbing problems in condos, get in touch with Anta Plumbing.

Written by Tanya Klien

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