Living in an old apartment or condo building has an undeniable charm. You love the warm brick, the old floors, and the smell of history. However, the plumbing can often be an issue. Be prepared, learn these ordinary apartment and condo plumbing tips. The pipes in old buildings tend to be equally old and questionably reliable. Older multi-residential buildings often have trouble with low water pressure, slow drains, weird noises, and regular clogging. Struggling with aging pipes and not able to remedy the issues? Ask a plumber about system replacement. We have a few helpful tips for a better plumbing experience.
Treat Drains with Care
The vast majority of residential plumbing troubles comes from the drains. Every time you (or a neighbor) washes hair or larger objects down the drain, the entire building could be at risk of a clog. While it may be slightly less convenient at the moment, you can prevent a lot of drain problems by remembering to scrape leftover food bits, and cooking grease into the trash (and take the trash out more often), use drain screens, and generally treat your drains with care. If you think there is a local clog, check your s-trap before trying to wash it away into the shared building drains which may already be ripe for a building-wide clog and waiting for that last wad of sticky drain gunk.
Stock Up on Vinegar
Chemical drain cleaner is often not that great for your pipes, especially not if you are dealing with older plumbing of indeterminate material and age. Rather than pouring harsh chemicals down your drain, stick with plain white vinegar. Vinegar can be used to break up mineral water deposits that form clogs because of hard water. Vinegar can also be used to improve water pressure by clearing the aerators on your faucets and the nozzles of your shower heads.
Conservative Garbage Disposal Use
Garbage disposals are a fantastic addition to your kitchen and allow you to get rid of cutting board scraps and other small organic bits quickly and easily. However, large or greasy things in the garbage disposal can and will cause clogs, possibly even for other units as well as your own. Be careful about what and how much you put down your garbage disposal and encourage neighbors to do the same.
If your taps run hard or rusty water, these particles can build up on the inside of your pipes, your fixtures, and even your water-running appliances. While many people may not want to (or be able to) install a unit-wide water softener or purifier, you can also filter your water and improve your plumbing experience with localized filters installed on your faucets. Filtering water will reduce the amount of clogging minerals in your water, keep your drains better cleared, and might even improve the taste.
Flush Your Water Heater
Finally, your water heater is an essential part of your plumbing infrastructure. Almost every drop of water you run flows through the heater, sits while it gets hot, and then flows out when summoned. However, because water is almost never perfectly clean, a certain amount of sediment builds up at the bottom of your water heater, reducing it is efficiency. If you want a more reliable hot water supply, remember to clear all filters and flush the water heater to remove sediment once or twice a year.
If you live in a condo or apartment in an aging building, no doubt you have seen your fair share of bizarre or simply inconvenient water or plumbing issues. From low water pressure to blocked drains, building systems take quite a beating. Buy by taking proper care of your pipes, you might even be able to improve your neighbor’s pipe situation as well. For more information about how to maintain your pipes in a multi-residence building, or for more condo plumbing tips, contact Aladdin Plumbing.