As a landlord or property manager, you have a lot on your plate. You’re responsible for the general wellbeing of dozens of people and their homes. Your hours are long and your time is short. The last thing you need is the stress of an out-of-control plumbing system on top of everything else.
That’s where we come in. Here are our best, expert-backed plumbing tips for landlords. Following these tips will help you prevent time and money-consuming disasters before they happen.
Acquire the right tools for the job
Performing routine maintenance and solving small plumbing problems as they come up starts with having the right tools. You shouldn’t have to count on your tenants to have the tools to fix their plumbing woes. Some tools all landlords should have include: both a cup and flange plunger, an auger, a snake, and a pipe wrench. Make sure you have these tools so you can respond to problems as they occur.
Educate your tenants
We’re not saying you should post instructions on every wall, or go door-to-door lecture. It is a good idea to make sure your tenants know the idiosyncrasies of your building’s plumbing, however. Tell your tenants about plumbing rules and regulations as they move in. Leave proper care instructions in the laundry room and other communal areas. Make yourself available to answer questions and offer assistance in case of problems. If there’s a new problem, you could leave a note in a community space to let everyone know. Take the time to explain any plumbing rules to tenants, instead of just enforcing them.
Find the emergency shut-off valves
Make sure you know how to shut things down fast before problems occur.
Master basic repairs
Do you know how to clean out a P-trap? How good are you at snaking a drain? Can you handle changing out A/C filters? Becoming proficient at handling these small repairs on your own is a great way to keep your residents happy.
Make sure your water heaters are on the right setting
Contrary to popular belief, turning up the temperature on a water heater’s thermostat doesn’t affect how much hot water it produces. A thermostat dictates how hot a water heater should keep the water stored in its tank. If someone sets the thermostat too high, the water heater will have to work too hard to heat and store its water. That will lead to higher energy bills, premature aging and breakdown, and more frequent maintenance requirements.
Make sure your tenants know not to touch the water heater’s settings. Set the water heater’s thermostat at the factory settings and leave it there. Consider leaving a note nearby to reference, so everyone knows the correct setting. If you don’t know the right setting, look up the make and model of your heater online.
Practice the art of routine maintenance
Performing routine maintenance on your property’s plumbing will save you money in the long run. Pay special attention to fixtures that take a real beating from multiple tenants, like the laundry appliances and the water heater.
You should also have a professional come by around once a year to inspect your plumbing health, just to be sure. It’s always better to identify and solve a small problem than it is to deal with a big one.
Know who to call in case of an emergency
Having a trustworthy emergency plumber’s number in your speed dial can make all the difference.
Whether you need a quick fix or you want to schedule a regular maintenance inspection, the pros at Ben Franklin Plumbing are the right call for your property. Together, we can make sure your tenants stay happy–so you can stay happy, too.