New York City is home to countless rental properties. As a landlord, one of the most common challenges you might face is plumbing issues. While some plumbing problems are inevitable, many can be prevented with proper knowledge and practices. Educating your tenants about basic plumbing care can significantly reduce unnecessary expenses and ensure a smooth landlord-tenant relationship. Here’s a guide to the essential plumbing tips every landlord should share with their tenants.

Cartoon of a Brooklyn landlord giving plumbing tips to a tenant.

1. Know Where the Main Water Valve Is

  • Every tenant should be aware of the location of the main water shut-off valve in their unit. In case of a major leak or plumbing emergency, turning off this valve can prevent extensive water damage.


2. Avoid Clogging the Drains

  • Advise tenants not to pour fats, oils, or grease down the kitchen sink. These substances solidify upon cooling and can lead to blockages.
  • Remind them to use strainers in sinks to catch food particles, hair, and other debris.
  • Flushing items like baby wipes, cotton balls, or feminine hygiene products can clog toilets. Only toilet paper should go down.


3. Be Cautious with the Garbage Disposal

  • Not everything belongs in the garbage disposal. Hard items like bones, fruit pits, and fibrous materials like corn husks can damage the blades.
  • Always run cold water when using the disposal to help flush down the waste.


4. Regularly Check for Leaks

  • A small leak can lead to significant water wastage over time. Encourage tenants to regularly check faucets, showerheads, and under-sink areas for any signs of dripping or moisture.


5. Avoid Overloading the Washing Machine

  • Overloading can lead to hose leaks. Ensure tenants know the capacity of the washing machine and advise them to stick to recommended load sizes.


6. Be Mindful of the Water Heater

  • Setting the water heater’s temperature too high can not only increase energy bills but also pose a scalding risk. A recommended setting is around 120°F.


7. Use Drain Cleaners Sparingly

  • Chemical drain cleaners can damage pipes and are harmful to the environment. Recommend natural solutions like baking soda and vinegar or suggest using a plunger.


8. Report Issues Promptly

  • Encourage tenants to report any plumbing issues, no matter how minor, immediately. Addressing problems early can prevent more significant, costlier issues down the line.


9. Regular Maintenance is Key

  • As a landlord, schedule regular plumbing maintenance checks. This proactive approach can identify potential problems before they escalate.


Being a landlord in NYC comes with its unique set of challenges, and plumbing issues rank high on that list. By educating your tenants and encouraging good plumbing practices, you can significantly reduce unexpected costs and maintain a harmonious relationship with your renters. And if plumbing issues do arise, remember that CID Plumbing is just a call away at 570-656-6261, ready to assist with all your plumbing needs.

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