Plumbing Tips from an Avid DIY-er

Plumbing Issues You Can'T Control As A Condo Owner

Community living in a condominium is quite different than a single family home. While you are responsible for problems within your unit, there are a lot of issues you are not responsible for. This is especially true for plumbing. You should be aware of some issues that your HOA should handle, since they are out of your control.

Clogged Main Sewage Line

Do you have a toilet that constantly clogs, or drains that move very slowly? The problem could actually be outside of your unit. The main sewer line in your building can become clogged with waste from other tenants, such as grease, disposable wipes, and hair. Tenants must know what they shouldn't put down a drain, because it can have an impact on all the other tenants in the building.

Ask other neighbors if they're having similar problems with their drains, which could help narrow down if it is within your unit or the whole building. Let your HOA know about the problem, and they'll hire a plumber to snake the pipes out and get rid of any clogs that are in there.

Pipe Bursts

There are most likely very few pipes in your condo unit, which are limited to exposed pipes under vanities. When the weather reaches sub zero temperatures, it's possible that a pipe somewhere in the building can freeze. If it is from a neighbor that lives above you, it can cause water to cause damage to your unit. You shouldn't have to pay for this type of damage, and it will should be paid for by a neighbor's or the HOA's insurance policy.

Also, make sure that you are aware of where the emergency water shut off is for the entire building. In a situation where a pipe bursts, it could be the only way to quickly limit the damage that is caused.

Tree Roots

The drain tile going out to the main sewer system is also a responsibility of your HOA. These drain tiles can easily have problems with tree roots that penetrate the tile and clog up the inside of the pipe. Your HOA will need to have a plumber cut away the tree roots using special tools, which should get water flooring freely again from your drain.

For problems that occur inside your unit, you are responsible for fixing them. You'll need to have a good local plumber on standby that you can call for help when you need it. For more information, contact a local professional.