When it comes to property maintenance, there are many aspects to your responsibilities. Not only do you have to make sure the visible parts of the property are functional, but also the hidden parts as well.
Many people think just because plumbing is out of sight, then it’s out of mind. But there are things you should do to make sure everything flows smoothly. For property maintenance managers, here’s what you should know regarding plumbing.
Be Prepared for After-Hour Emergencies
Unfortunately, plumbing emergencies won’t stick to your regular work hours. Chances are, you’ll have tenants calling about after-hour emergencies, such as a burst or frozen pipes.
These types of emergencies will warrant you coordinating with a plumber so those problems can be fixed right away. There are some things that simply can’t wait until morning, so make sure you know this is your responsibility as a property maintenance manager.
Leaks Need to Be Fixed Right Away
Someone may call about a small leak. You’ll think it can wait until tomorrow, so “just put a bucket under it.” However, leaks are indicative of many things.
For one, for it to be visible means it’s bigger than you think. The walls have water damage, and the “small” leak can become bigger at a moment’s notice.
When a tenant calls about a leak, you should get in touch with a plumber, no matter how big it is. Leaks can be a symptom of a bigger problem, so the earlier you get it handled, the better.
Get Pipes Cleaned Often
Just because there are no signs of clogs doesn’t mean your pipes don’t need to be cleaned. Getting something like hydro jetting can clear drains of blockages. This will help your pipes stay in good condition for longer, which will lessen the need for any serious repairs.
Get Regular Inspections Maintenance
There may be no actual complaints from the tenants, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need to do anything regarding plumbing. Over time, hair and other debris can clog the pipes, which can then back up the drains and cause bigger issues.
Without regular maintenance and inspections, this can lead to very costly and time-consuming things to fix. Not to mention, all metals will corrode over time, so plumbers can use a video scope to check it from time to time. Keep everything in working condition with the minor inconvenience of maintenance checks.
Property Maintenance Managers Need to Be Responsible
Property maintenance managers need to be proactive about keeping the plumbing in working order. Just because you can’t see anything wrong doesn’t mean there isn’t.
Make sure you schedule regular maintenance to not only prevent problems in the future but to also save yourself some trouble as well. Any minor issues have the potential to become serious ones, so nip them in the bud before they do.
Don’t be so set in your ways. Once you start laying the drain pipes, they might not lay the way you imagined.
You can start assembling the pieces and then test them for fit. You can modify your plans as you go.
When installing the vents, you might want to slope the vent pipes. Not all inspectors will insist on this, but they might.
4. Run Your Copper Supply Lines
Now that you’ve run your drains and vents, you can measure where to place your supplies.
If you’ve never run copper pipes, it’s a good idea to practice cutting copper pipe and sweating the joints before you begin your project.
If you’re running horizontal pipe, it’s easier if you install this from the crawl space or basement.
And it’s advisable that you don’t cross drainpipes and vents with your supply lines. If both leak at the same time, you’ll quickly have a puddle.
If you install your copper along the studs, make sure you place nailing plates on the pipe side of your studs. Copper tubing easily punctures, and when you’re replacing your drywall, you don’t want to accidentally puncture your supply lines.
5. Hook Up Your Tub, Shower or Sink
If you’re hooking up a tub or shower faucet, you want to use 3/4 inch supply lines to make sure you have good water pressure.
And to make sure that the water is as warm as possible, tap into the cold/hot water lines as close to the water heater as you possibly can.
You’ll also want to install shutoff valves in the lines if you haven’t already.
Make sure you read the manufacturer’s directions when installing the faucet. Each faucet is slightly different.
Make sure you measure your tub and shower. Most standard tubs are around 18 inches. You want to position the faucet a good ten inches above the lip of the tub.
And if you’re installing a shower, make sure you install it a good 30 inches above the tub lip.
A bathroom sink vanity is easier to install than a standing porcelain sink.
With a bathroom vanity, your pipes can stick out of the wall and hide in the cupboard.
With a standing porcelain sink, you have a much smaller space to work with and need to be more precise with your work.
You’ll want a high-quality vanity cabinet. The best wood to use is hardwood as it resists water damage.
If you choose a composite vanity, you’ll end up soaking through the bottom and rotting it if a leak happens.
6. Installing A Wet Wall or Tiles
Once you’ve laid your piping and installed the tub or shower, it’s time to install a wet wall or tile over your shower/tub wall.
Make sure you clean all surfaces before installing your wet wall. If you’re placing it over plaster, then make sure you seal your plaster before installing the wet wall.
When you install your wet wall, leave a few millimeters at the bottom between the tub and panel. You can fill in the gap with grout or a sealant.
Tiling takes a bit more work. But if you do choose tile and then take care of it, you’ll have a bathroom wall that will last longer than a contemporary wet wall.
Be sure you seal around your tile, however. You don’t want water leaking into your walls and causing mold and rot.
Let The Pros Handle Your New Construction Plumbing
While DIY work is rewarding, you can avoid a lot of frustration by hiring a professional to install your new construction plumbing.
A professional will know your local codes by heart and will know how to save you money on materials.
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