8 Ways to Prevent Plumbing Problems in Your Block of Flats or Housing Estate

Plumbing problems can arise rapidly, and in a very short space of time can become worse.

Ignoring small plumbing problems can be extremely costly, so it is important to know how to prevent them before they occur. Not only can it help with ongoing costs, maintaining plumbing can help conserve water, alongside keeping energy and water bills lower, resulting in a more cost-efficient and environmentally friendly property.

From blocked drains to pipe leaks, potential plumbing issues are surprisingly simple to prevent. In this article, we will share 8 key ways to help you prevent problems in your property.

1. Maintain pipe condition

Damage to water pipes can be a result of rust and corrosion, and older buildings may require additional maintenance to avoid leaks. Cold weather can also cause damage to pipes. If the water in the pipes freezes and the pressure causes the pipe to crack, this can result in flooding in the property.

You should ensure that pipes are properly insulated and that the tenants in your property keep their thermostats at a consistent temperature during the winter months to avoid any damage.

2. Protect drainage systems from blockage

Drains should be regularly cleaned to ensure that no major blockages occur that could result in expensive repairs. Equipping the showers and kitchen sinks in your property with a drain guard should reduce the risk of hair, food, and other debris entering the plumbing system and causing a blocked drain.

3. Maintain water heaters

Water heaters can be expensive and inconvenient to replace, so it is important to prolong their lifespan as much as possible. Inspect water heater tanks regularly to avoid plumbing issues, and look for any indications of leakage on a monthly basis. To ensure water quality is suitable and free from debris, the water tank should be drained by around one quarter a few times per year.

4. Ensure the plumbing system is properly ventilated

Ventilation is essential to allow water waste to pass through pipes and to prevent water contamination. Venting systems can be ‘wet’ or ‘dry’, with wet ventilation being particularly useful when installing new drain lines that pass through other rooms. Whichever ventilation is chosen, it should be professionally installed with the use of proper materials.

5. Use ‘detect and protect’ technology

If you do not have time to maintain the plumbing at your property, you can use technology that monitors indications of malfunctions such as leakage. When a plumbing issue is detected, the water supply will be shut down to avoid any further damage.

Otherwise, scheduling regular professional maintenance of the property is essential in precluding plumbing problems. An annual inspection would be a useful preventative to potentially expensive repairs.

6. Be aware of the main shutoff valve location

Being aware of the location of the main shutoff valve could prevent severe damage in the case of a plumbing emergency. The main water valve controls the flow of water into the property, and can generally be found at the lowest level of the property close to the street. Test the valve to make sure it turns off properly, and make your tenants aware of its location should a plumbing problem arise.

7. Ask tenants to turn off the water when away

If tenants leave the property for more than a week, it can be useful for the cold-water valve to be turned off to prevent any possible plumbing issues while they will not be immediately noticed. The water heater should be left on, however.

8. Maintain the septic tank

Finally, septic tanks are key elements of residential plumbing systems that require regular maintenance. The tank should be regularly pumped and assessed to avoid debris building up over time and causing pipe blockage. High-pressure water jetting is recommended to be scheduled every five years to help avoid blockages.

By regularly maintaining the plumbing at your property, or by seeking professional assistance, you should be able to reduce the likelihood of plumbing problems. However, plumbing emergencies can occur and should be dealt with immediately. Whether you own a block of flats or a housing estate, ensure you take these necessary precautions to avoid future plumbing problems and associated costs.

If you need help creating a property maintenance plan or completing any of the steps involved in preventing plumbing problems, then call us on 01249 443 278 or email us at hello@dependablelimited.com and we can help.