While most plumbing how-tos and don’ts relate to problems encountered in older buildings, plumbing blunders are not so uncommon in brand-new buildings either.
Contractors aren’t always familiar with the layout of the building they’re working on. Combined with tight schedules, this lack of knowledge can result in plumbing problems that may cause a lot of trouble for both the owners and the contracting company.
Therefore, It is very essential to identify these problems on time and repair them before moving in.
Toilets and drains can be clogged for a number of reasons, some of them occurring even during the construction. Debris, grease, and small objects can easily end up in floor drains or toilets. If neglected, they build up in the drain pipes, blocking water from flowing properly.
Even worse, a clogged drain can cause sewage backup, that not only requires extensive sanitation, but more expensive repairs.
You have three options for dealing with clogged drains: use effective, but environmentally-not-so-friendly commercial drain cleaners, make your own cleaner with baking soda and vinegar, or give the old plumber’s snake a try.
A problem that can easily turn into a costly money-drain with hundreds of gallons literally escaping every day. In order to keep their costs low, some contractors resort to sub-quality plumbing equipment which lasts considerably shorter.
The worn-out flipper valve which regulates the water passing from the tank to the bowl isn’t hard to fix, with specialized toilet tank repair kits available in many hardware stores. If you suspect you have a leak, drop some food colouring dye in the tank and wait to see if the water in the bowl gets coloured too.
Unlike bathroom and kitchen fixture leaks which are exposed and consequently easier to spot, leaking pipes are not only harder to identify, but also to reach. When your drywall gets soaked, the damage is already done.
In new construction, there is a chance that fitters who came after the plumbers accidentally pierced, or dislodged a plumbing section, a kind of damage that often shows only through extensive use, e.g. when the building becomes occupied.
The most practical solution to deal with this kind of situation is to opt for professional pipe relining, an innovative method of fixing pipes, which doesn’t require disrupting the walls or floors.
Low water pressure
Although often caused by leaking pipes, in many cases, the local water company can’t deliver enough pressure to your new home.
If that’s the case, your best course of action is to install a pressure booster. This system stores the water coming from the municipal pipe grid and builds up the pressure with an electric pump.
In many cases, leaky faucets are associated with corroded valve seats and worn-out washers. However, sometimes the washers are simply not properly installed, or the O-ring came loose.
Keep in mind that leaks might take a couple of minutes to show, so if you have any suspicions, wipe the suspecting area clean and place a paper towel around it. If there’s a leak, the towel will show it.
Repairing a faucet leak isn’t difficult, providing you have basic plumber’s tools such as a screwdriver with interchangeable bits, slip joint pliers and a strap wrench.
Sump Pump Failure
The essential part of the sump basin, created in the lowest part of the building to prevent water from reaching the foundation, the sump pump transports the water into a dry well or a city storm drain.
While plumbing technology and advances in civil engineering have made flooding a problem of the past, sump pumps can still fail, especially due to the lack of maintenance, product defect, installation errors, or pipes freezing.
In order to prevent these, the owner or the building manager should include the sump pump inspection into the regular building maintenance schedule.
Apart from being logistical mazes which require permits and all sorts of municipal approvals, new construction projects require a bit of business savvy and managerial activities.
In this sense, it’s hard to find the perfect balance between overinvesting and underinvesting. Even if you do everything by the book, problems like plumbing issues described above can still occur, so knowing how to solve them promptly before they escalate can save you time and money.
Let us know which Plumbing problems have you faced in the past and how you solved them in the comment section below.
Mike Johnston is a home improvement blogger, DIY enthusiast and sustainability buff from Sydney. He is a regular writer at Smooth Decorator and a contributor on several interior design and eco blogs, always on the lookout for new ideas and latest trends in the field.