You should be familiar with common plumbing issues in apartments, whether you’re a tenant or moving out. An average American family can consume 300-400 Gallons water per day. This is multiplied by the number families living in an apartment building, and it adds up. According to the American Apartment Owners Association , landlords are required to maintain property in a way that is suitable for tenants and safe. Tenants and their families should immediately report any damages that pose a threat to them or their loved ones.

It is the landlord’s responsibility for fixing plumbing problems, but it is your responsibility as a tenant too to be aware of potential issues and to catch them early before they escalate into a bigger problem.

What makes apartment plumbing different?

Apartment buildings require different plumbing requirements depending on their type. Multi-story apartments are tall buildings and require a special system of drainage and pressure to ensure water can reach all floors. Because of their height, they are not permitted to use the city water supply and must have their own storage tanks.

Multiple dwellings are similar to condos in that they are constructed with the same plumbing as houses. These units have different plumbing types, such as horizontal and vertical lines. This ensures that clean water is pumped out exactly where it is needed and that debris and dirt are drained. It is important to know what type of apartment you have so you are aware of potential problems.

The Top 5 Most Common Plumbing Problems in Apartments


Apartment leaks are the most frequent plumbing problem. Even though a leak is small, it can still cause water loss of hundreds of gallons over time. This could lead to a high water bill. Dripping faucets should be replaced or repaired to prevent water from escaping. This is something the landlord should do.

Sometimes leaks are not obvious like a dripping sink. Sometimes, damage can occur to hard-to reach pipes that you won’t even notice. Keep an eye on your utility bills for unusual water usage and charges. Keep an eye out for water flow noises in your apartment when it is quiet. You should notify your landlord if you notice a drop in hot water supply.


Clogs can cause damage to apartments by blocking drains with hair, dirt and other debris. Because they are used often and accumulate material quickly, toilets are most at risk. You can clear most daily clogs using a plunger. However, toilet backups can be costly and complicated to fix. To avoid clogs make sure you don’t flush any other organic material or toilet paper. Because these materials are not made to be broken down in the same way, it is possible for soap, medicines, feminine hygiene products, and toys to get clogged up.

Clogged tub drains are often caused by hair. To prevent this, get a hair catcher. Never pour cooking oils, greases, coffee grounds or flour-based foods down your kitchen sinks. These are the leading causes of kitchen clogs.

Dirty Water

Water contamination can be detected if water is discolored from taps or starts to taste strange. Both symptoms are often caused by rusty pipes. However, it is important to inspect all taps in an apartment to determine the extent of the problem. It is possible to replace a single pipe if the problem is limited to one pipe. However, if more than one faucet is affected, it may be impossible to fix.

You can report water problems to your landlord and ask neighbors about their water quality. Contaminated water poses a danger to your health and should be addressed immediately.

Ceiling Floods in Bathrooms

Flooding can be a problem in apartment living due to the possibility of ceiling damage. A flood that affects the floors below can occur if there are neighbors who live below you. Bathrooms are the most likely to be damaged because they are often built on top of one another.

Flooding is usually caused by poor drainage, damaged pipes or accidental overflows from a sink or bathtub. Landlords must ensure that their plumbing systems are maintained on a regular basis. However, you could be held responsible for any damages caused by your negligence. Be alert for potential overflows and inspect your appliances periodically for damages. Secure the hose attachment.