Plumbing systems in apartment buildings can be quite complex. There are typically multiple hot water heaters, and the pipes often have to travel down several floors to reach the main drain pipe. These complexities, along with the simple fact that there are a lot of people using the plumbing every day, make certain plumbing issues more likely in apartment buildings. Here's a look at common plumbing problems that occur in apartment buildings, along with some tips to help solve them.

1. Clogs in major pipes.

It's common for the large pipes that carry the wastewater from several apartment units to become clogged. All it takes is for residents in one unit to start flushing something they shouldn't or to pour some grease down the drain, and suddenly the residents in multiple units start experiencing the effects. If multiple residents call you at the same time complaining that their drains are slow, this is likely the culprit.

To solve the acute issue, a plumber can use a camera to locate the blockage. They'll likely then want to use a hydro jet to clear the clog away. Hydro jets shoot powerful streams of water through pipes, and they are easier to use in complex, hard-to-reach pipe networks than plumbing snakes.

To solve the chronic issue of residents putting items down the drain that don't belong there, send out a memo. List items that should not be flushed, such as tampons, paper towels, and facial tissues. Also, remind residents not to pour grease down the drains.

2. Frozen pipes.

Frozen pipes are a common problem in areas where the temperatures fall below freezing in the winter. When larger apartment buildings are plumbed, it's not always possible to insulate the pipes as well as one would like due to the complex layout of the building. Also, you're depending on several residents taking actions like keeping the thermostat on when they're not home and opening cabinets to expose pipes on cold days. Residents sometimes forget to do these things, which causes the pipes to freeze, affecting everyone.

A plumber can locate the frozen section and then use heating pads to thaw the pipes. In the long-term, you may want to have them apply additional insulation to any pipes that keep freezing repeatedly. Also, reach out to residents each winter and remind them to take precautions to prevent frozen pipes.

These are two of the most common plumbing issues in apartment buildings. Talk to a plumber to learn more.