Top Plumbing Tips for College Students Heading Back to School

Top Plumbing Tips for College Students Heading Back to School

As the autumn air begins to chill the once balmy summer breezes, college students are coming back to school, moving into both dorms and off-campus housing. As they unbox their computers and clothes and gear up for the semester ahead, their minds, unsurprisingly, are not focused on the building’s or house’s plumbing. But before dorm maintenance workers, apartment managers, and homeowners start receiving frantic calls about overflowing toilets or clogged showers, Zoom Drain has compiled a list of plumbing tips to share with students to ensure the smooth flow of the school year and the building’s or house’s pipes.

Prepare a plumbing toolkit
Whether you ask students to assemble and bring in a toolkit themselves or supply one to them, this simple toolkit could save hours of headaches and thousands of dollars. It should contain a plunger, bucket, pliers, a wrench, a snake, and gloves. Students also should be advised on how to use these items to ensure they don’t try to fix a minor issue and create a much worse situation.

Plunger 101
As mentioned, it’s imperative that once students have the tools in their toolkit, they need to know how to use them. Knowing how to plunge a toilet or sink is a skill students need in their on- or off-campus housing and also a lesson they will carry into their post-university lives with them. Some college and university buildings and the homes surrounding them are on the older side, and their pipes may not be as forgiving, so teaching students how to plunge is critical. Here are some helpful tips:

  • When plunging, students should ensure the plunger has a tight seal before briskly plunging for 20 to 30 seconds.
  • When attempting to unclog a sink, fill it with water.
  • Combine vinegar and baking soda and pour the mixture down the drain to help remove the clog.
  • Use the snake if the clog is still lodged in the pipe.

If the student utilized all tactics but the clog remains, it is time for them to call for help.

Low Flow Issues
Keeping up with cleaning routines often isn’t the highest priority for college students, and as the year progresses, mineral buildup on shower heads and faucets can weaken the water pressure. If students notice lowered flow, they can soak the faucets and showerheads in a mixture of vinegar and water, which will loosen or dissolve the minerals. After wiping the faucets and showerheads clean, the flow should return to normal, but if it doesn’t, it’s time to call the professionals for help.

Dealing with the Garbage Disposal
The first thing to check if the garbage disposal has stopped working correctly is its connection. If it’s properly hooked up, students should ensure it is disengaged and check if anything is caught inside. Most garbage disposals have a reset button. Pushing the reset button while the unit is off is the next step. If these steps do not fix the issue, the student can use the wrench from the toolkit to remove the bottom of the unit to see if there is a jam. If all these efforts are fruitless, it’s time to call in the professionals.

Drain Catchers
Ensuring students use drain catchers in the showers can go a long way in keeping pipes free from excessive amounts of hair and other things that clog them up.

Know Who to Call
These tips, tools, and tricks are the first step in ensuring the pipes of the dorms, apartments, and off-campus houses stay clog-free, but emergencies will always arise. Be sure students know the proper protocols for emergencies. If your apartment or dorm has a full-time maintenance staff, they likely are the first guard. Still, if an issue arises at a house, apartment, or dorm after hours, on the weekends, or the maintenance team isn’t equipped to handle the problem, Zoom Drain is here to help, offering 24/7 365 support for all your sewer and drain needs.

And if you are a dorm, facility, or apartment manager and want to get ahead of the game, routine maintenance plans are available to ensure your drains always make the grade.