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STUDENT FAMILY HOUSING

Plumbing

Report Problems Early

Water is a fundamental service, and if you experience problems with either hot or cold water supply from any faucet, the Residence Office should be contacted.

Despite many recent plumbing improvements, you may find hot water to be in short supply at peak periods of the day. If one of your water faucets is dripping or leaking, or you get no water at all, report the problem to the Residence Office immediately, and complete a work order form.

Often the replacement of a rubber washer will solve the problem. The staff will probably advise you that this problem can be prevented in future by turning the faucets only as far as is necessary to stop the flow of water. Dripping faucets generally are caused by forcing the faucet further than necessary.

Resident Responsibilities & Tips

Plumbing is one of the areas in which residents may be responsible for maintenance expenses if negligence or deliberate damage can be demonstrated.

The installation of personal cleaning devices (eg bidets) to the toilet or sink in the bathroom is not permitted. Alterations to the building plumbing is strictly prohibited. 

If you have a plugged toilet or drain, you should purchase a plunger to attempt to rectify the problem, but if a plumber has to be called to repair damage you created, you will be charged the full repair bill. Such charges can be partially avoided by insuring that nothing but human waste is flushed down the toilet, and by regularly cleaning kitchen and bathroom drains with a tablespoon of baking soda in the drain followed by a cup of water to wash it down.

Cat Litter

We have had reports that some residents are flushing their cat's litterbox contents down the toilet. This is a serious problem causing blockages. Unfortunately, even if the kitty litter is supposed to be flushable, our plumbing system cannot function to a level that would permit this type of matter. If you have a cat, please dispose of your kitty litter in a tied up bag down the garbage chute. A recent flood was caused by a resident attempting to dispose of kitty litter in the toilet!

Please note that harsh chemicals may cause damage to the drainpipes. It is important to report any plumbing irregularities to the Residence Office - water dripping through the ceiling, or puddles in unusual locations can often be early warning signs of a leak of a potential flood.

Floods in the past have caused considerable damage, spilling through multiple floors and damaging plaster, furniture, and personal belongings. You should purchase tenant insurance to protect yourself in such an event, as the University is not responsible for any such loss or damage, as indicated in your lease.

Keep Your Drains Clear

We continue to experience a high number of blocked sinks and drain lines in the apartments units. Our plumbing contractor has identified food waste and cooking grease/oil as the causes of the repeated blocked drains. Unfortunately, once these materials enter the drain system they can rapidly cause the drain line to become blocked or clogged. A blocked or clogged kitchen drain line can cause water and other items in the water to back up into the apartment kitchen sinks.

This situation can cause floods in individual units if multiple residents are using their kitchen sinks. As most residents use their kitchens on a daily basis, it is extremely important to have safe use of the kitchen sink without water backing up into the sink or overflowing onto the floor. This situation should not happen to anyone, especially if it can be prevented.

The Residence Office is requesting that all residents kindly not put any food waste, food scraps, or cooking grease or oil down their kitchen sink drains. Food waste and scraps can now be put into the organic ‘kitchen catchers’ that have been distributed throughout the buildings. Grease and oil should be put into a re-sealable metal or plastic container and disposed of with other household garbage, down the garbage chute.

We would appreciate it if everyone could make the effort to respond to this request, both for the sake of your family and that of your neighbours. A suggestion from one of the maintenance staff is to pour a kettle of boiling water down the kitchen sink once a week to melt grease clogs that may have come from a higher floor.

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