Omnia Mechanical Group

571 Timpson Place Bronx, NY 10455

Phone: 212-534-2500

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The Most Common Plumbing Problems: Get Ahead of These Issues for Happier Tenants and Fewer Hassles

If you own or manage an apartment building in New York City, chances are you’ve had to deal with your fair share of plumbing issues. Usually this involves angry tenants and ill-timed phone calls for you. You can eliminate a lot of these hassles by understanding the causes and solutions of the most common plumbing problems, as outlined below.

Toilet Won’t Stop Running

An easy fix

A tenant’s toilet that won’t stop running is usually a pretty simple repair. There are a couple of reasons why this happens, and understanding toilet tank anatomy is essential to figuring out the cause and fixing the problem. The top three reasons we see this issue are:

  • Float arm or ball cock broken or out of alignment – need to be adjusted or replaced with an easy kit from the hardware or home store
  • Flapper valve between the tank and the bowl stuck or not working – either reposition it (a little attached chain may be caught underneath) or replace it, if it’s old and hardened to the point where it won’t form a good seal
  • Fill mechanism won’t shut off – needs to be adjusted on the mechanism itself or replaced

Dripping Faucet

Water waster

A dripping faucet can run up your water bill quickly. Usually this is due to one of three causes:

  • A washer or cartridge that must be replaced
  • An old faucet handle or valve that should be replaced
  • Excessively high water pressure that blows past shut-off mechanisms

In the third case, you probably need a pressure regulator to reduce uniformly high municipal water pressure or other pump solutions if water pressure is too strong on some stories and inadequate on others.

Insufficient Water Pressure

Multiple causes

Water pressure problems are common in New York City apartments, especially in taller buildings. Often, we have our partners at Antler Pumps install booster pumps to equalize pressure between floors. The higher the building, the more you have to use supplemental pumps to overcome the force of gravity.

Other causes of low pressure include:

  • Water pipes or faucets/shower heads clogged with sediment or hard water scale (need to be cleaned or replaced and a filtration system installed)
  • Water leak (see below)
  • Frozen pipe (see below)
  • Local water valve turned in the wrong direction accidentally
  • Malfunctioning distributor pump
  • Neighborhood water supply issue (broken main, hydrant in use, etc.)

Clogged Toilet

Tenant education required

A clogged toilet is a frequent problem for landlords and superintendents. Unless something is blocking the sewer main or the pipes leading to it, it’s usually easily remedied with a plunger.

Also, be sure tenants know what can and cannot be flushed in the toilet. They should not be flushing food remains, cooking grease, diapers, wipes, paper towels, and many feminine hygiene products. Tenants with small children may want to childproof the toilet seat until their kids learn not to flush items indiscriminately.

Sink Drains Slowly or Won’t Drain

Needs clearing

A sink that drains slowly or not at all often means a clogged pipe that needs to be cleared. If the clog is beyond the trap beneath the sink, it will usually need to be snaked by a plumber.

Like with clogged toilets, this problem frequently goes away with tenant education. They should not be allowing grease, coffee grounds, and other food remains to be washed down the drain.

Frozen Pipes

A preventable NYC problem

We see frozen pipes so often that we created a separate blog post about it. You can prevent frozen pipes by insulating units and vulnerable pipes well and by instructing tenants not to turn the heat below 55 degrees Fahrenheit in winter, even if they’re not home.

A frozen pipe can sometimes be carefully thawed by your building’s staff. But if you’re not sure where the freeze occurred, or if a pipe is leaking or has burst, it’s time to call in the pros at Sanitary Plumbing.

Water Rising in Lower Levels

Two key solutions

The increase in severe weather events in the Northeast has resulted in rising water levels with many storms. If this is a concern for your property, you should consider installing sump pumps, which are activated automatically when water rises into the interior of a building.

Also, you should look at green landscaping that helps absorb rainwater runoff and snow melt better than pavement. In fact, the city has a Stormwater Incentive Program to help larger rental properties with this solution.

Waste Backing Up in Bathroom, Kitchen, or Laundry Fixtures

A common issue with basement rooms

If you have rental units or laundry rooms in low-lying areas of your building, you may notice wastewater accumulating in bathroom sinks, toilets, and laundry appliances. This is most often due to the fact that sewage exiting your building in these areas doesn’t have the assistance of gravity to carry it to the main at the street.

A sewage ejector pump is essential to solve this problem. It is automatically activated whenever a waste basin is full, so waste doesn’t back up into your plumbing fixtures and appliances.

Water Leaks

Detective work required

If a leaky pipe is coming from a frozen or clogged pipe that is in danger of bursting, there are several other potential causes you must suss out. Older pipes and those exposed to acidic water may have corroded and formed open spots where water leaks out. This can also happen with valves and connectors/fittings, which can be loose as well. Overly high water pressure can cause leaks too.

If you’re experiencing a leak and can’t find it or fix it, we welcome the opportunity to check it out for you. Likewise, if you are troubled by any of the most common plumbing problems listed above, give us a call at 212-734-5000 or set up an appointment using our easy online form.


Our Privacy Policy

Omnia Mechanical Group(the “Company”) strives to ensure the highest standards for property listings and customer information privacy. Please review the following statement to learn about our company practices and policies. Please be aware that our Privacy Policy is subject to change at any time.

1. Purpose.

This Privacy Policy (“the Policy”) provides information on how the Company uses your personal information. By agreeing to the Policy, you agree to our collection and use of your personal information as described in the Policy. This Privacy Policy is effective for all new users of Sanitaryplumbing.com.

2. Personal Information.

You can browse some areas of omniagroup.nyc (“the Website”) without being a registered user. However, certain activities do require registration. (You consent to the transfer and storage of your information by registering with omniagroup.nyc).

3. Use of Information.

Our primary purpose in collecting personal information is to provide you with a safe and user-friendly experience. For example, the Company may use your personal information to:

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  • As otherwise described to you at the time of collection.

We may occasionally ask you to complete optional surveys. These surveys are used to improve and customize your experience with Sanitaryplumbing.com.

The Company always provides you the ability to opt-out of further communication such as promotions and surveys; see the Opt-Out section below.

The Company does not share any of your personal information with outside organizations, companies, individuals, etc. The only exception to this standard is if such a disclosure is reasonably necessary to respond to any and all legal processes.

4. Links to Other Sites.

The Website may have links to other websites that may collect personally identifiable information about you. The Company is not responsible for the privacy practices of the content of those linked websites.

5. Safety & Security Precautions.

The Website has strict security measures in place to protect you and your information from fraud. Once your information is provided to Omnia Mechanical Group, we strive to ensure the confidentiality of your identity and information.

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The Company provides you with the opportunity to opt-out of receiving promotional and other non-essential, marketing-related communications from Omnia Mechanical Group. If you would like to opt-out of these select communications, please see any of the Company’s email communications and follow the directions indicated.

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Your password ensures the security of your account. When choosing a password, the Company suggests using various characters. It is highly recommended that you do not disclose your Sanitaryplumbing.com password to anyone. (If you do disclose your password or your personal information with others, you are responsible for all actions taken in the name of your account.) If the security of your password is compromised for any reason, please contact the Company immediately.

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The Company does not guarantee the accuracy of information for any and all of its properties on the Website, and is not responsible for any errors or misrepresentations (made by Renters, the Client, or otherwise).

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The Company may place a small cookie on your computer’s hard drive. This allows us to personalize your use on the Website. In order to maximize the functionality and usability of the Website, you must set your browser’s preferences to allow both permanent and temporary cookies.

10. Changing Your Personal Information.

Should your personal information change, please immediately update your information on the Website. This will ensure the accuracy of our records. The Company does retain personal information from closed accounts in order to comply with law and collect and disburse any fees owed.

11. Third Parties

This Privacy Policy addresses only the use of information we collect from you. Since omniagroup.nyc does not control the privacy policies of third parties, you are subject to the privacy policies of those third parties. It is advisable that you consult with the management of third parties before you disclose your personal information to others.

12. General

We may amend this Privacy Policy at any time by posting the amended terms on the Website. All amended terms are immediately effective after they are initially posted on the Website.

13. Privacy Policy Questions & Concerns

Questions and/or concerns regarding the Policy should be emailed to the following email address: info@omniagroup.nyc.