Posted by: bridget | 19 January 2008

How to get your leaky faucet fixed…

…when your landlord pays the utilities. 

Imagine moving into your apartment in June.  The faucet leaks.  It’s annoying as all heck.  Your roomie tells the landlord that the faucet leaks.  He says he’ll get around to fixing it.  November rolls around, and it’s now a steady stream of water.  Landlord says, “But utilities are included in your rent; why do you care?”  Er, aside from the fact that “drip, drip, drip, drip, drip” is annoying, and it wastes natural resources? 

So this elephant took a page out of one of the suggestions she saw in a gossip column (“gossip columns” are here, here, and here): put a measuring cup underneath, measure ounces per minute, and convert into gallons per day and per month.  When you tell someone how much is coming out (and how much it costs!), rather than the very indistinct “the faucet is dripping,” it apparently spurs husbands into action.  Would it work with a landlord?

It was worth a try.  Turns out that the faucet was leaking at a rate of 30 gallons per day.  Without the  utility bill, we couldn’t convert into cash, but my roomie told our landlord’s secretary at 2 pm on Wednesday.  By dinner time, that day, we had a brand-new faucet. 



  1. Clever response!

    I hate plumbing. When I put a new faucet in or do a similar project, my family leaves the house. Seriously. It is the one thing that can darken my mood faster than anything.

  2. It works. Gotta tell ya, it works.

    There is something that disturbs your Zen-like state? I confess, I’m surprised.

    Everything I know about plumbing, I learned from my dad when I accidentally dropped my diamond earring down the drain. :) I very quickly learned how to take an adjustable wrench to the pipe, put a bucket underneath, let all the yucky stuff drop out, and fish an earring out of said yucky stuff. :)

  3. Yeah, pipes are nasty! I’ve learned way more about plumbing than I ever wanted to. If you want the fixtures changed on the inside of your toilet, I’m your guy. Unless you don’t want them to leak, in which case I’m not.

  4. Wow! I’m duly impressed. I will be entering the world of utilities and rent and landlords in a short 7 months. Crazy!

  5. Neil,

    (Laughing.) Okay, I’ll keep that in mind.


    Thank you. :) I have a few other tricks up my sleeve that I can teach you when you enter this wonderful world in seven months. The best advice I can give you is to get a good landlord/landlady – double points if you can get one who is a professional plumber/electrician as well (I did that once).

  6. Lol! Sorry Neil, but I knew you had to have some sort of Achilles heel. :) Plumbing!

    Ewww …. sorry you had to go through those nasty pipes to get that ear ring back Bridget!

    Congrats on getting that faucet fixed. :)

  7. Genius. Pure Genius.

  8. I have to confess I am a horrible landlord. A former tenant once told me I did not understand my roll a a landlord.

    But I have a great tenant now, I give him a really cheap rent and I never hear from him.

    When I start on a little plumbing job it alway turns in to a major one.

  9. Tammi,

    Lots and LOTS of rubbing alcohol went on that thing before it went back into my ear! Thing is, I was trying to be all responsible and take them off before I got into the shower, lest I accidentally wash one down the drain. Whoops.


    Thank you. :)


    I think you must be better than some of my landlords. One of them refused to fix anything unless we threatened to call the Health Department. In fact, I got a good legal education (this was back in college) by looking up all of the rules and regulations.

  10. Hi Bridget,
    Apparently it doesn’t pay to be responsible! ;)

  11. Outstanding.

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