Water Management in an Urban Apt

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by dmhinsf, Jun 2, 2011.

  1. dmhinsf

    dmhinsf Guest

    Hi BAR Members,

    I am one discouraged newbie. I seem to not be in the "zone" for doing things right the first time. I am adopting the mantra - "if at first you don't succeed,...." I aint givin' up!

    BUT...I am the clumsiest soul on earth when it comes to handling water.

    1) On my first tank attempt, I caused a mini flood in the living room. Soaked about 3 sq ft of carpet. Ugh. I did another lesser flood when testing the soundness of my new tank.

    2) Then I keep spilling during random water making or handling or the salt bin pump and hose go out of control or...

    3) Then yesterday, the inevitable happened. I left my RO/DI filter on and left the apt. Came home to what was luckily a mini flood (or so it seemed). The flood was largely on a big counter and the drawers below and then on a granite tile kitchen floor.

    I need some advice and support and even moreso to get a grip on being more CAREFUL.

    My landlord was none too pleased with the news of yesterday's flood. We went down to the unit below (luckily empty right now) and the bathroom was flooded. I don't know if that is related though - at least maybe not to my overflowing water. I am wondering if running the RO/DI filter causes any pressure build up in the building's plumbing that would cause a sink to overflow via it's drain. Any plumbers to answer that one?

    I live in a 6 unit bldg and water even went in to the garage. However, it managed to skip a level (thankfully, it skipped the level that the bldg owner/landlord occupies). Do RO/DI filters have any negative impact on plumbing or cause damage to the plumbing in any way? Could the overflow below be due to my RO/DI filtration activities? It didn't appear that water came in to the bathroom below through the ceiling, rather through the sink drain. And the drip in the garage was down a main pipe and was a slow drip.

    The next thing is dealing with possible mold. I have fans including a deionizer running and my dehumidifier is working away. And I used Clorox on the wet wooden drawers and cabinetry. Any other advice to fight mold build-up? Lifting up the carpet means breaking my tank apart and significant cost.

    I will be getting a flow valve to stop my RO/DI unit when my salt bin is full from here forward.

    I am leary of making water now for fear that damage will occur below. Any advice and encouragement is welcome.

    This 75g tank is important to me.

  2. bmhair03

    bmhair03 Guest

    Could possibly be a partially clogged drain and the constant waste water flow into the drain caused it to backup. And its on the lower floor because the backup found the first exit point, the sink drain. Water will do strange things when it gets in walls . Spill on north wall, leaks out south ceiling on lower unit etc. One thing that might help you feel a little less exposed is Renters Insurance. Rent a carpet cleaner at Safeway or somewhere to help with the carpet probably $ 20-40 .Good luck and you'll get the hang of it. We've all wasted some water at one point or another.
  3. dmhinsf

    dmhinsf Guest

    Thanks, Brian.

    I DO have renter's insurance. At the time, I didn't think to ask about coverage for something like this. Would it typically cover damages?

    Also, I remember the other day, I had to empty and clean my salt bin. I broke a glass thermometer in there. Did I say clumsy?

    I did a lot of pouring of water down the sink. That could have come up in the downstairs bathroom and ultimately out any possible leakage point in the main... I don't think my work sink pipes were made for dumping BRUTE cans of water down them.

    Also, I did consider the carpet cleaner and will likely do that. Once good thing...I had the foresight to put the aquarium on top of an area rug with the hopes of lending some protection to the installed carpeting if something happens down the road.

    I'm beginning to think that maintaining a salt bin may not be worth it in my case.

    I am also considering moving RO/DI operations to my bathtub.

    Thanks again. Greatly appreciated.
  4. bmhair03

    bmhair03 Guest

    The inrush of that volume of water most likely overwhelmed the drain and it backed up the main finding the leaks that were already there. I trend to dump my water in the toliet, the drain size is larger and it will auto flush as you pour the water in.
    I also live in an Apt. and like you said ,I just keep my water storage and make up to the min. needed. Must LFS sell premixed saltwater , that could also be an option although it is more costly.
  5. GreshamH

    GreshamH Guest

    meh, I'm not clumsy and I've done all that... as have most reefers :)

    A Shopvac and some fans IMO is the best method of attack right now.

    Your pipes if they are not impacted can definitely handle that amount of water. You'd be surprised at how much water can jam itself down a pipe that size. Sounds like the pipe m be impacted and that's not your issue but rather the landlords. I highly doubt there is anything in your lease stating amount of water you are allowed to drain at once :D
  6. Sfork

    Sfork Guest

    Get a 5 gallon water jug/bucket and do 5 gals at a time in the sink (I'm assuming you do it at the sink since you said urban apt). That way if you forget it goes down the drain.
  7. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    I would suggest getting a couple of water proof / pet proof throw rugs.
    They resist stain, and have a waterproof backing, and can trap a lot of water (pet accidents).
    When you get them wet, pick them up and toss them in bathtub to dry.
    Hard to find large + nice looking ones though. Maybe online.

    For mold, the only sure thing I can think of is to install a bathroom fan in
    your hood, so you vent all the moist air outside.
    Of course, being in an apartment, venting out is easier said than done.
    If you have a nearby window, you can make a wood casing for a vent hole, that inserts in the window.
    So basically, your window stays open 4" or so, but the wood closes up the rest
    around the vent, and keeps it secure.

    Plumbing - hard to say.
    The pressure thing should not be an issue.
    However, deionized water is a bit more corrosive (low alkalinity), and can damage metal pipes.
    So if you have been doing it a long time, and assuming old iron drain pipes,
    yes, you could be damaging the drain plumbing a bit. No idea how badly though.
  8. iani

    iani Guest

    I highly doubt the flood in the bathroom below came from a drain pipe. If that was the case it would have also backed up your landlords unit. Water will travel in weird ways once through the floor. It may or may not drain out directly below where the flood was. Most likely the flooding that occurred in the unit immediately below you was a result of the overflowing in your unit.
  9. iani

    iani Guest

    If you call your renters insurance they should be able to send out a mold abatement company free of charge. Normally the mold abatement is separate from the deductible so it will not cost you a thing (I had some water damage in my bathroom earlier in the year).
  10. dmhinsf

    dmhinsf Guest

    Thanks all for the information, ideas and support.

    Really great!

  11. GreshamH

    GreshamH Guest

    I think you are confused, or perhaps I am? (sick as a dog grrrr) I read it as he said he was top, landlord middle and bottom unit flooded. If that is the case a plugged pipe after the bottom unit would result in the bottom unit flooding first. It could only reach the landlord if the entire bottom unit filled with water allowing the pipe to back up to the second story unit :D
  12. iani

    iani Guest

    Gresh this is how I saw it. Pretty sure this is what he meant

    dmhinsf 4th floor
    empty unit 3rd floor
    landlord 2nd floor
    garage ground level
  13. GreshamH

    GreshamH Guest

    Hmmm this is all I see right now...


    So you're probably right. I should be a sleep right now but instead I am at work packing for a trade show in Brazil I do not get to go to next week. (booo I want to go to Brazil, instead I get to pack for the two that do get to go, yea!)
  14. dmhinsf

    dmhinsf Guest

    iani has the scenario figured out. I am still dehumidifying...thanks again.
  15. GreshamH

    GreshamH Guest

    Nooooooo..... your supposed to let us speculate more :(
  16. dmhinsf

    dmhinsf Guest

    Duly noted...I'll be sure and let the dialogue continue longer next time. :)
  17. Mr. Ugly

    Mr. Ugly Past President

    You'll fit in just just fine here :D
  18. bmhair03

    bmhair03 Guest

    I have a friend who goes to Brasil for trade shows twice a year an he said he has seen some of the craziest thing at those shows.
    His are construction related so maybe a little more (adult!) . But maybe !?
  19. GreshamH

    GreshamH Guest

    Aquaculture shows are extremely tame :( I've been to reef conventions that made them look like old folks homes :lol:
  20. Vincerama2

    Vincerama2 Evil Overlord

    Yep, I was gonna say this too. I kick myself every time I'm lazy and don't put my jug in the sink (ie there are dishes in the sink, so whatever, I'll just fill it on the the floor ... 2 hours later ... D'oh!). I have also figured that 20 minutes of RO filling time will get my 5g jug to almost full, so I set a timer on it. Even if overflowing water goes into the sink, it's a waste of water!


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