Leaky tub faucet

Until about two weeks ago hot water was coming out in a thin stream. Now the stream is no longer thin. I really don’t want to contact the landlord, but I fear it’s at the point of noticeably affecting the pressure in the rest of the building. Will fixing it myself require much in the way of tools beyond a screwdriver and a wrench? Will these tools cost a lot of money and take up space in my apartment? Is it easier to damage something else than it is to fix the drip? It’s two taps, one faucet, my guess based on internet research is that the trouble is a washer that’s no longer doing its job.

This is something people with no special training do successfully all the time, right?

Could be easy, could be the beginning of a Biblical flood. Do you have access to the valves which turn off the flow of hot AND cold water to that tub? If not, you’re not doing anything.

I’m not a renter, but whenever I was one in Dayes of Yore, the one thing landlords insisted on was that tenants *never *try to fix things. Call the landlord and they will get it fixed by a pro. Or not & you need to fight them to get it fixed. You DIYing it creates a massive financial risk both for you and for the landlord. Be sure you understand that and also understand what the landlord really wants you to do. A true jerk could, depending on local laws, boost unauthorized DIY into an eviction.

Why not contact the landlord?

You have to shut off water to that faucet first. Depending on the design of the place, you may be able to turn off the water for just your apartment or have to turn off the water for the entire building. That might make the neighbors unhappy.

Do you have a hot water heater in the apartment or just one big water heater for all the apartments?

Do what you should have when this first started and call the landlord.

This is why renters get such a bad name. I can’t even count how many people I have heard about letting problems go until they’re past the point of just a minor thing to an expensive problem. Anything involving water needs immediate attention. Leaky faucet, leaky radiator, tiny water spot on the ceiling.

I can’t be that charmed a renter that since 1992 and having 6 different landlords, it’s never been a problem for them to come fix problems within a few days. Immediately if that’s called for.

And then there was the coworker who was so against contacting her landlord that she waited nearly through the whole winter before telling him they didn’t have heat. He came over as soon as she finally called him (after much haranguing by me) and flipped a damn switch he forgot he had turned off in the summer. She’s still a dumbass.

It’s an owner-occupied building, so when we don’t have heat I go right to calling the city.

I actually do have access to turn off the water in the apartment. I’m not calling him so he can turf us out for being troublemakers. Certainly not in this weather.

If I had a tenant who has to ask if it takes tools to repair anything I would not want him touching anything.

If you work on it and make it worse I would expect you to pay for all repairs, and if you didn’t I would see how hard it would be to evict you.

When I had tenants if they called to say something need to be repaired I had the property manager check out the problem. And if there was truly a problem, and one not caused by the tenant the property manager was instructed to get it repaired now.

Call your landlord. If he is like me, if he does not know there is a problem he will not fix it.

If I were on the other side of the lease I would be very upset if the first I heard of a problem were when the tenant made things worse trying to fix it. I would be nearly as upset if the first I heard of it was when the tenant slipped a note under the door saying “I fixed this problem, it cost me $X, I’m taking that out of next month’s rent.” I have no intention of doing the latter and asked the question in the first place because I’m trying to avoid the former.

I’m more than a little surprised to find the SDMB urging me to get other people to solve my problems for me.

But I’m sure the people urging me to tell the landlord about the problem will put us up when we’re evicted, right?

This makes no sense. Owner occupied would mean your landlord is a neighbor, on premises, and could have fixed this already. The troublemaker is the one who doesn’t call and makes a mess of things, or lets disrepair go on to the point it’s an expensive fix rather than a phone call and 15 minutes with the right tools and know-how.

Bolded for emphasis. Seriously duh. It’s like people think it will fix itself, just resolve on its own, or get blamed for the problem if they do call. Um, no. Not unless they let it go- then sure they will get blamed for being crappy tenants. OP already said this has been going on for weeks.

So now I’m wondering if there’s some miscommunication here - when we say call the landlord, we’re talking about whoever is the person responsible for fixing things around the building - that may be a handyman or building manager, not necessarily the owner of the building.

In the first two scenarios in the first quoted paragraph above, the middle ground and correct answer is to call that fix-it person and have them fix it. When it first starts. No need to try to fix it yourself and potentially make it worse, nor any need to pay someone else to fix it.

Urging you to get other people to solve your problems for you? NO. Urging you to contact the correct person to fix a problem on the property you’re renting and that is a problem that you didn’t create - it’s a maintenance issue that involves plumbing and is therefore not something you broke or are responsible for. Plumbing stuff is not for tenants to fix, but is for tenants to report immediately.

If the kitchen sink were leaking into the cabinet below, would you call the landlord/maintenance to change the pipe, or would you just put a bucket under it and hope for the best?

No, but we don’t understand this fear of telling the landlord that the apartment you pay rent on needs a repair that is normally taken care of by landlords throughout the country – and would need to be fixed by him anyway even if you were evicted if he wants to rent to someone else. Why would he go after you for reporting the problem? What’s different here?

WE don’t understand why you would be evicted? Or how the land lord would be able to legally you.

You start with the statement that you do not know how to fix the problem and most of us agree then you should not. It is a small problem not a large one. And low cost if fixed by someone who knows what they are doing but can become a large problem if worked on improperly.

Unless your landlord has been unusual in other problems, this is a small matter. Only an inexperienced landlord knows that there are operating expense to renting out property. It is part of the business.

What part of “you’re the customer” does the OP not understand? The landlord is not a “lord” while you’re a mere “serf”. That went out about 3 centuries ago.

There may be more to the story, wherein the OP is dead broke, living in somebody’s converted basement or garage at well below market rents, etc.