Are you happy to be a new homeowner? Congrats! It’s a relief to own your home and not have to deal with a landlord. Still, homeownership presents all sorts of new responsibilities. For instance, you are now in charge of keeping your pipes and plumbing fixtures in good shape.
The last thing you want is to deal with a plumbing concern just after moving in, so it’s smart to confirm everything is in good shape before closing day. Here are eight valuable plumbing tips every new homeowner should know.
1. Request a Plumbing Inspection
Once you pick out your dream home, it’s a good idea to get a professional plumbing inspection. This reveals underlying issues with the supply lines, fixtures, appliances and drains you might not have known about. Weak water pressure or a slow toilet leak won't always be a deal-breaker, but it’s best to clear up these problems before you settle in.
2. Look for Pipe Insulation
Your home's pipes can freeze and burst if they’re exposed to cold temperatures. No new homeowner has time to deal with that, so inspect all exposed pipes before you move in. If the pipes aren’t insulated, this inexpensive upgrade is an effective preventive measure against frozen and burst pipes.
3. Find the Main Water Shutoff Valve
Shutting off the water to your house can greatly reduce property damage if you have a major emergency such as a burst pipe. But you must first know where the valve can be found.
If your home has a basement or crawl space, the shutoff valve is most likely found on a wall close to the front of the house. If the building is on a slab foundation, check the garage or near the water heater.
Still no luck? The shutoff valve is sometimes located in a utility box buried near the street. Search for a round or rectangular metal cover close to the grass or sidewalk. It could be labeled “water meter” to help you identify it.
If you still can’t track down the primary water shutoff valve, call a plumber for help locating it before you have a crisis.
4. Find Individual Shutoff Valves
Alongside the main shutoff valve, most fixtures and appliances will have dedicated valves entering the wall behind them. This enables you to turn off the water while working on repairs or to reduce damage in an emergency. Familiarize yourself with the location of every valve anytime you buy a new house.
5. Understand the Signs of a Plumbing Leak
Water damage is a common concern regarding plumbing leaks, but a leaky faucet can also empty your wallet. Consider that a single drip per second wastes more than 1,600 gallons per year. To prevent this, keep an eye out for any signs of plumbing leaks in your new home:
- Dripping or bubbling sounds
- Steeper water bills
- Changes in the water meter readings despite not using any water
- Standing water, wood rot or mold growth under your sinks
- Loose toilet
- Water stains on the ceilings and walls
- Lasting musty odors
6. Stock a Basic Plumbing Emergency Kit
Despite what you may think, chemical drain openers don’t belong in a plumbing emergency kit. These corrosive cleaners can damage your pipes if used frequently. In addition, they only offer a temporary solution at best.
A better alternative is to have non-chemical supplies on hand the next time you have a plumbing disaster. These include:
- Cup plunger for clogged sinks, tubs and showers
- Flange plunger for clogged toilets
- Hand-crank drain snake for minor blockages
- Adjustable wrench to remove the P-trap from under clogged sinks
- Utility bucket to catch water from a leaky pipe
- Plumber’s tape to fix leaky showerheads
- Duct tape to mitigate the flow of a plumbing leak until a plumber can help
7. Avoid Clogged Drains from Day One
Whatever flows down the drain apart from water could lead to a clog. Use your drains flowing smoothly with these preventive tips:
- Put in mesh drain covers in bathroom sinks and showers
- Don’t flush anything down the toilet besides human waste and a small amount of toilet paper
- Never pour cooking oil down the kitchen sink
- Pour a large pot of near-boiling water into every drain monthly
8. Keep a Plumber on Speed Dial
While these plumbing tips for new homeowners should keep many problems at bay, it’s still wise to know a reliable plumber in the area. For dependable, affordable work, there’s no better place to turn than Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning.
We have Experts across North America to assist customers from coast to coast. When you contact our certified plumbers for the job, you can rest easy that every repair and installation job is backed by a one-year 100% satisfaction guarantee. Get in touch with us to arrange plumbing services with us today.