Are you ready to be a new homeowner? Congratulations! It’s exhilarating to own your home and not have to deal with a landlord. Still, homeownership comes with plenty of new responsibilities. For one, you are now in charge of keeping any pipes and plumbing fixtures in good condition.
The last thing you want is to deal with a plumbing problem immediately after moving in, so it’s wise to make sure everything is in good shape before closing day. Consider these eight valuable plumbing tips every new homeowner should be aware of.
1. Schedule a Plumbing Inspection
Once you find your dream home, it’s smart to get a professional plumbing inspection. This can uncover previously hidden issues with the supply lines, fixtures, appliances and drains you might not have been aware of. Poor water pressure or a slow toilet leak won't always be a deal-breaker, but it’s nice to take care of these problems before you move in.
2. Look for Pipe Insulation
The pipes can freeze and burst if they’re exposed to cold temperatures. No new homeowner wants to deal with that, so take a look at all exposed pipes before you move in. If the pipes aren’t insulated, this low-cost upgrade is an excellent preventive measure against frozen and burst pipes.
3. Locate the Main Water Shutoff Valve
Shutting off the water to your house can significantly reduce property damage if you have to deal with a major emergency such as a burst pipe. But you must first know where the valve is located.
If your home has a basement or crawl space, the shutoff valve is probably 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 occasionally located in a utility box buried around the street. Try to find a round or rectangular metal cover flush with the grass or sidewalk. It might be labeled “water meter” to help you find it.
If you still can’t find the main 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 on the wall behind them. This enables you to shut off the water while working on repairs or to mitigate damage in an emergency. Familiarize yourself with the location of every valve whenever you buy a new house.
5. Understand the Signs of a Plumbing Leak
Water damage is a common concern associated with plumbing leaks, but a leaky faucet can also drain your wallet. For example, one drip each second wastes more than 1,600 gallons per year. To prevent this, look for these 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 the sinks
- Loose toilet
- Water stains on the ceilings and walls
- Strong musty odors
6. Get a Basic Plumbing Emergency Kit
Contrary to popular belief, chemical drain openers shouldn't go in a plumbing emergency kit. These corrosive cleaners can damage your pipes if used frequently. Plus, they only offer a temporary remedy at best.
A better alternative is to have non-chemical supplies available the next time you have a plumbing crisis. 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 stem the flow of a plumbing leak until a plumber is on the way
7. Avoid Clogged Drains from Day One
Anything that flows down the drain aside from water can cause a clog. Use your drains flowing smoothly with these preventive tips:
- Place 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 once a month
8. Put a Plumber on Speed Dial
While our plumbing tips for new homeowners should keep many problems from happening, it’s still sensible to know a reliable plumber in your area. For reliable, 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 insured plumbers for the job, you can enjoy the peace of mind that every repair and installation job is backed by a one-year 100% satisfaction guarantee. Get in touch with us to schedule plumbing services with us today.