8 Plumbing Tips for New Homeowners
Are you ready to be a new homeowner? Well done! It’s a relief to own a home and not have to deal with a landlord. Nonetheless, homeownership comes with plenty of new responsibilities. For example, you are now accountable for keeping any pipes and plumbing fixtures in good condition.
The last thing you want is to be faced with a plumbing issue right after moving in, so it’s smart to make sure everything is ready to go before closing day. Check out these eight valuable plumbing tips every new homeowner should be familiar with.
1. Request a Plumbing Inspection
Once you pick out your dream home, it’s a good idea to schedule a professional plumbing inspection. This can reveal previously hidden 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 better to clear up these problems before you move in.
2. Check for Pipe Insulation
The pipes may freeze and burst if they’re exposed to cold temperatures. No new homeowner wants to deal with that, so check all exposed pipes before moving in. If the pipes aren’t insulated, this inexpensive upgrade is an effective 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 like a burst pipe. But you must first know where the valve can be found.
If the property 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, take a look in the garage or near the water heater.
Still no luck? The shutoff valve is occasionally located in a utility box buried near the street. Search for a round or rectangular metal cover close to the grass or sidewalk. It may be labeled “water meter” to help you identify it.
If you still can’t find the main water shutoff valve, call a plumber for help locating it before you have a critical plumbing problem on your hands.
4. Find Individual Shutoff Valves
Alongside the main shutoff valve, most fixtures and appliances should have dedicated valves entering the wall behind them. This allows you to turn off the water while completing repairs or to minimize damage during an emergency. Familiarize yourself with the location of these valves anytime you buy a new house.
5. Know the Signs of a Plumbing Leak
Water damage is a common concern regarding plumbing leaks, but a leaky faucet can also empty your wallet. For example, just one drip each second wastes more than 1,600 gallons annually. To prevent this, watch for any signs of plumbing leaks in your new home:
- Dripping or bubbling sounds
- Steeper water bills
- Changing water meter readings despite not using any water
- Standing water, wood rot or mold growth under the sinks
- Wobbly 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 don’t belong in a plumbing emergency kit. These potent cleaners can damage your pipes if used repeatedly. What’s more, they only offer a temporary solution at best.
An effective alternative is to have non-chemical supplies available the next time you have a plumbing disaster. These include:
- Cup plunger for backed up 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 apart from water can cause a clog. Run your drains running smoothly with these preventive tips:
- Install mesh drain covers in bathroom sinks and showers
- Don’t flush anything down the toilet aside from human waste and a small amount of toilet paper
- Don’t pour cooking oil down the drain
- Pour a large pot of near-boiling water in every drain monthly
8. Put a Plumber on Speed Dial
While these plumbing tips for new homeowners should keep many problems under control, it’s always wise to know a reliable plumber in your area. For dependable, affordable work, there’s no better place to turn than Winnipeg Supply Service Experts.
We have locations across North America to support our customers from coast to coast. When you call our insured plumbers for the job, you can rest easy that every repair and installation job is backed by a one-year 100% satisfaction guarantee. Contact your local Winnipeg Supply Service Experts office to schedule plumbing services with us today.