8 Plumbing Tips for New Homeowners
Are you ready to be a new homeowner? Congratulations! It’s a relief to own your home and not answer to a landlord. Nevertheless, homeownership comes with plenty of new responsibilities. For example, you are now in charge of keeping the 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 wise to confirm everything is in good shape before closing day. Check out these eight valuable plumbing tips every new homeowner should be familiar with.
1. Schedule a Plumbing Inspection
Once you settle on your dream home, it’s wise to schedule a professional plumbing inspection. This can reveal underlying issues with the supply lines, fixtures, appliances and drains you might not have noticed. Weak water pressure or a slow toilet leak may not be a deal-breaker, but it’s nice to take care of these problems before you move in.
2. Check for Pipe Insulation
The pipes can freeze and burst if they’re exposed to cold temperatures. No new homeowner has time to deal with that, so check all exposed pipes before you move in. If the pipes aren’t insulated, this inexpensive upgrade is a valuable preventive measure for frozen and burst pipes.
3. Find the Main Water Shutoff Valve
Turning 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 situated on a wall near the front of the house. If the building is on a slab foundation, check in the garage or near the water heater.
Still no luck? The shutoff valve is sometimes located in a utility box buried near the street. Look for a round or rectangular metal cover close to the grass or sidewalk. It might be labeled “water meter” to help you identify it.
If you still can’t track down the main water shutoff valve, call a plumber for help locating it before you have an emergency.
4. Find Individual Shutoff Valves
In addition to the main shutoff valve, most fixtures and appliances will have dedicated valves for the wall behind them. This enables you to shut off the water while making repairs or to mitigate damage during an emergency. Familiarize yourself with the location of these valves when you buy a new house.
5. Know the Signs of a Plumbing Leak
Water damage is the biggest concern regarding plumbing leaks, but a leaky faucet can also drain your wallet. Consider that just one drip every second wastes more than 1,600 gallons each year. To prevent this, keep an eye out for any signs of plumbing leaks in your 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
- Loose toilet
- Water stains on the ceilings and walls
- Lasting musty odors
6. Get a Basic Plumbing Emergency Kit
Despite what you may think, chemical drain openers shouldn't go in a plumbing emergency kit. These corrosive cleaners can harm your pipes if used frequently. Plus, they only offer a temporary solution at best.
A better alternative is to have non-chemical supplies available the next time you have a plumbing emergency. 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 arrives
7. Avoid Clogged Drains from Day One
Whatever flows down the drain aside from water could lead to a clog. Keep your drains running smoothly with these preventive tips:
- Install mesh drain covers in bathroom sinks and showers
- Do not 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 down every drain monthly
8. Have a Plumber on Speed Dial
While our plumbing tips for new homeowners should keep many problems under control, it’s always sensible to know a reliable plumber in the area. For quality, affordable work, there’s no better place to turn than Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning.
We have locations across North America to serve customers from coast to coast. When you call our licensed 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.