Are you ready to be a new homeowner? Congrats! It’s a relief to own your home and not answer to a landlord. Nevertheless, homeownership includes lots of new responsibilities. For example, you are now accountable for keeping your pipes and plumbing fixtures in good condition.
The last thing you want is to resolve a plumbing issue immediately after moving in, so it’s smart to confirm everything is in good shape before closing day. Check out these eight valuable plumbing tips every new homeowner should be aware of.
1. Request a Plumbing Inspection
Once you pick out your dream home, it’s a good idea to get a professional plumbing inspection. This can reveal underlying issues with the supply lines, fixtures, appliances and drains you may not have known about. Poor water pressure or a slow toilet leak won't always be a deal-breaker, but it’s nice to resolve these problems before moving in.
2. Look for Pipe Insulation
Your 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 for frozen and burst pipes.
3. Locate the Main Water Shutoff Valve
Shutting off the water to your house can greatly reduce property damage if you encounter 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 situated on a wall along 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 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
In addition to the main shutoff valve, most fixtures and appliances will have dedicated valves for the wall behind them. This enables you to turn off the water while making repairs or to mitigate damage after an emergency. Familiarize yourself with the location of all plumbing valves anytime you buy a new house.
5. Understand the Signs of a Plumbing Leak
Water damage is a common concern relating to plumbing leaks, but a leaky faucet can also drain your wallet. For example, a single drip per second wastes more than 1,600 gallons per year. To prevent this, keep an eye out for the telltale signs of plumbing leaks in your new home:
- Dripping or bubbling sounds
- A spike in water bills
- Changes in the 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
- Lingering musty odors
6. Purchase a Basic Plumbing Emergency Kit
Contrary to popular belief, chemical drain openers don’t belong in a plumbing emergency kit. These corrosive cleaners can harm your pipes if used continuously. Plus, 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 crisis. These include:
- Cup plunger for backed up sinks, tubs and showers
- Flange plunger for clogged toilets
- Hand-crank drain snake for small 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. Prevent Clogged Drains from Day One
Whatever flows down the drain besides water can cause a clog. Keep your drains running smoothly with these preventive tips:
- Place mesh drain covers in bathroom sinks and showers
- Never flush anything down the toilet besides human waste and a small amount of toilet paper
- Do not pour cooking oil down the drain
- Pour a large pot of near-boiling water down every drain each month
8. Put a Plumber on Speed Dial
While our plumbing tips for new homeowners should keep many problems from happening, it’s always wise to know a reliable plumber in your 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 support our customers from coast to coast. When you contact our certified 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. Contact your local Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning office to request plumbing services with us today.