Are you ready to be a new homeowner? Well done! It’s exhilarating to own your home and not answer to a landlord. Still, homeownership comes with lots of new responsibilities. For one, you are now responsible for keeping the pipes and plumbing fixtures in good working order.
The last thing you want is to be faced with a plumbing problem right after moving in, so it’s smart to confirm everything is in good shape before closing day. Consider these eight valuable plumbing tips every new homeowner should know.
1. Consider a Plumbing Inspection
Once you settle on your dream home, it’s wise to get a professional plumbing inspection. This reveals underlying issues with the supply lines, fixtures, appliances and drains you might not have been aware of. Poor water pressure or a slow toilet leak might not be a deal-breaker, but it’s better to resolve these problems before moving in.
2. Try to find any Pipe Insulation
The pipes can freeze and burst if they’re exposed to cold temperatures. No new homeowner wants to deal with that, so inspect 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
Turning off the water to your house can significantly reduce property damage if you encounter a major emergency like a burst pipe. But you must first know where the valve is found.
If the property has a basement or crawl space, the shutoff valve is probably situated on a wall near 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 around the street. Look for a round or rectangular metal cover close to the grass or sidewalk. It could be labeled “water meter” to help you recognize it.
If you still can’t track down 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
In addition to the main shutoff valve, most fixtures and appliances should have dedicated valves entering the wall behind them. This allows you to shut off the water while completing repairs or to mitigate damage during an emergency. Familiarize yourself with the location of all plumbing valves when you buy a new house.
5. Recognize the Signs of a Plumbing Leak
Water damage is a common concern associated with 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 the telltale signs of plumbing leaks in your new home:
- Dripping or bubbling sounds
- High 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
- Lingering musty odors
6. Purchase a Basic Plumbing Emergency Kit
Despite what you may think, chemical drain openers don’t belong in a plumbing emergency kit. These potent cleaners can harm your pipes if used over and over. What's more, they only offer a temporary solution at best.
A better alternative is to have non-chemical supplies close by 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 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 arrives
7. Prevent Clogged Drains from Day One
Whatever flows down the drain aside from water could cause a clog. Use your drains running smoothly with these preventive tips:
- Put in mesh drain covers in bathroom sinks and showers
- Never flush anything down the toilet aside from human waste and a small amount of toilet paper
- Don't pour cooking oil down the kitchen sink
- Pour a large pot of near-boiling water down every drain once a month
8. Put a Plumber on Speed Dial
While our plumbing tips for new homeowners should keep many problems under control, it’s always wise to know a reliable plumber in the 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 support our 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. Contact your local Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning office to request plumbing services with us today.