Are you excited to be a new homeowner? Congrats! It’s exhilarating to own your home and not have to deal with a landlord. Nevertheless, homeownership includes all sorts of new responsibilities. For one, you are now responsible for keeping any pipes and plumbing fixtures in good working order.
The last thing you want is to be faced with a plumbing concern immediately after moving in, so it’s wise to make sure everything is squared away before closing day. Check out these eight valuable plumbing tips every new homeowner should be familiar with.
1. Schedule a Plumbing Inspection
Once you find your dream home, it’s smart to schedule a professional plumbing inspection. This reveals underlying issues with the supply lines, fixtures, appliances and drains you might not have been aware of. Low water pressure or a slow toilet leak might not be a deal-breaker, but it’s best to clear up these problems before moving in.
2. Check 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 inspect all exposed pipes before moving in. If the pipes aren’t insulated, this low-cost upgrade is a valuable preventive measure against 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 encounter a major emergency like 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 placed on a wall near 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. Search for a round or rectangular metal cover by the grass or sidewalk. It could be labeled “water meter” to help you recognize it.
If you still can’t find the primary water shutoff valve, call a plumber for help locating it before you have an emergency.
4. Find Individual Shutoff Valves
Alongside the main shutoff valve, most fixtures and appliances will have dedicated valves on the wall behind them. This allows you to turn off the water while working on repairs or to reduce damage in an emergency. Familiarize yourself with the location of every valve anytime you buy a new house.
5. Recognize the Signs of a Plumbing Leak
Water damage is a common concern regarding plumbing leaks, but a leaky faucet can also empty your wallet. Consider that one drip each second wastes more than 1,600 gallons each year. To prevent this, look 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 your sinks
- Wobbly toilet
- Water stains on the ceilings and walls
- Lasting musty odors
6. Get a Basic Plumbing Emergency Kit
Despite what you may have heard, chemical drain openers shouldn't go in a plumbing emergency kit. These potent cleaners can harm your pipes if used continuously. What's more, they only offer a temporary remedy at best.
A better alternative is to have non-chemical supplies on hand 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 mitigate 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. Use your drains running smoothly with these preventive tips:
- Install mesh drain covers in bathroom sinks and showers
- Do not flush anything down the toilet aside from human waste and a small amount of toilet paper
- Don't pour cooking grease down the drain
- Pour a large pot of near-boiling water in every drain each month
8. Keep a Plumber on Speed Dial
While our plumbing tips for new homeowners should keep many problems under control, it’s always smart to know a reliable plumber in town. For reliable, affordable work, there’s no better place to turn than Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning.
We have Experts across North America to serve customers from coast to coast. When you choose 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. Get in touch with your local Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning office to request plumbing services with us today.