8 Plumbing Tips for New Homeowners
Are you happy to be a new homeowner? Congratulations! It’s exhilarating to own a home and not have to deal with a landlord. Nevertheless, homeownership presents plenty of new responsibilities. For example, you are now in charge of keeping any pipes and plumbing fixtures in good working order.
The last thing you want is to deal with a plumbing issue immediately after moving in, so it’s sensible to make sure everything is in good shape before closing day. Consider these eight valuable plumbing tips every new homeowner should be familiar with.
1. Consider a Plumbing Inspection
Once you settle on your dream home, it’s a good idea to get a professional plumbing inspection. This reveals previously hidden issues with the supply lines, fixtures, appliances and drains you might not have known about. Poor water pressure or a slow toilet leak won’t always be a deal-breaker, but it’s better to resolve these problems before you move in.
2. Look for Pipe Insulation
The pipes could freeze and burst if they’re exposed to cold temperatures. No new homeowner has time to deal with that, so inspect all exposed pipes before you move in. If the pipes aren’t insulated, this low-cost upgrade is an effective preventive measure for 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 have to deal with a major emergency such as a burst pipe. But you must first know where the valve is located.
If your home has a basement or crawl space, the shutoff valve is most likely found on a wall close to 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 occasionally located in a utility box buried close to 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 find it.
If you still can’t find 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 should have dedicated valves for the wall behind them. This enables you to turn off the water while working on repairs or to mitigate damage in an emergency. Familiarize yourself with the location of all plumbing valves whenever you buy a new house.
5. Know the Signs of a Plumbing Leak
Water damage is the greatest concern relating to plumbing leaks, but a leaky faucet can also empty your wallet. Consider that one drip every second wastes more than 1,600 gallons each year. To prevent this, look 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 your sinks
- Loose toilet
- Water stains on the ceilings and walls
- Strong 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 potent cleaners can harm your pipes if used over and over. In addition, they only offer a temporary remedy at best.
An effective alternative is to have non-chemical supplies close by 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 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
Whatever flows down the drain apart from water can cause a clog. Keep your drains flowing smoothly with these preventive tips:
- Place 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 oil down the drain
- Pour a large pot of near-boiling water down every drain monthly
8. Keep a Plumber on Speed Dial
While these plumbing tips for new homeowners should keep many problems under control, it’s still sensible to know a reliable plumber in the area. For dependable, affordable work, there’s no better place to turn than Winnipeg Supply Service Experts.
We have locations across North America to serve customers from coast to coast. When you contact 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 arrange plumbing services with us today.