Are you ready to be a new homeowner? Congratulations! It’s thrilling to own your home and not answer to a landlord. Still, homeownership comes with plenty of new responsibilities. For one, you are now responsible for keeping any pipes and plumbing fixtures in good shape.
The last thing you want is to deal with a plumbing issue right after moving in, so it’s wise to make sure everything is ready to go before closing day. Check out these eight valuable plumbing tips every new homeowner should know.
1. Request a Plumbing Inspection
Once you find your dream home, it’s a good idea to get a professional plumbing inspection. This can uncover previously hidden issues with the supply lines, fixtures, appliances and drains you might not have noticed. Poor water pressure or a slow toilet leak may not be a deal-breaker, but it’s best to take care of these problems before you move in.
2. Look for Pipe Insulation
Your pipes can 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 moving in. If the pipes aren’t insulated, this low-cost upgrade is an excellent 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 such as 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 most likely 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 occasionally located in a utility box buried around the street. Search 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 track down the primary 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
Along with 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 working on repairs or to minimize damage after an emergency. Familiarize yourself with the location of every valve anytime you buy a new house.
5. Know the Signs of a Plumbing Leak
Water damage is the biggest concern associated with plumbing leaks, but a leaky faucet can also empty your wallet. Consider that just one drip per second wastes more than 1,600 gallons annually. To prevent this, watch for any signs of plumbing leaks in your home:
- Dripping or bubbling sounds
- A spike in 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
Despite what you may have heard, chemical drain openers don’t belong in a plumbing emergency kit. These potent cleaners can damage 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 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 mitigate the flow of a plumbing leak until a plumber is on the way
7. Prevent Clogged Drains from Day One
Anything that flows down the drain besides water could lead to a clog. Run your drains running smoothly with these preventive tips:
- Place 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 grease down the drain
- Pour a large pot of near-boiling water down every drain each month
8. Have a Plumber on Speed Dial
While our plumbing tips for new homeowners should keep many problems at bay, it’s always wise to know a reliable plumber in town. For dependable, affordable work, there’s no better place to turn than Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning.
We have Experts across North America to assist customers from coast to coast. When you contact our licensed plumbers for the job, you can rest assured that every repair and installation job is backed by a one-year 100% satisfaction guarantee. Get in touch with us to schedule plumbing services with us today.